Africa Investment Forum: $ 140 million projects on the table to boost vaccines and health care in West and East Africa – World
Africa Investment Forum team members presented two projects at a virtual investor roundtable as the continent seeks to boost its health sector and attract much-needed investment in the aftermath of the Covid-19.
The projects, with a joint value of around $ 140 million and located in East and West Africa, were previewed to potential investors.
The roundtable, held on October 21, is part of a series of events organized by the Africa Investment Forum and hosted by the Atlantic Council to generate interest in the Forum’s upcoming Market Days, where a range of investment opportunities will be unveiled. The invited participants represented the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.
The first opportunity, with a project cost of $ 96 million, concerns the development of a 250-bed specialized hospital offering world-class health services in a West African country. Feasibility studies have been undertaken and the land has been secured. The second involves the construction of a $ 45 million WHO prequalified vaccine production plant in East Africa that will be able to routinely produce three vaccines, including for Covid-19.
After the presentations, a panel of investors gave their views on investing in the health sector in Africa. The panelists were Rhulani Nhlaniki, Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa Cluster at Pfizer; Jean-Philippe Syed, director of the private equity firm Development Partners International; Afsane Jetha, Managing Partner & CEO of the private equity firm Alta Semper Capital; Stavros Nicolaou, Senior Executive – Strategic Commerce at Aspen Pharmacare; and Dr Dumani Kula, COO for Africa at Evercare Group, a healthcare company. Aubrey Hruby, Senior Fellow at the Africa Center of the Atlantic Council, moderated the debate.
Syed said the African hospital sector, and in particular health tourism, had suffered from travel restrictions linked to the pandemic.
Nicolaou said Africa’s disease burden, the highest of any continent, makes preventive care, including vaccines, all the more important for Africans. The need for pharmaceuticals will increase the demands of partnerships capable of overcoming constraints such as research and development.
Other challenges mentioned by participants included addressing cold chain and last mile delivery issues, as well as ways to develop pilot technologies, such as the use of drones to facilitate vaccine delivery.
Health is one of the five priority investment sectors under the Africa Investment Forum Unified response to Covid-19(the link is external) pillars. The others are agribusiness, energy and climate change, ICT / Telecoms, and industrialization and commerce.
At a panel discussion hosted by the University of Edinburgh last week, Africa Investment Forum Senior Director Chinelo Anohu referred to the East Africa Vaccine Factory Project in context Africa’s current limited access to Covid-19 vaccines. Through trade and investment, especially in its pharmaceutical sector, the continent can avoid vaccine inequalities, Anohu said.
“What we seek to provide with the Africa Investment Forum is a co-investment platform where you mobilize national investors, mobilize project sponsors for the continent, then mobilize international investors, those who seek to make an investment and to get a profit, “said Anohu.
The Africa Investment Forum aims to channel investments to Africa. Its 2021 Market Days, which run from December 1-3, will showcase transformative investment opportunities from across the African continent, many of which have the potential to boost Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Africa Investment Forum was launched in 2018 by eight founding partners: the African Development Bank, Africa 50; the African Finance Corporation; the African Import-Export Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa; the Bank of Commerce and Development; the European Investment Bank; and the Islamic Development Bank.
Olufemi Terry | Communication and External Relations Department | African Development Bank | email: [email protected]