There is a need to put in place health systems that not only ensure universal access to essential health services but that also provide quality services, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has said. Ngirente said this during the opening session of the 2nd Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA) taking place from December 13 to 15. The conference brings together health experts, researchers, government officials, and policymakers to discuss health challenges the continent faces and chart a way forward for resilient continental health systems. Ngirente highlighted that public health is about the capacities of countries to take appropriate actions to protect, and care for the health of citizens, hence, resilient public health practices must have systems able to detect and respond effectively to outbreaks. “The Covid-19 pandemic exposed gaps in global health systems, including; inadequate emergency preparedness, access to vaccines, and technologies and insufficient well-trained personnel. This stressed the need to prioritize, and invest more, in national health programs,” he said. Therefore, Ngirente added, it is important to keep in mind the positive correlation between the health of our citizens and economic growth. “To build a better future for our continent requires establishing strong and resilient health systems across the continent.” In a virtual address, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), emphasized that preparedness against health threats depends on collaboration, which is why the organisation is working closely with the African CDC to strengthen continents’ defenses against outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. “As our continent recovers, it's also essential that all countries invest in strengthening their health systems, especially primary health care on their journey towards universal health coverage,” he noted. Prof Senait Fisseha, Director of Global Programmes at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the Co-chair of CPHIA, said that this is an essential platform that not only elevates the new African Public Health order but also adds critical value to the broader global health discourse and practice. New Public Health Order is an initiative by the AU that calls for continental collaboration to bolster African manufacturing capacity for vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, strengthen public health institutions for people-centered care, expand the public health workforce, establish respectful, action-oriented partnerships and engage with the private sector. Inequities in Global Health were magnified at the height of the covid-19, pandemic with problematic exclusionary practices and surprising failure of systems and even marked differences in compassion, Fisseha said. “We learned once more that the world would deprioritize our continent and its needs, instead of finding ways to work together to optimize resources and find Creative Solutions to our shared challenges.” She, hence, called on experts and African leaders to set strategic objectives and a global agenda with the aim of building resilient health systems, local manufacturing capabilities, home institutions, and skilled workforce to truly transform lives.