Dangote Foundation’s Initiative To Promote Healthy Africa

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), envisions an African continent where

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), envisions an African continent where Africans and their leaders are ever more empowered in their various spheres of interest.

The vision of creating room for opportunity led him to set up the Aliko Dangote Foundation in 1994 to give his growing philanthropy a structure.

As Dangote’s business footprint expands across the continent, so has his appreciation of the challenges facing the continent and his desire to do something about it.

2013 and 2014 marked a defining period for the Foundation, as Aliko joined hands with Bill Gates to work with the federal government of Nigeria to tackle the lingering scourge of polio in its last bastion on the continent.

The development necessitated a restructuring and realignment within the operations of the Foundation and how it works to deliver on Aliko’s vision.

Little wonder, the Dangote brand has matured into an undeniable global force with the renowned Forbes magazine showcasing it as one of Africa’s most successful business enterprises.

In realising the vision for a better Africa, the Foundation is strategically supporting and working with like-minded international organisations in changing the Africa narratives. It currently partners GBC Health, One Campaign, CHI, GAIN, Africa Development Bank and a host of others.

On the global stage, the Foundation through Halima Aliko Dangote is working to position the Africa Centre in New York, a platform that encompasses culture, business and policy to promote trans-Atlantic exchange and partnership between Africa and the rest of the world. 

It is not by accident that Aliko Dangote Foundation is the biggest private Foundation in Africa, but a well thought out principle as the Founder, Aliko Dangote once said he does not want to be remembered as the richest black man on earth but as the biggest philanthropist.

Halima, Drogba Share Thoughts on Healthier Africans 

Halima Aliko Dangote, the Executive Director of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) effectively combines the dynamism of the youths with the wisdom of elders.

During the launch of the ABC Health, there was one-on-one between her and Didier Drogba, the African legendary footballer. They both have something in common and that is the desire to see Africans living healthier lives by having unhindered access to basic healthcare facilities. And this view they both espoused to a select audience on the sidelines at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week.

Halima gave a very deep insight into the drive behind her father’s philanthropic spirit and her own disposition to helping others especially in the health related issues.

She explained that her father started the ADF in 1994.

“I grew up knowing about my father’s philanthropy, a trait which he also took over from his mother. We used to follow my grandmother to hospitals to see the sick and how they could be helped.  My grandmother did not like seeing people bogged down by sickness. So it was natural that he (Aliko Dangote) would later use his wealth to help other disadvantaged. And to God be the glory, he has been able to touch many lives”.

Halima further said: “The task to make Africa and Africans healthier starts from everyone. Everyone has a role to play. You can give your money; you can give your time, and you can give support or prayer. You just have to be there for one reason or the other.

“Our Foundation is part of this arrangement because it is involved in matters of health and nutrition. As I said, we learned from our mom, dad, and grandmother on the importance of good health. We have visited Internally Displaced persons (IDP) camps several. There you will feel the pain of malnutrition; seeing children and babies malnourished. We had to go back to the drawing board to re-strategize on the form of intervention from the Foundation to help.

“We discovered that when you see a malnourished child, his or her problem started from the mother. What she is giving the child, does she know the implication, and that is even if she has anything to give at all that will nourish the child.

She reiterated that there is a vital relationship between health and economic growth and development in Africa as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more; and added that access to essential health services is an important aspect of development.

Halima Dangote said: “Governments from both developed and developing countries are increasingly looking at public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a way to expand access to higher-quality health services by leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and know-how from the private sector.”

“I am also involved in the African Centre programme, in New York. I am the President. I am involved to the extent that we believe that our narratives have been told by others on our behalf.

“So, we are now making conscious efforts to change the negative narratives by telling it ourselves. We need to tell the world that stories from Africa are not all negatives. Though we have our challenges but good things are happening too in Africa”, Halima added.

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