#AfricaBingwa Initiative launch in Kenya

Trace Foundation, with support from the German Cooperation project on Strengthening Crisis and Pandemic Response in Africa, implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) Office to the African Union (AU), hosted a media engagement in Kenya to kickstart its AU Bingwa Initiative activation in various parts of the country as part of efforts to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination in Africa. This effort is part of the AU COVID-19 Bingwa Initiative.

The African Union Commission’s Chairperson officially launched the AU Bingwa Initiative in April 2022 as part of the Africa CDC’s Programme of Saving Lives and Livelihoods. The Swahili word for “champion” is Bingwa. The initiative aims to establish a network of COVID-19 vaccination youth champions across the continent in order to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination uptake in Africa and achieve a 70% vaccination rate. The initiative has already been launched in several African Union member countries, including Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda, and Nigeria.

Launch the Kenya Chapter of the Africa Bingwa Initiative, #AfricaBingwa

With African youths accounting for more than 60% of the continent’s population, their mobilization and meaningful engagement have the potential to be game changers in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Trace Foundation will support the initiative by leveraging the creative and mobilization capacities of musicians, filmmakers, and social and religious influencers in order to realize the transformative role of young people in achieving the continent’s 70% vaccination target. The Initiative will provide mobile vaccinations at roadshows and vaccination events at colleges, youth centers, cinemas, and shopping malls.

The GIZ implemented the project Strengthening Crisis and Pandemic Response in Africa and engaged Trace Foundation to support the AU Bingwa initiative through icon-led activations and communications to support the advocacy, mobilization, and popularization of the Call to Action for every citizen to get their vaccine shot. The Trace support will focus on engaging and educating African youth about the COVID-19 vaccine, countering vaccine misinformation, and stimulating massive demand for the vaccine in the youth population in pursuit of the AU Bingwa goal of targeting the vaccination of 100 million young people in Africa.

From Left to Right Fena Gitu, Kagwe Mungai, Jabidi Evelyn Wanjiru, Kaligraph, Jamo Ule Msee, George Ndirangu with Dr. Ofweneke

Fena Gitu, Kagwe Mungai, and Bensoul were among the Kenyan artists who attended the press conference. Popular Kenyan influencers such as Jaymo Ule Messe and Ofweneke Dr also attended. Following the press engagement, the Trace Foundation, in collaboration with AMREF Kenya, held an activation/vaccination drive at the Cooperative University of Kenya, where young Africans could meet their favorite influencers/artists while being vaccinated on-site.

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