A renewed focus on health has brought with it a number of improvements. The authorities have rehabilitated hospitals and health centres, developed technical platforms for facilities in line with international standards and improved access to services. Although main health indi¬cators have improved significantly over the years, challenges remain with regard to maternal, neonatal and infant health. The universal health care plan is set to improve provision, with commitments to boost operational infrastructure, increase the work¬force and manufacture more local generic pharma¬ceutical drugs.
Education has also become a national priority. Despite a demographic boom, the implementation of compulsory schooling and increased federal spending on education testifies to the will to improve the education system. Many challenges remain, however, as educational institutions struggle to absorb a rapidly growing youth population and equip them with the skills needed in the labour market.
This chapter contains an interview with Eugène Aka-Aouélé, Minister of Health.