By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has announced a $100 million financing to enable its Member -States to procure COVID-19 related medical resources through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP).
In a statement by the Bank on Tuesday, the funding is available to African governments to acquire medical supplies through the AMSP in the form of pre-approved overdraft limits for each African government.
According to the statement, “this facility quickens access to critical COVID-19 containment and therapeutic supplies by bridging short term funding gaps that African states may be experiencing”.
Launched in June, the AMSP was developed by the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Afreximbank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), under the leadership of the African Union Special Envoy for COVID-19 procurements, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa.
The AMSP is operated by the technology firm Janngo. It was established to facilitate pooled and transparent procurement by African countries. Its services have now been made available to countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
A product of continent-wide collaboration, the AMSP aggregates medical supplies and serves as a unique interface for African governments and NGOs to easily coordinate sourcing. Afreximbank facilitates payments on the platform. The Bank also arranges letters of credit and payment guarantees, allowing participating governments and organizations to minimize the upfront cost of obtaining critical supplies.
Commenting on the facility, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “We are mindful of the challenges many African economies are facing as they work hard every day to contain the pandemic.
“With this $100 million overdraft facility, we are ensuring African states are able to rapidly access diagnostic kits and medical supplies at competitive prices from African suppliers and global markets”, he added.