Covid-19: AU appoints Masiyiwa Special Envoy

The African Union has appointed Founder and Chairman/Chief Executive Econet Group as a Special Envoy to coordinate the Africa Private Sector Initiative for the procurement of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and other Essential Supplies.

Sources close to the AU revealed that President of the Republic of South Africa Dr. Cyril Ramaphosa communicated the appointment to Dr Masiyiwa in writing.

It was disclosed that the decision was arrived at at the virtual Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) together with African Business Leaders which held on 22 April 2020.

By this appointment, Masiyiwa will coordinate a private sector-led continental effort to procure critical personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other essential supplies. Buttressing the importance of this initiative to the continent, a Diplomat who did not want to named said that the acquisition and supply of these materials is indeed critical to winning the war against COVID-19 in Africa.

According to him, the meeting also endorsed the establishment of a forum of African Business Leaders to support efforts by the AU and Member States to implement the continental COVID-19 strategy.

This private sector initiative which is expected to complement the efforts of the continent’s political leadership against COVID-19 is believed by many as welcome development for the AU.

Speaking further, he said that the appointment of Masiyiwa is an acknowledgement of the Businessman’s tireless efforts and passion at positioning the continent on global stage and his selfless service to the continent and beyond.

There are now more than over 150,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic.

According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control (official government data) on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when. As of the time of this report, every African country had recorded an infection, the last being Lesotho.

Major African statistics as at June 2, 2020 revealed that a total of Confirmed cases had hit 158,030, while number of deaths was 4,505. The total Recoveries was 67,491 while active cases was 86,034.

Countries that have recorded cases of Covid-19 in Africa in alphabetical order were:

Algeria – 9,626; Angola – 86; Benin – 244; Botswana – 40; Burkina Faso – 881; Burundi – 63; Cameroon – 6,585; Cape Verde – 466; Central African Republic – 1,173; Chad – 803; Comoros – 132; Congo-Brazzaville – 611; DR Congo – 3,495; Djibouti – 3,779; Egypt – 27,536; Equatorial Guinea – 1,306; Eritrea – 40; Eswatini – 294; Ethiopia – 1,486; Gabon – 2,803; Gambia – 25; Ghana – 8,297;!Guinea – 3,886; Guinea-Bissau – 1,339; Ivory Coast – 3,024; Kenya – 2,093; Lesotho – 2; Liberia – 316; Libya – 182; Madagascar – 908; Malawi – 358; Mali – 1,351; Mauritania – 668; Mauritius – 335; Morocco – 7,910; Mozambique – 307; Namibia – 25; Niger – 960; Nigeria- 10,819; Rwanda – 384; Sao Tome and Principe – 484; Senegal – 3,932; Seychelles – 11; Sierra Leone – 909; Somalia – 2,089; South Africa – 35,812; South Sudan – 994; Sudan – 5,310; Tanzania – 509; Togo – 445; Tunisia – 1,087; Uganda – 507; Zambia – 1,089; and Zimbabwe – 206.

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