Status of healthcare financing in Africa: Despite many commitments, African countries’ domestic investments in health remain suboptimal
20 December 2023

Access to quality healthcare remains a major challenge in Africa. To address this problem, African countries have made a raft of commitments to increase their allocations to health. Among these commitments are the 2001 Abuja Declaration where countries committed to allocate 15% of their annual budgets to health. 

The World Health Report 2010 indicated that it is difficult for countries to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) when they allocate less than 4-5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to health. As countries have shifted to focusing on UHC as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030), they are expected to shore up their investments in health to at least 5% of their GDP to realise this goal. In 2019 the African Union through the African Leadership Meeting (ALM) got member states to commit to increasing their domestic allocations to health and tackling the persisting inefficiencies in spending health budgets to ensure we have “more money for health”, but that we also get “more health for the money” invested. 

Despite these commitments, there are still huge gaps in healthcare financing as demonstrated by the data in this factsheet for select African countries. 

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