The Rockefeller Foundation Commits Nearly USD 35 Million To Covid-19 Response Efforts In Africa

The Rockefeller Foundation Commits Nearly USD 35 Million To Covid-19 Response Efforts In Africa

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Part of Foundation’s Billion-Dollar Global Commitment to Ending the Pandemic and Providing Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty

NAIROBI, Kenya, 3 February, 2021, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Rockefeller Foundation announces an initial USD 34.95 million to ensure more equitable access to Covid-19 testing and vaccines; leverage innovation, data, machine-learning; combat the escalating food crisis; and scale up access to renewable energy in Africa. Collaborating with 24 organizations, businesses, and government agencies, this pan-African effort will also focus on 10 countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The announcement comes 100 days after the Foundation’s landmark commitment of USD 1 billion over three years to help end the Covid-19 pandemic and drive a more inclusive and sustainable global recovery.

“Since The Rockefeller Foundation first opened its Africa Regional Office in Nairobi in 1966, the region has remained a top priority for us,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “With this initial round of funding, we are beginning to deliver on our billion-dollar pledge to help end the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa and for us all, while investing in wealth-building opportunities for those who have been shut out of economic progress and are bearing the brunt of this pandemic.”

William Asiko,
 Managing Director and Head of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office

“We are very pleased to be committing over USD 30 million to ensure a sustainable, equitable Covid-19 response in Africa,” William Asiko, Managing Director and Head of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office. “A significant portion of this funding will benefit the Africa CDC’s effort to accelerate testing and tracing in several countries across the continent.  These efforts will allow Governments at national and subnational levels to make informed policy decisions about lifting restrictions on movement and thereby re-opening economic activity.” 

Closing the Health Inequity Gap – Covid-19 Testing, Innovation, and Investment: 

The largest portion of the pan-African commitment goes to the Africa Public Health Foundation to support the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC). Announced last week in the lead up to the Agency’s fourth anniversary, the Foundation provided a USD 12 million grant to expand the geographic availability of testing centers to both urban and rural areas as well as strengthen community level tracing efforts, and enhance data infrastructure through the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate Covid-19 Testing (PACT). In addition to PACT, the Foundation is supporting a range of organizations working all across the continent, including: 

  • Ending Pandemics to scale the crowdsourced epidemic intelligence platform, EpiCore, and support EAIDSNet in Tanzania to improve their abilities to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks through a One Health approach;
  • Lacuna Fund, a project of Meridian Institute, awarded funding to six teams across the continent to build locally representative datasets to reduce bias in machine learning tools for agriculture analytics, fuelling an equitable recovery for farmers;
  • Malaria No Moreto establish a guarantee facility  through The Health Finance Coalition to unlock working capital for private small and medium size healthcare providers in Africa;
  • to launch an initiative to integrate  Ada’s AI-powered health assessments into the South African National Department of Health’s MomConnect platform with potential to provide over 1 million mothers and young children across South Africa with access to intelligent healthcare technology;
  • Shining Hope for Communities to expand Covid-19 testing and tracing efforts in Kenyan Informal Settlements because Covid-19 poses even greater risks to those living in densely populated communities with less access to healthcare and sanitation services;
  • Speak Up Africa to encourage and promote positive social behavior change to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Collaborating to Combat the Covid-19 Crisis and Unlock Access to Opportunity: 

Covid-19 has deepened food insecurity and hunger across the world and in Africa. The World Food Programme estimates that hunger has doubled as a result of the pandemic, leaving more than 270 million people without enough to eat. The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts focus on responding to the urgency of the Covid-19-triggered food crises while advancing more sustainable, nourishing, and equitable food systems across Africa. Through  The Rockefeller Foundation Catalytic Capital (RFCC), the Foundation’s new public charity, USD 5 million will support the structuring and implementation of an accelerator to power agriculture and protective foods SMEs. As the second RFCC venture overall, and first one in Africa, the Accelerator is expected to provide technical and financial support to small- and medium-sized enterprises addressing the issues of availability, equitable access, and affordability for protective, healthy foods among poor and underserved communities on the continent. To build food systems across Africa that are equipped to nourish people and sustain the planet’s resources, The Foundation is supporting organizations like:

  • African Population and Health Research Center for developing an action plan to transition Nairobi’s food system to be more nourishing and sustainable by the year 2050 as part of the Food System Vision Prize;
  • Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa to strengthen food systems data and information generation while developing a platform to help governments better coordinate strategic responses to African food security;
  • Darkpore Media Africa for outlining a multi-faceted plan to build a more regenerative and nourishing food system in southwest Nigeria as part of the Food System Vision Prize;
  • Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition to provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with the resources to sustain access to nutritious foods during the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to support researchers and stakeholders in East Africa to build more equitable and sustainable food systems while promoting healthy diets;
  • Seed Systems Group to extend the benefits of improved seed and other technologies in order to create resilient, smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Vanguard Economics to increase the consumption of nutritious whole grains in vulnerable communities through safety net programs reaching more than three million students at schools in Rwanda.

  For much of the world’s poor, a key impediment to their entry into a modern economy is a lack of access to reliable electricity. More than 75% of people without access to electricity today live in sub-Saharan Africa, and the pandemic has caused energy access rates to decrease here for the first time since 2013. In addition, barely a quarter of healthcare facilities have access to reliable power. Unlike traditional approaches to electrification, which has done little to expand access for the hundreds of millions of people in rural and peri-urban areas without power, the Foundation is investing in distributed renewable energy (DRE), which is local and inclusive. DRE creates local jobs and drives economic inclusion and new opportunities in education, healthcare, agriculture, and small business. In support of these efforts, the Foundation is working with:  

  • Power for All and partners to build national coalitions and awareness to advance healthcare electrification with DRE in Zambia and Burkina Faso to start, with plans to expand to other priority countries;
  • Odyssey Energy Solutions, and FactorE, alongside The Shell Foundation, to cut the cost of DRE and electrify health centers across the continent;
  • CrossBoundary for a mini-grid learning lab that is focused on gathering and analyzing data to expedite the expansion of DRE projects in Africa;
  • Konexa, to launch its integrated electricity distribution platform in Nigeria, which will also serve as a model for utilities across Africa to accelerate access to affordable and reliable power;
  • Sustainable Energy for All to catalyze electricity connections by mini-grids in Africa through a new results-based financing facility, the Universal Energy Facility.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Commitment to Reimagining the Future: 

This is a time of tremendous economic, technological, and social change. An estimated 435 million people have been pushed deeper into poverty during the pandemic, and climate change is threatening decades of global progress. The Rockefeller Foundation’s catalytic USD 1 billion investment to reduce energy poverty and fight the Covid-19 pandemic reaffirms its commitment to building a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future to enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. As part of the Foundation’s goal to align its internal investment strategy and external values and mission, in December 2020 it announced a commitment to divest its own USD 5 billion endowment from existing fossil fuel interests while refraining from future fossil fuel investments.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the The Rockefeller Foundation.

The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn. 

Media contact
Ashley Chang
The Rockefeller Foundation (New York)
+1 917 373 9530 

Umuliza M. Njiru
The Rockefeller Foundation (Nairobi)
+254 769 947174

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Conférence de Presse en Ligne

Les frontiĂšres terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles Ă  la dissĂ©mination de votre message. GrĂące Ă  notre service de confĂ©rence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunitĂ© de vous rapprocher des mĂ©dias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.​

Nos services comprennent:​



Digital Communications

Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.​


Communication​ digitale

Les rĂ©seaux sociaux reprĂ©sentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’Ɠil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualitĂ© de votre contenu pour l’inciter Ă  aller plus loin. Nous crĂ©ons pour vous une stratĂ©gie de communication prĂ©cise et adaptĂ©e sur les rĂ©seaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et amĂ©liorer la rĂ©putation de votre marque en interne et en externe.​

Promotion​ d’Ă©vĂ©nements

Le succĂšs d’un Ă©vĂ©nement rĂ©side en moitiĂ© dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beautĂ© de l’évĂ©nement, la qualitĂ© des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre Ă©vĂ©nement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons Ă  façonner votre rĂ©cit et Ă  crĂ©er un engouement autour de votre Ă©vĂ©nement. De l’annonce de l’Ă©vĂ©nement Ă  la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflĂ©tons sur toutes les plateformes mĂ©diatiques.​

Formation​ MĂ©diatique

Nous fournissons Ă  vos porte-paroles les outils nĂ©cessaires pour prĂ©senter vos principaux messages et rĂ©pondre avec confiance et cohĂ©rence aux questions. Notre formation est organisĂ©e soit Ă  distance ou en prĂ©sentiel, avec des Ă©tudes de cas rĂ©els et des rĂ©pĂ©titions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’ĂȘtre Ă  l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.​

Veille​ MĂ©diatique

Nous mesurons votre portĂ©e en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activitĂ©s de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majoritĂ© des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille mĂ©diatique complĂšte et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune rĂ©fĂ©rence Ă  votre marque, que vous ĂȘtes constamment informĂ© de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous ĂȘtes prĂȘt Ă  saisir les opportunitĂ©s et Ă  rĂ©duire les risques en temps opportun.​

Relations​ MĂ©dia

Peu importe le lieu oĂč ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui Ă©crivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crĂ©dible qui les aide dans leurs tĂąches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les mĂ©dias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu

Nous crĂ©ons des stratĂ©gies de communication intelligentes, bien documentĂ©es et spĂ©cialisĂ©es destinĂ©es Ă  vous aider Ă  construire un rĂ©cit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rĂ©diger des communiquĂ©s de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le rĂ©cit de votre entreprise. Notre Ă©quipe a une expĂ©rience approfondie dans la crĂ©ation de rĂ©cits et le dĂ©veloppement de contenu multimĂ©dia.


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiquĂ©s de presse auprĂšs des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprĂšs des journalistes amĂ©ricains et europĂ©ens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchĂ©s Ă©mergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​



Event Promotion

Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training

We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring

We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations

We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development

We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.


This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available