IsDB, ITFC partnering to improve e-learning, others in Africa



The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), under the reverse linkage and Arab Africa Trade Bridges Programme, recently launched the e-Learning and Knowledge Sharing platform for Covid-19 medical preparedness and response in African countries. DAVID AGBA reports.

As part of the crisis response actions to strengthen the capacities of member countries to withstand the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), in collaboration with their partners, the Moroccan Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Resuscitation (SMAAR) launched an online platform to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing between medical teams from African member countries of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB).
The initiative, that comes under the Reverse Linkage Mechanism and the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Programme, was rolled out via the first of two webinars focusing on pandemic preparedness and response, whilst leveraging on international expertise in this field.
3Rs Covid19 strategic programme The E-Learning and Knowledge Sharing Platform on “Preparing for and Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in African IsDB member countries” comes in line with the IsDB Group 3Rs Covid19 Strategic Programme ; Response, Restore and Restart to support the member countries in their fight against the pandemic.
In addition, it is in line with the AATB response to Covid19 crisis plan as agreed in its executive committee meeting held on 9/4/2020. This also comes in partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco, founder member of the AATB programme, which adopted several other initiatives to counter the impact of the Covid-19 on the African and Arab countries.
Aims of the initiative
The initiative aims firstly to build the capacities of medical staff in African countries on their Covid-19 response protocols and approaches.
Secondly, the webinars are designed to encourage dialogue and scenario mapping to identify key challenges facing participating countries and to outline best practice approaches for successfully integrating response strategies in their respective countries.
Engagement between decision makers
Additionally, the initiative will facilitate engagement between decision makers and practitioners in the participating countries and pave the way for increased global collaboration. The Acting Director-General Global Practices, IsDB, Mr. Amadou Thierno Diallo, stated: “To combat the Covid19 pandemic, the sharing of experience, the transfer of technical expertise as well as the development of human and institutional capacities are as important as the supply of equipment and sanitary products. South-South cooperation is an effective and rapid means to achieve these objectives”
Co-organisers The co-organisers include the Moroccan Association of Emergency Medicine (SMMU), the Moroccan Association of Medical Simulation (SIM),  the Morocco Red Crescent (CRM), The Society of Anesthesia-Intensive Care of Francophone Africa (SARANF), Tunisian Society of Anesthesia of Analgesia and Resuscitation (STAAR), and the Algerian Society of Anesthesia, Resuscitation, Intensive Care and Emergencies (SAARSIU). From his side, COO ITFC Mr. Nazeem Noordali, said, “Covid-19 has dramatically affected our lives and has forced us to embrace the new norm. We need to consider other parameters that are more focused on preserving the environment and social well-being. While we find the best way to communicate, work and operate amidst this crisis, we need to stay united and strong to get through this phase together. A heartfelt gratitude to all the unsung heroes, our healthcare front liners, for their unwavering dedication and sacrifices.”
Care of patients The first webinar focused on the care of patients with coronavirus, detection, classification care, monitoring and interventions. It was attended by more than 4000 participants. It saw more than 130 doctors, reanimators, emergency physicians and members of national committees from 17 African countries share experiences on how to manage the COVID 19 pandemic. These countries included Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo, and Tunisia. The African E-Learning & Knowledge Sharing Platform provides for one-line training, coordination and monitoring meetings, the sharing of best practices, lessons learned, training and communication materials. It also allows medical professionals in IsDB member countries to learn and benefit from the experiences of countries that have already made significant advances in the preparation and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; both within and outside of Africa. 
The Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Programme
AATB is a multi-donor, multi-country and multi-organizations program, aiming to promote and increase trade and investment flows between African and Arab member countries; provide and support trade finance and export credit insurance; and enhance existing capacity building tools relating to trade. The program specifically focuses on the key sectors of agriculture and related industries including textiles; health industry including pharmaceuticals; infrastructure and transport; and petrochemicals, construction material and technology. The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC Member Countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world.
Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. Earning the A1 rating by Moody’s is a reflection of the Corporation’s creditworthiness and financial strength to responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment. Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than $51 billion to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for the member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

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