from AKANI CHAUKE in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa hailed the exemplary role played by MTN Group after the mobile network operator donated US$25 million to procure vaccines for the continent.
The financial injection would enable the procurement of 7 million vaccines.
Outgoing African Union chairperson, Ramaphosa, said these would be made available “within a matter of weeks.”
“I would like to applaud MTN for this generous donation and I call upon private sector companies to follow the example of MTN,” Ramaphosa, said, addressing fellow South Africans late on Monday.
The MTN Group is one of the continent’s leading firms, with over 273 million customers in 21 markets.
Ramaphosa said a considerable amount of work had been done with the private sector around the availability of the vaccine in South Africa.
“I am pleased that there is strong commitment to support every aspect of the national vaccine rollout effort. This includes funding when needed, logistics, distribution and administration.”
Ramaphosa earlier on Monday received the first batch of vaccine doses for South Africa.
The Serum Institute in India produced the 1 million doses of the Covishield vaccine.
The pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, together with the University of Oxford, developed the vaccine.
South Africa was one of the countries where clinical trials were held to assess the drug’s efficacy.
– CAJ News