African YPO leaders unite to lead corporate response to combat COVID-19

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, April 30, 2020/ — Today, YPO ( Africa business leaders announced the creation of the Lead COVID-19 Response ( The goal is to create tangible, concrete solutions to community, health care, and business challenges that will ultimately impact millions of Africans across the continent in a scalable way. Located across 18 African countries, many of YPO’s 900 chief executives have launched COVID-19-linked projects. Lead COVID-19 Response will help foster collaboration to unite these efforts by framing them into 11 Key Pillars (, with two co-chairs coordinating action on each one.

“By uniting our members within Africa, catalysing the power of YPO and the impactful efforts of our leaders, we hope to make a significant difference in our communities in this new world order,” said Gareth Ackerman, Pick n Pay Chairman and YPO International Board Member based in South Africa.

The Pan-African Response aims to coordinate and facilitate members’ existing efforts to have even greater impact. This action-oriented approach, with concrete solutions, intends to make an immediate difference to people’s lives.

Emery Rubagenga, ROKA-Mining CEO and YPO International Board Member based in Rwanda added, “As YPO leaders, we felt there was a great need and opportunity to organise our efforts and be an effective instrument in the battle against COVID-19 in the Africa region.”

Lead COVID-19 Response will work with existing YPO initiatives in order to:

  • Constructed and supporting an isolation centre ( in Lagos, Nigeria equipped with 70 beds, 10 intensive care isolation units, four ventilators and manned by five intensivists and 80 trained staff.
  • Raised R100 million in funding for COVID-19 Reponses with a seed fund of R10 million initially to go to the Solidarity Fund and YPO-led initiatives.
  • Feed millions of people by partnering with the Pick n Pay ‘Feed the Nation’ campaign and the Courage ( Initiative.
  • Deliver clean water to low-income communities through operational water stations.
  • Assist distressed businesses through COVID Business Rescue Assistance (COBRA) (, which provides access to qualified turnaround specialists who can help with financing and ways to restructure operations.

For more information on the Lead COVID-19 Response initiative, please visit





Distributed by APO Group on behalf of YPO.

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