HE President Uhuru Kenyatta, chair of ALMA, announces two special ambassadors to aid efforts to eliminate malaria in Africa

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Published: 14 July 2021

HE President Uhuru Kenyatta who is the Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance on Wednesday appointed two special ambassadors to help accelerate the fight against malaria in Africa. In March 2020 HE President Kenyatta outlined a bold and ambitious four point plan to help eliminate malaria on the continent that includes putting data at the centre of how Africa responds to malaria  through digitalisation and real time data, and in response  to that call, the ALMA scorecard hub has been established. He also called for the creation of at least 15 End Malaria Councils and Funds, of which 5 have already been launched, another three announced and an additional seven under development. Thirdly, he called for the creation of a ‘Malaria Youth Army’, working with existing youth leaders across the African continent to champion youth engagement and resource commitments for malaria elimination.  HE President Uhuru Kenyatta also called for close engagement with the regional economic blocs in Africa, in order to address the sub-regional agenda.

Special Ambassadors Professor Sheila Tlou (Botswana) and Anthony Okara (Kenya) were given their credentials today at State House. The two Ambassadors have a strong track record in working with multilateral institutions in Africa and globally and have advanced the global health and broader development agenda.

“I congratulate the ALMA secretariat for keeping the fire burning in the fight against malaria despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” President Kenyatta said.

As part to their broad mandate, the envoys have been tasked to work with the continent’s regional economic communities including the East African Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to prioritise the fight against malaria in their the programming.

‘Regional Economic Communities are the building blocks of the African Union and play a fundamental role in ensuring that continental policies are translated into action and regional programmes are implemented harmoniously. Malaria knows no borders, it is therefore critically important that regional blocs accelerate support to national efforts while harnessing global and continental efforts for political engagement and resource mobilisation to defeat malaria once and for all’ said Joy Phumaphi, ALMA Executive Secretary.

The Head of State expressed satisfaction that his stated agenda of digitilisation, adoption of country scorecards and the establishment of 15 multi-sectoral End Malaria councils was on track. He also commended ALMA for the growing involvement of Africa’s youth in the fight against the tropical disease and called for the establishment of a continental ‘youth army’ to boost anti-malaria efforts.

“We need to involve the youth to ensure we are able to keep our agenda against eradicating malaria on course despite the Covid-19 pandemic,” the President said.

On capacity building of African countries through training, President Kenyatta commended ALMA saying the organization’s efforts had led to the increasing adoption of anti-malaria scorecards by African nations.