Healthcare in Africa
South Africa Working towards a world-class life sciences industry
Life Sciences and Healthcare industry has been identified a critical aspect for economic diversification. The current economic conditions have been attributed to a combination of global and domestic factors which have negatively affected some of South Africa’s established industries such as energy and resources.
South Africa is ranked as Africa’s second largest economy with a GDP of USD318 billion (USD5 951 per capita) recorded in 2015 and is considered to be Africa’s most diverse economy in terms of economic activity.
Government has acknowledged the need for further diversification, and policies such as the National Development Plan (NDP), the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and the Bio-economy Strategy (BES) have been published as guidelines for how additional diversification can be achieved.
Working towards the goals stated in these documents is considered to be of paramount importance to the long-term success of the economy. It is clear that the reliance on low value-added mineral exports must be reduced and the economy must supply a higher proportion of value-added products to domestic, regional and global markets.
It can be said that there are a number of critical areas and factors related to the life sciences industry in which South Africa performs well, particularly in terms of institutional strengths, human capital, and existing infrastructure and population demographics. However, more effective collaboration between stakeholders across and between the public and private sectors is required in order to leverage on these factors and more effectively grow the industry.