The future is African and healthcare is central to the continent’s transformation

Author: Catherine Duggan, Professor of management and political economy and vice dean for strategy and research: ALUSB   Published: 2018-09-24

Source: BHF 360 degrees into Health

The future will be African. The demographic figures alone are staggering: in the coming  35 years almost two billion babies will be born on the continent , and by the end of the century almost half of all the children in the world will be African. There will soon be more than a billion young people on the continent even as the populations of other regions are shrinking and aging.

In many ways this future looks promising. At a time when countries in other regions are turning inward, African countries are moving forward together, setting a course for increased integration. And African firms and organisations, faced with challenging and volatile business environments, are developing cutting edge approaches to managing their resources.

Yet the continent’s future is not yet written. If Africa’s demographics are to pay a dividend, then its youth must feel that their efforts to dream, build, learn and strive will pay off. If the do not feel this way, then we may all pay the costs. And if Africa is to lead, then its leaders must understand, embrace and influence a globalising world. The challenge in transforming the continent is both an economic and a societal one. Healthcare is at the centre of this transformation.

Improved life expectancy and reduced infant mortality have driven these population shifts. Improvements in preventative care and reductions in the burden of disease can help to ensure that workers are healthy, productive and able to create economic growth.

The benefits of high quality healthcare are not only economic. Healthcare can provide dignity and connection in ways that few other things can. And the science and practice of medicine can bridge national borders and socio-economic divisions, encouraging collaboration across improbably diverse teams – nowhere more so than in Africa.

We are, all of us, crafting the future every day. The grand narrative of the African century will be built on small opportunities to share knowledge, to strive for excellence, and to influence our organisations, governments and societies. We must seize these chances and use them to clear the way for generations of Africans to lead the world into the future.  

The future will be African. The demographic figures alone are staggering: in the coming  35 years almost two billion babies will be born on the continent , and by the end of the century almost half of all the children in the world will be African. There will soon be more than a billion young people on the continent even as the populations of other regions are shrinking and aging.

In many ways this future looks promising. At a time when countries in other regions are turning inward, African countries are moving forward together, setting a course for increased integration. And African firms and organisations, faced with challenging and volatile business environments, are developing cutting edge approaches to managing their resources.

Yet the continent’s future is not yet written. If Africa’s demographics are to pay a dividend, then its youth must feel that their efforts to dream, build, learn and strive will pay off. If the do not feel this way, then we may all pay the costs. And if Africa is to lead, then its leaders must understand, embrace and influence a globalising world. The challenge in transforming the continent is both an economic and a societal one. Healthcare is at the centre of this transformation.

Improved life expectancy and reduced infant mortality have driven these population shifts. Improvements in preventative care and reductions in the burden of disease can help to ensure that workers are healthy, productive and able to create economic growth.

The benefits of high quality healthcare are not only economic. Healthcare can provide dignity and connection in ways that few other things can. And the science and practice of medicine can bridge national borders and socio-economic divisions, encouraging collaboration across improbably diverse teams – nowhere more so than in Africa.

We are, all of us, crafting the future every day. The grand narrative of the African century will be built on small opportunities to share knowledge, to strive for excellence, and to influence our organisations, governments and societies. We must seize these chances and use them to clear the way for generations of Africans to lead the world into the future.  

Source: BHF 360 degrees into Health

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