The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the inherent power disparities in the global health ecosystem, and the underrepresentation of African voices and institutions in positions of influence and decision-making. These deficiencies have led to the call from African leaders for the establishment of a New Public-Health Order for Africa.
Two African-led strategic advisory services firms, Africatalyst and MHS Consulting, are responding to this call and joining forces to strengthen African public-health systems and give Africa a louder voice in the global health discourse.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in the global health ecosystem – exposing underinvestment in the public-health infrastructure and suboptimal global coordination in response to public-health emergencies. The response to Covid-19 also exposed the inherent power disparities in the global health ecosystem, and the underrepresentation of African voices and institutions in positions of influence and decision-making.
These persisting power asymmetries demonstrate the need to enhance the influence of African representation in the global health ecosystem, to ensure that African needs and priorities are better reflected in the response to and preparation for global health threats. These deficiencies have led to the call from African leaders for the establishment of a New Public-Health Order for Africa.
In that context, two African-led strategic advisory services firms, Africatalyst and MHS Consulting, decided to join forces and respond to this call for action to strengthen African public-health systems and give Africa a louder voice in the global health discourse.
Daouda Sembene was an Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund where he represented 23 African countries on the Executive Board. In 2021, Daouda launched Africatalyst[i], an independent, global development advisory firm that strives to build partnerships between global and local actors to promote innovative, evidence-based solutions to Africa’s development challenges.
Michel Hamala Sidibé is the African Special Envoy for the African Medicine Agency (AMA), former Minister of Health and Social Affairs of Mali, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and former Executive Director of UNAIDS. In 2021, Michel launched Michel Hamala Sidibe (MHS) Consulting[ii] as a new global health platform to help ensure health system strengthening and unmatched quality of advocacy for social and human development in Africa.
The New Public Health Order for Africa, as defined by Africa CDC, focuses on four key elements: local production of therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics; trusted partnerships; a strong public-health workforce and strengthened public-health institutions.
Indeed, Africa does not manufacture most of the medicines, vaccines and diagnostics it uses, despite having the highest incidence of mortality caused by infectious diseases. To effectively address the continent’s global health challenges, Africa will need to increase the local manufacture and production of medicines, vaccines and diagnostics to meet its health priorities and ensure continental health security.
Additionally, trusted partnerships between Africa’s public health actors and the private sector, and greater donor coordination aligned with African priorities, will also be critical to addressing current and future public-health priorities on the continent. Engagement of African expertise and leadership in such partnerships will ensure the reflection of African priorities and utilization of African skills for such initiatives in the future.
There is an immediate need to create the know-how and capacity to translate this new public health order into actions in many African countries, notably in the context of global health security.
Africatalyst and MHS Consulting will leverage their respective expertise and leadership capacities to strengthen the partnership between public health actors and the private sector, specifically in the context of local vaccine manufacturing initiatives, as well as enhance donor coordination alignment with African health security priorities. This is imperative for improving the effectiveness and sustainability of large-scale financing made available by bilateral agencies, multilateral institutions, philanthropic organizations, and SPVs.
Africatalyst and Michel Hamala Sidibe Consulting (MHS) are uniquely positioned to build and strengthen implementation capacities in African countries, providing the expertise and capacity required to translate policies into actions and strengthen implementation and absorption capacities, in order to strengthen African public-health systems.
Our work is guided by the following core principles:
- Country-owned, country-led and demand-driven solutions;
- Adherence to the highest standards of quality
- Focus on capacity development, partnership building, and regional and multilateral cooperation.
Africatalyst Global Development Advisory
Africatalyst relies on a pool of experienced experts who are demonstrated leaders in the development field, including former ministers as well as current and former business leaders and senior official from international institution, with decades of work experience in African and development issues. Since its inception, Africatalyst provided advisory services tailored to development actors’ specific needs in the public, philanthropic and private sectors, and supported the implementation of the projects, programs, and policies of our partners. More specifically, Africatalyst has been supporting selected African policymakers, notably through economic advice and intelligence
Michel Hamala Sidibe Consulting (MHS)
MHS is an innovation accelerator platform working with governments, private sector and civil society to promote global health security and diplomacy. MHS provides strategic support to leaders to foster long term sustainable investment in health to advance Human Capital Development and promote commodity security in Africa.