Druckansicht der Internetadresse:

Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

Print page

Globalization and health policy in West Africa

  • Research Section: Moralities

  • Project duration: 01.09.2021 - 31.08.2022


This work seeks to fill the gap of previous studies which missed to link Global Health movement to the changing structures and policies of health system at national as well as regional levels. In our project, we investigate the impact of globalization on health policies in West Africa both at a country (Burkina Faso) and at regional levels. In this investigation, we consider conceptual differences between International Health as represented by the work of the WHO, a United Nations’ intergovernmental organization, and Global Health represented by new multilateral global health organizations having a common Public Private Partnership (PPP) pattern. We assume that the impacts of Global Health activities can be detected and analyzed both at regional and local governance levels and that the impacts may be different from those of the international health because of the PPP pattern of the new actors and activities. Moreover, we are seeking to study the temporality and modality of the interactions between global health and local health which shall allow us to better understand the shifting movement from international health towards the global Health.

Key Questions

To better understand how global health has impacted health policies in West Africa, particularly in Burkina Faso, we seek to answer the following questions:

  • How the notion of Global Health is understood in the West African context?
  • Who are the main Global Health stakeholders at regional and national levels and how are they organised?
  • How the policies at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, WAHO) have coped with global health policies? 
  • How has Global Health governance shaped the health systems and the fight against diseases?

Methods and Concepts

Qualitative method and interdisciplinary approach are our main tools. The geographical scope of the research is West African region and Burkina Faso. A documentation regarding laws, rules, programs, policies, will be used. Information shall be collected by carrying out interviews with relevant stakeholders in health sectors and at communities’ levels. Our findings will be subject to exchange between global health and local health stakeholders at a closing seminar.


The overall objective is to research and make an account on how the changes at global level on health have been implemented, adapted, accepted, rejected at regional and country levels in health system reforms, and in the fighting against diseases. We are seeking to:

  • Elaborate a historical and ethnographical account of Global Health in West Africa (example Burkina Faso)
  • Study the constellation of Global Health stakeholders and activities at national level (Burkina Faso) 
  • Study the constellation and of Global Health stakeholders at Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS) 
  • Analyze different health system reforms (decentralization, vertical vs. Horizontal programmes) in relation with global health governance

Contribution or Relation to the Cluster’s Aims & Goals

In this project, we seek to understand how global health governance, a new paradigm in international Health, has been negotiated and accepted at local level, which will contribute to the Research section morality. In addition, we seek to use the Cluster concept of multiplicity as an analytical tool to better understand the modalities and relationalities of the global health implementation process in West Africa. The background of this work is that the notion of global health and the practices which make it a reality in Africa are underpinned by positive values. Brought to the rank of a universal concept, global health has helped shape international and national health policy. Global health brings in interaction a multitude of state, non-state, public and private stakeholders around the resolution of health issues. The relationships woven at regional and national contribute to the evolution of African health systems.

Project Team


Dr. Yacouba Banhoro

Principal Investigator
Université Joseph-Ki-Zerbo
(UJKZ), Ouagadougou


Dr. Illy Ousséni

Principal Investigator
University Thomas Sankara
Burkina Faso

Further Links / Key References

Research Team

Project Summary

Globalization has won in momentum since the 1990s. Welcomed in international relations for its positive impacts on development, it has strong relationships with neoliberal thoughts and has shaped regional and national policies. The temporality and modality of these processes and their impacts at national and regional levels in West Africa are at the core of this research. This interdisciplinary work seeks to fill the gap of previous studies which missed to link Global Health movement to the changing structures and policies of health system at national as well as regional levels.

The goal is to understand not only the impact of global health on regional and local health systems reforms, but also to produce knowledge from a Global Health governance perspective that will help to better understand the shifting movement in international relations towards the globalization. The study will put a focus on ethics and rules pertaining to how international norms have become regional and national, thus, impacting the integration process in West African countries.

By addressing the processes, impacts, and meanings in global and local health policies, this study will be link to the research section “Moralities” in the African Cluster. Also, because of its globalisation and West African integration perspective, it will have some links with other research sections such as “Knowledges” and “Affiliations”.

Webmaster: Olutosin Akinwumi

Facebook Twitter Youtube-Kanal Instagram UBT-A