Improving People’s Lives Agenda:

In support of one of the African Development Bank’s five main development agendas, CoDA works to engage dialogue amongst relevant stakeholders with the view to deliver vital policy recommendations aimed at ‘Improving the quality of life for the people of Africa’.As rightly stated by the AfDB, despite the encouraging economic development enjoyed by many African countries during the last decade, many of them are still characterized by widespread poverty and inequality. Health and education outcomes are among the lowest in the world and the continent’s population has insufficient access to sanitation and safe drinking water. Unemployment and underemployment of youth and women endanger social cohesion and inclusive development. These coupled with the mixed effects of limited access to quality education, health, nutrition, technology and innovation are impediments to accelerating Africa’s growth and entry into higher value-added areas of production and competitiveness. Failure to tackle these issues could deprive a whole generation of Africans the opportunities to develop their potential, escape poverty and support the continent’s trajectory toward inclusive growth and economic transformation.

It is in the hope of adequately tackling these challenges that CoDA works to enhance knowledge delivery and policy changes through research and conversation on these troubling issues. Since 2018, CoDA has been working with several partners including AfDB, AUC, ECA, AO-Alliance and the WHO on the
areas related to the improvement of African health system challenges as well as reducing Africa’s youth unemployment through their development and empowerment.

Addressing the challenges of trauma and care of the injured in Africa:

Injuries represent a huge burden to low- and middle-income countries. Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that 9% of global mortality are due to fatal injuries and occur mostly in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). 30% of these deaths are linked to road accidents, making them among the top 10 causes of death in LMICs. Trauma, in particular, remains a neglected cause of death and disability in these countries, leaving close to 5 million people dead each year; more than all deaths due to HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, yet, continues to receive the least attention in terms of awareness and resource allocation. As infectious diseases such as polio, malaria and HIV/AIDS are increasingly brought under control, trauma accounts for a growing proportion of the world’s burden of death and disability. Much of this disability is from musculoskeletal injury. In LMICs, musculoskeletal injury is the major cause of injury-related disability, as opposed to high income countries where neurological injuries account for a larger burden.

Road traffic injuries are also on the rise, particularly in LMICs – where rates of trauma and disability are disproportionately higher. Injuries in LMICs contribute to the vicious cycle of poverty: keeping poor people out of work and incurring high costs for treatment, not to mention the disruption of the family balance.

To meet these growing problems, much needs to be done in terms of road safety, injury prevention, facility-based care and rehabilitation. Understanding and addressing the global need for orthopaedic trauma care warrants that this neglected epidemic in developing countries be acknowledged as a global health concern, and be tackled as such. Additionally, a significant amount of the global burden of injury could be diminished by strengthened trauma care services. There is unfortunately a misperception that this would be expensive. However, there are numerous examples from many LMICs that demonstrate improved survival and functional outcome with affordable and sustainable improvements in care of the injured. Furthermore, Africa shares a significant proportion of the burden of death and disability from these fatal injuries, therefore calling for more concerted action towards a holistic approach to address this predicament. This is why CoDA is working on finding this approach. This was initiated through a policy dialogue on the “Challenges of Trauma and Care of the Injured in Africa” . The Dialogue was held in collaboration with the AUC and AO Alliance and sought to build on existing individual country successes and promote the idea that every injured person should be assured a certain spectrum of care, including pre-hospital care, acute facility-based care, and long-term rehabilitation.

Building on the momentum from this High Level Policy Dialogue on Challenges of Trauma and Care of injured in Africa (September, 2018), CoDA continues to collaborate with AUC, WHO and AO Alliance Foundation on this issue. The objectives of this collaboration are to support advocacy and awareness programmes aimed at strengthening multi-stakeholder commitment through an established African network on this issue; organize continual consultations and consensus building on the challenges of trauma and care of injured in Africa; and directly support the implementation of the plan of action established at policy dialogue.

Women & Youth Empowerment and Employment

It has always been the view of CoDA and its founding partners that the promotion of dialogue on Africa’s development is invalid without the inclusion of issues which contend with the empowerment and advancement of African Youth through their education and employment. Africa has the youngest population in the world which is speedily growing. It is estimated by the UN that by 2055, the continent’s youth population (aged 15-24), is expected to be more than double the 2015 total of 226 million. Yet the continent remains stubbornly inhospitable politically, economically, and socially, to young people. CoDA believes that compelling action by African governments to address this issue will be one of the most important factors in determining the continent’s development and prosperity. Indeed the African Union’s Agenda 2063 indicates that the ‘youth of Africa shall be socially, economically and politically empowered through the full implementation of the African Youth Charter’. Likewise, ‘Youth unemployment will be eliminated, and Africa’s youth guaranteed full access to education, training, skills and technology, health services, jobs and economic opportunities, recreational and cultural activities as well as financial means and all necessary resources to allow them to realize their full potential’.

In the spirit of achieving these objectives, CoDA is working solely as well as in collaboration with the AU, the AU Special Envoy on Youth and selected partners including continental youth organizations to organize relevant conventions and policy dialogues which focus on Youth empowerment. Particular focus will be placed at each dialogue respectively on employment, education, changing the youth perspective to a more positive outlook despite their continental challenges and strengthening Pan-Africanism in youth.