Home » Medical Tourism: FG and Afreximbank Ink $1 Billion Deal to Boost Healthcare Investment in Nigeria, As AMCE Held Its African health forum In Abuja

Medical Tourism: FG and Afreximbank Ink $1 Billion Deal to Boost Healthcare Investment in Nigeria, As AMCE Held Its African health forum In Abuja

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In a significant stride towards fortifying the healthcare landscape in Nigeria, the Federal Government has formalized a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

This is just as African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) concluded its 2024 African Health Forum in Abuja, Nigeria.

According to the thecable.ng, Ali Pate, minister of health and social welfare, who announced the signing of the MoU, spoke on Wednesday when Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, accompanied by a delegation from King’s College Hospital (KCH) London, visited President Bola Tinubu at the State House.

During the meeting, the president commended the Afreximbank and KCH London on the establishment of the Africa Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) in Abuja.

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The AMCE is scheduled for commissioning in the first quarter of 2025.

Tinubu told the delegation that Nigeria is committed to meeting the health needs of its citizens.

The president added that Africa cannot afford to remain behind in quality and accessible healthcare systems.

”We welcome this significant step towards investing in Nigeria’s healthcare sector,” Tinubu was quoted in a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson.
“This facility is a great commitment to humanity. We are open and ready to assist this project in every way possible.

”Africa is in need, and Nigeria is committed to the needs of its people. Putting people’s welfare first is putting healthcare first.

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”Out of every five black persons, one is a Nigerian. We are racing against time to meet our obligations to our people.

“This project will further strengthen our long-term vision for the healthcare of our people.

“We are determined to succeed, and whatever you need in order for us to achieve this project, I want to assure you, we will do it.”

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On his part, Pate said Afreximbank and KCH London are collaborating on building a medical and nursing school alongside AMCE Abuja.

”Your Excellency, you will recall that in October 2023, you approved an initiative to unlock Nigeria’s healthcare value chain and appointed a coordinator,” the health minister said.

“We have worked in the last few months to identify various work streams.
”I am pleased to inform Your Excellency, that today, we signed an MOU with the President of Afreximbank for a $1 billion facility to finance a credit and equity contribution pool for private sector investors interested in investing in Nigeria’s health sector value chain.”

Similarly, the AMCE event brought together esteemed industry leaders, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to discuss critical issues facing the healthcare sector and to explore avenues for collaboration and progress.

The opening segment featured Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, who provided valuable insights into the historical journey and mission of the AMCE.

Oramah said: “The African Medical Centre of Excellence initiative was born out of the urgent need to address the inadequacies in healthcare facilities, particularly in dealing with non-communicable diseases. With only 48% of Africa’s population having access to essential healthcare services, the situation demanded immediate attention.

This Forum is just one of the many initiatives by the Afreximbank Group to emphasise the urgency of the matter. The AMCE Abuja will not only serve as a hub for cutting-edge research and clinical services but also as a training ground for future medical professionals across Africa. It will play a pivotal role in tackling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and reversing the brain drain of qualified medical personnel.

As we progress towards its completion, we anticipate significant benefits for Africa, including job creation, improved healthcare access, and enhanced intra-regional trade in medical services. With construction well underway and operations set to begin in early 2025, the AMCE Abuja represents a beacon of hope for Africa’s healthcare landscape. The AMCE Africa Health Forum provides a platform for stakeholders to strengthen partnerships and collaboration, underscoring the importance of collective action in achieving our shared goal of a healthier Africa.”

Oramah also outlined the profound impact of the project, emphasising that it will generate approximately 3,000 jobs during both its construction and operational phases. “Moreover, it will provide prompt, lifesaving detection and management of serious diseases to over 200,000 patients in Nigeria and an additional 150,000 patients from other African countries within its first five years of operation. Additionally, the project will play a pivotal role in fostering intra-regional trade in medical services and strengthening supply chains in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.”

Reflecting on the success of the African Health Forum 2024, Brian Deaver, Chief Executive Officer of AMCE Abuja, expressed optimism about the future of healthcare in Africa. He said: “Our discussions at this forum have underscored the urgent need for collective action to address the pressing challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria and neighbouring regions.

The AMCE stands ready to play a pivotal role in this endeavour, leveraging our expertise, resources, and strategic partnerships to implement innovative solutions and improve health outcomes for all. Together, we can forge a path toward a healthier, more prosperous future for Africa and its people.”

Also, Prof Mohammed Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health, and Social Welfare, shed light on current healthcare challenges in Nigeria, particularly focusing on non-communicable diseases.

Keynote addresses from distinguished guests further enriched the dialogue, with H.E. Amb. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC, offering their perspectives on the future of healthcare in Africa.

A significant highlight of the event was the signing ceremony of the Equity Investment Term Sheet agreement with African Finance Corporation (AFC), to facilitate the commitment of up to USD$40 million from AFC towards the development of the AMCE Abuja.

The event also saw the MoU signing between Afreximbank and the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to support the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector under the Presidential Initiative for Unlocking Healthcare Value Chains (PVAC).

Through a USD$1 billion Healthcare Value Chain Programme, the partnership will seek to support the establishment of world-class medical and health facilities and increase domestic manufacturing of essential pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, vaccines, biologics and medical consumables. It will also reduce outbound medical tourism by elevating the quality and accessibility of healthcare services within Nigeria, promoting employment, fostering a culture of locally driven research & development, and attracting investments into Nigeria’s healthcare value chain.

Attendees were treated to engaging presentations and discussions on various topics affecting healthcare delivery on the continent, including the vision and mission of AMCE, clinical overviews, strategies to reduce healthcare worker tourism, and the power of collaboration in healthcare.

The forum also featured cultural performances and networking opportunities, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of exchange and collaboration among participants.

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