Senegal launches the ‘Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative’

Dakar, November 21, 2020 – Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Health and Social Action officially launched the “Zero Malaria! Business Leadership Initiative” this Saturday, November 21, 2020, in the presence of business leaders’ members of the Ecobank network. Ecobank Senegal thus joins Ecobank Benin and becomes the second country to officially launch this initiative aiming at strengthening efforts to combat malaria. It follows the regional launch of the initiative by the Ecobank Group and the Dakar-based non-profit organization Speak Up Africa in July 2020.

“The RBM Partnership to End Malaria welcomes Senegal’s renewed commitment to malaria elimination and stands ready to support the country’s efforts to reach its Zero Malaria goal. “said Dr. Adbourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

Senegal is in line with global progress in the fight against malaria. With 354,708 reported cases of malaria, the country reported 260 deaths in 2019, as compared to 550 deaths in 2018. Despite this progress, malaria remains a threat to the Senegalese population and continues to negatively affect their daily lives. Aware of the need to act to end this burden, the Ecobank Group, in partnership with Speak Up Africa, are launching the “Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative” to “promote the mobilization of domestic resources for sustainable financing of malaria control and elimination and to mobilize the private sector for the elimination of malaria. This initiative builds on the “Zero Malaria Starts with me” movement co-led by the RBM Partnership, the African Union Commission and adopted by 55 African Heads of States.

“We remain convinced that the private sector has a very important role to play in the fight against malaria. The involvement of the private sector in mobilizing resources for malaria control is a profitable investment for business. First of all, because healthier human resources translate into productivity gains. Secondly, because the elimination of this preventable and treatable disease will provide healthy living conditions for the people of our country,” said Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Health and Social Action.

It is within this context that the Senegalese Minister of Health and Social Action launched the “Zero Malaria Fund”. This Fund, based on a matching funding agreement, will be set up to inspire innovation and finance ambitious malaria control interventions across the country. Following the announcement of the creation of the Fund and convinced that malaria elimination requires the contribution of all sectors of society, the Ecobank Group pledged to allocate FCFA 60,000,000, thus becoming the first contributor to this “Zero Malaria Fund”.

“In order to end malaria in Senegal and to protect all those at risk, it is crucial to increase the funding available for the fight against this disease. The Ecobank Group, through ” Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative ” wants to play its part in this fight, which, in addition to being noble, is in the interest of all of us as private sector companies, but also as citizens, fathers, mothers and Africans,” concluded Sahid Yallou, Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal.

The campaign also aims at building community momentum to improve awareness and ownership of interventions in the fight against the disease.


Note to editors

For more information, please contact Marième SY, Advocacy Officer at Speak Up Africa at mariè, and Ms. Yacine Thiam WARDINI, Partnership Officer at the NMCP

About the African Union

The African Union (AU) is a continental organization to which the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent have adhered. It was officially founded in 2002 to take over from the Organization of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999). The AU is part of the vision “of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, led by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force on the international scene”. To ensure the realization of its objectives and the pan-African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, Agenda 2063 was developed as a strategic framework for Africa’s socioeconomic and integrative transformation.

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About the RBM Partnership to End Malaria

The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the world’s largest platform for coordinating action against malaria. Founded in 1998 as the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), it mobilizes resources, commits partners to action, and builds consensus among partners. The Partnership brings together more than 500 partners, including malaria-endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, community-based organizations, foundations, research institutions, and academic institutions.

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About the Ecobank Group

Ecobank Senegal is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs more than 14,000 people serving approximately 24 million customers in the retail, commercial and corporate banking sectors in 33 African countries. The Group has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Johannesburg in South Africa, Beijing in China, London in the United Kingdom and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full range of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, cash management, advisory services, trading operations, securities trading and wealth management. The Group is listed on several stock exchanges, namely the London Stock Exchange in London, the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.

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About Speak Up Africa

Based in Dakar, Senegal, Speak Up Africa is a non-profit strategic communication and advocacy organization dedicated to catalyzing African leadership, fostering policy change and raising awareness about sustainable development in Africa. Through our programs, networks and with the help of our partners, we ensure that decision-makers meet with actors on the ground, that solutions are presented and that every sector – from citizens and civil society groups to financial partners and business leaders – contributes critically to the dialogue and strives to take concrete action for health and sustainable development on the continent.

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