News | Basics Needs & Social Entrepreneurship 02.04.2014

IRENE I SEE at the East African Healthcare Federation Conference in Nairobi

Aline Wachner giving a key note speech on the role of social enterprises and social franchising in healthcare for poor sections of society in East Africa.
© Siemens Stiftung

From March 2 to 4, 2014 Nairobi was host to the East African Healthcare Federation´s two and a half day conference with the five signatory nations Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Under its motto “Creating Business Opportunities in Healthcare in East Africa” the conference welcomed a total of 700 registered participants – including physicians, development organizations, NGOs, government representatives as well as private sector companies from throughout the world – to discuss the success achieved so far, the room for improvement as well as the new cooperation opportunities for the creation of stable and fair healthcare markets in East Africa. The conference was funded by numerous major sponsors including the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation - GIZ)  which has been supporting the Kenyan government in its reinforcement of the healthcare sector since 2005.

Aline Wachner, a doctoral student at the International Research Network on Social Econcomic Empowerment (IRENE I SEE) founded by the Siemens Foundation and Zeppelin University, led the session on the role of social enterprises and social franchising in healthcare for poor sections of society in East Africa. On the basis of her comparative research into social enterprises in four countries displaying varying degrees of development – Kenya, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa – she explained the capabilities, strategies and difficulties of social enterprises for gaining legitimacy and financial support from a wide range of different stakeholders. “In a country wanting to slowly acquire the strength to become independent from development aid, social enterprises are an intelligent form of organization. Their explicit hybrid nature combining social and commercial aims, puts them in a position to convince both donators and investors of their approach. This enables them to acquire the financial means giving them enough time to develop, for poor sections of society, healthcare organizations capable of long term survival,” explains Aline Wachner in her keynote speech.

After her talk Aline Wachner led a panel discussion with five protagonists from the field of social entrepreneurship and social franchising in Kenya’s healthcare sector.

An interview from ZU|Daily with Aline Wachner provides further insight into her research:

(German only – an English translation you can download in the right column)