AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat speaking at AU-PANVAC New Laboratory Complex
AfricaHealthNews

African Union Breaks Ground for PANVAC New Lab Complex

ADDIS ABABA – African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has laid a foundation stone for a new laboratory complex for the Pan-African Veterinary Vaccine Center (AU-PANVAC).

The AU-PANVAC is a continent-wide veterinary reference laboratory, co-located with the Ethiopian National Veterinary Institute in Bishoftu.

On Feb 21, 2024, the AU embarked on the construction of the new laboratory complex for the Center with the support of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

The center serves as the only UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) approved Rinderpest holding facility in Africa.

Launched in 2004, the AU-PANVAC has the mandate to produce and distribute essential biological reagents for the surveillance and diagnosis of animal diseases. The center is also home to the Continental Vaccine Bank and tests more than 400 vaccine batches annually representing over 1 billion vaccine doses.

Its future laboratory complex, the AUC chairperson said, “will enable it to strengthen its position as a center of excellence for research, development, and technology transfer for the production of veterinary vaccines in Africa to protect the livestock on which so many of our communities depend”.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Girma Amente; and U.S. Department of Defense Director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program Robert Pope, among others.

At the event, Pope highlighted the African Union’s critical and continued dedication to PANVAC’s success.

“Today, we are celebrating the next phase of this important partnership to reduce disease threats. Through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, DTRA has committed over 57 million dollars… to the design and future construction of the PANVAC facility and training center,” he said.

The PANVAC is presently the only Organization mandated by the AU to provide internationally independent quality control of all vaccines used in Africa.