The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) has commended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FreezeLink, Mr Owusu A. Akoto, for his role in transporting the 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines into the country.
The organisation said the CEO worked tirelessly alongside other organisations such as the Ghana Health Service to provide the country with pharmaceutical-grade cold chain transport that made it possible for the vaccines to arrive through the COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative.
GCCA serves more than 1,100 companies in 85 countries who provide temperature-controlled supply chain services in the agriculture, food and pharmaceutical sectors.
FreezeLink, the trailblazing one-stop shop for cold chain logistics, is the first and only company in Ghana to become a member. of the GCCA
The CEO and President of GCCA, Mr Matthew Ott, said FreezeLink had a fleet of temperature-controlled trucks and was one of a few private companies providing the ‘cold chain’ that was essential to prevent the life-saving vaccines from spoiling or weakening in strength.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Akoto said he was inspired to create FreezeLink to address the post-harvest losses that kept farmers unnecessarily poor in West Africa.
He said vaccine waste due to poor cold chain infrastructure was also a major issue in the region, adding that being involved in vaccine distribution had brought both pride and a sense of relief.
“FreezeLink also works with Zipline, a drone company, that is helping to deliver vaccines to more rural parts of Ghana that are harder to reach by road”, he told Isabella Kwai of the London bureau of The New York Times.
A member of the Global Cold Chain Alliance’s International Programmes Committee, Mr Akoto has spent the last decade designing and transforming supply chains at global companies such as Diageo, Unilever and Procter & Gamble – including helping Unilever design the strategy for its strategic supply chain programme, which earned it a World Procurement Award.
Before founding FreezeLink, he also led the $3 billion supply chain management transformation programme at the UK Ministry of justice to bring about a change in performance of logistics and other supply chains.
Mr Akoto was awarded an MBA from Imperial College London and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was one of eight out of 2,000 graduates to receive a Senior Honour Award.