WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Constituency for Africa (CFA) convened its first Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Forum on February 6 at the Africa Union Mission in Washington, DC. The ground-breaking forum, led by CFA founder & president, Melvin Foote, brought together world-renowned healthcare and medical professionals, corporate executives and high-ranking dignitaries to brainstorm solutions for building sustainable healthcare infrastructure in African countries.
The historic event began with a keynote address by award-winning actor and social entrepreneur, Jeffrey C. Wright. As Vice Chairman of Taia Lion Resources, Chairman of Taia Peace Foundation and Co-Founder of the Ebola Survival Fund, Wright spoke passionately about the devastation of the Ebola epidemic on healthcare services in Africa and called for a new approach in healthcare administration borrowing from the model used in the Marshall Plan, which worked in Europe after the second world war.
“I think that we were highly successful in bringing together a range of stakeholders from the US government, the African Diplomatic Corps, the private sector, the NGO community and most importantly, the African Diaspora, said Foote, founder & president, CFA. “To have actor and social entrepreneur Jeffrey Wright, set the tone, was also a major highlight of the event. It is rare to have such a high-profile individual showcase his interest in the health and welfare of Africa and of African people.”
Other noteworthy speakers at the event were Robert Mallet (President, Accordia Global Health Foundation), Jessica Rookwood (President, International Health Advisors), Donald Shriber (Deputy Director for Policy and Communication, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Pernessa Seele (Founder and CEO, The Balm in Gilead, Inc) and Gregory Simpkins (Senior Director, US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Africa), and 5 respondents, including Julia Royall (Global Health Information Specialist), Dr. Gloria B. Herndon (CEO, GB Herndon & Associates), Dr. Julius Garvey (Garvey vascular Specialists), Dr. Arikana Chihombori (Chair, AU African Diaspora Health Initiative) and Raymond C. Dabney (Chairman Board of Directors, Cannabis Science Inc., and the Cannabis Science Research Foundation.
The main objective of the Africa Healthcare Infrastructure Forum resonated throughout the program underscoring the urgency for sustainable healthcare systems in the continent. According to Foote, the need has never been greater in the wake of the continent’s battle with HIV/AIDS and the more recent Ebola crisis which killed thousands and compromised the economies of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
“It is important that CFA organizes itself to ensure that promises made are kept,” says Foote. “We need to keep the focus of stakeholding organizations and institutions so they don’t lose sight of the daunting challenges facing the African continent and African people”.
About Constituency for Africa
The Constituency for Africa (CFA) is one of the leading organizations in the United States committed to educating and mobilizing the American public on matters pertaining to Africa and the African Diaspora. CFA has increased the level of cooperation and coordination among a broad-based coalition of international organizations, businesses and individuals committed to the progress, development, and empowerment of Africa and African people. CFA’s stellar achievement in advocacy, education and information dissemination has led to a greater understanding and awareness of Africa among all groups. The organization pioneered a popular series of Town Hall Meetings on Africa across the US to generate awareness on African policy issues and encourage participation in the policy formulation process. CFA also organizes the Ronald H. Brown African Affairs Series, held each year in September in Washington, D.C., and coinciding with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Legislative Conference. The Series serves as a unique platform for linking CBC members and their staff with Africa-focused organizations, African diplomats and government policy-makers, as well as grassroots community leadership. For more info, visit: www.CFA-Network.org
Ufuoma Otu, Constituency for Africa Project Consultant