ACHIEVING UHC: A Sustainable Future for Africa

A Conference Showcasing African Leaders and African-Led Solutions


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(New York, NY) – On September 23, the Access Challenge, the African Union, and The Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation hosted the second `One by One Conference’ on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly. The Conference featured African Union leaders, Former Presidents, Ministers of Health, and regional leaders from across Africa to discuss how to best drive action on Universal Health Coverage in the context of increasing pressure on natural resources as a result of climate change on the continent.


This Conference was designed to further the conversation and complement discussions held during two UN High Level Meetings - one on UHC and one on Climate Action. Its focus on the policy intersection between health and environmental imperatives, like access to clean air, water, and nutritious food, was designed to bring about a more nuanced understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities in Africa to achieve UHC. The event was presided over by H.E Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete and by The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Amira El Fadil.


The Director General of the World Health Organization has said that political leadership is an essential component in making UHC a reality in each country. “There are many steps on the road to universal health coverage. But the key is political commitment. It is not up to the health sector alone to make UHC a reality.” said Dr. Tedros.


Co-founder of the One by One Campaign, H.E. Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete addressed the audience on Monday reminding us that:

“Universal Access to Health will not be achieved by the health sector alone, but rather needs the support of the private sector, financial institutions, and must include the individuals’ responsibility for their own health. Most importantly however, it must be coordinated through political will and the commitment of Presidents across Africa for UHC to become a reality at all levels of national and regional government.”

The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Amira El Fadil, said: “The drive for Universal Health Coverage is not about meeting the needs of one mother, it is about enabling African leaders to meet the needs of all mothers for many generations to come. This campaign is about building sustainable health systems with staffed and stocked health centers in every community in Africa. Africa needs its partners to adapt and work on the basis of the African development roadmap, which is Agenda 2063, that of the Africa we want. We have the technology. We have global consensus around the goal. We have leadership at the highest level. Lets ignite a fire, inspiring African leaders, one by one, to tailor policies and mobilize the required domestic resources to invest in health for all African families. Together we will achieve Health For All.”

The awards and announcement platform held during the One by One Conference highlighted leaders who are driving progress towards UHC from nontraditional sectors like water, sanitation, air and food systems and identified opportunities for partnership between such nontraditional partners. To recognize standout leadership on UHC in Africa, four awards were presented to the following countries: South Africa for H.E. Ramaphosa’s bold actions towards Financial Reform within the national health insurance system; to Mali for H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s leadership on preventative healthcare; to Ethiopia for H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde’s work on inclusive health coverage; and finally to Kenya for H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta’s political prioritization of Affordable Healthcare for All.

The UHC initiative in Kenya is apparent through President Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda. This type of high-level political will and initiative is critical in driving UHC across countries, igniting healthcare reform, and streamlining service delivery in all regions. The Award for Political Leadership on UHC was accepted by H.E. Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Health, on behalf of H.E. Kenyatta for his political commitment to achieving UHC.

About One by One: Target 2030: 

One by One: Target 2030 is a multi-level advocacy campaign led by the Access Challenge in collaboration with The Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation and the African Union in support of WHO's UHC agenda. The Campaign is designed to help drive the collaborative commitment of all African governments to meaningful progress on Universal Access to Health. Learn more on our campaign website and policy briefing .


DETAILS:  New York, NY | September 23, 2019 - 4:00 PM

FOLLOW:  #OnebyOne2030

CONTACT: Thea Klement, Access Challenge |

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