Team Europe launches new initiative with African partners to strengthen health systems through digitalisation


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Digital solutions have an enormous potential to bring healthcare to underserved regions. As learned during the COVID-19 crisis, the digital transformation can improve healthcare access for vulnerable communities and create more resilient health systems.

In this spirit, the European Union (EU), Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden have launched a new Team Europe Initiative on digital health that will support African partners to significantly strengthen healthcare systems and bring the continent a step closer to universal health coverage.

The initiative will increase African partners’ capacity to leverage digital tools to improve health information systems and epidemic surveillance networks, enable health service delivery, and support health financing and health systems governance, among other key actions that will meaningfully contribute to the implementation of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Digital Health Transformation Strategy.

The European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities, Caroline Gennez, announced the initiative on 20 March 2024 at the high-level event on the EU-AU Partnership in Global Health for Equitable Access, organised by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, together with the African Union, the Africa CDC, and the European Commission.

“Together with our African partners, we will harness technology and innovation not just for progress, but for the empowerment of all individuals, ensuring no one is left behind in the pursuit of a healthier and more equitable world,” said Commissioner Urpilainen.

Deepening the EU-AU partnership in global health

The Team Europe Initiative on digital health is part of a broader support package mobilised by the European Union and its Member States to strengthen health systems and social protection in Africa. In line with the commitments laid out in the EU Global Health Strategy to improve global health security and deliver better health for all, the EU is delivering a comprehensive offer that will help African partners pursue their health security agenda by improving national social protection systems, strengthening public health institutes, and promoting a one health approach.

The strategic initiatives fall under the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package presented at the 6th EU-AU Summit in 2022 and support the joint vision for 2030, which committed both continents to work together for pandemic preparedness, health security and equitable access to quality essential health services.

Team Europe joins forces through the D4D Hub

The Team Europe Initiative on digital health brings together the expertise and resources of the European Union and seven of its Member States (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden), who have joined forces through the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub.

The D4D Hub is a strategic platform that fosters multi-stakeholder collaboration and boosts investments between European and global partners to advance a human-centric digital transformation worldwide.