Gavi welcomes Global Ambassador for Immunisation Kikwete

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Former Tanzanian President announces his commitment to “the health of the African continent”


Gavi Deputy CEO Anuradha Gupta congratulates President Kikwete on his new role as Global Ambassador for immunisation.

Addis Ababa, 31 January 2016 - Gavi Deputy CEO Anuradha Gupta has welcomed former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete’s new role as a Global Ambassador for immunisation over the next two years.

Making his announcement at the 26th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, President Kikwete spoke of his commitment “to the health of the African continent, calling on every Head of State across Africa to prioritise access to vaccination in each and every community”.

“Under President Kikwete’s leadership, Tanzania has made major progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, thanks in large part to immunisation,” said Gavi DCEO Gupta. “More than 97% of the Tanzanian population have been vaccinated with essential vaccines.”

As Global Ambassador for immunisation, President Kikwete will urge heads of state across Africa to match Tanzania’s record on immunisation.

Partnership with Africa United

The President will begin his new role by taking a lead ambassadorial role in Africa United – a pan-African initiative, which will use the upcoming African Nations football championship in Rwanda to launch a universal immunisation awareness campaign.

The Africa United partnership brings together the Confederation of African Football, the African Union, the World Bank Group, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“Under my leadership, Africa United will focus on promoting universal health access, beginning with a focus on universal immunisation,” said Kikwete, “ Immunisation is crucial to saving the lives of children across Africa – and the world. Universal vaccination will also play a fundamental role in developing a healthy, resilient population and in ensuring that we develop the economies we need to face the challenges of the next century.”


Gavi also congratulated President Kikwete on his appointment as the African Union’s Special Envoy to Libya.

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