BASF: Helping hands across Africa
The EU’s private sector has been actively contributing to solutions to the COVID crisis in partner countries, alongside the Team EU public response. Beyond financial contributions to local pandemic funds or other types of financial donations, it has undertaken a wide range of initiatives for the supply of medical and protection equipment and other health solutions.
In support of the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, BASF in Africa is combining its technical know-how, market relevant solutions and strong customer relationships to engage in a variety of initiatives in the communities in which the company operates across the continent.
In East Africa, the team in Kenya has engaged with the University of Nairobi to produce 7,000 bottles of liquid hand wash in support of the local government’s awareness campaign on the importance of washing one’s hands to prevent the spread of the virus. BASF will provide raw materials and the formula, while the university will manufacture and package the product. Subject to government approval, production should start soon.
In Ethiopia, the BASF Vegetable Seeds business and the BASF Trade Representative Office will make a donation of 13 500 N95 masks in support of the call by the government through the Ministry of Health to provide protective equipment for frontline workers.
In South Africa, BASF responded to the President’s call for help from the public and private sector by making a donation to the Solidarity Fund which provided emergency and immediate relief initiatives at the outset of the pandemic. The team in South Africa is currently exploring opportunities to partner with local suppliers to provide 10,000 units of hand sanitiser to schools in need. South Africa, while experiencing one of the strictest lockdowns globally, has managed, until recently, to maintain a relatively low infection rate. It is anticipated that numbers will steadily increase, making the provision of these supplies critical to the local schools at a time when needed most.
In West Africa, BASF donated 1,000 plastic face shields to the Lagos State Government for frontline health workers in the isolation centre in the State. Beyond this donation, the project was originally triggered when a local technology start-up was identified to start printing the 3D filament for the face shields. BASF supported the start-up with technical expertise, creating an opportunity to accelerate the development of 3D printing in West Africa. Leveraging its global expertise, BASF is supporting these companies by exposing them to best practices, latest technology and access to market.
In addition to face shields, BASF in West Africa is engaging with their largest customer to produce and distribute handwash in Kano State in Northern Nigeria. This initiative will allow 12,000 to 15,000 people getting access to efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly hygiene products.
“This is another example about how BASF West Africa innovates with our strategic customers during this pandemic, enabling safe, environmentally sustainable formulations to reach communities in need of hygiene products," says Dr Jean-Marc Ricca, Managing Director and Country Cluster Head for BASF West Africa. “As a company, we have deep appreciation and respect for the frontline health workers who are doing their best to keep us safe and fighting the pandemic.”
Across Africa the company continues to support and stand by their customers during this challenging time. As part of the ‘new normal’ BASF has hosted technical webinars throughout the continent for local producers and distributors about the formulas and production standards of disinfectants. These topical webinars were hosted locally and supported by technical experts from their global community and were well received by all stakeholders.
“As BASF in Africa we believe that customer-centricity will always remain the focus of everything we do – even in times of crisis,” said Dr Michael Gotsche, Vice-President and Head of Market Area Africa. “This time of crisis has proven that establishing strong relationships with our key stakeholders during ‘normal’ times allows us to stand together during the tough times. I do believe that we will, together, come out of this crisis stronger than before.”