Africa is facing a continent-wide recession and is in need of a COVID-19 recovery strategy prepared and financed by African governments and organizations. Asset recycling, digitalization and improved regional integration are some of the suggested solutions to economic recovery and strengthening healthcare systems.
African leaders put their heads together and came up with a collective approach towards managing the pandemic and its social and economic effects.
The Joint Continental Strategy
African Union and the Africa CDC in partnership with the African Export-Import Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Africa set up the AU COVID-19 Response Fund. This was established soon after the joint continental strategy prepared by the African Union and Africa CDC in April 2020. Their aim was to limit transmission, minimize harm, and reduce social disruptions and economic consequences of the outbreak.
During a recent fundraising webinar in October, it was stated that USD 44 million had been raised. AU Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged the private sector to raise at least a further USD 300 million to help in managing the health and economic impact. The fund also aims to boost the capacity of Africa CDC and countries in need.
In addition to investment and funding, it was suggested that governments should allocate 5% of their GDP to healthcare in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in their countries.
Value Driven Supply Chain Solutions
In collaboration with Africa CDC, the African Union also developed the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), a digital marketplace for African nations to access essential healthcare supplies needed while battling COVID-19.
Through AMSP, governments are directly linked to vetted suppliers, manufacturers and strategic procurement partners. The platform intends to address shortages of supplies, reduce delays, ensure products are sold at affordable prices and enhance transparency in procurement processes.
Africa’s quest for self-reliance has also led to some changes in the local manufacturing sector. Ethiopia, Senegal, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa are encouraging and incentivizing the repurposing of domestic manufacturing supply chains in order to address shortages of essential healthcare products.
More financial investment will help in strengthening the continent’s supply chain systems because local manufacturers need working capital as they strive to produce more products during the COVID-19 recovery period.
Other Ways We are Doing it
xetova is currently working on building health security in Kenya through our AI driven Africa Health Security Alliance AHSA platform. We use statistical time series forecasting models and recurrent neural networks to forecast product demand, receive client requests, track bids and orders and ensure that healthcare supply chains run efficiently.
Through our initiative, national governments, financing institutions, donor organizations and all other stakeholders in healthcare engage, collaborate and mobilize resources needed for COVID-19 recovery achieving UHC in Africa.
Mobilizing and managing financial and non-financial resources plays a huge role in building resilience to future economic and health threats. We are glad that Africans are taking practical steps towards self-reliance so let’s engage and collaborate in strengthening our preparedness and response plans.