AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today commended the African Union (AU) for elevating the role of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and making it an autonomous health agency.
“This is a significant milestone for the AU and the people of Africa, as it gives the continent a public health agency with the power to make and act on timely decisions, particularly during health emergencies—decisions that would typically have to trudge through slower bureaucratic channels,” said AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah Iutung. “Empowering the Africa CDC to act on its own is a pivotal step toward making the region less dependent on the Global North, improving regional responsiveness during outbreaks like COVID-19, and strengthening national health systems overall.”
Formerly, the Africa CDC was under the mandate of AU’s Commissioner for Social Affairs, but now it will be funded by the AU as an independent entity and its chief will be elevated to a position of a director-general.
AHF organized a virtual sidebar panel session last month at the 1st International Conference on Public Health in Africa. Prominent experts and public figures—including former President of Ghana John Mahama and Member of Parliament of Ghana Akua Dansua—discussed how leaders across the region could step up efforts to address significant gaps in global health governance. Watch the video replay here.