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Experts say collaboration necessary to address health, education, other sector challenges

Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT)

Experts in key sectors are calling for partnership as a systemic approach to creating sustainable solutions in Nigeria and Africa at large.

This was discussed at the 5-anniversary of the Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation breakfast dialogue on the theme; Shifting Paradigms: Transforming our Approach to Addressing Africa’s Challenge.

Similarly, those well familiar with the African ecosystem said a public-private partnership is necessary to effect the changes needed in Africa whilst also calling on the government to invest in healthcare, education, and other sectors

What they are saying

In the view of Dr. Mories Atoki, CEO of Africa Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), the best bet to invest in healthcare is investing in a health entrepreneurs who understand the ecosystem. According to her, the government needs to understand the importance of investing in healthcare because it seems they don’t recognize them as their next option of actually getting health solutions and healthcare issues solved.

Speaking on the need for sustainability, she said, “We need to understand that the public-private partnership that is succeeding now needs a sustainable model. This has to do with giving promising health entrepreneurs that have access to a large scale of funding a lot more opportunities for more revenue, and also the right partners that will enable them to begin to make their business worthy of partnership at the government level. Partnership at this level is even more beneficial to the government.”  

Sharing her encounter with patients in Africa, Dr. Nneka Mobisson, co-founder and CEO, mDoc, a digital health social enterprise that integrates proven methodologies with technology to improve healthcare in Africa noted that a lot of people live in denial of their chronic health status. However, she noted that her platform has been able to recognize the problem, thus embracing a partnership with a faith-based organization that has more influence on the people.

“We have been able to partner with the faith-based institutions because we understand that through collaboration, we have a greater chance of solving a lot more issues.“ she said.

Speaking about the massive brain drain seen in recent times, she pointed out the need to invest in Nigeria’s educational system. “I have literally cried several times about the talent in Nigeria. I had my primary and secondary school in Enugu and that prepared me for my training in the US. But today, we are no longer producing that type of talent; our university students can’t stand out.

On Solution, she said, “We have to invest in re-teaching.; we are brilliant in our context but we are not able to retain this brilliance. A lot of people on my team are writing their exams to leave the country for the UK. It’s not only a clinical problem today, it’s the same with accountants engineers and all sectors. The most important thing is how do we compete to retain these people? We have to invest primarily in the basics of what primary and secondary schools are not teaching.

She pointed out that while there is an improvement in the business climate, which has seen the rise of world-class companies from within Africa, there is still a lot to be done for more companies to scale and benefit the continent’s economy.

“Africa has witnessed a tremendous rise of businesses that have achieved billions of dollars in valuation. However, there are attendant challenges and barriers that need to be addressed to continually foster entrepreneurial growth,” she said.

Meanwhile, Osayi Allie, CEO of ACT announced the winner of the Changemaker Innovation Challenge for this year as Fatima Jimoh (Nafarm Food, Nigeria), followed by Andrew Ddembe (Mobiklinic Uganda) as first runner-up and Mark Frankel (Black Umbrellas NPC. South Africa) as second runner up.

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