Establishing the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: responding to Africa's health threats


In 2017, heads of states and governments of the African Union and the leadership of the African Union Commission officially launch the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention(Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As detailed in the African Union's Africa Agenda 2063 —a roadmap for the development of the continent—some of the concerns that justified the establishment and initiation of an Africa-wide public health agency include rapid population growth; increasing and intensive population movement across Africa, with increased potential for new or re-emerging pathogens to turn into pandemics; existing endemic and emerging infectious diseases, including Ebola; antimicrobial resistance; increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases and injuries; high maternal mortality rates; and threats posed by environmental toxins.

The Africa CDC works with member states, WHO, and partners to strengthen their capacity in four strategic priority areas:

(1) health-related surveillance and innovative information systems, with a focus on improved capacity for event-based surveillance, disease prediction, and improved public health decision making and action;

(2) functional and linked clinical and public health laboratory networks in the five geographic subregions of Africa;

(3) support for member states’ public health emergency preparedness and response plans; and

(4) strengthened public health science for improved decision making and practice.



John N Nkengasong, Olawale Maiyegun, Matshidiso Moeti Lancet Global Health Vol.5 Number 3 | Mar 2017 p e229-e369 DOI: