Towards resilient and sustainable health care: Tunisia upholds its post-TICAD8 commitment

December 22, 2023
Photo: UNDP

Tunis, 30 November 2023 - Healthcare stands as a fundamental pillar in any society, holding a central place in building a resilient and sustainable nation in Tunisia. Aligned with the country's ambitious vision and national policies, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organized a dialogue to assess opportunities and challenges for Tunisia in strengthening its health system. 

This initiative falls within the broader framework of enhancing public health systems and fostering partnerships between Japan and the African continent. The conference also served as a follow-up to the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), held in Tunis on 27 and 28 August 2022.

Strengthening public health systems in Africa, particularly in Tunisia, emerged as a key priority of TICAD8, with a specific focus on "realizing a resilient and sustainable society." In the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, the summit reaffirmed its commitment to collaborating with African nations to build a resilient and sustainable society characterized by human security, aligned with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Covid-19 pandemic underscored that global health is not only the foundation for social and economic development but also a matter of national security in our interconnected world. Discussions on the theme of "health for all" (SDG 3) in New York in September 2023 emphasized the urgency of developing health programs and policies based on science, equity, and universal access to mitigate pandemic risks, address the climate crisis, and tackle other global challenges.

During the conference, the Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia, H.E. Mr. Takeshi Osuga, expressed hope that "the efforts of the Tunisian Government, especially those of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with all international partners, will lead not only Tunisia but all African countries towards the achievement of human security and a society that leaves no one's health behind."

Ms. Céline Moyroud, UNDP Resident Representative in Tunisia, spoke of UNDP’s commitment to continue working with Tunisia, Japan, and all partners to mobilize more actions and partnerships around shared priorities for Tunisia and other countries in the region. "Guided by the dual principle enshrined in TICAD8 of promoting African ownership and international partnership, UNDP looks forward to continuing the partnership to develop a strengthened health sector capable of better meeting the needs of the entire Tunisian population."

Speaking on behalf of Minister of Health, H.E. Mr. Ali Mrabet, the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Abderrazak Bouzouita, said at the ceremony that "the tripartite collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Japan, and UNDP provides a unique platform for sharing best practices, exploring innovations, and developing impactful health programs in Tunisia. He emphasized the collective challenge of investing in health, highlighting the necessity of cooperation among the public sector, private sector, partners, and UN agencies. The clear objectives are to enhance access to high-quality healthcare, strengthen health system capacity, and address emerging challenges through sustainable solutions."

The event brought together national, regional, and international stakeholders and addressed equitable access to healthcare, improving national health systems, partnerships with technical and financial partners and the private sector, and triangular cooperation with Africa. 

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is an international forum with the objective of promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners. The first conference was held in 1993 under the auspices of the Government of Japan and has since been organized in collaboration with the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the World Bank.