Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Appoints Dr Jean Kaseya as Director General

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention appoints Dr Jean Kaseya as the first director general. Kaseya is a Congolese medical doctor with over two decades of experience in public health, working at both international institutions and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

His candidacy was approved by African heads of state in Addis Ababa during the African Union summit over the weekend.

Kaseya joins Africa CDC at a moment of transition. Nearly a year ago, African heads of state voted to allow the agency to transition from a specialized technical institute of the African Union into a public health agency. This gives it more authority, flexibility, and speed in responding to public health emergencies.

Because of this transition, Kaseya will take on the role of director general whereas the previous head of Africa CDC was a director. This will give him more power with the expectation of less internal AU bureaucracy to navigate. Kaseya will report to the AU’s chairperson and have the power to convene heads of state on issues of public health, which was not a power invested in a director.

His overarching task is to lead the agency in its quest to ensure global health security for populations across Africa. This includes strengthening disease surveillance, working with countries to strengthen health systems, and responding to health emergencies.

Kaseya’s prior roles include nine years with UNICEF, two years with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as well as work with the World Health Organization, and the DRC government, which included chief routine immunization officer and senior adviser to the president. He recently worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, where he served as senior country director for DRC and global team lead for work on the African Health Diagnostics Platform with the European Investment Bank.

Africa CDC was launched in 2017 as an effort to better improve coordination in health emergencies across the continent — a need that was made painfully apparent during the West Africa Ebola crisis.

Silas Ugochi

Silas Ugochi is a Staff Writer and Content Creator at GetFundedAfrica. Ugochi is an educated content writer who relishes using her skills to help GetFundedAfrica's Media Team achieve the goal of sharing the success stories of African entrepreneurs. When she isn't writing articles, she can be found listening to music, reading, or DJing.

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