NAMIBIA is one of fifty-four African countries that will benefit from the generous donation of medical and personal protective equipment from entrepreneur and founder of one of the most successful online retailers, the Alibaba Group.
President Hage Geingob during the declaration of a State of Emergency in the face of the threat posed by COVID-19 welcomed the generous gesture of Jack Ma.
Geingob, who met the billionaire businessman on previous occasions, said he had invited Ma to Namibia to attend the country’s 30th Independence Day celebrations.
He added that he was delighted when he was informed about the generous donation.
The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation at the start of the week committed to donating 100 000 medical masks, 20 000 test kits and 1 000 protective suits to each of the 54 African nations.
Ma stressed the importance of staying one step ahead as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to ripple across the globe.
“We cannot ignore the potential risk to Africa and assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis,” Ma said in an official statement, adding, “we can take precautions now and get prepared ahead of time, as Africa can benefit from the experience and lessons from other countries that were earlier hit hard by the virus.”
The foundations also announced plans to provide online training materials to help medical institutions in Africa cope with coronavirus cases. Aside from offering support to African nations, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have also donated medical supplies to other countries hardest hit by the virus, including Japan, South Korea, the U.S., Italy, Spain and Belgium.
The foundations have also provided funding to establishments such as the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia and Columbia University in the U.S to support research into coronavirus vaccines and treatment.
Addressing the need to share resources and knowledge to combat the health crisis, Ma said: “As members of the global community, it would be irresponsible of us to sit on the fence, panic, ignore facts or fail to act. We need to take action now.”
On Tuesday President Geingob declared a State of Emergency in Namibia where he said the implications of the step would effectively put the country in an almost complete lockdown for the next 30 days while health and other officials battle the deadly outbreak.
“The health of Namibians is the first priority. COVID-19 is public health emergency, considering the threat posed to the lives of the Namibian People,” Geingob said before declaring the State of Emergency.