Bayelsa State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BioCubaFarma Consortium of the Republic of Cuba for the establishment of vaccines and pharmaceuticals production plant in the State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this is a fall-out of a 3-day investment visit to Cuba led by the state governor, Sen. Douye Diri.
The Bayelsa Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Igwele, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments, Patience Abah, signed the MoU for the government at a ceremony in Havana, the Cuban capital.
Dr Mayda Mauri Pérez, the First Vice President of BioCubaFarma, signed for the Consortium.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Amb. Benaoyagha Okoyen, the Nigerian Ambassador to Cuba.
NAN reports that the MoU indicates that the partnership is in furtherance of an earlier bilateral agreement signed between the Nigerian Government and that of Cuba.
The earlier agreement is on scientific cooperation, technology transfer, academic collaboration and the co-production of vaccines and other pharmacological products in the country.
The Republic of Cuba has lately joined the league of nations that have gained international recognition for its medical breakthroughs and advancements.
Igwele said the partnership deal marked a milestone in the quest of the government to attract investments into the State.
“This is a good development for us in Bayelsa State.
“The vaccines and other pharmaceutical products are in high demand in Nigeria and beyond.
“With the centre here, Bayelsa can serve other states and nations in the West African sub-region.
“In the next few months, the technical teams from both sides will work out further details of the agreement,” he said.
The commissioner said the vaccines and pharmaceuticals production centre would provide job opportunities, build expertise of young Bayelsans and also ensure technology transfer for sustainability of the plant.
Also, as part of the visit, the Bayelsa State delegation met with Deputy Governor of Havana Province, Cuba, Mrs Yanet Hernandez Parez and Vice Minister for Trade, Matanzas Province, Cuba, Ms Deborah Rivas Saavedra.
The meeting was to explore other business opportunities for the State.
The officials discussed ways of exploring business opportunities on sugar production, renewable energy, ICT and exchange programmes for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Others who joined the governor for the various meetings were Mr Fred Agbedi, member representing Federal Constituency, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, Vice Chancellor, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa and Retired Major Lancelot Anyanya, among others. (
After a successful edition in 2021, West Africa Connect (WestAfricaConnect.com) returns with a new event on September 20 and 21, 2022. This time, the focus is on the promotion of mangoes, cassava and ICT services from suppliers. West Africa for agribusiness buyers from West Africa, Africa and other continents.
Buyers can connect with more than 150 selected suppliers of fresh and processed cassava and mango, as well as ICT service providers from 16 countries. Throughout the event and afterwards, the platform will offer B2B meetings with partners and access to exhibitors' digital profiles.
At West Africa Connect, buyers can source from a wide range of regional products and services, benefiting from the personalized support provided by the organizers.
Meet providers in person and online
Last year, 441 registered participants from 31 countries around the world took part in lively online exchanges. West Africa Connect 2022 will be held as a hybrid event on September 20-21 both in Accra, Ghana and online. Buyers can register via: https://bit.ly/3nJ0zzG and find more information at https://bit.ly/3afZ0pB.
Ericsson has announced the launch of its ‘Together Apart Hackathon’ in Nigeria.
The theme-based hackathon aims to identify innovative and commercially viable solutions showcasing the power of connectivity and 5G deployment in Nigeria.
Mr Peter Ogundele, Country Manager, Ericsson Nigeria, stated this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
Ogundele said that the hackathon would improve livelihoods, and contribute to the sustainable and economic growth of the country.
He said that there would be a collaboration with entrepreneurs, professionals, academics, and university students from across Nigeria to identify innovative and commercially viable solutions and deep diving into the focus areas.
`The hackathon focus areas includes: health care and education, manufacturing and mining, digital financial inclusion, smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT).
“The hackathon aims to develop ideas, revolving around digital technologies and 5G, to stimulate innovations that improve lives of Nigerian citizens.
“A total of five winning teams will be chosen – one winning team from each focus area in the Nigeria Hackathon.
“The five winning teams will receive support in developing and scaling their solutions.
“One team will receive the grand prize to visit Ericsson’s headquarters in Sweden to pitch the team’s solution and interact with the entrepreneurial community,” he said.
He added that the Together Apart Hackathon encourages participants to efficiently harness the potential of new technologies to elevate standards of living across the country.
“Ericsson is committed to supporting local talent while focusing on ICT topics that are significant to Nigeria’s digital journey.
“The hackathon is the perfect opportunity to encourage creativity, ambition, and innovation to drive Nigerians’ technological capabilities and thereby bring about a positive impact to the nation.
“We are certain that the results of the hackathon will be inspirational, and we are looking forward to exploring the ideas and solutions of the participants that will contribute to the overall economic and social development of the country,” he noted.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the hackathon will take place between from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14, 2022.
The registration for the hackathon competition could be done online via the link: Ericsson Together Apart Hackathon Nigeria- https:.ericsson.-hackathon.
The European Union (EU) has inaugurated the ‘Team Europe Initiative (TEI) Nigeria Green Economy’ project aimed at stimulating sustainable climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy for economic growth and diversification.
The EU ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ms Samuela Isopi, unveiled the project at the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum tagged: “Nigeria and the New Economy” on Friday, in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the TEI Green Economy Project are: Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
According to the ambassador, the TEI Green Economy consists of 60 projects of different nature to be executed across the agricultural and energy sectors by 2027 and is valued at 1.3 billion Euros.
Isopi said the project was aimed at improving the competitive advantage of Nigeria’s agriculture and energy sectors, with emphasis on access to clean and renewable energy as well as job creation, skills and capacity development.
She added that the project was a result of collaborative efforts with the EU and member states, private and public sectors and the development financial institutions.
She assured continued support for the Nigerian government in the implementation of its economic diversification policies and new partnerships with the private sector.
“In line with the EU’s Green Deal, the Green Economy Initiative will support the Nigerian government’s efforts to diversify the economy by combining support to enhance access to renewable energy for productive uses and boosting the development of the agricultural sector.
“Collectively, the actions will help Nigeria attain the SDGs and put the country on a sustainable development path.
“The initiative will offer support in areas of expertise and strong European contribution such as climate-smart agriculture, technological and digital solutions, vocational training, employment and entrepreneurship creation as well as access to sustainable energy,” she said.
She said the TEI would forge new partnerships with member states interested in supporting Nigeria’s circular economy efforts.
Ms Inga Stefanowicz, EU Team Leader, Green and Digital Economy in Nigeria, said the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Development Financial Institutions would assist various players in the value-chains in the agricultural and energy sectors.
“By combining EIB’s investment facilities with the European Development Finance Institutions and EU member states, the flagship initiative will create space for EU trade and investment while generating job opportunities for Nigeria’s youth.
“In agriculture, support will be provided to promote and increase climate-smart agricultural production and value-added creation in selected value chains to address food insecurity, increase agricultural exports, tackle skills gaps and create jobs.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and state institutions will be supported in the delivery of its mandate, and in particular, development of agricultural education, integrating ICT and technical and vocational education and training,” she said.
Stefanowicz added that field interventions would concentrate on creating positive spillover effects through the value chains including smallholder farmers, aggregators, processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, transporters and retailers.
She said interventions in the energy sector would include capacity building, policy dialogue and advisory services with the ministry of power and its agencies, in developing an enabling policy environment, and adoption and implementation of measures.
“They will concentrate on effective delivery of the Ministry’s mandate including the Paris Agreement Commitment, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) targets as well as the development of new energy access business models with the private sector.
She added that the team would work with the Federal and State governments to address obstacles to ease of doing business and investment.
Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, lauded the initiative, adding that the agricultural sector had the largest potential to diversify the economy and provide the broad-based growth necessary for development as a “new growth engine.”
Abubakar, who was represented by Dr Emmanuel Olaleye, Director, Agri-Business and Market Development, said the agricultural sector was essential to job creation, securing food supply, lowering inflation and expanding foreign exchange earnings.
He said the Federal Government would continue to prioritise activities in the agriculture sector through targeted policies to attract investments, in line with the diversification drive and achieving food security.
According to the minister, some of the policies include the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation policy, National Agricultural Resilience Framework (NARF, 2014), Agricultural Promotion Policy, (APP, 2016-2020), and National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP, 2019-2025), among others.
He also emphasised the need for farmers and investors to tap into opportunities of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for the country to become Africa’s largest producer of crops like Maize, Rice, and Soybeans.
“The ministry has identified what needs to be done to achieve this by promoting the use of a better variety of seeds that are high yielding, disease-resistant, and adaptive quality.
“We also seek to promote mechanised production through the Green Imperative that is government-enabled but private-sector driven that will reduce human effort and enhance productivity while removing drudgery in the farming operation and strengthen value chain linkages.
“Others include increasing investments in commodity exchanges; aggregation and integration; supporting agricultural research and development; and reducing the risks associated with farming by de-risking agricultural productivity,” he said.
He solicited the support of the EU and the EU countries to assist with capacity building for Nigeria and its companies to prepare proposals to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
“EU companies and their Nigerian counterparts should take advantage of available GCF to attract Green Projects to Nigeria.
“Execution of green projects will contribute to the reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions as envisaged in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) strategy,” he said.
Markus Wauschkuhn, Germany’s Cluster Coordinator for Sustainable development projects in Nigeria, said Germany would continue to contribute to Nigeria’s competitive advantage through the Nigerian Competitiveness Project.
According to him, the project focuses on improving Nigeria’s export potential in the area of ginger, tomatoes, chili, leather and garment and other resources to Europe.
The Government has increased the financing of the National Blood Transfusion Service Unit by 738%, going from 120 million in the 2017/18 financial year to 886 million in the 2021/22 financial year. In addition, the Ministry of Health has leveraged UHC funds with an additional 700 million Kenyan shillings for blood services.
Speaking at the launch of the Damu-KE Conference, Chief Health Secretary Susan Mochache said that increased budget allocation to the unit coupled with structural reforms have produced a marked improvement in blood transfusion services.
The PS pointed out that blood is used in all major surgeries, traffic accidents and its unavailability results in preventable deaths, undoing advances made in the health sector. “For example, in 2020, 35% of our maternal deaths were due to bleeding complications, which reduced the impact of Linda Mama's investments. Patients receiving treatment for cancer and kidneys, an area where we have made significant investments, require blood transfusions and therefore blood must be available where it is needed for Kenyans to benefit from these investments.” , said.
The PS reported that the increased resources have expanded the capacity of blood banks by 100% from 24,000 units to the current 53,000 units through the acquisition of refrigerators, freezers and blood cold rooms. “We have secured our commodity supply chain to ensure that there are enough blood bags, testing reagents and detection in process until 2023 and thus safely prepare for the upcoming elections,” the PS said.
He said that the Ministry has also invested in automated machines for the preparation of blood products and that 25 counties can now prepare concentrated red blood cells, cryoprecipitate, plasma and platelets for the treatment of cancer, kidney diseases, burn patients and blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. , anemia and hemophilia. He revealed that the government has also placed four apheresis in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu and thus provides the public sector with access to fresh platelets free of charge.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT have developed a Blood Bank Information System – Damu-KE. “This system will be used to track blood from donor to recipient, thus ensuring accountability for donated blood,” the PS reported. The Damu-Ke Conference convened in Nairobi, the first in Eastern and Southern Africa, brings together delegates from around the world to explore blood, cells, tissues and organs in an integrated manner in line with guidance from the World Health Organization and the global practice of other jurisdictions.