By Charles Nwaoguji
AU Commission Chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat informed the newly nominated COVID-19 board of trustees that the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) estimates that implementation of the Africa Continental Strategy on COVID-19 would required USD $420 million over the next six months.
.Mahama stated that the Union is using the economic, humanitarian and health dimensions as to get through the global pandemic.
He explained to the board: “The economic dimension aims to realize debt relief for the continent, and the provision of sufficient liquidity to get Africa through the crisis.
In this regard, the AU Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed four special envoys to advocate with partners and the international community, providing substantial support to Africa in the face of the potential economic crisis caused by Covid-19.
According to him, the humanitarian dimension refers to the situation where Africa is strengthening its partnerships with the United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies is to provide logistical support to states in caring for refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants.
“ The health dimension focuses on strengthening preventive measures and health infrastructure, including provision of equipment, trained health personnel, and surveillance systems that inform government decisions,” he added,
AU Social Affairs Commissioner, H.E. Amira Elfadil apprised the board members on the status of the response fund and the plans to mobilize from both member states and partners to enable the African Union to safe-guard Africa’s health through the Africa CDC.
She informed the board that USD $61,500,000 had so far been raised, and concluded by urging the board members to close the gap by raising the remaining USD $358,500,000 to reach the target.
Dr, John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC said the funds donated will support the Africa CDC’s pool procurement of diagnostics and other medical commodities for distribution across the continent which will enable the continent to test one million Africans in 10 weeks.
“It will also support the deployment of one million community healthcare workers to support contact tracing; and standardization and deployment of common technology platforms to boost public trust in testing data, epidemiological models and critical health forecasting techniques as part of the economic recovery and re-opening agenda. “We need to enhance testing, improve logistics and scale up manufacturing”, he added.
The governance structure of the AU Covid-19 response Fund Board of Trustees is made up of member states, the private sector and AU representatives, as follows:
Prof. Wiseman Lumkile Nkuhlu – Chancellor of the University of Pretoria Chairman KPMG South Africa (Southern Region) , Mr. Martin Mogwanja – Senior Executive, Development and Humanitarian Relief Management. (Kenya) – Eastern region, Prof. Mohamed Awad Tageldin Senior advisor on public health and protection policies to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt (Northern region), Mr. Ndolamb Ngokwey – Former Deputy Special Representative of UN Secretary-general and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Côte d’Ivoire (Democratic Republic Congo) (DRC) – Central Region, Mr. Abdoulaye Daffe Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Banque de Development du Mali (BDM-S.A) – (Mali) Western region, H.E Dr. Hala Zaid – Minister of Health and Population Egypt, and AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) chair on Health Population and Drug Control.
Prof. Benedict Oramah – Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Engr. Mansur Ahmed – Executive Director, Dangote Group, Mr. Paul Gomes – Chairman, Afro-Champions
African Union Commission
H.E. Amira Elfadil – AU Social Affairs Commissioner