What will Africa’s private sector bring to the table? - CNBC Africa

What will Africa’s private sector bring to the table?

Special Report

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AFDB's president Dr Donald Kaberuka calls for Africa's private sector to join the fight against Ebola. PHOTO: CNBC Africa

This is according to Dr Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank (AFDB), speaking at the African Union Private Sector Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  

“Ebola is not an African problem; it is a global problem and an epidemic that could happen anywhere. The idea that Ebola is an African problem that needs an African resolve is the reason why we are holding this meeting today,” he said to CNBC Africa in an exclusive interview.  

“Ebola not only affects governments or public health, it affects the continent’s investment climate and businesses are losing out on big economic opportunities.”

(READ MORE: AU calls for private sector to join the fight against Ebola) 

He explained that the AfDB’s role at the meeting is to ensure that businesses and civil society partner with African governments by either providing funds, ideas or any other resources that will assist in curbing the outbreak.

“Business people tend to have a lot of competencies which governments don’t have so I think this meeting is the beginning of a very long conversation on what business can do to resolve this major problem for Africa,” said Kaberuka.

“We’re going to ask businesses today what kind of competencies they’re prepared to bring to the table.”

In the meeting, he said that the AfDB will focus on presenting large companies with viable business opportunities they could take advantage through partnerships with governments.

“Today we will present the business case, we want to give businesses a chance to show us what they can do and what it means to them to fight the Ebola virus with governments. So far, I’m really impressed by their responses,” he added.

(READ MORE: Ebola shrinks West Africa's poorest economies)

To date, the AfDB has committed 220 million US dollars towards Ebola initiatives, of which 150 million US dollars has been granted to government budgets.

A further 60 million US dollars was donated to the World Health Organisation while 10 million US dollars was given to the African Union to assist in sending medical personnel to the affected West African countries- Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

“In terms of amounts on the table, the AFDB have given a big commitment.”