Partnership with Africa
In December 2022, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) launched a partnership with Africa to push the goals of health care infrastructure. This partnership will continue the goals of Africa to get health care to those underserved and finance previous projects. Within this partnership, the U.S. will work with both the public and private sectors while providing support through technical assistance and training.

“Through the Coalition, we will take a holistic approach toward addressing the priorities that Africa has established for itself. Our goals are to facilitate health care accessibility for the underserved and develop a sector that is resilient in the face of the greatest public health challenges,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director.

This newest partnership is no surprise as USTDA has worked with Africa for more than 30 years on multiple initiatives including the U.S.’s Prosper Africa and Power Africa Initiatives.

Overview of the Partnership

USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative will support the partnership with training on how to obtain top-tier health care products as well as technical assistance. Here are the goals the partnership will look to achieve:

  • Entice financing for vital health care infrastructure across all of Africa.
  • Raise the resilience and accessibility of the health sector, including digital connectivity and electricity.
  • Supporting the frameworks for Africans to gain access to innovative health products.
  • Strengthen the delivery of health-related services.

Within the partnership, the initiative laid out these projects:

  • Lily Urban Hospital Resuscitation
  • Cedarcrest Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center
  • Mobihealth Multi-Country Telehealth Expansion
  • Zipline Aerial Health and Distribution Service Expansion

The partnership will also promote the goals of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment which is a key priority of the U.S. government.

Global Procurement Initiative

Started in 2013, “USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative (GPI) educates public officials in emerging markets on how to establish procurement practices and policies that integrate life-cycle cost analysis and best value determination in a fair, transparent manner.”

Partner countries of the GPI located within Africa include Botswana, Ethiopia and Kenya. Partner/collaborator organizations of the GPI located within Africa include African Development Fund, African Development Bank, the World Bank and Power Africa. These partnerships are vital in getting the most out of the GPI.

Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment

Announced in a joint statement from a number of global leaders, during the 2022 G7 Summit, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) was born. The PGII aims to gather $600 billion, “for global infrastructure investments by 2027.” During the 2022 G20 Summit, the President of the United States, the President of Indonesia and the President of the European Commission cemented their support for the PGII.

The partnership works to invest in the middle to low-income countries’ infrastructure which in turn will benefit these countries’ food security, global supply chains and the overall health of the world.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said, “The Partnership Global for Infrastructure and Investment is an important geostrategic initiative in an era of strategic competition. Together with leading democracies, we offer values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnerships for low- and middle-income countries.”

These shared goals across the PGII, GPI and the newly introduced health care infrastructure partnership with Africa have the potential to help with the delivery of quality resources and training to Africa. The goals will greatly benefit those who are underserved including those who are in poverty.

– Sean McMullen
Photo: Flickr

Greek and Cypriot povertyAfter decades of economic struggle, which the pandemic and COVID-related restrictions exacerbated, Greece and Cyprus are optimistic about their economic futures. In 2019, both countries’ economies were in grim states. In Cyprus, 15.3% of the population was at risk of poverty as of 2020, a marginal rise from the previous year. Meanwhile, 30% of Greece’s population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2020. Amid all the pessimism, however, there are reasons to have a bright outlook for the future of Greek and Cypriot poverty reduction.

EU Funding

Massive pandemic relief packages stemming from the EU budget have already allowed a solid recovery for Greece and Cyprus. In June 2021, the EU approved a recovery plan worth €30.5 billion for Greece. According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the plan “will help Greece build a better future.” The recovery plan could spur Greek economic growth by 7% within the next six years, giving people a reason to be optimistic about the future of Greece’s economy.

In Cyprus, the €1.2 billion that Greece secured from the EU Recovery and Resilience Program and €1.8 billion from the EU’s Structural and Investment Funds form part of the Cypriot president’s self-described “ambitious” recovery plan. The massive cash influx will help add at least 11,000 new jobs, a significant number for a country with a population of around 875,000. In addition, it will help Cyprus reverse course from the continuous austerity its government has implemented in recent years, which has proven counterproductive in the fight against poverty. These two gigantic pandemic relief packages from the EU will allow a bright future for Greek and Cypriot poverty reduction.

Optimistic Economic Growth Projections

Another major reason for optimism about Greek and Cypriot poverty rates is the countries’ economic growth projections. Despite the pandemic significantly shrinking both nations’ economies, economic growth projections for upcoming quarters and years are notably better than expected.

In Greece, for example, after a fantastic 4.4% rise in GDP in the first quarter of 2021 despite the COVID-related restrictions that were in place for almost the entire quarter, the EU Commission has released a favorable economic forecast for Greece for the remainder of 2021 as well as for 2022. It expects Greece’s GDP to grow by 4.3% in 2021 and 6% in 2022. Cyprus’s economy also appears poised to bounce back phenomenally from its shrinkage. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has said that the EU’s relief plan will enable a 7% increase in GDP over the next five years.

Gabriel Sylvan
Photo: Flickr