As part of efforts to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination in Africa, Trace Foundation with support from the German Cooperation project on Strengthening Crisis and Pandemic Response in Africa, implemented by German Development Cooperation (GIZ) Office to the African Union (AU) hosted a media engagement in Ghana on Tuesday 29 November 2022 to kickstart its AU Bingwa Initiative activation in various parts of the country.
This effort is a contribution to the AU COVID-19 Bingwa Initiative. “Bingwa” is a swahili word which means Champions.
In April 2022, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission officially launched the AU Bingwa Initiative as part of the Africa CDC’s Programme of Saving Lives and Livelihoods. Bingwa is the Swahili word for “Champion”. The initiative seeks to establish a network of COVID-19 vaccination youth champions across the continent to accelerate the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination in Africa to achieve a 70% vaccination rate on the continent. The initiative has already been launched across several member states of the African Union including Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda, and Nigeria.
With African youths constituting over 60% of the continent’s population, their mobilization and meaningful engagement have the potential to be game-changing in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent. In realisation of the transformative role of young people towards achieving the 70% vaccination target on the continent, Trace Foundation will leverage the creative and mobilisation capacities of musicians, filmmakers, and social and religious influencers to support the initiative. Through the Initiative, mobile vaccinations will be provided in roadshows and vaccination events at colleges, youth centres, cinemas, and shopping malls.
To support the advocacy, mobilization, and popularization of the Call to Action for every citizen to get their vaccine shot, the GIZ implemented the project on Strengthening Crisis and Pandemic Response in Africa and engaged Trace Foundation to support the AU Bingwa initiative through icon-led activations and communications.
Leveraging its longstanding experience in leading similar campaigns, the Trace support will focus on engaging and educating African youth about the COVID-19 vaccine, counter vaccine misinformation, and stimulate massive demand to get the vaccine in the youth population in pursuit of the AU Bingwa objective of targeting the vaccination of 100 million young people in Africa.
The press engagement had in attendance popular Ghanaian artists, Cina Soul, Kofi Jamar, and Kojo Cue. In addition, popular Ghanaian influencers like Giovani, Felicia Osei (tiktoker), as well as ex-Black Star goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, and former 3 Music Network CEO, Baba Sadiq were also to be in attendance.
Sequel to the press engagement, on the 29th of November, series of activation drive will happen at various Malls where young Africans can meet with their favourite influencers/artists while getting vaccinated on-site.