African Development Bank to host African Ministerial meeting on health financing in Tunis in July


The African Development Bank is hosting a high-level Ministerial conference on health financing at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Tunisia, on July 4-5, 2012.

This conference is organized by the Harmonization for Health in Africa mechanism (HHA), in collaboration with the African Union (AU), the Peoples Bank of China (PBC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It will emphasize the urgent need to get the best out of available resources in order to accelerate progress towards the health MDGs and beyond.

Participants will include Ministers of Finance and Health, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, private sector enterprises and representatives of bilateral and multilateral development partners.

Why a conference with the Finance and Health Ministries of Africa?

Africa’s economic emergence is changing the way we think about health financing. One important element of Africa’s health agenda will be about value for money: making use of transparent evidence-based planning and budgeting and result-based financing; progressing towards universal coverage of health care and; optimizing the opportunities provided by rapidly changing technologies, such as e-health.

African countries are looking to embark on a new governance framework for health financing to make the best out of available resources and ensure the sustainability of spending in social sectors.

Since the 2000 Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), only a small number of African countries are on track to achieving the health MDGs and progress made has been insufficient and unequal.

The 2010 World Health Report estimates that globally, 20-40% of all health spending is wasted through inefficiency. Inefficiencies affect both public and private spending, and a large proportion of the latter is being lost in unregulated and ineffective services.

Too often public funds do not reach the frontlines. More than half of total health spending is paid out-of-pocket by African households, pushing the poorest into further into poverty.

This calls for all actors to improve the way they do business. This conference will emphasize the urgent need for greater accountability and value for money in the delivery of health services in Africa

Objectives of the conference

The conference aims to create a common understanding of the causes of ineffective and inequitable health financing. It also aims to forge consensus on remedial measures, in particular by raising awareness of successful experiences from Africa and promoting South-South learning.

The conference is expected to result in the adoption of a framework for engagement and action, which will be used by governments to engage relevant stakeholders in concrete programmes to move the health agenda forward.

The Conference will also stimulate dialogue and enhance leadership and collaboration between Ministries of Finance and Health as well as other national stakeholders like parliamentary committees, civil society, professional associations and employer organizations.

Key topics of the conference include planning and budgeting for results, improving performance, health insurance, results-based financing, as well as sustainability of programs related to HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health.

The Conference is a follow up to the dialogue on health financing initiated during the AU/UNECA Ministers of Finance Meeting in Addis Ababa in March 2011 and the publication: “Investing in Health for Africa.

For more information

Technical Questions: Fabrice Sergent, +216 7110 3067,
Logistical Questions: Imen Mechaal-Benabdelkader, +216 7110 2917,
Media Relations: Penelope Pontet de Fouquieres, +216 7110 1250,