Home » Strive Masiyiwa leads team to unlock $3 billion in financing for COVID-19 vaccines

Strive Masiyiwa leads team to unlock $3 billion in financing for COVID-19 vaccines

by Ishioma Emi

A partnership between the World Bank and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is set to unlock $3 billion in financing to allow African governments to acquire COVID-19 vaccines.

Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, an African Union (AU) special envoy, recently led a delegation of the AU Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) to discuss the vaccine financing for the African continent with World Bank President David Malpass. 

NewsDay reported that the two had the discussion on the sidelines of the recent G7 meeting.

Masiyiwa noted that the partnership between the leading financial institutions will grant interested African countries access to loans to buy vaccines. 

“Afrieximbank put up the guarantees we used to make an advance purchase, and the World Bank then provides loans and grants to member states who wish to buy the vaccines,” Masiyiwa said. “The World Bank has set up an expedited process for this, and countries can get loans to buy vaccines and to implement their programs.”

Masiyiwa also hinted that 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine acquired by AVATT are now fully available to member states. Discussions are underway to release a further 180 million doses of the vaccine in August, he said.

In May, the London-based billionaire lambasted the Serum Institute of India for withholding international exports of the COVID-19 vaccine after the unprecedented rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, calling the Indian manufacturer unreliable.

Masiyiwa is the founder of Econet Global, a diversified telecom group with investments in Africa, Europe, South America and East Asia. Forbes’s real-time estimate ranks his net worth at $1.6 billion as of today, June 14.

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