The COVID-19 pandemic is having a great impact across the world, and its effect will be no less devastating in Africa, where standards of living, especially economic and public health conditions, are extremely challenging. In Nigeria, for example, the number of COVID-19 cases quadrupled in April. And while the country is now beginning to ease its quarantine, the Nigerian president has highlighted that the economic burden of the four-week lockdown will be very heavy. Meanwhile, in Mozambique, the government has declared a state of emergency—closing schools and entertainment establishments, and subjecting markets to follow the guidelines of healthcare authorities. It is clear that these two nations, along with the rest of Africa, will be dealing with this fallout for a time to come.
Given our recent presence in the continent, by means of investment in A2E companies, EDPR has established several donation programs, together with their partners SolarWorks! and Rensource, in both African nations.
As a result, a proposal for equipment donation was drawn up. The quantity and type of equipment donated was determined by SolarWorks! and Rensource, in accordance with the identified needs and local availability of the materials themselves.
In Mozambique, 35 solar power systems with sewing machines are to be delivered to the Salesians congregation by SolarWorks. Their vocational training centers are to be used for the manufacturing of protective masks, with the help of female volunteers from the local area. Furthermore, portable radios have been distributed . These devices provide access to information issued by the authorities on public health prevention measures and the evolution of the pandemic across the country. What is more, they offer vital access to education, since classes are now broadcast on the radio following the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, which has a higher number of cases of the virus than Mozambique, the authorities have imposed restrictions on movement, closing all non-essential establishments. They have also introduced the now all-too-familiar social distancing and hygiene measures, as well as the use of protective masks by the population. The initiatives implemented in the country center on the supply of personal protective equipment and hygiene materials to the employees of the offices that Rensource, one of our partners, owns in Nigeria, in addition to local market traders, and hospitals. The aim is to provide the local population with an adequate medical service, while minimizing the risk of contagion.
The actions being taken by EDPR form part of a package of CSR measures that the EDP Group has put into place to combat the effect of the pandemic on its operations in various countries, maintaining business continuity and a positive impact on society, and following instructions from governments and public administrations to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections.
This new initiative launched in Africa, with a value of €25,000, joins a long list of ongoing actions in 12 other countries, which reaffirms EDPR’s commitment to local communities. The company’s donations to fight the health crisis now reach more than 800.000€ in addition to the more than the five million euros that EDP Group has donated internationally in markets such as Portugal and Brazil.