Premier platform for business networking

The third annual Pan African Health (PAH) Congress, which takes place from September 18 to 19 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, is billed as the premier platform for business-to-business networking in Africa’s healthcare industry.

The key components of this year’s congress are a conference, a business-to business (B2B) networking forum and the second Absa Healthcare Initiative Awards.

The 2006 Congress carved a niche for the PAH conference as an important B2B forum for healthcare decision-makers and solutions providers to meet, network, exchange information and ideas and to establish valuable business relationships. The format of the 2007 congress has been designed to reflect this mandate.

Funding remains a key driver for effective healthcare management and service delivery in Africa. With this in mind, the congress will explore the needs, opportunities and solutions relating to the most pressing of all health issues facing the continent — accessing and managing funding for healthcare initiatives.

This topic will be the focus of the conference. Key themes will comprise specialised funding in healthcare, disease management and the costs of health management in Africa.

Adding weight to the conference discussions will be procurement workshops, aimed at empowering fundraisers with the know-how to procure donor funders and NGO assistance on health projects.

Says Jenny Wong-Korten, director of the PAH congress: ‘This year we will be actively acting as a matchmaker between parties representing Africa’s health ministries, NGOs, procurement and funding agencies, as well as local and global private sectors and private service providers, via our B2B forum.”

To fulfil this role, the organisers have appointed consultants and facilitators, whose experience in the international trade arena and the healthcare sector has given them a deep understanding of matchmaking and networking. There will also be extensive local and global networks to draw upon.

Says Wong-Korten: ‘As soon as participants confirm their space at the B2B forum, they will be asked to complete a participation form, providing a detailed profile of their business and, where possible, names of organisations, bodies, companies, associations and even individuals whom they want to meet.”

The United Nations/NGO Buyers and Sellers Forum is another creative matchmaking platform that has all the ingredients for success at the congress.


Paul Runge of Africa Project Access says: ‘The forum entitles B2B participants and conference delegates to meet procurement officers from the UN agencies and NGOs. Participants will be able to present their products or services, learn the modus operandi for supplying the organisations and potentially schedule follow-on appointments.”

A networking luncheon will give participants additional access to representatives from UN agencies and NGOs.

PAH 2007 also includes the second Absa Healthcare Initiative Awards, which recognise companies and organisations whose health initiatives exemplify excellence, innovation and sustainability, in several categories:

Category 1: emerging business, small business or non-listed company;

Category 2: listed company or multi-national organisation, hospital groups;

Category 2b: hospitals — individual hospital initiatives;

Category 3: NGO/non-profit organisation; and

Category 4: public private partnership (PPP).

Judging is carried out by a professional panel of judges drawn from the NGO, private and academic sectors.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on September 19 at the Sandton Sun.

A total of 37 entries were received, of which 13 are nominees from last year who re-entered the awards. There are 24 new companies/organisations and 24 NGOs.

Each entry was judged by two judges. To qualify as a finalist, entries had to receive a certain percentage.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc, the external auditors of the Absa Foundation Trust, were in attendance at the judging and verified the category winners subsequent to the final judging.

Nominations within each category are judged on three criteria: innovation, impact and sustainability.

In assessing entries, the innovation component takes into account the level of originality in the project, how the concept originated, how innovative are the methods being used to track progress, and how innovative are the methods being used to engage individuals and communities.

Impact looks at the benefit to the end-user; how impact was measured and the nature of the quantitative results.

Sustainability examines what plans have been put in place to sustain the initiative and whether the tools and techniques employed can be used in other areas. Has future investment been secured? Judges also look at whether the investment is sustainable, who the key partners are, and whether their commitment/contribution is sustainable.

For more information on the Pan African Health Congress and the Absa Healthcare Initiative Awards visit www.panafricanhealth.com.

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