Vertiv (https://bit.ly/3ObgEub) (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, today introduced the Vertiv™ Geist™ Rack Transfer Switch (RTS) (https://bit.ly/3GcWZbr), a new line of transfer switches that provides redundant power to single-corded devices, and the highly-efficient Vertiv™ Liebert® GXT5 Lithium-Ion (https://bit.ly/3TC087J) uninterruptible power supply (UPS), designed for rack or stand-alone installation.
These space-saving devices are ideal for use in distributed IT networks and edge computing locations, and are now available and shipping from stock in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The Vertiv Geist RTS instantly detects loss of power and automatically switches the load to an alternative source in less than 4 to 8 milliseconds, allowing the supported servers and other critical devices to continue to operate through a planned or unplanned outage.
It is currently available in basic upgradeable and enhanced intelligence models, as well as switched and outlet-level monitored models.
Basic upgradeable models include the intelligence needed today, with the option to upgrade technology as needs evolve.
Enhanced intelligence models provide a comprehensive view of critical IT equipment power usage, available either at the rack or via remote access.
In addition to providing redundant power, the Vertiv Geist RTS also proactively monitors the IT environment, including temperature, humidity, and airflow.
Users have the option to enhance device monitoring features, with remote monitoring of IT power usage.
The Vertiv Geist RTS can support up to 24 outlets for higher-density rack configurations.
Available in 1000VA, 1500VA, 2000VA and 3000VA capacities, the Liebert GXT5 Lithium-Ion is a double-conversion, online UPS which leverages the higher power density of lithium-ion to pack more battery runtime in the same amount of space as a typical valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) battery.
The Liebert® GXT5 Lithium-Ion also supports scalable runtime with the ability to add up to eight 1U lithium-ion external battery cabinets to each UPS.
Lithium-ion batteries typically last 8-10 years – roughly the lifespan of the UPS itself – compared to about 3-5 years for VRLA batteries, potentially eliminating costly and inconvenient battery replacements and maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries are also significantly lighter than VRLA batteries and perform better at higher temperatures, reducing the expenses and energy required for rack cooling.
These inherent benefits give Liebert GXT5 Lithium-Ion customers a total cost of ownership (TCO) that is up to 50% lower than a similar UPS using VRLA batteries, during the typical life of the UPS.
Moreover, the Liebert GXT5 Lithium-Ion features a high power factor (0.9-1.0) and efficiency up to 95% in online mode and up to 98% in active ECO mode, enabling further savings on energy and costs.
“As edge computing, IoT and 5G continue to expand and become the new backbone of digitalisation, distributors and resellers are looking for efficient solutions to protect small and micro IT sites against power outages,” said Birgit Jackson, director, integrated racks and IT solutions for Vertiv in EMEA.
“These additions to our IT channel portfolio bring a series of benefits to support growth at the edge of the network, enabling businesses to leverage latest technologies and accelerate their digital transformation journey.” The Vertiv™ Geist™ RTS and Liebert GXT5 Lithium-Ion UPS are ideal for banking, healthcare, financial services, education, energy, government and transportation industries that operate micro data centres, distributed IT networks or edge computing data centers.
These latest additions to Vertiv’s IT channel portfolio enable EMEA resellers in participating countries to earn more points through the Vertiv Incentive Programme (VIP), which allows partners to easily win rewards without the need for any reporting.
Bonus points are uploaded into the Vertiv Partner Portal monthly, and the partner only needs to log in to redeem them.
For more information about Vertiv and its channel portfolio, visit Vertiv.com (https://bit.ly/3ttnOjY).
Click on “Partners” and “Apply Now” to take full advantage of what Vertiv has to offer.
The Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Awards Competition (www.AfricaBusinessHeroes.org), the flagship philanthropic program established by the Jack Ma Foundation to spotlight and support African entrepreneurs, has announced the 20 finalists (https://bit.ly /3AFn67Q) for its 2022 edition.
Now in its fourth edition, ABH is a pan-African competition that recognizes and celebrates entrepreneurial talent across the continent.
It offers participants the opportunity to win a portion of a US$1.5 million grant to fund their businesses, as well as invaluable access to training, mentorship, networking opportunities and other benefits.
The aim is to contribute to the growth of promising African startups, entrepreneurs and budding small businesses.
The 20 finalists have been selected from a pool of 21,000 applicants from a wide variety of industries including agriculture, education and training, health care, energy, information and communication technology (ICT), retail, consulting, manufacturing, financial services and environmental protection.
They are evenly distributed geographically between the west (30%), the east (25%), the south (25%), as well as the north and center (20%), with the companies operating mainly in 11 African countries, including Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt and Ethiopia.
, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania.
Female entrants make up half of the top 20 finalists.
“The top 20 finalists in this year's ABH Awards competition show the great potential and talent that exists in Africa.
We look forward to providing them with the support they need to grow and make a positive impact in both their businesses and the communities they serve,” said Zahra Baitie-Boateng, director of partnerships and programs for Africa's Business Heroes.
"We wish everyone the best of luck this October."
Over the next month, the top heroes will undergo a rigorous due diligence process that will be combined with their scores from round two and determine the top 15 heroes.
The top 15 finishers will advance to the semi-final round of the competition, which will take place in Kigali, Rwanda on September 30, 2022 for the first in-person semi-final since 2019!
The official slogan of this year's competition, "It's African Time", is a bold call to action for all the talented African entrepreneurs who are challenging the stereotypes associated with "African time" - creating local impact and building a future.
better and more inclusive through their businesses.
For more information on the 2022 ABH Awards Competition Top 20 Finalists, please visit the official ABH website (https://bit.ly/3T533Xx).
Follow ABH on Twitter (https://bit.ly/3TadUQ3), LinkedIn (https://bit.ly/3pDblIs), Instagram (https://bit.ly/3Adul5o) or Facebook (https://bit.
ly/3A64Xyo) to join these dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs as they prepare for the next round of judging and the Grand Final.
The 2022 ABH Awards Competition Top 20 Finalists are (in geographical order): Melissa Tafila, Conexus Proprietary Limited, Botswana Flavien Kouatcha Simo (https://bit.ly/3QYtbBt), Save Our Agriculture Sarl, Cameroon Amena Elsaie ( https:/ /bit.ly/3AdD2wt), Helm, Egypt Nadia Gamal El Din (https://bit.ly/3pU6UJL), Rahet Bally, Egypt Ayman Bazaraa (https://bit.ly/3wlhzkf), Sprints, Egypt Amadou Daffe (https://bit.ly/3wkCl3g), Gebeya Inc, Ethiopia Prince Agbata (https://bit.ly/3Cruwg2), Coliba Waste Management Services Limited, Ghana Tesh Mbaabu (https://bit.ly /3R4bMaK) , MarketForce Technologies, Kenya Oluwatomi Solanke (https://bit.ly/3QYtKez), Trove Finance, Nigeria Okey Esse (https://bit.ly/3K8WfnH), Powerstove Energy, Nigeria Abimbola Adebakin (https:/ /bit.ly/3QVEL00), my-Medicines Pan African Limited, Nigeria Rahmah Aderinoye (https://bit.ly/3whFJMk), Rashak Farms and Agro Allied Limited, Nigeria Tunde Adeyemi (https://bit.ly/3CoRGnk ), D-Olivette Global Enterprise , Nigeria Francine Munya neza (https://bit.ly/3dNSKHd), MUNYAX ECO, Rwanda Dr. Sadiyo Siad (https://bit.ly/3PIon25), Hano Academy, Somalia Shona Mcdonald (https://bit.
ly/3R5Enwh), Shonaquip Social Enterprise, South Africa Elmarie Pereira (https://bit.ly/3T8wiZh), Memeza Shout (PTY) Ltd, South Africa Matsotso Vuso (https://bit.ly/3wmyR0i), Nyamezela Metering, South Africa Shaarad 'Sha' Maharaj (https://bit.ly/3A8FKTY), TradeBRICS Pty Ltd, South Africa Elia Timotheo (https://bit.ly/3wnL1pL), East Africa Fruits Co., Tanzania
Vertiv (https://bit.ly/3O4EtCq) (NYSE: VRT), a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and business continuity solutions, has been selected by Keele University (https://www.keele.ac.uk /) in Staffordshire, UK, to supply a highly energy-efficient Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and battery backup. The new solutions replace aging equipment in its data centers, and Vertiv expects to play a significant role in the University's institution-wide decarbonization strategy.
Keele University is a long-time Vertiv customer, and the relationship was recognized by industry experts as part of the 2022 DCS Awards (https://bit.ly/3nV8MRo), where the partnership was honored as Project Sustainability Award for the Data Center of the Year. With this new agreement, Vertiv will replace the University's old UPS with a new space-saving, efficient and scalable solution. Vertiv will also provide a modular battery solution to help keep power supplies stable during outages and out-of-spec power input, enabling efficient management of renewable energy produced on site.
Over the past six years, Keele University has invested over £1.2m to reduce its carbon emissions and has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. As well as hosting the UK's first test of blending hydrogen into a gas grid and testing new smart energy technologies, the University is now producing its own renewable energy on-site, thanks to solar and wind farms that feed power into a campus mini-grid. From a power distribution perspective, the campus functions like a small town. Keele University's need was to minimize losses as power is transferred from the grid to the UPS and IT load, and to benefit from a new generation of batteries.
As part of a plan to modernize the University's two data centers, the Keele team will take advantage of the Vertiv™ Liebert® APM UPS (https://bit.ly/3AJHVPK) with a capacity of 400 kVA in an N+ configuration 1. The new UPS provides a reliable double-conversion power topology that uses an innovative transformerless design, resulting in power efficiencies of 96% that can be improved to 99% with ECO mode operation. Importantly, the new UPS offers more capacity in a smaller footprint, and each of the new units uses a modular, scalable configuration with auxiliary cabinets designed to save space and cost compared to previous configurations.
Vertiv will also replace a bank of aging outdoor lead-acid batteries with modern rack-based, self-contained battery cabinets. New battery modules can be added or replaced without interruption or risk to connected equipment, when the UPS is not running on battery. Each battery module has monitoring and controls that isolate it in the event of a battery failure. Battery strings are connected in parallel to provide backup time and/or redundancy.
Alex Goffe, Associate Director of Operations and Infrastructure at Keele University, commented: “It is no exaggeration to say that our partnership with Vertiv is mission critical for the University. Sustainability is built into everything we do at Keele, and the new UPS and battery modules will play a crucial role in helping us meet our energy-saving ambitions. They will also help enable business continuity throughout the institution.
“The scalable nature of the new UPS gives us a high degree of flexibility. If there is a need for future growth, we can add power modules to the frame to expand the power capacity of the system.”
Alex Brew, Vertiv UK & Ireland Country Manager, commented: "By leveraging our digital infrastructure solutions, Keele University can continue to be at the forefront when it comes to energy efficiency. Keele is already a customer. value of Vertiv, and we are delighted to assist the institution as it continues its journey to realize its ambitious data center plans and institution-wide decarbonization strategy."
To learn more about Vertiv's work with Keele University, please read the case study at this link (https://bit.ly/3uKROc2).
The Kaduna State Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), a World Bank-supported project, is set to disburse cash transfer to 8,475 girls as incentives to promote girl-child school enrolment, retention, and completion.
The Project Coordinator, Mrs Maryam Dangaji, stated this in Kaduna at the inauguration of ECO Clubs in 10 pilot public schools as part of activities to commemorate 2022 World Environment Day.
Dangaji said that the goal was to support girls prevented from attending schools due to hawking and other commercial activities at home.
She said that 8,475 beneficiaries were drawn from 13 Local Government Areas of the state with high poverty rate and low transition rate in school.
She explained that the amount ranged from N,5000 to N10,000 which would be given to the parents or caregiver of a benefiting girl child.
She said that N5,000 would be given to the caregiver upon the girl’s registration into the programme at the end of primary six and at the end of Junior Secondary School 3 (JSS 3), disburse every term.
She added that the beneficiaries would receive N10,000 upon transition to JSS 1 or Senior Secondary School 1.
The project coordinator said that the payment was subject to the condition that a beneficiary enrolled, remained in school, and attained 80 per cent attendance.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Project Implementation Manual (PIM) shows that a total of 34,124 girls are expected to benefit in the cash programme in the state.
The PIM is projected that four cohorts of girls transitioning from primary six to secondary and three cohorts of girls transitioning from JSS 3 to Senior Secondary School 1 will be covered throughout the project.
She said that the support would enable parents to allow such girls to enrol in school, remain in school, complete secondary school education, and become useful to themselves, their family, and their community.
The project coordinator said that the objective of the AGILE project was to help improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted communities in participating states
“The cash transfer support was based on the observation that many girls do not transit from primary to junior secondary school or from junior secondary schools to senior secondary school, largely due to poverty.
“This subcomponent of the project is designed to reduce direct and indirect costs related to girls’ school enrolment, attendance, and completion.
“The support will alleviate the financial burden households face in sending their girls to school,” she said.
Dangaji had explained earlier that the ECO clubs, named Kaduna AGILE ECO Club, was part of AGILE’s ‘catch them young’ strategy, to make students better informed on environment conservation.
According to her, the ECO Clubs are established to inculcate the culture of tree planting, love, protection, and care for the environment among students, particularly schoolgirls. (
Mr Jean-Claude Brou, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, has said that the community has resumed convergence to launch of the ECOWAS single currency “ECO” in 2027.
Brou made this known on Tuesday while delivering reports of the ECOWAS Commission before the ECOWAS Parliament during the ongoing 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Parliament in Abuja.
Brou said that the process of launching the single currency was stalled following the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic from 2020, as countries needed to focus on handling the pandemic.
He explained that the convergence criteria had to be thorough so that the currency once implemented will serve the citizens effectively.
“We had to suspend that in 2022, 2021. We are looking at 2022 to 2026 to be able to create conditions that will enable us to stabilise the economies.
“And so, 2027 we go back to the currency. The process of the performance criteria is always prioritised if we want to be in a very favorable condition to introduce the single currency.
“Because you can introduce the currency but what is required is that it should be of quality.
“In other words, it should serve the needs of the population and also should inspire confidence and trust in in the population.
“So that is the main objective, to ensure that the convergence criteria is been followed,” Brou said.
Rep. Awaji Abiante, Member of the ECOWAS Parliament and Nigerian lawmaker representing Andoni- Federal Constituency of Rivers, said that the delay in the launch of the currency is to avoid any form of crisis.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline of the session, Abiante said that the single currency is work in progress and there is hope that sometimes it will work.
“Every good thing comes with its challenges so getting the economies of the 15 member states to agree on that transaction and how it can be moved forward.
“If it is hurried, definitely it could run into crisis so it is good to have every aspect of it discussed, agreement reached, such that it will be implementable,” Abiante said.
On the sustainability and benefits of the currency, Abiante said that until it is implemented, one cannot say how viable it would be.
“Whatever anybody says, it is just going to be mere projections, it is only when it is implemented that you will see the benefits.
“But simply put, it will ease transactions, it will open up the economies, it will make it freeer for people to engage in both commercial and industrial activities,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in June 2019, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States and Government committed to having a single currency and adopted the name “ECO” during its Extraordinary Session in Abuja.
The currency was expected to be launched in 2020. (
The Federal Government says it has set a target to rehabilitate about 22,000 km square of degraded land and improve livelihood of over 20 million Nigerians in 2030.
The Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, said this on Monday, in Abuja at a Capacity Training Workshop on Opportunity Mapping for Improved Decision Making and Monitoring of Great Green Wall (GGW) Projects.
The programme, which was designed to improve International Best Practices for Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (ECO DRR), was organised by the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme.
The minister was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of the ministry, Mr Stanley Jonah.
Abdullahi said that the programme focused on 11 states most affected by desertification, adding that the states constitute about 35 per cent of the country’s total land area.
“The NAGGW has already engaged in baseline studies and Environmental Impact Assessments; community mobilisation, and awareness campaign; afforestation and land management; promotion of alternative livelihood, rural infrastructure, and employment generation.
“The ongoing programme includes ecological restoration and rehabilitation to enhance the livelihoods of the affected communities and strengthen their resilience to climate change.
“The programme also involves, promotion of climate smart agricultural practices to enhance food security and climate change adaptation; improvement of critical rural infrastructure for enhanced socioeconomic development, among others,’’ he said.
The minister said that the Federal Government was taking positive steps to mitigate the risks on climate emergency, food security, biodiversity and pollution as much as possible within the resources available.
He said that the programme was aimed at restoration and sustainable management of land in the Sahel-Saharan region to addressing land degradation and poverty.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Yusuf Maina-Bukar, said that the agency had restored degraded lands by establishing 389.46 kilometers of shelterbelt.
Maina-Bukar was represented by the Acting Director, Planning Policy Coordinator of the agency, Mrs Habiba Ibrahim.
“The agency targets to rehabilitate degraded land by establishing 13,000 km of shelterbelt, 250,000 hectares of woodlots, and 250,000 hectares of community orchards among the affected states.
“This is to boost agricultural production and to improve the livelihoods of about 20 million people by 2030.
“The agency has restored degraded lands by establishing 389.46 km of shelterbelt, 264.7 hectares of woodlots and 250.5 hectares of community orchards.
“The NAGGW has also trained about 500 farmers on farm natural regeneration projects and many more activities that impact the lives of those communities,’’ he said.
Maina-Bukar said that the agency`s aspirations were to curtail the menace of desertification and land degradation which was a major threat to Nigeria’s drylands and the Sub Sahelian region in Africa.
He said that the agency combat land degradation and desertification effectively to protect and restore ecosystems, adding that the effort was to reduce poverty and enhance food security.
He mentioned some of the challenges faced by the agency as insecurity, vandalism of field investments, poor community participation, lack of financial support from states and weak institutional capacity at all levels.
The Senior Advisor, Disaster Risk Reduction, UNEP Country Representative, Dr Karen Sud-Rieux said that the UNEP would continue to work with the agency to provide technical assistance on opportunity mapping and other activities.
“The UNEP will continue to support the agency to ensure that degraded lands are restored, by setting up various programmes to improve the agency in the capacity building,” Sud-Rieux said.
Also, Dr Oluseyi Fabiyi, from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said that the FAO had contributed a lot in expanding African GGW projects.
“Some of the challenges faced in the restoration of degraded lands is that some areas are sandy and rocky, and such areas cannot be restored because the nature of the areas,’’ he said.
By Ibironke Ariyo
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) agents arrested a suspected bogus soldier, Hayatu Galadima and his accomplice, Hamisu Adamu.
They were in possession of hard drugs, ammunition and communications equipment suspected of being used by bandits in Kaduna State.
NDLEA Media and Advocacy Director Femi Babafemi said in a statement issued Sunday in Abuja that the duo were arrested around Gwagwalada, on the outskirts of Abuja, on Thursday, September 30.
He said the items recovered from them included 21 7.45mm RLA ammunition concealed in a water bottle; 16 packs of new two-way radios (walkie-talkie); four masks in the colors of the army and a wallet containing an army identity card.
Babafemi added that the duo also found ATM cards issued by FCMB, First Bank, ECO bank, UBA, Skye Bank and a US dollar.
Indian hemp, tramadol tablets, three MTN SIM card packs, two 9mobiles and an Airtel and an iPhone 12 pro mobile phone were also collected from them.
“Others include a Samsung A31, a Nokia phone, seven Nigerian military ID letters, five handbags and a 'Bagco' bag containing personal effects, as well as a gallon of palm oil.
"One of the suspects, Galadima, claimed to be an army Lance Corporal serving in Ibadan, and that they were taking the exhibits to Kaduna and Kano," Babafemi said.
He said the preliminary investigation indicated that the suspects may have contact with bandits in the northwest of the country.
He said the suspects may have been transferring the ammunition and two-way radios to bandits who were currently excommunicated due to the suspension of telecommunications services in Zamfara, Sokoto and Kaduna states.
He quoted the NDLEA president, the retired brigadier general. Buba Marwa, ordering the FCT command of the agency that made the arrest, to transfer the suspects to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.
This, he said, included the Nigerian military and another intelligence agency that had previously placed the two men on their watch list, for further investigation.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to ECOWAS leaders not to elongate their tenure in office beyond constitutional limits.
Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja said Buhari made the appeal while presenting Nigeria’s General Statement at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic on Monday.
The Nigerian leader urged his colleagues to respect constitutional provisions and ensure free and fair elections.
He said: “It is important that as leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits.
“This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.
“As it is, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic matters to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot therefore afford another political crisis, in the guise of tenure elongation.
“I urge us all to resist the temptation of seeking to perpetuate ourselves in power beyond the constitutional provisions.
“I commend those in our midst that have resisted such temptations, for they will be deemed exceptional role models in their respective countries and the sub-region as a whole.
“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law.”
On the political situation in Mali, Buhari described it as serious concern to ECOWAS.
He commended President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and out-going Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and the Leadership of the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the Chief Mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, “for effectively demonstrating commitment in handling the political situation in that country.”
“Nigeria remains resolutely committed to ECOWAS decision for a civilian-led Transition Government not exceeding 12 months.
“This is important because of the circumstances surrounding Mali where violent non-state actors and other negative tendencies reside and who can take advantage of the unstable political situation to overrun the country, thereby plunging it into greater danger that will affect the political stability of the whole sub-region.
“While Nigeria understands the current political realities in Mali, the sub-region’s commitment to the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, must never be compromised.
“An early return to democratic governance which is transparent and civilian-led, will commend itself for Nigeria’s support for progressive relaxation of sanctions against Mali,” he said.
On security, the Nigerian leader noted that terrorism had continued to be the greatest security threat in the sub-region, complicating other national security challenges.
Buhari, therefore, stressed the need for the sub-region to collaborate more by working hand in hand with each other, to combat the root causes of the different security-related manifestations in their respective countries.
“Nigeria is concerned with the rapidity at which terrorist groups in the Sahel and West Africa are working together against all of us.
“We must urgently review these ugly developments to guarantee the safety and survival of our sub-region.
“Our national security apparatus and the relevant Units of ECOWAS must urgently be seized with these unfolding events across our sub-region and act decisively on the emergence of early warning signs,” he said.
While dwelling on the long-standing single currency issue for the sub-region, the president said: “Nigeria remains committed to the implementation of the action plan towards the actualization of the monetary union and single currency programme of ECOWAS.’’
He called on member states to show support to the resolution of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS on this matter.
The president said the member states must remain collectively focused and resolute in working to achieve the objectives of the ECOWAS monetary union as a project for the sub-region.
“Cognisant of the likelihood that many ECOWAS member states may not meet the convergence criteria over the next few years due to the impact of COVID-19 on our economies and which as a consequence, will affect the take-off date of the single currency.
“Notwithstanding this envisaged delay, we must remain collectively focused and resolute in working to achieve the objectives of the ECOWAS monetary union as a project for the sub-region,” he added.
While insisting that the premature adoption of the “ECO” has unnecessarily heightened disaffection and mistrust among members of the emerging monetary union, Buhari encouraged “UEMOA (French acronym for the West African Economic and Monetary Union) to return to the roadmap on the common currency in the sub-region.”
He also urged all stakeholders to “bear in mind that those economic convergence criteria must be based on sound and sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals.”
He noted that some key unresolved issues still remained such as delinking the CFA franc of the UEMOA from the Euro; whether the UEMOA countries join as a bloc or individual countries; design of the exchange rate mechanism; Stabilization Fund; policy harmonization and exit strategy and reserve pooling among others,
The Nigerian leader called on his colleagues to provide “African solutions to African problems.”
Buhari maintained that foreign interference and so-called advice may not be in the best sub-regional interest.
He stressed the need for “UEMOA to return to the agreed roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency by complying with the established framework under the roadmap and cooperate with other member countries in achieving the objectives of the programme.”
The president observed that the Summit was holding “under a very complex health pandemic, whose impact on the global health and economy has so far been devastating.”
He said, “like the rest of the world, our sub-region is witnessing economic downturn with negative growth that is headed towards deep recession and the outlook continues to be uncertain.”
Buhari, therefore, charged his colleagues on the need to continue to work in concert with each other on several fronts to ease the negative effects of the pandemic.
“We need to demonstrate our collective resolve to harness the opportunities that come with COVID-19, despite its overwhelming negative impact on lives and livelihoods.”
The Nigerian President, who is the ECOWAS Champion charged with mobilising and coordinating the efforts against the pandemic, admitted that the “outlook for our sub-region with COVID-19 hovering over us is gloomy indeed.”
He, however, expressed confidence that “where there are challenges, opportunities are also available to be seized upon through greater collaboration with each other.”
“We must pool our resources together in unity to save our generation and generations to come from multiple challenges, including COVID-19 and related health issues.
“We need to redouble our efforts in preparing our national economies to withstand impending shocks against prospective multi-sector challenges that await us in the sub-region,” he declared.
While acknowledging that it is no easy task, Buhari appealed to fellow leaders to “embrace our collective vision for the future with greater determination and innovative thinking and creativity.”
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
The group made the call in a statement jointly signed by Dr Ken Ukaoha, President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and Dr Cheikh Tidiane, Executive Director, African Centre for Trade, Integration and Development (CACID) after a virtual meeting.
More than 300 organisations in West Africa comprising private sector actors, civil society groups, trade unions, youth, women, political and religious associations made up the group.
The coalition also called for sustainable integration of member states and appealed to national governments in the sub-region to rescue the area from climate change, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and food insecurity facing the 15-member states.
According to the coalition, its representatives are on their way to Niger Republic to officially hand over the outcome of their meeting to the Authority of Heads of State and Governments at its Sept. 7 summit holding in Niamey.
“The group is demanding for, among other things, caution over being manipulated by ‘external and unseen hands’ in the conduct of the affairs of the region including insurgency/terrorism and the ECO common currency.
“It also emphasises the need to refrain from heavy burden of economic sanction on the already economically depressed people of Mali, but to ensure the popular voice of citizens prevails under their current political situation.
“It equally frowns at the bogus number of political appointees with President, Vice President and 15 commissioners with paraphernalia of office which are huge “budget eaters” that end up leaving the ECOWAS Commission with no funds for regional infrastructure and other development projects.
“It urges the Heads of State to learn from the African Union by reducing the number of these political heads to five, constituting of President, three Vice Presidents and an Auditor-General, recruited through a competitive process among the Member States on a rotational basis.
“This is save funds out of the available meagre resources to give way to projects that would benefit the Community Citizens, especially in the face of the nagging coronavirus pandemic which has shrunk national and Regional budgets,’’ he said.
It called for prompt consideration and actions that would lead to sustaining and moving ECOWAS forward, learning from the lessons of Vision 2020 poor implementation.
The group urged the authorities to be motivated to resolutely address the current nagging issues of the day in order to build a strong and resilient ECOWAS capable of facing the multifaceted challenges.
According to the coalition, urgent action is needed in order to sustain some important milestones and progress already made, such as the Common Passport, the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card, among others, which citizens still proudly display.Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
The Kwara Government has launched an Eco Clean Project as part of efforts to ensure that the state achieved Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Ahman-Patigi, flagged off the project on Sunday at the palace of the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye ll.
According to her, in line with the mandate of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the project will help the state achieve goals 3, 6, and 13 of the SDGs.
Ahman-Patigi explained that the project would create job opportunities for rural dwellers who would be employed as cleaners to implement the project.
She said the focus of the initiative would be on the 13 Local Government Areas of the state that were outside of Ilorin.
“We are currently faced with the problem of COVID-19 and emphasis has been on cleanliness.
“There is no better time to flag off a programme like this,” she added.
The commissioner emphasised that the governor had given them marching orders to get all local government areas of the state, cleared and also promised to support all efforts to that effect.
The State Commissioner for Enterprise, Mr Agbaje Femi, also expressed appreciation to the team, particularly his colleague for local government and chieftaincy affairs for deeming Offa local government area worthy of launching the project.
“We want each local government area to be responsible for their environment. We want to take cleanliness to the grassroots.
“The scheme will also empower people at the local level,” Femi noted.
Responding, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, thanked the government for listening to the people of Offa.
The monarch emphasised the need for a clean environment across all levels.
He said that government should make provisions for the waste collection so that the refuse collected won’t find its way back into the surroundings.
He advised the newly employed cleaners to be dutiful and see the task as an opportunity to serve.
He prayed for the success of this administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event featured the presentation of the Kwara Eco Clean Initiative Jackets, face masks and working tools to the monarch by the commissioner.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)