October 7, 2018

Plenary Session 3 was co-chaired by the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (UN-OSAA) and the World Bank. In her introductory remarks, Ms. Bience Gawanas, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, highlighted that human security calls for a people-centered and comprehensive approach that encompasses action on the interrelated areas of peace, security, human rights, and sustainable development. Outlining opportunities and challenges in achieving healthy, sustainable and stable society in Africa, Ms. Gawanas also urged all participants to implement the TICAD related measures and projects, which in turn support the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU Agenda 2063.

Recognizing the fact that resilient health systems lay the foundation for a healthy, productive population which contributes to inclusive growth, participants reaffirmed the need for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by improving access to equitable and quality health services, effective and affordable medicines and trained health care professionals. They also reiterated the need for improved financing including increased domestic resource mobilization. In this regard, the 2019 AU Joint African Meeting on Health Fund Replenishment was noted. Participants underscored the importance of strengthened preparedness against disease outbreaks and noted the operationalization of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a major step forward.

Many African countries also shared the progress as well as challenges as they make efforts to achieve UHC together with the international support. Participants identified areas which require attention, such as high levels of maternal, new born and child mortality, neglected tropical diseases, and the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases as well as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. They also noted the need for continued progress to improve childhood nutrition and access to water and sanitation throughout the continent, and encouraged innovative approaches and private sector involvement.

Participants agreed on the urgent necessity to reinforce the resilience and preparedness of African states against the adverse effect of climate change, extreme weather and natural disasters. They noted that environmental degradation and competition over scarce resources can contribute to tension and conflict, and stressed the importance of comprehensive climate change adaptation measures. The need for capacity development for implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was shared among the participants. The session underscored the need to build clean and sustainable cities given Africa’s rapid urbanization.

While progress toward peace and security was noted, participants underscored the need for continued action to combat violent extremism and terrorism especially in the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel. At the same time the new opportunities for the regional progress in the Horn of Africa were acknowledged. To achieve the AU’s goal of “Silencing the Guns by 2020” participants recognized the importance of conflict prevention as well as African solutions to African problems. They emphasized that African governments should make concerted efforts to address structural causes of conflict, such as inequality and socioeconomic and political marginalization, while also improving governance and ensuring protection of human rights.

Progress toward democracy was recognized, and participants highlighted the importance of building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Such institutions are also essential to effectively tackle corruption and illicit financial outflows.

Participants noted that sustainable development requires the empowerment and active involvement of all members of society, including the most vulnerable. In this regard, they recognized the important role of young people and emphasized the need to empower the continent’s youth through quality education, vocational and skills training, support for entrepreneurship, and increased access to decent jobs. In this way, the continent will be able to tap the energy and inventiveness of its youth to harness the demographic dividend. At the same time, many participants also stressed the need for determined and comprehensive efforts to reduce gender inequality and promote women’s economic, social and political empowerment. Sustainable and stable societies require the full inclusion of women at all levels and recognition of their roles and contribution.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Diarietou Gaye, Director for Strategy and Operations, Africa Region of the World Bank, noted the richness of experiences shared and the efforts African countries are making to build peaceful and stable societies, and implement UHC. She also noted that the session reaffirmed the peace-security-development nexus, and the importance of sustainable development and economic opportunity to maintaining peace on the continent.
Participants recognized the contribution of TICAD over the 25 years since its inception, and looked forward to reviewing and strengthening the process and platform at TICAD 7 to take place in Yokohama, Japan August 2019.

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