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Accepted Paper:

African local industrial-health linkages: evidence from a cancer study in a Covid19 world  


Maureen Mackintosh (The Open University)
Geoffrey Banda (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

This paper reflects on research findings on local industrial-health system linkages to strengthen cancer care in Eastern Africa in the light of the impact of Covid19 on international and local industrial supply chains, business models and investment decisions.

Paper long abstract:

The interlinkages between locally based and largely locally owned businesses and the needs and procurement demands of local health systems in Africa were already changing before Covid19. Local industrial development to supply health commodities for the health sector was increasingly a priority for Eastern and Southern African governments and regional groupings; Covid19 has pushed the issue to the top of national and international preoccupation.

This paper draws data from an ongoing project exploring the scope for sustainably expanding local industrial supplies in order to improve cancer care in East Africa. Since early 2021, we have been working with Kenyan and Tanzanian colleagues on the project in a pandemic context. Local manufacturers have seen their international supply chains collapse, but at the same time have responded very creatively to local needs, developing new research and manufacturing linkages in the process. As local governments have faced the consequences of the existing narrow industrial base, and limited technological capabilities, we are also seeing the emergence of new business models and investments that can respond to the needs of cancer care as well as non-communicable and communicable diseases.

The paper reports findings on expanding local business responses to existing and emerging requirements for health security. It also reflects on the project’s use of scenario-building as an intellectual tool for investigating the scope for industrial development in this context.

Panel P41
Covid-19, Business and International Development: What is the role of business in responding to the pandemic in the global South?