The Africa CDC IPG laboratory network encompasses all Africa Union member states participating through their respective national public health institutions. Twenty sites encompassing national public health and research institutions have been prioritised for capacity building in pathogen genomic surveillance. Using existing infrastructure for genomic sequencing, the Africa CDC IPG partnered with research institutions with genome sequencing facilities to offer genome sequencing services to national public health laboratories without genomic sequencing capacity as yet. These institutions serve as regional hubs and/or centers of excellence. The nine regional hubs in eleven member states are organised in a geographically strategic way to serve national public health institutions of neighbouring countries, aiming at minimising specimen shipping time and costs thereof.
Since its establishment, the Africa CDC IPG laboratory network has gained momentum in regard to providing access to pathogen genome sequencing infrastructure across the continent. Alongside leveraging the existing genomic sequencing capacity of regional hubs and centers of excellence in the eight member states, the Africa CDC PGI has strengthened the capacities of these institutions by equipping them with high throughput genomic sequencing equipment namely; Nextseq2000 (4), GridIONs (5). For the National Public health Institutions, the Africa CDC IPG mandate has been to build capacity and has done this by equipping the institutions in eleven member states with lower throughput genomic sequencing equipment namely Minion Mk1B/C (14). In addition, kits and ancillary reagents worth approximately 100,000 SARs-CoV-2 genomes were provided in the year 2021