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Tencent Foundation donates medical supplies to Ethiopia
Tencent’s donations arriving Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

Tencent Foundation donates medical supplies to Ethiopia

In a bid to support Ethiopia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tencent Foundation, a Chinese charity organization, has donated test kits and hand gloves to Ethiopia.

Tencent Foundation was founded by Tencent Holdings, a leading Chinse technology company. Tencent is the multinational conglomerate company which owns the messaging app, WeChat. 

The donation consisting of 100,000 test kits and two million examination gloves arrived Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Thursday aboard Ethiopian Airlines Cargo B777-200 freighter aircraft from Guangzhou City after cruising for 11 hours.

Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Tan Jian, Liya Tadesse, Ethiopian Minister of Health and Tewolde Gebremaraim, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, received the medical supplies.

During the occasion Ambassador Tan Jian said that international cooperation and solidarity is the most powerful weapon to win the battle against COVID-19. Ambassador Jian highlighted the importance of supporting African countries to boost their capacity in the fight against the pandemic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday pledged to provide two billion dollars over two years to help other countries respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In the World Health Organization (WHO) video conference President Jinping highlighted the importance of supporting the global health body, the leading organisation in the fight against COVID-19. He underscored the importance of international cooperation in the health sector.

“Today we are here to commit our bilateral relations which is a comprehensive strategic partnership not only government to government but also company to company and people to people. It is a mutual cooperation,” Ambassador Jian said.  

He said that Ethiopian Airlines has been supporting China. “So it is a mutual cooperation. We are together joining hands. We have a big vision here.”   

Dr. Liya Tadesse said Tencent Foundation’s support to Ethiopia’s COVID-19 response is instrumental in enhancing testing. “Expanding testing is one of our key strategy to ensure the mitigation of this pandemic. We are working hard as a country to expand our testing all over the country and increase our daily testing to detect cases, isolate and trace contact. So this donation will be an enormous support to this initiative,” Liya said. “I would like to thank Ethiopian Airlines for their continued collaboration and support. They are playing an instrumental role in this response to ensure that the needed supplies are arriving on time not only in Ethiopia but in the rest of Africa,” she added.        

Tewolde Gebremariam Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO said China’s assistance to Ethiopia and the entire continent of Africa is appreciated. “We are delivering the much needed medical supplies fast. We are proud of our work. I thank our staff at Ethiopian Cargo and our flight crew who are transporting the lifesaving equipment on time.  Speed is very important because the spread of the virus is not giving us time so speed in logistics is very important,” Tewolde said.

According to Tewolde, Ethiopian Cargo has delivered personal protection equipment shipments to Europe. “This has been recognised by many European governments. We will also continue serving our continent Africa.”     

Ambassador Jian said there was a lot of criticism and pressure on Ethiopian Airlines to suspend the flights to China since the outbreak began in January. However, he said not a single confirmed case was imported to Ethiopia from China. “Not a single case came from China to Ethiopia. So Ethiopian Airlines made the right decision not to stop flights to China. Ethiopian Airlines has built a strong link between China and Africa,” he said.     

Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company founded in 1998, whose subsidiaries specialise in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology both in China and globally.