Globally, there has been a growing trend towards increased regional multilateralism, integration and cooperation in most sectors, including trade, transportation, infrastructure, tourism, water, agriculture, and peacekeeping. The African continent has perhaps seen the most pronounced movement towards regionalism.
In Africa’s health sector, regional bodies—such as regional economic communities and inter-governmental institutions composed of groupings of member states, as well as regional professional associations and regional networks—have become active contributors to the development during the last 10-15 years. Regional economic communities with health programs include the African Union (AU), the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the West African Health organization (WAHO) of ECOWAS. Additionally, structures such as the East, Central, and Southern African Health Community (ECSA) and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) are active in the health sector within the region.
Understanding the role of regional actors in Africa is critical for addressing the intractable health challenges on the continent. These pages provide links to regional health and development institutions in the region.