Africa: 11th Ordinary Meeting of the Governing Board of Africa CDC Marks Milestone Achievements and Leadership Transition

Nairobi, Kenya — July 12th, 2023 – The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) recently convened its first meeting under the revised governance structure, which brings a new era of robust continental health strategies. The 11th Ordinary Meeting of the Governing Board of the Africa CDC was held in Nairobi, Kenya, and it brought together esteemed representatives from member states, regional health organizations, the private sector, and civil society to discuss and deliberate on key matters concerning the strengthening of Africa CDC’s governance structure and operational scope. The event marked a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance Africa’s capacity for disease prevention and control.

Hon. Susan Wafula, the Cabinet Secretary for Health of the Republic of Kenya, warmly welcomed the attendees and expressed Kenya’s steadfast commitment to supporting Africa CDC’s mission. She commended the organization’s dedication to strengthening public health security in Africa and emphasized the alignment between Africa CDC’s objectives and Kenya’s commitment to public health.

The outgoing Chair of the Governing Board, Hon. Prof. Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene of the Republic of Togo, reflected on the achievements of the Africa CDC, particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated, “The Africa CDC has proven instrumental in strengthening our health systems and building capacity among our Member States to combat health crises like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I am confident the new Board will continue to uphold and extend this legacy.”

H.E. Dr. Jean Kaseya, the Director General of Africa CDC, extended his gratitude to the Republic of Kenya for hosting the meeting and highlighted the progress made by Africa CDC in strengthening disease surveillance, laboratory testing, contact tracing, and other critical areas. He acknowledged the outgoing Governing Board members for their excellent work supporting Africa CDC’s role and structure. Dr. Kaseya also highlighted the significant achievements in vaccine distribution, with over 500 million doses administered in Africa, covering approximately 40% of the eligible population.

During the meeting, a smooth handover of power took place between the outgoing and incoming Chairpersons of the Governing Board, with gratitude expressed for the outgoing Chair’s outstanding leadership. The interim Chair of the Board, Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Minister of Health Zambia, was elected to lead the Board for one month.

The meeting also recognized the contributions of the outgoing Governing Board members, who were honored with certificates of appreciation. Their dedication and expertise were commended for their valuable contributions to Africa CDC’s achievements.

In her closing remarks, the interim Chairperson of the Governing Board expressed gratitude to the host Minister for her presence and hospitality. She thanked the outgoing Chair and the entire team for their remarkable efforts in bringing the Governing Board to its current state. The Chairperson acknowledged the substantial progress made by the previous Board and expressed satisfaction with the meeting’s deliberations.

Africa CDC Director General, H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, summarized the meeting by expressing his appreciation for the valuable input and wisdom shared by the members. He assured the Governing Board that their resolutions and recommendations would be carefully considered in developing the Rules of Procedure. Dr. Kaseya expressed his commitment to the Strategic Plan and affirmed that Africa CDC would diligently review the plan annually and ensure alignment with the organization’s goals.