AfDB Showcases Africa’s Opportunities and Challenges at Oslo Conference on Child and Women’s Health

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On January 22, 2013, Government leaders, health experts and representatives from the private sector met at a high-level seminar in Oslo, Norway. The conference set out to examine key aspects of the global health agenda in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and launch a yearly progress report on Norway’s Global MDG Campaign - Accelerating Progress in Saving the Lives of Women and Children.

The event, hosted by Norway, concluded with a discussion between Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Norway’s 2013 progress report– released on 21 January – is the latest in a series of annual progress reports since Stoltenberg initiated The Global Campaign for the Health Millennium Development Goals in 2007. The report provides an update on the significant developments and new commitments related to Women’s and Children’s health since 2010.

In a session focusing on the post-2015 agenda, AfDB’s Director for Human Development, Agnes Soucat, delivered a presentation on the opportunities in Africa in terms of its demographic dividend, and challenges that remain. Soucat articulated the need for inclusive growth, value for money in health, and linking economic growth with human development through effective implementation of social protection.

The AfDB, whose Human Capital Development Strategy sees Africa’s greatest asset as its one billion people, is working with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to facilitate a series of regional consultations to set out a Africa common position on the post-2015 agenda. The most recent consultation was held from December 10-12, 2012 in Dakar, Senegal.

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