The fight against epidemics in Africa received a boost last week with the announcement by Ecobank that it had renewed its ongoing partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, for a further three years.
Ecobank, a pan-African banking conglomerate with banking operations in 36 African nations, and Global Fund, a nonprofit, international financing organization that aims to attract and disburse additional resources to treat and prevent HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, began their partnership in 2013.
A signing ceremony was held in Montreal, Canada on the side-lines of the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment Conference that took place there on 16 – 17 September, and saw donors pledge more than $12.9 billion for the next three years. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosted the event attended by Heads of State, government officials and hundreds of private sector and development leaders from across the globe. The event, held under the theme ‘Changing Africa: Enabling growth through the private sector,’ also pooled together high-level audience composed of business leaders and development experts.
The initial partnership between Ecobank and Global Fund included a cash contribution of $1.5 million, as well as training and resource building for a similar amount, which was aimed at strengthening the financial management capabilities of grant recipients in Nigeria, Senegal and South Sudan.
The renewed partnership is intended to support Global Fund in its fight against epidemics and hopefully accelerate the end of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria on the continent. According to the terms of the new agreement, Ecobank Foundation will also work with the Global Fund to build the partnership into an engagement and advocacy platform for organiztions and individuals who share a vision of accelerating the transformation of Africa.
As a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by diseases, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests nearly US$4 billion annually to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries and supports attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
Programs supported by the Global Fund partnership have put 9.2 million people on antiretroviral treatment for HIV, provided 15.1 million people with TB treatment and distributed 659 million mosquito nets to protect families from malaria.