President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea Bissau assumes the Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance
Published: 19 September 2022
His Excellency President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, has assumed the Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), a coalition of 55 African Heads of State and Government advancing advocacy efforts, action, resource mobilisation and accountability in the fight against malaria across Africa. President Umaro Sissoco Embaló becomes ALMA’s eighth chair. He takes over from His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, of the Republic of Kenya.
“Malaria remains a major threat to health and development in Africa. I am committed to ensure that malaria remains high on the political agenda of the African Union and the international community. The elimination of malaria in Africa will not only save millions of lives, but it will also build more resilient health systems and contribute to Africa’s socio-economic transformation and achieve the aspirations of Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want” said His Excellency President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, the President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
Malaria remains a significant challenge in Africa: African countries account for 96% of global malaria cases and 98% of global malaria deaths. In 2020, WHO estimates that 611,802 Africans died from malaria—80% of which were children under the age of five. Africa did not achieve the African Union’s 2020 target of reducing malaria incidence and mortality by 40% (compared to 2015). However, now is the time to redouble efforts to eliminate the disease once and for all – to do this it is essential that we have a successful Global Fund Replenishment on 21 September 2022. This will ensure that with the commitment of the Heads of State and Government in Africa and the commitments of our international and national partners we can get back on track.
African leaders are stepping up efforts to implement continental policies to eliminate the disease including the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030. The outgoing Chair, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta played a key role in advancing a four-point agenda that includes digitalisation and real time data as well as advocacy and resource mobilisation for this September’s Global Fund Replenishment. A Scorecard Hub was established to promote accountability and action and is now sharing data across 14 Member States, with more expected to join soon. The digital platform provides real time access to malaria-related data at country level, enhancing data sharing across countries, facilitates strategic decision-making and targeted resources to drive down malaria cases and deaths. More than 40 African countries are implementing malaria, reproductive, maternal, newborn, adolescent and child health, neglected tropical disease, nutrition and community scorecards.
His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta also advanced the agenda for strengthening engagement with Regional Economic Communities in Africa with all blocs signing Memoranda of understanding with ALMA and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria with clear Plans of Action to coordinate the malaria response in Member States and keep malaria high on the regional development and financing agenda. A continental ‘Malaria Youth Army’ has mobilised thousands of existing youth leaders across the African continent to champion youth engagement and resource commitments for malaria elimination.
H.E President Umaro will be building on the achievements realized by H. E President Uhuru Kenyatta in two years through the four – point agenda to ensure that Africa moves towards ensuring that the continental goals to eliminate malaria are achieved. The President is also committed to keep Neglected Tropical Diseases and the broader health and development agenda on the continental agenda. His Excellency President Embaló is set to announce his vision for the fight against malaria on the continent.
To date, 25 African countries have launched national Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaigns, including the DRC, Malawi, Mali, and Namibia in 2021. 25 countries in Africa are establishing multi-sectoral national End Malaria Councils and Funds to drive multisectoral support for the fight against malaria. EMCs have mobilised millions of United Stated Dollars in financial and in-kind support for the fight against malaria.
Since 2009, ALMA has worked to enhance accountability in the fight against malaria on the continent. Through the annual Africa Malaria Progress Report and the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action, African Heads of State and Government are tracking progress and enhancing accountability for malaria control and elimination on the continent. ALMA also supports African countries in the establishment of End Malaria Councils and Funds and works to sustain political and leadership commitments towards the fight to eliminate malaria.
Founded in 2009, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a ground-breaking coalition of African Heads of State and Government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030. All African Union countries are members of ALMA. For more information visit: www.alma2030.org