For the first time in Senegal, leaders from 10 private sector organizations and regional and national leaders from Senegal National Malaria Control Program, Roll Back Malaria, Speak Up Africa, PATH and USAID/PMI met with staff from the United States Senate and Malaria No More to launch the incorporation of private sector investment in the national malaria fight. Moderated by Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, CEO of Africa Consulting and Trading (ACT), this private luncheon initiated the type of needed discussion that can make a difference in Senegal’s impressive nation-wide efforts to eliminate malaria.  The agenda consisted of a high level discussion of Senegal’s malaria elimination agenda, the economic impact of elimination and the ways that the private sector might intervene to advance it.

The highlight of the event was the reiteration of the point stated by Mohamed Joseph Sène, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of BICIS (BNP Paribas Group) during his presentation: “malaria elimination can only be reached with the involvement of all sectors”. The traditional partners along with the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) need the investment of the private sector to achieve its malaria elimination goal. This contribution does not have to be financial, but can be made in districts and locations that fit into their business model. 

BICIS’ decision to invest in malaria control is not looked upon as a commercial endeavor, but as a part of its commitment to promote culture, solidarity, education and health within their CSR policy framework. Thus far, the bank has contributed over 10,000 mosquito nets and has supported the NMCP in awareness activities across the country. BICIS’ endeavor now serves as a tangible example of what can be accomplished in unity for other private sector companies such as Ecobank, also present at the event. Companies from a diverse range of sectors were represented including, Eiffage Senegal, the American Chamber of Commerce, Pfizer and Peacock Investments.

This event was organized in light of the NMCP’s goals to diversify its sources of funding. As promoted within the framework of the Zero Malaria! Count Me In campaign, the NMCP charges all companies and citizens of Senegal regardless of age and position to do their part in preventing and treating malaria by taking action themselves.   

Speak Up Africa now takes up the challenge given by all leaders at the luncheon to organize bilateral events on resource mobilization. Senegal leads the pack in the vision of the global partnership to against malaria and to keep up momentum, we must join together and invest in domestic funding to reach our goal of a malaria free Senegal.

Dakar, Senegal.
August 13, 2014