TOGO – Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking conglomerate, has secured an estimated US$500,000 across four African countries to bolster the fight against malaria in Africa.
The regional banking group engaged 37 local business across the African countries in fundraising through the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative (ZMBLI) which is under the Ecobank Foundation.
In 2020, Ecobank partnered with Speak Up Africa and RBM Partnership to launch the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative to enhance private sector engagement in the fight against malaria in Africa.
The malaria initiative, currently operational in Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Uganda, is also engaging local businesses in the private sector in advocacy to help boost political will as well as resources towards eliminating malaria.
Ecobank launched the “Zero Malaria! Business Leadership Initiative” in Senegal 2020 after its launch in Benin to become the second country to officially launch the health initiative aimed at strengthening efforts to combat malaria.
The Senegalese Government also inaugurated the “Zero Malaria Fund” where Ecobank Group invested CFA 60,000,000 (US$97,000) as the first contributor to inspire innovation and finance malaria control interventions across the country.
The Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative is in line with the World Health Organization’s call for African countries to mobilize domestic resources for sustainable financing of malaria control and elimination including engaging the private sector for the elimination of malaria.
The initiative aims to leverages Ecobank’s expertise and network of clients and partners to address the critical public health challenge as well as socio-economic challenge malaria poses in Africa.
Malaria remains a major threat to public health in sub-Saharan Africa causing nearly 602,000 deaths in 2020 with 80% of the casualties being children aged under 5.
The vector borne disease affected almost 34% of pregnant women in 2020 resulting in 819,000 babies being born with a higher risk of developing long-term health problems.
The Pan African bank is committed to the fight against malaria through its Ecobank Foundation which aims to make a positive impact on the lives of people in Africa through social and economic transformation.
“Tragically malaria remains a major human and economic burden thus the Ecobank Foundation is determined to do all it can to eradicate this awful disease throughout Africa to improve the lives of Africans,” said Ecobank Foundation COO Elisa Desbordes-Cissé.
The Foundation is working to increase the participation of the private sector to mobilize additional partners and resources to achieve social objectives towards eliminating malaria in Africa as well as supporting communities at risk.