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ECA's forthcoming “Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa” report

On the sidelines of this year’s UN General Assembly meeting, a meeting took place to discuss the preliminary findings of the ECA's forthcoming “Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa” report, which addresses ‘public-private partnerships’ and calls for more African private sector involvement in healthcare. The full report is due for release next year. The sideline discussion was organized by the Economic Commission for Africa’s executive secretary, Vera Songwe, the Aliko Dangote Foundation (the corporate social responsibility arm of the Dangote Group), and GBCHealth, whose board includes Coronation Capital Nigeria Limited, Becton, Dickinson & Co., Chevron, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Deloitte Consulting, and MTV Networks International). ECA reports that “the preliminary report finds that neither government nor existing public-private partnerships are effective enough, and that existing PPPs disproportionately focus on a small number of countries. The preliminary report recommends a new model, one in which PPPs prioritize around the most significant disease burden and broaden their scope to benefit the health of the whole continent, which the ECA deems critical to driving long-term economic growth in Africa.”

Reflections on the international conference to save Lake Chad

Renowned international scholar Horace G. Campbell analyses an international conference held in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss the future of Lake Chad. But “the unspoken question of the meeting was the influence of large water privatization companies such as Veolia in discussions on the future of water resources in Africa. Water activists around the world have been able to reveal consistent prioritization of private profit at the expense of the environment and public interest. Hence, when the LCBC promotes the idea of public-private partnerships to save Lake Chad, it is not clear that the scholars in N'djamena have followed the controversies surrounding French water companies around the world.”


Indian private sector consultants promoting “public private partnerships” are fanning out to Africa, West Asia and elsewhere

Indian private sector consultants promoting “public private partnerships” are fanning out to Africa, West Asia and elsewhere. “PPP (public private participation) is a new animal for countries in West Asia. Most projects were till now fully government-funded, but with the crunch in resources, PPP is catching up fast. Many of these countries are hiring Indian consultants for both PPP and full privatization projects. Besides infrastructure, other sectors in focus include education, health care and transport. ‘It works, as they have never explored PPP as an option of infrastructure development,’ says Abhijit Bhaumik, a senior consultant with 26 years of experience who worked with firms like Feedback and others before going it alone. Bhaumik says that he spends most of his time in Tanzania and is soon starting a new project in China. In the last four to five years, he’s worked in Bangladesh, Kenya, Indonesia and Vietnam.”


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