Vodafone to donate millions to support the vaccine roll-out across its African markets

Vodafone to donate millions to support the vaccine roll-out across its African markets

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odafone revealed it is to donate £3.6 million (€4.2 million) to support the vaccine roll-out to vulnerable and hard to reach communities across markets it serves in Africa.

The mobile phone giant will provide cold-chain technology and logistics support to help ensure the safe delivery of vaccines, many of which require storage at extremely low temperatures. Procurement is managed by the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

It will also donate around £687,000 to help Lesotho buy vaccines for its population. The Union intends to roll out enough vaccines for 760 million people before the end of next year, mostly of the Covax and Johnson & Johnson jabs.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Greater collaboration between government, business, labour and civil society is key to the success of the vaccine rollout. We commend the Vodacom Group and Vodafone Foundation. I want to call on all our private sector partners to support this new phase in our fight against the pandemic.”

Andrew Dunnett, Director of the Vodafone Foundation, said: “We know how important it is for Africa – and ultimately the rest of the world – that the most significant health intervention in the continent’s history is completed successfully.”

Vodafone shares were up by nearly 2% in early trading following the announcement.

In February the company said that revenues from services in its third quarter were up 0.4% on the year from the previous quarter’s 0.4% fall. That was far better than the minus 0.2% analysts had expected. Stripping out the impact of roaming, service revenues grew 1.8%.

Read has said lockdowns have driven an overall surge in the amount of data people use as they communicate by phone and Zoom calls, while its business customers have also been spending heavily on upgrading systems during the pandemic.

Former Heineken chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer recently took over as Vodafone board chairman, and the company is set to welcome former EE boss Olaf Swantee to its board as a non-executive in July. He will become a member of its audit and risk committee, answering to committee chairman David Nish.

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