The Healthcare Industry is Evolving in These 5 African Countries...

Healthcare in Africa

The healthcare industry in Africa has long been snubbed by investors. And this is not entirely without reason: the odds have generally not been in the continent’s favor.

Case in point: Africa houses 14% of the world’s population, and yet has less than 1% of the world’s financial resources. Africa bears 25% of the global disease burden and yet has only 3% of the global medical workforce at its service, all with underdeveloped infrastructure – making investment in the industry difficult, to say the least.

So, what has changed?

The opportunities in the African healthcare industry

The pandemic and disruption of the global supply chain

COVID-19 has been a catalyzing event for the revival of business interest in African healthcare. The disruption in global supply chains awakened this need to produce vaccines and other medical products locally.

Rapid urbanization and increased life expectancy in Africa

Africa’s middle class is growing fast, and its countries are undergoing rapid urbanization, making it less costly for investors to reach potential clients. In fact, Africa is growing so rapidly that it is expected that by 2030 – less than 6 years from now – 1 in 5 consumers will be from the continent.

This rapid urbanization has also meant that people seek out access to healthcare, leading to a growing life expectancy – which, itself, represents a huge opportunity gap for investors.

Changing lifestyle & spread of non-communicable diseases

With urbanization comes a change in lifestyle: more white-collar jobs lead to a sedentary lifestyle, and to more disposable income to spend on dining and entertainment…  Non-communicable diseases like diabetes, and hypertension also spread in consequence, once again creating an opportunity gap.

Early stages of development and mature markets in Africa

Each African country has reached its own stage of development. Some African markets are more mature, and others are at an early stage, presenting the opportunity of becoming pioneers in the industry to investors.

Obstacles companies face when expanding in Africa

1.     Lack of data sets

Data about health needs, and trends are rare in Africa. This makes it difficult for companies to accurately assess the market and create offers that would match the population’s needs. Unfortunately, the data that is available is often commissioned by private entities and so is unavailable publicly.

2.     Foreign and complex regulatory environment

Regulatory compliance can be a maze in Africa: it’s easy to get lost and run into dead-ends there, especially in specialized industries like healthcare. As an investor, you won’t be certain what you are allowed to do legally, in terms of HealthTech for example, and what the regulations for certain substances are, among other things.

On top of this, you will have to maintain compliance with labor laws, fiscal regulations and more. To avoid these pitfalls, many companies choose to partner with an EOR in Africa. African EORs handle all responsibilities relative to onboarding, payroll, and compliance, among other things. They also do not require companies to have an in-country entity

5 African countries where the healthcare industry is growing (and worth investing in)

1.     Morocco

The country’s population is growing steadily, with a significant portion of the population entering the age bracket that typically requires more healthcare services. This demographic shift translates into rising demand for healthcare facilities, medical services, and pharmaceutical products.

Government Support for Healthcare in Morocco

Any investors wanting to develop the Moroccan healthcare offer won’t be doing it alone: the Moroccan government has shown a strong commitment to improving healthcare infrastructure and services. Initiatives like the National Health Plan (Plan Santé 2025) are proof of that. They represent stability and long-term support for the healthcare sector, providing a safe environment for investment.

For instance, investors can capitalize on opportunities to participate in public-private partnerships (PPPs), on top of other investment avenues in healthcare.

Medical Tourism in Morocco

Morocco has emerged as a popular destination for medical tourism. Its convenient location and the quality and affordability of its medical services attract patients from nearby European, African, and Middle Eastern countries.

Investors can explore opportunities in the hospitality sector, specialized medical facilities, or healthcare services tailored to international patients.

Pharmaceutical Industry in Morocco

Morocco is one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in Africa, with a strong manufacturing ability and a favorable regulatory environment. In 2024, the pharmaceuticals market in Morocco is expected to achieve revenue of US$643 million.

Once again, its strategic location is advantageous, providing access to markets in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Technological Advancements in Morocco

HealthTech such as telemedicine, electronic health records, and digital health solutions, is on the rise in Morocco. HealthTech can play a crucial role in improving healthcare delivery, enhancing patient outcomes, and increasing efficiency in the healthcare system. Investors can explore opportunities in healthcare IT, medical device manufacturing, and digital health startups that are driving innovation in the sector.

In 2024, the projected revenue in the Medical Technology market in Morocco is expected to reach US$753 million.

2.     Nigeria

Population Density in Nigeria

Nigeria’s population exceeds 200 million inhabitants, making it the most populous African country. As the population booms, and as people live longer, the demand for healthcare services is also changing. There is a greater need to cater for non-communicable diseases like diabetes, as well as age-related illnesses, like Alzheimer’s.

Greater Healthcare Spending in Nigeria

As the Nigerian economy grows, so does its healthcare spending. From an individual perspective, it means that rising incomes and urbanization are leading to increased spending on healthcare services and products.

From an institutional perspective, this means that the Nigerian government is also increasing its budget allocation to healthcare, reflecting a commitment to improving the sector. In 2023, for instance, the Nigerian government allocated the highest ever budget to the healthcare sector: over $15 billion. This alone offers ample opportunities for investors to tap into a market where demand is growing alongside with purchasing power.

Government Initiatives and Reforms in Nigeria

The Nigerian government has launched several initiatives to improve healthcare access and quality. These include the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which seeks to provide universal healthcare coverage, and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), which aims to improve primary healthcare services across the country. These government-led initiatives open the doors to stable and long-term investments in the healthcare sector.

Chronic Disease Burden in Nigeria

Like many other developing countries, Nigeria is also experiencing a rising burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Consequently, this trend is driving demand for specialized healthcare services, diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals. Here, investors have a unique opportunity to capitalize on these by being among the first to provide innovative solutions.

Medical Tourism Potential in Nigeria

Nigeria has the potential to become a medical tourism destination for neighboring African countries. Already, the country boasts a few world-class hospitals and healthcare facilities that attract patients from other African countries. In 2022, the annual expenditure on medical tourism in Nigeria was already at $1 billion.

As such, investors have the opportunity to cater to these needs and to reach a larger market.

Healthcare Technology Innovation in Nigeria

Home to a booming tech industry, including FinTech and HealthTech, it’s no surprise now that Nigeria is witnessing a surge in healthcare technology innovation. Local startups are developing solutions to improve healthcare delivery, patient management, and health information systems. This includes telemedicine platforms, electronic health record systems, and mobile health applications.

3.     South Africa

Well-Established Healthcare Infrastructure in South Africa

South Africa boasts a well-developed healthcare infrastructure with a mix of public and private healthcare facilities. Its network of hospitals, clinics, and medical centers cater to the diverse healthcare needs of its population, at the same time providing a solid foundation for investment and expansion opportunities.

High Disease Burden and Chronic Conditions in South Africa

South Africa faces a significant burden of disease, including communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. This creates a demand for specialized healthcare services, diagnostics, treatments, and pharmaceuticals, presenting investment opportunities for companies operating in these areas.

Healthcare Policy and Regulation in South Africa

South Africa has a robust regulatory framework governing the healthcare sector, providing stability and certainty for investors. The government has shown its commitment to improving healthcare access and quality through initiatives such as the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, which aims to provide universal healthcare coverage.

Additionally, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) oversees the regulation of medicines, medical devices, and clinical trials, ensuring compliance with international standards.

Private Healthcare Sector in South Africa

South Africa has a strong private healthcare sector in addition to its public healthcare system. In fact, healthcare expenditure (up to $26 billion in 2022) is typically evenly split between private and public providers.

Private hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers cater to individuals with private health insurance or the means to pay for healthcare services out of pocket. This offers investment opportunities in private healthcare facilities, medical technology, and healthcare services targeted at the affluent segment of the population.

Medical Tourism Potential in South Africa

South Africa has emerged as a medical tourism destination with a lot of potential. The country has the ability to attract patients from neighboring countries as well as international medical tourists seeking high-quality and affordable healthcare services. The country’s advanced medical infrastructure, skilled healthcare professionals, and favorable exchange rates make it an attractive option for medical travelers.

As such, investors can capitalize on opportunities in the hospitality sector, specialized medical facilities, and healthcare services tailored to international patients.

Healthcare Technology and Innovation

South Africa is home to a vibrant healthcare technology and innovation ecosystem, with startups developing solutions to improve healthcare delivery, patient management, and health information systems. Investors can support and invest in these innovative companies to drive positive change and efficiency in the healthcare sector.

4.     Egypt

Growing Population

Egypt’s population is large, exceeding 100 million people. These numbers are growing steadily, driving increased demand for healthcare services, facilities, and pharmaceutical products. This demographic trend presents a vast market for healthcare investment, with a significant portion of the population requiring access to quality healthcare.

Government Commitment to Healthcare in Egypt

The Egyptian government has shown its commitment to improving healthcare access and quality through various initiatives and reforms. For instance, the government has allocated significant resources – through initiatives such as the Health Sector Reform Program – to healthcare infrastructure, expanding coverage, and strengthening primary healthcare services.

Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure in Egypt

Egypt has been investing significantly in healthcare infrastructure, including the construction and renovation of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers. These investments are meant to improve healthcare access, particularly in underserved rural areas, and upgrade existing facilities to meet international standards.

As such, investors can capitalize on opportunities to participate in public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Egypt as a Medical Tourism Hub

Egypt has emerged as a leader in medical tourism across the Middle East and Africa regions. The country attracts patients from neighboring countries as well as international medical tourists seeking high-quality healthcare services at lower prices. In fact, in 2022, the medical tourism industry in Egypt achieved revenues upward of $12.2 billion.

Egypt’s strategic location, medical facilities, and rich cultural heritage make it an attractive option for both medical travelers and for investors who can cater to the latter’s needs.

Thriving Pharmaceutical Industry in Egypt

It is no secret that Egypt has a well-established pharmaceutical industry – one of the largest in the Middle East and North Africa regions, in fact.

In 2023, Egypt’s pharmaceutical market ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a $ 56.6 billion market value. Further ahead, the market is expected to witness a steady annual growth rate of 7.68%, which would create a market volume of US$1,948.00m by 2028.

Additionally, Egypt boasts a strategic location, which provides access to regional markets, offering opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to expand their operations and export products across the Middle East and Africa.

5.     Kenya

Government Prioritization of Healthcare

 The Kenyan government has been prioritising healthcare, as evidenced by initiatives such as the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program. UHC aims to ensure that all Kenyan citizens have access to quality healthcare services without suffering financial hardship. This commitment improves healthcare access and quality creates a supportive environment for investment in the healthcare sector.

Investment in Healthcare Infrastructure

Kenya has been investing in healthcare infrastructure to expand access to healthcare services, particularly in underserved rural areas. This includes the construction and renovation of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers. Investors can capitalize on opportunities to participate in public-private partnerships (PPPs) or invest in infrastructure projects that support the modernization of the healthcare sector.

Medical Tourism Potential

Kenya has the potential to become a medical tourism destination, attracting patients from neighboring countries as well as international medical tourists seeking high-quality and affordable healthcare services.

The country’s strategic location, diverse tourist attractions, and well-developed hospitality industry make it an attractive option for medical travelers. Investors can explore opportunities in the hospitality sector, specialized medical facilities, and healthcare services tailored to international patients.

Thriving Pharmaceutical Industry

Kenya has a growing pharmaceutical industry that serves both the domestic market and exports to neighboring countries. The country has a strong regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals and a competitive advantage in generic drug manufacturing. Once again, Kenya’s strategic location within the East African region offers opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to expand their operations and export products to other regional markets.

Stay safe when expanding in the African healthcare industry

Africa HR Solutions has an expertise in helping companies like yours expand into the medical industry in Africa. We have already helped over 400 companies get established across 45+ African countries.

We understand the pitfalls and complexities of the healthcare industry better than anyone and can help you navigate it successfully through our EOR and PEO offers.

Ready to find out how we can help you achieve your business goals? Get in touch with us now.

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GRANT GERAGHTY - Africa HR Team

GRANT GERAGHTY

HEAD OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL Africa HR Team

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE​

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE

Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.

MARK DU PREEZ​

MARK DU PREEZ

Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team

ALEX DARUTY

Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.