In today's keynote address on health infrastructure at the State Department, as part of the Constituency for Africa's 2015 Ronald H. Brown African Affairs Series, Ron Dellums calls for the creation of an "Ubuntu Plan" to address Africa's healthcare infrastructure challenges and opportunities for international partnerships. Building upon his prior work with private industry, the World Bank, and the U.S. government in advancing a Marshall Plan to address the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, Dellums put the new efforts under the framework of "Ubuntu" to reflect the underlying principles of respect, inter-connectedness, and unity that must undergird relationships between African countries with the international community.
According to Dellums, "The African continent represents the world's future. It holds natural resources needed for tomorrow's technological advances and renewable energy power. The region has continued to sustain an average economic growth rate of 5% during a time when developed countries were still recovering from economic crisis. And with the world's most populous youth population, future global leaders and visionaries will come from Africa. As the Ebola crisis and climate change show us, we are inter-dependent, mutually reliant, and mutually vulnerable. How can the health of Africa deteriorate and the health of the world not deteriorate? How can the ecology of Africa deteriorate and the ecology of the world not deteriorate?"
Dellums calls upon African leaders to create the Ubuntu Plan, in partnership with the U.S. and international community, to fund both priority healthcare systems as well as the roots of health--access to decent jobs and housing, and clean water, sanitation, and environment.