Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa thanked Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundations in his address to the nation over the coronavirus pandemic on Monday night.
But what did Jack Ma do?
The Chinese magnate and the foundation has delivered a consignment of medical equipment to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Government of Ethiopia to be distributed to each of the Member States as part of their contribution to the fight against Covid-19 in Africa.
The shipment included over 1.5 million laboratory diagnostic test kits and over 100 tons of infection prevention and control commodities.
This relief initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed, the Jack Ma Foundation, and Alibaba Foundation as part of actions towards implementation of the Africa joint continental strategy for Covid-19 led by the African Union through Africa CDC.
“On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, we thank the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations for this generous hospitality and contribution to the continent. We thank His Excellency the Prime Minister, and the Government of Ethiopia, for facilitating the donation,” said H.E. Mr Edward Xolisa Makaya, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to Ethiopia and the African Union.
A WHO worker watches as a shipment of medical supplies donated to Africa to fight the coronavirus disease from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation arrives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. Picture: Baz Ratner/Reuters
“This is a great honour and initiative and a great sign of solidarity that the world needs at this critical time. The test kits and other materials will support African countries in their fight against this outbreak. We are facing a humanitarian situation, an economic situation and a security situation in the continent and Africa CDC clearly applauds the initiative of the prime minister and the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.
The Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the continents of the world claiming thousands of lives and huge resources.
Ethiopian Airlines will help distribute the equipment, consisting 20,000 laboratory diagnostic test kits, 100,000 medical masks, and 1000 protective suits and face shields, to each of the Member States.
A cargo flight containing over 6 million medical items including face masks, test kits, face shields and protective suits arrives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Picture: Mulugeta Ayene/AP
“We appeal to our ministries of health to ensure that these materials are distributed and used where they are mostly needed,” said H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, Dean of African Diplomatic Corps, and Chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council.
* Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).