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Tony Elumelu Advocates for Global Health Equity and Sustainable Solutions at Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), highlighted the significant challenges facing Africa’s healthcare systems, citing limited budgets and inadequate infrastructure. Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week in the UAE, invited by his friend Badr Jafar, Elumelu underscored the global implications of Africa’s healthcare issues.

Elumelu pointed out that climate change exacerbates healthcare challenges, noting that 40% of healthcare facilities in Africa lack a reliable power supply. He emphasized the interconnectedness of global health, using the rapid spread of COVID-19 from China as an example, to illustrate how poor health outcomes in one region can affect the entire world. He urged global stakeholders to prioritize health equity, stressing that improving healthcare in the world’s poorest regions is essential for global health security.

Solutions for Global Health Equity

Elumelu called for collaborative efforts from the private sector, public institutions, and the development community to allocate appropriate capital and invest in health research and technology. He shared that the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has supported 700 healthcare entrepreneurs, with a nearly equal gender distribution, demonstrating the potential for entrepreneurial initiatives to enhance healthcare delivery in Africa.

He further stressed the importance of reforming the current patent system to balance incentivizing innovation and ensuring accessibility. He advocated for incentives to encourage big pharmaceutical companies to engage in research and development (R&D) for diseases prevalent in lower-income countries and to establish manufacturing facilities in developing regions. This approach, according to Elumelu, would leverage the global trade system to foster global health equity.

Energy Deficiency and Healthcare Delivery

Addressing Africa’s energy deficiency, Elumelu called on the global renewable energy sector to help bridge this gap. Reliable energy is critical for effective healthcare delivery, and innovation in both thermal and hydro energy sectors could significantly improve health outcomes in Africa.

Climate Change and Healthcare Delivery

Elumelu highlighted the compounded impact of climate change on healthcare, advocating for a multifaceted approach involving private sector innovation, funding from foundations and financial institutions, supportive health policies, and cross-sector collaboration. He believes that such an integrated strategy can drive humanity forward and improve health outcomes globally.


Tony Elumelu’s remarks at the Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week underline the urgent need for a collective global effort to address healthcare challenges in Africa. By fostering innovation, reforming systems, and investing in sustainable energy solutions, he argues that the world can achieve better health outcomes for all, illustrating the profound interconnectedness of global health.

Cite this article as (APA format):

AR Managing Editor (2024). Tony Elumelu Advocates for Global Health Equity and Sustainable Solutions at Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week. Retrieved from


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