JOHANNESBURG – Mobile communications network giant MTN has announced a donation of US$25 million to support the African Union’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
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.
The South African health ministry on Tuesday said the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country to date was 1,423,578, with 41,797 deaths and 1,254,674 recoveries.