Jun 26, 2020

COVID-19: AfDB approves nearly US$8.9mn response grant

covid-19
Finance
funding
grant
Georgia Wilson
2 min
Women from South Africa wearing a mask
In a recent announcement, the African Development Bank has approved nearly US$8.9mn in grant for six South African Countries...

Following the approval of nearly US$8.9nm by the Board of Directors of the African Development Fund. The grant funds will aid in the response to COVID-19 relating to control measures in six Southern African Development Communities (SADC) countries. In addition to this grant, the African Development Bank has approved a US$683,000 grant for São Tomé & Príncipe, to support their response to the pandemic and its impact on the region.

The grant funding which comes under the Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility, will facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies, including testing kits, personal protective gear and non-invasive ventilators in Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which are all SADC nations. 

The SADC Secretariat will be the recipient of the grants and will conduct the implementation. The finance will help to reinforce the SADC’s capacity to coordinate the pandemic response measures, including surveillance and sensitization in the six South African countries.

Currently the SADC countries and São Tomé & Príncipe have inadequate resources and capacity to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic, which as a result has put a strain on the already fragile health systems in the countries. “As a result, these countries are now struggling to respond effectively to the fast-evolving situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented the African Development Bank.

While the spread of COVID-19 has been slow in Africa, it is continuous in its spread through the continent, which is causing disruption and hardship due to economic lockdowns. The COVID-19 pandemic is projected to have a significant impact on the economy in the SADC countries, with all SADC countries aside from Zimbabwe to see their real GDP contract in 2020.

The approved COVID-19 project, aligns with the African Development Bank’s ‘High Five’ priority areas to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa and integrating Africa, as well as the SADC Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism to fight disasters and pandemics.

As of June 24, the 16 nations in the SADC region had a total of 120,000 COVID-19 cases out of the continents total 325,000, with reported cases in São Tomé and Príncipe totalling around 700, in a population of roughly 211,000 people.

To find out more about the African Development Bank’s economic efforts in Africa, click here

To find out more about the African Development Bank’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19 to date, click here

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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Image source: the African Development Bank

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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