The African Union (AU) was officially launched in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, following a decision in September 1999 by its predecessor, the OAU to create a new continental organisation to build on its work. The decision to re-launch Africa’s pan-African organisation was the outcome of a consensus by African leaders that in order to realise Africa’s potential, there was a need to refocus attention from the fight for decolonisation and ridding the continent of apartheid, which had been the focus of the OAU, towards increased cooperation and integration of African states to drive Africa’s growth and economic development.
The AU is guided by its vision of “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a specialized technical institution of the African Union established to support public health initiatives of Member States and strengthen the capacity of their public health institutions to detect, prevent, control and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats. Africa CDC supports African Union Member States in providing coordinated and integrated solutions to the inadequacies in their public health infrastructure, human resource capacity, disease surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, and preparedness and response to health emergencies and disasters.
Established in January 2016 by the 26th Ordinary Assembly of Heads of State and Government and officially launched in January 2017, Africa CDC is guided by the principles of leadership, credibility, ownership, delegated authority, timely dissemination of information, and transparency in carrying out its day-to-day activities. The institution serves as a platform for Member States to share and exchange knowledge and lessons from public health interventions.
On 13 January 2021, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) established by the then African Union Chair reported to a special meeting of the AU Bureau of the Assembly that it has secured a provisional 270 million vaccine doses for African countries, with at least 50 million being available for the crucial period of April to June 2021. The African Vaccine Delivery Alliance (AVDA) was thereafter set up to ensure the rapid deployment of vaccine and associated supplies/equipment in the right condition, right quantities, at the right place, and with appropriate messaging.
To implement the strategies of AVDA, the Africa CDC set up five thematic areas with different partner organisations as members. The thematic areas are vaccine manufacturers, logistics providers, community engagement & risk communication, digital tools/analytics, and funders.
On the 22nd January 2021 Tian Johnson, head of the African Alliance was appointed by AVDA Chair Dr. John Nkengasong Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and WHO Director-General’s Special Envoy on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response and AVDA Co-Chair and former Nigerian Humanitarian Chief, Dr. Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija to serve on the African Vaccine Delivery Alliance and lead the Community Engagement and Ris Communication work of the Alliance. Also appointed to Co-Chair this work is Dr. Monique Wasunna, Director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative Africa Regional Office.
The African Alliance in partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative Africa Regional Office will host and manage the AVDA community engagement & risk communication secretariat to ensure efficient and impactful delivery of this scope of work and associated activities and partnerships.