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Bill Gates, EU in Sh13bn private health funding

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with Melinda Gates when the latter visited  Kenya last week FILE PHOTO | NMG
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with Melinda Gates when the latter visited Kenya last week FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Private health investors are set to receive Sh12.7 billion (100 million euros) from the European Union (EU) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A statement by the EU — co-financier of the projects — said the pooling of resources was designed to encourage additional private investments towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include provision of health services to all.

The financing of the project will also include technical assistance for the organisations involved.

“The Gates Foundation will contribute $50 million (40.9 million euros) in financing, as well as an additional $12.5 million (10.2 million euros) in technical assistance, to investment projects in the health sector in Africa… The European Commission welcomes this strong support to its efforts towards sustainable development in Africa, and will match this contribution with another 50 million euros,” the EU statement said.

The EU — through its executive arm, the European Commission — said the objective of the project is to improve the business environment and give incentives to innovators.

“The EU accounts for a third of foreign direct investment into Africa – this is now helping create jobs and growth on both of our continents.

But we must do more to improve the business environment and provide a platform for African innovators to grow,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude.

Bill Gates was quoted saying that research and innovation would help reduce inequities in global health.

“We need to do more to incentivise research and innovation that benefit the poor. It is fantastic that the European Commission, in partnership with African countries, is leading the way in reducing deep-seated inequities in global health,” said Gates.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began a similar joint initiative with the EU last December when they pledged to support the development of tools and techniques to benefit small-holder farmers.