On July 4th 2012, Dr. Eliya Zulu participated in the High Level Dialogue conference on Value for Money, Sustainability and Accountability in the Health Sector in Tunis, Tunisia.

Organized by the Harmonization for Health in Africa mechanism (HHA), in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) the conference emphasised the urgent need to get the most out of available resources in order to accelerate progress towards the health MDGs and beyond.

Participants included ministers of finance and health, parliamentarians, civil society organisations, private sector enterprises and representatives of development partners.

The conference aimed to create a common understanding of the causes of ineffective and inequitable health financing, and  to forge consensus on remedial measures, in particular by raising awareness of successful experiences from Africa and promoting South-South learning.

In this objective, Dr. Zulu discussed the Demographic Dividend in a presentation entitled “The Demographic Dividend: Can Africa Seize it?” in which he illustrated the need for Africa to seize and maximize potential benefits from the demographic dividend by:

Accelerating the decline in birth and deaths rates through investments in public health and family planning;

  • Investing in human capital development through investments in education and broad empowerment of women;
  • Adopting economic policies and reforms that promote job creation,  labor-market flexibility, openness to trade, savings, and investment; and
  • Optimizing the role of urbanization in national development through appropriate planning and infrastructure development.
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