HHA Ministerial Conference on Health Financing Tunis 4-5 July

A high-level Ministerial conference on health financing will take place in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 4-5, 2012.

This conference is organized by the Harmonization for Health in Africa mechanism (HHA), in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It will emphasize the urgent need to get the best out of available resources in order to accelerate progress towards the health MDGs and beyond.

Hosted by the African Development Bank, the 2-day meeting is expected to be attended by Ministers of Finance and Health, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, private sector enterprises and representatives of bilateral and multilateral development partners.

Why a conference with the Finance and Health Ministries of Africa?

Investing in health is key to sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa, and must be done in a manner that makes the best use of resources in the context of good governance and enhanced accountability. As witnessed in North Africa, citizens increasingly demand transparent and equitable social services.

Africa's economic emergence is changing the way we think about health financing. The future will be marked by making use of transparent evidence-based planning and budgeting and result-based financing as well as progressing towards universal health coverage and optimizing the opportunities provided by rapidly changing technologies, such as e-health.

The 2010 World Health Report estimates that globally, 20-40% of all health spending is wasted through inefficiency. In addition, more than half of total health spending is paid out-of-pocket by African households and plunges the poorest into further poverty. The reduction of development aid to Africa additionally warrants increased domestic spending and greater domestic accountability.

Ministers of Finance and Health therefore share the common objective of seeking the highest value for the money spent on health services.

Objectives of the conference

The conference aims to create a common understanding of the causes of ineffective and inequitable health financing. It also aims to forge consensus on remedial measures, in particular by raising awareness of successful experiences from Africa and promoting South-South learning.

The conference is expected to result in the adoption of a framework for engagement and action, which would be used by governments to engage relevant stakeholders in concrete programmes to move the health agenda forward.

The Conference will also stimulate dialogue and enhance leadership and collaboration between Ministries of Finance and Health as well as other national stakeholders like parliamentary committees, civil society, professional associations and employer organizations.

Key topics of the conference include planning and budgeting for results, improving performance, health insurance, results-based financing, as well as sustainability of programs related to HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health.

The Conference is a follow up to the dialogue on health financing initiated during the AU/UNECA Ministers of Finance Meeting in Addis Ababa in March 2011 and the publication: "Investing in Health for Africa. The Case for Strengthening Systems for Better Health Outcomes" available on:

the HHA website

WHO website

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For more information, please contact:

Collins Boakye-Agyemang, telephone : + 47 241 39420; email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Related links:

Good health is a pre-requisite for sustainable development, says WHO Director-General

Dr Margaret Chan addresses Africa's ministers of health and finance

Keynote address by Dr L.G. Sambo, Regional Director of WHO Regional Office for Africa at the Conference of Ministers of Finance and Health