A shoemaking company - part of ITC's Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa initiative -has teamed up with a medical equipment company to donate masks and other equipment to Ethiopia
With the COVID-19 coronavirus creating upheaval across the world, business connections made through the International Trade Centre's projects and programmes are now proving useful beyond their business intentions.
The Huajian Group, a Chinese shoemaker that is part of ITC's Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA) initiative, has sent hundreds of cases of medical equipment to Ethiopia to help the African country battle the spread of the coronavirus.
All costs related to the shipment - which included protective overalls, medical facemasks, respirators and surgical masks and isolation gowns - were covered by the Chinese company. Meanwhile Ethiopia removed tariffs and taxes on the goods to ease shipment.
Huajian teamed up with Zhende, a medical equipment company, to realize the donation.
'It's heartening to see how, in these troubled times, a Chinese company, investing in Ethiopia, is showing such a human face through this selfless act of support,' ITC's Director of Country Programmes Ashish Shah said.
'This humane gesture goes way beyond the business relationship that the PIGA project set out to develop, and demonstrates the long-term commitment of the Huajian Group and Zhende to Ethiopia and its people,' he said.
At the time of the donation, Ethiopia had reported no cases of coronavirus disease. But the World Health Organization appealed for action to contain the spread of the virus in Africa.
Africa must 'wake up' and prepare for the worst, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
PIGA is a partnership of the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland's Department for International Development (DFID), the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).