The Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network – Africa (JENA) unveiled today the Africa Health and Economic Transformation Initiative (AHETI). The newly unveiled initiative will be formally launched at an upcoming conference organized by JENA, the Africa Afya conference taking place on 11th and 12th January 2023 at Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda. The conference will bring together a wide range of stakeholders whose collaboration is essential for promoting equitable access to affordable, effective and quality medicines through increased local pharmaceutical production.
AHETI’s efforts are mainly driven by an ethical imperative and social justice: people should not be denied access to life-saving or health-promoting interventions for unfair reasons, including economic or social causes. Access to quality and safe medicines has been designated as a basic human right by the World Health Organization. The relevance has been given further weight by its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 3.b.
AHETI plans to achieve its mission this through four (4) main programs:
a) Establish the Ubuntu Health Impact Fund for Africa that will be launched at the Africa Afya
Conference on 11th and 12th January, 2023 in Kigali. The purpose of the fund is to incentivize
pharmaceutical innovation and production in and for Africa through the provision of sustainable rewards for innovators looking to develop diagnostics and pursue drug candidates that have significant prophylactic or therapeutic potential but are not commercially attractive under the current regime.
b) Collaborate with pharmaceutical innovators to set up multifunctional biomedical research
facilities in Africa to advance molecular diagnosis, as first step to precision medicine a reality
c) Work with a growing network of very highly qualified African pharmaceutical experts with vast
experience, both in Africa and in the diaspora, on concrete efforts that are revolutionizing pharmaceutical work in Africa through precision medicine informed by biomedical data drawn from Africa and therefore providing health solutions suited for Africa.
d) Launch the “Leading Impactful Health Transformation in Africa Program” to develop competent leadership, both political and technocratic, to transform the health sector in Africa.
“It is with great happiness and genuine excitement that we unveil the Africa Health and Economic
Transformation Initiative (AHETI) and the upcoming Africa Afya conference in Kigali Rwanda, said Fr. Charles Chilufya – Executive Director & Chair of the AHETI Board. “At the conference, we will present alternative models to incentivise pharmaceutical production in Africa and give a comprehensive picture of key issues in the promotion of local pharmaceutical production in Africa”,
This initiative is an offshoot and a fruit of the work of the Africa Task Force of the Vatican COVID-19
Commission and comes in the wake of the exposure of the vulnerability of Africa’s Healthcare systems
as the pandemic hit and scramble for vaccines ensued.