Policy Learning Document published on How to Make Africa Reach the post-Covid-19 Time


Securing Africa’s health sovereignty: Why investing in science and innovation matters

Authors: drawn from  researchers from all parts of Africa facilitated by the African Academy of Science

This paper aims at provoking broad-based dialogues and debates on ways and means of securing Africa’s health sovereignty. It argues that health sovereignty is about the realization of specific national constitutional and policy objectives on citizens’ access to and enjoyment of good health, resilient to COVID-19 and related disease pandemics. The paper also emphasizes the urgency of African countries fulfilling their commitments under global and regional declarations on health research. Investing in research, knowledge and innovation is critical to fight and win the war against COVID-19 and other diseases that undermine economic productivity and competitiveness of African countries. There is also a need for venture capitalists to demonstrate bankable ideas emanating from the science academies and funded by National Science Foundations. The base teachings at school level need to significantly invest in the “African philosophy” to create a shift in mind-set from the “grab and own without use mentality that is currently predominant on the continent. The paper recommends that executive, political and science leadership are needed to strengthen national health research and innovation systems through improved evidence-based policy implementation. With these thrusts working effectively together, rather than in silos, will afford the African continent to emerge victoriously in the combat against COVID-19 and other disease burdens.  

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