By Daniel Otunge
The African Union’s Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has launched avirtual platform to help systematize and steady supply of quality COVID-19- critical medical equipment in Africa, according to media brief from the Center.
The platform, known as the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP),is a single online marketplace developed under the leadership of African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa and powered by Janngo (www.Janngo.africa).
It is a partnership projectalso involving the African Export-Import Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, leading corporations, institutions and foundations, said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.
Among other things, the AMSP serves to unlock immediate access to vetted manufacturers and procurement strategic partners. It enables the African Union Member States to buy certified medical equipment, such as diagnostic kits, PPEs and clinical management devices with improved cost effectiveness and transparency.
The platform serves as a unique interface enabling volume aggregation, quota management, payment facilitation as well as logistics & transportation to ensure equitable & efficient access to critical supplies for African governments. The Afrexim bank will facilitate payments while logistics partners including African national carriers, global freight forwarders will expedite delivery.
“The Africa Medical Supply Platform is just one innovation that African countries have developed ourselves, to help mitigate the devastating impact of this pandemic that threatens both the health of our people and our national economies. We are already getting requests from other parts of the world to franchise the AMSP concept,” AU Special Envoy Strive Masiyiwa said. The Special Envoy noted with pride that “Africa is leading the way with this online solution to ensure all of our governments get access to PPEs and other urgent medical supplies they need, at fair price.”
Indeed, this platform is an apt opportunity for the AU where members states to showcase and market their Covid-19 products to boost intra-Africa trade. Kenya, for example, has built enough local capacity to produce quality certified PPEs, Facemasks and other equipment for Covid-19 pandemic control and management for all its domestic needs and for export.
“We commit to providing market intelligence on where the manufacturers are, facilitating pooled procurement when financial resources are made available through this initiative, and distributing these products to respective African destinations,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.
The best advice would be for the Africa CDC to scout for local innovations and products produced in to boost the Africa Rising initiative. Thus, no effort should be spared in creating awareness about this platform among the member-states, through the mass media, chambers of commerce, manufacturer associations and ministries of trade and industry.
As a mission-driven organization, Africa CDC is committed to serving the continent by leveraging Janngo’sthree main pillars. These includes venture building capabilities, technology expertise and cross-border marketplace track-record to enable this platform; financial and human capital to support portfolio anddeal-flow, particularly logistics, health-tech and fintech startups on the frontline of the Covid-19 response; and knowledge sharing sessions and webinars via Janngo Academy to empower broader community of entrepreneurs to build resilience and adjust their activities to the pandemic effect. “The next 100 days are critical to turnaround the exponential trend of cases and deaths: both our sense of purpose & sense of urgency have never been stronger,” said Fatoumata Bâ, Founder and Executive Chair of Janngo.