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.
In this issue, we highlight both the challenges and triumphs. The Bureau has experienced over the last two years (2016-2018) along with the exciting opportunities and important issues we’ll be tackling during the next two years (2018-2020).
We’re also excited to share the aspirations and visions of our incoming leadership, along with the achievements and challenges our outgoing leaders experienced, through Q&A’s with both.
What issues would you like the Bureau to focus on in the coming years? We want to know. Share your thoughts with us today at Armelle Nyobe
Looking Ahead: Our Leaders’ Vision for Making the Constituency’s Voice Even Stronger
Building on the success of outgoing leaders, our new leadership is well poised to make the voice of our African constituencies even stronger.
Here’s a glimpse of what some of our incoming leaders hope to achieve during their 2018-2020 tenures on the board.
Dr. Kebede Worku, Board Member for ESA, 2018-2020 is the current State Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. He hopes to work with other members to eradicate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030.
“I am inspired by excellent work done by the Global Fund around the world. During my term, I will focus on putting the African Constituencies on the right trajectory to end HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as public health threats by 2030,” Dr. Worku said. “This will entail enhancing health and community systems and developing flexible and innovative programs specific to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the African Constituencies. This also requires systematic engagement with local governments and communities and smart partnerships with international donors and private philanthropies.”
Dr. Worku earned his medical degree from Addis Ababa University. In addition to serving as a Board Member for ESA for the 2018-2020 term, Dr. Worku is the Alternate Chair of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB & Malaria Country Coordinating Mechanism – Ethiopia. He also represents the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia as a Signatory of Malaria, TB & HSS grants.
Dr. Worku has served as a general practitioner; the Head of West Hararghe Zone Health Office, Oromia Regional State; and he is the current State Minister of Health with the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.
Here’s his vision for the ACB, in his own words.
Q: What inspired you to represent Africa on the GF Board?
A: I am inspired by excellent work done by the Global Fund around the world. Since its establishment in 2002, the Global Fund has averted millions of deaths due to HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. I believe that, without the support of GF to countries and communities most in need, the implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would have been a different history. With principal support of the Global Fund, for instance, Ethiopia met all MDG targets related to HIV, tuberculous and malaria. In Ethiopia, new HIV infections have plummeted by more than 90% in less than a decade; and mortalities related to malaria and tuberculosis have declined by more than 50% between 1990 and 2015.
Q: What do you want to achieve in the next two years of your tenure?
A: As global goals have transitioned from MDGs to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I will focus on putting the African Constituencies on the right trajectory to end HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as public health threats by 2030. This entails strengthening health and community systems and developing flexible and innovative programs specific to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the African Constituencies. This also requires systematic engagement with local governments and communities and smart partnerships with international donors and private philanthropies.
Additionally, I will focus on effective, efficient and transparent use of grants and I will push for a sizable proportion of domestic financing to drive impact in the African Constituencies.
Q: What opportunities do you see ahead of you?
A: Ample opportunities exist to move the Global Fund’s agenda forward. Collectively, the global health community has solidly committed to the bold health SDGs and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through primary health care. I hope the accelerated economic growth and political commitment in each country in the Constituency will translate into meaningful actions on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Q: What do you see as the main challenges ahead?
A: I see outbreaks and epidemics (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) as major challenges to programs. They compete with other programs for resources and they are a significant burden on the health and community systems. Further, the current declining trend in funding for these diseases may create a chasm in implementation, and ultimately impacts results.
Q: What is your vision of a stronger African Constituency?
A: My vision is to create complete country ownership of the programs and ultimately to eradicate the need for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria African Constituencies.
The African constituency’s voice in Global Fund policies and decisions has grown significantly over the last two years. Looking forward to the next two years, we inaugurate a new leadership that will strengthen the African voice even more in Global Fund policies and decisions. Their combined visions around various issues resonate and should put Africa “on the right trajectory to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” in the words of one of the new leaders.
The new leadership’s individual aspirations speak of a number of new and innovative ideas.
When these ideas are aligned towards one goal, the African Constituency will not just increase its voice in Global Fund policies and decisions, and in Global Health discourses at large; but together with donors, technical partners, the private sector, philanthropists, academia, and civil society, will be able to see the back of the three epidemics in 2030.
To do so, we need to be fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead of us. Yet, together, we can meet the challenges of our era head-on and turn the trends around. Strong commitment; a willingness to learn, change and adapt; and a commitment to innovation, integrity, transparency, accountability, effectiveness and parsimony are what’s required.
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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