Global Investment Framework reinforces call to prioritize investment in health and human capital development

15 APRIL 2014 | GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

A new Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health (Investment Framework) demonstrates that investing in women’s and children’s health in Africa could save millions of lives and yield an eleven-fold return through social and economic benefits.

The Investment Framework which was introduced during a media event on the side of the recently concluded Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CAMEF), states that on average, across 46 African countries, investing an additional US$ 8 per capita per year during one generation (i.e. from 2013 until 2035) could prevent up to 4 million maternal deaths, 90 million child deaths (including 30 million newborn deaths) and 17 million stillbirths.

The introduction of the Investment Framework around CAMEF was timely, with this year’s theme focused on Industrialization for inclusive and transformative development of Africa. The Investment Framework helped to further underline that the theme of the 2014 conference cannot be achieved without improved and adequate investment in health and human capital development across the continent.

African policy makers have been concerned that despite Africa’s growth rate been among the highest in the world, it has not been inclusive and inequalities have instead widened. At the conclusion of the two day conference, planning and economic development ministers resolved to make the necessary efforts to increase productivity for investment and growth rate of the agricultural, manufacturing and modern services sectors in order to boost employment on the continent.

The Investment Framework shows that an eleven-fold return in economic and social benefits would be realized through Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth from increased productivity and higher labor participation, increased savings, as well as the intrinsic and social value of lives saved and morbidity averted for women and children, the traditionally underserved members of society.

At the media roundtable side event, where the Investment Framework was introduced, African media leaders, editors, professionals and global health development partners unanimously underlined the urgency for African governments to prioritize investment in health and human capital development as a pre-requisite to achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063 on Sustainable Industrialization and Post 2015 Development Agenda, reinforcing the theme of the roundtable event.

Media editors and professionals at the round table also underlined the important role of the media in public education, awareness, and accountability and urged development partners to prioritize effective partnership with the media to ensure quality coverage of health and development issues. A lead panelist Mr. Martin Oloja, Editor of the Guardian Newspapers in Nigeria underlined that effective partnership with the media is crucial for achievement of African development goals. He welcomed the round table, and encouraged the development partners to evolve a communication strategy that links development partners with the relevant desks in the media organisations.

This media roundtable was organized by a group of health development partners which include the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; Africa Health, Human and Social Development (Afri-Dev), Africa Coalition on Maternal Newborn & Child Health; The Network of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), The UNDP and GAVI Alliance.

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