ECHAlliance Fosters Africa-Europe Collaboration in Digital Health at Science Forum

ECHAlliance Fosters Africa-Europe Collaboration in Digital Health at Science Forum

Bridging Continents: ECHAlliance Drives Africa-Europe Digital Health Collaboration

ECHAlliance, Events

ECHAlliance – The Global Health Connector hosted a session “Connecting the Dots: Enabling Africa-Europe Collaboration in Digital Health” at the Africa-Europe Science Collaboration and Innovation Forum in Brussels and virtually on 24 April 2024. 

The session, co-chaired by ECHAlliance’s Innovation Director Karolina Mackiewicz, and Rizwana Mia from South African Medical Research Council highlighted the importance of collaboration between Africa and Europe in tackling global health challenges. By combining resources and expertise, this partnership can drive innovation, improve not only healthcare access but also economic growth, contributing to the implementation of the  AU-EU Innovation Agenda.

Bringing together key stakeholders

This session, organised in the spirit of “connecting dots” and “breaking down barriers” hosted key stakeholders from different sectors and different countries, incl. representatives from scientific institutions, civil society organisations, and businesses. The speakers were:

  • Jean-Marie Habarugira , Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking
  • Innocent Chiboma, Ministry of Health, Zambia
  • Andrzej Dabkowski, Europe-Africa Foundation
  • Amit Thakker, Africa Health Business
  • Justina Bieliauskaite, European Digital SMEs Association
  • Felix Sukums, Muhimbili University of Health & Allied Sciences, Tanzania Health Informatics Association
  • David Franks, IQVIA
  • Artur Serra, I2CAT
  • Silvi Serreqi, European Commission, Project Officer

Showcasing success and building bridges 

The discussion-oriented session showcased ongoing initiatives and success stories in digital health collaboration. The speakers shared their experiences in relation to challenges and opportunities of the cross-continental collaboration, as well as their view on the priority areas. Those that were highlighted  are: 

  • Tackling neglected diseases,
  • Skilling, reskilling, upskilling of healthcare workforce,
  • Improving  digital literacy, 
  • Strengthening innovation and health leadership, 
  • Health data sharing and
  • Regulatory work. 

All speakers agreed that there is so much we can learn from each other and that this new collaboration should be built on the principles of equal partnership and co-creation. “All those topics identified during the session are very important and very interesting. However, if you asked me to choose one priority, I’d go for health data sharing, for many reasons, European Health Data Space being one of them. This is why I want to bring this topic to the upcoming Digital Health Society Summit organised by ECHAlliance virtually in November”, said Karolina Mackiewicz.


ECHAlliance connects the dots globally 

ECHAlliance has been a strong advocate for Africa-Europe collaboration since the establishment of the Global Health Connector Partnership in 2020. The global network of digital health ecosystems, as well as numerous events, present a great platform for Africa-Europe dialogue and innovation development. ECHAlliance is a Global Outreach partner for Africa Digital Health Networks


Watch the full session here: 


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