Business heavyweights to launch private sector coalition on health: The Aliko Dangote Foundation, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and GBCHealth will launch the Africa Business: Health Forum on 12th February 2019 alongside the African Union Summit.

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Two of Africa's business heavyweights, Aliko Dangote and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, founder of the Dangote Group and Access Bank respectively, are championing this event along with other eminent global and African private sector leaders. The event aims to bring together some of Africa's major players in business to engage actively to address the health challenges facing the continent.

The Africa Health Strategy 2016-2030 recognizes that providing access to quality healthcare at affordable rates is one of the most critical challenges facing Africa. Scarce public funds as well as limited and unpredictable donor aid are pushing countries to seek innovative sources of finance, making health financing a key policy issue in most countries.

For a more prosperous Africa to emerge we need to leverage private sector's unique capacity to mobilize resources and innovation to strengthen health systems. Stepping up investments in health is not only the right thing to do, but it's also good for business, meeting the demand will deliver strong financial returns.

Achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals opens an economic 'prize' of at least $12 trillion a year by 2030 for the private sector (10% of global GDP in 2030). Most of this from developing countries and from four sectors including health and wellbeing. This could also create about 380m jobs--90% of which will be in developing countries. By 2030, business opportunities in the health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices.

Launch of the Healthcare and Economic Growth Report

The Forum will see the launch of the report, "Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa". Preliminary findings of the report were unveiled this September in New York on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly. The report calls for greater African private sector involvement and investment in healthcare by underscoring the importance of improving health to drive Africa's . economic growth, recognizing the need for the private sector to play a significant role in improving Africa's health outcomes, and identifying opportunities for the private sector to strengthen national healthcare systems by improving access to quality products, information and services through public-private partnerships. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of ECA said "Africa's population bulge and its abundance of young people is a competitive asset. This asset however must not become a fiscal burden. Crowding in private sector...

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