Once again I am pleased to be with you. I forgot earlier that I want to congratulate the President of Mozambique. He had elections in his country and it was very successful. We know the courts are yet to pronounce themselves, but the people have spoken and we want to congratulate you, President.

I want to welcome you to this special meeting on the African Union’s initiative to increase domestic financing for health in our Member States.

I wish to commend the African Union Commission for moving rapidly to implement the Assembly decision taken after the Africa Leadership Meeting in February this year.

I thank Madame Diop for the Commission’s detailed update on the efforts to date. Of particular note is the development of the Health Financing Tracker to measure progress toward the domestic health financing targets.

The technical support of partners has been very beneficial, including the Global Fund, Georgetown University, the Gates Foundation, and the World Bank. Thank you all.

As emphasised earlier at the ICASA opening ceremony, partnerships are indeed essential for continued results in global health.

However, it is past time for governments to allocate adequate resources in national budgets for the healthcare from which our citizens benefit so much.

Spending more money is not a silver bullet. Funds must be spent well, on programs that work and are sustainable. Once again, the example of Community Health Workers in numerous countries on our continent demonstrates a policy that is both effective and affordable.

The best way to convince governments to spend more on health is to provide evidence about how to spend better.

The next African Union Summit is an opportunity to further advance this agenda. We are counting on your continued commitment and expertise as we work together to fully implement the decision of the African Union Assembly on domestic health financing.

On this note, I want to thank you again and look forward to continued discussions.