As part of its coordination activities, the West Africa Roll Back Malaria Network (WARN) convened a roundtable on the private sector and its potential contribution to the fight against malaria in West Africa, in Niamey, Niger on November 24, 2014.

Facilitated by Niger NMCP and Speak Up Africa, the meeting was held during WARN annual meeting, which will take place from November 24 to November 28, 2014. Chaired by The Honorable, Mrs. Kaffa Rakia Jackou, Minister of Industrial Development, this meeting is timely in these times of global economic crisis when funding granted to the fight against malaria is increasingly difficult. Such an initiative also responds to a pressing need: the diversification of funding sources for the fight against malaria in West Africa. Roll Back Malaria, through WARN, urges all its member countries to call upon local companies for a significant contribution to the national effort.

Alongside 15 West African National Malaria Control Programs’ Managers, WAHO/ECOWAS, many companies with local offices, such as Areva, Bank of Africa, les Grands Moulins du Niger, Sanofi, Total and the members of the Private Sector Coalition for the fight against Malaria, HIV/AIDS & Tuberculosis were represented.

To maximize the scope of this regional information sharing platform, WARN invited the Senegalese Sugar Company (CSS) to share its experience. Indeed, the CSS is fully engaged in the malaria elimination project implemented by Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program in the northern part of the country. Thanks to the outlined strategies, there has been a sharp decline in annual pharmaceutical costs related to malaria as well as a reduction in the rate of absenteeism throughout the company. Senegal also shared its advocacy efforts implemented through the “Zero Malaria! Count Me In” campaign, an initiative striving to create a national movement in favor of malaria elimination. Aligned with Roll Back Malaria’s priorities, the campaign urges public-private partnerships and could therefore be scaled up throughout West Africa.

The main objectives of this meeting were to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices regarding the involvement of the private sector in the fight against malaria, the development of areas of collaboration between the public and private sectors and WARN partners. The discussions led to the development of recommendations for stakeholders such as the creation of an environment favorable to the mobilization of the private sector in the fight against malaria.

Niamey, NIGER