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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Global Governance of Health Vulnerabilities in Africa

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What are key health vulnerabilities in Africa and how do global governance arrangements respond to them in resource constrained settings? What are States’ and other actors’ duties and responsibilities to ensure good health? Find out through this summer school organised in partnership between the University of Groningen and Mzumbe University in Tanzania, land of the Mt Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Mikumi National Park.

This school is designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the role of global governance from a perspective of law, governance, administration and medicine. It is taught by an  interdisciplinary expert staff from the Groningen Center of Health Law and Mzumbe's School of Public Administration and Management and Faculty of Law. Important new and existing health vulnerabilities facing African people that will be discussed include: maternal and child health, environmental health and climate change, disabilities and mental health, or non-communicable diseases (e.g. tobacco, unhealthy diets).

Several academic and (inter)governmental experts will introduce the key themes on day one, such as the role of the WHO and international guidelines in resource constraint settings; human rights and health; and interdisciplinary approaches to global health governance. Interactive lectures and small hands-on group assignments delve deeper into certain themes and topics. Overall, participants will gain insights into (recent developments in) key legal global health arrangements, e.g. WHO, UNFCCC or international and African human rights treaties, as well as the challenges and opportunities of translating them into domestic contexts. Thursday afternoon brings parallel skills-oriented workshops, e.g. preparing MA or PhD research proposals or questions; methods of legal / interdisciplinary research; career advice and CV writing.

On Friday, participants and key staff go on an excursion to Mikumi National Park together. Mikumi is Tanzania's fourth largest national park and home to amongst others, the Big Five, giraffes, hippo's, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and many bird species.

Practical information

24 - 28 July 2023


Tanzania, Morogoro Campus (Mzumbe University)


Advanced undergraduate students / Master students / PhD students / Post-docs / Practioners


This programme fee includes lunches / evening teas / social dinner / day trip to Mikumi National Park. No scholarships or fee waivers are available for this programme.

€ 200 (600,000 Tsh) for students from Africa.

€ 250 (700,000 Tsh) for practitioners.

Academic coordinators

Marlies Hesselman (Faculty of Law)

Idda Lyatonga (School of Public Administration and Management)


Marlies Hesselman and Idda Lyatonga


This course is designed for Master students, post-graduates students and policy or civil society practitioners with a background in law, health governance or health science. Advanced under-graduate students may apply.

Participations should have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English. A sound basic level of (international) law, public law, public (health) administration and/or health science is highly recommended. Preparatory materials are provided before class.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  • Explain key global public health challenges and vulnerabilities confronting the African region, with a focus on children's and women’s health, environmental health, mental health and disability and NCDs,
  • Understand dynamics of multi-stakeholder of public health governance arrangements for Africa, from international to local level
  • Understand how (international) legal frameworks affect governance of global public health vulnerabilities, with emphasis on international health treaties and international human rights law
  • Discuss challenges and realities of public health systems administration and governance in resource constrained settings


Preparation: 5 hours
Lectures and assignments: 28 hours
Workshops: 3-4 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 36 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

  • Prof. Brigit Toebes
  • Prof. Albert-Jan Tollenaar (tbc)
  • Dr. Marlies Hesselman
  • Dr. Natalie Abrokwa
  • Dr. Regien Biesma
  • Meaghan Beyer (tbc)
  • Dr. Eliza Mwakasangula
  • Dr. Idda Lyatonga
  • Dr. Mackfallen Giliad
  • Dr. Denis Kamugisha
  • Dr. Godfrey Kacholi
  • Dr. Saraphine Bakta
  • Dr. Hanifa Massawe
  • Dr. Richard Ngowi
  • Dr. Ntuli kapologwe
  • Dr. Galbert Fedjo Tefoyet
  • Dr. Kalolo
  • Mr. George Igulu
  • Mr. Martine Massawe
  • Ms. Agnes Mchome
Course schedule
Monday 24 July

Introduction and Key Themes for Global Health Governance in Africa:

  • Role of WHO and international guidelines (WHO Tanzania)
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to global health governance and a systems approach
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Maternal Health
Tuesday 25 July

Environmental health, climate change and Public Health Administration:

  • Environmental pollution and health
  • Climate change
  • Public Health Governance and Administration at International, Regional and National Level
Wednesday 26 July

Health vulnerabilities in Africa:

  • Women’s and Children’s Health
  • Disabilities in Africa
  • International and African Human Rights Treaties
Thursday 27 July

Non-Communicable Diseases and Workshops:

  • The Right to Mental Health
  • Regulatory Approaches to Tobacco and Unhealthy Diets
  • African Network on Health and Human Rights
  • (Academic) skills and career workshops on health, governance, law and human rights
Friday 28 July

Group visit to Mikumi National Park

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter, clearly stating why you want to join this summer school, what you will bring to the school and what you hope to learn (max. 1 page)

The deadline for application is the 30th of June 2023. Selection takes place on a rolling basis (visa application is own responsibility).


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Last modified:11 May 2023 1.17 p.m.