After over a decade of political instability and armed conflict, Côte d’Ivoire is beginning to rebuild its public health sector. A recent vote for a 29% increase in the budget of the Ministry of Health and the Fight against AIDS and large donor contributions for basic services signal a good start. Côte d’Ivoire’s health sector challenges cut across multiple areas: staffing, infrastructure, training, regulation, national coverage and funding. Improving the quality and equity of care will require sustained interventions in all areas, in particular expansion of access to basic services and better regulation of the private sector. Reining in the private sector through better regulation and training will enable it to serve as a sustainable engine for growth.
Investment in public education has stalled over the past several decades, impeded first by the debt crisis of the 1980s and then by the outbreak of civil war. During more than a decade of political turmoil, school buildings were damaged and supplies pillaged. Many schools closed down, largely due to the absence of students, but also for lack of supplies lost to looting. But if Côte d’Ivoire is to harness the development potential of its impressive growth rate, it will need to further extend access to basic education to ensure the enrolment of rural children and girls. As political stability has been restored, the government is prioritising public education, but significant investment will be required to meet the educational needs of the growing population. Long-term gains will require sustained prioritisation and a greater allocation of public finances.
This chapter contains an interview with Oumar Kébé, General Manager for West Africa, GlaxoSmithKline.