An initiative in partnership with Speak Up Africa and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, launched in 2020; US$500,000 raised across four African countries with 37 local businesses showing their commitment to the initiative.
To commemorate World Malaria Day, the pan-African Group Ecobank, through its Ecobank Foundation, reaffirmed its commitment to fighting malaria through its ongoing 2020 partnership with Speak Up Africa, a non-profit advocacy organisation, and the RBM Partnership. Through the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative (ZMBLI), now operational in Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Uganda, the Group has already raised nearly US$500,000 and has engaged 37 local businesses.
ZMBLI demonstrates the bank’s deep commitment to leverage its expertise and network of clients and partners to address the critical public health challenge of malaria. The initiative aims to engage the private sector in advocacy and fundraising to help increase both political will and the resources for actions to eliminate malaria in Africa for good.
Malaria remains a major cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, causing nearly 602,000 deaths in 2020, of which 80% were children aged under 5. In the same year, almost 34% of pregnant women suffered from malaria, resulting in 819,000 babies being born with a higher risk of developing long-term health problems.
Malaria is also a socio-economic challenge. According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, malaria is responsible for Africa losing 4.3 billion working days, 1.5 billion school days, and also costs the continent an estimated US$12 billion per year. A single episode of malaria costs a family an average of US$9, or 3% of their average annual income. The World Bank estimates that 100 million people are pushed into poverty because of catastrophic healthcare costs.
In addition to being a health necessity, the Ecobank Foundation sees the fight against malaria as a critical economic issue for African countries requiring strong private sector engagement. It is vital to increase the participation of the private sector to mobilise additional partners and resources to achieve social objectives. This is why ZMBLI is one of the Ecobank Foundation’s flagship programmes.
Reflecting on this initiative, Elisa Desbordes-Cissé, COO of the Ecobank Foundation, said: “Tragically malaria remains a major human and economic burden, and the Ecobank Foundation is determined to do all it can to eradicate this awful disease throughout Africa, thereby improving the lives of Africans. We are proud to be leading the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative in partnership with Speak Up Africa and to have already succeeded in mobilising 37 businesses in the fight against malaria. Our contribution of nearly US$500,000, which helped to launch the programme in Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Uganda, demonstrates our strong commitment to enhancing social and economic development in these countries.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ecobank.
Group Corporate Communications Manager
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About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’):
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs about 13,000 people and serves over 32 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate and investment banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions-including digital- and not limited to bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Exchange in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan. For further information please visit www.Ecobank.com
About the Ecobank Foundation:
The Ecobank Foundation was created to make a positive impact on the lives of people in Africa. Established by the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank, the Foundation is positioned to contribute to the social and economic transformation of the continent, particularly in the communities in which the bank operates. For more information, visit: EcobankFoundation.org
About Speak Up Africa:
Based in Dakar, Senegal, Speak Up Africa is a political action and advocacy group dedicated to catalyzing leadership, fostering policy change, and increasing awareness of sustainable development in Africa. Through our platforms and relationships, and with the help of our partners, we ensure that decision-makers meet implementers, that solutions are presented, and that every sector – from individual citizens and civil society groups to global donors and business leaders –contributes to the dialogue and works to develop plans for concrete action for public health and sustainable development.
About RBM Partnership:
The RBM Partnership is the global platform for coordinated action against malaria. It mobilizes for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.
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