Building the case for NCDs in Africa

By 2020, the World Health Organisation (2005) estimates that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be as prevalent as communicable diseases, which has been the main determinant of the high morbidity and mortality in the sub-Saharan Africa.

The emerging importance of NCDs in the region is mostly associated with lifestyle, structural and environmental changes and calls for an integrated approach and for strategies that:

  • develop effective primary intervention measures;

  • tackle risk factors and the wider social, economic and environmental conditions;

  • adopt evidence based approaches for interventions for vulnerable groups and populations;

  • support governments in the implementation of effective, efficient and sustainable NCD policies and programmes.


The project aimed to establish a system and evidence that would provide guidance to countries within the Sub-Saharan African region to address NCDs comprehensively by facilitating a number of initiatives.


Organisation of advocacy meetings

In July 2008, a meeting took place in Bagamoyo, Tanzania bringing together representatives from different African countries and from around the world with the aim of:

  • underscoring the role of health promotion in addressing NCDs in Africa;

  • examining the current state of NCD policies and guidelines in a sample of African countries;

  • sharing examples of specific actions (projects, guidelines, approaches) on addressing NCDs in Africa;

  • developing advocacy strategies for addressing NCDS using a health promotion approach.

The meeting resulted in a interactive workshop during which participants identified capacity needs that should be addressed in order to develop NCD advocacy activities in their countries. During this session, participants also made personal commitments, identifying specific actions they could carry out in their position and that will contribute to advocate for a greater investment and the development of public policies that address the NCDs in their respective regions and countries. Finally, the meeting led to the creation of an Africa NCD Expert Group and an NCD Partner Forum.

In 2009, a follow-up meeting to advance this work was held in Entebbe, Uganda gathering both the Africa NCD Expert Group and the NCD Partner Forum. Following extensive deliberations amongst and between the two groups, it was agreed a Consortium, encompassing associations, organizations and individuals working on NCDs in the region, would be formed with the goal of addressing NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa through the concerted efforts of key players in the region.

For more information on the Consortium for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control in sub-Saharan Africa (CNCD-Africa) please click here.


Expert Group


The African NCD Expert Group was established with a specific set of objectives (see below) as one way of integrating a health promotion dimension in NCD activities in the region and providing leadership in this area. The group is composed of a small number of individuals, with varied and complementary expertise in the various conditions that constitute NCDs, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, amongst others. The group membership ensures adequate sub-regional representation and is drawn both from the sub-Saharan African region and the global level.

In the context and parallel to the advocacy meeting held in Bagamoyo, a group of key international, regional and local partners met in order to discuss and share ideas, plans and concerns on NCDs in the African region. The enthusiasm expressed by the different parties on the importance to take action in a coordinated matter led to the creation of a NCD Partner Forum.


  • Provide guidance to country and regional teams enga ged in NCD policy formulation, surveillance and interventions;

  • Provide technical inputs into NCD policies, interve ntion and documentation;

  • Generate ideas and support the implementation of in novative NCD interventions in the region;

  • Provide linkages to both human and financial resour ces within and outside the region;

  • Represent the region in international NCD and other health-related forums; and

  • Advocate for NCD prevention and control in Africa.


A Consortium for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control in sub-Saharan Africa (CNCD-Africa)


The Consortium for Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCD-Africa) was established on July 7th 2009 by a group of 40 individuals and institutions working on NCDs in Africa during a meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, a follow-up meeting to an event on health promotion and NCDs held in 2008 in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.



to address NCD prevention and control in sub-Saharan Africa through concerted efforts of key players in the region.



To improve the health and quality of life of people in sub-Saharan Africa through tackling NCDs comprehensively, competently and sustainably.



CNCD-Africa members intend to achieve this vision through harnessing partnerships with NCD actors in the region and globally in order to spearhead reduction in NCD risk factors through concerted efforts using health promotion, disease prevention, and improved management of NCDs and by synergizing the capacity and expertise of existing organizations and main players working in the sub-Saharan African region.


For more information on the Consortium for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control in sub-Saharan Africa (CNCD-Africa) please go to the Consoritum's website or contact Dr. Mary Amuyunzu-Nyamongo (Coordinator, CNCD-Africa & Executive Director, African Institute for Health & Development) and Jared Owuor (Secretary, CNCD-Africa).


This project was developed and implemented in collaboration with the African Institute for Health and Development.

The Consortium for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control in sub-Saharan Africa (CNCD-Africa) is actively supported by IUHPE and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).