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IFC and Imperial partner to pilot modular COVID-19 Screening in sub-Saharan Africa



Glove on doctors hand holding test tube

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced a partnership with Imperial to jointly develop a modular screening and treatment healthcare infrastructure program for deployment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Supported by IFC, Imperial, an integrated market access and logistics provider including healthcare infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, is developing a pilot project in South Africa to manufacture and deploy modular healthcare units that will provide screening, treatment and other healthcare services to COVID-19 patients. The program’s objective is to expand and provide services in densely populated, low-income urban areas where access to healthcare is limited. Imperial will further partner with IFC to develop additional pilots in other countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, identifying country-specific needs and approaches that can be scaled up with the assistance of private healthcare service operators and government partnerships.

The first pilot of the program launched in South Africa in September 2020, includes five modular screening and treatment centres for COVID-19 patients. These modular testing units may be deployed in less than a day and have the potential to boost healthcare options and help reduce infection risk among people and their communities.   The modular treatment facilities created under the program will also continue to contribute to primary healthcare infrastructure options beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for underserved communities.

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Logistics Management: The Importance of Supply Chain Visibility



Man in a warehouse with iPad

In the fast-paced world of logistics, supply chain visibility is becoming an ever more crucial aspect for effective and productive management. Having the ability to track and monitor materials products, and information across the supply chain is invaluable and has become a way of life for many.

This ability to keep track of products is essential for businesses aiming to reduce costs, increase efficiency and meet growing customer expectations. In this article our focus will be on the significance of supply chain visibility in logistics management and how it can revolutionise the way organisations operate.

Operational efficiency

The first benefit of supply chain visibility is the potential for operational optimisation to take place effectively. Using real-time tracking allows businesses to gain insights into the flow of goods as they move. This is important because it allows businesses to identify bottlenecks and take the appropriate actions necessary to streamline their services.

Effectively placing businesses in a position where they can begin making data-driven decisions quickly and efficiently. One example of this is inventory, having visibility into inventory levels helps prevent out-of-stock events as well as overstocking, resulting in improved inventory management.

Improved customer service

Delivering exceptional service should be one of the core goals of any business that deals with consumers, and supply chain visibility plays a pivotal role in this area. Today’s customers want their items, and they want them quickly, customer satisfaction is becoming increasingly competitive by providing accurate timely tracking data to customers consistently. Businesses can build the trust and very importantly, the loyalty of their new customers.

Risk mitigation/risk management

In the complex world of logistics, risks and uncertainties are inherent. However, supply chain visibility equips businesses with the tools to mitigate these risks effectively. By closely monitoring the movement of goods, companies can identify potential disruptions such as delays, weather-related issues, or transportation bottlenecks.

This early identification enables logistics managers to implement contingency plans, reroute shipments, or find alternative suppliers, reducing the impact of disruptions on the overall supply chain. With improved visibility, organisations can enhance their resilience and minimise the financial and reputational risks associated with unforeseen events.

Collaboration is a must.

Achieving supply chain visibility will at some point require collaboration to take place between suppliers, carriers, and customers. By growing collaborative partnerships business can create a robust network of interconnected data streams. This will enable the free flow of information across the various sectors of the supply chain and allow for real-time sharing of important information.

Using this data effectively allows suppliers to create accurate forecasts, such as demand forecasts which can be extremely useful from the perspective of keeping stock levels appropriate for the current demand.


In today’s fast-paced and interconnected business landscape, supply chain visibility has become a strategic imperative for logistics management. It empowers organisations with accurate and real-time information, allowing for improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer service, better risk mitigation, and collaborative partnerships.

Embracing supply chain visibility can transform logistics operations, enabling companies to stay competitive, adapt to market changes, and deliver value to their customers. As technology continues to advance, organisations that prioritise supply chain visibility will be well-positioned to navigate the complexities of the logistics industry and drive success in the future.

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Cross-border logistics best practices to improve your international supply chain network



Trucks moving across the border

Moving products locally is challenging enough from a planning and logistics perspective however the movement of goods across borders is an even greater logistics challenge. The process of moving your goods across borders presents several unique challenges, as a result, it’s important to adopt a few focused best practices. Below we will detail a list of best practices that you should consider, ensuring your products move smoothly to their intended destination with minimal risk and delay.

1. Doing your local research is vital

Before moving your goods through another country’s borders, you should conduct research on their local regulations, laws, and cultural norms. This is because this research will allow you to gain an understanding of their customs expectations surrounding your products, which products can and cannot be imported or moved through the country’s borders, and whether your products will even be viable given their cultural norms.

2. Build strong local partnerships

Developing strong local partnerships with local logistics partners can significantly improve the overall quality of your supply chain network in that region. This can include getting in touch with a local customs broker to ease the complexity of a customs clearance process which you may not be familiar with.

Not only can this streamline the customs clearance process, but it can provide you with additional local insights surrounding the regulations of the country you are moving goods to or through.

3. Technology is your best friend

Technology particularly cloud-based technology, can play a huge role in managing cross-border logistics for example transportation management systems otherwise known as TMS can help you optimise, and plan the best routes to move your products through. This can reduce the costs to your transportation fleet regarding fuel consumption and reduce time spent on the route, it also gives you the ability to track entire fleets, both locally and globally.

4. Having a great risk mitigation plan

Having an effective contingency plan in place can take you from a day of lost time and money to a day of moderate inconvenience to your business.

It’s important to have a plan in place for potential disruptions to cross-border operations, whether this means having a backup supplier or an alternative route in place. The reason for this is that, while transporting your products from your country of origin to their final destinations, various potential disruptions can occur, including man-made strikes affecting transportation routes or natural disasters affecting a broader region.

5. keep your knowledge up to date

Keep in touch with the situation on the ground as it is important to stay informed of events as this can keep you up to date on changes to local regulations, and other possible risks unfolding such as civil unrest in the country your products move to or through. In addition, this can help you stay one step ahead of your local competitors.

Final thoughts

To manage the logistics challenges involved in a cross-border supply chain you need a comprehensive approach to the multitude of factors involved in this process. All five of these factors will play an important role in the overall success of the operation.

The combined approach of these best practices will benefit the overall quality of your cross-border supply chain network. By adopting these best practices, organizations can minimise disruptions and ensure that their cross-border logistics operations are optimised for success.

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PwC quits as auditor of Lucky Star-owner Oceana amid ‘strained’ relationship



PWC sign on stone block

PwC has resigned as external auditor of Oceana because of a “strained” relationship with the company, and a lack of transparent communication with the board, amid a tumultuous period at the troubled fisheries and logistics group.

At the last annual general meeting, shareholders holding 38% of Oceana’s shares voted against retaining PwC as the group’s auditors. Oceana was meant to consult with shareholders on the reappointment of PwC on Monday, but instead announced on the day that PwC had resigned.

“Shareholders are now advised that late afternoon, Friday (…) PwC resigned as auditors of the group with immediate effect in respect of the audit of the financial year ending September 2022.”

Oceana said PwC said this was “due to their assessment of significant doubt as to whether there was objective and transparent communication between the board and PwC given the strained relationship, which they assert constituted a significant impairment of their independence.”

Oceana was looking at alternatives to PwC, and discussions with another of the big four auditing firms were progressing.

Monday’s meeting will still go ahead in order to provide shareholders a chance to engage with Oceana’s audit committee.

Oceana owns canned fish brand Lucky Star and also has a presence in other global markets where it sells fishmeal, fish oil and fish. It also owns a logistics company specialising in cold storage and transport of products such as fish, fruit and vegetables, poultry and meat.

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