By Chukwuma Umeorah  

The Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group, Tony Elumelu, has called for increased investments in healthcare, emphasizing the pivotal role of partnerships, entrepreneurship and innovation in advancing global healthcare. 

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Health Forum recently, Elumelu urged stakeholders from across sectors to prioritize capital allocation towards innovative solutions aimed at addressing pressing challenges worldwide while unlocking advancements and equity in healthcare delivery.   

According to him, “The private and public sectors and the development world need to prioritize appropriate capital allocation and investments in innovation particularly in technology, research and development (R&D).”   

He added that “To ensure a sustainable health future for all, there is a need to review the current patent system and effect reforms. There is also need for big pharma to partner on R&D for diseases from lower income countries in addition to setting up manufacturing facilities is important.      

While noting that the healthcare sector has been grossly underfunded, particularly in Africa, Elumelu suggested unlocking more capital and investment opportunities through entrepreneurship development.


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He revealed that “Across Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has funded 700 healthcare entrepreneurs who have subsequently contributed to enhancing healthcare delivery within their communities and nations.” 


However, Elumelu noted that the task is not just for early-stage entrepreneurs and companies, but rather, it involves effective participation from big pharmaceutical companies globally. 


Addressing intersecting challenges, Elumelu emphasized the critical link between energy deficit and healthcare delivery in Africa.    

He called for innovative solutions to address the pervasive lack of reliable power supply in healthcare facilities, “A high percent of health care facilities in Africa do not have reliable power supply. Without power the health outcomes will be low.   

“The global renewable energy sector, both thermal and hydro energy sectors should step in to address this massive energy deficiency in Africa to realize health outcomes in Africa. Speaking frankly, Africa is behind, with limited budgets and poor healthcare infrastructure.”