The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Tanzania, Mrs Regine Hess, today presented her letter of credence to the Secretary General of the EAC Secretariat, Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko, to be accredited as the new German Ambassador to the EAC.
Mrs Hess had previously held diplomatic positions in the EAC Partner States of Uganda and Kenya and was accredited to the United Republic of Tanzania on 14th January, 2020. She is the first female German Ambassador to be accredited to the EAC.
The EAC and Germany have enjoyed long-standing and close relations, their joint development cooperation going back two decades. Commitments from the German Government to the EAC have to date mounted to over EUR 470 mill. (approximately US$508 million). The joint cooperation focuses on the areas of economic and social integration as well a health.
Receiving the German Ambassador, EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko hailed the strong relations between the Community and Germany noting that Germany had provided generous technical and financial support to the EAC for decades.
‘’We have truly benefited from the German support which has catalyzed other Development Partners to support our projects and programmes,“ said the Secretary General.
Amb. Mfumukeko informed the Germany Ambassodor of the significant progress made by the EAC in the four pillars of integration namely the Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation, adding that the Community had made great strides in the four pillars due to political goodwill by the leaders of the Partner States.
On her part, the German Ambassador emphasized the importance of Germany’s support to the EAC Secretariat:
“Germany is a staunch believer in regional integration. We are convinced that further regional integration amongst the six EAC Partner States will be of great socio-economic and political benefit. The German Government remains committed in supporting the EAC Secretariat in the future,” said Mrs Hess.
Also in attendance at the meeting were the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Steven Mlote, and EAC Principal Internatinal Relations Officer, Ms Suma Mwakyusa. Accompanying the German envoy was Ms. Norzin Grigoleit-Dagyab, First Secretary and Head of Regional Cooperation (EAC) at the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Standard Chartered (www.SC.com) has today announced new business targets for supporting its clients as they transition to a low carbon economy as part of its Sustainability Aspirations. By the end of 2024, the Bank commits to:
Underpinning the aspirations, Standard Chartered also intends to reduce its emissions across its global properties by 2030. With an office footprint spanning 60 countries, including many large emerging markets, the Bank will achieve net zero emissions by only sourcing energy from renewable sources and continuing to pursue energy efficiency measures across its 12 million square feet of property.
Tracey McDermott, Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, commented: “Over the past 18 months, we have made a series of commitments which are all geared towards supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the transition to a cleaner, greener, fairer economy. We know that the investment required cannot be provided by governments and NGOs alone, so it is critical that investors embrace the Sustainable Development Goals at pace and scale.
“Our unique footprint means we are well placed to help get finance to where it matters most. That is why, as well as ceasing support for clients who generate more than 10% of earnings from thermal coal by 2030, we also have a renewed target for financing and facilitating USD35 billion of clean technology and renewables, and USD40 billion of sustainable infrastructure.”
Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO for Standard Chartered, Africa and the Middle East, said: “It is estimated that emerging markets need an annual USD2.5 trillion investment to meet the SDG targets by 2030. A bulk of this investment will need to be focused on Africa and the Middle East, which is home to some of the key sustainable development opportunities. The financing gap in Arab countries has been estimated to be over USD 100 billion annually , whilst in Africa this figure stands between USD 500 billion and USD 1.2 trillion . For the goals to be met by 2030, investors and banks need to coordinate and connect capital to promote sustainable development.”
“With our unique footprint into emerging and developing markets, we can use our banking knowledge, people, and products to catalyse capital to where it matters most for SDG financing. The Africa and Middle East region is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, though we also face some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues. Our ability to solve for the issues here will have tremendous impact on our 2030 ambition to meet global SDGs.”
Standard Chartered has a broad range of sustainable finance product offerings that can be deployed to help clients pivot their business towards a more sustainable model. In October 2018, it created the Sustainable Finance team and has since launched sustainable deposit products in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York; plus, a EUR500 million Sustainability Bond, the proceeds of which will be used to provide finance in areas aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals – including clean energy projects, smaller business lending and microfinance loans.
 The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) (http://bit.ly/2P3ThWf)
 Brookings Institute (https://brook.gs/2vMfIZa)
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has urged young innovative Nigerians to monetise social media data to turn them into fortune for themselves.
Pantami spoke at the 29th Convocation Lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Minna.
He said the possibility of extracting valuable insights from data presented an interesting prospect for embracing datafication, adding that in many cases those data mines could become a gold mine of resources.
He explained that “Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook are modern day examples of those who have been able to mine data and transform the insights into fortune.”
The Minister added that another unlikely example was the famous footballer known as Christiano Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo has mastered the art of monetising social media data even more than he has monetised his skills on the soccer field.
“He makes an estimated 47.8million dollars (about 43.4milliin EUR) per year from paid-Instagram posts, which far exceeds his 31million EUR annual salary from Juventus,” he said.
The Minister spoke on the theme: “Datafication of society: Economic and Security Issues in Producing and Using Public and Private Data in Nigeria”.
Pantami noted that datafication of objects transformed their purpose and turned the information into new forms of value.
He, however, said that with the ubiquity of sensors and Internet-of-Things (IOT), basically everything could be converted into data.
According to him, from the sensors that count your steps and track your health vitals to those that monitor air pollution, assess the radiation from cell sites, detect cracks on roads, and predict crop yield the list of possibilities that sensors and datafication provide are endless.
Listing the perils of big data, the Minister quoted a six-month study by an Enterprise Security company called Proofpoint, which was released in March 2019.
He noted, from the study, that over 70 per cent of some major cloud service tenants had experienced the perils of data breaches at least once.
Also 40 per cent of the data subjects acknowledged that their accounts were compromised.
“In Nigeria, we are developing and implementing policies, standards, guidelines and frameworks that will enable us to enjoy the prospects of datafication while also protecting ourselves against the perils.”
In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, disclosed that Nigeria is one of the countries with the lowest data prices.
Danbatta recalled that a presentation was made by the Commission to the ministry in order to show consistency to hit the benchmark of the day on ferrying a megabyte of data in the country.
“When the study is completed and subjected to the usual stakeholder engagement with critical stakeholders in the industry we have to come up with two things, which are price flow and price count.
“The telecommunications companies will be allowed to choose a price for data subject to the approval of the NCC,” he said.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
The dollar held at a near three-week high on Tuesday as investors sought the relative safety of the U.S. currency after the International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for the world economy in 2019 and 2020.
The dollar has been considered a consensus short trade since the end of 2018 on concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pause in its interest rate increases.
But it has been boosted in recent days by lack of growth in other regions, notably Europe.
“We still think the dollar’s gains may be overdone and the European Central Bank might offer some guidance later this week on when it will start to tighten monetary policy,” said Manuel Oliveri, a currency strategist at Credit Agricole in London.
Market watchers say the dollar may also come under pressure as the U.S. government shutdown begins to weigh on domestic growth.
Morgan Stanley strategists believe that U.S. growth in the first quarter is likely to fall below their forecast of an annual 2.2 per cent, about half the 4.2 per cent growth in 2018.
The IMF cut its growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 because of weakness in Europe and some emerging markets.
It also said failure to resolve trade tensions could further destabilise the global economy.
On Monday, the dollar .DXY rose to 96.472, its highest level since Jan. 4, and up more than 1.5 per cent from a three-month low earlier this month.
The euro EUR=EBS struggled near a three-week low of $1.1361, down nearly two per cent over the past two weeks from near $1.16 levels.
The dollar strengthened 0.3 per cent versus the offshore yuan CNH=D3 to 6.8157. It has gained around one per cent over the offshore yuan in the past seven sessions.
The yen JPY=EBS, another safe-haven currency, was steady against the dollar, fetching 109.64 in early trade.
The Bank of Japan is expected to leave policy unchanged at its Jan. 22 to Jan. 23 meeting. Analysts expect monetary policy to remain accommodative in Japan this year.
“The slowing global economy and depressed oil prices are expected to force the BoJ to revise down its outlook for economic growth and inflation,” said Osamu Takashima, currency strategist at Citibank in a note.
Edited by: Donald Ugwu
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday denied allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s PhD thesis was ghostwritten for him by the rector of the St. Petersburg Mining University, Vladimir Litvinenko.
On Monday, Litvinenko’s daughter alleged that her father wrote the paper.
“There is nothing to comment on. This is not true. And if you look closely at her statements, they, in fact, are not, let’s just say, completely affirmative in nature and abound with various subjunctive moods,” Peskov told reporters.
NAN reports that on Monday, Olga, alleged that after becoming rector in 1994, her father “organized an illegal business, i.e. writing diploma theses.
The asking price for dissertations that were sure to see buyers awarded doctorates began at EUR 30,000, Poland’s niezalezna.pl website reported.
She claimed that many highly placed officials bought such diplomas, including former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.
Olga left Russia seven years ago after a conflict with her father.
She currently lives in Poland, according to Radio Liberty.
Olga alleged that her father personally wrote Putin’s dissertation.
According to Olga, her father wrote Putin’s dissertation for free, after Putin helped him to be appointed rector.
Vladimir Litvinenko was in 2017 listed in 122nd place in a ranking of the 200 richest businessmen in Russia, according to Forbes magazine.
Putin defended his PhD in economics in 1997, the niezalezna.pl website reported.