Healthcare innovation

Africa CDC and Smart Smart Africa partner…

Africa CDC and Smart Smart Africa partner…

New York, 19th September 2022 – The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and Smart Africa concluded an agreement to work together towards accelerating the use of digital technologies to improve healthcare and strengthen health systems across the African continent. The event took place on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in an event hosted by the United Nations Foundation’s Digital Impact Alliance. It was witnessed by H.E. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, Digital Economy Ministers from the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Togo, the Republic of Sierra Leone, and top executives from development partner organizations, the private sector, academia, and civil society “In my own country, the Digital Impact Alliance has supported our efforts to use data for decision making in the health sector, such as the allocation and deployment of the 900 health facilities we have started constructing, as well as in building risk and epidemiological models to predict and understand the likely impact of the pandemic on the population, and now we have a Data for Development Technical working group to apply these data models to sectors beyond health”, said H.E. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi. “There are of course giant leaps we have taken to make Malawi part of the digital revolution underway around the world, including the progress we are making in constructing a fibre backbone that runs across the country and the recent establishment of a national data centre to streamline the management of public information. But the application of these things to the health sector is worthy of a special mention tonight, because tonight we are witnessing history, as Africa CDC and Smart Africa sign a Memorandum of Understanding to digitalize the health sector in Africa by the year 2030”.

The signed agreement will focus on connecting all of Africa’s health facilities and workforce by 2030, advancing health data protection, portability, interoperability, and governance; and working together in the organization of digital health convenings to be hosted by African Union Member States. “Digital health innovation holds great potential to expand access, increase quality and reduce the cost of health services across the continent,” said Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Director General a.i. of the Africa CDC. “We are committed to leveraging the full potential of technology in advancing Africa’s New Public Health Order”. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated home-grown innovation that resulted in a wide range of solutions for public health messaging, epidemic surveillance, screening, and diagnosis for rapid case identification, interruption of community transmission, and clinical care delivery. The digital tools not only improve the public health response but also generate vast amounts of data which, when harnessed within national health information systems, open avenues for advanced analytics, disease modelling, and forecasting. This reinforces the capacity of health authorities and policymakers to quickly detect, notify and effectively respond to public health threats.
Mr. Lacina Koné, Director General and CEO of Smart Africa commented: “The future of healthcare in Africa is digital-first, powered by mobility and a growing population of digital natives who demand to play a more proactive role in their health and care” The agreement provides a platform for the two organizations to collaborate on a range of initiatives, including connecting all African Health Facilities and workers by 2030. The Memorandum of Understanding also paves the way for the co-hosting by the Africa HealthTech Summit that will happen on the sidelines of the upcoming International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA22), due to take place in Kigali on December 13-15.


About the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs. For more information, please visit:
About Smart Africa
Smart Africa is an alliance of 32 African countries, international organizations, and global private sector players tasked with Africa’s digital agenda. The alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the use of ICTs. With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together
Heads of State who seek to accelerate the digitalization of the continent and create a common market. Launched in 2013 by seven African Heads of State, the Alliance now has 32 member countries, representing over 815 million people, and over 40 Private Sector members committed to the vision and the advancement of Africa.
Africa CDC
Jean Philbert Nsengimana –
Chrys Promesse Kaniki –
Smart Africa
Yvan Guehi – Head of Brand and Communications –