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African Investments In Health Critical To Continent’s Economic Future

CNN: President Kagame and Bill Gates: Every vaccine is a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the African economy
Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The link between health and economic growth is clear. … For example, over the past two decades, every dollar spent on essential medicines in Africa has generated $20 more in social and economic benefits. … [Africa’s] future depends on making even bigger and smarter investments in health. … [T]he case for foreign aid is much easier to make if the rest of the world knows Africa is investing in its own health, too. Going forward, the international community will call upon Africa to contribute an increasing share of … funding for the health programs that make such a difference in the lives of citizens. This is as it should be. In 2001, African Union member states pledged to dedicate at least 15 percent of their annual budgets to public health. Today, while only three A.U. member states have met this target, the situation is changing. Between 2000-15, 29 member states increased total health spending. Earlier this month, the African Union resolved to establish a domestic health financing tracker to monitor progress. Better data will help us see what is working, what isn’t — and how we can all work together to achieve more. All of us have a role to play in making good on our promises to improve health on the continent. Africa’s future depends on it” (3/22).