AFRICA - African Renaissance
19May2024

Tag: AFRICA

GENDER EQUALITYHEALTH EQUITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

World Health Day – Health for All

Africa faces a number of challenges in ensuring that every individual has access to quality healthcare – health equity. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare workers and provision of essential medicines and technologies. However, even before the pandemic, many African countries struggled to provide adequate healthcare to their populations, particularly for women and marginalized communities. In order to achieve Health For All, policymakers and legislators must prioritize health equity, gender equality and socio-economic justice.

Challenges facing healthcare in Africa
The challenges facing healthcare in Africa are multifaceted and require comprehensive solutions. One of the main challenges is access to healthcare. Many individuals, particularly those in rural areas, face significant barriers to accessing healthcare facilities due to long distances and lack of transportation. Additionally, the cost of healthcare can be prohibitive for many individuals, particularly those living in poverty. This leads to a lack of preventative care and the overuse of emergency services, which strains the healthcare system.

Another challenge facing healthcare in Africa is a shortage of healthcare workers. Many countries in Africa face a critical shortage of healthcare workers, particularly doctors and nurses. This shortage is due to a combination of factors, including brain drain, where healthcare workers leave their home countries to work in developed countries and a lack of investment in healthcare education and training.

Furthermore, there is a significant gender gap in healthcare in Africa. Women often face discrimination and bias in healthcare, particularly in accessing reproductive health services. This bias in healthcare is due to a lack of investment in women’s health and gender-sensitive policies. The result is that women often have limited access to healthcare services, particularly those related to reproductive health.

Addressing the challenges facing healthcare in Africa
In order to address the challenges facing healthcare in Africa, policymakers and legislators must prioritize health equity, gender equality and socio-economic justice. This work means investing in healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare workers and provision of essential medicines and technologies. In addition, implementation of these policies to address the social determinants of health, such as poverty, unemployment and discrimination.

Investing in healthcare infrastructure
Investing in healthcare infrastructure is crucial to improving access to healthcare in Africa. This investment includes building and equipping healthcare facilities, ensuring access to reliable electricity and clean water and providing transportation to and from healthcare facilities. Additionally, investment in telemedicine and other digital health technologies can improve access to healthcare in remote areas.

Training of healthcare workers
Investment in healthcare education and training is essential to address the shortage of healthcare workers in Africa. This continous medical trainings (CMTs) include training more doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals and investing in community health workers who can provide healthcare services in rural areas.

Provision of essential medicines and technologies
E
nsuring that essential medicines and technologies are available is critical to improving healthcare on our continent. This technology includes medical supplies to treat communicable and non-communicable diseases and medical technologies such as diagnostic equipment and vaccines.

Addressing the social determinants of health
In order to achieve health equity, policymakers and legislators must address the social determinants of health, such as poverty, unemployment and discrimination. Dealing with these social determinants calls for investment in education, housing, and economic development and implementing policies to promote gender equality and address discrimination.

Promoting gender equality in healthcare
Promoting gender equality in healthcare is essential to ensuring women accessing quality healthcare. It includes investing in women’s health, promoting gender-sensitive policies, and addressing discrimination and bias in healthcare.

Ultimately, achieving Health For All in Africa requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the challenges facing healthcare in the continent. This approach calls for investing in healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare workers and provision of essential medicines and technologies. Moreso, addressing the social determinants of health and promoting gender equality. Policymakers and legislators must prioritize health equity

GENDER EQUALITYHEALTH EQUITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

Leveraging technology to deal with Cancer in our Region 

As we join the world in marking World Cancer Day, we call upon leaders in Africa to take action to address the continuing rise of cancer cases in our region. The situation has been dire for the past decade. It is time for decisive action to ensure that African people with or at risk of this disease have accessible and effective healthcare solutions. 

Believed to have been caused by structural and social determinants, cancer rates in Africa are consistently unacceptably high, affecting as many as one in four African people. As of 2018, the African continent accounted for more than 25% of the world’s cancer cases despite representing only 15% of the global population. These statistics are from African countries that lack the infrastructure and funding necessary to address cancer diagnoses effectively. There are also severe inequities in the medical and administrative services available to the African people. This inequity is unfair because they are facing the highest cancer burden globally. This burden creates an urgent need for medical resources and interventions to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer on the African continent. 

Therefore, African leaders must take an active role in addressing these issues and dedicate funds to help fight the cancer battle. African leaders must prioritize the physical and mental health of their citizens. For too long, there has been a lack of investment from national and international funders towards providing cancer services in Africa. This lack of investment must be addressed, as access to life-saving treatments should be a human right for all in Africa. African leaders must also ensure that cancer-related services are adequately provided to all members of their countries and make sure that these services are free of any gender discrimination. Additionally, an increase in public education and awareness initiatives is necessary to ensure that African citizens have access to information on the signs and symptoms of cancer, prevention techniques, and the treatment options available. 

As African Renaissance, we believe that the launch of the Africa CDC is a positive step towards improving public health in Africa by providing a centralized platform for disease surveillance, control, and response. The success of the Africa CDC will depend on various factors such as adequate funding, strong leadership, and effective collaboration with other organizations and governments. Africa CDC will address public health issues, including cancer in the region. Cancer is a growing concern in Africa, and the Africa CDC is well-positioned to play a critical role in addressing this challenge. This program could include initiatives aimed at improving cancer diagnosis and treatment, strengthening cancer surveillance and research, and raising awareness about the importance of early detection and prevention of cancer. The Africa CDC will work with African countries and other partners to develop and implement solutions specific to the needs and circumstances of each country and region. 

Additionally, African leaders should look to technologies that could potentially address the cancer burden on the continent. For example, mobile technology for house calls to the underserved, where there is often a lack of available medical care. It could also help in providing remote treatment and consultation services, which could potentially reduce the costs of healthcare services. 

In conclusion, as African Renaissance observes World Cancer Day this year, we urge African leaders to act to address the challenge of cancer on the African continent. This action can include dedicating and raising the much-needed funds to invest in life-saving treatments, providing adequate medical and administrative services to those in need, and utilizing available technologies to ensure that all African citizens have access to quality healthcare services. Only through a collective effort to ensure equitable access to cancer care can we begin to make a difference in the battle against the cancer epidemic in Africa. 

GENDER EQUALITYHEALTH EQUITYSOCIAL PROTECTIONWATER & SANITATION

Distributing Dignity Kits is a powerful way to support the development of African Girls 

Dignity Kits are an invaluable tool for helping girls in African countries. Especially, for the girls that lack access to basic amenities and resources. By providing these girls with the tools and materials they need to maintain their hygiene, health and dignity, these kits can play an integral role in empowering communities and individuals in some of the world’s poorest countries. 

Dignity Kit distributions are an effective form of gender equality and empowerment. For adolescent girls and women in Africa, accessing basic water and sanitation supplies can be a life-changing opportunity. A lack of access to these resources can often leave girls and women feeling embarrassed, ashamed and vulnerable due to the lack of basic hygiene, health, and dignity. The social stigma associated with not having these resources can leave girls increasingly isolated in their communities and prevent them from reaching their full potential.  

Dignity Kits can also provide ongoing educational opportunities to girls in African countries by ensuring they have the essential items they need in order to attend school. By providing a girl with a Dignity Kit, she will have the supplies necessary to help her reach her educational goals. The kits contain basic water and sanitation supplies, feminine hygiene products, clothing, shoes and educational materials such as writing materials and textbooks. Thus, providing girls with Dignity Kits can increase their confidence, motivate their academic studies and help them to build a successful future for themselves and their families. 

In addition to promoting gender equality, Dignity Kit distributions can also provide a range of health benefits for girls and women in African countries. By providing them with access to basic hygiene and sanitation items, these kits can help to reduce the rates of hygiene-related illnesses, such as skin and respiratory conditions, which are common in under-resourced countries. Furthermore, providing girls and women with access to these resources can also help to reduce their risk of becoming victims of sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence. 

Together with Biems House, we at African Renaissance had the privilege to talk to a few girls in Narok County in Kenya and one of the requests they had for us was to provide them with these dignity kits. It was an honor to take a trip back to deliver our promise to these girls. We were able to deliver a number of kits with additional kits for the boy. We believe that will small step will show our leaders that it is possible to invest a about five dollars for a kit that will give freedom to a girl for a few months. The confidence that the girls acquire from accessing these basic supplies will have a ripple effect in their future and the future of their communities.  

Having seen the importance of Dignity Kits distribution in Africa, we call upon our leaders and the governments around the world to make every effort to ensure that girls and women in these countries have access to the basic supplies they need to maintain their health, safety, and dignity. This could include increasing access to health infrastructure, providing more resources and education opportunities, and organizing more regular Dignity Kit distributions. In doing so, governments can empower thousands of girls in African countries to reach their full potential. 

GENDER EQUALITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

Improving access to education and providing opportunities for all children

Today, we mark the International Day of Education. This day gives us an opportunity as leaders in Africa to reflect on the progress made in education. It is the time to also set new goals for the future.


Here is a message from our Director, Ms Caroline Kwamboka N.:

On this International Day of Education, I would like us all to take a moment to recognize the hard work and dedication of our teachers and learners in Africa.


We have come a long way in improving access to education and providing opportunities for all children to learn especially for our girls and women. However, we must not rest on our achievements and therefore we need to remain committed to achieving true equity and inclusivity in our education systems.


Today, I call upon all leaders to redouble our efforts to ensure that all children especially our girls have access to a high-quality education, regardless of their background or circumstances. This means investing in our education systems. Therefore, we need to focus on our policies that touch on teachers, schools and providing resources to support students with disabilities. It also means addressing systemic inequalities and ensuring that marginalized communities have the same opportunities as others.
Let us also remember that education is not just about obtaining knowledge, but also about developing critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills. Education also shapes our future leaders and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of Africa.


To quote the words of our African hero Nelson Mandela, “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” 


This is a reminder that we have to make education accessible to all and let us build a better future for Africa together! 

As African Renaissance, we pledge to support our leaders to formulate and implement a policy structure that will give direction on the necessary steps to create an education system that truly serves the needs of all our citizens. 


Happy International Day of Education! 

GENDER EQUALITYSOCIAL PROTECTION

The Benefits of Africa’s Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) 

The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) is a free trade agreement between three African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This agreement creates a free trade area between 29 African countries, covering about 60% of the continent’s population and combining their total gross domestic product (GDP). This is will bring together about 626 million customers (approximately 8 percent of the world’s population). 

From Monday, January 23rd to Tuesday, January 24th 2023, trade experts from seventeen countries under the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Agreement met in Nairobi, Kenya for the Tripartite Trade Negotiation Forum (TTNF). The experts reviewed progress made on various key issues needed to make the TFTA operational and unlock enhanced trade and investment opportunities. This is intended to benefit the 29 COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Member States. COMESA NEWS 

Policymakers ensured that the primary purpose of the agreement is to boost economic growth in the region and create a more competitive regional market. It aims to eliminate many of the trade barriers between these countries, such as tariffs, quotas and other restrictions on trade. This means that African countries will be able to take advantage of tariff-free trade, while businesses will be able to benefit from a wider variety of products. This could ultimately lead to more low-cost, high-quality products as well as improved living standards. 

The TFTA is expected to create jobs, increase income, and reduce poverty in the region. Increased trade and reduced trade barriers will lead to a larger flow of foreign direct investments into African countries. This can lead to the creation of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones, resulting in increased job opportunities and greater income for individuals. 

The TFTA also provides a unique opportunity for investment in technology and infrastructure development. By increasing competition between African countries, it may be possible to create an environment where smaller firms can access finance and resources more easily, thus making it easier for them to invest in innovation and technology. Furthermore, improved infrastructure will facilitate the smooth transportation of goods and services across African borders. This could ultimately lead to better economic growth and higher standards of living. 

Moreover, the TFTA will strengthen Africa’s relationship with other countries, creating an open and fair market for African exports. This could make the African market more attractive, resulting in increased foreign investments and access to global markets. This could result in more foreign currency entering the region, helping to strengthen and diversify African economies. 

As we prepare for the African Union (AU) Summit in happening in February 2023 at the AU Headquarters (HQ) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, let us keep in mind that the TFTA has the prospect of bringing numerous benefits to African countries. It can create jobs, increase income, reduce poverty, and encourage foreign direct investments. We as African Renaissance see the massive potential because it could improve infrastructure and technology and make African exports more attractive to foreign investors.  

We call upon the policymakers to remind our leaders as we meet at the AU HQ that we need to implement the TFTA. The TFTA will create an open and fair market that could significantly strengthen African economies. 

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