African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) announces 117,600 doses of vaccines arriving in Togo as part of the first monthly shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines
August 7, 2021

AVAT is pleased to announce the shipment of 117,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines to Togo on the 5th 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.

Welcoming the arrival of the vaccines in Togo, President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé said: “Togo is very proud to be one of the very first African countries to receive the first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine made in Africa.”

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.

Togo is the very first country to receive vaccines. Through this partnership, World Bank financing has been mobilized to support both the acquisition and equitable deployment of vaccines. Under the US$29.5 million Additional Financing for the Togo COVID-19 Emergency Response and System Strengthening Project, the World Bank is contributing to financing the purchase of vaccines doses through AVAT. In addition, the project is helping to strengthen vaccine deployment, so that doses translate into effective and equitable vaccinations. This includes support to logistics and cold chain, needed supplies to carry out vaccination, training vaccination teams, and demand generation activities.

The vaccine rollout is complemented by other elements of the Government’s response to COVID-19 and saving livelihoods, including a digital platform for vaccine registration and a mobile cash transfer programme, Novissi. The innovative digital platform for vaccine registration launched in Togo in March 2021 and has facilitated the vaccinations of over 98% of all healthcare workers in Togo.

Novissi sends payments to the poor and vulnerable, providing essential income to informal workers during a period when movement restrictions have disrupted jobs. Novissi emergency cash transfers have already reached over 1 million people in Togo, 53% of them women working in informal jobs.

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 AVAT

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).

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

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. The Bank has a rich history of intervening in support of African countries in times of crisis. Through the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) launched in April 2020, Afreximbank has disbursed more than US$6.5 billion in 2020 to help member countries manage the adverse impact of financial, economic, and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has completed the development of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at US$21.5 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$3.4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$42 billion between 2016 and 2020. The Bank 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

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 : Dr  Nicaise Ndembi – NicaiseN@africa-union.org

Afreximbank : Amadou Labba Sall – asall@afreximbank.com

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

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

World Bank : Kudjo Djogbenyui Nokplim Kagla – kkaglan@worldbank.org