Cameroon’s global gamechangers

Cameroon’s global gamechangers

John Nkengasong

Dr. John Nkengasong has always been a superstar among those operating in the public health space. An expert in the field of AIDS, where he made his name, he has come to the fore as the first Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). His leadership of the African Union’s public-health agency during the Covid crisis has been both tenacious and bold.

Since Africa’s first case, he has fought on the front line for the procurement and distribution of tests, ventilators, and vaccines in a region where funds and doses have been in scant supply.
He has been a powerful voice not just for Africa, but developing nations around the world, calling out manufacturers and governments in richer nations not to hoard vaccines. The Cameroonian virologist’s contribution to keeping the world safe in the face of the pandemic was recognised in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People issue.

More recently he has been advocating for a scheme to bring back African doctors and nurses from the Diaspora for a short time each year to help plug the shortfall in the continent’s healthcare systems. Vera Songwe

Vera Songwe is the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The economist and former banker at the World Bank and IFC is the first woman to ever serve in this important role.

Songwe has also been the torchbearer on a significant number of issues, including overseeing the framework around debt relief and the moratorium that was negotiated with international creditors at the start of the pandemic; and later through lobbying and providing structure for implementation, helping African countries tap the Special Drawing Rights that the IMF agreed to make available. Her actions have been instrumental in ensuring Africa has the toolkit to finance its post-Covid recovery.

She has become a go-to person for Heads of State, Ministers and international partners alike, putting forward original ideas and providing clear road maps and evidence-based solutions that are helping shape African policy making. Acha Leke

Acha Leke is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office, Chairman of McKinsey’s Africa region, and a member of McKinsey’s Shareholders Council, McKinsey’s global governance board.

The growth of McKinsey in Africa can largely be attributed to Leke’s phenomenal work. As one of the instrumental figureheads at the influential consultancy firm, his close association with African leaders across the public, social and private sectors makes him […]

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