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Cotonou Conference 2005

Cotonou Conference 2005

Pastoral Health Care at the Dawn of the 3rd Millennium. Challenges and Opportunities. Cotonou, Benin, May 31 to June 2, 2005.

Presided by the Episcopal Conference of the West Africa Region (CERAO) and under the auspices of the Episcopal Conference of Benin (CEB), organized by the Association of Private Confessional and Social Medical Work of Benin (AMCES) and Medicus Mundi International.


Following the conference of English-speaking African bishops of March 22 - 24, 2004 in Kampala, the theme of which was «The Healing Ministry of the Church in the Third Millennium – Challenges and Opportunities», the conference of French-speaking and Portuguese-speaking African bishops was held in Cotonou from May 31 to June 2, 2005 and its theme was «Pastoral Health Care at the Dawn of the 3rd Millennium – Challenges and Opportunities».

During the three days of the Conference a process of stocktaking of the Church’s health care institutions in French- and Portuguese-speaking Africa took place, looking into their difficulties, analyzing them and making commitments designed to consolidate the Church’s health care activities.

Our precept was that health care provision by the Church is a vital contribution to meeting the critical needs of the population. This is especially the case in countries confronted with the most difficult economic and political conditions where a lack of public sector provision of health care and other services is a common characteristic.


Having explained and discussed their reasons for attending the Conference, the various initiators formulated its aims and objectives as follows:


«The aim is to develop human and financial resources which will enable us to provide improved Pastoral Health Care in the 3rd millennium. Essentially, this will mean developing and promoting management capabilities, human resources and diocesan, inter-diocesan, national and international cooperation.»

Objectives of the Conference

«The Conference had multiple objectives, namely:

  1. To reaffirm and repeat the importance of the role and responsibility of the Church as an owner of health care institutions and provider of health care services
  2. To identify and be aware of current and emerging difficulties which Pastoral Health Care will have to confront
  3. To ascertain how the Church authorities can assist and consolidate the health care units it runs
  4. To determine how best to benefit from synergies and how missions may be accomplished through better coordination in partnership with the main players in health care provision
  5. To foster professional management of institutions run by the Church at all levels (local, national, regional, continental) and of dealings with regulatory and financing organizations
  6. To set up a plan for the development of skills required for professional management of these institutions
  7. To present and propose the adoption of tools for management and partnership
  8. To clarify the advantages of a contract approach between the private sector and public authorities, in particular Health Ministries
  9. To consolidate the network of Pastoral Health Care between countries in order to improve the exchange of experience and expertise
  10. To encourage an ecumenical approach.»

(Source: Conference Report)


Conference Report and Declaration

  • Conference Report (PDF - French)
  • Bishops' Declaration (PDF - French)
  • Conference Report and Bishops' Declaration (PDF - English)

Background and preparatory documents

(all documents in French)

  • Programme de la Conférence de Cotonou (PDF - 54 Kb)
  • Annonce préalable (PDF - 602 Kb)
  • Recueil de textes préparatoires (PDF - 724 Kb). Les textes introductifs à la conférence et les textes préparatoires aux différentes sessions
  • De Soesterberg et Kampala à Cotonou, Mai 2005 (PDF - 697 Kb). Une compilation de textes fondateurs des trois conférences
  • Rapport de la Conférence de Kampala (PDF - 188 Kb)
  • La "Déclaration de Kampala" (PDF - 53 Kb)
  • La résolution de l'OMS sur la contractualisation (PDF - 108 Kb). Le rôle de la contractualisation dans l'amélioration de la performance des systèmes de santé


Conference Inputs

(all documents in French)

  • Introduction et Objectifs par le Dr Edgar Widmer (PDF - 145 Kb)
  • La situation des systèmes de santé en Afrique par le Dr Robert Soeters (PDF - 192 Kb)
  • La Conférence de Kampala - Illustration par le Dr Jean-Paul Mundama (PDF - 337 Kb)
  • La Pastorale de la Santé dans l'Archidiocèse de Cotonou par le Père Désiré Attondé (PDF - 184 Kb)
  • La coordination des services de santé catholiques de la Province ecclésiastique de Parakou par le Dr Alain Santos (PDF - 2'214 Kb)
  • Expériences de l'AMCES en matière de coordination et de partenariats publics-privés par le Dr Yves Sossou (PDF - 84 Kb)
  • Le rôle de la contractualisation dans les systèmes de santé par M. Jean Perrot (PDF - 196 Kb)
  • L'achat de performance par le Dr Robert Soeters (PDF - 205 Kb)
  • Les ressources humaines dans la santé par Mme Laurence Codjia (PDF - 99 Kb)
  • La santé pour tous et l'oecuménisme par le Dr Edgar Widmer (PDF - 19 Kb)
  • Santé et oecuménisme par le Dr Patricia J. Nickson (PDF - 7'516 Kb)
  • Allocution de clôture par Monseigneur Jean Zerbo (PDF - 13 Kb)



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