Domestic Resource Mobilization and Achieving Sustainable Financing in Africa
For the first time, Heads of State and Government and representatives of States and Governments, will assemble at the United Nations on 23 September 2019, with a dedicated focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), to reaffirm that health is a precondition for and an outcome and indicator of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and strongly recommit to achieve UHC by 2030.
This is also in alignment with Africa’s 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063, which commits the continent to improving the health of its populations and prioritizes self-reliance—in the form of domestic resource mobilization (DRM)— as the primary source of development financing. Some countries have made significant progress in this endeavor. Overall, however, the continent has not moved sufficiently towards sustainability.
According to the 2019 Africa Scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health (presenting 2016 data), 30 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states increased the percentage of their government budget invested in health between 2015 and 2016. Only 3 African Union member states dedicate the recommended 5 percent of GDP to health. In short, as a continent Africa remains far behind the targets it has set for itself of investing US$86.30 per capita, 5 percent of GDP, and 15 percent of the government budget in health.
At the AU Summit on February 9, 2019, African leaders convened the Africa Leadership Meeting: Investing in Health (ALM), where they underscored the importance of investing in health and reiterated their commitment to increasing domestic investment in health. The Call to Action and Declaration that came out of the ALM were adopted by the Assembly of the African Union and is now considered “shared responsibility and global solidarity for increased health financing” under the auspices of the AU Commission. The ALM offers AU member states an opportunity to consolidate regional leadership in the context of shared responsibility and global solidarity.