Decade for Action: Driving Momentum to Achieve UHC in Africa
8 to 10 March 2021, Free Virtual Access
AHAIC 2021 is an African-led biennial global health convening hosted by Amref Health Africa, a leading health development organisation in Africa founded in 1957. This year, the virtual conference is co-convened by Africa CDC, Roche, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA).
Gain a deeper understanding of the greatest health challenges in Africa – connected issues, such as education, economics.
Use this unique opportunity to network with influencers from different sectors and find opportunities to collaborate.
Be a part of conversations that help influence policymaker and donor priorities to advance Universal Health Coverage in Africa.
Regional Director for Africa, World Health Organization
Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti is the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa and the first woman to occupy this position. She was recently confirmed by the WHO Executive Board after her resounding re-lection for the second term. Over the past five years, Dr Moeti has led a Transformation Agenda that is widely acknowledged to have improved the performance and effectiveness of the Organization. She made tremendous progress through the Transformation Agenda, which include improved response capacity to health emergences like COVID-19 pandemic and Ebola virus outbreak. The flagship of the Transformation Agenda has been the successful eradication of wild polio virus in the African region. The Transformation Agenda has since been adopted to inform WHO global reforms
Dr Moeti is a medical doctor and public health expert, with more than 40 years of national and international experience. She has worked with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, where she has held several senior positions, since 1999. Dr Moeti successfully led WHO’s “3 by 5” Initiative in the African Region, which aimed to expand access to antiretroviral therapy in countries. Prior to joining WHO, Dr Moeti worked with UNAIDS as the Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva, with UNICEF as a Regional Advisor, and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health in various capacities.
In recognition of her excellent service to humanity, Dr Moeti has received many accolades including an Honorary Fellowship from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. She is a great champion for women in leadership in global health.
Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr John Nkengasong serves as Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a specialized technical institution of the African Union. Earlier this year, he was appointed as one of the WHO Director-General’s Special Envoys on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response, and most recently was awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2020 Global Goalkeeper Award for his contributions to the continental response in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
Dr Nkengasong is an authority on implementing HIV therapy in resource-challenged areas and a prolific author on the topics of HIV diagnosis, pathogenesis, and drug resistance. Prior to his current position, he served as Acting Deputy Principal Director of the Center for Global Health and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative – CEPI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) among others. He has authored over 250 peer-review articles in international journals and published several book chapters.
Minister of Health, Ethiopia
Dr. Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin became the Minister of Health (MoH) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in March 2020. Prior to this appointment, she served as State Minister of Health since November 2018 leading the national health programs under the Health Sector Transformation Strategy. Dr. Lia is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with extensive experience as a clinician, in healthcare leadership, academia, and in hospital and program management with over twenty years’ experience. Prior to joining MoH, Dr. Lia Tadesse served as Program Director at the University of Michigan’s Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT) in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she has successfully partnered with several institutions, both in Ethiopia and Rwanda, to increase the quality of reproductive health services and training. Serving as the CEO and Vice Provost of St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) in Addis Ababa for seven years, Dr Lia has led the hospital’s services and academic reforms, including forging collaborative relationships with several national and international stakeholders. Dr. Lia, was also Project Director of USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) at Jhpiego-Ethiopia prior to joining CIRHT after leaving SPHMMC. Dr. Lia’s passion is strengthening and reforming health systems and has received recognition for her accomplishments, advocacy for gender equity in access to quality health services and training. Dr. Lia Tadesse earned her medical degree from Jimma University, speciality training in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Addis Ababa University and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Jimma University.
Group Chief Executive Officer · Amref Health Africa
A passionate advocate for pro-poor Universal Health Coverage, Githinji Gitahi joined Amref Health Africa as the Global Chief Executive Officer in June 2015. Amref Health Africa, founded in 1957, is the largest Africa-led international organization, reaching more than 11 million people each year through 150 health-focused projects across 35 countries. Until his appointment to Amref Health Africa, Dr Gitahi was the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, Smile Train International. Prior to that, Dr Gitahi was Managing Director for Monitor Publications in Uganda as well as General Manager for Marketing and Circulation in East Africa for the Nation Media Group. He held progressively senior positions at GlaxoSmithKline and worked at the Avenue Group. Dr Gitahi is co-Chair of the UHC2030 Steering Committee, a global World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) initiative for Universal Health Coverage (UHC). He serves on a number of Boards, notably - Board of Directors of The Standard Group in Kenya, Board of Trustees of Safaricom Foundation and Governing Board of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and prevention (Africa CDC). Dr Gitahi holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University of Nairobi, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the United States International University; as well as a Certificate for Strategic Perspectives for Nonprofit Management from Harvard University. In December 2018, Dr. Gitahi was bestowed the 2018 ‘Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear’ (MBS) by the President of Kenya, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to the health sector.
Director of International Programs at the Buffett Foundation
Professor Senait Fisseha is a globally recognized leader in reproductive health & rights and a lifelong gender champion. Professor Fisseha serves as the Director of Global Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, as well as Chief Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization. A reproductive endocrinology specialist, Dr. Fisseha previously was Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the University of Michigan, Medical Director of University of Michigan’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and founding Executive Director of the Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT). While at Michigan, she also co-directed the Medical School’s Path of Excellence in Global Health & Disparities.
Professor Fisseha was born in Ethiopia and earned an undergraduate degree from Rosary College, M.D. and J.D. degrees from Southern Illinois University, and a certificate in International Human Rights & Comparative Law from the University of Oxford.
Head of Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson
Martin Fitchet, M.D., is Head of Global Public Health (GPH) at Johnson & Johnson where he leads an organization fully dedicated to addressing some of the highest unmet needs and healthcare challenges facing the world’s most vulnerable and underserved people. Martin brings more than 20 years of experience as a proven research and development (R&D) leader with a focus on accelerating development and access to transformational innovation for those in low and middle income countries through an end-to-end approach. Under his leadership, the GPH team combines R&D, global access strategies and programs, and local operations to advance the critical solutions that save lives, cure patients and prevent disease for those impacted by tuberculosis, HIV, mental illness and other public health challenges.
Martin has held numerous leadership positions across Johnson & Johnson leveraging leadership and vision in R&D across therapeutic areas. Prior to joining GPH, Martin was R&D and Global Therapeutic Area (TA) Head, Pulmonary Hypertension (PH), for Actelion, a Janssen Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson, and previously Global R&D leader for Actelion from Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices. Prior to that, Martin served as Global Head of R&D for the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he held scientific leadership positions in Medical Affairs and Research & Development in metabolism and diabetes for Sanofi Aventis and Novartis. Having earned his degree at the University of Nottingham Medical School in Nottingham, UK, Martin became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1995, and later joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in London, UK.
Global Managing Partner, Dalberg Advisors
Edwin Macharia is the Global Managing Partner of Dalberg Advisors, the leading global strategic advisory firm that works collaboratively with public, private and philanthropic organisations to enable all people, everywhere, to reach their fullest potential. In this role, Edwin sets the strategic direction of the firm and oversees activities across 30+ offices worldwide. At Dalberg, Edwin supports clients on a range of issues including strategy, operational efficiency, and program implementation. Edwin joined Dalberg from the Clinton Foundation, where he held multiple roles focused on rural communities. Before that he was at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients in the financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. Edwin is a global board member of The Nature Conservancy and Nabo Capital. He also just completed his term on Amref University Governing Council.
Global Head of Access to Medicines, Takeda Pharmaceutical International
Susanne took on the role as Global Head of Access to Medicines early in 2018 and is leading Takeda’s strategy to enhance access to innovative medicines for patients in underserved communities for complex and rare diseases, while strengthening health systems by catalysing partnerships to drive long-term impact. Prior to this role, Susanne was Head of Patient Access and Services for Takeda’s Europe and Canada business and successfully developed and implemented patient engagement programs. As a physician, Susanne has broad knowledge and experience gained over 15 years in the areas of public health and access. This includes roles at the World Economic Forum where Susanne led the business health and healthcare community as well as in consulting on access in emerging markets.
Former Deputy Director-General of Rwanda Social Security Board
Dr. Hakiba Solange is currently the Chief of Party for the USAID-Rwanda Integrated Health Systems Activity (RIHSA) designed to support health system strengthening through the specific axes of increased financial protection and increased access to quality essential health services.
Prior to this position, Dr. Hakiba served the Government of Rwanda in several leadership positions such as the Deputy Director General in charge of Social Security Benefits in the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB). As such, she strategically managed five (5) schemes among which the Old-age pension scheme and two health insurance schemes respectively designed for the formal sector (enrolling both public and private sectors) and the informal sector (community-based health insurance). She also chaired national Rwanda Health Insurance Association for a period of three (3) years. Prior to this, Dr Hakiba served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Chief Budget Manager for the national health sector.
Her experience spans from policy and strategy development in government and international organizations leadership positions, in addition to working for/with Civil Society organizations operating in health and women/ girls empowerment.
General Manager, Roche Nigeria
A health care physician who has worked extensively in both the public and private health care systems in Nigeria, Dr. Hameed's areas of interest are health systems strengthening and capability development for workers in the health care sector. Before becoming the General Manager for Roche in Nigeria, Dr Hameed was the head of Medical Affairs for Roche in sub-Saharan Africa where he worked with stakeholders across the region on policy development and improving patient journeys in different disease areas.
Chairperson, Amref Health Africa International Board of Directors
Charles Okeahalam was appointed Chairperson of Amref Health Africa’s International Board of Directors, effective 1st January 2020. Charles Okeahalam is a co-founder of AGH Group and has served as CEO of the company from 2003 to 2018. AGH Group, founded in 2001, is an investment company with holdings in industrial equipment, energy, and REITs. Mr. Okeahalam has served as a non-executive director of several companies including ABSA, Sun International, South African Airways and the Bond Exchange and as chairman of Heritage Bank and chairman of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company. Prior to AGH Group, he was a professor of finance at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) between 1998 to 2002. He has served on the Council of the University of Cape Town and as a Trustee of the African Union Foundation. Charles is involved in the support and sponsorship of education, particularly for female students from low-income households. His academic qualifications include a Ph.D. in Economics-(Econometrics), University of London awarded in 1991. He has researched and written extensively on finance in Africa and in 2010 earned a D.Sc. from the University of Exeter for this. He has received several awards, notably in 2001, a Houblon-Norman Senior Fellowship of the Bank of England. He is also an Honorary Professor at WITS.
Head of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Twitter
Emmanuel Lubanzadio is the Head of Public Policy, Government & Philanthropy for Sub-Saharan Africa on Twitter's Public Policy EMEA Team. Twitter Public Policy focuses on policy issues posed by the continuing spread of digital technology and web-based communications services around the world. These issues range from freedom of expression, online safety, copyright, privacy, and Internet freedom. In the context of civic events such as elections, Public Policy ensures that political actors find a natural home on Twitter. The Policy team also manages and directs Twitter’s corporate social responsibility work by collaborating with NGOs active in the areas of freedom of expression, online safety, and emergency disaster recovery.
Prior to joining Twitter, Emmanuel spent his professional tenure in the realm of International Development, and Government Relations in Germany, Ghana, and the U.S. He holds a B.A. in International Relations, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Politics and a M.A. in International Development.
Momentum for UHC in Africa is at an all-time high and most African countries have already integrated UHC into their national health strategies.2
Leadership | Accountability | Technology | Health Security
The 2021 conference will build off of momentum from 2019, serving as a platform for cross-pollination of ideas and home-grown solutions around attaining UHC in Africa.