Friday, March 2, 2012

Kadre Desire Ouedraogo Is New President of the ECOWAS Commission

New ECOWAS President Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo. © Getty Images.

1 Mar 2012 14:38 Africa/Lagos

New ECOWAS President assumes office

ABUJA, March 1, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The new President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo assumed office on Thursday, 1st March 2012 with a pledge to contribute toward the attainment of the dreams of the Organization's founding fathers by making West Africa a leading power for the realization of Africa's unity.

“Let us work together against poverty, injustice and bad governance,” he affirmed, during a brief ceremony to introduce him to staff at the Commission's Abuja Headquarters. “Let us work hard to build a community which all of us shall be proud of.”

President Ouedraogo urged West African youths in particular, to share his “enthusiasm and hope for the future of ECOWAS and indeed, the brilliant future of Africa,” stressing that “ECOWAS must be a land of peace, unity and progress.”

He paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers of ECOWAS and those who sometimes sacrificed their lives to build the Community over the past 37 years of its existence.

Specifically, President Ouedraogo expressed his profound gratitude to the government and people of Nigeria, and President Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, for the warm welcome and support extended to him.

He also commended the outgoing President of the Commission, His Excellency James Victor Gbeho and his predecessor, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, for the “wonderful job they have done for ECOWAS and its institutions.”

President Ouedraogo, a former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, who served as Deputy Executive Secretary of ECOWAS between 1985 and 1993, equally commended ECOWAS leaders for the confidence reposed in him and pledged to do his best.

He called for the total cooperation of the Commission's new team including Vice-President Dr Toga Mcintosh, the Commissioners who assumed duties recently and the entire staff, to enable the organization deliver on its mandate and objectives.

In his remarks, President Gbeho said the assumption of duty by the new management team marked a new stage in the life of ECOWAS.

He welcomed his successor and urged the Commission's staff to extend to the new management team the same level of cooperation or even more than he and his team enjoyed.

ECOWAS has since its founding in 1975 through the Treaty of Lagos, undergone some major restructuring including its transformation in 2007 from an Executive Secretariat to a Commission with a President, Vice-President and seven pioneer Commissioners.

Until his new appointment, President Ouedraogo was his country's Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Belgium, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom Northern Ireland as well as the country's Permanent Representative to the European Union, the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the World.

Customs Organization.

He was a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of West Africa States (BCEAO) in Dakar, Senegal between 1993 and 1996, and elected a Member of Parliament in 1997.

In 1996, he received the award of Grand Officer in the National Order of Burkina Faso.

Source: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

1 Mar 2012 12:06 Africa/Lagos

Report by the Economist Intelligence Unit Gives High Level Picture of the Continent's Healthcare Challenges

BEERSE, Belgium, March 1, 2012/PRNewswire/ --

"The Future Of Healthcare In Africa"

By 2022 reformed healthcare systems in African countries could succeed in making quality care available to a majority of their citizens, given the political will to meet healthcare spending targets. This is one of the conclusions in a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and called "The Future Of Healthcare In Africa".

The report focuses on five possible future scenarios for African healthcare systems over the next ten years. Thirty four leading healthcare experts, representing the entire chain of stakeholders across the sector, helped the EIU's expert analysts identify the key trends shaping African healthcare systems and these were then used to develop scenarios that depict the possible health landscape on the continent in 2022 (see Press Release by The Economist for more information).

Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman of Janssen in EMEA, explains : "The study draws a very high level picture, combining statistics with trends and possible scenarios that could form the basis for further discussions on which policy options to take. We did the same thing last year with "The Future Of Healthcare In Europe". Solutions can only become clearer by having open and constructive discussions with all parties involved, based on factual analyses".

Janssen is active in Africa in many ways. Apart from selling its products across the region via its offices in Algeria, Egypt and South Africa, and working with distributors elsewhere, the company has also set up a number of projects specifically designed for infectious and neglected diseases, including research for a new tuberculosis treatment in collaboration with the TB Alliance, a microbicide targeting HIV, with the International Partnership for Microbicides, a new research programme against elephantiasis and river blindness with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and the Gates Foundation, as well as against sleeping sickness, Chagas and visceral leishmaniasis.

For the products that are already approved, Janssen sets up access programmes, such as the recently concluded agreements with generic manufacturers in Africa to manufacture and distribute the company's HIV/AIDS compounds, or the free distribution of treatments against intestinal infections with the Children Without Worms programme (More information is to be found in the attached backgrounder).

Commenting on the various scenarios presented in the report, Jane Griffiths continues "Broad and systematic access to healthcare can only be achieved when the proper healthcare insurance systems are in place, both public and private. This requires an investment by the authorities, but it is one that will offer immediate and sustainable returns to every country's economy, through decreased mortality, continued education, better stability in the income of households. It is encouraging to see the results that countries such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Burundi, Tunisia and Ethiopia have achieved in the past years. We tend to focus too much on what doesn't work in Africa, but we can learn only from the good examples".

With regard to medicines, specific initiatives can be taken which could benefit the region : "Regulatory harmonisation for the approval of medicines should be high on the agenda in Africa, " says Jane Griffiths. "Some of our HIV medicines have delayed market access because of different requirements across the region. Counterfeiting is also a scourge, and we have started with a pilot project with the Nigerian authorities to check how patients can verify the product's authenticity through text messaging. Technology options could mean a lot in the continent".

About the report

The report "The Future Of Healthcare In Africa" can be downloaded as a free pdf document from:

The report "The Future Of Healthcare In Europe" can be downloaded as a free pdf document from:

About Janssen

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious disease, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world.

More information can be found at

Source: Janssen

For further information: Stefan Gijssels, Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs : +32-473-710-425 or

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