‘Africa unites for better tomorrow’

MOROCCO, Marrakesh : AFRICAN States’ unification in tackling water, environment and food insecurity is termed as a key prerequisite to building the continent of tomorrow.

The continent, rich in raw materials and goodwill, needs to join hands around a single objective: to provide sustainable health and quality food and water for her people.

The Morocco’s Head of Government, Mr Aziz Akhannouch, said the unification should be based on sharing ideas on tackling the challenges arising from climate change, managing water and natural resources and ensuring food security.

“Confronting the regional challenges and crises that surround us, requires unifying efforts and joint action in order to enhance health and environmental security on the continent,” Mr Akhannouch, said when he officially opened the 2nd African Health Harm Reduction Conference here last Wednesday.

The Morocco’s Head of Government said the conference is an opportunity to study and discuss various issues, solutions and strategies that concern water, environment and food security in their connection with promoting health and reducing health risks in the continent.

According to WHO Regional Office for Africa website, water scarcity affects one in three people in the African region and is getting worse with population growth, urbanisation and increases in household and industrial uses.

Aware of this responsibility, Rabat launched an ambitious initiative aimed at making sure Africa is integrated and has a unified collective vision, united and in solidarity in facing crises, consistent with the efforts of the World Health Organisation and the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Water.

The theme of the conference was: “Water, Environment, and Food Security.” These elements intertwine with each other and are closely linked to the health and well-being of the people of Africa.

At the continental level, water scarcity is expected to reach high levels by 2025, when an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions affected by total water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could live in water-stressed conditions.

Africa Health Business President Dr Amit Thakker said the continent needs some 3.0 trillion US dollars to achieve SDG goals, especially number 6 on water safety and move to next level and to reach the level Africa should work for itself.

“If we don’t do it, nobody is going to look after us,” Dr Thakker based in Kenya said adding:

“We only want to do three things and be ready for changing Africa: One is Africa reform, the second is Africa reposition. And the third is Africa reinvented.”

The Africa reform is the removal of borders, visa, since it creates a broken continent. The idea is to create free movement of goods, labour and services.

“One needs a licence in India, you need one licence in China as well [despite housing over one billion citizens each]. Then you need 54 licences to do business in Africa [with less than one billion population], Dr Thakker said, “that is what we need to reform”.

In reinvent Africa, he said authorities should use the resources and the people in Africa to reinvent the continent.

African Global Health President Dr Imane Kendili said at the first day of the conference last Tuesday that the sustainable health, water challenges faced Africans in many ways to threaten environment protection and continent security.

“It is through concrete projects, supported by conferences such as this, through consultation, dialogue, communication and sharing of ideas and expertise we will be able to build–the Africa of tomorrow,” Dr Kendili said.

Morocco’s renown Prof Bousmina Mustapha said the continent vision should be met and it’s time to action the talks to achieve the set goals.

“It’s time we move to action,” Prof Mustapha said by modernising African agricultural practicing to machine usage and applying modern seeds to achieve good harvest yields.

Prof Dov Gavish, the Chairman at Wolfson Medical Centre, Holon, Tel Aviv, Israel, said the continent needs to grow smart healthy food using smart technologies to produce more at affordable costs.

“A smart government will come up with smart decision which will eventually accelerate people to better life tomorrow and help it win the next election,” Prof Gavish said.

Africa’s challenges include the impact of climate change, growing water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystems, low resilience to natural disasters, emerging crises, food insecurity and limited benefits from globalisation.

“We believe that preventing harm in healthcare and recognising and mitigating risks to healthcare, is an opportunity to create a safe healthcare system and support a culture of continuous improvement,” Prof Morhan Chetty, President at Kwazulu Natal Doctors Healthcare Coalition, said. He is based in South Africa.

The first Marrakech Declaration last year was shared to several countries in Africa and some embedded it with their policy agenda and also included in Africa Union Chapter. The countries are Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia to name a few.

Additionally, this year declaration is expected to be adopted by more countries.

The 2nd African Health Harm Reduction which this year incorporated the 1st South-South edition is committed to collaborating and cooperating to maintain a more equitable,  inclusive and social living conditions of humanity.

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