African advocacy powerhouse Kenneth Prudencio visits Canada 

By: Results Canada Published: 07/06/2024

In May, we had the pleasure of receiving an expert visit from Kenneth Prudencio, Head of Advocacy at our ACTION partner, ASAPSU. Based in Côte d’Ivoire, ASAPSU aims to improve the social and health conditions of vulnerable populations through their empowerment to ensure holistic development. Kenneth is also the co-chair of the Global Financing Facility’s (GFF) Global Youth Platform and a member of the GFF’s Investors’ Group. We were honoured to have him in Canada to share his expertise and lived experience.

As a young African health advocate, Kenneth shared his experience and some observations from the realities on the ground in Africa to Canadian politicians and bureaucrats. In this regard, this visit also symbolized our joint commitment to ensure that those with direct experience of the impact of Canadian investment always have a voice with decision makers and that development policies respect local priorities.

Kenneth began his visit on May 21st by delivering a compelling case to the Global Cooperation Caucus – a multi-party, non-partisan initiative composed of Members of Parliament and Senators. He emphasized the importance of including development in a future Canada-Africa Strategy and providing new, generous support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and its new African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator.

While he was in Ottawa, he met with Senator Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia, MP Sonia Sidhu, and Parliamentary Secretary Anita Vandenbeld, who listened attentively as we discussed why it is so urgent to #ReachEveryChild with high-impact interventions and presented the upcoming opportunities for Canada to make new investments in nutrition and immunization and prevent millions of child deaths.

Later that week, Kenneth joined us in Montreal for our course From Evidence to Impact: Fundamentals of Global Health Advocacy at the McGill University Summer Institutes in Global Health. There, we spent two days with a group of committed, young professionals and helped them develop their advocacy skills. Kenneth spoke about the power of storytelling, highlighting the importance of community perspectives, and demonstrated the importance of adapting high-impact tactics to the specific contexts in which we work.

For Results Canada, this visit taught us a lot about the complementarity of our tactics with those of our partners.

While Results and other ACTION partners in high-income countries advocate for donor countries and multilateral initiatives to support health equity and health systems strengthening, ACTION partners in low- and middle-income countries, such as ASAPSU, advocate for greater domestic resources and policy changes to increase access to quality health services throughout the support of global health initiatives and beyond their withdrawal from partner countries.

We all hold our governments accountable, and we all advocate for global health initiatives to develop strategies that are increasingly inclusive and attuned to local priorities.

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