The inaugural Africa Health Business Symposium hosted in Nairobi, Kenya during 5th to 7th October, 2016 witnessed a groundbreaking ceremony with the historic unification of the five regional healthcare federations of Africa to launch the Africa Healthcare Federation which will advocate, mentor, collaborate and unify the private health sector of Africa so as to ensure the scaling up and strengthening of health systems, spurring greater investments as well as development of affordable, accessible and quality healthcare delivery across the continent, thereby rising Africa to global standards.
East Africa Healthcare Federation (EAHF), formed in 2012 consisting of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and South Sudan, and the West African Private Health Federation (WAPHF), established in 2016 comprising of 15 West African countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, together with the upcoming northern, central and southern private health federations will jointly manifest to form the Africa Healthcare Federation, thus representing the private health sector of the continent in conjunction.
At the AHBS this October, leaders from the 5 regions of Africa joined hands to reiterate their leadership role, and pledged their commitment towards the development of the AHF by signing a Communiqué. With this, the Africa Health Federation logo was unveiled.
Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman of Kenya Healthcare Federation, and Africa Health Business Ltd. was elected as the first Chairman of the Africa Health Federation, in the presence of high level delegates from the African Union, IFC/World Bank, World Health Organization, USAID, McKinsey & Co. and eminent leaders in the healthcare field across Africa. On accepting his prestigious new role, Dr. Amit N. Thakker stated,
“I am honored to take upon this position bestowed upon me by the healthcare leaders of Africa. I look forward to working closely with all stake holders as we chart out an actionable plan for the AHF. It is going to be an exciting journey. With the support we have received from the AU, governments and also development partners, I am certain that the only way forward, is upward!”
[L-R] Dr. Ardo Boubou Ba (Western region), Dr. Amit N. Thakker (Chairman, AHF), H.E. Mustafa Siddique Kaloko (Commissioner of Social Services, African Union), and Dr. Ian Clarke (Eastern Region)
H.E. Mustapha Siddique Kaloko, the Commissioner of Social Services at the African Union was in attendance at the ceremonial event and stated;
“The private sector plays an integral part in improving healthcare in Africa. The African Union is delighted with the formation of the Africa Healthcare Federation and provides its full support in any manner, including collaboration with the stake holders. We wish Dr. Amit Thakker the very best as he accepts this bold responsibility of leading the AHF, which we are sure will revolutionize healthcare in our continent.”
This was a pivotal moment that marked the beginning of a momentous change by unifying African countries under a single umbrella – the Africa Healthcare Federation (AHF) towards overcoming challenges together and achieving mutual far-reaching outcomes. AHF will be the over-arching organization that will represent, promote and protect private health sector interest in collaboration with the governments and corporate partners. This will ensure the ramping up and strengthening of health systems, as well as development of quality and uniform standards of health care delivery across the continent.
The Founding Members of Africa Healthcare Federation include:
- East Africa Healthcare Federation (EAHF) – Formed in 2012. Member countries are: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and South Sudan
- West African Private Health Federation (WAPHF) – Established in 2016 comprising of 15 West African countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo
- Southern Africa Healthcare Federation (SAHF) –A potential legal entity in 2017; unifying Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
- Upcoming Northern and Central private health regional federations