Webinar on the African Union’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP)
On Thursday, July 23, 2020, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in partnership with the U.S. Africa Business Center (USAfBC) and the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) hosted a webinar on the African Union’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP). The webinar featured Amb. Jessica Lapenn, U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa who provided opening remarks and acknowledged the growth in U.S.-Africa business partnerships over the last year.
Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Group and African Union Special Envoy provided a presentation on the AMSP and highlighted opportunities for private sector engagement. Mr. Masiyiwa discussed how the AMSP, centralizes all COVID-related procurement requests for AU member states onto one website where global sellers can market their goods. He discussed challenges that the platform addresses including supply chain issues such as shortages, delays in distributing supplies and affordability.
Mr. Masiyiwa encouraged the businesses in attendance to join the platform by registering their company on the site. Once onboarded, buyers receive an access code and can place their orders. The site also allows users to see product inventory and availability in real-time.
According to Mr. Masiyiwa, the supply for certain products including face masks and test kits has now exceeded demand. However, in cases where a product is in critical demand, but the supply is deficient, the AU triggers a quota management system, that looks at the distribution of the item based on population and disease burden and informs them of appropriate product allocation.
Mr. Masiyiwa’s final remarks emphasized the enormous opportunity there is in Africa to build manufacturing capability. Looking forward, the AU seeks to expand the platform and integrate it as a tool within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The session ended with closing remarks from Dr. Jeff Sturchio, Chairman, Corporate Council on Africa who commended the work being done to advance health security on the continent.