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  •  Nigerian organisation wins UNFPA award
    Nigerian organisation wins UNFPA award
     Nigerian organisation wins UNFPA award
    Nigerian organisation wins UNFPA award
    Foreign2 weeks ago

    Nigerian organisation wins UNFPA award

    A Nigerian-based organisation, Hillspring Diagnostics, has won the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) global innovation award for one of the 10 projects that will advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

    The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that UNFPA announced the 10 winners to its first ever Joint Innovation Challenge on Thursday.

    Joint Innovation Challenge is a cutting-edge competition to provide funding for social enterprises with innovative solutions that advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

    Speaking on the award at a news conference in New York, UN spokesman, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, said 10 organisations that won the award are headed by women.

    Dujarric said Hillspring Diagnostics from Nigeria came up with a revolutionary method for detecting ectopic pregnancy, a condition which can have dangerous consequences including death of the mother and baby if not diagnosed and treated in time.

    According to him, organisations headed by women from other nine countries of Costa Rica, Armenia, Mongolia, Uganda, Turkey, Colombia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Cameroon were honoured.

    Dujarric said the winners pitched a range of innovations – from a portable diagnostic system for pre-eclampsia to a board game that shares information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

    “The 10 winners each received 60,000 dollars which will allow these organisations to move from pilot stage to scale,’’ he said.

    The challenge was financed by UNFPA’s Equaliser Accelerator Fund, and implemented in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Trade Centre.

    Entrants were given the incentive of a cash prize which would allow them to expand their ideas from the test stage, to full production, for the potential benefit of millions around the world.

    The challenge received further funding from the Governments of Luxembourg, Finland, and Denmark.

    Launched in 2021, UNFPA’s Fund provides equity-free investments in social enterprises that are led or co-led by women, and can show evidence of the impact they will have.

    Reacting to the award, Dr Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director said, in relation to the competition, “creative thinking and innovative solutions are key to accelerate progress for women and girls around the world.

    ” According to her, the 2022 challenge is awarding 10 women-helmed organisations from five different regions globally.

    Initially, a panel of experts received 300 submissions from 61 countries.

    After 20 finalists pitched their innovative ideas to the panel, the eventual 10 winners then signed nine-month contracts with UNFPA and will be receiving an equity-free investment of 60,000 dollars.

    The funding will allow winning organisations to transition away from the pilot stage, and begin manufacturing at scale.

    UNFPA and its partners will also support the social enterprises with targeted mentorship, training opportunities, interactive workshops, and unique access to the global UN network.

    The winning ideas varied in function, but were united in ingenuity, said the agency.

    Other winners from Africa are the Global Pre-Eclampsia Initiative from, Uganda; Urukundo Initiative, Rwanda and Women in Entrepreneurship and Technology (WETECH), Cameroon.

    (
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  AfDB SEC sign 460 000 pact to deploy surveillance system in capital market
    AfDB, SEC sign 0,000 pact to deploy surveillance system in capital market
     AfDB SEC sign 460 000 pact to deploy surveillance system in capital market
    AfDB, SEC sign 0,000 pact to deploy surveillance system in capital market
    Economy1 month ago

    AfDB, SEC sign $460,000 pact to deploy surveillance system in capital market

    The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have signed 460,000 dollars agreement to support the acquisition, installation and deployment of an automated surveillance system to protect the capital market.

    Mr Lamin Barrow, the Director-General, Nigeria Country Department of the AfDB Group, said the grant was aimed at preserving and protecting the securities market integrity and boosting investors’ confidence.

    Barrow said the surveillance system would also enhance SEC’s regulatory and supervisory oversight on securities trading in the country.

    He said the implementation time-frame for the project would be two years.

    Barrow disclosed that the total cost of the project was slightly less than one million dollars, saying that the bulk money which would be over 500,000 dollars would be contributed by SEC.

    He said the grant was from the Capital Markets Development Trust Fund (CMDTF), a multi-donor trust fund administered by the AfDB and supported by the Ministry of Finance of Luxembourg and Ministry of Foreign Trade and Cooperation of the Netherlands.

    According to him, the introduction of a surveillance system will enhance oversight securities trading across all existing and future trading platforms.

    ”Today’s ceremony marks yet another important milestone in our partnership and efforts to modernise Nigeria’s capital markets.

    ”It will also ensure that the market is well positioned to support economic transformation driven by private sector investment.

    ”The introduction of a surveillance system will enhance oversight over securities trading across all existing and future trading platforms and all tradable securities and products by the SEC.

    ”It will therefore preserve securities market integrity, boost investor confidence and enhance financial inclusion, among other expected outcomes,” he said.

    Barrow said the Bank’s support for the project was derived from the Federal Government’s efforts to promote development of a competitive and liquid capital market supported by an enabling regulatory environment.

    Mr Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of the SEC, commended the AfDB for providing the grant support to execute the surveillance system project.

    Yuguda said a market surveillance system was required to aid SEC in detecting and addressing market abuses as quickly and efficiently as possible to prevent infractions.

    He said that an automated market surveillance tool would enhance the Commission’s role in investor protection and ensure a transparent, fair and orderly market to reduce systemic risks.

    Yuguda said the surveillance solution would also aid an increased impact on the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) through the capital market’s role in the efficient intermediation and allocation of capital to the real economy.

    ”The solution will aid creation of jobs, encourage savings and facilitate wealth creation as well as Increased investment in the economy through Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

    ”Your support and our collaboration underscore the Commission’s and the Bank’s mutual goal to grow the capital market and create viable avenues for sustainable economic growth for the country,” Yuguda said.

    Mr Ahmed Attout, the Manager, Capital Market Development of AfDB Group, said the implementation of the surveillance system project was expected to commence immediately.

    GINI

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Bulgaria has EU s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021 Eurostat Says
    Bulgaria has EU’s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021, Eurostat Says
     Bulgaria has EU s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021 Eurostat Says
    Bulgaria has EU’s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021, Eurostat Says
    Foreign2 months ago

    Bulgaria has EU’s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021, Eurostat Says

    Bulgaria has EU’s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021, Eurostat Says

    Bulgaria has EU’s Lowest Consumer Prices in 2021, Eurostat Says

    Prices

    Sofia, June 23, 2022 Bulgaria has the lowest price levels for consumer goods in the EU in 2021, according to Eurostat figures published on Thursday.

    In 2021, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across the EU, and the lowest prices were found in Bulgaria and Romania (both 56 per cent of the EU average).

    However, Eurostat presented consumer prices using purchasing power parities.

    Denmark and Ireland both have 140 Per cent of the EU average which has the highest price levels.

    These Member States were followed by Luxembourg which has 132 per cent, while Sweden has 128 per cent with Finland having 126 per cent.

    Meanwhile, the lowest levels were found in Poland with 60 per cent and in Romania and Bulgaria both have 56 per cent.

    In 2021, the widest price gaps were in the restaurants, hotels, alcohol and tobacco sectors.

    The price level for restaurants and hotels was almost 3.4 times higher in the most expensive country than in the cheapest one.

    It said that the Price levels in restaurants and hotels ranged from 46 per cent of the EU average in Bulgaria, which is 54 per cent in Romania and 62 per cent in Hungary, to 155per cent of the average in Denmark, 137 per cent in Sweden and 133 per cent in Finland.

    Alcohol and tobacco ranked second in terms of price level difference, with the lowest price levels registered in Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary, while the highest is Ireland with 205 per cent, Finland 173 per cent, Sweden 136 per cent and Denmark and France both 134 per cent.

    This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products.

    Food and non-alcoholic beverages were the cheapest in Romania with 69 per cent of the EU average and Poland 72 per cent.

    However, they were most expensive in Luxembourg with 125 per cent of the average, Denmark 120 per cent and Ireland with 119 per cent.

    Bulgaria was close to the cheapest with 79.3 per cent.

    Clothing is a group of products where prices differed less among the Member States, ranging from 76 per cent of the average in Bulgaria to 134 per cent in Denmark.

    Personal transport equipment also recorded a smaller price disparity among Member States, with Poland with 81 per cent of the EU average cheapest and Denmark has 138 per cent most expensive.

    Price differences were also limited for consumer electronics, ranging from 88 per cent of the average in Poland to 113 per cent in the Netherlands.



    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Vital humanitarian flights to hard to reach areas in Guinea and Niger could be grounded due to funding cuts
    Vital humanitarian flights to hard-to-reach areas in Guinea and Niger could be grounded due to funding cuts
     Vital humanitarian flights to hard to reach areas in Guinea and Niger could be grounded due to funding cuts
    Vital humanitarian flights to hard-to-reach areas in Guinea and Niger could be grounded due to funding cuts
    Africa2 months ago

    Vital humanitarian flights to hard-to-reach areas in Guinea and Niger could be grounded due to funding cuts

    The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warned today that its United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), which provides crucial transport links for humanitarian response teams to the world's most remote and challenging locations, is will be forced to ground its aircraft in Guinea and Niger by August 2022 if additional funding of US$6.4 million is not urgently provided. This situation risks depriving crisis-affected communities of vital aid at a time of unprecedented humanitarian need.

    The crisis in Ukraine has caused fuel prices to rise, resulting in higher-than-anticipated costs for the maintenance and operation of UNHAS aircraft. In April 2022, aircraft fuel costs increased by 26% in Guinea and 33% in Niger compared to January 2022. To ensure that humanitarian response teams and essential relief supplies can continue to reach the areas safely and reliably affected by crisis, WFP urges governments, donors and partners to step up support for this crucial service that benefits the broader humanitarian community.

    "The common humanitarian services provided by UNHAS have become indispensable for humanitarian and health services that address recurrent outbreaks of deadly diseases such as the Ebola, Lassa and Marburg epidemics in the remote forest region of Guinea," said Hyoung-Joon LIM. , director and representative of the WFP in the country. in Guinea

    “The roads in poor condition and impassable remain a real challenge for movements within the country. Support to UNHAS is absolutely essential so that humanitarian assistance can be delivered to vulnerable communities in hard-to-reach areas of the country,” he noted.

    In Guinea, following the Lassa fever outbreak on April 29, 2022, the Government asked UNHAS to help transport tests and other medical items from Bissau to Conakry. Previously, during the Ebola crisis, UNHAS was the only option and played a critical role in facilitating access and transportation of Ebola vaccines, medical kits and response teams to crisis areas.

    “The power of the collective can turn the needle in the right direction and make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable families. We need to act now to make our work in Niger more efficient and relevant than ever,” said Jean-Noël GENTILE, Country Director and WFP Representative in Niger.

    The March 2022 Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis showed the highest number of food insecure people in Niger since 2012, with 4.4 million people projected to face acute food insecurity during the lean season from June to August 2022 In this context, UNHAS remains the only reliable and safe way for humanitarian personnel and cargo to reach people in need across the country, even in remote and hard-to-reach areas, as access by land is hampered. due to long distances, poor road infrastructure, floods and insecurity.

    Since January 2022, UNHAS operations in Guinea and Niger have received funding from the European Union (ECHO), France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (FCDO), and the United States of America.

  •  EU set to purchase over 10 000 doses of monkey pox vaccine
    EU set to purchase over 10,000 doses of monkey pox vaccine
     EU set to purchase over 10 000 doses of monkey pox vaccine
    EU set to purchase over 10,000 doses of monkey pox vaccine
    Foreign2 months ago

    EU set to purchase over 10,000 doses of monkey pox vaccine

    EU set to purchase over 10,000 doses of monkey pox vaccine

    EU set to purchase over 10,000 doses of monkey pox vaccine

    Vaccine

    Luxembourg, June 14, 2022 The European Union (EU), is set to buy 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine, in a deal signed for the purchase.

    The EU Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, who announced this on Tuesday, said the first doses should be available by the end of the month.

    Kyriakides said, so far, there had been 900 recorded cases of the disease in EU, and that about 1,400 had been logged worldwide.

    She noted that though the disease had been circulating in Africa for years, it had caused an international stir with the recent outbreak in many countries which were not known to have recorded any incident of the disease.

    The disease is spread through physical contact, and medical officials say the outbreak seems to be concentrated among men who have had sexual contact with multiple male partners.

    Germany, for example, is considering preventive vaccinations for anyone considered to be at a high risk of coming into contact with the disease, including technicians in specialised laboratories.

    Although the disease can be deadly, it is treatable and survival rate is high, albeit with a phase of worrisome skin infections.

    Still, health authorities were trying to arrest its spread. (

    Source: NAN

  •  Austrian minister argues for possibility of border controls within EU
    Austrian minister argues for possibility of border controls within EU
     Austrian minister argues for possibility of border controls within EU
    Austrian minister argues for possibility of border controls within EU
    Foreign2 months ago

    Austrian minister argues for possibility of border controls within EU

    Austrian minister argues for possibility of border controls within EUBorderBrussels, June 10, 2022   Austria’s interior minister, Gerhard Karner, on Friday called for a stronger border policy for Europe.The minister said that security demands needed to be balanced with freedom of movement as the EU debated its refugee policy.Ministers of the interior from around the EU have come to Luxembourg to debate a range of issues, including a new solidarity mechanism to ease the migrant burden on Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Malta and Spain.The mechanism would see other EU countries taking in refugees arriving in southern Europe by boat.Karner emphasised the need for strong outer borders and also called for the possibility of border controls taking place between EU countries in future.“Freedom of movement is important, yes. It is an essential part of the European Union.“But we also have to ensure security, and this is of such importance, that border controls within the EU can be necessary in some situations.”Countries including Germany, France, and Austria had undertaken temporary border controls for years, against illegal immigration or terrorism concerns.The European Court of Justice decided in April that members were only allowed to prolong such controls in the event of a new and serious threat to public order or internal security. (

    (NAN)

  •  European Court of Justice hearing on Super League to hold mid July
    European Court of Justice hearing on Super League to hold mid-July
     European Court of Justice hearing on Super League to hold mid July
    European Court of Justice hearing on Super League to hold mid-July
    General news3 months ago

    European Court of Justice hearing on Super League to hold mid-July

    European Court of Justice hearing on Super League to hold mid-July  

    Hearing
    Brussels, June 3, 2022 The European Union Court of Justice will stage a hearing on July 11 and July 12 over the legal dispute on football’s planned new Super League, a spokesman confirmed on Friday.

    The European Super League company filed a lawsuit against governing bodies UEFA and FIFA at a Madrid court which moved the case on to the Luxembourg-based European court.

    The Super League aims to determine via the lawsuit that UEFA and FIFA opposed the Super League by having acted beyond what it should.

    “It acted as a cartel and misused its dominant position on the market for the organisation of international football club competitions in Europe and on the market for the commercialisation of the rights attached to these competitions”.

    The plaintiff has also requested security measures “to enable the establishment and organisation of the European Super League”.

    Twelve clubs had in April 2021 announced the forming of a Super League but the plan collapsed within days after fierce opposition from fans, leagues and federations.

    Nine of the clubs withdrew swiftly: all six English sides Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, plus AC and Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

    But Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus still pursue the plan, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez saying late last year that UEFA’s monopoly violates European Union law.

    The European Union Court of Justice has said that all 12 clubs are shareholders of the Super League company which is taking legal action.

    The July hearing is expected to be followed by a report from a court advocate general.

    A verdict would come several months OLAL

    (

    (NAN)

  •  EU member states call for mandatory solar panels on certain buildings
    EU member states call for mandatory solar panels on certain buildings
     EU member states call for mandatory solar panels on certain buildings
    EU member states call for mandatory solar panels on certain buildings
    Foreign4 months ago

    EU member states call for mandatory solar panels on certain buildings

    Solar

    Brussels, May 5, 2022 Five EU member states on Thursday called for mandatory solar panels on certain buildings to spur a faster exit from the bloc's energy dependency on Russia.

    In a letter to the European Commission, seen by dpa, the energy ministers of Austria, Belgium, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Spain said that each solar project "immediately and directly reduces our energy dependence on Russia."

    The letter proposes measures to the EU executive branch that would expand solar power in the European Union, lower energy costs in the bloc and reduce carbon emissions.

    Public buildings, factories, supermarkets and other buildings with flat roofs must be equipped with solar panels, the energy ministers said.

    Solar panels should be expanded to new and renovated homes, according to the letter.

    He added that the commission must make more funds available from the EU budget to finance the projects.

    The EU executive branch was due to present plans by the end of May on how to become independent from Russian energy imports in the wake of the Ukraine war.

    The five EU member states wanted measures to boost solar power production included in the plan and for the commission to examine what investments were needed. (

    (NAN)

  •  Consumer groups can take legal action against Facebook EU court
    Consumer groups can take legal action against Facebook – EU court
     Consumer groups can take legal action against Facebook EU court
    Consumer groups can take legal action against Facebook – EU court
    Foreign4 months ago

    Consumer groups can take legal action against Facebook – EU court

    Consumer advocacy groups were allowed to file lawsuits over alleged data protection violations against internet giants, such as Facebook, even without a specific mandate from affected individuals.The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the EU’s highest court ruled in Luxembourg on Thursday.ECJ clarified with its ruling that the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not stand in the way of consumer protection associations seeking to take legal action.Thursday’s ruling is linked to a case before Germany’s Federal Court of Justice.The German Federal Union of Consumer Organisations and Associations had sued Facebook’s owner, Meta Platforms, for alleged data protection violations in connection with free third-party games that can be accessed via Facebook.In May 2020, the German court referred the case to the EU Court of Justice to determine whether a German regulation, according to which not only data protection commissioners may sue, but also consumer advocates, still applies under the GDPR.(NAN)

  •  Top EU court Austrian passport controls broke Schengen rules
    Top EU court: Austrian passport controls broke Schengen rules
     Top EU court Austrian passport controls broke Schengen rules
    Top EU court: Austrian passport controls broke Schengen rules
    Foreign4 months ago

    Top EU court: Austrian passport controls broke Schengen rules

     

    Passport

    Luxembourg, April 26, 2022 An Austrian decision to reimpose passport controls on its border with Slovenia in 2017 was incompatible with the Schengen Agreement, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg ruled on Tuesday.

    The case was brought to Europe’s top court by a Slovene who was fined for refusing to present his passport on entering Austria in 2019.

    He first took the case to a regional court, which referred the case to the ECJ for a ruling.

    Austria reimposed passport controls on its borders with Hungary and Slovenia during the migration crisis of 2015, the ECJ said.

    From May 2016 to November 2017, the Slovenian authorities followed the four successive council of the EU’s recommendations to reintroduce border controls for periods of six months at a time.

    The ECJ ruled that an EU member state could only renew the measure after the end of the six months when “faced with a new serious threat affecting its public policy or internal security, which is distinct from the threat initially identified.’’

    The court said that Austria had failed to demonstrate the existence of a new threat, and that consequently,  the border control measures to which the applicant was subject were incompatible with the Schengen Borders Code.

    The ECJ noted that the code laid down the principle that bordered between member states might be crossed at any point without a passport check.

    It said that the terming code one of the main achievements of the EU, the reintroduction of internal border control must remained an exception and should only be affected as a measure of last resort.

    The ruling could have implications for other EU member states, such as Germany, which had  also reintroduced controls from time to time. (www.nannes.ng)

    (NAN)