MN partners African Union on COVID-19 vaccinations

Accra MTN Group has donated an amount of US$25 million to support the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The donation will help secure up to seven million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines for health workers across the continent, which will contribute to the vaccination initiative of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

A joint statement issued in Accra said, “The devastating impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and profound.”

Mr Ralph Mupita, President and Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group, said the public and private partnerships were needed “if we are to succeed in the fight against the pandemic and restore social and economic norms for our continent and our communities.”

“We believe ongoing collaborations with key stakeholders across sectors are essential as vaccines are deployed in all our markets, with communication tools, technology and digital services being vital support infrastructure for a successful mass vaccination programme,” Mr Mupita said

He said in the coming months, MTN Group would look at similar support commitments for the markets in which it operated in the Middle East.

On 14 January 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union, 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.

Mr Mupita said that was an important milestone in efforts to ensure equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine for Africa’s people.

However, with a population of about 1.3 billion, Africa required many more doses to achieve at least 60 percent herd immunity.

He said contributions by private organisations, like MTN, were, therefore, essential to help the continent reach its target.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC said, “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 percent vaccination target,” he added.

Mr Selorm Adadevoh, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana said “our immense appreciation goes to our dedicated frontline health workers, the Government, and other key stakeholders, who have worked tirelessly and braved the odds to help our country in the face of this relentless pandemic.”

He said MTN appreciated the devotion to duty and expressed the hope that the vaccines would help the continent in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, MTN has made significant contributions to help limit the spread of the disease and save lives and livelihoods in the African market.

He said the donation was another example of MTN’s efforts to help find lasting solutions to solve the challenges facing the continent and to guarantee a healthy Africa, for all Africans.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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