DFS Africa To Launch Initiative To Ease COVID-19 Supply Chain Challenges

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Monday, August 24, 2020 / 06.50AM / DFS Africa / Header Image Credit: DFS Africa

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DFS Africa, a London-based and Africa focused transaction advisory and strategic implementation firm has announced the launch of the Connecting the Dots Initiative (CDI) in collaboration with a consortium of partners including the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), the Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (FAPMA), African Pandemic Response Alliance (APRA), and the Kenya Manufacturing Association.


Designed to ease the supply chain challenges in the procurement of COVID-19 essential products, the CDI platform was developed as an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


It is a robust technology platform that aggregates essential medical and pharmaceutical supplies from current and prospective producers on the continent, offering access to governments, as well as philanthropic and private sector off-takers across Africa.


The CDI is designed to connect African manufacturers or suppliers of COVID-19 essential products to institutions and organizations that require these products.


"Many African manufacturers have been limited by the unfavourable market conditions that often favour imports. However, given the COVID-19 driven demand for products, Connecting the Dots Initiative can link up those seeking products with the current and latent potential of these producers" said Bankole Eniola, Co-Founder and Chief Engagement Officer at DFS Africa.


It is common knowledge that most African countries have weak public health systems and import up to 80 percent of the continent's pharmaceutical needs. With the COVID-19  pandemic ravaging all 55 African states, the magnitude of the challenge is like nothing recorded in modern history.


Meanwhile, contrary to the rhetoric that Africa has to import all the products needed by public health workers to address the

The COVID-19 threat, DFS Africa and its partners have found that the capacity to ramp up production of these items exists across the continent.


"The platform could potentially greatly benefit FAMPA members. Market access is one of the strategic pillars for the development of the pharma industry captured in the Africa Union Commission (AUC) endorsed the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA) business plan. This platform would facilitate that process" said Emmanuel Mujuru, the President of FAPMA.


The CDI platform offers several benefits to suppliers and buyers and is fast becoming the African hub for purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), diagnostic equipment, pharmaceuticals and other essential clinical products needed to fight current and future pandemics. Beyond aggregating supply, it offers ease of payment through the support of major banks and financial institutions across the continent. Buyers also find that the platform offers access to critical supplies only from vetted and certified manufacturers across the continent.


Mr. Olukayode Afolabi the Chief Operations Officer at DFS Africa, creators of the CDI platform said "through the partnerships, we have established within the African manufacturing ecosystem and financial services organizations across the continent, we can support African governments, healthcare institutions and other major buyers of essential COVID-19 products and equipment to access the most critical products in a timely and cost-effective manner. We are proud that this is an African solution that will not only help meet immediate needs but also help in growing our industrial base".


The CDI platform will be formally launched via a virtual event on August 25, 2020, with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo expected to deliver a keynote address. "I am delighted to observe a platform such as the CDI as an innovative African solution that is not only promoting intra-Africa trade but addressing one of the biggest public health challenges in a century. I look forward to the impact that it will make across the continent" said President Obasanjo.


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