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Business leaders in Africa pledge millions in Ebola fund

This first wave of pledges will go towards logistical support. Photo©ReutersBusiness leaders across Africa have committed more than $28.5 million to an initial emergency fund towards Africa’s Ebola response in the three affected West African countries Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

CEOs from various of sectors, including banking, telecommunications, mining, energy, among others joined forces with regional institutions to create and support an emergency funding mechanism to deal with the Ebola outbreak in West African.

This is a response coming from African owned companies and global companies active in Africa

“This is a response coming from African owned companies and global companies active in Africa,” Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon, Strive Masiyiwa of ECONET International, said while speaking on behalf of the business leaders on a fund raising meeting in Addis Ababa, Saturday.

More pledges are also expected in the coming few days and weeks, as they consult with their governance structures.

The meeting was attended by heads of African Union, the African Development Bank and UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Masiyiwa said the “African Telcom sector has agreed to set up a special facility to come into effect in early December to allow all subscribers to contribute $1 each voluntarily to support the response”.

Patrice Motsepe of ARM Minerals, Peter Moyo of Vodacom, Bob Collymore of Safaricom and representatives from the Dangote Group and MTN were also present at the business roundtable meeting.

This first wave of pledges will go towards logistical support and in kind contributions, such as support to an African medical corps of doctors, nurses and lab technicians to care for those infected with Ebola.

“These resources will be deployed in the framework of the AU support to Ebola outbreak in West Africa, in close coordination with the national task-forces in the Ebola-affected countries and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response,” they stated in a Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

More than 4,900 people have died from the Ebola virus while 13,700 have so far been infected since the virus broke out in parts of West Africa.

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