Monday, May 31, 2021
To help small businesses in Africa’s health sector strengthen their response to COVID-19 and other pressing healthcare challenges, GE Healthcare and NSIA Banque Côte d’Ivoire have partnered with IFC’s Africa Medical Equipment Facility to support healthcare providers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda access essential medical equipment.
The participation of GE Healthcare and NSIA Banque Côte d’Ivoire further expands the reach of the IFC-led facility, which was announced in April and provides risk-sharing facilities to help small and medium-size businesses access up to $300 million in loans and leases.
Africa’s smaller healthcare operators often struggle to secure bank loans due to perceived high investment risks, limiting their ability to buy or lease the medical equipment and other vital health services they need to serve patients across income levels.
The program, which spans the African continent, is an opportunity to increase affordability and access to financing but also access to high-quality medical equipment and care.
Through a multi-stakeholder approach, IFC is partnering with medical equipment manufacturers and local financial institutions to support healthcare providers across East and West Africa to strengthen the healthcare industry and provide individual loans of between $5,000 and $2 million.
“We are pleased to join efforts with IFC and NSIA to create access to financing for small and medium sized healthcare practitioners in both West and East Africa. GE wants to support our partners in growing the healthcare infrastructure across Africa and ultimately improving the standard and quality of care across the continent,” said Dr Mehdi Ferdjioui, General Manager for French-speaking Africa, GE Healthcare.
“We are delighted to sign this new agreement with IFC. It will help us support our healthcare clients to acquire equipment and renew their technical platforms. Through our collaboration with IFC and the renowned equipment manufacturers involved in the program, we are taking a further step in contributing to the protection of our people, which is an important pillar of our corporate responsibility,” said Leonce Yace, CEO of NSIA Banque Côte d’Ivoire.
"Many smaller healthcare businesses in Africa don't have the equipment they need to respond to COVID-19 and deliver other vital services," said Makhtar Diop, IFC's Managing Director. "Unlocking access to finance can save lives now and will, in the long term, strengthen healthcare systems across the continent."
Supported by the International Development Association Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) Blended Finance Facility and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), the facility falls under IFC’s Global Health Platform, which was launched to help developing countries fight the coronavirus pandemic and to increase the resilience of countries’ healthcare systems.
The facility includes an advisory services program to help small healthcare businesses strengthen their medical equipment procurement processes, financial management competencies, and business planning. The advisory program will also help participating financial institutions strengthen their credit underwriting skills for the healthcare sector.