Kampala - Preparations for the Joint East African Heads of State retreat on Infrastructure, Health Financing and Development slated for November 29 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda have commenced.
Convened under the Theme “Deepening and Widening Regional Integration in Infrastructure and Health Sector Development in the EAC Partner States,” the joint retreat will be the first engagement of the EAC Heads of State to address health issues and the fourth on matters of infrastructure financing and development.
In a communiqué issued to this newspaper, the head of communication at the EAC secretariat, Mr Richard Owora Othieno, said: “The joint retreat is expected to give impetus to infrastructure and health development by way of possible funding commitments, political support to flagship projects, possible Public-Private Partnership arrangements as well as the development of a projects implementation roadmap.”
The Heads of State are expected to address the development of quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and quicker delivery of the same, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.
In addition, they will discuss rapid enhancement of transport efficiency in the EAC through the development of interconnected multimodal transport systems (railways, roads, pipelines, inland waterways, airports and seaports among others), which would result in the reduction of transportation costs and times, and improved movement of the factors of production.
With regard to the health sector, the Heads of State will seek to: Build consensus on regional health sector investment priorities for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals; mobilise investments for the identified health sector priorities, and; revitalise regional partnerships and linkages for improved health outcomes in the EAC partner states.
The joint retreat will be preceded by separate infrastructure and health sector Investors’ and Development Partners’/Donors’ roundtables scheduled for November 28 at the same venue. The sub-themes for the infrastructure and health sector components are: “Enhancing Infrastructure Development to Facilitate Trade and Accelerate Industrialization in the EAC” and “Investing in Health Infrastructure, Systems, Services and Research for the Accelerated Attainment of Universal Health Coverage and Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals” respectively.
The retreat programme includes an Infrastructure and Health Sector International Exhibition that will run from November 28 to 29, also at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala. The exhibition will provide a platform for players in the infrastructure and health sectors to showcase new products and services as well as exhibit the latest advances in research and innovation.
Exhibitors will include pharmaceutical and medical technologies manufacturers and dealers; health insurance providers; regional centres of excellence for healthcare; network of reference laboratories; traditional/alternative medicine producers, infrastructure contractors (ports, railways, airlines, Oil and Gas); investment banks; telecommunication companies; civil society organisations; community based organisations; private sector; academic and research institutions, and; government ministries, departments and agencies, among other stakeholders.
The retreat is being organised by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the EAC partner states and leading international and regional development partners.