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    8 Oct, 2021

    European Union and Germany grant EUR 1,200,000 to support manufacturing capacity of COVID-19-relevant medical and pharmaceutical products for the SADC region

    At a public event held on 7th October in Gaborone, the European Union and Germany (@Team Europe) have handed over a grant of EUR 100,000 (BWP 1,3 million ) to the company Cally Clothing & Corporate Gifts of Botswana. The Ceremony was graced by Sandra Kramer, Director for Africa at the Director General for International Partnership of the European Commission and by Annelenne Bremer, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Botswana, who symbolically handed a cheque to Callistus Phologolo, CEO of Cally Clothing Company in the presence of Dr. Khutula Sibanda representing SADC Secretariat and Dr. Kgokgwe Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Botswana representing the Government of Botswana

    Cally Clothing & Corporate Gifts is one of 12 companies in the SADC region that have received support from the SIPS programme (Support towards Industrialization of the Productive Sectors), a programme co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Germany and managed by the SADC Secretariat.

    Cally Clothing's core business focuses on manufacturing branded clothing and other promotional material. With the EUR 100,000 received from the SIPS programme, the company will expand its core business to a new production line of personal protective equipment for health workers in the form of re-usable unisex scrubs and surgical gowns in response to the shortages of protective equipment and material in the Southern Africa market since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    SIPS has signed 12 Grant Agreements in seven SADC Member States totalling EUR 1.2 million (BWP 15,6 million) with each grant ranging between EUR 100,000 to EUR 200,000 for small and medium-sized enterprises, a state-owned company and universities. With this action SADC is strengthening its industrial base, thereby decreasing the region's dependency on imported products and mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible future pandemics. Besides personal protective equipment, including face masks, face shields and medical scrubs, the programme aims to scale up the manufacturing of hand sanitizers and hospital disinfectants, and hospital equipment including ventilators. The Programme will finance required machinery, raw materials, consulting, and training costs of innovative manufacturing projects.

    Sandra Kramer, Director for Africa at the Directorate General for International Partnerships of the European Commission reminded about the "the vulnerabilities that the COVID-19 has highlighted in existing global supply chains for vaccines, medicines and health technology products and how much of Africa relies on international imports. She further referred to the "commitment of the European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen of EUR 1 billion through the Team Europe umbrella to step up the manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies in Africa".

    "This joint project of SADC, EU and Germany responds to the increased regional demand for personal protective equipment and clothing during the pandemic and the need by small and medium-sized enterprises to recover from the economic downturn" said Annelene Bremer, Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy. "The German Government renders support because we believe the project is innovative, sustainable, and most importantly, it creates jobs."

    "Through these grants, the SADC Secretariat with the EU and German support expects to improve the access to COVID-19-relevant medical and pharmaceutical products, which will enhance the effectiveness of measures adopted by the SADC Member States to curb COVID-19 transmission and support socio-economic recovery in the region" said Daniel Bagwitz, Country Director of German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to Botswana and SADC.

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