Our Staff Reporter spoke to AUDA-NEPAD Special Advisor on Private Sector and Resource Mobilization, Asmae Boureddaya on how the agency implements the pandemic response plan. Excerpts:
Question: What is the AUDA-NEPAD approach for this crisis?
Answer: The AUDA-NEPAD is interacting with Member States based on its Mandate. It is today a development agency that is at the service of its member states, providing technical assistance, advisory and Resources Mobilization. We are working in close cooperation with the African Union Commission especially the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) when it comes to the African Union Covid19 Response.
As AUDA-NEPAD, and under the leadership of our Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Agency has put on place the AUDA-NEPAD Covid-19 Response Plan of Action, in which the Agency covers several thematic areas such as health, Skills Development, Education and food Systems.
Q: Finance for member states is one of the key challenges, how AUDA-NEPAD is engaging with the private sector in the fight against the pandemic?
A: The Covid-19 has hit all the economies and our Continent is one of the most affected. As technical advisors to the member states, we are working with our partners, especially financial development institutions to facilitate access to finance in this crisis; we are also working with the African Union Commission through the different bodies to grant resource mobilization under the leadership of the African Heads of States and governments.
As AUDA-NEPAD, we are interacting with the African and International private Sector. On a national level, the experience has demonstrated that the private sector is a major contributor to fight against the Covid-19 effects, its role is clearly highlighted in helping mobilize resources to strengthen the governmental actions in terms of sanitary and social security by providing direct financial contribution to Covid-19 funds and programs and readapting manufacturing facilities to supply the urgent sanitary needs of government and CDCs.
Indeed, the private sector has proven itself to be very effective in resource mobilization, innovative solutions and solidarity. We would like to emphasis on successful stories across the continent and help design solutions in other parts of Africa.
We are as well aware that the private sector is extremely affected by this crisis; we want to gather professionals from across the Continent to give them an exchange and discussion platform aiming to provide solutions to be implemented by the different components of our member states to tackle this issue.
Q: Are there any opportunity for the African Continent post Covid-19?
A: The African continent has always managed to handle epidemic crisis, but this pandemic is helping raise awareness about the fundamental safety steps of hygiene amongst the populations. We should be proud of ourselves as many countries have proven their capacity to self-adaptation and have converted their industries to respond to the needs of their populations.
We have also, as a private sector unit under the direct leadership of our CEO, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, undertaken a benchmark of the African initiatives for the Covid-19 and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of innovation, adaptation and solidarity in our continent. There is definitely an opportunity for us in the future.
The Post Covid-19 will certainly make us stronger, will teach us lessons and will help us rethink our priorities on continental, regional and national levels. The post Covid-19 era will certainly be an Africa 2.0 era, we shall rethink our way of doing business by relying on new technologies of information and communication.