Healthcare demands in Africa are changing and healthcare systems are at a turning point. The reforms that governments undertake over the next decade will be crucial in improving overall health in the continent. Over the last twenty years, Africa’s population has increased by 2.5 percent per year and in 2015 the number of people living in the continent has been set at 1.17 billion1. This is expected to rise to about 2.4 billion by 2050, with some of the countries doubling or even tripling their numbers; making Africa the region with the largest population growth2.
Rapid population growth calls for governments, development agencies, and the private sector to collaborate on strategic investments as well as planning so as to power Africa’s future and to address the current challenges many African countries face in regard to weak institutional capacities, infrastructural deficits, substantial income inequalities and high poverty rates.
Despite these challenges, the African region is experiencing steady economic growth due to domestic and external conditions, and predictions for the coming years remain favorable, with growth rates ranging between 5-6 %, well above the world average of 2.2 percent3. The role of the private sector is increasing and widely recognized by the international community as the engine for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The impact that such growth has on the healthcare sector in particular is that a growing urban middle class is willing to pay for better treatment widening the door to the private sector, which is starting to play a new vibrant role, often working in partnership with donors and governments to provide better healthcare services and increased access to medicine at an affordable price.
Substantial investment will be needed to meet the growing demand – largely from low and middle-income households, which comprise 70% of Africa’s purchasing power.
There has been a paradigm shift in the relationship between public and private sector over the past years in Africa. This enhanced dialogue progress has created a positive trend in enhancing Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) in health on the continent.
The countries in the regions that share culture, traditions and challenges have federated to jointly combat the high burden of disease within its own boundaries by sharing knowledge and resources to improve overall health for its citizens. We have noticed that the East African, West African, South African, Central African and North African private sectors will all soon harmonise its regional federations towards a positive output to health thus ensuring the momentum is maintained.
The aim of the Africa Healthcare Business Symposium is to provide this platform for intra-regional discussion so as to further strengthen the roles played by both the private health sector, the public health sector and development partners. Fostering these relationships will play a major role in promoting the PPP dialogue within the regions and countries through the regional unification of private health sectors under a single umbrella – Africa Healthcare Federation.
For more information or to register for the inaugural Africa Health Business Symposium, visit www.africahealthbusiness.com