Africa50 the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, has announced its COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative, which aims to support the continent’s fight against the pandemic. Under this initiative, Africa50 is providing US$800,000 to help contain the spread of the virus and minimize its impact. Given the likely long-term effects of the pandemic, Africa50’s COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative will have three phases, as follows:
The first phase focuses on helping countries deal with immediate public health needs through in-kind and cash donations. It comprises a US$300,000 grant to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which will be used specifically for the purchase of test kits and other medical equipment and to mobilize frontline responders, as highlighted in the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 led by the African Union, through Africa CDC.
In addition, Africa50 is donating US$500,000 to fund other targeted infection control and prevention activities in several African countries.
The second phase will focus on technology-enabled solutions that help address the unprecedented demand for digital health innovations, which was triggered by the pandemic. To that effect, Africa50 will support the deployment of digital solutions, as part of its Innovation Challenge, an initiative launched in 2019 to increase internet connectivity access in under-served areas in Africa.
The third phase will concentrate on medium to longer term solutions to support economic recovery and stabilization, including the implementation of major infrastructure projects.
On the occasion of this announcement, Mr. Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, said “We stand in complete solidarity with all African nations and all our stakeholders around the world during these uncertain times. Beyond the tragic loss of human lives, the pandemic is projected to result in a decline in Africa’s GDP growth between 3 and 8 percent.” He underlined Africa’s vulnerability to this new, rapidly evolving environment and stressed the need for diligent, impactful responses and continental cooperation.
“Governments, the private sector, development institutions, and civil society have acted quickly, both to limit the spread of the virus and to prop up economies.
Africa50 will play its part.”, he said. “If we work together, we can limit the damage of the pandemic. This crisis underlines once again the urgency of improving the continent’s infrastructure to ensure that people can enjoy productive, happy, and healthy lives. We must therefore also continue to develop our project pipeline and evaluate new ones, as we prepare to support the continent’s recovery”, he added.