Dangote, Aig-Imoukhuede push for African Union-Private Sector Collaboration on Health
Africa’s richest man and Chairman of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote in company of the immediate past President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, who is also the Chairman of Coronation Capital and co-chair of Global Business Coalition on Health, GBCHealth, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede have advised that public-private sector collaboration will improve the health sector across Africa.
At the Africa Business and Investment Forum, a high-level public-private sector dialogue, which was a side event at the recently concluded Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, the two business leaders are seen to be taking bod steps to champion improvements in the health sector across Africa and at the global level.
Aig-Imoukhuede, who commended the government for taking the private sector seriously said “this is the first time the Africa Union will be engaging the private sector in its work as a partner to further the objectives of the union”. Calling for collaboration between government and private sector, Aig-Imoukhuede stated that there is a need to leverage the power and resources of the business community for positive impact on global health challenges, and perhaps use the platform to give birth to an ‘African Davos’, which will take place after the AU summit every year and foster collaboration between private sector enablers and public sector drivers. Stating further that “Great things happen when enablers and drivers collaborate”,
Alhaji Dangote had identified the missing gap in African development as “the need for Africa as a continent to come together”. He added that “the only way to move Africa forward is to think big, dream big and do big things together”. To this end, Dangote Foundation and GBCHealth are catalyzing an African Business coalition for health, ABCHealth which will support African business efforts to fight poverty and improve health in Africa, providing a neutral platform to incubate partnerships, drive investments in health and spotlight African business leaders and their work on health.
“There is strong appetite from African corporates, business leaders, donors and development partners for investing in innovative and scalable health system while the state of the health sector across the continent is characterized by suboptimal outcomes (infectious diseases, malnutrition), poor quality health system, fragmented health market, limited innovation and absence of protection against financial risks for citizens” that is the paradox of the African health sector, said Aig-Imoukhuede.
In closing his speech, Aig-Imoukhuede urged the private sector to “see health issues not just as doing good, but as a real competitive market, and thus should be at the center of our economic agenda”, adding that there is a strong rationale for the private sector to play a role in shaping health markets in Africa because good health is good business, therefore investing in health is both a business and social imperative”.
Dangote and Aig-Imoukhuede are both recognized for their generosity in advancing global and national healthcare, and most importantly for their readiness to apply their intellect and formidable network to address these issues at a regional level. At the country level, both of them are founding conveners of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN), which has been mobilizing the private sector, across a coordinated platform, to advance health outcomes and unlock the market potential within the health sector in Nigeria.
This forum has led to a planned collaboration between ABCHealth, African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA to convene an Africa private sector summit to broker private sector commitments to health across Africa on the margins of the African Union summit next year. This will serve to set up an African led business coalition that mobilizes a core group of private sector champions to offer their capabilities, resources and expertise, through a coordinated platform, to advance health outcomes and shape health markets.