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After pitching and winning a debate session at the recently concluded European Development Days organized by the European Commission, PharmAccess held a session on 16th June 2016 on ”Mobile technology and democratizing healthcare in Africa”. The session brought together key innovators in the field of mobile health who spoke at length about how mobile technology is transforming health systems in Africa by offering African alternatives for paying for health services.

Moderated by Alexander Kohnstamm Director of Advocacy at Joep Lange Institute, the session panelists were; Michael Joseph the Managing Director of Mobile Money at Vodafone, Director of Health Insurance Fund Pieter Walhof, and the Director of Capacity Building at Amref Health Africa Peter Ngatia.

Prior to the session, the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union in Brussels (PV), Royal Philips, Amref Health Africa and PharmAccess hosted a drinks reception next door to the Tours & Taxis location where the conference was being held.

The EDD conference was held in Brussels on 15-16th June 2016 with over 120 sessions built around 15 topics. The EDD is also known as ”Davos for Development” and this year marked the tenth edition of the conference with the focus being on the implementation of the 2030 agenda to eradicate poverty in the world. The EDD saw more than 6,000 participants attend from 150 countries.

Topics that were top of the EDD 2016 agenda included but were not limited to; science, technology and innovation, engaging the private sector and leaving no-one behind among others. Well renowned guests who attended the conference included Bob Collymore the CEO of Safaricom who during the auditorium sessions acknowledged Safaricom’s partnership with PharmAccess in trying to increase connectivity in Africa. He also stated that: ”A society that fails to invest in technology perpetuates the huge gap that currently exists.”

Other speakers were World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mark Dybul the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Ronald De Jong Executive Vice President of Royal Philips, Christiaan Rebergen the Deputy Director General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands, among others. Rebergen mentioned PharmAccess’ development of an insurance scheme in Kwara State Nigeria as an example of how innovation and investment is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).