KENYA—The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery, development, and delivery of safe, effective, and affordable vaccinations for global health, has announced the establishment of a Country and Project Office in Kenya.

 This office will be in charge of the Advancing Vaccine End-to-End Capabilities (AVEC) program in Africa, as well as additional partnerships with Kenyan partners such as Kenya BioVax Institute in vaccine research, development, and training.

Additionally, it will oversee the implementation and project portfolio of the AVEC Africa initiative. This expansion demonstrates IVI’s dedication to tackling global health issues and establishing resilient vaccination ecosystems.

The AVEC Africa concept was originally announced on the fringes of the African Union Assembly’s 37th Ordinary Session on February 18, 2024, an event co-hosted by IVI, the Government of Kenya, and Africa CDC. 

This was followed by the IVI Board of Trustees (BOT) recently endorsing AVEC Africa as part of a regional strategy and approving the creation of a Country and Project Office in Kenya to manage the effort.

This grassroots approach will involve public-private partnerships tailored to local and regional needs, promoting hands-on training and experience to strengthen Africa’s vaccination ecosystem sustainably.

AVEC Africa has already garnered significant political support from numerous African Heads of State, including Kenya’s President, H.E. Dr. William Ruto.

While makin the announcement, Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, expressed his pleasure at the launch of AVEC Africa and the establishment of the Country and Project Office in Kenya.

 He went on to emphasize that by using IVI’s experience and networks across Africa, this effort would connect and enhance skills across existing organizations operating across the vaccination value chain.

 Through cooperation with research institutes and universities, manufacturers, clinical trial sites, the government, and regional governing organizations, AVEC Africa would not only coordinate but also drive the vaccine sector.

Dr. Michael Lusiola, CEO of the Kenya BioVax Institute, for his part, emphasized that the creation of the IVI AVEC Project Office in Kenya will help BioVax create local vaccine production capabilities.

Furthermore, he discussed the anticipated partnership between the IVI AVEC Office in Kenya, focusing on vaccine research and development (R&D) efforts throughout the continent, and the IVI Regional Office in Rwanda.

This agreement will enable a concerted effort to achieve the Africa CDC’s aim of vaccine self-sufficiency by 2040.

The quest to build AVEC Africa began in November 2022, when IVI and the Africa CDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a joint action plan to improve the African vaccine ecosystem from start to end.

This collaboration required close cooperation with the Africa CDC’s Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) project, which will help Africa realize its aim of 60% local vaccine production by 2040.

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