World Health Assembly


    The World Health Assembly is the highest decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.



    Executive board

    Executive Board

    eb_2009_2s.jpgThe Executive Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health and elected for three-year terms. It meets twice in a year in Geneva to review resolutions and the agenda for the World Health Assembly, and administrative matters. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.

    Chairman and Officers of the Executive Board

    • Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo (Brazil)
    • Ms Glenys Beauchamp (Australia)
    • Dr Simon Mfanzile Zwane (Eswatini)Vice-Chairman
    • Dr Päivi Sillanaukee (Finland)
    • Dr Rajitha Senaratne (Sri Lanka)
    • Dr Mohammed Jaber Hwoal Al-Taae (Iraq)

    Notes for the record

    Meetings of the Director-General with the Officers of the Executive Board

    Composition of the Executive Board (African Region)

    • Algeria
      • Pr. Lhadj Mohamed - May 2016 – Jan. 2019
        Directeur général des services de santé et de la réforme hospitalière
        lhadjmoh [at] yahoo.fr/lhadjm@santé.gov.dz
      • Dr Radhia Kraiba - Alternate
        Chargé de Programme au Ministère de la Santé et de la réforme hospitalière
        kraiba.radhia [at] gmail.com
    • Burundi
      • Dr Thaddée Ndikumana / May 2016 - Jan 2019
        Ministre de la Santé Publique et de la Lutte contre le sida
      • Dr Isaac Minani - Alternate
        Directeur general des Services de Santé et de la Lutte contre le sida
        minisa63 [at] yahoo.fr
    • Gabon
      • M. Martin Essono Ndoutoumou / May 2018 – Jan. 2021
        Directeur Général de la planification des infrastructures sanitaires et des équipements
        martessono [at] yahoo.fr
      • Dr Agnès Mibindzou - Alternate
        Coordonnateur des comptes nationaux de la santé
        ammzou [at] csgabon.info
    • Benin
      • Dr Codjo Didier Agossadou / May 2017 – Jan. 2020
        Secrétaire Général du Ministère
        didieragossadou [at] yahoo.fr
      • Dr Edmond Sossa
        Conseiller Technique au Partenariat Sanitaire
      • Dr Simon Mfanzile Zwane / May 2017 – Jan. 2020
        Principal Secretary
        smz115 [at] gmail.com
      • Dr Samuel Vusie Magagula
        Director of Health Services
        magagulasam [at] gov.sz          
    • Tanzania
      • Dr Mpoki M. Ulisubisya / May 2017 – Jan. 2020
        Permanent Secretary
        drmpoki [at] gmail.com
      • Pr. Muhammad Bakari Kambi
        Chief Medical Officer
        drbakari [at] yahoo.com
    • Zambia
      • Dr Jabbin Mulwanda / May 2017 – Jan. 2020
        Permanent Secretary
        jabbinmulwanda [at] gmail.com
      • Dr Kennedy Malama
        Director Health Promotion Environment & Social Determinants
        malamakennedy [at] gmail.com

    WHO Executive Board: full documentation »

    Regional Committee for Africa

    Regional Committee for Africa

    The WHO Regional Committee for Africa is the Organization's decision-making body in the African Region. It comprises of Ministers of Health or their representatives from each of the 47 Member States in the region.

    Among the functions of the Regional Committee are:

    • formulate regional policies;
    • supervise WHO/AFR's activities;
    • comment on the regional component of WHO's proposed programme budget;
    • nominate the Regional Director for Africa every five years and transmit their decision to the WHO Executive Board for endorsement.

    The Regional Committee meets as often as necessary and the Regional Director acts as its Secretary.

    Rules of Procedure of the Regional Committee for Africa [pdf 550kB]

    69th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa

    The Sixty-ninth session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa will take place in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, from 19 to 23 August 2019.

    Programme Subcommittee

    Programme Subcommittee

    The Programme Subcommittee (PSC) is a subsidiary body of the Regional Committee. It assists the Regional Committee by reviewing the budget, strategies, reports and proposed resolutions and advising on policy and governance matters.

    The Programme Subcommittee consists of 16 representatives of Member States. In addition, three Executive Board members from the African Region attend the subcommittee meetings.

    Dowload the terms of reference of the PSC of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa [pdf]


    Programme Subcommittee Members (Rev. 24/APR/2018)

    • Angola                                 Dr Balbina Ventura Felix
      Aug. 2017 – Jun. 2020         Consultant Minister for Public Health Services
    • Benin                                   Dr Codjo Didier Agossadou
      May 2017 – Jan. 2020         Secrétaire Général du Ministère​​​​​​​
    • Botswana                            Dr Khumo Seipone
      Aug. 2017 – Jun 2019          Director, Health Services
    • Burkina Faso                      Prof. Adama Traoré
      May 2019 – Jan. 2022         Professeur agrégé en dermatologie
    • Cameroon                           Dr Hamadou Ba
      Aug. 2017 – Jun 2020          Chef de la Division de la Coopération
    • Ethiopia                               Dr.Desalegn Tigabu
      Aug. 2016 – Jun. 2019         Director for the Plan and Policy Directorate
    • Eswatini                               Dr Simon Mfanzile Zwane
      May 2017 – Jan. 2020          Principal Secretary​​​​​​​

    • Gabon                                  M. Martin Essono Ndoutoumou
      May 2018 – Jan. 2021          Directeur Général de la planification
                                                    des infrastructures sanitaires et des équipements

    • Kenya                                   Dr J. Wekesa Masasabi
      May 2019 - Jan 2022            Ag. Director General for Health
    • Mauritania                           Pr Lô Baïdy
      Aug. 2016 - Jun 2019            Chargé de mission
    • Nigeria                                 Dr Emmanuel Meribole
      Aug. 2016 – Jun 2019          Acting Head of Department, Department
                                                    of Health Planning, Research and   Statistics
    • Rwanda                                 Dr Zuberi Muvunyi
    • Aug. 2017 – Jun 2020            Director General Clinical Services
    • Sao Tome & Principe           Dr Carlos Alberto Bandeira d'Almeida
      Aug. 2016 – Jun 2019             Directeur du Centre National des Endémies
    • Senegal                                   Dr Marie Khermesse Ngom Ndiaye
      Aug. 2017 – Jun. 2020            Directrice Générale de la Santé
    • South Africa                          Dr Yogan Pillay
      Aug. 2016 – Jun 2019             Deputy Director-General
    • Tanzania                                 Dr Mpoki M. Ulisubisya
      May 2017 – Jan. 2020             Permanent Secretary​​​​​​​

    • Togo                                        Dr Kokou Wotobe
      Aug. 2017 – Jun 2020             Directeur des Etudes, de la Planification
                                                       et de la Programmation par intérim
    • Zimbabwe                                Dr Gibson Mhlanga
      Aug. 2017 – Jun. 2020               Principle Director, Preventive Services
    • Zambia                                     Dr Jabbin Mulwanda
      May 2017 – Jan. 2020               Permanent Secretary​​​​​​​

    Transformation Agenda

    Transformation Agenda


    The Transformation Agenda of the World Health Organization Secretariat in the African Region is a vision and a strategy for change aimed at facilitating the emergence of the WHO that the staff and stakeholders want.

    It is a result of consultations with staff members within and outside the WHO African Region, and stakeholders from outside the Organization. The Transformation Agenda covers four focus areas:

    1. pro-results values
    2. smart technical focus
    3. responsive strategic operations
    4. effective communications and partnerships

    Governance Reform

    Governance Reform

    The evolution of WHO’s work and the increasing number of entities associated with global health has necessitated changes in the way WHO is governed, and the way WHO engages with external stakeholders. In this regard, WHO’s governance reform aims to strengthen both the internal governance of WHO by Member States, as well as the role of WHO in global health governance.

    GOVERNANCE REFORMThe proposals for change in respect of internal governance focus on improving the work of the governing bodies – the World Health Assembly, the Executive Board and the Regional Committees – including strengthening global-regional linkages. The fundamental objectives for the internal governance reforms are to foster a more strategic and disciplined approach to priority setting, to enhance the oversight of the programmatic and financial aspects of the Organization, and to improve the efficiency and inclusivity of intergovernmental consensus-building.

    In relation to WHO’s engagement with external stakeholders, WHO is exploring ways to more effectively collaborate with relevant stakeholders including nongovernmental organizations, partnerships, the private sector, foundations, and other relevant stakeholders with a view to promoting greater coherence in global health. The challenge here is to determine how WHO can engage with a wider range of players without undermining its intergovernmental nature or opening itself to influence by those with vested interests. Moreover, governance reforms aim to strengthen the multilateral role of WHO and to capitalize more effectively on WHO’s leadership position in global health.



    Mapping study on WHO’s engagement with non-State actors




    Informal consultation on WHO’s engagement with WHO COUNTRY & LIAISON OFFICES non-state actors

    This consultation, 17–18 October 2013 at WHO, Geneva and via web link, informed the drafting of reform proposals to be submitted to the Executive Board at its 134th session in January 2014

    More about WHO Reform »