Telecoms News South Africa

MTN donates R383m to African Union's Covid-19 vaccination programme

MTN recently announced a donation of $25m (R383m) to African Union's Covid-19 vaccination programme. The donation will help secure up to seven million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for health workers across the continent, which will contribute to the vaccination initiative of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Ralph Mupita, president and CEO of the MTN Group, says: “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.”

On 14 January 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa, chairperson of the African Union, 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 $2bn to the manufacturers by the African Export-Import Bank.

This was an important milestone in efforts to ensure equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine for Africa’s people. However, with a population of about 1.3 billion, Africa requires many more doses to achieve at least 60% herd immunity. Contributions by private organisations, like MTN, are therefore essential to help the continent reach its target.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, says: “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 the 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.”

MTN said the following in a statement:

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have made significant contributions to help limit the spread of the disease and save lives and livelihoods within its African market.

This donation is another example of our efforts to help find lasting solutions to solve the challenges facing the continent and to guarantee a healthy Africa, for all Africans.”

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