African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) announces 108,000 doses of vaccines arriving in Mauritius as part of the first monthly shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines
August 7, 2021

AVAT is pleased to announce the shipment of 108,000 of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines to Mauritius on the 7th of August. 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.

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.

“This is a proud moment for the continent; the vaccines, partly manufactured in South Africa are a true testament that local production and pooled procurement as envisioned in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are key to the attainment of a more sustainable post-Covid economic recovery across the continent,” said Dr Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). “Africa can create over 5 million more jobs if more health commodities are manufactured on the continent. Regular technical meetings of the African Ministers of Finance, who collaborated in an unprecedented manner to make today possible, were coordinated by UNECA.”

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 support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) who coordinated the alignment of the AU Ministers of Finance on the financing arrangements.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) supported by the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is providing logistical and delivery services to the 55 African Union Member States.

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About AVATT

The African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), a 10-member team drawn from across the continent, was established in August 2020 to ensure that the African continent would be able to secure sufficient COVID-19 vaccine doses to achieve herd immunity. The AVATT is a key component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy that was endorsed by the African Union (AU) Bureau of Heads of State and Government. It is chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and includes Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Dr. Zweli Lawrence Mkhize, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Professor Benedict Oramah, H.E Amira Elfadi, Dr. John Nkengasong and others, as to be nominated by the Chair of the African Union and the Chairperson of the Commission.

About Africa CDC

Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes. Learn more at: www.africacdc.org

About Afreximbank

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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About ECA

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

About AMSP

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.

Media Contacts:

AVAT: George Sibotshiwe; george@nubiconafrica.co.za; +27 71 467 7689

Africa CDC: africacdc@africa-union.org (tbc)

Afreximbank: Amadou Labba Sall asall@afreximbank.com

UNECA: Nita Deerpalsing – kumaree.deerpalsing@un.org

AMSP: Antonia Gleizes-Lacombe – antonia@janngo.africa

World Bank Contact: Minky Moilwa – omoilwa@worldbank.org