Africa Afya Conference 11th-12th January 2023, Kigali Rwanda

During the conference, The Africa Health and Economic Transformation Initiative (AHETI) unveiled the 6 billion Dollars Ubuntu Health Impact Fund to be mobilized over a period of 3 years. The Fund is geared towards ensuring that AHETI’s mission of eradicating poverty diseases endemic in Africa, namely, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, hepatitis B and diarrhoea is realized. 

Africa Pilot

100 Million USD

Full Requirement

6 Billion USD

Establishment of Africa-based Biomedical Research Facilities (Centres) whose aim is to not only ensure local production of pharmaceuticals on the continent, but also develop Precision Medicine not just for Africa but also for the rest of the world. These biomedical research facilities will help Africa build a database for Genomic Data (DNA data) which is necessary in informing the development of therapies in precision medicine. As you may know, Africa contributes only 1% of the global genomic data that is used in developing drugs. There will be a minimum of three in each Urban centres in Africa. Revna is the existing one search facilities that we want to replicate and scale across Africa.

By this I mean a one stop shop for all Health Informatics in Africa. This data will help in epidemiology and also in the developing both preventive and curative medicine in Africa. The Biomedical Research Facilities across Africa will be spokes that feed the Health Data Repository in order that AHETI can offer one stop shop in Health Informatics to all Health and Economic analysts and decision makers.

Pharmaceutical Tech lab will be a shared resource where all the molecular and clinical trials for the biological medicine will be done. The shared resource concept is relevant since it will discourage the need for every pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop own labs. Once a manufacturer has developed a therapy through the tech lab, they can now go and manufacture it and scale across the African Continent.

The fund will give incentives to those who will manufacture quality yet affordable pharmaceuticals in Africa and for Africa. Ubuntu Fund is the middle ground between market and non-market fund. It is a patient fund that will have preference for the poor and will be granted to the entrepreneurs who will manufacture essential medicine that will be pro-poor. In that regard, affordability, accessibility, quality, efficacy and reliability is at the heart of the model for this fund.

It is easy to think about the technology and the infrastructure of health. But without a well-developed human resource and enabling policy environment, healthcare will seldom advance. Through the Africa Leadership Academy, I have learnt that AHETI shall offer transformational courses and programs to develop the political decision makers such as Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries for Health, Directors of health, etc. while training health managers to be able to manage health at the continental level. I believe it would be crucial to also train the actual researchers in the areas of biomedical research and ensure their skills are put into good use in Africa. The leadership programs will be run in partnership with AHETI’s local and global partners such as Universities of Yale and Georgetown, Pharmaceutical Private Sector players and US Government officials on Public Policy.