African Health Strategy

African Agency, Agenda-setting in Public Health: The Africa Centre for Disease Control in Perspective

The African Union (AU) has reached its twentieth year, and this milestone offers an opportunity to reflect upon African agency and agenda-setting regarding the development of continental norms and practices within the AU's public health sphere of competence. This is particularly relevant in view of the current global pandemic. This paper argues that the establishment of the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) under the Statute of the Africa CDC, its mechanisms and processes, especially in the AU's continental response to COVID-19, advances African agency and agenda-setting in public health. Importantly, some of the actions of the AU, as part of its continental response to COVID-19, require attention not only because they form the central argument of this paper but also because of the scant attention paid to the AU's continental response to the pandemic by scholars and others, in this regard.