Nairobi, Kenya, 30th March 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve rapidly across the African continent with more than 42 countries reporting confirmed cases and countries react with strict social distancing measures, both the public and private sectors are faced with unprecedented operational challenges.
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) supports businesses and social enterprises in the agriculture and renewable energy sectors that prioritise the needs of small holder farmers and the rural households across sub-Saharan Africa.
As an organisation with staff, families, investees and partners across Africa, our collective priority must be on keeping our communities safe and protecting their health and well-being. We can all do our part in reducing the spread of this deadly virus and lessening the burden on Africa’s fragile healthcare systems.
At AECF, we have implemented measures to enable our staff to work from home to ensure their safety and that of their families. We have also adapted our systems to remote working to ensure we continue to support our investees in more than 26 countries.
Our portfolio investment teams are working fast to reach out to our investees to identify problems early, provide support and work together to overcome what will be a wide range of issues in the sub-regions where we operate.
Victoria Sabula, Chief Executive Officer, has communicated this important message to all our investees:
“I want to assure you that we are taking every measure possible at AECF to continue to serve you during this unprecedented time. I know many of you will be facing operational challenges and we urge you to reach out to us quickly so that we can try to support you in whatever way possible.”
We are emphasising to all our stakeholders that it is absolutely imperative we all follow the government guidelines and observe lockdowns, curfews, and other restrictions. We will be advising our network on any assistance packages in the region or their country to which as small and medium enterprises they might be able to apply.
During a global pandemic with so much fear and uncertainty, the importance of supporting agriculture and clean energy so that the poorest people have access to livelihoods, jobs and nutritious food is even more vital.
For further information on how we are responding to COVID-19, please contact: