Africa has one of the world’s youngest populations, and it’s set to double by 2050, meaning the demand for stable wages and employment in Africa will rise dramatically. The IFC estimated that there is a $331 billion funding gap in Africa to support small and medium enterprises grow and help to employ Africa’s youth in the future. With less than 1% of global health expenditure and only 3% of the world’s health workers, Africa accounts for almost half the world’s deaths of children under five, has the highest maternal mortality rate, and bears a heavy toll from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. As the population in Africa increases rapidly, while the existing health systems are not expanding, the situation will likely deteriorate.
This creates an opportunity to provide dedicated support to small and medium health enterprises to accelerate the continent’s progress towards SDG 3 while also supporting youth and future employment in SSA.
The Innovate for Life (I4L) program is centered around developing shared value partnerships between Amref country offices and health innovators to support health innovations from around the world scale in SSA and address major health challenges in the region. Through this mission, I4L aims to catalyze innovation for the creation of lasting health change in Africa, which supports the overall vision, mission, and promise of Amref Health Africa.
I4L combines health knowledge, capacity, and networks, business and leadership coaching, and partnership acceleration for innovators in the program.
In May 2017, Amref Health Africa launched an ambitious initiative: Innovate for Life (I4L). I4L supports entrepreneurs in the development of innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions for a healthy Africa. I4L specifically focuses on the ‘missing middle’ – a growing community of entrepreneurs whose enterprises are too large for microcredit, but too small for traditional commercial investors.
Through Amref these entrepreneurs will have access to detailed knowledge about healthcare in Africa and access to Amref’s extensive local and international network of stakeholders, donors and investors.