The Africa Business: Health Forum held at the Hyatt Regency in Addis Ababa on February 12, 2019.
The Forum had five main sessions:
- The Opening Remarks
- The Launch of the Health report
- The Launch of ABCHealth,
- The Great Debate
- The parallel sessions
Key Messages – The Forum
- Collaborations and Partnerships can birth great things
When resources and expertise are pooled, it is easier to tackle challenges and achieve great things. The success of the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum as well as the launch of ABCHealth is an indication that the right collaborations can inspire great things.
- Investing in Health is Good Business
Putting money in the health sector makes social, economic and business sense. Before a people can talk development, they must take care of their health. Investing the sector is therefore, not just a social imperative but an economic necessity with huge returns.
- Public-Private Sector Partnerships Can Bridge Funding Deficit
There is a huge financing gap in the heath sector. Unfortunately, the government is limited in resources and would need to partner the private sector to bridge the gap.
Key Messages – Parallel Sessions
A. Public-Private Partnerships
- Coalitions over Silos
Working in silos might seem convenient but setting up coalitions is better for efficient and effective delivery on set objectives. This is evident in the Equatorial Guinea case study where the private sector joined forces with government to reduce mosquito bites incidents from 1000 to 3 annually.
- Manage Stakeholder Expectations
It is important to align and manage expectations between the government and private sectors for a seamless collaboration. This is best achieved through dialogue.
- Right Investments, Higher Impacts
Investing time, money and energy in human capital, research and development could help scale up impacts on specific projects. This was the takeout from the Ethiopian PPP presentation which outlined the Ethiopian government’s ambition and passion to develop a tertiary care in the country and manufacture drugs domestically.
B. Domestic Resource Mobilization
- Need for Honest Dialogue Amongst Stakeholders
There is need to increase funding for health across the continent. However, Ministers of Health seem to find it hard getting their Ministers of Finance to increase funding to the health sector. There is therefore need for deep, honest engagements amongst stakeholders to achieve this critical task.
- Donor Funds as Catalysts
Utilize donor funds as a catalyst to mobilize other resources going into domestic funding for the sector.
- Need for Cost Optimization
Cost optimization should be made a priority. It is not enough to source for funds, but ensuring more is achieved with less might be a way to scale up investments in other subsectors of the health sector.
- The Power of an Individual
Individuals can make a difference as each can inspire an initiative that could spark a revolution in the health sector. However, collaborations will be key to optimizing funding and achieving sustainable development across board.
- Technology as a Useful Tool
Technology is a unifying platform. It is time stakeholders leveraged it more for better penetration and overall impact.
The Key Messages for ABCHealth
- Build A Truly African Coalition
ABCHealth must go beyond the two partners, GBCHealth and Aliko Dangote Foundation, and ensure it represents a truly African coalition by having an inclusive representation across the continent.
- Data is Key
ABCHealth should collate and aggregate data to help it in making sound policy decisions. The right data if properly analyzed will help in crafting effective and efficient solutions across borders.
- Utilize Technology
Technology offers a veritable platform and opportunity that will help ABCHealth catapult itself into the right partnerships and aid its membership drive across strata.
- Be the Bridge
The coalition must be an honest broker that will foster viable partnerships between the public and private sectors for the good of Africa.
- Create A Profitable Model for Stakeholders
Since the private sector is especially looking to make money from their investments, ABCHealth must build a profitable model for the business community with a view to helping them find specific initiatives worth their investment.
- Always Plan Ahead
Resource allocation will impact subscription to ABCHealth. Therefore, planning ahead (1-year, 5-year plans etc) would help ABCHealth in the allocation of scarce resource.