Don urges African leaders to strengthen global health diplomacy
A lecturer at the University of the Redeemer, Dr Benjamin Anaemene, urged African leaders to leverage the existing order on global governance for health, political and economic determinants of health inequalities to strengthen diplomacy world health.
Anaemene said this at a conference on “Global health governance and diplomacy: issues, challenges and prospects for Africa” at the first public conference at Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos State .
The donation noted that the oldest factor hampering global health diplomacy in Africa was how to manage the network of global institutional arrangements, which perpetuated massive poverty in African countries.
According to him, the proliferation of the health sector in Africa by external actors has affected the aid architecture and a diversity of actors and governance arrangements, noting that the inability to speak with one voice in the international forum was a major albatross for global health diplomacy in Africa. .
He said: “One of the oldest and most controversial issues is global health diplomacy in Africa is how to manage the network of global institutional arrangements, which perpetuates massive poverty in African countries.
“Another serious challenge is the proliferation of external actors in the health sector in Africa. There are more than 40 bilateral donors, 26 United Nations agencies, 20 global and regional funds and 90 active global health initiatives. The result is an increasingly fragmented aid architecture and a diversity of actors and governance mechanisms. The inability to speak with one voice in an international forum is a major albatross for global health diplomacy in Africa.
“As we witness the current pandemic and the world adjusts to the new normal, it is clear that the old ways must change; a transformation is necessary at the structural, functional and organizational level. We need new rules now, and this new era requires cooperation, not conflict.
“One potential way to improve global health diplomacy would be for African states to use the pandemic to challenge the existing order on global health governance and the global political and economic determinants of health inequalities.
“African policymakers should institutionalize the integration of health into foreign policy. Governments should work together to develop common positions that will enable them to influence resolutions adopted at the global level.
“Governments should also cooperate with academic institutions to build capacity in health diplomacy and, in particular, enable officials to familiarize themselves with the latest trends in public health. Governments could go even further by creating global health diplomacy units within their foreign ministries, interacting with health attachés in diplomatic missions, relevant AU entities (Department of Social Affairs , Africa CDC and African Continental Free Trade Area), parliamentarians, WHO country and regional offices. ”
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