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Regional development bank supports African Covid-19 response

Image: Governor Tom Wolf [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

US$500,000 donation signals African countries ‘acting as one’, says bank chief

The financial arm of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa has donated US$500,000 to support the continent’s response to Covid-19.

The donation answers a “call for solidarity” issued by the African Union, said Admassu Tadesse, president of the COMESA-linked Trade and Development Bank, in a 30 September announcement. 

Pooling the continent’s efforts is “crucial” to halting the spread of the virus, he said, adding: “We commend the African Union for bringing African countries together to act as one, with more power and greater effectiveness.”

The donation will fuel the implementation of a continent-wide Covid-19 strategy endorsed by African health ministers in February and approved by the AU bureau of heads of state in March. 

John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said that Africa may not have resources to match more developed parts of the world but can overcome the pandemic through partnerships and solidarity. “The donation […] is a good example,” he said.