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News Release

Health Focus on World Economic Forum Africa Agenda

Oliver Cann, Associate Director, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 (0)79 799 3405, Email:

  • The World Economic Forum on Africa,  following the Annual Meeting in Davos, will feature a series of health related workshop and sessions
  • The overall health theme is: Health Systems Leapfrogging
  • Learn more about the meeting:

Abuja, Nigeria, 5 May 2014 – Sustainable healthcare and service delivery will be one of the key focuses at the World Economic Forum on Africa which will take place this week in Abuja, Nigeria, from  7 to 9 May.

Participants together with key government representatives will address the following key challenges under the theme Health Systems Leapfrogging in Emerging Economies:

  • Universal Health Coverage and Health Financing: how to ensure funding for health for all by introducing affordable “leapfrogging” initiatives that can deliver high quality care at a lower cost
  • Leadership & Governance: how to create an enabling environment of multiple stakeholders to deliver high quality care
  • Human Resources: exploring innovative approaches for human resources for health training to address health needs and ensure quality care
  • Health Service Delivery: how to revitalize integrated service delivery towards equitable access to health
  • Community participation: how to empower communities to be effectively involved in the provision of their health care
  • Partnerships for Health: Enhance harmonized implementation of multiple initiatives in line with national policies

For Nigeria, participants will highlight a vision for the Nigerian health system by 2030 aiming to provide universal health coverage by building on the National Health Bill 2014. They will elaborate a package of high-impact “leapfrogging” initiatives and align stakeholders to cooperate in delivering this vision.

Nigeria currently has approximately just 14% of the number of doctors per capita of OECD countries. To catch up, Nigeria would need approximately 12 times as many doctors by 2030 at a cost of US$ 51 billion. Robert Greenhill, Managing Director, Chief Business Officer and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum, said that this is not a sustainable option and that higher investments do not necessarily translate into better health outcomes.

“Policymakers now stand at a fork in the road, and face two alternative paths: the familiar, but long, expensive and ultimately unsustainable path of developed economies – or a shortcut that leapfrogs over the problems experienced by developed economies and results in a system that provides better health outcomes, financial stability, and individual satisfaction,” he said. “We believe that African economies are well suited to the second path”.   

A series of health workshops and sessions will be discussing ways in which Africa can leap over the mistakes that developed economies have made and catch up with them through affordable innovative and disruptive initiatives.

The 24th World Economic Forum on Africa will be attended by over 1,000 participants from more than 70 countries and will provide an unrivalled gathering for senior decision-makers from industry, government, academia, civil society and the media to understand and shape Africa’s future. The meeting will convene under the theme: Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs.  It will focus on the continent’s efforts to strengthen competitiveness, invest in human capital, boost strategic infrastructure and build resilience in a volatile global environment. 

The Co-Chairs of the meeting are Dominic Barton, Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, United Kingdom; Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer, Heineken, Netherlands; Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria; Bineta Diop, President, Femmes Africa Solidarité, Switzerland; Jabu A. Mabuza, Chairman, Telkom Group, South Africa; Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, India; John Rice, Vice-Chairman, GE, Hong Kong SAR

Notes to Editors

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