By Ari Goldstein
Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been given access to the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), a procurement system for supplies and equipment in the fight against COVID-19.
The AMSP unlocks immediate access to an African and global base of vetted manufacturers and procurement strategic partners. It enables African Union Member States to purchase certified medical equipment, such as diagnostic kits, personal protection equipment (PPE) and clinical management devices, with increased cost effectiveness and transparency.
Chair of CARICOM, the Honourable Mia Mottley, welcomed the development and thanked the Chair of the African Union (AU), His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) for their assistance in making it possible.
“The COVID-19 crisis has produced, among other things, a glaring example of the disparity among developed and developing states regarding the access to critical supplies necessary to successfully combat the spread of the COVID,” the Prime Minister said.
“We have seen supplies being withheld from transhipment, and our relatively small populations put us at a disadvantage for successful optimal procurement of needed supplies. We, therefore, welcome this opportunity which has become available through inter-regional discussion. This underlines the strength of the relationship between Africa and CARICOM,” Prime Minister Mottley added.
The outgoing CARICOM Chairman went on to say “Coincidentally, last week we were to have been holding the inaugural AU- CARICOM Summit in Nairobi to discuss such partnerships but this had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and here we are today with a tangible outcome of the partnership between Africa and the Caribbean”.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will serve as the supplies management hub for the Region, working along with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which provides the payment and trade services in support of AMPS.
The platform not only affords more competitive procurement of a wide range of supplies and equipment to address the COVID pandemic, but also for additional health services.
It was developed under the leadership of African Union Special Envoy, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa and powered by Janngo, an African technology company, on behalf of the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and in partnership with Afreximbank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and other leading African and international corporations, institutions and foundations.