Please note: There was a Meningitis Vaccine Project satellite meeting on 22-23 February in the Sheraton Hotel. You can find more information and an agenda here.

Download the conference agenda here.


9:00 – 10:30 Session one

Opening Ceremony & Welcome Speeches

Moderator: Event Master of Ceremonies: Nikiwe Bikitsha, CEO and co-founder, Amargi Media


  • Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa
  • Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Video Statement: Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO
  • H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission
  • H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Former President of Tanzania
  • H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister, Ethiopia 

10:30 – 11:30 Break

Photo Opportunity & Fruits and health break

11:30 – 13:00 Session Two

Achieving the Goal: Toward High and Equitable Immunization Coverage

Moderator: Jeff Koinange, Talk Show Host, Jeff Koinange Live


  • Hon Dr Josiane Nijimbere, Minister of Health and the Fight Against AIDS, Burundi
  • Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
  • Professor Helen Rees, Executive Director, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
  • Hon Dr Reda Al Menshawy, Minister of Health, Libya
  • Ms Nachilala Nkombo, Deputy Director, ONE Africa

Discussion Topics:

  • Overcoming the delivery challenges to equitable coverage
  • Sustaining high immunization coverage through strong government leadership
  • Role of public/private partnerships in ensuring political support for immunization
  • Delivering resilient immunisation programmes
  • Bridging the equity gap for coverage in Africa

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break / Art of Saving a Life Photo Exhibit and Q&A with Photographer, Fatoumata Diabaté

14:00 – 15:15 Session Three

Laying the Groundwork: The Role of Communities in Coverage and Demand

Moderator: Trevor Ncube, Executive Deputy Chairman, M&G Media Ltd

Speakers :

  • Amirul Mumineen Sultan Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar IV, Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria
  • Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Hon Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia
  • Irene Kamau, Executive Director, Action Now Kenya

Discussion Topics:

  • CSO contribution in increasing coverage & demand
  • Role of traditional and religious leaders in immunization
  • Use of community health workers in stimulating demand for immunization services
  • Evidence-based community strategies

15:15 – 15:45 Break

Fruits and health break

15:45 – 17:00 Session Four

Building on Success: Harnessing Polio’s Legacy to Support Other Public Health Interventions

Moderator: Jeff Koinange, Talk Show Host, Jeff Koinange Live

Short video film on polio legacy (Nigeria & Ethiopia)


  • Hon Prof Isaac Folorunso Adewole, Minister of Health, Nigeria
  • Dr Thomas Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Hon Dr Felix Kabange Numbi Mukwampa, Minister of Public Health, Democratic Republic of the Congo (TBC)
  • Hon Dr Andre Mama Fouda, Minister of Public Health, Cameroon (TBC)
  • Mounir Lado, South Sudan Country Director, IMA World Health 

Discussion Topics:

  • Mainstreaming essential polio functions into ongoing public health programs
  • Using polio infrastructure to strengthen other public health priorities
  • Learning polio’s lessons for other critical health challenges
  • The demand question: what other health priorities want from polio‘s legacy

17:00 – 17:30 Session Five

Review and Presentation of the Draft Ministerial Declaration

Discussion Leaders:

  • H.E. Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia
  • H.E. Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs
  • Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa
  • Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean





9:00 – 9:30 Session one

Briefing on Zika Virus Outbreak

  • Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa
  • Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean

Video Statement: Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  

9:30 – 11:00 Session TWO

Financing the Future: Ensuring Sustainable Resources for Immunization in an Evolving Landscape for Health 

Moderator: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair-elect of the Gavi Board

Speakers :

  • Dr A.H.F. Safeca, Secretary of State for Budget, Angola (TBC)
  • H.E. Dr Ahmed Rady, Minister of Health, Egypt
  • David Bahati, Minister of State for Planning, Uganda (TBC)
  • Hon Gregoire Lusenge, Member of Parliament, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Donal Brown, Director, Global Funds Department, Department for International Development (DFID), UK

Discussion Topics:

  • The critical role of financial planning: increasing fiscal space for health and immunization while optimizing efficiency and impact
  • Immunization financing in a time of transition to domestic resources
  • Challenges and opportunities for immunization financing amid decentralization and competing priorities
  • The role of the legislature in budgeting and accountability
  • Subnational leadership for funding immunization and health

11:00 – 11:30 BREAK

Fruits and health break

11:30 – 13:00 Session Three

Integrating the System: Immunization delivery and data as a pillar of Universal Health Coverage

Moderator: Henry Bonsu, Broadcaster


  • Hon Nazira Abula, Minister of Health, Mozambique
  • Hon Dr Mahali Phamotse, Minister of Education, Lesotho
  • Hany Abdallah, Managing Partner, U3 Systems Works
  • H.E. Bahar Idris Abu Garda, Federal Minister of Health, Sudan
  • Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation

Discussion Topics:

  • Strengthening procurement and supply chain systems
  • Improving information system for provision of quality data for decision-making
  • HPV vaccine delivery as a novel, multi-sector approach to health services
  • Data, logistics, health and the African private sector
  • Immunization in the context of broader health systems

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:30 Session FOur

Leveraging Africa’s Institutions: Enhancing Partnerships to Strengthen Capacity for Immunization and Health

Moderator: Julie Gichuru, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arimus Media Limited


  • Video Statement: Dr Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community 
  • Hon Khoudia Mbaye, Minister of Partnership and Development of State Teleservices, Senegal (TBC) 
  • Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs
  • Dr William Ampofo, Chair, African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative
  • Dr Chris Elias, President, Global Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Discussion Topics:

  • The role of political leadership
  • Mobilizing resources for sustainable progress: The role of development banks
  • Long-term opportunity and near-term challenges: The private sector role in vaccine supply
  • Investment in health as an investment in Africa: Role of regional development partnerships
  • Role of global partners in supporting an African-led immunization agenda

15:30 - 16:00 Break

Fruits and health break

16:00 – 17:00 Session five

Moving Forward: Collective Ownership and Accountability

Moderator: Henry Bonsu, Broadcaster


  • Video Statement: Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Singer
  • CSO Representative 
  • Dr Tunji Funsho, Chairman, Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Rotary International
  • Hon Oleru Huda, Member of Parliament, Uganda
  • H.E. Mrs Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia

Session will end with the ceremonial signing of the Ministerial Declaration, followed by short statements to formally close the conference from: Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director; Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean; and Hon Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia