May 2018 – Following the recommendations of the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, the West African and Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries has been the first sub-regional economic group to engage in developing a sub-regional health workforce investment plan and intensify regional cooperation to boost health employment.
On this a series of inter-ministerial national workshops and regional experts meetings led to the development of national and sub-regional health workforce investment plans to expand and transform the health and social workforce whilst creating jobs to address youth unemployment and maximize women’s economic participation. This has brought together for the first time, not only the Ministries of Health but also the Ministries of Labour and Employment, Finance, Education, Higher Education and Civil Service. The plans are also discussed in the context of the WAEMU convergence criteria which caps spending on health employment to 35% of the public sector budget.
These intersectoral meetings have been instrumental for the preparation of the inter-Ministerial meeting of WAEMU countries, which was held on 4th May 2018 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, at which the sub-regional health workforce investment action plan was adopted. Acknowledging job creation in the health and social welfare sectors as key for improving regional health and inclusive economic growth, the action plan aims to mobilize financial resources for the creation of decent health and social welfare sector jobs.