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COVID-19: The Africa Medical Supplies Platform, Africa's united continental supply chain response to COVID, expands to African hospitals and CARICOM countries, and secures lifesaving COVID-19 medical treatment to benefit nearly 1 million Africans

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Johannesburg/Cairo/Addis Ababa, 22 July 2020 – Following a successful launch of the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) by the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa on the 18th of June 2020, the AMSP has gained traction in sourcing of supplies of medical equipment, struck new and groundbreaking partnerships globally, and has experienced a surge in demand for medical supplies from Member States of the African Union.

Updating the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa on progress the platform has made thus far, African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa, appraised the President of key developments the platform has made in the past three weeks.

Africa Medical Supplies Platform logo
Africa Medical Supplies Platform logo

AMSP launch of drugs for recovery treatment
“I recently directed the (AMSP) platform team to also begin to add promising pharmaceutical products that might be helpful to our doctors, working in close collaboration with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC),” said President Ramaphosa.

As an update to this instruction, Mr Masiyiwa responded, “I’m pleased to advise you that at our request, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to joining our initiative to secure a drug called dexamethasone, which is being used to treat COVID-19 in hospitals in the US and Europe on very sick patients following the results of the RECOVERY Trial. The trial demonstrated significant reduction of mortality, saving lives that we couldn’t save without this intervention. About 1 million people will benefit from the drug (equivalent to 9 million tablets), which will be distributed proportionately for free to all countries that are interested in its use.”

The Gates Foundation’s Africa Director, Cheikh Oumar Seydi, noted, “The Gates Foundation gladly supports this initiative of the Africa Medical Supplies Platform to bring COVID-19 treatments to the African people. We have a shared belief that access to lifesaving tools should not be dependent on ability to pay.”

In addition, the Africa CDC, has further secured $15m from the MasterCard Foundation, which has been used to buy PCR Test Kits through the platform.

“These tests will support our Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 testing initiative that was launched a few weeks ago,” said the Executive Director of the Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong.

These donations of both dexamethasone and test kits will be distributed for free to AU Member States, once they register on the platform so as to confirm their allocation and arrange delivery.

Mr Masiyiwa further explained, “In addition to our efforts securing the best drugs on the platform, we are preparing to become a critical player in how oxygen supplies, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines are accessible on the continent when it is globally available.”

AMSP expands in supply and demand globally
Mr Masiyiwa also told President Ramaphosa that he was pleased to report that the UNICEF catalogue was now listed and purchasable on the platform while the applications from vendors of medical suppliers have increased threefold from the time of launch.

‘Mr President, l am pleased to report that the platform has proved popular with suppliers and is receiving applications from an average of 40 new vendors per day,” he said.

Mr Masiyiwa also reported that demand for medical supplies on the platform was high and included Member States of the African Union, leading international non-governmental organisations as well as international and African foundations.

“We are also zeroing in on ensuring that we expand access of our platform to hospitals and local authorities approved by their governments of Member States. We believe this will help to ensure critical supplies are available at the hospital level in a speedy and timely fashion,” said Mr Masiyiwa.

He concluded the briefing by advising the Chairperson of the African Union His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, that under his leadership the platform had also achieved international recognition with Member States of CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) joining the platform to access critical medical supplies to fight COVID.

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About the Africa Medical Supplies Platform: The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is a non-profit initiative launched by the African Union as an immediate, integrated and practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The online platform was developed under the leadership of African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa and powered by Janngo on behalf of the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and in partnership with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) with the support of leading African & international Institutions, Foundations & Corporations as well as Governments of China, Canada & France.

For more information visit www.amsp.africa

About Africa CDC: Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union supporting Member States to strengthen their capacity to prepare for and respond to disease threats and other public health emergencies.

For more information visit www.africacdc.org.

About Afreximbank: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2019, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at USD$15.5 billion and its shareholders’ funds amounted to US$2.8 billion. Voted “African Bank of the Year” in 2019, the Bank disbursed more than US$31billion between 2016 and 2019. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com.

About ECA: Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA’s) mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its Member States, foster intraregional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. ECA is made up of 54 Member States and plays a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape.

For more information, visit: www.uneca.org.

About Janngo: Janngo builds, grows and invests in pan-African digital champions with proven business models and inclusive social impact. It builds digital ecosystems in high growth sectors by providing business support and digital platforms allowing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale and contribute to the economic empowerment of youth and women through job creation and capacity building.

For more information, visit: www.janngo.africa

Media Contact

Africa Medical Supplies Platform:
George Sibotshiwe; george@nubiconafrica.co.za; Tel: +27-71-467-7689
Antonia Gleizes; media@janngo.africa; Tel: +336-23-13-71-72

Africa CDC:
James Ayodele; ayodelej@africa-union.org; Tel: +252-953-912-454

Afreximbank:
Amadou Labba Sall; asall@afreximbank.com; Tel. +20-120-532-0254

ECA:
Sophia Denekews; denekews.uneca@un.org; Tel.+251-929-907-766