International telecommunications and media company Millicom has announced its support for the African Union’s campaign to raise funds for its fight against the Ebola virus in West Africa using an SMS dedicated platform to raise funds for the deployment of African health workers to affected countries.
AU’s ‘#AfricaAgainstEbola’ is based on an SMS dedicated platform to raise funds for the deployment of African health workers to affected countries to combat the disease that has claimed over five thousand lives across some parts of West Africa.
At a recent Business Roundtable on Ebola hosted by the AU, mobile operators committed to support efforts to fight Ebola by unveiling an Africa-wide three-month campaign dubbed, ‘Africa against Ebola’. This will focus on donations from members of the public who are customers of the operators and will be channelled into fighting the Ebola Virus.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said: “We are conscious of the urgent need for all of us to do more, and to act fast. It is only by acting together will we ensure that our continent and world is free of Ebola. Let me repeat our call to all Africans to lead the global efforts of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”
The SMS fundraising campaign will use the short code 7979 with local adaptations where technology requires. Customers will be asked to text ‘Stop Ebola’ to this code in order to donate in their respective countries. Mobile Operators across Africa including Airtel, Econet Wireless, Etisalat, MTN Group, Orange, Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone Ghana are participating in this campaign which will run between now and the end of February 2015.
Rachel Samrén, Project leader of the joint-operator campaign and Executive Vice President Strategic Operations and Partnerships at Millicom, commented “it has been a privilege to work with sector peers on this important cause and the spirit and determination of the operator group to get the campaign up and running has been truly inspiring. We are delighted to be part of the campaign which complements our internal employee matching donation campaign as well as the personal pledge of our Chairman to the Africa Against Ebola fund.”