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Resources mobilisation critical to Africa’s recovery from Covid-19 – Adesina

Adesina has stated that Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will depend on the continent’s ability to mobilize resources.

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Dr Akinwumi Adesina has asserted that Africa needs global backing in many areas, but principally in three areas: fiscal support, healthcare provision and youth employment.

According to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will depend on the continent’s ability to mobilize resources.

Speaking during a prelude session of the Nobel Week Dialogue themed “The challenge of learning – the future of education”, Adesina contends that the speed and quality of recovery will depend on how much Africa is able to mobilise resources to deal with the adverse effects of Covid-19.

“Unless and until we make sure that Africa gets support to free up their fiscal space, it’s going to be a limited amount of money competing for health, for education, for infrastructure…But we’ll continue to work with all the partners. I’m a very positive person and I know at the end of the day we’ll get some resources to get things back on the right track,” he said.

Adesina said the Covid-19 pandemic had “significantly affected spending on education” as funds were diverted to other priorities such as healthcare. He said the gap between the finance needed for education in Africa and the available funding was $40 billion, and that has only got worse.

He noted many students had missed out on virtual learning because they did not have access to electricity, while around 28 million students did not have access to mobile networks.

Responding to a question on whether anything positive had come out of the pandemic, Adesina said the Bank (AfDB) continued to invest massively in the continent, including a $10 billion crisis response facility to support countries through the crisis, and a $3 billion Covid-19 social bond, the largest ever dollar-denominated social bond.

What they are saying

The winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018, Frances Arnold, submitted that “What we’ve learned is we can learn at home but not all the time, because science is all about collaboration and learning from experience and experiments, and that’s pretty hard to do from home.

“On the other hand, people had connected in unprecedented ways, Arnold said, citing a web call she had participated in with 1,000 people, from Brazil to Bangladesh.”

Commenting on the future of education, Prof Asha Kanwar, CEO of the intergovernmental Commonwealth of Learning, said parents could play a key role in schooling, while academic and computer scientist, Daphne Koller pointed out that not all parents had the time or skills for that task, which could further deepen inequities in education.

Kanwar added that “it might be time to incorporate self-learning into education systems, as per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”.

What you should know

  • Dr Adesina’s interview during the Nobel Week Dialogue formed part of a panel discussion on the impact of Covid-19.
  • The interview was followed by a conversation among three global leaders in the field of education: Nobel laureate Frances Arnold, education and sustainable development expert Asha Kanwar and academic and computer scientist Daphne Koller.
  • Nobel Dialogue Week 2020 featured an international array of experts and leaders, including former Irish president Mary Robinson, world-renowned pianist Igor Levit, and eight Nobel laureates, including 2020 Chemistry Laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier.
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US Ambassador opens centre in Lagos, to boost entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youth

US Ambassador to Nigeria has launched a centre where youths can gain entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops.

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The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, opened the first-of-its-kind Window on America in Nigeria on Monday.

The Centre is expected to serve as a community center where young people develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed especially for them.

This was disclosed in a statement shared by Temitayo Famutimi, Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Consulate General and seen by Themoneymetrics.

According to the statement, the Centre, which was Hosted at the Lekki Slum2School Innovation Hub in Lagos, is as a result of a partnership between the US Consulate General, Lagos and Slum2School Africa, founded by Otto Orondaam, a 2016 alumnus of U.S. government’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Ambassador noted that the new Window on America is open to everyone in the community, offering its services, programs and resources to the public at no cost.

She said, “We are happy to open the very first Window on America space in Nigeria here in Lekki.

“In the next few months, we will follow with six additional new Windows on America in the south and 12 across the country. We want our Windows on America to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the people of Nigeria.”

In addition to providing public programming space, the Lekki Window on America will support five core programs: English language learning, educational advising, alumni activities, cultural programs, and information about the U.S.

What you should know

  • Visitors to the window will typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organizations, government officials, and community leaders, in addition to many others.
  • Windows on America are American spaces that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States, including its government, history, culture, and educational system through programs, lectures, books and electronic resources provided by the U.S. Government.
  • In addition to the Lekki Window on America, 12 more will be opened in major cities across the country, including Abeokuta, Awka, Benin City, Enugu, Osogbo, Uyo, Zaria, Minna, Dutse, Makurdi, Gombe and Lafia, in order to engage more Nigerian audiences in their local communities.
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VP Osinbajo calls for provision of capital to grow businesses for long term

The Vice President has stated that the banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria.

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There is need to further deepen the provision of capital that will allow businesses to grow over the long term. This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Bankers Committee on Friday.

He commended the DMBs for their patriotic contributions to sustain growth but called for the need to further deepen the provision of capital that would allow businesses to grow over the long term.

“The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria. I commend #CBN for the forward-looking support for growth-related initiatives, especially under the economic sustainability plan,” he said.

What you should know

  • On Friday, VP Osinbajo had called for crypto regulation, knowing fully well the role crypto plays in the global financial ecosystem, as he opined that such disruption often made room for progress, according to Nairametrics.
  • Osinbajo also advised the SEC, and Central Bank of Nigeria to create a regulatory road map, while fully appreciating the stance of the CBN, Nigerian SEC, and law enforcement agencies on the possible abuses of crypto assets.
  • The vice president further stressed the important role cryptocurrencies would play in the coming years as they would most likely challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways the world hadn’t yet imagined. He thus stressed the need for Nigeria to be prepared for such a seismic shift.

 

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Sanwo-Olu says construction work on Fourth Mainland Bridge to start end of 2021

Governor Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the foundation for the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of 2021.

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.

The execution of the bridge is geared towards improving the transport infrastructure and movement across the state.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu during the 16th Executive/Legislative Parley, with the theme: ”A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement.

He pointed out that the promise to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge is not a political one.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu during the interactive session said, ”We did not politically promise Fourth Mainland Bridge but we are going to do Fourth Mainland Bridge.

”With your prayers and by the grace of Almighty God, we shall turn the sod and lay the foundation for the building and construction of that Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of this year.

”We are on course and I am sure that the 37km ring road is on track, which will change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos,” the governor said.

The governor also disclosed that his administration was on course to complete the Blue Line and Red Line rail projects which were started several years back, saying the project will be completed and trains will move on the two rail lines before the end of his administration.

He said, ”It is a commitment that we have given to Lagosians and it is a commitment that we will see will come to fruition because we have finished the financial closure and we are excited about that project.’

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said that the executive and legislature would discuss extensively the theme of the retreat, “A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”.

While saying that the discussion in the next 48 hours would help to fast track the rebuilding of the state, Adebowale said that they would delve deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth, and Role of Social Media in Nation Building, among others.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
  • This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
  • Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
  • The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
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