EDCTP mourns the loss of Dr Pascoal Mocumbi

27 March 2023

It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of Dr Pascoal Mocumbi, EDCTP’s first High Representative, which happened on 25 March 2023. Dr Mocumbi was one of the founding fathers of EDCTP and represented the African partners in the initial discussions with the European Union that led to the establishment of our partnership. Dr Mocumbi will be greatly missed by all of us who have lived, worked and interacted with him in various ways, but his legacy endures forever. We offer our sincere condolences to Dr Mocumbi’s family and close relatives, and colleagues and friends in the global health community.

According to an official statement issued by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Mozambique, Dr Mocumbi passed away in the morning of 25 March in Maputo after a prolonged illness. The statement further announced that there will be a state funeral for Dr Mocumbi and that Mozambique will observe two days of national mourning in his honour.

Dr Pascoal Mocumbi, Prime Minister of Mozambique from 1994 to 2004, joined EDCTP in March 2004. During his tenure as High Representative, Dr Mocumbi played an important role in raising the profile of EDCTP and building political support, particularly in Africa. He was engaged in many international meetings with high-level representatives from Africa and Europe, including a meeting with the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and other stakeholders to discuss current and future challenges related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In 2011, he represented EDCTP at the Senior Officers of the EU-AU Meeting (SOM EU-AU) dialogue. He further addressed a High-Level Meeting on launching the second EDCTP programme (EDCTP2) in Cape Town, South Africa (2012), and a second High-Level Meeting on EDCTP2 in Dakar, Senegal (2013). Dr Mocumbi took his leave as the High Representative at the end of the first EDCTP programme in 2014.

Dr Mocumbi obtained his medical degree from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1973. After completing his studies, he returned to Mozambique where he practiced medicine as obstetrician and gynaecologist in hospitals throughout the country.

He was Prime Minister of Mozambique from 1994 to 2004. Prior to that, he headed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for eight years and the Ministry of Health for six years. From 1989 to 1998, Dr Mocumbi served in the World Health Organization’s Task Force on Health and Development.

In 2005, he was appointed WHO Good Will Ambassador for Maternal, New-born and Child Health for the African Region. He also had an active role in other global health initiatives.

Dr Pascoal Mocumbi Prize

In 2015, EDCTP established the Dr Pascoal Mocumbi Prize – the highest EDCTP prize – in recognition of Dr Mocumbi’s outstanding contribution to fostering global partnerships in health research and his support for research capacity strengthening in Africa. The prize, which is awarded biennially, rewards individuals in recognition of their outstanding achievements in advancing health research and capacity development in Africa with significant impact on the wellbeing of the African population. Nominations for the 2023 Dr Pascoal Mocumbi Prize are invited, and the prize will be awarded at the Eleventh EDCTP Forum that will take place in Paris, France from 7-10 November 2023.