Next Steps Towards Stronger Africa Healthcare Capacity
Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in partnership with the Government of Botswana hosted the U.S.-Africa Business Summit on July 11-14, 2023 in Gaborone, Botswana. The Summit brought together more than 1,500 U.S. and African public and private sector participants, including African Heads of State, U.S. and African Ministers and senior government officials, private sector executives and entrepreneurs, international investors, and multilateral stakeholders.
On Wednesday, July 12th, the presidential dialogue on “Next Steps Toward Stronger African Healthcare Capacity including Prevention, Detection and Treatment” reviewed how to build on Botswana’s success in dealing with HIV and AIDS to enhance Africa’s value chain in global value chains. President Masisi kicked off the special session with remarks, noting the great progress Botswana has made in strengthening its health system capacity over the last two decades, which offer some important lessons learned. He noted the importance of the government’s working early on with the private sector and NGOs to put in place and sustain effective campaigns, which transformed the pandemic from an existential crisis to a manageable chronic disease. The partnerships created then have created a strong basis to fight against both communicable and non-communicable diseases ever since. While he noted Botswana has not yet reached its desired level of self-sufficiency, particularly in having sufficient staff, Botswana has set important mandates for the sector in its 2036 Vision. He noted that the pandemic exposed the need for further improvements.
Botswana’s Health Minister, Edwin Dikoloti, stressed the importance of strengthening primary health care as part of the country’s broader strategy of developing a knowledge-based economy. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Joy Basu, suggested African countries can leverage opportunities from the PEPFAR program to strengthen global health security, as outlined in PEPFAR’s latest five-year strategy that stresses further improvements in national capacity development. Roche’s Johana Sickler stressed the importance of improving health sector diagnostic capacity in terms of improving disease outbreaks and better targeting health resources. She suggested that, at a minimum, African countries should prioritize leveraging available infrastructure in diagnostics and testing. Abbott’s Keith Cienkus addressed future concerns in terms of diseases that are on the horizon and how innovation in diagnostics can address these concerns, encouraging countries to decentralize testing capacity as a way to expand prevention and detection while promoting innovation. Mogomotsi Matshaba, Executive Director of Baylour Botswana, stressed the importance of Public and Private sector Corporation. Panelists agreed on the importance of more training programs and improving available health infrastructure, as well as developing strategies that ensure that the private sector can play an effective role, without creating monopolies for government, NGOs or companies at any level.
Click here to watch the recorded session.