Health and Business Leaders to Convene in Johannesburg for Africa Health Business Symposium 2023

Key stakeholders in health and business will be on the 29th and 30th of June convene in Sandton, Johannesburg, for the 8th edition of the Africa Health Business Symposium (AHBS VIII), which will bring together policymakers, government representatives, development partners and business leaders, to discuss the vital role of the private sector in bolstering health systems across the continent.

With the theme “The Role of the Private Sector in Africa’s New Public Health Order,” AHBS VIII provides a platform for comprehensive deliberations on Africa CDC’s New Public Health Order, a bold and ambitious framework that urges greater investment in Africa’s health institutions, health workforce, and medical manufacturing capacity, while calling for respectful, action-oriented partnerships across the continent.

“There is an urgent need for African countries to bolster their health systems through sustained investment in the entire health ecosystem, from investing in infrastructure and well-trained, equipped, and motivated health workers, to creating markets for diagnostics, vaccines and medicines produced on the continent,” said Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Executive Chairman, Africa Health Business. “Creating stronger linkages between the private and public sectors, development partners, academic institutions and community-based organisations can unlock the vast resources that Africa needs to prevent and prepare for the next pandemic and achieve health for all.”

AHBS VIII, hosted by Africa Health Business and supported by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will feature interactive discussions, panel sessions, and networking opportunities that will facilitate the exchange of ideas, best practices, and innovative approaches to enhance collaboration among key stakeholders within Africa’s health sector.

“Addressing Africa’s health crisis demands a departure from conventional approaches and a shift to innovative, people-centred solutions that address the funding, governance, accountability, and workforce gaps that have plagued our health systems for decades.

These gaps have resulted in us shouldering 26 percent of the global disease burden despite accounting for just 16 percent of the world’s population. This symposium therefore will seek to rally stakeholders across sectors to implement the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and collectively chart a path towards resilient and self-sufficient health systems for Africa,” stated Dr. Nicaise Ndembi, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health in Africa at Africa CDC.

Delegates and speakers at the symposium will discuss the private sector’s role in realising the vision outlined in the New Public Health Order. The discussions will focus on the framework’s key pillars, aiming to dissect the challenges and opportunities present for multi-stakeholder partnerships that can achieve sustainable and inclusive health security for Africa. These discussions are particularly timely, given the declining development funding for health on the continent.

“Africa, with its anticipated 14 percent share of global health business opportunities by 2030, could witness its health and wellbeing markets reach a value of US$259 billion in the next decade, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA),” said Hon. Anifa Kawooya Bangirana, Minister of State for Health General Duties, Ministry of Health, Uganda. “Governments and multilateral institutions can benefit from understanding how to better engage the private sector, given its significant contributions to health financing and delivery. These are the topics we will be exploring at the symposium, aiming to position our continent as an attractive investment destination rather than a perpetual aid recipient.”

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