AfDB Private Sector Supports Healthcare Delivery-Invests € 10 Million in Investment Fund for Health in Africa

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Tunis, 17 June 2009 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday in Tunis approved an investment of Euro 10 million in the Investment Fund for Health in Africa (IFHA). IFHA is a pioneer multinational private equity vehicle that invests growth equity in privately owned businesses in the healthcare value chain. IFHA uses market instruments to enhance the efficiency and quality of health care in Africa. It focuses mainly on existing health insurance organizations, pharmaceutical production facilities and distribution chains. Investments are expected to range between € 0.5 million and €5 million.

Africa’s healthcare sector is severally underfinanced and requires yearly investments of some US$ 2.5 billion over the next 10 years; 50% of it through the rapidly expanding private sector. If properly harnessed, the private sector can complement government efforts to address the health care needs of all segments of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFHA aims to increase health insurance coverage across the continent; increase the utilization of healthcare services; and scale up and rationalize local production and distribution of high quality pharmaceuticals. When fully operational, portfolio companies will employ about 1,750 staff, comprising 750 healthcare professionals and more than 850 women.
The AfDB is one of the strategic investors in the Fund.  By investing in IFHA, the AfDB will also continue to pursue its collaboration strategy, with key development partners to leverage synergies in the social domains, including the health sector.

The AfDB is a multilateral development institution that promotes sustainable development in Africa. It is Africa’s premier development finance institution, engaged in mobilizing resources for the economic and social development of its 53 African Regional Member Countries (RMCs).

The AfDB provides a range of financial products to the private sector to complement its traditional lending operations to governments. Private sector operations of the Bank Group promote strong social and corporate governance standards as well as help African companies achieve international best practices, making them more competitive at home and abroad. Recently, new private sector project approvals have averaged US$ 1.5 billion annually in Africa.