Climate change: AfDB to double financing for Africa to $25bn by 2025



The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to double its climate finance for Africa to 25 billion dollars by 2025, with more than 50 per cent devoted to climate adaptation.

The President of the bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, made this known at a virtual High-Level Launch of the Global Centre on Adaption (GCA) office in Africa on Tuesday.

According to the European Commission, climate adaptation means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damages, or taking advantage of opportunities.

Adesina said that the fund would address climate risks the continent faced to ensure the continent was not short-changed by the global climate finance.

“I am delighted with the launch today of the Global Center on Adaptation for Africa (GCA) hosted by the African Development Bank.

“The bank has committed to doubling its financing for climate to 25 billion dollars by 2025 with over 50 per cent devoted to climate adaptation.

“Africa must not be short-changed by global climate finance.”

He reiterated AfDB’s continued partnership with the GCA to mobilise more resources for climate adaptation and ensure access to finance is sustained in the continent.

He urged African leaders to collaborate their efforts toward the sustenance of the centre to ensure sustainable development in the continent.

Also speaking, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair of the Board of GCA and 8th Secretary-General of the UN said the launch would accelerate adaptation in Africa.

Ban said the GCA would also promote sustainable development in line with international best practices.

“This is a historic moment to accelerate adaptation in Africa. Nowhere is the challenge of achieving sustainable development in the face of a changing climate more acute.

“Our new regional office will support regional and national adaptation efforts by emphasising and spreading existing best practices on the continent and ensuring their fully fledged integration into broader international adaptation efforts.”

He said that Africa had a large population of youths and urged partners to work together and “invest in young the people and maximise their potential”.

“We must learn to work together to find solutions,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged partners to ensure that knowledge that could boost climate adaptation was shared.

“More than any other region, sub-Saharan Africa is vulnerable to the impact of climate change, which threatens lives and livelihoods and undermines economic growth.

“After the current crisis (COVID-19), boosting resilience is an urgent priority so it’s vital we share the knowledge and best practice that can help accelerate climate adaptation.”

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN applauded the launch of the GCA Africa, which she noted would ensure a more resilient Africa.

“There is an urgent need to step up the support for people in Africa, and around the world affected by climate change.

“I welcome the GCA Africa as a crucial partner in delivering the elevated ambition and enhanced action that is needed to make this shift toward a resilient future.”

Mohammed reiterated the commitment and support of the UN toward the development of the continent.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Chair of the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI) assured of the initiative’s partnership with the GCA toward the promotion of a resilient climate.

“The devastating effects of climate change, which include severe droughts, floods, reduced agricultural yields, sea-level rise, and other climate-related disasters are on the rise.

“The launch of GCA Africa is a bold and innovative initiative to galvanise the support needed to significantly scale up adaptation on the continent, identify gaps and connect regional partners to find solutions,” Ondimba said.

The GCA launch was hosted by the AfDB at its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and had several African leaders and international organisations’ leaders giving their support.

GCA Africa will work with partners across the continent to scale and accelerate adaptation action that protects African communities from the impacts of climate change.

The centre will focus on programmes and action, knowledge acceleration, capacity building and agenda-setting that respond to the acute challenges from the changing climate facing African countries.

The programmes include improving the food security of one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

This will be done through a programme on rural well-being and food security, as well as projects to support communities through water for urban growth and resilience; using nature for more resilient infrastructure; adaptation finance and building youth leadership.

The GCA has its headquarters in the Netherlands and regional offices in China and Bangladesh.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN


Frank de Boer favourite to be named new Netherlands coach




Amsterdam, Sept. 23, 2020 Frank de Boer has emerged as the most likely candidate to be named coach of the Netherlands after weeks of speculation over who would succeed Ronald Koeman.

A contract up to the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar is expected to be signed in time for De Boer to take charge of the team’s three internationals next month.

He would replace Koeman who left last month to become FC Barcelona coach.

“Together with the prime minister, it is the most important job in The Netherlands. Everyone is talking about it,” De Boer had said on Dutch television last week when he was asked whether he would be interested in the job.

The subject of Koeman’s replacement has then dominated Dutch sports programmes in recent weeks with pundits offering their own insider versions of the selection process.

Dutch media reports have included the Dutch football association (KNVB) contacting both Frank Rijkaard and Bayer Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz first as potential candidates before entering into talks with De Boer.

Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk had told reporters after their UEFA Nations League matches earlier this month that the players had given a list of their preferences to the KNVB.

Louis van Gaal, who has twice previously coached the national team, left the door open to a possible return when questioned on TV.

But the prospect of his return was reportedly vetoed by the players.

The possibility of 50-year-old De Boer taking the job has elicited a mixed response.

This has acknowledged his success in winning four successive Dutch league titles with Ajax Amsterdam, while also highlighting failures at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace.

De Boer, who won 112 caps and played at two World Cups for The Netherlands, was last at Atlanta United in Major League Soccer (MLS).

But he left in July after 18 months in charge.

He will be thrust quickly into the new job with a friendly against Mexico in Amsterdam on Oct. 7.

Then, UEFA Nations League matches away against Bosnia on Oct. 11 and Italy on Oct. 14 will follow.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

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Mali: Court fixes Friday to hear suit challenging ECOWAS sanctions



The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed Friday to hear two interlocutory applications in a case instituted by two associations in Mali against the ECOWAS Commission and the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

The case is challenging the legality of the Aug. 18 sanctions imposed on the Republic of Mali, following the military coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

In the interlocutory application filed by the Malian Coalition and the Consumers Association of Mali, both registered in the country, the associations are asking for the orders of the Court suspending the sanctions.

A statement issued by the media unit of the Court on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the association also sought for accelerated hearing of both cases challenging the sanctions.

According to the case with suit no /36/20, the two associations claimed that the President of the Commission acted ultra vires in imposing the sanctions.

They argued that the procedure was not in conformity with the relevant ECOWAS texts under which sanctions should be brought against Member States for failure to honour their obligations to the Community as this is reserved for Heads of State and Government of the Community.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Mr Modibo Diakite, Mr Oumar Tounkara, Mr Abdrahamane Diallo. Mr Maxime Poma and the law firm of SCP d’Avocats DO-FINI CONSULT.

They durther claimed that the sanctions, which were enforced by neighbours Côte d’Ivoire and Niger with the closure of their borders, are negatively impacting on a population already ‘bruised by insecurity, the Covid-19 pandemic as well as poor governance.”

“In the initiating application filed before the Court on Sept. 9, the associations claimed that the sanctions constitute not only the violation of the right of the people of Mali to the freedom of movement guaranteed in ECOWAS texts.

“But also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the economic, social and cultural rights of Malian citizens in the Community as well as their right to non-discrimination.

“Among the reliefs sought is an order for the payment of compensation for prejudices suffered in the sum of 1,000,000 CFA francs for each individual, another 10,000,000 CFA francs for each legal person as well as the payment of the same amount for the violation of human rights.

“The associations also prayed the court to order the state of Côte d’Ivoire to pay a symbolic 1 CFA to the plaintiffs for the violation of their human rights through the discriminatory treatment of Malians,” it said

According to the statement, a three member panel of the court comprising Justices Dupe Atoki (presiding), Keikura Bangura and Januária Tavares Silva Moreira Costa will hear the case.

It said that the proceeding will be virtual and can be followed via “Zoom” using the ID: 849 4983 1562 with the passcode: 6650799 10am on Friday.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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Science & Technology

HP, AUC sign MoU to foster entrepreneurial skills in Africa



HP Inc, American multinational information technology company, on Wednesday said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with African Union Commission (AUC) to foster entrepreneurial learning in Africa.

HP, in a statement, said the aim of the MoU was to further cement the collaboration in building entrepreneurial skills across the continent and leverage HP Foundation’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE).

According to the statement, HP LIFE provides people in the region with access to 32 free, online courses in seven languages to build key business competencies as set out in the Agenda 2063.

Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

“HP Inc. and the AUC have agreed to exchange information and material on enhancing quality education for learners and entrepreneurs in Africa.

“We have also agreed to organise symposiums and conferences on education and skills development initiatives by leveraging on the online platform HP LIFE,” its said.

The platform aims  to enroll a million users between 2016 and 2025 as  part of HP’s commitment to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people globally by 2025.

According to the statement, the aim of the MoU was to ensure closer collaboration and exchange of information between the parties, in a manner that creates synergies in Youth Skills Development, Academic Exchanges, and Research in Africa.

Commenting, Issam Essadiqi, Interim Managing Director, HP Africa said: “HP is driving access to quality education globally to enable anyone and everyone to build skills to compete in the digital economy.

Essadiqi said that making education more accessible and effective helps people get better jobs, launch small businesses,  create opportunities for their families and communities.

” HP believes technology can be the great equaliser in education and is using it to enable students to get access to quality education in the classroom and beyond,” Essadiqi said.

The AU Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology, Prof. Sarah Agbor, said: “The partnership with HP will accelerate our education response to COVID-19 and beyond to ensure accessible and continued learning for African youth.

“The African Union’s education agenda, which has a focus on digital learning, is well complemented by the opportunities that the work with HP will bring about for African youth.

“In line with prioritizing distance learning, the partnership will support individuals and institutions of learning to provide the requisite expertise and opportunities, “Agbor said.

NAN reports that HP LIFE was first offered through hundreds of local training centres in countries such as Nigeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya, to help people learn the skills to start or grow a business or improve their employment prospects.

In 2012, HP LIFE expanded to an online platform. Since 2016, over 116,000 men and women across Africa have already received HP LIFE training.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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General news

UK Group supports 100 Nigerian businesses with $425m




CDC Group, a UK development finance institution, says it is currently investing US$425 million to support 100 businesses and 38,000 jobs in Nigeria.

The UK Group disclosed this during a virtual visit to Nigeria by its board led by Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe and Chairman, Graham Wrigley.

According to a statement by British Deputy High Commission in Lagos, CDC also partnered with 40 investment funds, which included Afreximbank, African Capital Alliance and Indoram.

The UK Government-funded institution says all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.

“Nigeria plays a key part in our strategy of partnership and investment for economic growth in West Africa. “Hosting our 2020 board trip– albeit virtually – in both markets is a testament to our commitment.

“Looking forward, we will continue to prioritise the post COVID-19 recovery as part of the Build Back Better agenda.

“We are committed to supporting a deeper and more strategic bilateral partnership between the UK and Nigeria that is based on enhancing economic development, job creation, inclusion, trade and investment,” O’Donohoe said.

It said that the CDC team also paid a virtual visit to the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to understand the impact of CDC’s support to its investees through the COVID-19 crisis and understand how to stimulate recovery and growth.

The discussions also focused on CDC’s own response to the pandemic through its preserved, strengthen and rebuild programme, the statement said.

In her response, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CBE said CDC played important role in creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses by investing in the poorest countries across Africa, including Nigeria.

CDC’s commitment to the country signals to other UK investors that investing in Nigeria is possible and should be prioritised in order to help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” the envoy said.

During the virtual tour, CDC also met local businesses leaders, learning more about what they need to grow their companies and how investors can support their ambitions.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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