12 August, 2021
AVAT is pleased to announce the shipment of 108,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines to Botswana on the 12th of August, 2021. This is part of a total of 6.4m vaccine doses to be shipped to African Union Member States in August 2021. The Member States who have ordered vaccines through AVAT will continue to receive shipments for the next following months. In collaboration with the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), UNICEF is providing logistical and delivery services to the Member States.
These deliveries are part of the historic COVID-19 vaccine advance procurement agreement signed on 28 March 2021 by AVAT for the purchase of 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses. The agreement and the start of deliveries mark the first time that the African Union Member States have collectively purchased vaccines to safeguard the health of the African population. In total, the 400m vaccines acquired by AVAT are sufficient to immunise a third of the African population.
Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, His Honour Slumber Tsogwane expressed gratitude to the AVAT partners an urged Batswana to get vaccinated.
Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness, Republic of Botswana, Honourable Sethomo Lelatisitswe commended the AVAT partners for the momentous occasion stating that “the arrival of these AVAT vaccines fills us with great pride as Africans, to see that our efforts to save the lives of our people are bearing fruits. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe has consistently stated that the number one priority of this Government reset agenda is to save the lives of Botswana from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mr Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy, said: “Delivering our first doses to African Union Member States is an unprecedented milestone. We are deploying relentless efforts to help each Member State to reach its goal of immunising 60 per cent of Africans, as recommended by the Africa CDC. Johnson & Johnson AVAT-purchased single-shot vaccines will enable us to considerably improve our vaccination level across the continent.”
Dr. Lul Riek, Southern Africa Regional Collaborator-Africa Union/Africa CDC, welcomed the vaccine consignment and said: “This historic moment when we are welcoming the AVAT vaccines, is in line with the African CDC Strategy to leave no single country behind and to support all Member States to vaccinate at least 60% of 1.2 billion people in the African continent. The arrival of this vaccine is a result of the unfailing commitment of the African Union Commission, under the leadership of the Chairperson of African Union Commission H.E Mussa Faki Mohammed, and the Director of Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong.”
AVAT was established by the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, set up in November 2020 under the African Union chairmanship of HE President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, as part of the African Union’s COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy, and its goal of vaccinating at least 60 per cent of the African population with safe and efficacious vaccines against COVID-19.
The agreement with Johnson & Johnson was made possible through a USD 2 billion facility provided by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), who are also the Financial and Transaction Advisers, Guarantors, Instalment Payment Advisers and Payment Agents, and the technical support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) who coordinated the alignment of the AU Ministers of Finance on the financing arrangements.
This vaccine acquisition and deployment is also supported by an innovative partnership between the World Bank and the AU, African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to expedite access to vaccines throughout the continent.
The African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) is a special purpose vehicle, incorporated in Mauritius. AVAT acts as a centralised purchasing agent on behalf of the African Union (AU) Member States, to secure the necessary vaccines and blended financing resources for achieving Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy which targets vaccinating a minimum of 60% of Africa’s population based on a whole-of-Africa approach. AVAT was established by the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, which was set up in November 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union (AU), as a support component to the COVID-19 Immunisation Strategy that was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government in August 2020. AVAT’s main partner institutions are the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organization, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at US$21.5 billion and its shareholders funds amounted to US$3.4 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$42 billion between 2016 and 2020. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com
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Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA’s) mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its Member States, foster intraregional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. ECA is made up of 54 Member States and plays a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape. For more information, visit: www.uneca.org
The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is a non-profit initiative launched by the African Union as an immediate, integrated and practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The online platform was developed under the leadership of the African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa and powered by Janngo on behalf of the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and in partnership with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) with the support of leading African & international Institutions, Foundations & Corporations as well as Governments of China, Canada & France. For more information visit www.amsp.africa
About World Bank Group
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed over $157 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is making available $20 billion in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.
AVAT: George Sibotshiwe; firstname.lastname@example.org; +27 71 467 7689
AFRICA CDC: Dr Nicaise Ndembi - NicaiseN@africa-union.org
AFREXIMBANK: Amadou Labba Sall email@example.com
UNECA: Nita Deerpalsing - firstname.lastname@example.org
AMSP: Antonia Gleizes-Lacombe - email@example.com
WORLD BANK: Zandile Ratshitanga - firstname.lastname@example.org