The board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved Friday a $20-million equity investment in Rx Healthcare Fund (RxHF) to help improve healthcare delivery across the continent, including Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.
RxHF aims to address growing demands for adequate high-quality healthcare services in several countries of North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which are respectively faced with distinctive set of challenges.
The investments will be made in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco and then scaled up into Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan with substantial transfer of lessons learnt and latest healthcare technology.
The Fund will provide growth capital to the companies which show high potential for growth in diagnostics, hospitals and pharmaceutical.
Africa is hampered by the widening healthcare delivery gap that is characterized by insufficient healthcare infrastructure, workforce shortages and low insurance coverage in the face of a disproportionate disease burden. The region’s high level of disease, combined with its growing population base and changing lifestyle calls for a long-term improvement of healthcare system and significant participation of private healthcare providers. On the other hand, Africa’s rising middle class is expected to reach 50 percent of the continent’s population by 2020, underpinned by robust macro fundamentals and continuing progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, providing a boost to the healthcare market. The target client of the RxHF is the middle income class that needs specialized high quality, but affordable healthcare service within Africa to benefit from the Fund’s investments geared towards mid-size healthcare facilities.
The healthcare-focused private equity (PE) funds in Africa with the capability to build an integrated healthcare eco-system across healthcare facilities, service providers and equipment are very limited. The Rx Healthcare Fund management team will tap into the EFG Hermes Private Equity teams’ combined 110 years of private equity management experience and the operation team’s over 70 years of knowledge as well as network in healthcare industry.
The Bank’s participation in this Fund will help advance the agenda of the Bank’s High 5 priority areas – in particular, “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa” – through creation of affordable high-quality healthcare infrastructure. By enforcing social infrastructure, and providing equity capital catalyzing for additional resources for private sector development, the project is also in sync with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022), Human Capital Strategy as well as Private Sector Strategy.
The Fund targets final capitalisation of $200 million. AfDB will be the first Africa-based institution to participate with an equity investment of $20 million, which will support unlocking African capital and catalyze financing of other development finance institutions (DFIs) and commercial investors. As an Advisory Board member, the bank will ensure that transparency, social and environmental, and corporate governance best practices are adhered to both at the Fund and the portfolio company level.