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Access Bank partners Friends Africa to implement SME Workplace Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Access Bank in partnership with the Friends Africa of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) is scaling up the prevention and treatment of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through the Workplace Policy Workshops for 2000 Small and Medium Enterprises, (SMEs) in 4 African countries namely Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia. The workshop will kick-off in Lusaka, sail through Kigali and then, Lagos, before its ship finally berths at Accra in November.

The initiative is focused on enabling SMEs acquire the right tools needed to establish and implement workplace policy for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria.  This will increase the knowledge of these key issues of global concern, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in the workplace; increase accessibility to treatment and prevention programme across Africa and decrease stigmatization.

The programme will be implemented through a workshop approach, with sessions holding in Lusaka, Kigali, Lagos and Accra while there will be a webinar (online education) conducted for interested SMEs in various locations.  This collaboration between Access Bank and Friends Africa is yet another demonstration of African institutions commitment to solving the continent’s problems.

HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria are no longer viewed as only health problems but as part of a broader development crisis. These three pandemics disproportionately affect Africans more than any other continent in the world.

Records have it that in 2007 alone, there were 1.6 million HIV/AIDS deaths, about half a million Tuberculosis deaths occur annually and 90% of global malaria deaths occur in Africa. These three diseases have been identified as the leading cause of death in Africa, and consequently have always had a negative impact on the economic progress of the continent.

Considering the impacts of this triple pandemic on the African continent, the Access Bank sponsored SME Workplace policy programme implemented by Friends Africa is a laudable initiative which has again affirmed Access Bank’s position as Africa’s sustainability champion. In its 2nd phase, the Access Bank SME Workplace Policy workshop had trained 250 companies in three Nigerian states (Lagos, Minna and Enugu) in 2009. This year’s programme will train an increased number of SMEs, over 2000, and equip employees with the awareness about the diseases.

Access Bank Plc is a socially responsible organization; with a clearly developed strategy for facilitating societal development and wellbeing. The Bank is one of Africa’s pre-eminent financial services groups, and has a full banking subsidiary in the UK and all monetary zones across sub-Sahara Africa. The Bank is ranked 14th in Africa and amongst the top 500 banks in the world by tier 1 capital as at December 2010. For more information visit www.accessbankplc.com 

Friends of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) is a pan-African organization which works to mobilize strategic political and financial support for the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  Running its successful Workplace Policies in 2010, it has in-depth knowledge of Workplace Policy implementation, having been working closely with African businesses for five years now.  For more information visit www.friends-africa.org


Access Bank Plc 
Fafore Olusegun 
Phone:              + 234 80 275 66 220      

Friends Africa 
Mr. Bello Bissalla 
Email:  bbissalla@friends-africa.org
Phone: +234 (0) 1213 7273