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A global health conference in Addis Ababa attempts to address the issue of health equity. The host too has its own challenges to overcome

Dr.Yohannes Damtew

There is no lack of international conferences aimed at addressing pressing matters related to global health problems. October 21st 2011 marks a historic milestone for a healthy world (hopefully). Invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 1000 participants from 125 countries came together in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and adopted the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health, a declaration aimed at achieving equitable distribution of health provisions to their citizens.

Can the host sustain it’s rank?

With a population estimated at 85 million Ethiopia is the second most populous in the continent next to Nigeria, and a recent forecast by the Economist Intelligence Unit declared its economy is the third fastest growing next only to that of India and China.  Ethiopia’s controversial annual GDP growth stands anywhere between 7% – 11%, (depending on which report is one reading) with forecasters of the later predicting it to continue for the next five years, in which case Ethiopia could even prevail over China and India to become the world’s number one fastest growing economy.

The ongoing World Economic Forum today debated on how best to maximize social and economic returns, increasing private sector investment and reaping benefits from leapfrogging within the continent.

According to WEF in the past years transportation, energy and communication investments contributed substantially more to per capita growth in Africa than structural policies.