20th May 2024

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Abuja, 16 may, 2024 – France and Nigeria have long standing relationship in critical development sectors such as: health, defence, education, trade & investment, culture, sports with attendants benefits on both nationals and lands, Towards this the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), in collaboration with Expertise France, today launched a new regional project aimed at strengthening human resources in public health, with an initial focus on 3 ECOWAS countries (Benin, Guinea and Togo).

The project, financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) to the tune of 4.5 million euros and implemented by Expertise France for a period of 4 years (2023-2027), aims, through the regional health organisation and the 3 partnership target countries, to contribute to reducing mortality in the face of health crises in West Africa by 2030. The project will be based on a ‘One Health’ and gender-sensitive approach, and will aim to develop the skills of health professionals in certain key areas, including:

  • Preventing, monitoring and controlling epidemics;
  • The quantity and quality of human resources in public health.
  • The fight against communicable diseases.
  • Promoting community, maternal and child health.
  • Managing health emergencies.
  • Promoting gender equality and a multi-sectoral approach.

The project has two specific components as follows:

  • Implementation of a robust and resilient development policies of HRPH in West Africa,
  • Improving training provision for Public Health workers in the ECOWAS francophone region through increased support from National Public Health Institutions.

In his speech, Dr Melchior Athanase C. J. AÏSSI, Director General of WAHO said: ‘‘One of the major health challenges facing our community is the issue of human resources in health, which is now on the agenda of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. The new project to support the reinforcement of human resources in public health in ECOWAS French-speaking countries, implemented by AFD Group through Expertise France, is one of the credible solutions expected for the prevention, detection and management of health crises in the ECOWAS region“.

On the other hand, Mr Xavier Muron, Director of AFD Abuja, said:‘‘Through Expertise France, AFD Group is delighted to support West African countries’ capacities to anticipate and respond to public health emergencies. Investing in human capital is key to building health systems and institutions capable of dealing with future crises. This project supports one of the pillars of WAHO’s strategy, namely the implementation of attractive strategies for the retention, management, training and development of human resources in health’‘.

The First Counsellor of the French Embassy in Nigeria recalled in his speech that:‘ ‘One of France’s priorities in Global Health is to work with its partners to promote equitable, sustainable and resilient healthcare systems to better anticipate, prevent, prepare for and respond to public health emergencies and climate change, as part of a “One Health” approach. This project is a perfect illustration of this. It also demonstrates our strong partnership with regional institutions to achieve these shared objectives’.


The West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is a specialised agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for health issues in the region, with the main objective of addressing Regional Health challenges, fostering cooperation between member states and promoting the well-being of the people of West Africa. Its aim is ‘to provide health care services to the people of the sub-region on the basis of harmonisation of Member States’ policies, pooling of resources and cooperation between Member States and third countries with a view to collectively and strategically finding solutions to the health problems of the sub-region’ (

Expertise France is an inter-ministerial agency for International Technical Cooperation and a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) Group. Being the second largest agency in Europe, Expertise France designs and implements projects that sustainably strengthen public policies in developing and emerging countries. Governance, security, climate, health, education… AFD is active in key areas of development and works alongside its partners to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a common world (

For more information, contact:

  • Project Coordinator
  • Dionké Fofana, Project manager

    • Press Contact
    • Pascal Ayawo KONOU, Head of Communication | (+224) 610 10 80 00



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