When trying to penetrate a new market, it would be prudent to start with a sector in which your country excels, both in expertise and in execution. Such was the conclusion of a recent study, exploring the obstacles faced by Swedish companies looking to invest in Ethiopia. Swecare had the privilege of hosting the first of a planned series of seminars on healthcare in Ethiopia at which we were honored to hear Amen Hultström discuss the study she conducted with the support of the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa. To her, one thing is clear, Swedish exports to Ethiopia will not be successful unless all key actors are aligned – private companies, non-governmental agencies, and public officials.
On the ground, recent revisions to the health policy should further facilitate collaborations within the healthcare sector. Ethiopian Ambassador to Sweden, Woinshet Tadesse, stressed that addressing the double disease burden is a top priority for the Ethiopian government. Tremendous investments in infrastructure and human resources have been made with the hopes that they will offset the alarming increase in both infectious and non-communicable diseases in the country. From three medical schools twelve years ago to 29 public and 8 private institutions now, the progress is impressive, but Ambassador Tadesse will not rest on these accomplishments and implores the Swedish medical communities to engage now, building on the current momentum. Access to care, universal coverage, and improvements in quality are of primary concern.
Dr Liyew’s experience as a frequently visiting doctor confirms the government’s engagement and stresses the need for high end medical equipment on the ground. When visiting Black Lion Hospital from Danderyd Hospital, his biggest challenge is logistical. In an ideal world, he would be purchasing all the specialized equipment on site.
There are also exciting plans for a HealthCity, outside Addis Ababa, in which Swedish companies dealing in waste management, construction, and green energy could collaborate. So while the focus would be healthcare, an entire ecosystem would have to be activated. This is where the Swedish experience could have most impact.
The next seminar will focus on the specific issues most threatening the Ethiopian people.
[Please contact us should you wish to read the full report conducted by Sozo Consulting.]