SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 July 2021, Monday |

Ivory Coast to become regional medicine hub with $300 million IFC loan, PM says

Prime Minister Patrick Achi said on Sunday a World Bank programme to help medical clinics in Ivory Coast purchase equipment from General Electric and Philips could spur the cocoa-producing country’s development into a regional medical hub.

As in other African countries, many smaller clinics in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, suffer to obtain the bank loans necessary to procure or rent essential medical equipment.

A $300 million financing agreement signed on Friday by Ivory Coast and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) aims to remedy that situation by providing credit to clinics hoping to get supplies from Philips and General Electric.

“If we do not solve the problem of equipping our private clinics and hospitals, this goal of seeing the private (health) sector grow and create jobs will be a failure,” Achi told Reuters.

The programme is part of the IFC’s Africa Medical Equipment Facility, which partners with African financial institutions and global medical supply firms to give local currency loans to small- and medium-sized clinics for equipment purchases.

As part of the agreement, Philips and General Electric will become the only two companies from which Ivorian private and public medical facilities procure medical equipment, Achi said.

But the programme’s greatest impact will be on clinics seeking to grow into larger medical facilities, Achi said. If smaller institutions can finance their own expansions, so too can the country expand its regional medical footprint.