Africans Should Lead Continent’s Long-Term Health Investment Strategies

Project Syndicate: Investing in Africans’ Health
Carl Manlan, 2016 New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute and chief operating officer at the Ecobank Foundation

“…Increasing health care spending in Africa is not a matter of ramping up aid … Rather, it is about getting private actors — especially Africans — to seize the relevant business opportunities. … Meeting the health care needs of a growing African population — and thereby ensuring that the continent has a healthy workforce to drive economic transformation — will require funding that is more predictable and sustainable, guided by reliable long-term strategies. Here, the African diaspora should take the lead. … The more stable the investment environment is, the more willing private-sector actors will be to fund the kinds of large-scale interventions needed to unlock Africa’s productive potential. … As leaders gear up for the World Health Organization’s 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva this month, it is worth highlighting the limits of donor-driven development in Africa. To lay the foundations for economic transformation … Africans at home and abroad must step up. In the long term … those whose lives are just beginning will be able to build a more prosperous future and ensure that future generations, too, enjoy longer, healthier, more productive lives” (5/17).