Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Following the lifting of restrictions on cargo flights into Nigeria by the Federal Government, an Ethiopian Airlines freighter landed today at the cargo terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 3.20 pm on Tuesday, March 24, to deliver medical supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation.
The airline’s country general manager, Firihiewot Mekonnen, said he was pleased to be able to deliver the much needed critical medical supplies and equipment which will help in the global fight against the COVID-19.
“An Ethiopian Airlines Freighter landed today at the cargo terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 3.20 pm to deliver medical supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation.
“We appreciate the donation of the Jack Ma Foundation and the generosity of Mr Jack Ma. We admire our Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed, for his initiative and organisation of the entire coordination of the process.
“As an indigenous and pioneer Pan African airline, Ethiopian Airlines has stood together with Africans at all times for the last seven decades and has supported Africans in good and challenging times. In this unprecedented global pandemic, Ethiopian will continue its commitment to African people to help them fight and win this invisible enemy.
“Today, we are very happy to deliver these medical supplies to the government and people of Nigeria. Ethiopian Airlines has always stood by Nigeria in good and bad times. Since we started flying to Lagos we have not stopped our flights. Even when Abuja airport was closed, we were the only international airline that flew to Kaduna. We are happy to associate with Nigeria and it’s people,” Mekonnen said.
On March 22 a flight carrying 5.4million face masks kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields, departed Guangzhou, China and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The supplies will be transported on and distributed throughout the rest of the continent over the next few weeks.
This relief initiative forms part of Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation’s ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and provide aid to afflicted communities across the globe.
Collaboration and partnership with the Alibaba-led Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hubs in Ethiopia and Rwanda have been important to this effort.