10 November 2010
Kigali, Rwanda – A recently held “Gift from Africa” event has resulted in new commitments of US$ 2 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bringing total commitments to this campaign to US$ 5 million.
The contribution was announced on Saturday at a private sector summit in Kigali, Rwanda, organised by Friends of the Global Fund Africa and the Rwandan government. The summit was attended by President Paul Kagame and Madame Jeannette Kagame, and brought together more than 200 African business representatives in support of the Global Fund.
Major donors to the ‘Gift from Africa’ from the event were Bralirwa (Rwanda), Remi Olowude for IGI (Nigeria), Hezi Bezalel (Honorary Consul to Israel), Crane Bank (Uganda), Stanbic Bank (Uganda), and Ray Chambers (United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria).
The First Lady set the tone for the evening by making an appeal to the audience that “Africa’s wealth can and should contribute to Africa’s health.” The Private sector in Rwanda heard her appeal. Indeed, out of the US$ 2 million pledged, US$ 1.2 came from Rwanda’s companies.
The Executive Director of the Global Fund, Professor Michel Kazatchkine, remarked “Private companies in Africa have demonstrated that they not only care about Africa but that they have a global perspective and are becoming part of a global health movement. Those companies that contribute to Gift from Africa know that healthy companies are made up of healthy people, and that investments in health are investments in the workforce and in communities”.
President Kagame, who was also present at the dinner, said it was time to expand participation in financing the health sector beyond the traditional donors and the government players. He said the success of the Global Fund “first in mobilising resources, and then in facilitating individual countries to implement their programs on the basis of their priorities provides us with an example of the successful public private partnership.”
The ‘Gift from Africa’ campaign is a partnership between Friends of the Global Fund Africa and the Global Fund. Since being conceived in mid-2010, it has raised US$ 5 million from the African private sector to support the Global Fund. The campaign had initial commitments from Access Bank Plc, Anglo American South Africa, Cirrus Oil of Ghana, Old Mutual of South Africa, and United Against Malaria (Nando’s, MTN and Standard Bank).
The ‘Gift from Africa’ campaign proposes to be an ongoing mechanism of support to the Global Fund from the continent where the majority of its funding is directed. The CEO of Friends Africa, Dr Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba, notes that the success of the ‘Gift from Africa’ campaign represents “a new willingness in the African businesses to invest in health.”