Africa: Two Years On, Saving Lives and Livelihoods Initiative Administers 32 Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses and Strengthens Health Systems in Africa


  • Historic $1.5 billion partnership between Africa CDC and Mastercard Foundation launched in June 2021 to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more, and strengthen Africa’s long-term health security and response to future pandemics.
  • Other significant achievements include creating 22,520 jobs across 25 member states, 5,628 youth employed, training and deploying over 37,609 health workers, and establishing 32 laboratories for genomic sequencing of SARS-COV-2 and other pathogens.
  • The initiative now shifts focus to integrating COVID-19 vaccinations into routine national immunization programs

The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative, a historic $1.5 billion partnership between Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC, has achieved significant milestones two years after its launch in June 2021. As of June 2023, the initiative has administered over 32 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, contributing to the full vaccination of 52 percent target population in Africa.

Set up at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative seeks to ensure vaccine equity for Africa by purchasing vaccines for more than 65 million people, supporting the delivery of vaccinations to millions more, and integrating into and supporting the delivery of routine immunization, ensuring the strengthening of public health systems in Africa. The efforts led to the participation of 51 African Union (AU) member states, with 25 currently in the implementation phase, collaborating with local ministries of health, the Africa CDC, the Mastercard Foundation, and implementing partners.

Other key achievements include creating over 22,520 jobs in 25 member states, 5,628 youths employed, training and deploying 37,609 health workers, and establishing 32 laboratories capable of genomic sequencing of COVID-19 and other pathogens, up from just two at the start of the pandemic. Additionally, the Africa CDC hired 106 employees across various program areas, strengthening its capacity.

“As the Saving Lives and Livelihoods Initiative enters its third year, it continues to catalyze positive change and a beacon of hope for millions of Africans. By prioritizing equitable vaccine distribution, strengthening Africa’s public health systems, and nurturing vaccine manufacturing capacity, the initiative is making a lasting impact on the continent’s health and well-being,” said Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director General of the Africa CDC.

The program is also investing in the procurement of cold chain equipment across 32 countries as part of joint efforts with the United Nations Children’s Fund.