How improved financial skills can lead to better access to health care in Africa

Strengthening the financial skills of grant implementers is important to helping them deliver quality health care in communities. The partnership between Ecobank and the Global Fund reflects our shared commitment to ensuring the efficient and effective implementation of health programs in countries where the Global Fund invests.

The Global Fund mobilizes US$4 billion a year to support programs in more than 100 countries worldwide, with more than 60 percent dedicated to programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Strong financial oversight and management capacity is critical for organizations receiving these grants.

Since 2014, the partnership has been leveraging Ecobank’s financial expertise to provide innovative trainings to Global Fund grant implementers in Chad, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and South Sudan. The trainings aim to strengthen internal control mechanisms, reduce fiduciary and financial risks and enhance transparency in the use of grants. Representatives from 23 grant implementers have already benefited from this initiative and the impact on financial reporting and budget absorption is noticeable.

By improving in-country management systems, Ecobank and the Global Fund seek to maximize the performance of investments and support the sustainability of health programs. This will ultimately contribute to greater impact in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and ensure that more people have access to quality health care and treatment.

On 29 October 2018, Ecobank will open the doors of its academy in Lomé, Togo, to finance managers from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger, Senegal and Togo for a newly designed training that goes beyond finance management. The curriculum seeks to expand the skills of grant implementers and includes modules on leadership, strategy, knowledge management and sharing of best practices. At the heart of this training is the desire to help implementing partners play their part in driving long-lasting impact in the communities they serve. They are not only accountable for the grants they are implementing, they are also at the forefront of the mission to end the three diseases as epidemics and build resilient and strong health systems.

Transforming finance managers into leaders of change is the right way forward. Improving access to knowledge and learning opportunities will propel implementing partners to manage funds for even greater results for communities.

Investments in health are an essential component of building sustainable economies and a prerequisite to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. As we work to attain SDG3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, Ecobank and the Global Fund are ensuring adequate financial systems are in place and investments in health are managed in an efficient and effective manner.

With sustained efforts, we can achieve our common vision of healthier and more prosperous communities across Africa.