MTN supports AU Covid-19 vaccination rollout with $25m donation
London, Jan. 28, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Mobile communications network giant MTN has announced a donation of US$25 million to support the African Union’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Currently, Africa has recorded over 3.4 million confirmed #COVID19 cases with more than 2.9 million recoveries & 86,000 deaths cumulatively.
Over 3.4 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 2.9 million recoveries & 86,000 deaths cumulatively.— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) January 27, 2021
View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard https://t.co/FKav40Cbdd pic.twitter.com/uJPTj3lZer
In a statement on Wednesday, the group said the donation would help secure up to seven million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for health workers across the continent, which would in turn contribute to the vaccination initiative of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
“The devastating impact of Covid-19 has been unprecedented and profound. Public and private partnerships are needed if we are to succeed in the fight against the pandemic and restore social and economic norms for our continent and our communities,” said the president and CEO of MTN Group, Ralph Mupita.
On January 14, African Union Chairperson and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the African Union had secured a provisional 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses on behalf of its member states through advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to the manufacturers by the African Export-Import Bank.
“Our goal is to ensure that all those who need the Covid-19 vaccine have access to it very quickly, but the biggest hurdle in Africa has been financing of the vaccines, and the logistics of vaccinating at scale. We therefore welcome the right partnerships, like the one with MTN, to achieve our minimum 60% vaccination target,” said the director of Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong.
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World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the global health agency is working on accelerating the rollout of vaccines in Africa to save lives and get their economies back on track.
Addressing a virtual briefing on Monday, Ghebreyesus said it is in every nation’s economic interest to support vaccine equity.
The WHO chief has stressed the importance of working with devolved economies to assist African countries rollout the vaccines.