Africa Public Health Foundation’s new Executive Director

Effective 14th April 2020,  Mrs. Sahra Noor has been appointed as the Interim Director for Africa Public Health Foundation. Mrs. Noor is a public health and health systems consultant with extensive experience in non-profit and health services management, resource mobilization, public-private partnerships, policy development and leadership. She holds an MSc in Nursing and Health Systems Administration from the University of Minnesota and a Certificate in Health Policy from George Washington University. Mrs. Noor was born and raised in Mogadishu, Somalia. During Somalia’s civil war in 1990s, she lived in a refugee camp in Kenya before migrating to the United States, where she studied and worked for over two decades. She now lives in Kenya with her husband and children. As the interim director, Ms. Noor will serve as the legal representative of the foundation; oversee staff operations; lead the development and implementation of the foundation’s vision, mission and strategic plan; liaise with Africa CDC, and foundation councillors; and support the operationalisation of Africa COVID-19 Response Fund. Ms. Noor will work alongside the Africa Health Business team during this first phase of six months and will report to the foundation councillors. Please join me in welcoming Sahra Noor to APHF. We are confident that she will provide strong leadership during this time of transition and build a strong operational and strategic infrastructure on which to build a promising future for the foundation.

The APHF, launched on 6th September 2019 at the World Economic Forum Africa,  is an initiative for Public, Private, and Philanthropic Partnership to support Africa Member States build their capacity to better detect and respond to diseases outbreaks and emergencies and as such mitigate the effect on the human, economic and political integration agenda of the continent. Capacity to predict emergence of pandemics and major disease outbreaks would be critical for planning in sectors such as the airlines, hotel industry, factories that depend on human capital.

The APHF mandate aligns with the vision and mission of Africa CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and shall enhance Africa CDC’s efforts to respond to health security threats in Africa. The Africa CDC through its Regional Collaborating Centers (RCCs) in the five AU Geographic Regions and associated National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) has the potential to coordinate and realize synergies across the continent.

Africa Health Business (AHB) as an implementing partner supported Africa CDC for the inception of this foundation. It provided insights on private sector engagement in Africa and co-hosted with other partners such as World Economic Forum at the official announcement of the APHF.

The launch of the Foundation is an important step towards creating mechanisms for public-private-philanthropic partnerships to harness African assets from multi-sectoral sources to support Africa CDC in strengthening Africa’s Health and Economic Security. The Foundation will facilitate interactions with the private and philanthropic sectors to support Africa CDC’s mission to safeguard the continent.

Dr. Bernard Haufiku, the former Minister of Health of Namibia and an advisor to the President of Namibia, takes on the Founder role at the Africa Public Health Foundation. Under his leadership, the APHF aims to raise $1 billion in donor funding over ten years to fulfil its mandate. This funding shall improve health security in Africa by creating partnerships for resource mobilization; develop capacities and resources for preparedness and emergency response; strengthen healthcare systems; support healthcare workforce development; support innovations for Public Health and carry out advocacy for policy, law and regulation that create an enabling environment for better health security.

Stakeholders agreed that the APHF was a necessary platform to address gaps in health security in Africa and that inclusive action that leveraged the entire ecosystem would be required for transformative impact across the continent.

Visit APHF Website.


Pictured: Philip Onyebujoh (Africa CDC), Ryan Morhard (World Economic Forum) and John Nkengasong (Africa CDC) announced the launch of Africa Public Health Foundation during the first stakeholder engagement.