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2020 Africa Initiative Agenda

Monday, November 16

12:00 - 16:00 GMT

13:30 - 14:15 GMT Fresh Takes with Future Leaders: Global Health

13:30 - 14:15 GMT Next Step Networking: Rwanda Infrastructure Investment

13:45 - 15:00 GMT Strategic Dialogue: Google Digital Sprinters

14:00 - 15:00 GMT Patron Member Roundtables

  • Workforce Development through Digital Education
  • Nutrition Financing
  • Illicit Trade

Tuesday, November 17

12:00 - 16:00 GMT

13:30 - 15:00 GMT Strategic Dialogue: Leadership in Global Digital Health - A Call to Action

Technology is transforming healthcare in Africa and globally, and this trend has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. But the world is still in the infancy of what is possible and what is needed. In tackling pandemics such as COVID-19, governments need real-time information to react to outbreaks, track and trace contacts of infected people and make sure that the right protective equipment is in the right place for health workers to use. Health workers need efficient diagnostic tests and tools to help them deliver the best care to patients. Everyone needs access to updated, clear information to make life and death decisions about their symptoms and whether to visit their local clinic.

Technology has a role to play across all of these. And with lockdowns and social distancing, technology is needed more than ever. More broadly, we need different health IT systems to talk to each other and provide meaningful information – helping governments to make key decisions and leverage economies of scale by scaling-up proven interventions rapidly. We need better geo-mapping tools to locate disease hotspots so that resources can be focused there. And we need to provide community health workers with the best possible tools for managing patients and delivering care compassionately and efficiently, including remotely when needed.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria is committed to the development and deployment of new technologies in the fight against the world’s pandemics and in building resilient health systems in support of SDG3. Since its creation 20 years ago as a response to the world’s last global pandemic – AIDS – technology and data have been central to its success fighting Africa’s and the world’s biggest killers, driving down infections and saving millions of lives. This session will link three critical elements:

1) the need to urgently leverage innovation in digital health to fight COVID-19 and mitigate its disastrous impact on the health and economies of nations;

2) the need for greater cross sector collaboration and investment in digital health to increase health security for all; and

3) the opportunities for private sector actors to engage now and in the future.

Partners will speak to how they are contributing to innovation and impact in digital health, with a focus on pandemics impacting Africa, including COVID-19. They will also support and speak to the call to action.

Rockefeller Foundation will also announce the activation of the Data Science Catalytic Fund, a collaboration with the Global Fund providing $25 million in funding to drive transformative innovations in healthcare at the community level, through improving the availability, quality and use of data, initially in Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.

13:30 - 14:15 GMT Fresh Takes with Future Leaders: Education & Workforce Development

Fresh Takes with Future Leaders is Concordia’s signature programming format designed to engage and inclusive and diverse set of young voices in critical conversations. These interactive conversations will provide an opportunity for young people to share their reactions around how world leaders and global organizations are addressing today’s challenges. Through these discussions Concordia is facilitating much-needed intergenerational dialogue that will pave the way for meaningful change.

13:30 - 14:15 GMT Next Step Networking: Digital Transformation

Successful digital transformation requires investments in technologies, people and processes that drive business value. This networking session will allow the audience to share their thoughts as to what is needed from the public and private sectors to sustainably deliver digital transformation in the region.

14:00 - 14:45 GMT Strategic Dialogue: Digital Transformation in the Tourism Industry Sector

The Covid-19 crisis has disproportionately affected the tourism sector, an industry that accounts for millions of jobs in Africa. The pandemic has made clear that online tools can be a lifeline to tourism businesses as well as officials. The tourism slowdown can be a unique opportunity to rethink tourism, evolve and innovate by embracing digital transformation in the tourism industry. During this session we will share data and intelligence on current travel trends and queries. We will also present a set of policy recommendations to support recovery and eventually growth of the tourism sector.

14:00 - 15:00 GMT Patron Member Roundtables

  • Private Investments and Mitigation of Covid-19 Economic Impact in Rwanda
  • Centering Girls and Women Beyond A Global Health Pandemic
  • Financing the Digital Transformation Journey: A Discussion on Donor Investment and Support in Africa

15:00 - 16:00 GMT Mainstage

Transformational Power of Investing in Women Through Strategic Partnerships

Investing in women leads to stronger families, stable communities, and prosperous countries. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has mobilized more than $3 billion in investments to support women’s economic empowerment through our 2X Women’s Initiative. In order to further catalyze the strategic and transformational power of investing in women, DFC launched 2X Africa, a commitment to mobilize $1 billion in investments to support women’s economic empowerment on the continent. DFC is also committed to strengthening health systems in developing countries. Through its Health and Prosperity Initiative, the agency aims to invest $2 billion globally, but with a focus on Africa, in projects that bolster health systems, support infrastructure development, and expand access to clean water, sanitation, and nutrition.

To underscore the importance and impact of 2X Africa and DFC’s Health and Prosperity Initiative, this fireside chat spotlights Financing for MOMs (Maternal Outcomes Matters) Alliance. The MOMs Initiative aims to mobilize private capital to support maternal and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. As part of the collaboration, DFC, Merck for Mothers, Credit Suisse, and USAID seek to mobilize up to $50 million to improve and expand infrastructure, services, and access to care in order to ensure healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries—laying the foundation for lifelong good health. This fireside chat will highlight the first investment of the MOMs Initiative supporting a woman-founded business in Nigeria called LifeBank. LifeBank expands access to lifesaving medical products—namely blood and blood products—for mothers in Africa. Moderated by Charity Wallace, Acting Senior Vice President of the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Managing Director for (2X) Global Women’s Issues at DFC, the fireside chat will feature Dia Martin, Managing Director for Social Enterprise Finance and the Portfolio for Impact and Innovation at the DFC and Temie Giwa Tubosun, Founder and CEO of LifeBank.


Tackling Health Mis-Information in Nigeria

Emerging and cutting-edge technology has the potential to bring the parity so urgently required within global healthcare. Strategic and innovative use of technology within the health sector offers an exciting opportunity to address some of the most pressing health challenges of our time.

Consequently, disinformation and misinformation have rapidly disseminated across the internet, reaching and potentially influencing many people. While this challenge affects all areas of health in all corners of the world, the extent of disinformation and misinformation that has spread about COVID-19 in recent months has brought increased attention to the severity of the problem; endangering lives and hampering the global recovery.

Myths and misinformation are especially prevalent within areas related to sexual and reproductive health.


Unlocking Capital Amidst Growing Populations and Investment Barriers

African countries need to attract massive inflows of foreign investment if they are going to close the infrastructure gap and provide vital jobs to a young and growing population. As you know, Africa will constitute ¼ of the world’s population and workforce by 2050, and lack of infrastructure prevents economic development and shaves off an average of 2% of GDP growth each year in African countries. Creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth will require strengthening investment climates, supporting entrepreneurial ecosystems, and competing for capital. African states strive for strong economic governance and reforms to compete with other emerging markets around the world to attract investors.