IFC and Avacare partner to increase access to medicines and healthcare goods in Africa
To increase access to high quality, affordable healthcare products and services across Africa, IFC announced a partnership with Avacare Global to help the company expand its manufacturing and distribution of various pharmaceutical and healthcare consumable products, including generic drugs in Africa.
Under the partnership, announced on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum, IFC will provide Avacare with $28.6 million equity investment to help the company expand its manufacturing base, both organically and through acquisitions, in East and Francophone Africa. The investment comes at a time when Africa must build and reinforce its production capabilities to address the increasing local demand for medicines and vaccines.
The financing will help Avacare strengthen its position in existing markets, including Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, and venture into new markets. IFC's partnership with Avacare, a leading Pan-African pharmaceutical distributor and manufacturer playing a critical role in providing access to affordable and innovative treatments to underserved populations in Africa, will boost the availability of high quality and affordable medical products to help meet the urgent need for these items, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
"This investment is a significant and important milestone in the history of Avacare Health. We are honored that the IFC selected Avacare as a partner not only because this investment will allow us to further expand our footprint on the African continent, but also because IFC is fully aligned with the Avacare purpose to make a sustainable difference in the lives of people on the African continent, through innovative, quality, affordable, holistic healthcare products, services and solutions," said Dr. Vikram Naik, Founder and Executive Chairman of Avacare Global.
"This partnership underscores IFC's strong commitment to strengthening Africa's health sector against COVID-19 and other challenges. With IFC's support, Avacare will increase access to items that are essential in the fight against the disease, notably in lower-income countries where the private sector has an important role to play supporting improved health care," said Makhtar Diop, IFC's Managing Director.
Avacare is one of the few high-quality healthcare companies serving some of the world's most underdeveloped markets, including fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS) countries like Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, and international development association (IDA) countries like Lesotho, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Through the partnership, IFC will also provide support to Avacare in line with its strategy to acquire existing health sector companies in select African markets. IFC will also use its market knowledge and networks to facilitate the transfer of crucial knowledge to Avacare from companies with global pharmaceutical and healthcare experience to support the company's growth plans across Africa.
IFC's investment falls under IFC's Global Health Platform (GHP), which mobilizes private investment to help bridge the massive healthcare supply gaps in emerging markets exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GHP is a central pillar of the broader World Bank Group (WBG) response to the COVID-19 pandemic.