African leaders advocate for increased financing of MDGs

16 JULY 2012 | ADDIS ABABA

Friends Africa in partnership with The Forum for Former African Heads of State and Government (Africa Forum) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria convened in Addis Ababa on 16 July 2012 a side-event on the margins of the 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

The side-event was convened in support of the theme of the 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government: "Boosting Intra-Africa Trade: Africa's Attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)". The theme recognizes the importance of boosting intra-Africa trade as a critical strategy for promoting regional integration in Africa, the interrelationship between trade and health, as well as the centrality of MDGs in efforts for Africa's development. Against this background, the theme of the side-event was therefore set as "Millennium Development Goals: Achievements in the Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria towards MDGs 4, 5 & 6.

The side-event was attended by His Excellency Nicephore Soglo, Former President of the Republic of Benin and Vice-Chairperson of the Africa Forum, His Excellency Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Member of the Africa Forum and Chairperson of the Livingston Group of former African Heads of State and Government on combatting HIV/AIDS, His Excellency Karl Offmann, Former President of the Republic of Mauritius and Member of the Africa Forum Resource Mobilization Committee, His Excellency Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, Former President of Ghana and member of the Africa Forum Committee on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development. Also in attendance were Senior Government Officials of the African Union Members attending the 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, Jose Viera Dias Van-Dinem, Hon. Minister of Health, Angola who delivered a Vote of Thanks speech, Linden Morrison, Department Head, Global Fund, Dr Warren Naamara, UNAIDS Country Director, Ambassadors accredited to the African Union, as well as Representatives of International Organizations, Civil Society and the Media. All the Former Presidents present were given time to address the audience.

The side-event provided a platform for advocating for continued domestic financing for health by African Governments to attain the MDGs, as well as to continue to raise public awareness of three related issues, namely agriculture, food and nutrition, energy security, and combatting AIDS pandemic, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa.

The side-event recognized that 12 years after the Abuja commitment to dedicate 15% of national spending to health only 6 African countries have met the target. The side-event has therefore called for continually advocating for the increased budgetary allocation by African Governments to the health sector to meet the Abuja commitment and ensure additional investment in health that can save millions of lives in African countries, besides guaranteeing a health population critical for tackling the development needs of African countries. The side-event also advocated the need for political and financial commitment to the Global Fund from African Governments and the private sector.

In order to step up and consolidate the efforts the side event recommended the following:

  • To scale up the political and financial commitments for sustainable impact on the health related MDGs. Both ODA contribution and increasing domestic resources targeted the three MDGs and in particular the three diseases HIV, TB and Malaria, which has impact on MDGs 4 and 5;
  • To support the achievement of HLM targets and Global Plan and MDG High Level Outcome document - by advocating and implementing continental frameworks, straightening partnerships and coordinating or leveraging different regional platforms and institutions;
  • To straighten the leadership and financial support for research and development for new preventive technologies, vaccines and affordable pharmaceuticals and essential health commodities. To take advantage of TRIPS flexibility and collective bulk purchase including quality assurance products for cost-effectiveness to avoid dumping and resistance of malaria drugs;
  • UN agencies and other partners to provide technical support and knowledge generation for shared learning;
  • To set predictable sustained financing of cost-effective programmes as a priority area of collective advocacy and action.

Friends of Africa and the Global Fund, The Africa forum, are committed to supporting the work of the African Union Commission on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Food, Nutrition and Energy Security, on the basis of African solidarity for development. To this end, congratulate the newly elected Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and we stand ready to provide all support as appropriate.

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