Due to social, economic, and demographic transformation, African economies are growing faster than anywhere in the world. African countries recognise the importance of ensuring health to sustaining their current economic trajectory. Consequently, they are increasing their domestic investment in health, and improving their pro business legislative and policy environment to accompany the positive economic trends, and greater fiscal stability. For instance, more than half of African countries have increased their health expenditure as a percentage of government budgets to a range of 10-18%.
Despite the economic progress, African countries continue to face a growing demand for medicines from the existing challenges of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, and emerging challenges such as non-communicable diseases. With traditional donors being increasingly unable to support the health development goals of African countries, African governments are compelled to look elsewhere to fill the inevitable funding gaps. Reaching out to partners that are capable of making valuable contributions to the necessary solutions to the challenges facing African countries has never been more important.
The private health sector is a potential partner whose potential to contribute to the solutions needed in African countries has been largely neglected over the past decades. However, the time may be ripe to explore the possibilities there may be in partnership with the private health sector, both at local level, regional level and at global level. It is clear that the private health sector increasingly recognizes the value of collaborating with African governments in order to become a part of the solution to their challenges. However, the ability of both sides to make the most of the opportunities for collabroation towards meeting the growing domestic health challenges in African countries require that they find positive ways to engage with each other in a manner that is sustainable by going beyond the current dominant philantropic model.