Delegates to toast to Kigali car-free day during AHAIC 2023

Desta Lakew

Desta Lakew, the Group Partnership and External Affairs Director, Amref Health Africa.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC 2023) will be held from March 5 to March 8, 2023, in Kigali, Rwanda. 

Co-hosted by Amref Health Africa, Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), AHAIC is the flagship bi-annual conference of Amref Health Africa.

In its fifth year, this year’s conference will bring together Africa’s top thought leaders, political figures, innovators, researchers, policymakers, health workers and community mobilisers for dialogue and action aimed at mainstreaming climate discourse into health policy conversations.

According to Desta Lakew, Amref Group Partnership and External Affairs Director, for the first time the conference will bring the impact of climate change on health and engage policymakers, academia and health leaders to examine the impact of climate on the health gains made to date.

“The key focus will be on health security. We recognise that the global challenges of the next decade will be seen at the intersection of climate change and health,” Ms Lakew said.

Important conversations

As one of the first major global convening in 2023, the conference will also act as a build-up to important conversations scheduled to take place at the World Health Assembly, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and COP28 later in the year.

The four-day conference will kick off with the AHAIC 2023 Wogging event on March 5, to coincide with the Kigali Car Free Day, which takes place every first and third Sunday of the month, as part of efforts to make Kigali a green city and strengthen efforts to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

This will be followed by three days of plenaries, high-level meetings, workshops and networking sessions that will take place from March 6 to March 8, with main plenaries featuring global leaders and opinion shapers in health and development.

Since 2014, the biennial conference has convened diverse stakeholders from Africa and beyond to decentralise conversations about health, promote knowledge sharing, set the foundation for stronger south-south collaboration, and drive action to build resilient health systems.

The last AHAIC conference was held virtually in 2021 due to the COVID travel restrictions and drew over 3,000 participants.

During the event, Amref Health Africa established an independent commission to review the continent’s progress towards achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) targets by 2030.

This resulted in the publication and launch of The State of UHC in Africa at the AHAIC2021.

The report provided a detailed account of steps taken by African governments to achieve UHC in their countries, reflecting on successes, barriers and lessons learned on the journey towards providing equitable access, quality health care and financial protection as envisioned within an African context.