IVI to open Africa Regional office in Rwanda

By Esther Muhozi
On 27 February 2024 at 05:58

In a significant decision aimed at enhancing vaccine research, development, and availability throughout Africa, the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) has announced the inauguration of its Africa Regional Office in Kigali, Rwanda. This choice follows a thorough assessment, determining Rwanda as the optimal location for IVI’s initiatives on the continent.

Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We are thrilled to announce the decision to establish IVI’s Africa Regional Office in Rwanda."

He emphasized the pivotal role this office will play in providing on-the-ground support, enhancing engagement with African stakeholders, and fostering partnerships for vaccine research and development. Dr. Kim also highlighted the significance of the collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the University of Rwanda in realizing this vision.

Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, echoed these sentiments, underlining the country’s commitment to bridging the vaccine equity gap on the continent. Hosting the IVI Africa regional office, he remarked, marks yet another stride towards building a resilient Africa in the face of public health emergencies.

The decision to establish the IVI Africa Regional Office follows a strategic recommendation by the IVI Global Council, emphasizing a continental approach to vaccine research and development. This move underscores IVI’s dedication to expanding its global health impact through international expansion.

As the administrative hub in the region, the office will serve as IVI’s representative in Africa, facilitating member engagement and collaboration. Moreover, it will actively contribute to the regional vaccine ecosystem by prioritizing clinical trial training and fostering collaborative research initiatives.

IVI’s expansion into Africa aligns with its overarching mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health. With a diverse portfolio covering infectious diseases prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, including cholera, typhoid, and COVID-19, IVI has been at the forefront of vaccine innovation.

Established in 1997, IVI has garnered support from 39 countries and the World Health Organization (WHO). With state funding from governments including the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and India, IVI has emerged as a leading force in the quest for equitable vaccine access worldwide.

The opening of the IVI Africa Regional Office marks a significant milestone in the journey towards vaccine equity and resilience in Africa. With Rwanda at its helm, IVI is poised to drive impactful change, shaping the future of global health for generations to come.