Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis to participate in the Conference “Towards COP26: Challenges for the EU in relation to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 25.10.2021)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, in collaboration with the European Public Law Organization (EPLO), organizes on Monday, October 25 at 10.00, a conference themed “Towards COP26: Challenges for the EU in relation to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation”, in view of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

The Conference will begin with the opening addresses of the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and the Director of EPLO, former Caretaker Minister of Interior and former Caretaker Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Spyros Flogaitis.

Afterwards, Mr. Varvitsiotis will participate in a discussion themed “COP26 and Climate Diplomacy in the EU: Challenges related to Climate Change Mitigation”.

The conference will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“Giannos Kranidiotis” Hall).

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias to visit the United Kingdom (25-26.10.2021)

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, will travel tomorrow, Monday, October 25, to the United Kingdom where he is expected to meet with the British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Elizabeth Truss. The Minister will also meet with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Europe and Americas), Wendy Morton.

The aforementioned talks will focus on further strengthening bilateral cooperation between Greece and the United Kingdom in areas of common interest.

During the visit, the signing of a “Memorandum of Understanding on a Bilateral Strategic Framework between the Hellenic Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” has also being scheduled.

In addition, as part of the strengthening of Parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold meetings with the UK Parliament Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat and the Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood.

During his stay in London, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will address the Royal United Services Institute with a speech titled “Enhancing Security and Stability in Europe and the Mediterranean”.

The Minister’s visit to London is the second one within a few months, a fact which underlines the special importance that Greece attaches to the strengthening of traditional ties with the United Kingdom in the post-Brexit era.

Strategy for quality health infrastructure in Africa 2021-2030

African Development Bank launches consultations on new Strategy for Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa

The African Development Bank has launched a consultation process with health ministers and other partners as it develops a strategy to drive enhanced access to health services across Africa through 2030.

Input from ministers in the Bank’s 54 regional member countries, development partners and civil society is expected to strengthen the Bank’s Strategy for Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa (2021-2030). A robust scoping study titled “Good Health and Well-being” underpins the strategy.

“These consultations are crucial to ensure the delivery of an efficient, impactful and sustainable strategy. The global Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on lives and livelihoods strongly justifies the Bank’s renewed investments in Africa’s health infrastructure and efforts to strengthen its health systems resilience,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed serious gaps in African national health systems and overwhelmed capacity to test for and treat the disease. Health infrastructure is unevenly distributed, and often of poor quality. Only half of the primary health care facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have access to clean water and adequate sanitation.

The Strategy focuses on areas that match the Bank’s comparative advantage, including health infrastructure and building in flexibility to respond to the needs of regional member countries. Particular focus areas are primary health care infrastructure for under-served populations, with supporting infrastructure investment to ensure that facilities are connected to water and sanitation, energy, transport and communications services; diagnostic infrastructure, utilizing a range of delivery models, including public-private collaborations; and connectivity for innovative health solutions, to expand information and communications technology links and facilitate innovations in health service delivery.

The Bank’s investments in health infrastructure will be packaged with knowledge work, policy dialogue and technical assistance, and in partnership with other health sector actors. This support will focus on effective health financing strategies, including the expansion of health insurance to ensure low-income household access and that investments are used effectively and sustainably.

“Poor health undermines Africa’s economic productivity. The continent’s health infrastructure needs are too big to be met by any one, single player. I welcome stakeholder inputs as the Bank formulates a pipeline of operations in support of building stronger African health systems,” said Dr. Martha Phiri, Director for Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development at the Bank.

The Strategy has been developed in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Invited stakeholders will have until 5 November 2021 to take part in the Bank’s Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa strategy consultation process. Feedback on the strategy can be directed to Dr. Babatunde Omilola, the Bank’s Manager for Public Health, Nutrition and Social Protection, via email: sends e-mail).

To review the Strategy document in English, click here; click here for the French version.



Source: African Development Bank

Africa Investment Forum: Projects worth $140 million on the table to boost vaccines and healthcare in West and East Africa

Members of the Africa Investment Forum team showcased two projects during a virtual investor roundtable as the continent looks to boost its healthcare sector and attract much-needed investment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The projects, jointly worth around $140 million and located in East and West Africa, were previewed for potential investors.

The roundtable, held 21 October, is part of a series of events organized by the Africa Investment Forum and hosted by the Atlantic Council to drum up interest in the Forum’s upcoming Market Days, where a range of investment opportunities will be unveiled. The invited participants represented the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

The first opportunity, with a project cost of $96 million, is for the development of a 250-bed specialist hospital offering world-class healthcare services in a West African country. Feasibility studies have been undertaken and the land has been secured. The second, entails the construction of a $45 million WHO-prequalified vaccine production plant in East Africa that will be capable of routine production of three vaccines, including for Covid-19.

After the presentations, a panel of investors provided their insight on investing in Africa’s healthcare sector. The panelists were Rhulani Nhlaniki, sub-Saharan Africa Cluster Lead at Pfizer; Jean-Philippe Syed, Principal with private equity firm Development Partners International; Afsane Jetha, Managing Partner & CEO at private equity firm Alta Semper Capital; Stavros Nicolaou, Senior Executive – Strategic Trade at Aspen Pharmacare; and Dr. Dumani Kula, Chief Operating Officer for Africa with Evercare Group, a healthcare company. Aubrey Hruby, a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, moderated.

Syed said the African hospital sector, and in particular health tourism, had suffered as a result of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Nicolaou said Africa’s disease burden—the highest of any continent—made preventive care, including vaccines, all the more important for Africans. The need for pharmaceuticals will increase the requirements for partnerships that can overcome constraints such as research & development.

Other challenges mentioned by the participants include overcoming cold chain and last-mile-delivery issues, and ways to scale up pilot technologies, such as the use of drones to facilitate vaccine delivery.

Health is one of five priority investment sectors under the Africa Investment Forum’s Unified Response to Covid-19(link is external) pillars. The others are agribusiness, energy and climate change, ICT/Telecoms, and industrialization and trade.

At a panel discussion organized by the University of Edinburgh last week, Africa Investment Forum Senior Director Chinelo Anohu referenced the East Africa vaccine plant project in the context of Africa’s current limited access to Covid-19 vaccines. Through trade and investment, particularly in its pharmaceutical sector, the continent can avoid vaccine inequity, Anohu said.

“What we’re looking to provide with the Africa Investment Forum is a co-investment platform where you mobilize domestic investors, mobilize project sponsors for the continent, and then mobilize international investors, those who are looking to make an investment and get a profit,” Anohu said.

The Africa Investment Forum aims to channel investment into Africa. Its 2021 Market Days, to be held on 1-3 December, will showcase transformative investment opportunities from across the African continent, many with the potential to drive Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Africa Investment Forum was launched in 2018 by eight founding partners: The African Development Bank, Africa 50; the Africa Finance Corporation; the African Export-Import Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa; the Trade and Development Bank; the European Investment Bank; and the Islamic Development Bank.



Source: African Development Bank

Somali drama wins Pan-African film festival grand prize

OUAGADOUGOU— Somalia’s entry “The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Finish-Somali writer-director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed won the prestigious Stallion of Yennenga grand prize for best film at the Pan-African film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Sunday.


The poignant drama about a gravedigger’s struggles to raise money to pay for his wife’s surgery, took home the 20 million franc CFA (US$35,714) prize money and the golden stallion statue.


The film, which was Somalia’s first official entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2021 Academy Awards, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in July.


Ahmed, who was not in Ouagadougou to collect his prize, has previously said the film was inspired by incidents that happened in his family.


Mauritanian film director Abderrahmane Sissako, who chaired the jury for the 17 feature films in the competition, said that it was a courageous movie from a country which does not make a lot of films. “So when there is a film such as this one from there, it should be encouraged.”


“It is a beautiful film that tells a story with humanity. It is a love story also,” Sissako said after the ceremony presided over Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Roch Marc Kabore of Burkina Faso.


The Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, known as Fespaco, is the largest biannual meeting of African cinema which attracts international and African cinema and television professionals from the continent and the diaspora to the Burkinabe capital.


This 27th edition was postponed by nearly eight months to Oct. 16-23, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and security challenges the country is facing.