Health is Wealth: Indian Private Sector Investments in African Healthcare

The increasing range of cross-boundary health issues has prompted the integration of health into the discipline of diplomacy, and this trend is reflected in India-Africa partnership. India’s development partnerships are, however, predicated on the idea of development effectiveness, which requires active private sector engagement. By focusing on four opportunity sectors — medical tourism, tele-health, frugal innovations, and the pharmaceutical industry — this paper examines the nature of Indian private sector investments in African healthcare. It analyses their effectiveness in dealing with the issues around equity of access, the establishment of comprehensive ‘prevention based’ health systems, and the creation of mutual benefit. There is significant Indian commercial presence in Africa’s health systems; however, optimal engagement demands a broader conception of the ‘private sector’ to include traditional healers and social entrepreneurs engaged in frugal innovation for healthcare. Given their common health challenges, India and Africa must work towards crafting innovative low-cost healthcare models, and invest in the production and research of pharmaceutical products especially for neglected diseases.

Author

Tanoubi Ngangom

Urvashi Aneja