New impact fund begins investing in scalable healthcare solutions in sub-Saharan Africa
Washington, DC, June 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Health Finance Coalition today announced the close of the first $50 million for the pan-African Transform Health Fund (THF) managed by AfricInvest. With the first close, the THF will begin investing in innovative models to improve access, affordability, resilience, and quality of healthcare in Africa.
The Fund is a joint venture between Health Finance Coalition and AfricInvest, bringing together commercial, public, and private donor investments from Royal Philips, Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Swedfund, FSD Africa Investments, Grand Challenges Canada (with funding from Global Affairs Canada), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Netri Foundation, Anesvad Foundation, Chemonics International, and MCJ Amelior Foundation.
The THF was publicly highlighted in December 2022 at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by President Biden. THF is an innovative blended-finance fund that will invest in locally-led health supply chains, care delivery, and digital solutions in Africa. Under the management of AfricInvest, a leading pan-African investment platform active across private equity, venture capital and private debt, along with the Health Finance Coalition, a group of leading global health funders hosted by Malaria No More, the THF will finance enterprises that improve health system resilience and preparedness across the continent.
The THF will provide debt and mezzanine financing to scale high-impact health enterprises serving vulnerable communities while offering risk-adjusted returns to investors. The Fund is expected to bolster healthcare systems in Africa, which face severe financing and capacity gaps – challenges made more difficult by COVID-19 and climate change – while working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.
The Challenge: Africa Faces a Massive Health Financing Gap
While Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 14 percent of the global population and 20 percent of the global disease burden, just 1.6 percent of annual impact investments target the healthcare sector in Africa.
The Opportunity: Innovative Solutions to Support African Healthcare
AfricInvest, with its three decades of investing expertise, pan-African footprint and strong networks, will provide financing to scale critical innovations that contribute to a more resilient health ecosystem. Specifically, the THF will target investments across sub-Saharan Africa in three critical areas serving low-income patients: supply chain transformation, innovative care delivery models, and digital innovation.
“COVID-19 and the mounting pressures of climate change have exposed critical gaps and opportunities for innovation in health financing and delivery in Africa,” said Martin Edlund, CEO, Malaria No More and Executive Director of the Health Finance Coalition. “The Transform Health Fund will play a critical, catalytic role in scaling healthcare solutions that will save and transform lives.”
“Innovative healthcare delivery models in Africa strengthen the reach of quality care to more people, especially in underserved areas. IFC’s investment in the Transform Health Fund will bring increased financial support for these innovative models, allowing them to scale, grow, and contribute to sustainable and inclusive healthcare delivery,” said Henrik Elschner Pedersen, IFC Regional Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services in Africa.
“The Transform Health Fund demonstrates what’s possible when you combine a ‘capital stack’ approach to financing with a genuine commitment to transformational impact,” said Ray Chambers, WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy and Health Financing. “But to achieve the world’s ambitious global health goals, we need to urgently scale such efforts – especially as the world recovers from COVID-19 and faces serious macroeconomic headwinds.”
“Our company has a long commitment to supporting innovative approaches that expand access to health care and build health equity,” said Carmen Villar, Vice President, Social Business Innovation, Merck & Co., Inc. “Through impact investments like the Transform Health Fund, we contribute to enhancing the health care ecosystem to better support patients in Africa.”
“DFC is proud to be one of the first supporters of Transform Health Fund (THF). Supporting the private sector to build resilient health systems in low-income countries is a priority for DFC. THF’s health investments across sub-Saharan Africa align with DFC’s commitment to improving access and quality of healthcare, including through digital healthcare services and robust healthcare supply chains. This commitment is an important example of how DFC is investing in healthier communities and innovative healthcare solutions through the private sector,” said Scott Nathan, CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
“Increasing access to care in Africa is crucial, and we need a resilient healthcare ecosystem to support this. Through the inception of the Transform Health Fund, Philips helps to increase access to quality and affordable care in underserved communities in Africa,” said Marnix van Ginneken, Philips’ Chief ESG & Legal Officer. “This supports our ambition to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people per year by 2030 and in particular the health and well-being of 400 million people in underserved communities. This is why we have been such a strong proponent of the creation of this fund and support it wholeheartedly.”
“Canada is committed to mobilizing new streams of private and public financing for sustainable development. Through Grand Challenges Canada’s $5 million USD catalytic investment in Transform Health Fund, Global Affairs Canada is proud to support the important work of strengthening healthcare ecosystems in Africa with the aim of equal access to quality healthcare for underserved communities,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.
“We know, through our work in Africa and across the globe, that transformative change happens when local leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs have the resources, networks, and capital to bring their ideas and solutions to scale,” said Jamey Butcher, President and CEO of Chemonics International. “Chemonics is proud to support the Transform Health Fund, which bring much needed additional capital to address critical health challenges in Africa.”
‘‘FSDAi is excited to announce its catalytic capital investment in the innovative THF fund. We are proud that our capital contribution to this tranche of the fund facilitated the participation of other commercial and corporate private sector investors.” said Anne Marie Chidzero, Chief Investment Officer, FSD Africa Investments. “Partnering with AfricInvest, HFC and the additional fund participants to strengthen the African healthcare system, particularly in a time of environmental stress and unpredictable climate events, is a high priority for FSDAi.”
“Swedfund works in various ways to find business models and partners that enable us to reach more people who currently do not receive care, given the great needs that exist. Our investment in the Transform Health Fund is a typical such investment. By financing healthcare in developing countries, conditions are created for medical expertise to be maintained and developed in the countries and it can be passed on to other healthcare facilities,” said Sofia Gedeon, Investment Director at Swedfund.
AfricInvest is a leading pan-African investment platform active in multiple alternative asset classes including private equity, venture capital, private credit, and listed equities. Over the past quarter century, we have raised more than $2bn to finance almost 200 companies at various development stages, delivering value and impact for our investors, portfolio companies, and the communities we serve. Our 100-strong team of investment experts in more than ten offices across three continents has a proven track record of providing attractive risk-adjusted returns while spurring productivity growth, creating jobs, and ultimately improving African lives through inclusive and sustainable development. Learn more: www.africinvest.com
About the Health Finance Coalition:
The Health Finance Coalition (HFC) was launched by a group of leading philanthropies, investors, donors, technical partners convened by WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy and Health Financing Ray Chambers and hosted by Malaria No More. The HFC seeks to attract an unprecedented level of private-sector investment to impact millions of lives and accelerate progress to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, a UN Sustainable Development Goal 3. The coalition uses public and philanthropic funding to encourage private-sector capital investment in transformative healthcare impact. Learn more at: healthfinancecoalition.org
About Malaria No More:
Malaria No More envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite. Fifteen years into our mission, our work has contributed to historic progress toward this goal. Now, we’re mobilizing the political commitment, funding, and innovation required to achieve what would be one of the greatest humanitarian accomplishments – ending malaria within our generation. For more information, visit malarianomore.org.
CONTACT: Jennie Bragg Malaria No More 203-273-3778 [email protected]