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Accordia Global Health Summit Series

Identifying and Convening African Centers of Excellence in Health

In response to a growing global awareness of the need for local ownership and stewardship of health initiatives in Africa, Accordia conducted substantial outreach to develop a shared definition of centers of excellence (COE), while identifying and investigating nearly 50 of Africa’s health-focused centers of excellence. To advance collaboration among these important organizations, we have hosted summits to bring together experts and discuss best practices and explore ways to join forces in the future.

The Accordia Global Health Summit Series is an invitation-only meeting, convening highly accomplished global leaders for candid, exploratory conversations about new ways to address strategic challenges to improve health around the world. Past summit topics have included: strategies to effectively build individual and institutional health leadership in Africa; ways to better measure and demonstrate the comprehensive impact of advances in global health programming approaches; and new sustainability equations for the long-term success of African-owned health institutions and centers of excellence.

2013 Summit on Child Wellness in Malawi

Mangochi, Malawi

October 2013

Accordia and the University of Malawi are co-hosted the 2013 Summit on Child Wellness in Mangochi, Malawi. We focused on ways to improve child wellness in resource-limited settings through better integrated, multi-sectoral, and preventive approaches to children's care and development.

The Malawi Summit on Child Wellness convened a select group of global leaders in pediatric health as well as the essential surrounding disciplines of agriculture, labor, and education. Participants included acknowledged experts in comprehensive prevention and wellness programs. Outcomes and insights from the summit will inform our collective strategy to establish and sustain an institute for child wellness at the University of Malawi.

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2012 Centers of Excellence Summit

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
October 2012

Twenty-three centers of excellence in health from across sub-Saharan Africa gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2012 for the Second Annual Accordia Global Health Foundation Centers of Excellence Summit. Accordia convened the group to spearhead a conversation about long-term sustainability in a climate of short-term health crises and a constantly evolving global health funding landscape. In addition, the summit gave the group an opportunity to share best practices with each other.

The meetings explored three emerging sources of support for COE operations: host governments, who are under significant pressure to increase their health expenditures; a growing middle class, who is increasingly willing and able to pay for high quality clinical and laboratory services; and foreign government and commercial funders of research, with an emphasis on building increased clinical trials capacity among African institutions.

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2011 Centers of Excellence Summit

Kampala, Uganda
September 2011

Accordia convened leaders of 18 centers of excellence in health from 12 African countries for the 2011 Centers of Excellence Summit. These centers play a crucial role in elevating standards of care and disseminating those standards regionally. They produce new and valuable research relevant to their setting, incorporate those findings into comprehensive education strategies, and advocate for policy changes to support widespread adoption. Without such centers of excellence, African Ministries of Health would have to rely primarily upon findings from the Global North to guide health policy.

In recognition of the critical role the centers of excellence play and the challenges they face, the two-day summit was intended as an opportunity for centers to candidly exchange insights and share lessons learned. The summit’s panels and presentations led to a vibrant discussion that allowed the participants to reflect on their diverse operating models and business plans for sustainability as well as to discuss future challenges to the continued success and growth of their centers.

A number of challenges faced by centers of excellence were identified through this initiative along with opportunities for more effective support of these transformative institutions in the future.

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