Empowering Health: The Marrakech Declaration’s Vision for a Resilient Africa
After the 2nd African and 1st South-South Health Harm Reduction Conference held in Marrakech from September 27th to 29th, 2023, the Marrakech Declaration was published. This declaration consolidates the commitments and combined expertise of this significant event, bringing together 83 participating countries, approximately 700 speakers, and over 2,500 participants from all corners of Africa, the Global South, and beyond.
Bound by a shared commitment to the well-being of Africa’s populace, the declaration hereby affirm the steadfast resolve to achieve health sovereignty in Africa and worldwide through collaborative South-South strategies for Health Harm Reduction. The declaration underscore the pivotal role of sustainable development driven by African-led South-South cooperation in realizing this vision.
2nd Marrakesh Declaration 2023
We the participants of the second African and first South-South Health Harm Reduction conference, met on September 27th to 29th to deliberate on Health Harm reduction with a particular focus on water, environment, and food security, supported by the African Union and Africa CDC.
With over 800 participants from 87 countries and 5 continents – which included Ministers and other Government officials, health practitioners, scientists, researchers, media representatives and civil society – the Conference was a pre-eminent gathering of minds committed to improve access to safe and quality health for all in Africa.
We are united by our commitment to the health and well-being of the people of Africa, and hereby declare our resolute intent to achieve health sovereignty in Africa and throughout the world through south-south collaboration on Health Harm Reduction strategies. Furthermore, we emphasize the pivotal role of sustainable development through African driven South-South cooperation in realizing this vision. In doing so we declare the following;
Recognizing the Urgent Imperative:
We reaffirm that health sovereignty is an inherent right for all African nations, fundamental to fortifying the resilience of our continent’s healthcare systems.
Furthermore, we acknowledge that Health Harm Reduction encompasses a holistic approach, necessitating the addressing of root causes underlying health challenges, including water scarcity, food insecurity, environmental degradation, and the social determinants of health.
Commitment to Action:
We commit to pursuing comprehensive Health Harm Reduction strategies grounded in evidence-based practices, prioritizing prevention, equity, and the fortitude of healthcare systems.
We pledge to prioritize water security as a cornerstone of Health Harm Reduction, ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for all communities.
We commit to addressing food security as a core component of Health Harm Reduction, striving to eradicate hunger and malnutrition through the promotion of sustainable agriculture, food production, and equitable distribution systems.
We recognize the profound impact of the environment on health and pledge to promote environmental sustainability by safeguarding natural resources, conserving biodiversity, ensuring clean air quality, and mitigating against the effects of climate change.
We recognize that the most important aspect of disaster management is to have a high level of preparedness to avoid improvisation in times of crisis. We must invest in strengthening health harm reduction and recovery systems in disaster response and provide comprehensive training on multi-sectoral protocols for building hazard resilience.
It is imperative to ensure health equity in emergency management when natural disasters occur.
South-South Cooperation for sustainable Health Development:
We acknowledge that South-South collaboration is an invaluable catalyst for the rapid and sustainable development of Africa. We therefore pledge to strengthen partnerships among African nations and with other developing countries to share knowledge, expertise, and resources for mutual growth and development.
We commit to fostering collaboration in health research, technology transfer, capacity building, and the sharing of best practices to enhance our health systems and infrastructure.
We commit to developing centers of excellence and South-South Health Bureaus to formulate joint policies in pursuit of health sovereignty and universal health access in the global south.
Resilience and Unity:
We affirm our unwavering solidarity as African nations, recognizing that our collective strength is our greatest asset in achieving resilient populations and health systems.
We call upon governments and the private sector, to join us on this journey by providing leadership in driving this endeavour alongside civil society, academia, and international development partners. This will entail mobilizing resources and expertise to support our vision for a healthier, more prosperous Africa.
In this spirit of unity, determination, and shared purpose, we, the participants of the African Global Health Conference, solemnly endorse this declaration. We are committed to taking concrete actions, collaborating across borders, and driving sustainable change to realize health sovereignty, harm reduction, and rapid development throughout the African continent.