Afreximbank, FG sign agreement for first African medical centre

President of the African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah
President of the African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Federal Government of Nigeria have signed the Host Country Agreement for the first African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE).

This is contained in a statement issued by Amadou Sall, Afreximbank’s media contact in Abuja on Wednesday.

Sall said the centre is currently under construction in Abuja, Nigeria.

He said the agreement was signed on Sept. 30, between Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, and Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Sall said also present at the signing were the Ministers of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and that of State for Health, Joseph Nkama.

Others he said were Afreximbank’s Executive Vice-President, Corporate Governance and Legal Services, Dr George Elombi, Afreximbank’s Executive Vice-President, and Intra-African Trade Bank, Mrs Kanayo Awani, among others.

He said the signing of the agreement builds up on the recent groundbreaking for the AMCE project in December 2021, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oramah was quoted as saying “the AMCE Abuja is first of its kind quaternary level medical facility in the West Africa region and one among the very few, if any, on the African continent.”

He said the AMCE would 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.

Oramah said the AMCE Abuja would serve as the headquarters for other AMCEs to be inaugurated across Africa.

“The initial capital outlay for the first phase of the AMCE Abuja is projected at 300 million dollars.

“The investment is expected to rise to about 750 million dollars upon full development, making the facility by a significant distance the single largest private healthcare investment in Nigeria and Africa in general.

He said the success of the AMCE Abuja would 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.”

Onyeama was quoted as saying “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.”

He said the research and development aspect of the project was very important.

According to the minister, 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 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.

“This is because industrialised countries that invest in research and development prioritise the diseases that affect their citizens the most, as do pharmaceutical companies,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Afreximbank is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade.

Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialisation and intra-regional trade, thereby, boosting economic expansion in Africa. (NAN)

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