📍#SaveTheDate “Advancing Health Financing Reforms Through Inclusive Dialogue: National Health ‎Financing Dialogues in #SADC countries” with The Global Fund African Union AUDA NEPAD

📆Thursday, 25 May 2023‎ | ⏰: 12:00 – 14:00 (GVA time)‎ @ Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva, Quai du Mont-Blanc 19, Geneva

Limited attendance – secure your spot by RSVP to Yared Negash: yared.negash@theglobalfund.org‎


What was meant to be the decade of action towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has had a turbulent start. While African countries have aligned their developmental agendas to the SDGs, which envision sustainable health systems based on the principle of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), progress has been limited so far. Successive shocks at the beginning of the decade have carried the region off course, but many were not on a trajectory to attain UHC to begin with. In 2019 over 8 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa suffered financial hardship when accessing healthcare[1]. This lack of financial risk protection meant an estimated 1.4 percent of the population are pushed into poverty and another 27 percent further into poverty. Challenges with financing public health services has meant out-of-pocket payments for health care accounted for 30 percent of health expenditure across sub-Saharan Africa.

However, the outlook for economies and health systems has since become significantly more uncertain. The shocks from COVID-19, war, and climate change have put many health systems in a more precarious position than they started the decade in. A global economic slowdown and volatile commodity prices have compounded existing fragilities in Africa. 19 of the 35 low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now in or at high risk of debt distress.  The IMF estimates that by 2025 interest payments on public debt will consume over 20 percent of government revenues on average and over 50 percent in some[2]. Pernicious food and energy inflation means over 123 million people (12 percent) in the region are facing acute food insecurity which is intimately linked to health outcomes. This comes at a time when domestic and international resources are largely being prioritised away from health, and significant members of the health donor community are expressing commitment to sunset clauses. The region will ultimately have to do more with less if the tremendous progress in reducing communicable disease burden and increasing financial risk protection is to be sustained.

To chart the path through this uncertain environment, alignment and collaboration between government and the development community will be paramount. The African Union’s (AU) African Leadership Meeting (ALM)Declaration has provided an important platform to this end. With endorsement from all 52 AU heads-of-state and partner support, the ALM Declaration represents a landmark African-led commitment to improving the volume, efficiency, equity and governance of domestic health expenditure. Among the tools to support the attainment of the ALM Declaration commitments are National Health Financing Dialogues. These country-led dialogues are a platform to inform, prioritise, and align on domestic health financing priority reforms among executive and legislative government, private sector entities, CSO, and development partners. An aligned vision among key stakeholder groups on domestic health financing, complemented by a robust and partner-supported implementation plan, will be valuable for countries to navigate a challenging environment. Regional implementors of the ALM Declaration like the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been supporting several countries to convene such dialogues in the region.

This event will draw on the experiences of several SADC countries including Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, and Zambia in holding National Health Financing Dialogues. Ministers of Health and policymakers will present on pertinent health financing issues raised during pre-dialogues and dialogues, and their plans to address them. These include challenges related to domestic resource mobilisation, public financial management, private sector engagement and financial risk protection among many others.

This event will be jointly hosted by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Global Fund on the margins of the 76th World Health Assembly.


  • Learn about the National Health Financing Dialogue process in SADC countries including how they can and have been leveraged to inform and support domestic health financing priorities.
  • Provide an overview on the implementation African Leadership Meeting Declaration.
  • Discuss domestic health financing challenges in Africa and the role of various stakeholders within and outside government in addressing them.


This will be two hour in-person event. Keynote addresses from the Ministers of Health of Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Zambia and partners will be followed by a moderated technical panel discussion on domestic health financing with representatives from ministries of health, CSO, and development partners.


We kindly ask that you arrive by 11:45 for registration to enable a prompt start at 12:00. Attendees are invited to stay for lunch which will be served following the discussions. Participants eligible for travel and accommodation support will contacted via email, we kindly ask that you provide the necessary details at your earliest convenience.

Draft Agenda*

DurationSpeakerProposed topic
Start at 12:00
3 minsMr Chris Alando, moderatorIntroduction and objectives
3 minsProfessor Julio Rakotonirina, Director of Health and Humanitarian Affairs Directorate – African Union CommissionOpening remarks
3 minsProfessor Aggrey Ambali, Senior Advisor – AUDA NEPADOpening remarks
3 minsDr Lindiwe Makubalo, Assistant Regional Director – WHO AfricaThe importance of sustainable and government-led healthcare in Africa
3 minsDr Kalipso Chalikdou, Head of Health Finance – The Global FundThe Global Fund’s support for domestic health financing
10 minsDr Lamboly Kumboneki, Senior Health Advisor – SADCSummary of the ALM Initiative and National Health Financing Dialogues
5 minsMinister of Health, MalawiHow National Dialogues have/can support domestic health financing priorities to improve: Domestic resource mobilisation for healthValue for money of health spendingFinancial risk protection and equityGovernance and coordination
5 minsMinister of Health, Zambia
5 minsMinister of Health, Mozambique
5 MinsMinister of Health, Mauritius
1 hourMultiple speakersPanel discussion on health financing on topics including: What are domestic priority reforms to increase the value for money of the health budget?What is needed to foster private sector’s role affordable increasing service coverage? How can CSO play promote coherent and accountable public health expenditure?What can be done to align public financial management systems to domestic health financing targets?
10 minsAudienceQuestions and answers
5 minsModeratorSummary and closing

*Note agenda has not been finalised is subject to change

[1] World Health Organization, 2021. Global monitoring report on financial protection in health 2021. World Health Organization.

[2] International Monetary Fund. African Dept., 2022. Regional Economic Outlook, October 2022, Sub-Saharan Africa: Living on the Edge. International Monetary Fund.

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