Biosafety and Biosecurity Initiative 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan
Taking into account the health challenges faced by the African continent and the necessity for an accountability framework for health security to protect citizens of the continent, the African
Union (AU) Heads of States and Governments approved the establishment of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) through the Assembly decision AU/DEC.589
(XXVI) at the AU summit in January 2015 at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At its 26th Ordinary session in January 2016, the assembly adopted the statute of the Africa CDC and its framework of
operations. Africa CDC was officially launched on the 31st January 2017. Article 3(6) of the Africa CDC statute states that “Africa CDC shall promote partnerships and collaborations among African Union Member States (AU MS) to address the emerging and endemic diseases and public health emergencies”. Article 5 of the statute also emphasized that “Africa CDC shall work with the World Health Organsation (WHO) and other multi-sectoral partners and external partners as well as the Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centres (RCCs) to purse the strategic objectives of the Centre.”
In developing on-going initiatives for strengthening biosafety and biosecurity, Africa CDC is furthering its mandate to harmonize disease control and prevention policies and promote the
prevention and control of diseases by building capacity of public health institutions in AU MS. Biosafety involves the implementation of containment principles, technologies and practices to
prevent unintentional exposure to biological agents. Biosecurity involves the protection, control and accountability of biological materials and information related to these materials and dualuse research, to prevent their unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release.