The West and East Africa nations are set to benefit from projects worth USD140 million to boost their healthcare sector, vaccines and attract the much-needed investment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of the Africa Investment Forum team representing the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors showcased two projects during a virtual investor round-table last week.
The first opportunity, with a project cost of USD 96 million, will lead to the development of a 250-bed specialist hospital offering world class healthcare services in a West African Country.
The second entails the construction of a USD45 million World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualified vaccine production plant in East Africa that will be capable of routine production of three vaccines, including for COVID- 19.
Development Partners International, Principal Jean-Philippe Syed, said the African hospital sector, and in particular health tourism, had suffered as a result of pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Other challenges mentioned by the participants include overcoming cold chain and last-mile-delivery issues, and ways to scale up pilot technologies, such as the use of drones to facilitate vaccine delivery.
At a panel discussion held last week, Africa Investment Forum Senior Director Chinelo Anohu referenced the East Africa vaccine plant project in the context of Africa’s current limited access to Covid-19 vaccines.
“Through trade and investment, particularly in its pharmaceutical sector, the continent can avoid vaccine inequity,” Anohu said.
“What we are looking to provide with the Africa Investment Forum is a co-investment platform where you mobilize domestic investors, mobilize project sponsors for the continent, and then mobilize international investors, those who are looking to make an investment and get a profit,” he said.
Senior Executive, Strategic Trade at Aspen Pharmacare Stavros Nicolaou, said Africa’s disease burden, the highest of any continent made preventive care, including vaccines, all the more important for Africans.
“The need for pharmaceuticals will increase the requirements for partnerships that can overcome constraints such as research & development,” he noted.
The round-table is part of a series of events organized by the Africa Investment Forum and hosted by the Atlantic Council to drum up interest in the Forum’s upcoming Market Days, where a range of investment opportunities will be unveiled.
The Africa Investment Forum aims to channel investment into Africa with this year’s market days, to be held on 1-3 December, to showcase transformative investment opportunities from across the African continent, many with the potential to drive Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.