IVI Establishes a New Country and Project Office in Kenya to Guarantee Sustainable Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa

Posted on : Monday , 4th March 2024

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), a global organization whose goal is to find, create and distribute safe, efficient and reasonably priced vaccines for global health, announced today that it will establish a Country and Project Office in Kenya to oversee the Advancing Vaccine End-to-End Capabilities (AVEC) initiative in Africa and other joint ventures in the areas of vaccine research, development and training with Kenyan partners like Kenya BioVax Institute.


AVEC Africa implements end-to-end research and development programs throughout Africa, accelerating the regional vaccine ecosystem. The grassroots model fosters practical training and experience to develop the people, goods, policies and infrastructure required to power an integrated and sustainable vaccine ecosystem in Africa. It also engages public-private partnerships to push programs based on local and regional need. During an Executive Committee meeting this month, the IVI Board of Trustees (BOT) endorsed the decision to pursue AVEC Africa as part of a regional strategy and to establish a Country and Project Office in Kenya to oversee the effort.


On February 18, 2024, IVI, the Kenyan government and Africa CDC co-hosted a ceremony on the fringes of the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, where IVI formally unveiled the AVEC Africa concept. Several African heads of state, including President William Ruto of Kenya, have already shown strong political support for AVEC Africa. IVI is closely working with the agency's Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) program to help achieve its goal of manufacturing 60% of the continent's vaccine needs locally by 2040. In November 2022, IVI and the Africa CDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Action Plan to strengthen the African vaccine end-to-end ecosystem.


Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, stated, “We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of AVEC Africa with a Country and Project Office in Kenya. With the strong support of the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health and its agencies including Kenya BioVax Institute and Kenya Medical Research Institute, AVEC Africa imagines a whole-of-continent approach aligned with the vaccine manufacturing goals of the Africa CDC and African Union. Leveraging IVI’s expertise and networks across Africa, the initiative aims to link and strengthen capacities across existing organizations working along the full spectrum of the vaccine value chain. Through collaborations with research centers and universities, manufacturers, clinical trial sites, government, and regional governing bodies, AVEC Africa aims to not only synchronize the essential cogs of a well-running vaccine industry, but to give it its engine.”


The AVEC Africa program and its portfolio of projects will be implemented under the direction of the Country and Project Office in Kenya. In a joint statement promoting stronger global vaccine ecosystems, the Global Council, a representative body made up of IVI's State Parties, praised both this extension and the AVEC Africa concept, formerly known as the African Vaccine Alliance model. The Global Council calls on partners, governments worldwide, and the leadership of IVI to back this important project.


Dr. Michael Lusiola, the MD/CEO, Kenya BioVax Institute, stated, “The setting up of the IVI AVEC Project Office in Kenya will go a long way in supporting the establishment of local vaccine manufacturing capabilities here at BioVax. In addition, the collaboration envisaged between the IVI AVEC Office in Kenya, whose focus will be on the vaccine R&D activities across the continent, and the IVI Regional Office in Rwanda, will ensure a coordinated effort towards achieving the Africa CDC’s targets of vaccine self-sufficiency by the year 2040.”

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