Johannesburg, November 2016- Strengthening and strategic refocusing of Africa’s partnerships to respond effectively to continental priorities for sustainable development is a critical priority for the African Union.
Ensuring that Africa has the right strategies to finance its own development and reducing aid dependency are centerpieces in driving structural transformation. Gripped with these important questions not the least in driving its health agenda the continent is strengthening the coordination of partnerships towards implementation of harmonised policy frameworks. In alignment with Agenda 2063 and the Global Agenda 2030, the African Union revised its health strategy and further defined a clear strategic direction to end AIDS, TB and Malaria as public health threats by 2030.
The African Union meeting with its strategic regional and continental partners in Johannesburg two weeks back mapped out key actions and priorities for joint action to implement the Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria by 2030.
‘It will take great partnerships to mobilise the resources that are needed to strengthen human resources for health, ensure access to affordable and quality assured medicines and to further strengthen leadership, governance and accountability. We need more health for the money,” said Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun, Director for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission while officially launching the Africa Partnership and Coordination Forum. The Forum will harmonise all coordination efforts to support countries by AU organs, Regional Economic Communities, development partners and non-state actors towards the implementation of the AU Catalytic Framework and related AU policy frameworks.
With bold and ambitious targets, the Catalytic Framework seeks to eliminate malaria incidence and mortality, prevent its transmission and re-establishment in all countries by 2030. It further seeks to end the AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and end TB deaths and cases by 2030. The strategy enunciates key policy issues, strategic priorities and accountability mechanisms. The strategy specifically advances a business case for investing for impact on AIDS, TB and Malaria consisting of health systems strengthening, generation and use of evidence for policy and programme interventions and advocacy and capacity building. Its addresses broad ranging issues including leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability, universal and equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support. It further looks at issues of access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies, health financing, community participation and involvement, research and development and innovation, promotion of human rights and gender equality; multi-sectoral collaboration and coordination and strategic information.
During the meeting, partners working at the regional level committed to priority actions to support the implementation for the Catalytic Framework. The African Union Commission will accelerate advocacy efforts for increased investments in health; further strengthen leadership and governance for the three diseases and strengthen strategic information for evidence informed policies and programmes. Regional intergovernmental organisations will support information sharing among Member States, engage leadership for the three disease areas at the appropriate level, advocate for increased domestic financing for the three diseases, support availability of strategic information and alignment of continental with national level strategic plans.
Development partners through advocacy, strategic information, resource mobilisation and technical support will support these African intergovernmental processes. They will further facilitate integrated management of the three diseases at national level. Non-state actors will popularize and support the domestication of the Catalytic Framework, support information sharing and support the reporting mechanisms on the implementation of the Catalytic Framework.