The MasterCard Foundation has said it would deploy $1.3 billion over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa as well as hasten economic recovery of the continent.
The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.
President and chief executive officer of MasterCard Foundation, Reeta Roy, said: “ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent.
“In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy.”
The African Union’s goal, as set out in the African COVID-19 vaccine development and access strategy, is to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of its population, approximately 750 million people or the entire adult population of the continent by the end of 2022.
To date, less than two per cent of Africans have received at least one vaccine dose.
The new partnership builds on the efforts of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and the global community to expand access to vaccines across Africa.
The director of the Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, stated that, “ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it is the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future.”