Harnessing the Power of Networked Advocacy to make Africa’s Vision of the New Public Health Order a Reality Official Side Event of CPHIA 2023
The African Union continues to demonstrate leadership in driving the continent’s health agenda in the aftershock of COVID-19 by elevating the Africa CDC to an autonomous public health agency, giving it an even stronger mandate to drive its vision of a New Public Health Order for the continent. These and other initiatives, if translated into action, are perhaps Africa’s best chance to advance its health sovereignty and security in an era of rising climate crises and pandemic threats. However, the domestic financial commitments to these bold plans and ideas are meager and uncertain.
With the emergency phase of the pandemic having been declared over by WHO, world leaders and African leaders are now turning their attention to a confluence of crises — many of which have been triggered or worsened by the pandemic — economic recession and debt crisis, food crisis, resurgence of military coups in Africa , natural disasters like droughts and cyclones. There is no guarantee that the political will that prevailed during the active phase of the pandemic will continue. However, now is the time to recognize common connections between existential threats and take collective action to address them head on with the power of collective African voices and leadership.
Embracing a networked advocacy approach, Pandemic Action Network and WACI Health plan to gather key stakeholders to galvanize a collective action agenda to (1) elevate solutions for high-level political leadership (2) drive new and additional resources and progress in realizing the vision of Africa’s New Public Health Order.
To achieve these objectives, we will convene a high-level panel with technical and political experts to explore the solutions that need high-level political leadership and funding mechanisms to support implementation of the NPHO. The panel will constitute two prominent technical specialists on health security in the continent and key political/decision makers in the continent.
The panel will address the following broad yet critical questions:
- Considering lessons from past and reemerging epidemics and COVID- 19 in the continent, what are the key areas that should be prioritized for action to strengthen continental health security?
- How can coordination and collaboration be strengthened at the community, national and regional levels to enhance pandemic prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery .
- Considering the various pillars of NPHO; strong African public health institutions, regional manufacturing, workforce and leadership, and partnerships —, what in your opinion constitutes that glue that should hold everything together at the national and regional levels for better execution?