It’s an exciting time for the African Constituency Bureau as we usher in a new crop of constituency leaders in accordance with governance policies that require new leadership every two years.
Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli, an outgoing board member representing Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), says that during his tenure he saw the significant impact the work of the Bureau had on Global Fund policy decisions.
“The first two years of my tenure…revealed how the combined voice of Africa can have a critical impact on Global Fund decisions,” Dr. Apuuli said. “…the African Voice is now recognized, valued and respected within Global Fund processes.”
The Q&A below reveals more about Dr. Apuuli’s experience as a board member.
Q&A with Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli
Dr. Apuuli is a medical doctor with more than 40-years-experience in health planning and management. He has also served as General Director of the Uganda AIDS Commission and with the Ministry of Health in Uganda. Additionally, he served on the Uganda Country Coordinating Mechanism.
Q:What were your greatest achievements during your tenure as Africa representative to the GF Board?
A: The two years of my tenure, first as an Alternate Board Member and later as a full Board Member for ESA, have revealed how the combined voices of Africa can have a critical impact on Global Fund decisions. The combined voices of ESA and WCA made it possible for the Global Fund to accept to have RSSH as one of the main objectives and focus areas of the Fund’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022.
We were also able to ensure that Catalytic Funding is included in country allocations beginning with the 2018 funding cycle.
As African Constituencies, we have been actively engaged within the Implementer Group (ImG) in our capacity as implementers and as representatives of the continent with the highest disease burden.
During my tenure, I proudly celebrate the fact that the African Constituency Bureau (ACB) was fully operationalized, staffed and resourced.
Lastly, another key achievement that I am proud of is that the African Voice is now recognized, valued and respected within Global Fund processes.
Q: What could you have done differently?
A: It is worth noting that the Implementer Group (ImG) is composed of 10 Constituencies that include ESA and WCA. The challenge for ESA and WCA Board Members is often around harmonizing positions within the ImG. Sometimes the views and positions of the ImG differ significantly from the African positions due to the fact that the ImG is predominantly comprised of Civil Society Organizations, NGOs and people living with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Therefore, as a board member, trying to harmonize your positions as an Implementer while at the same time balancing the interests of the African Constituency is a never-ending task. We therefore have to find a way to harmonize this to avoid the parallels and tensions.
Q: What were your best moments as a Board Member?
A: The best moment of my tenure was when the two African Constituencies elected me to be the chairman of the ACB Board.
Q: Your disappointment?
A: My disappointment is that my term as a full board member for ESA was too short. I only served one year yet I was supposed to serve a full two years. The ACB Governance Framework should critically look at this issue so that once one is elected, they serve their 2 full years.
Q: If you were given another opportunity to represent Africa on the GF Board, what would you do differently?
A: If given another chance to serve on the Board, I would like to see African Governments recognize the importance of ACB and fund its operations.
Q: What do you think you will be remembered for?
A: I hope the countries of Africa will remember me for the commitment, perseverance, fearlessness and brevity that I have exhibited. This has enabled us to break many barriers and has allowed me to aptly represent my people’s interest while ensuring that African voices are part of decision-making at all levels and at the core of the GF Board mechanism and its processes.
Please join us in welcoming our new leadership team and wishing them a successful tenure. Together, we will build on the successes of our outgoing leaders to make the African Constituency Bureau stronger and even more influential.
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