Building the Future of Public Health in Africa
The Kofi Annan Fellowship in Global Health Leadership Program has emerged as an inspiring initiative led by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) with the aim of transforming public health leadership in Africa. Launched in 2020, the Fellowship Program has been making significant strides towards nurturing visionary and principled leadership in the field of public health.
Named after the esteemed Kofi Atta Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, this program is a collaborative effort between the African Union Commission (AUC), the Africa CDC and the Kofi Annan Foundation. Its overarching mission is to empower aspiring public health leaders with the skills and competencies necessary to effect positive change within the health sector across the African continent.
One of Kofi Annan’s most notable achievements was the establishment of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, a groundbreaking initiative that revolutionized the prevention and management of infectious diseases, thereby leaving an indelible impact on global public health practices. Inspired by Annan’s visionary leadership, the Kofi Annan Fellowship endeavours to cultivate a new generation of leaders who will spearhead the implementation of a new public health order in Africa.
Since its inception in 2021, the Fellowship program has achieved significant milestones. The first and second cohorts successfully graduated 20 Fellows from 14 and 17 member states, respectively. This year, the program received over 3,000 applications and accepted 20 Fellows from 14 African countries. These Fellows will embark on a transformative learning journey, equipping them with advanced skills and competencies to strategize, manage, and lead public health programs in their respective nations.
As Africa strives to achieve its Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals, visionary and principled public health leadership is paramount. Such leadership will not only facilitate timely detection and effective responses to public health threats but will also mitigate the economic and social impacts of these challenges. By investing in the training and development of a 21st-century public health workforce, Africa CDC aims to bridge the gaps in the health workforce and address skill shortages throughout the continent.
The launch of the Kofi Annan Global Health Leadership Program aligns perfectly with Africa CDC’s commitment to transform the public health landscape as premised on the New Public Health Order. By nurturing the next generation of public health leaders, Africa CDC and its partners aspire to establish a robust and sustainable public health system that ensures a healthy and productive population for future generations.
In the words of Kofi Atta Annan, “You are never too young to lead, and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not.” Let us wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of his visionary leadership and work collaboratively to build a brighter future for public health in Africa.
In line with the pursuit of Agenda 2063 and beyond, Africa CDC is expanding its efforts to support the training of 21st-century public health workforce cadres, addressing health workforce gaps and skill shortages. Recognizing the urgent need for transformative public health leadership across the continent, the African Union Commission (AUC) launched the Kofi Annan Global Health Leadership Programme (KA-GHLP) as a flagship initiative of the Africa CDC in partnership with the Kofi Annan Foundation, coinciding with the commemoration of Africa Day.
The Graduation ceremony of the Kofi Annan Fellowship in Global Health Leadership Program – Cohort 2 was held on May 12th, 2023, at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dorothy Wambeti Njagi, Senior Communication Officer – Policy, Health Diplomacy & Communication: Africa CDC | Tel: +251 940 559 950 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org