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Africa, as the world’s third-largest region, possesses a dynamic, young and growing population that provides for an unprecedented economic potential, yet grapples with several social and economic downturns, further exacerbated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Africa bears more than 24% of the global burden of disease yet has access to only 3% of health workers and less than 1% of the world’s financial resources. The pandemic starkly revealed disruptions in health systems delivery, especially supply chain and the continent’s heavy reliance on pharmaceutical imports when the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry can be a viable source of economic growth and job creation for the continent. Furthermore, the continent is experiencing a double blow to its healthcare system: a critical shortage of qualified professionals - with more than half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa failing to meet the minimum acceptable physician-to-population ratio of 1-per-5,000 WHO standard - and a growing trend of skilled workers emigrating in pursuit of better opportunities abroad. This phenomenon, known as "brain drain," not only cripples Africa's healthcare delivery but also represents a loss of valuable human capital and economic potential. Consequently, many African countries struggle to meet the healthcare needs of their populations, resulting in inadequate access to essential medicines, services, poor health outcomes, and perpetuation of the cycle of poverty and disease.
However, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity to transform brain drain into "economic gain" by adopting innovative models that not only retain and develop local talent through industry-related skills such as the pharma industry and private sector but also attract skilled professionals from the diaspora and other regions. Multifaceted approaches, ranging from policy reforms to education incentives, digital technology such as telecare and Artificial Intelligence for diagnostics and strategic partnerships, can help address these challenges and contribute to both national and global healthcare needs.
Recognizing this opportunity, Anadach Group and CHS Advisory are co-hosting a side event at the 2024 AfDB Annual Meetings in Nairobi, Kenya. Titled "Turning Africa’s Health Brain Drain to Economic Gain: Innovative Models for Bridging this Widening Gap," this event will spark discussions on transformative approaches to tackle the continent's healthcare workforce shortage.

Scope of Side Event

·         Discussion of multifaceted challenges surrounding Africa's healthcare workforce capacity, Mismatch of skills and shortage, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of brain drain and its implications for the continent's healthcare systems.

·         Identification of opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector and the AfCFTA regional Trade agreement for the health workforce crisis and exploration of innovative models and strategies to turn the loss or skill mismatch of human capital associated with brain drain into a net positive for the economy and society by maximizing the contributions of health professionals to Africa’s healthcare systems.

·         Deliberations and recommendations on Africa’s focal points for partnerships or programs to produce increased healthcare professionals to minimize the effect of brain drain on the health system in Africa, but yet benefit from addressing global health work force challenges given the continent’s young population.


  1. What are the impacts of healthcare workers shortage, limited expertise and brain drain on the African Health System?

  2. What are the opportunities and consequences of current regional incentives towards the pharmaceutical industry, focused on skills for R&D, production etc.?

  3. What are the short- and long-term plans to address the impact of brain drain?

  4. In what ways can public policy be optimized to effectively promote talent development , the retention of local healthcare talent and encourage the return of skilled diasporans to Africa's healthcare sector, particularly marginalized communities and underserved regions?

  5. How can private sector and development partner resources be leveraged more efficiently to support initiatives aimed at strengthening Africa's healthcare workforce and improving healthcare access and quality?

  6. How has the integration of technology and digital innovations accelerated efforts to address healthcare workforce shortages and enhance healthcare delivery in Africa? What potential contributions could emerging technologies, such as telemedicine and AI-driven solutions, make to transforming brain drain challenges into economic opportunities in the healthcare sector?

Please register here to participate.

Watch event live stream at

The discussion will be facilitated by the Anadach Group and CHS Advisory



Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, Founding Partner of Anadach Group

Dr. Maraki Fikre Merid, Founder and Managing director of CHS Advisory

Special Guest:

Hon. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria



  • Dr. Kate Tulenko, Founder & Board Chair, Corvus Health

  • Dr. Pamela Ajayi, President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN)

  • Dr. Calvin A. Omolo, Chair of Department, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacy Practice, and Public Health, United States, International University - Africa

  • Leul Girma, Chief Operating Officer, Gebeya, Inc.

  • Palu Dhanani, Managing Director, Universal Corporation Limited

  • Zitto Alfayo, Head, Project Preparation, Afreximbank


  • 5:00 pm                                  Registration

  • 5:30 pm - 5:40 pm                 Opening Remarks   

                                                      Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, Founding Partner, Anadach Group (online)​

                                                      Hon. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria (online)


  • 5:40 pm - 6:10 pm                 Panel Discussion



                                                     Dr. Maraki Fikre Merid, Managing Director, CHS Advisory



                                                     Dr. Kate Tulenko, Founder & Board Chair, Corvus Health (online) Download Presentation

                                                     Dr. Pamela Ajayi, President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) (online)

                                                     Dr. Calvin A. Omolo, Chair of Department, Pharmaceutics

                                                     Pharmacy Practice, and Public Health, United States

                                                     International University – Africa

                                                     Leul Girma, Chief Operating Officer, Gebeya, Inc. Download Presenation

                                                     Palu Dhanani, Managing Director, Universal Corporation Limited


  • 6:10 pm - 6:20 pm                 Follow-up questions and open discussion with audience


  • 6:20 pm - 6:30 pm                 Closing Remarks

                                                     Zitto Alfayo, Head, Project Preparation, Afreximbank (online)

                                                     Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, Founding Partner, Anadach Group (online)                                                           

  • 6:30 pm                                  Program Adjourns

Dr Egbe Osifo-Dawodu _ Founding Partner, Anadach Consulting Limited (1).jpg

Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu



Dr. Osifo-Dawodu is an entrepreneur, strategist, and visionary. Trained as a physician, she identified early the importance of utilizing management and financial levers to improve health outcomes for populations.  Her understanding of management and finance beyond healthcare, and her ability to identify early health (including the impact of COVID) and social trends, and risks have made her a highly sought adviser by CEOs, boards, and senior leaders in both the public and private sectors in more than 27 countries. 

Her unique expertise in understanding organizations and people, while focusing on key technical and financial issues has enabled her to be an effective board member, working collaboratively with the CEO and other board members at MedAccessUK. The company provides volume guarantees and/or debt to mainly pharmaceutical and medical device companies e.g.  GlaxoSmithKline, BASF etc. to accelerate entry of products in emerging markets. She is currently the Chair of the People and Remuneration and a member of the Audit and Risk committees of MedAccessUK. 
Dr. Osifo-Dawodu is also a member of the Healthcare Advisory Council of British International Investment (which has directly deployed over $400 million in equity to India and Africa and is a Limited Partner in several Private Equity Funds with over $1.4 billion in investable capital). She was previously an advisory board member of Sproxil (recognized by Fast Company as one of the most World's 50 Most Innovative Companies)  the Mayo Clinic Center for social media and recognized by Harvard Business School/Scriplogix as one of the most innovative leaders in healthcare. She is also a member of the investment committee of a Health PE fund.
As a founding Partner of the Anadach Group where she leads the Management Consulting and Health Financing Advisory work, she has significant experience on governance and board issues.  Her clients include several leading global organizations such as Pfizer Inc and the International Finance Corporation, financial institutions including several private equity funds, hospitals/healthcare facilities as well as smaller fast-growing organizations. 

She  co-authored a chapter on “Boards and Governance” in a recently published book “The Global Healthcare Manager: Competencies, Concepts, and Skills.”  Her uncanny ability to identify future trends allowed her to identify technology as a major driver for the health industry, over 20 years ago leading the assessment of a potential IFC investment in biotechnology in a New York based Private Equity Fund and was an adviser to the CEO of a US-based tech-enabled health company focusing on leveraging technology to expand services available to older adults in a location-agnostic manner including its provision of COVID services for over 80 retirement homes across the US during the pandemic.

With her 30+ years of professional experience including 16 years at the World Bank Group (including managerial and technical roles), working both with senior private and public sector leaders across  Asia, Africa,  Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the USA she has an effective wide global network which she has leveraged for her previous board engagements.  Dr. Osifo-Dawodu is recognized as a leader and is often invited to speak at conferences, strategic discussions, and board retreats, or interviewed on various health, pharmaceutical, or technology issues.  She often is invited to lecture at leading universities including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, etc. and her work has been published in top academic journals. She also has working competency in French.


Dr. Maraki Fikre Merid


Native from Ethiopia, Maraki has a deep passion for the betterment of healthcare focused on women’s and child health and developing innovative service and financing models that encourage private sector participation and  that can increase affordable, quality access to care to less advantaged such as in her home country of Ethiopia. 

Maraki has than 18 years’ healthcare experience, mostly focused in Africa and other emerging countries. She specializes in strategic consulting and operational management with assignments ranging from developing sustainable business and financing models, developing quality indicators and framework for evaluation; Health Human Resource management; demand and supply analysis and hospital planning for public, non-profit and private clients alike across North America, Middle East and Africa regions.  

Based out of Addis, Ethiopia since 2016, Maraki is today considered a leader in private health sector engagement in health and PPP consultancy with a focus on market research including designing and implementing market diagnostics assignments for private sector in health engagement across several countries in Africa such as Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Ghana and Nigeria.


Since more than 3 years, she has supported and continues to support Ministries of Health in Ethiopia and other African countries such as Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana as a private sector in health consultant with the Global Financing Facility and the World Bank Group. Her services revolved around private sector in health assessments as well as supporting private sector in health actors better organize under umbrella organisations and align with government health priorities under PSE models across service contracts, PPPs but also data sharing for quality improvement frameworks.

Maraki is regularly invited to workshops and webinars related to healthcare priorities in Africa. Most recently, she joined, as moderator, the annual John Hopkins Carey business school Africa Business Conference in March 2020. She was also recently invited to speak on behalf of the private sector in health to the newly appointed IFC and World Bank presidents as well as a panel speaker in a Kigali conference on the importance of CSR and SME contributions to health. 

Maraki  is bilingual French and English and has a PhD at the University of Toronto at the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. She holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal. Maraki has published in a variety of health journals and reports and presented her research in various relevant venues.


Hon. Noimot Salako-Oyedele

Special Guest

Hon. Noimot Salako-Oyedele is a Nigerian politician, public health engineer and real estate professional, who has served as the Deputy Governor of Ogun State since 2019. Hon. Salako-Oyedele started her career at the United Kingdom, where she served as a Graduate Engineer and Project Manager at Ove Arup & Partners between 1989 and 1995. She Salako-Oyedele also served as Managing Director, NOS Nigeria Limited between 1995 and 2014. She became the Managing Director/Chief Executive oOficer between 2014 and 2015 at Glenwood Property Development Company Limited where she served as General Manager Business Development. She became Acting Managing Director, Grenadines Homes Limited in 2015, a position she held till she ventured into partisan-politics and emerged as the Ogun State Deputy Governor.

Hon. Salako-Oyedele holds a Master's degree in Public Health Engineering from the Imperial College of Science & Technology London, UK, a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos.

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Dr. Kate Tulenko


Dr. Kate Tulenko is a physician entrepreneur and health workforce expert. She is the founder and CEO of Corvus Health, a global health workforce firm and Appleseed Education, a platform to digitalize, expand, and improve health professional schools in Africa.  Corvus Health was honored as a finalist in the International Organization for Migration/Seedstars Migration Challenge 2021 for its innovative, sustainable model of international health worker recruitment.

Previously, Dr. Tulenko served as director of the US government’s global health workforce project and the coordinator of one of the World Bank’s regional health workforce programs.  She has advised the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, and many other organizations on sustainably solving health workforce challenges.  Dr. Tulenko serves as adjunct faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.


Dr. Pamela Ajayi


Dr. Pamela Ajayi is a visionary entrepreneur dedicated to transforming healthcare systems through public-private partnerships, driving value-creation for local and multinational businesses, and establishing financially sustainable and thriving organizations.


With a distinguished career spanning decades, Dr. Ajayi currently serves as the President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), the unifying voice for the private healthcare sector, while concurrently serving as Chairman of The Bridge Fertility Clinic.


A visionary trailblazer, Dr. Ajayi's legacy is marked by her pivotal role as the founder of PathCare Laboratories, the first ISO 15189 accredited laboratory in West Africa; which has evolved into Synlab, a beacon of excellence in diagnostic services. Her visionary pursuits extend further as the driving force behind Nigeria's largest healthcare radio program, "Doctors on Air;" where she leverages insightful dialogues with esteemed medical professionals to empower people with vital healthcare information while addressing prevalent health challenges in the nation.


A tireless advocate for accessible healthcare, Dr. Ajayi collaborates closely with government bodies and other organisations to facilitate financial support and promote networking opportunities within the healthcare community. Her efforts extend beyond national borders as she actively promotes diaspora engagement, striving to reverse the current negative trends while strengthening healthcare networks and initiatives globally.


With a keen understanding of the unique challenges faced by women in the healthcare industry, Dr. Ajayi founded the HFN Women's Forum, a transformative platform dedicated to empowering and advancing women in healthcare. Through this initiative, she provides mentorship, networking opportunities, capacity building and professional development, creating opportunities for young professionals in the healthcare industry.


In addition to her impactful endeavours in healthcare, Dr. Ajayi is a founding member and collaborator of The Dawn Project (THE SEEK TRUST), a commendable initiative advocating environmental conservation and sustainability through the creative arts. She also serves on multiple boards and committees.


Dr. Pamela is an alumna of the prestigious College of Medicine, University of Lagos and a British Chevening Scholar. Her commitment to continuous learning is underscored by her achievements as an alumna of both Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School.


Throughout her illustrious career, Dr. Ajayi has exhibited unwavering dedication to tackling fundamental healthcare challenges in Nigeria. Championing the cause of public-private partnerships, she spearheads initiatives aimed at fostering value creation while establishing financially robust healthcare entities.


As a fervent advocate for quality healthcare, Dr. Ajayi's expertise has left an indelible mark on policy formulation, health equity promotion, and healthcare system enhancement. Her strategic acumen has fostered transformative collaborations, further solidifying her reputation as a respected leader in the healthcare domain


Dr. Calvin A. Omolo


Professor Calvin Andeve Omolo is a distinguished academic specializing in Pharmacy. Currently, he holds the position of Associate Professor and serves as the Chair of the Department for Pharmaceutics and Pharmacy Practice at the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, United States International University – Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy, MPharm, and PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. Additionally, he is a US National Academies Sciences, Engineering, Medicine U.S.-Africa Frontiers Fellow.

Professor Omolo's research focuses on the design and synthesis of biomaterials, as well as formulating and characterizing conventional and novel dosage forms for various diseases. In the past five years, his work has particularly emphasized the development of smart drug delivery systems targeting specific disease sites. His substantial contributions in this area have positioned him as an emerging global researcher. He has successfully secured multiple research grants and is recognized for his exceptional mentorship, guiding numerous Master's and Ph.D. students who have achieved international and national recognition.

With over 50 publications, 6 book chapters, and 2 book credits in reputable ISI journals and publishing houses, Professor Omolo's scholarly impact is profound. His h-index, calculated as 21 (Google Scholar), reflects his significant influence in the field, with over 1000 citations. Furthermore, his research findings have been presented at various local and international conferences.


Leul Girma


With over 15 years of experience in technology project and program management, operations, and corporate leadership, Leul has worked extensively across the U.S. and Africa. He holds degrees in Management Information Systems and Finance from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Driven by a passion to showcase African talent on the global stage, Leul returned to Africa to fulfill this vision.

Leul has successfully led major technology projects across the continent, helping governments with their digital transformation initiatives in areas such as integrated financial management systems, passport and border control solutions, and revenue management systems.

In 2020, he began a transformative journey with Gebeya Inc., where he has been instrumental in establishing Africa as a competitive hub for tech talent. Collaborating with an incredible team from all corners of Africa and the diaspora, he led the development of Gebeya’s innovative Talent Cloud platform. This platform has enabled companies, both regional and global, to access a diverse pool of skilled African professionals. Additionally, it has made a significant impact by providing opportunities to underserved groups, including women and refugees.


Palu Dhanani


Palu Dhanani is Managing Director of the Universal Corporation (UCL), a Kenyan pharmaceutical manufacturing company near Nairobi, Kenya. He founded UCL in 1996 and it has grown to produce over 100 drugs to treat HIV and malaria, as well as antipyretics, antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals. After 25 years, his company continues to play a vital role in Africa, reducing the continent’s reliance on imports in the healthcare sector; subsequently helping to create an environment of self-sufficiency particularly across central and eastern regions.


Zitto Alfayo


Zitto leads Afreximbank’s project preparation team focusing on de-risking projects that will culminate in the promotion of Intra-African Trade and implementation of the AfCFTA, Industrialization and Export Development activities across the continent. He is spearheading Afreximbank’s upstream interventions beyond the traditional trade-enabling infrastructure sectors into manufacturing and services sectors. An experienced development banker with over 20 years’ experience, Zitto has worked with various leading regional development and investment banking institutions on the continent. His experience spans the full project finance value chain encompassing, financial advisory, project development, corporate and project finance and structured trade finance. Prior to joining Afreximbank, he worked for Trade and Development Bank and BancABC.

Zitto holds an MBA from Strathmore Business School, Executive MBA from IESE Business School and a BSC Electronics Engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He is also Certified Public Accountant. He has attended various leadership courses from leading institutions such as Harvard Business School and IMD.

Hon Noimot
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