BUEA, Cameroon- The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $10-million equity investment in Razorite Healthcare Africa Fund 1, RHAF1, to help improve healthcare infrastructure delivery across the continent.
The 10-year deal approved February 26 is meant to address the growing demands for affordable and quality healthcare services across several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa whose inhabitants are unable to access low cost and first-class healthcare.
According to the Bank, RHAF1, which will be registered in Mauritius, will provide growth capital to operating healthcare infrastructure facilities that show high potential for growth, as well as build new facilities, were identified as necessary.
Regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the continent, the Bank on April 8, unveiled a COVID-19 Response Facility that aims at mobilising up to $10 billion to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic. According to AfDB, the Facility will be the institution’s primary channel for addressing the crisis.
The organization also stated that the presence of COVID-19 in Africa has highlighted the need to boost Africa’s healthcare infrastructure system in order to curb the spread of the pandemic, build long term resilience, as well as avoid any similar pandemic in the future. AfDB also averred that there are very limited healthcare-focused private equity funds in Africa. Thus, the fund is expected to increase bed capacity in Africa by over 1,500 and create over 500 jobs over its life span as well as support the development of local enterprises and private infrastructure in the healthcare infrastructure sector.
According to AfDB, the Fund equally targets final capitalization of $100 million. The Bank will also be expecting its equity investment of $10 million to catalyze financing from other development finance institutions (DFIs) and commercial investors. As an advisory Board member, the African Development Bank will ensure that the Fund and its portfolio of projects adhere to social, environmental and corporate governance best practices.
By Neville Mesumbe, Originally published in The Post Newspaper, Cameroon.