Sunday Mail Reporter
The recently-appointed African Union Special Envoy in charge of Coordinating the Continent’s Private Sector Initiative to Procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, says Zimbabwe has not been left behind in the campaign to mitigate the effects of coronavirus.
Mr Masiyiwa said US$33 billion had been raised through working with fellow African envoys.
“Many African countries have now received money from what is known as debt standstill, while others have had emergency relief extended to them by multilateral financial institutions,” he said.
“The total amount released to date is now more than US$33 billion.
“Getting this money is the work of my fellow envoys who include Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Donald Kaberuka, Mr Trevor Manuel and Mr Tidjane Thiam.”
Mr Masiyiwa said the aim was to raise about US$100 billion, which will also benefit small businesses in African countries.
“They (envoys) have done a fantastic job and are working to get that money to reach US$100 billion so that it can also reach small businesses,” he said.
“I am confident they will succeed because these guys are world-class smart.
“I have been pressing that countries use 15 percent of this money to buy medical supplies and fix hospitals.”
Mr Masiyiwa said countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan had been selected to benefit as they were under sanctions and could not access international financial facilities.
“Global Fund and GAVI and the Vaccine Alliance have so far availed over US$50 million to Zimbabwe,” he said.
“In addition, Zimbabwe has received over US$200 million from Afreximbank. The good news is that this week Zimbabwe’s health officials held meetings with AMSP and Afreximbank officials.
“They were informed that they could buy all the supplies they needed from the platform and Afreximbank will pay.”