UNICEF launches first-ever U-Report challenge to boost uptake of Covid-19 vaccine in Africa

Be the hero your community needs! say Nigerian and South African celebrities, also U-Report supporters, Kate Henshaw and Maps Maponyane

DAKAR/ Nairobi, January 26, 2022 – A week after COVAX administered its billionth dose in Rwanda, UNICEF is launching the first-ever U-Report Challenge calling on the 13.3 million U-Reporters in Africa to help immunize unvaccinated people. By improving access and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, the #GiveitaShot challenge aims to inspire young people to motivate eligible people in their community to get vaccinated. Information and advocacy messages on Covid-19 have been compiled and disseminated via SMS, Facebook Messenger and other communication channels.

With an initial focus on six countries on the continent (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe), the U-Report #GiveitaShot challenge will be rolled out for eight weeks. Weekly messages will be sent on U-Report to encourage young people to learn about COVID-19 vaccines. They will be engaged in community actions (both online and offline).

Nigerian and South African celebrities Kate Henshaw and Maps Maponyane, also U-Report supporters, are teaming up with UNICEF on the initiative.

“Africa has been battling COVID-19 for two years now,” said Kate Henshaw. “In the age of Omicron, getting the unvaccinated vaccinated is more important than ever.”

“If we want to fight misinformation, it is essential to mobilize the continent’s U-Reporters and provide much-needed information on Covid-19 vaccines to save people’s lives,” Maps Maponyane added.

It is estimated that about 10% of the adult population of the African continent is vaccinated.

U-Report is a messaging tool that empowers young people around the world to engage and speak out on issues that matter to them. Today, U-Report is active in 88 countries around the world, with 19.3 million U-Reporters worldwide, and works with SMS, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Telegram and Whatsapp.


Media contacts

Jean Jacques Simon

Communications Manager


Tel: +243 826 541 004

Email: jsimon@unicef.org

Malene Kamp Jensen

Regional Communications Manager

UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa

Tel: +254-(0)797048529

Email: mjensen@unicef.org

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