NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – Some of the continent’s top business leaders have joined the United Nation’s Development Program Africa to coordinate a continent-wide response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The leaders, under the African Influencers for Development initiative, have extended their support to their governments to combat the pandemic that has been documented in 52 African countries.
The leaders include James Mwangi, Group CEO of Equity Group, Rob Shuter, President of MTN, Samaila Zubairu, President of Africa Finance Corporation and Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank among others.
According to UNDP, Oramah, for instance, has announced a US$3 billion facility to help Afreximbank’s member countries weather the socio-economic and health impacts of COVID-19.
Bluemoon’s Founder Eleni Gabre-Madhin is helping SMEs in Ethiopia to manufacture and distribute essential medical equipment.
“The private sector has a major role to play as we can move very quickly to bring our assets and expertise to work,” said Rob Shuter, President of MTN.
Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa stressed the importance of a collaborative approach to the challenges posed by COVID-19.
“UNDP is committed to work with the private sector in their unified response efforts, particularly in issues of procurement, governance, financing, communications and technology bringing our decades of expertise, supply chains and wide reach across Africa to mobilize the local private sector to get critically needed materials to the most vulnerable,” she said.
The global pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of Africa’s economic, business landscape and redrawn the prospects for growth across the continent.