Afreximbank Picks Nigeria to Host Healthcare Centre of Excellence
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has selected Nigeria as the preferred country to host the first of its Centres of Excellence for Healthcare Services in Africa.
Following a strategic alliance they formed in 2014, Afreximbank and King’s College Hospital, London (KCH), are establishing a network of centres of excellence in tertiary healthcare across Africa to deliver a range of specialist healthcare services for patients.
By supporting the development of first class health and medical care facilities across the value chain, they hope to promote trade in health and medical services within Africa.
Nigeria had been shortlisted, along with Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania, for consideration as potential host countries for the first Centre of Excellence. A joint Afreximbank and KCH team subsequently engaged their ministries of health to confirm their willingness and readiness to host the first centre in a process that also involved consideration of macro-economic and sectoral information.
“The Centre of Excellence initiative will make a significant contribution to the continent by helping meet the growing healthcare needs of Africans,” said Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, who noted that it would also enhance service exports, promote employment and conserve foreign exchange.
The initiative supports Afreximbank’s mandate and the Bank’s strategic plan, IMPACT 2021, which seeks to promote the diversification of Africa’s exports and to support the development of world-class health facilities in Africa, added Dr. Oramah.
Dr Anwar Alhaq, Centenary Project Director at King’s College Hospital, added “We are delighted that the location of the first Centre of Excellence has been confirmed. We look forward to sharing our healthcare knowledge to benefit the people of Nigeria and beyond.”
The new Centre of Excellence is expected to reduce the outflow of patients from Nigeria and other Africa countries seeking medical treatment aboard and to ensure inflow of patients from within and outside Africa for treatment while, at the same time, conserving the foreign currency spent by Nigerians on medical tourism. It will also reduce the exodus of doctors going abroad to seek better pay.
Afreximbank and KCH plan to engage the Nigerian Ministry of Health to formalize roles and responsibilities ahead of the implementation of the new Centre of Excellence.