Global health campaigns, development aid programs, and disaster relief groups have been criticized for falling into colonialist patterns, running roughshod over the local structure and authority of the countries in which they work. Far from powerless, however, African states play complex roles in health policy design and implementation. In Africa and Global Health Governance, Amy S. Patterson focuses on AIDS, the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak, and non-communicable diseases to demonstrate why and how African states accept, challenge, or remain ambivalent toward global health policies, structures, and norms.
Employing in-depth analysis of media reports and global health data, Patterson also relies on interviews and focus-group discussions to give voice to the various agents operating within African health care systems, including donor representatives, state officials, NGOs, community-based groups, health activists, and patients. Showing the variety within broader patterns, this clearly written book demonstrates that Africa's role in global health governance is dynamic and not without agency. Patterson shows how, for example, African leaders engage with international groups, attempting to maintain their own leadership while securing the aid their people need. Her findings will benefit health and development practitioners, scholars, and students of global health governance and African politics.