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The medical supplies donated by the Chinese Alibaba Foundation to African countries being offloaded at the Addis Ababa airport in March. Why is Africa a perennial recipient of charity when it's so blessed with many resources? /Photo: APO

Coronavirus: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma donates medical supplies to African countries

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the Government of Ethiopia have received a consignment of medical equipment for distribution to African countries for their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The donated consignment includes 1.5 million testing kits, 6 million medical masks and 60,000 protective suits to be distributed throughout Africa.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 23, 2020/ — Africa’s response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak received a boost today as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Government of Ethiopia received a consignment of medical equipment from the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations – both belong to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.

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.

“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. In just about three months it has caused over 12,000 deaths worldwide and impacted socioeconomic activities, particularly tourism and transport.

Ethiopian Airlines will help distribute the equipment, consisting laboratory diagnostic test kits, medical masks and protective suits and face shields, to each of the Member States as part of their contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa.

“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.

Report distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)

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