WELCOMING REMARKS BY DR. ELLEN MKONDYA-SENKORO, CEO OF THE BENJAMIN MKAPA FOUNDATION AT THE OPENING OF THE 2ND MKAPA LEGACY
FORUM SYMPOSIUM, 13TH JULY 2022, ZANZIBAR.
His Excellency Othman Masoud, First Vice President of the Revolutionary Government of
Honorable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Member of Diplomatic Corps,
Representatives from Business Community and Non-State Actors,
Distinguished Panelist, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning to you all!
Courtesy demands I should start by thanking the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and Government of United Republic of Tanzania for the collaboration and support in making this symposium possible. My special thanks goes to His Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and the Chair of the Revolutionary Council, Our Settlor, Our host and to all of you who have come to join us today. I understand some of you were supposed to be on holidays, but you deferred your holidays only to be with us today. Thank you all.
To you our 1st Vice President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, we thank you for accepting to grace this event in midst of your demanding schedule ahead of you. We cant find words good enough to thank you and to say asante sane.
Two years without our beloved late His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa has not been easy. His absence is largely felt as an ardent advocate and a formidable voice for reforms at home and peace abroad. Grieving however, is not an option we chose. At the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) we chose to step up and rise to the occasion. We vowed to continue where he ended, to amplify his voice, and to sustain his legacy. It is the reason why we are hosting for the second time the Mkapa Legacy Symposium today and tomorrow.
As a reformer, the Late President Mkapa believed in partnership between Public and Private Sector (PPP). He did not mince words on this, even when it made him sounded unpopular at times. He is well remembered for introducing bold economic reforms which translated into giving space for private sector to mushroom and grow. It was during his time, for the first time, the framework for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) was introduced. He went further to establish the National Business Council as a platform for public and private sectors to interact and work together.
Late President Mkapa’s vision for public and private sector synergy is as relevant today as it was during his time in office. Taking an approach of government doing it alone will take it long to arrive to the Universal Health Coverage Targets (UHC) by 2030. While working with private health providers will make the journey short, achievable, and impactful. Instead of spreading thin, government resources would be optimized well by improving the quality of those facilities and services that exist and focus on expanding services to those hard-to-reach areas where there is less incentives to attract the private sector investment. Needless to say, PPP is needed in the health sector to complement government’s effort in delivering quality health services to the last mile.
We have witnessed Public – Private Sector partnerships initiatives spearheaded by the Ministries of health of the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar with the Private sector for profit and non for profit. Nevertheless, we would wish to see more of those being further cultivated. Most times such PPP’s have been proven to be cost effective, with high impact, and highly efficient. This Symposium is about just that. About how we can draw from such lessons and good practices and replicate them on other areas of health to achieve UHC targets by 2030.
The partnership between Mkapa Foundation and the governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is another demonstration and evidence that partnership works. Under the succeeded vision, and same inner drive to serve the needy communities, the Foundation continue to be a trusted partner of the Governments, Development Partners, Private sector, Civil Society Organizations, and the community. As a result, we have reached to about twenty-six million people (26 million) by various supported interventions by the Foundation.
The model of PPP implemented by the Mkapa Foundation has registered remarkable public health outcomes. The few areas I would like to underscore is on Human Resources for Health. The Foundation has been actively engaged in providing technical advice and supporting Human Resource for Health (HRH) initiatives through the Ministry of Health, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government and President’s Office Public Service Management. We have effectively co-developed the Country Human Resources for Health programs, for bilateral and multilateral partners financing. Through such programs, we innovatively employed more than 10,000 health workers that have been deployed to health facilities and communities, of which between
50-80 percent of them have been transitioned to government systems as from 2012 to
2022. Together we devised cost-effective continuous professional education amongst health workers through digital modalities. whereas 34,357 Health Care Workers have been trained, and 11,507 Health Care Workers are currently undergoing various training using this platform;
BMF’S partnership with the government is not limited to projects and downstream interventions. We partner through the well-structured policy dialogues platforms led by the Government and here in particular the Ministry of Health. We have contributed to the development of various Policy Guidelines and Strategies, such as the National Health Workforce Volunteering Guideline of year 2020; we are also engaged in policy and advocacy work including being the Secretariat of the Non-State Actors-Health and active in nine (9) Ministry of Health- led Technical Working Groups as well as COVID-19 Pillar Groups.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
These are just some of our contributions in improving health and wellbeing of communities, achieved through engagement, collaboration, partnerships and support from Government, Development Partners, Private sectors, fellow Non-State Actors, beneficiary communities and other stakeholders in health. Evidence, lessons, and best practices have been generated, used to inform more impactful interventions, and scale up. We request you to visit our exhibition booth to see and get printed materials, for your ease of reference.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I have simply shared is what the Foundation has been able to contribute to our health sector through partnership with our governments. But this is only a token of what could possibly be achieved if we can stretch our arms further to embrace the private sector. What we have done well so far with embracing the Non-State Actors and Faith Based Organization should be an inspiration to seek to achieve more with the private sector. And this is the essence of this symposium today. It is why our two panels will feature two thematic areas of, ‘Accelerating Strategic Health Transformation in Tanzania Through Business Coalition for Health’ and ‘Innovative Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Approaches Towards Attaining Universal Health Coverage.’
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we are witnessing traditional public health facilities are confronted by limited financial resources, complex social and behavioral problems, rapid disease transmission across national boundaries such as COVID -19, and reduced government capabilities to address them. At the same time, we see readiness of the private organizations and Non- State Actors to come forward to accept a broader view of social responsibility as part of their corporate mandate including public health. It is our hope and expectation that this symposium will bridge our understanding on the need to work together and achieve together.
Inspired by the Late President Mkapa, the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation believes that Public-Private Partnership is a best model for tackling large, complicated, and expensive public health problems.
The time is now. the time is up! Lets rise to the occasion!
I thank you for your kind attention.