Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Social and environmental challenges facing us in this century are too complex and multi-dimensional to be solved by governments only. Businesses have to be part of the solution, and as a result, these same challenges have presented new opportunities for innovation and business development, particularly in Africa.
Many African economies and societies are growing at a pace, given the strong emerging middle class. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025 most African countries will have a middle class majority due to urbanization. An expanding middle class and rapid urbanization are increasing the demand for a broader range of products and services to be made available on the continent. As a result, there are potentially lucrative opportunities for investors and new businesses willing to introduce innovative approaches and business models that can be easily adapted to the African marketplace.
Priorities such as education, peace, security, agriculture, energy, health, and economic empowerment are all intertwined. Health is a particular priority area for the African continent. Without healthy citizens, communities and workforces, there can never be productivity, skills development or economic development. Good health is an essential component of human development. However, despite the growing middle class and demand for high-end medical treatment, low cost primary care systems remain critical in Africa. There is still a need for packaging affordable clinics in close proximity to communities and the development of specialists centres in fields such as oncology.
"The International Finance Corporation is considering leadership training for healthcare professionals moving into entrepreneurial roles, so that doctors for example become great leaders and administrators before embarking on their businesses."
It is critical to have integrated solutions and appropriate technologies for primary health care that enables educational and commercial activities. The key to improved health care is education and training which enables the health care worker to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies in their specialist area, but most importantly learn how to better use equipment and resources to make an impact.
In Africa’s small villages and clinics, health workers can only decide treatment based on visible symptoms, which at times means waiting for the patient’s condition to deteriorate before changing treatment. People do not have to die from diseases that could be easily diagnosed and treated. In Uganda for instance, health providers are trained to capture high quality ultrasound images on mobile equipment in rural areas and send them via the internet to qualified health workers, who in turn make diagnosis and offer treatment options.
Business has a responsibility to innovate, and create technology, products, services, business models and solutions to meet such challenges. Corporate responsibility is not only central to business strategy but has become critical to the business growth.
Ghana is one of Africa’s most dynamic economies and one which has invested substantially in health care training, including increasing the number of medical schools over the past 20 years, according to the country’s Deputy Minister of Health.
The International Finance Corporation is considering leadership training for healthcare professionals moving into entrepreneurial roles, so that doctors for example become great leaders and administrators before embarking on their businesses.
In Africa, there are ample business opportunities for pharmaceuticals, medical products, diagnostics, telemedicine, as well as training and development in the health care sector.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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