African YPO Leaders Unite To Lead Corporate Response To Combat COVID-19


By Angeline Ngbele

YPO  Africa business leaders  May 1, 2020, announced the creation of the Lead COVID-19 Response.

 The goal is to create tangible, concrete solutions to community, health care, and business challenges that will ultimately impact millions of Africans across the continent in a scalable way.

Located across 18 African countries, many of YPO’s 900 chief executives have launched COVID-19-linked projects. Lead COVID-19 Response will help foster collaboration to unite these efforts by framing them into 11 Key Pillars, with two co-chairs coordinating action on each one.

“By uniting our members within Africa, catalysing the power of YPO and the impactful efforts of our leaders, we hope to make a significant difference in our communities in this new world order,” said Pick n Pay Chairman and YPO International Board Member based in South Africa, Gareth Ackerman.

The Pan-African Response aims to coordinate and facilitate members’ existing efforts to have even greater impact. This action-oriented approach, with concrete solutions, intends to make an immediate difference to people’s lives.

ROKA-Mining CEO and YPO International Board Member based in Rwanda Emery Rubagenga added, “As YPO leaders, we felt there was a great need and opportunity to organise our efforts and be an effective instrument in the battle against COVID-19 in the Africa region.”

Lead COVID-19 Response will work with existing YPO initiatives in order to:

  • Construct and support an isolation centre in Lagos, Nigeria equipped with 70 beds, 10 intensive care isolation units, four ventilators and manned by five intensivists and 80 trained staff.
  • Raise R100 million(US$5.33million) in funding for COVID-19 Reponses with a seed fund of R10 million initially to go to the Solidarity Fund and YPO-led initiatives.
  • Feed millions of people by partnering with the Pick n Pay ‘Feed the Nation’ campaign and the Courage  Initiative.
  • Deliver clean water to low-income communities through operational water stations.
  • Assist distressed businesses through COVID Business Rescue Assistance (COBRA), which provides access to qualified turnaround specialists who can help with financing and ways to restructure operations.

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