Business leaders discuss partnership opportunities with GAVI Alliance

African business leaders and government officials met with leaders of the public-private global health partnership GAVI Alliance on Friday to discuss ways to prevent vaccine-treatable diseases in Africa.

The roundtable discussion, hosted by the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, examined ways to leverage private sector skills for easier access to immunization.

Nigerian businessman Tony Elumelu, the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, hosted the event.

"The private sector has the capital, enterprise and innovation to have a positive and transformative impact on the public health sector," Elumelu said. "As a businessman, I know how important it is to have a healthy workforce and that there is a correlation between the health of our children and the progress of our future economies. As a father of five girls, I know that every child is precious and deserves a shot at life."

Representatives from Bloomberg TV Africa, UPS Nigeria and other companies joined government officials to discussed topics from infrastructure and telecommunications.

Armando Indroga, Mozambique's minister for industry and trade, spoke to the roundtable about public-private partnerships in his country, including a project with the GAVI Alliance and Vodafone to increase communication and improve vaccination data quality.

The GAVI Alliance, founded in 2000, helps to provide funds for immunization programs in developing countries that apply for it. Those countries, along with private partners, then administer the programs.

"Money is important, but skills and knowhow are equally critical," the GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley said.