South African Telecommunications Giant MTN has donated USD 25 million to the African Union to help purchase vaccines for the coronavirus to be used on the content.
According to a statement from the organization, the donation will help secure 7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccination for health workers who have been on the frontline across the continent.
“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 Ralph Mupita, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MTN Group.
The firm is now in a public-private partnership with the AU. They say the donation is part of the continent’s private sector contribution towards the access and distribution of the pandemic’s remedy.
“We believe ongoing collaborations with key stakeholders across sectors are essential as vaccines are deployed,” added Mupita.
“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 the 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, says Dr. John Nkengasong, director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Early this year, South African president and current chairperson of the African Union announced that the AU secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses on behalf of its member states through advanced procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2 billion to manufacturers by the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM). That translates to 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.