Social Services


Africa is not a healthy continent. On all indicators of health, Africa lags behind the rest of the world, and behind poor countries of Southeast and South Asia that were behind Africa when measured on these metrics a few decades ago. African governments focused on direct payment, and continue to do so to a large extent, after most countries started to move more towards facilitating health insurance schemes. The picture is still one of a generally poor population, subject to diseases that have been eradicated or brought under control on most other continents, neglected by private healthcare providers and underserved by governments, reliant on irregular help from abroad.


Education is key for human development and economic growth in Africa. It promotes national productivity and innovation and values of democracy and social cohesion. Improving economic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa remains a core priority in the quest for breaking existing barriers to development progress within the region. Recent analytical work has helped to better understand the relationship between the potential for growth and the stock of human skills available in each country. This stock, in turn, is closely linked to the volume and quality of outputs in post-basic education, especially tertiary education and research. Consequently, building higher-level skills in order to maintain competitiveness in an increasingly integrated global knowledge-based economy is of utmost importance for Africa’s development agenda.


For Africa, where growth is essential, education is an imperative, especially in terms of reducing poverty. More specifically, skills development for employability has been identified as a priority area for educational policy and practice. There is overwhelming evidence to demonstrate that skills development can play an essential role in promoting sustainable economic growth and the socioeconomic development of countries, with benefits accruing to individuals, their families, local communities, and society in general.


This more than any other time is the moment for pursuing tourism as a dynamic development option in SSA. Although Africa was badly hit by the global crisis, the continent avoided an even worse growth shortfall in 2009, thanks to prudent macroeconomic policies by governments and financial support from multilateral agencies, and rebounded in 2010. Tourism is one of the key industries driving the current change and tourism could be a transformative tool within this takeoff. From a small base of just 6.7 million visitors in 1990, SSA attracted 33.8 million visitors in 2012. Receipts from tourism in 2012 amounted to over US$36 billion and directly contributed 2.8% to the region’s GDP.


Showcasing the continent's projects

The Network’s unique investment platform prioritises six streams of development projects related to: