Working Groups

Members of the Future for Health and Economic Resilience in Africa Commission are organized into working groups focused on specific thematic areas.

Decolonizing global public health by reshaping the African narrative towards autonomy and self-reliance.

This working group is led by a public health historian, Prof. Jesse Bump at Harvard, in collaboration with several African historical and sociological researchers. The working group is already funded with Harvard University resources and is not included in this proposal.

Citizens’ voices: Pan African research network central to collecting data on public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters.

FHERA will analyze findings from the Afrobarometer surveys on health, social protection and other topics. This work will be instrumental in understanding the perspectives and priorities of the African population.

Policy Lab on PHC revitalization and hospital systems in Africa. 

The policy lab is to be jointly led by HSPH and WHO AFRO to examine critical issues in the pandemic era affecting primary health care, hospital and peri-operative systems in the African countries. It will seek to explore issues around the expansion of these services and what must happen to transform the quality of these services for the continent. The initial outcomes and recommendations from the policy lab will be elevated as action points for senior leaders in the continent.

Reimagining health systems (domestic financing and human resources for health).

This working group is led by Brookings Institution and HSPH. At Brookings, the work is led by Dr. Aloysius Ordu in collaboration with colleagues from key institutions with expertise in health financing including Dr. Agnes Soucat, Dr. Kelechi Ohiri and Dr. Patricia Geli.  The working group focuses on approaches to increasing government health expenditures and innovative financing for health. The aim is to shift focus from reliance on donor funding and seek alternative funding for the health sector and consider the nexus of fragility-security-health and implications of national fiscal spaces. 

Future of Public Health.

This work will be led by the Africa CDC and focuses on reimagining the future for health on the continent in line with the previously outlined vision of a new public health order. It will focus on recommendations for strategic engagement of the African diaspora and public health and science leadership in the continent, complementary to other similar global efforts, including those supported by BMGF and others.

Working group on public health workforce capacity.

This working group is jointly led through collaborations between the ARISE Network including leading universities and public health institutions in Africa; Africa CDC; Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa; and the Africa Region of the World Bank. Key contributors include Dr. Wafaie Fawzi, Harvard,  Dr. Raji Tajudeen, Africa CDC; Dr. Justine Bukenya, Makerere University; Dr. Derege Kebede, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and, Dr. Henry Mwambi, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The focus of the working group is on how to address issues of public health capacity on the continent including issues of brain drain, and the development of effective public health practitioners.

Demographic dynamics, gender and reproductive health.

This working group will be led by Prof. Awa Coll Seck, to focus on identifying key recommendations for addressing many of the key challenges for women, reproductive health and the youthful African population. Addressing these fundamental issues is critical for enhancing the health of the African continent.

Nutrition and food systems.

This working group is led by Dr. Wafaie Fawzi from Harvard University and focuses on understanding the role and innovative approaches to utilizing food systems to improve nutrition and health for women and children on the African continent. For example, it has a keen interest to make actionable recommendations for decreasing food loss and waste which contributes to the lower availability of perishable foods and nutrients on the African continent, contributing to persistently high levels of wasting and stunting among children, as well as adolescent and maternal malnutrition.

Climate change and health.

This working group is led by Prof. Kiros Berhane (Columbia University). It focuses on understanding the impacts of climate change on health and fragility in the African continent. This is an important area where capacity on the African continent is yet to be fully developed and the group will make recommendations.


This is to be led by Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar (Dean UCL), Prof. Samba Sow (CVD, Mali), Prof. Awa Coll Seck, and Muhammad Pate, and will focus on studying and making recommendations to address critical cross-disciplinary issues of the Sahel region including state fragility, conflict, repeated extreme weather events, culture and gender.

African Continental Free Trade Area and trade in health services.

This working group will be led by Dr. Stephen Karingi (ECA), Soji Adeyi and focuses on the barriers to trade in health services on the continent. It will make recommendations to redress the gap in the AfCTA which has a lacuna on trade in health.

Unlocking the market potential of the health sector and digitization.

This working group is led by Dr. Kelechi Ohiri (HSDF) and includes the African Development Bank. It will develop recommendations and strategies for unleashing the market potential of the health sector across the value chain, and accordingly design a continent initiative for the private sector.

Regulatory framework for health in Africa.

This working group is co-led by Dr. Muhammad Pate at HSPH and Minister Coll Seck, at the request of President Macky Sall. The group convened the roundtable on June 10 and is now developing a forum for leaders and executives of health regulatory agencies in Africa, in collaboration with BMGF colleagues. This workstream is not included in this proposal for the FHERA platform.

Research and development.

The working group is to be led by Dr. Tumani Corrah, co-President of the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF), Banjul, The Gambia and will work to identify key strategies to strengthen health research on the African continent.