On Friday, August 20, 2021, the first meeting of the African Advisory Board (AAB) for the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) took place virtually. The board meeting was called by the co-chairs: the First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda, Her Excellency Jeannette Kagame, and Prof. Senait Fisseha, the Director of Global Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.
“I am extending to you an invitation to keep trailblazing a new & health-centered path forward because 2020 taught us many lessons on how interconnected we are as a global community. We can no longer afford to maintain the status quo.”
– H.E Mrs Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda, and Co-Chair of the African Advisory Board of the University of Global Health Equity.
UGHE is an institution that strives to train the next generation of global health professionals committed to providing equitable healthcare for all in Africa and beyond, with a focus on the most vulnerable. The creation of the AAB is critical to ensuring that UGHE’s work is informed by the local context vis-a-vis the wealth of knowledge and experience of African leaders on the continent.
“It is no accident that the University of Global Health Equity was born in Rwanda, which has for so long been a beacon of hope and an inspiration not just for those of us on the continent, but globally. This is what resilience, perseverance, and the road map to equity looks like”.
– Prof Senait Fisseha, Director Global Programs, Buffett Foundation, and Co-Chair of the African Advisory Board of the University of Global Health Equity.
During the meeting, the board members pledged to support UGHE to educate young leaders to be able to strengthen health sectors as a pillar of economic development and stability worldwide, especially in Africa. With this far-reaching mission, they are ready to accompany UGHE as it implements flexible and innovative solutions to address complex global health issues on the African continent and beyond.
They will also advise on the creation of research and the needed types of professionals, as well as the collaboration required for future self-reliance based on Africa’s health needs.
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue that will provide invaluable recommendations to UGHE as it works to attain excellence in global health education. Ultimately, we hope that this provision of quality education will improve the health of the population worldwide, especially that of the most vulnerable in Africa.”
– Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity.
The conversation highlighted the importance of synergizing regional efforts and improving the quality and quantity of the healthcare workforce and delivery, to guide the way forward for the institution’s strategic development to build healthcare systems in Africa and other parts of the world.
“Instead of trying to use the word “sustainability” as a diagnosis, we must all work to sustain UGHE as one important legacy of the Rwandan renaissance. And that will be striking a blow for decolonizing global health.”
– Prof. Paul Farmer, Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity.
This was a highly fruitful and forward-looking meeting.