News and Opinions  –  2021

ReAct Africa Conference: Key takeaways and way forward

Share the article


ReAct Africa and South Centre hosted the 6th Annual Conference from 30 November to 3 December 2021 under the theme; ‘Progress achieved on the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and pandemic preparedness in the African Region’. The 4-day conference was the 2nd virtual conference that brought participation for 47 countries worldwide. Here you can find the 3 objectives for the conference, key takeaways and way forward.

The following were the objectives of the conference:

  1.  To assess implementation of Global Action Plan on AMR including governance issues, implementation progress and ongoing challenges.
  2. To examine linkages between antimicrobial resistance and pandemic preparedness, one health approach and lessons from COVID -19.
  3. To review National Action Plans financial landscape, challenges and opportunities.
  4. To bring together AMR experts, CSOs, academia, government ministries, research institutions, intergovernmental institutions to discuss regional challenges and approaches to addressing AMR and the next step in NAP’s review and implementation. due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

Day 1: To unpack the theme, the conference held high level Panel Presentations from OIE, FAO, WHO AFRO, Africa CDC and ICARS.

Day 2: Focused on giving an overview of AMR financing and pandemic preparedness with presentations and discussions from the World Bank, Fleming Fund and WHO, while.

Day 3: Focused on AMR NAP Implementation in the COVID-19 era in Africa. This was followed by country presentations from Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Zambia and Kenya.

Day 4: Was centered on students AMR activities in recognition that students are key stakeholders in addressing antimicrobial resistance. ReAct Africa in collaboration with Students against Superbugs (SAS) has been implementing a flagship program known as AMR Leadership Program for Tertiary students in Africa.

100 African students are graduated from the program – a ReAct Africa & Students against Superbugs collaboration. Photo: ReAct Africa.

Key takeaways and way forward

There is still lack of political commitment that translates into resource allocation. Without political will and strong leadership, National Action Plan implementation will remain fragmented in the region.

National Action Plans prioritization and revisions are key in the development and or extension of current AMR National Action Plans.

In addition to continued awareness creation and understanding, there is need to strengthen infection prevention control and antimicrobial stewardship programs to delay emergence and limit transmission of antimicrobial resistance.

There is need to also strengthen health systems to improve surveillance & provide evidence-based understanding of the extent and impact of antimicrobial resistance in the region that would help with resource mobilization.

COVID-19 interventions could be leveraged on to tackle antimicrobial resistance by taking a holistic and health systems strengthening approach.

Antimicrobial resistance interventions can also benefit from International Health Regulations and other emergency response efforts.

National Action Plans are country owned; hence their development should be cognizant of country policies and the local environment to ensure joint action in mobilizing resources and where possible integrating programs with continued monitoring and evaluation.

There is need for continued, consistent community engagement and empowerment, as well as a simplification of AMR language.

COVID-19 has negatively impacted AMR response as most countries deprioritize National Action Plans implementation to respond to emerging strains of COVID-19.

Interested in the full report from the conference? E-mail:

More news and opinion