Statement: Supporting AU Summit Leaders’ Call for a Faster Africa Epidemics Fund Operationalisation

RANA Statement: Supporting AU Summit Leaders’ Call for a Faster Africa Epidemics Fund Operationalisation

Resilience Action Network Africa’s statement on African leaders’ call for a faster operationalisation of the Africa Epidemics Fund at the African Union (AU) Summit.

Resilience Action Network Africa (RANA) supports African leaders’ ask for an expeditious operationalisation of the Africa Epidemics Fund during the just-concluded AU Summit. Since AU leadership’s approval in 2022, progress towards operationalising the Fund has remained slow. We urge African leaders to take action to commit substantive resources to fully operationalise the Fund. We are aware and concerned that there have been previous bold steps which were not followed by tangible action.

The Epidemics Fund will play a pivotal role in strengthening Africa’s health security agenda and help build resilient health systems in Africa. The endorsement of this Fund is not only a step in the right direction, but one with the potential to change the course of Africa’s health sovereignty.  

Africa’s historical reliance on external sources for its health financing has proved inadequate, misaligned, and unreliable in the context of health emergencies. This pattern has resulted in weak health systems and limited response capacity to address disease outbreaks across the continent. The Fund promises to create a predictable and structured mechanism to deploy medical and financial resources in the event of a health emergency, contributing to the overall goal of strengthening health security in Africa.We are optimistic the Epidemics Fund will enable African states to respond to disease outbreaks and bolster Africa’s health resilience capacity to address public health emergencies.

We urge African states to engage boldly in the ongoing Intergovernmental Negotiating Body negotiations for a pandemic agreement and support propositions that would significantly transform the pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (pandemic PPR) financing in ways that would complement the Africa Epidemic Fund objectives. Specifically, we urge African states to support calls for substantial additional, long-term, and sustainable financing for pandemic PPR. This financing must be structured as long-term funding rooted in principles of equity and democracy, with a primary focus on addressing regional disparities and capacity challenges within the pandemic PPR ecosystem.

Lastly, we urge development partners to work with AU leadership on mutually beneficial collaborations to ensure the Fund reaches its goals of strengthening health security for Africa.