Executive MBA Students to finalize plans
A group of sixteen Executive MBA students from George Washington University, led by two of their instructors, discussed plans for the construction of a hospital named “Pride Hospital” in particular, and conducting business in Ethiopia in general, with various private, governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
The visit’s significance is twofold, stated Yohannes Assefa, Adjunct Professor of International Business at the University. Firstly, it would help the group prepare a final plan for Pride Hospital, which is to be constructed in Ethiopia at a place yet to be specified and will cost USD 50 million. Furthermore, it would enable the visiting students, who are executives of different institutions, to perceive the huge business opportunities in Ethiopia and, either invest here themselves or introduce other businessmen to do so. “The students are high profile, as they are executives, and increasing the awareness of business opportunities here may peak their interest in becoming involved or at least making recommendations to other potential investors. They will also be able to knowledgably converse on and explain the real situation they have seen and experienced in the country to those who don’t know Ethiopia, which would contribute to the image building efforts,” Yohannes said.
The students have discussed at length with senior officials at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA), the World Bank, IMF and numerous private institutions, especially those involved in the healthcare sector.
According to the students, Pride Hospital is expected to be a Center for Excellence with a variety of unique services to be introduced into the country. It is planning to launch medical tourism and coordinate with local insurance companies to come up with an affordable health insurance package Global Ethiopian Diaspora Healthcare Foundation (GEDHF), which is the owner of the project, commissioned a feasibility study which has two phases. It has already received the first phase analysis of the study, which focused on the demand for services and the business environment, from the International Consulting and Management Engineering (ICME) firm of Dubai on December 2, 2012 during a working dinner held at the Residence Inn Marriott, Washington DC.
For the feasibility study, ICME has collaborated with the Anadach Group, a global healthcare strategic consulting firm focusing on providing innovative advice and services to clients and partners interested in transforming healthcare systems in emerging markets and developing economies.
GEDHF will come up with the funds by pooling the resources of its members across Northern America and Europe and it will also sell shares to locals to increase their involvement, said Yohannes. “The project would be completed even if the sale of shares is not up to the expected level, because the project finance will come from members of GEDHF. The idea of selling shares is to involve locals.”
Members of the GEDHF’s executive team had visited Ethiopia in May 2012 and met with officials at the Ministry of Health, the business community and members of the medical community.
GEDHF established a 16-member Advisory Board, composed of leaders from the medical, business, banking, insurance and communications industries, here in Ethiopia so they could contribute in directing the business venture of the proposed hospital.