The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Nigerian government have signed the Host Country Agreement for the first African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) currently under construction in Abuja, Nigeria.
The agreement was signed on September 30, 2022, between the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, in the presence of the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Hon. Joseph Nkama, Minister of State for Health; Dr George Elombi, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Corporate Governance and Legal Services; and Mrs Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank; as well as other members of the management team of the Bank and the AMCE.
According to a statement yesterday, the signing of the Host Country Agreement builds up on the recent ground-breaking for the AMCE project, in December 2021, presided over by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Commenting on the agreement, Oramah said: “The AMCE Abuja is a first of its kind quaternary level medical facility in the West Africa region and one amongst the very few, if any, on the African continent.
“The AMCE will promote Intra African Trade medical tourism by offering a full spectrum of services in oncology, haematology, cardiology, and general healthcare across the continent, in addition to training, research and development capabilities. The AMCE Abuja will serve as the headquarters for other AMCEs to be launched across Africa.
“The initial capital outlay for the first phase of the AMCE Abuja is projected at $300 million. The investment is expected to rise to about $750 million, upon full development, making the facility by a significant distance the single largest private healthcare investment in Nigeria and Africa in general.
“The success of the AMCE Abuja will pave the way for attracting future investments and partnership arrangements within the health sector on the continent. It will also raise the local standards of healthcare delivery as well as provide a blueprint for quality of services required to address Nigeria and Africa’s healthcare and related challenges.”
On his part, Onyeama said: “I know how difficult it is for a country to get host status for a project or institution that everyone is looking for. Today, with all the health challenges facing the world, every country is looking to host an international health institution. I thank Afreximbank for bringing this institution to Nigeria as a host.
“The research and development aspect of the project is very important. It is not just a turnkey hospital that is being set up in Nigeria, the African Medical Centre of Excellence will be a research institution, which is vitally important because that is the only way to have sustainable and comprehensive medical facilities and treatment.
The AMCE really ticks all the boxes, because when we do not invest in research and development, we end up with situations where neglected tropical diseases we have on the continent do not have proper treatments, because industrialised countries that invest in research and development prioritise the diseases that affect their citizens the most, as do pharmaceutical companies.”
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