Global professional services network, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has joined leading African businesses in supporting the African Union Support for Ebola in West Africa (Aseowa) programme, the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, an historic private sector initiative, announced mid-January.
PwC will provide financial and risk management and fund administration services to the Trust, at a significant discount to their normal fees, as part of their in-kind contribution to the initiative. To date close to 1,000 African health workers have been deployed to combat Ebola in the most affected Countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
‘When African business gathered in Addis Ababa on 8 November 2014 and pledged to partner us in eradicating this dreadful disease, I requested from them not only cash, but also their competences in project management, logistics, financial management and governance,’ explained Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the AU Commission.
The Trust includes Africa’s leading entrepreneurs, such as Aliko Dangote (Dangote Group), Strive Masiyiwa (Econet Wireless), Phuthuma Nhleko (MTN), Patrice Motsepe (African Rainbow Minerals), Cristina Stenberg (Kinnevik) and Yusuf Manji (The Quality Group), as well as top companies like Nedbank, Standard Chartered Bank and Old Mutual.
The Trust’s ultimate goal is to build a resilient Africa, with the capacity to respond rapidly to pandemics. ‘We seek not only to confront Ebola today, but to ensure that the pandemic does not resurface tomorrow. We fully support the AU’s efforts to bolster Africa’s health services infrastructure to address fault lines that make such epidemics not only possible, but probable,’ said Masiyiwa, the chairman and founder of Econet Wireless.
PwC’s support for the initaitive stems from its commitment to Africa’s future. Suresh Kana, chief executive of PWC Africa noted, ‘the livelihood of our West Africa region is dependent upon not only addressing the current Ebola crisis, but also on putting in place sustainable measures to prevent future outbreaks. We are honoured to play a role in supporting the Trust and the AU in their efforts.’
Last year, other professional services firms also joined the Africa Against Ebola campaign: Deloitte pledged to serve as the Trust’s independent auditors for free; Appleby Global has provided discounted legal and trust management services; and Standard Chartered Bank has made its pan-African banking services network available to the Trust.