Ethiopia: Ethio tel joins AU Ebola fundraising campaign

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Ethiopia's state run mobile telephone firm, Ethio Telecom, joined the campaign on Saturday to raise funds to finance an African-led effort against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Ethio Telecom Chief Executive Officer, Andualem Demissie, said the firm planned to use its ongoing Third Generation network roll-out across the country to raise funds for the African Union (AU)-led 'Stop Ebola' campaign.

"This is a commitment to support the AU because it is headquartered in Addis Ababa, this is its starting point," Andualem said. "The 3-G projects we have implemented give us confidence we can successfully deploy code 7979 successfully."

AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said the mobile telephone fundraising campaign, had been launched in at least 10 countries, but was still held back by regulatory approvals in 44 other countries.

"The telecom companies have come in a big way. We received the largest single donation of US$10 million from MTN. We thank them for using their own resources to give us what would be obtained from these donations," Dlamini Zuma said during the launch of the mobile campaign.

African telecom players agreed to raise funds to enable the AU respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has claimed the lives of 5,600 people.

Teams of medical workers from African countries, deployed under the AU Support Mission for Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), are currently on the ground to boost disease response strategies on the ground.

A team of 187 health workers from Ethiopia, arrived in Liberia this week, to assist victims at various treatment centres.

The campaign to raise funds through the short-code, 7979, is already underway in Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, among others. Mobile phone subscribers are required to respond to a message from their operators, in the process, donating funds to the campaign.

The mobile phone firms are targeting 700 million subscribers from across Africa to help finance long-term response to the Ebola outbreak.

The most affected countries - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - are in need of funds to restore businesses destroyed by the disease outbreak through financial stimuli.

The AU also requires the funds to keep the health workers manning the disease treatment centres in the affected countries.
-0- PANA AO/MA 20Dec2014

20 december 2014 14:31:31

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