By Timi Olubiyi, Ph.D. Happy New Year 2023. The yuletide has witnessed a significant consumption rate across the country in the consumer goods sector. On a larger scale, sachet usage has dominated the retail industry in many parts of Africa but more significantly in Nigeria, where the population is high, and there is a huge demand for consumer goods. The sustainable development goal (SDG) 12 recognises that long-term development and economic growth are contingent upon modifying our production and consumption practises. It necessitates more efficient and eco-friendly management of materials throughout their entire lifecycle, including production, consumption, and disposal. However the level of plastic and sachet waste generation is extremely high, and we may have a big problem with that if this trend continues to increase without adequate regulation. Because consumption within the consumer goods ecosystem in the country is currently far from being sustainable because the waste from these products cause negative consequences for the populace and the environment, largely the sachet products. The sachet products, or single-serve packs as they are normally called in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, dominate the retail landscape, the surge in usage has been alarming. In colloquial terms, the model is referred to as “sachetisation” which is known to have kicked off in Nigeria in the ’90s with the making of smaller sachets of drinking water (pure water) and Cowbell powdered milk by Promasidor. Then the idea was necessitated by innovation to penetrate the larger low- or no-income populace. However, the idea was later met with intense and stiff competition. Today, the literature suggests that over a 60million units of pure water are consumed per day in Nigeria, along with loads of other sachet pack products. From take away food packs to carrier bags, drinks, cooking ingredients, and household cleaning products. The sachet trend has continued to expand due to shrinking income levels, widespread hardship, and rising poverty amongst the populace. These undoubtedly have caused the growing adoption of sachet packs in the country recently. For companies, the tough operating environment, decrepit infrastructure, continuous inflation, porous borders, and waning bulk consumption have further heightened the need for the sachet model's adoption. Both individuals and businesses are feeling the weight of the economic challenges, and over time, the disposable income of consumers continues to wane. Besides the consequences of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the economy in recent times continued to worsen the situation. They are majorly eroding the purchasing power of many individuals, households, and even companies. The current economic situation has also made products and services more expensive nationwide. In fact, many manufacturing companies are witnessing reduced patronage of large items because not everyone can afford bulk purchase or regular packs, and consumers continue to look for cheaper alternatives. So, “sachetisation” is a business strategy and an alternative to engaging customers continually in this trying time. The idea is to make products affordable to consumers, particularly the majority of daily income earners who constitute a large chunk of the country’s population. Many companies at this time of high inflation and economic uncertainty have resolved to adopt the “sachetisation” model to give some of the poorest people in Nigeria easy access to everyday household essentials and for continuous patronage within the consumer goods space. Also, for the companies this time, it is a way to increase sales among the customers who cannot afford to buy in larger quantities. Even though the sachet model saves wastage with portion control, it requires minimum packaging materials, less storage, low shipping and transportation cost, and most importantly, it is pocket friendly to the end-users. However, the painful truth and disclosure are that this trend is an indication of unsustainable consumption, income inequality, unaffordability, and the wide gap between the haves and have-nots, the dwindling economy, and a high level of poverty in the country. Supportably, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in the “2019 Poverty and Inequality in Nigeria” report, highlights that 40 per cent of the total population, or almost 83 million people, live below the country’s poverty line. This figure even appears underestimated, in my opinion, due to a lack of data on the extremely huge informal sector of the country. However, these sachet products give the poor in the country access to everyday household essentials but compromise the sustainable consumption and the environment. From observation, hardly is there any market-leading FMCG company in Nigeria has not manufactured a single-serve pack (sachet-packed product) to capture the poor consumers. To buttress the adoption of this model, the various operators in the open markets in the country unknowingly practice the sachet model on perishables, vegetables, and foodstuffs freely. All due to economic reasons and the waning purchasing power of the consumers. The regular essential consumables that are noticeable in sachet are milk, detergent, cooking oil, cereal, margarine, liquor, pepper mix (pepper, tomatoes and onions), toothpaste, sugar, tomato sauce, shampoo, cornflakes, seasoning/spices, biscuits, dishwashing liquid, shaving sticks, cereals, bleach, Lipton sachet with just two tea bags, diaper sachet with just two units, disinfectant and energy drink amongst others. From the sampled opinion, this sachet trend is on the increase in a bid for companies to continue to increase market share, increase market penetration, and remain competitive. The important thing is that the trend is now becoming increasingly popular, and even choice brands are included in the growing wave. This trend encourages quick sell and increases competitiveness in consumer goods, where affordability is a big issue. Importantly, companies need to note that the population of the poor in the country continues to grow, indicating that those unwilling to flow with the sachet trend may be at risk of running out of business. Considering the country's economic griefs, the trend is beneficial regarding patronage, sales, and business continuity. The sachet model is undoubtedly on the increase in the country, and it is currently a winning strategy to sell what a large percentage of the population can afford. All said the points raised above are not to completely justify “sachetisation” as a business strategy but also to implore the companies and government to promote measures to improve sustainable consumption, clean production, and circular economy to reduce multidimensional poverty- which may include food security, housing, health, education, and security which directly impact the wellbeing of the populace. The big issue is that most plastic sachets are not currently being recycled and reused. Therefore, government sustainable development strategies and policies need to be heightened to involve waste management, environmental management, pollution, and recycling and socio-economic plans need to be in place to promote recycling and save the environment. This should be a priority now. Therefore, key policies and measures to encourage proper waste management and recycling in the country should also be considered to avoid huge environmental pollution. In conclusion, observation indicates “sachetisation” is now more like a necessity than an option in the country due to increased deprivation in myriad aspects of life. The country's telecommunications and some real estate companies are exploring the sachet model with various smart (sachet) pack products with daily payment options. Above all, it is not even out of place to mention that just like these companies and the Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), the financial sector- banking, insurance, and investment management companies and even the Cable TV operators can ‘sachetised’ to make services more accessible and affordable for the masses. However, leveraging innovation, sustainable production, and technology will be of great significance to achieve this. Good luck! How may you obtain advice or further information on the article? Dr. Timi Olubiyi, an Entrepreneurship & Business Management expert with a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Babcock University Nigeria. A prolific investment coach, author, seasoned scholar, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) registered capital market operator. He can be reached on the Twitter handle @drtimiolubiyi and via email: [email protected], for any questions, reactions, and comments. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author- Dr Timi Olubiyi and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of others.
The year 2022 was an extraordinary year for Union Bank of Nigeria (“Union Bank”). The leading financial institution celebrated its 105th year of serving Nigerians by announcing the completion of a landmark transaction that saw the bank integrate with Titan Trust Bank to form a stronger union. This announcement kicked off several important milestones and events and Union Bank is pleased to recap these milestones that the Bank achieved in 2022. The highlights for each month are summarized below under their respective headings.
Union Bank celebrates its 105th year of operation as Titan Trust Bank receives the go-ahead from regulators for official integration. The merger of both entities created expanded networks, greater operational efficiency and capacity, as well as better service delivery for customers. The new direction put Union Bank on a path to deliver prosperity and shared growth for its partners and clients across the African continent.
As part of its commitment to go beyond banking to promote innovation and creativity across the country, Union Bank partnered with AfricaNXT, formerly known as Social Media Week, to host Africa's largest gathering of innovators. As an organization focused on accelerating digital innovation, Union Bank showcased some of its 'Digital Ventures' products (Kula, Booster and M36) at the event via an interactive booth. The Bank also organized two information sessions, a panel discussion and a master class session, targeting the technology ecosystem.
As an organization committed to leading the charge for inclusion and parity, Union Bank has consistently used International Women's Day (IWD) to promote powerful discourse and encourage positive action for gender equality. 2022 was no different. In line with the 2022 global theme #BreakTheBias, the Bank hosted an event to celebrate everyday women breaking down prejudices and barriers in their professional and personal lives. A key aspect of the event was the inauguration for the first executives of Wehub, Union Bank's Women's Empowerment Center, an internal network launched in 2016 to motivate, connect and support women within the Bank. The newly elected executives were tasked with driving the implementation of impactful initiatives aimed at advancing the Bank as a progressive place to work.
As part of its 'Beyond Banking' strategy and commitment to innovation and technological advancement in Nigeria, Union Bank launched SpaceNXT, a purpose-built and forward-thinking coworking technology and innovation hub created to promote innovation and foster collaboration within the technology ecosystem in Nigeria. . Located within Union Bank's head office in Lagos, Nigeria, SpaceNXT provides an enabling environment where technology enthusiasts, visionaries and creators can converge for the spread of new ideas. It is a launching pad for innovators to collaborate, develop, and improve ideas on digital systems and technology-based solutions.
After completing the official integration and subsequent receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, Union Bank published a formal notice of change of control with TTB's parent TGI Group, now the majority shareholder and principal investor in Union Bank. In addition to this, the Bank also announced the completion of the divestiture of the Bank's full equity interest (direct and indirect) in its subsidiary, Union Bank (UK) Plc ("UBUK") and the effective appointment of an Executive Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and the reconstitution of a new Board of Directors. The new CEO, Mr. Mudassir Amray and Chairman of the Board, Farouk Gumel, took office on June 2, 2022.
Leading development bank Afrexim Bank backed Titan Trust Bank in the amount of $300,000,000 to support the integration with Union Bank. This is to ensure that the Bank is well positioned to deliver value to its customers and shareholders.
Following a successful first season, Union Bank announced the return of the Save & Win Promo, its flagship campaign aimed at rewarding new and existing customers with cash rewards and other gift items worth over N55,000,000. The second edition of the nationwide campaign coincides with the Bank's 105th anniversary and will benefit more customers to thank them for their support and loyalty over the years.
As part of its ongoing commitment to UN SDG 5, Union Bank continued its longstanding partnership with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to impact over 300 girls, at the 21st edition of the Leadership Development and Empowerment Camp ( LEAD) which marked the eighth year of collaboration between JAN and Union Bank. The week-long event was used to mentor and improve the girls' skills in areas of financial education, entrepreneurship, technology, creative arts, and entertainment. Development sessions on the show included coding, understanding sexual abuse and personal hygiene, while participants were also mentored by respectable and high-ranking women in the country's public and private sectors.
Mr. Farouk Gumel, Chairman of the Board of Union Bank of Nigeria, delivered the keynote address which was part of the theme of the 15th Annual Banking and Finance Conference entitled Repositioning the Financial Services Industry for a evolving global context. In his remarks, Farouk Gumel emphasized how the rapidly expanding agricultural sector in Nigeria has the potential to grow exponentially and contribute not only to the advancement of the Nigerian economy, but also to the well-being of local farmers who make up a large percentage of the not banked.
He highlighted how Union Bank in its 105-year history continues to support the Nigerian farmer, noting that the recent integration with parent group TGI has opened up further opportunities for the Bank to leverage international partnerships to serve the rural economy.
In the same month, Union Bank partnered with WACOT Rice Limited, a leading rice-producing company and a subsidiary of Tropical General Investment (TGI) Group, to provide banking solutions to 6,000 local farmers, including men, women and youth in 4 local government areas. in the state of Kebbi. This partnership, called the Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive, is in line with Union Bank's commitment to boost financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Union Bank has signed a partnership with Mobihealth, a globally recognized integrated telehealth provider based in the UK, facilitating healthcare solutions for underserved communities in Africa. This first-of-its-kind partnership is part of Union Bank's commitment to enabling its customers' success. The Bank aims to leverage this partnership to expand access to convenient, high-quality healthcare services for its clients at reduced rates. In addition, Union Bank also secured a $25 million financing facility from the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF) to expand its agricultural business footprint in Africa. This financing is intended to support the Bank's agricultural extension and expansion strategy and is expected to further contribute to the growth of a competitive food and agriculture sector in Nigeria that is fully aligned with national priorities, including improving food security, increase in agricultural production and local food production. processing.
To expand its presence in Africa, Union Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with Attijariwafa Bank, a leading multinational financial services and commercial bank company based in Morocco. Through this partnership, both banks will develop new joint business opportunities for their respective clients looking to support trade finance and investment corridors between Nigeria and all countries where Attijariwafa bank operates.
To close out its 105th anniversary activities, Union Bank launched a new sound identity labeled 'The Sound of Union'. The release of Sound of Union, a 9-track EP spanning different genres including Afrobeats, Highlife, Jazz, Alternative Rock and more, is part of the Bank's strategy to engage with today's and tomorrow's generations. The goal of the release is to harness the universality of music to build better connections with new and existing audiences through this unique sonic identity.
TheSoundof UnionEP is now streaming exclusively on Boomplay. Awards and Recognitions: In 2022, the Bank received several awards and recognitions both locally and globally, including the 2023 Global Finance Best Bank for SMEs, Euro Money Euromoney 'Highly Regarded' Bank for Corporate Banking, Social Responsibility and Corporate (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance and 'Notable' Bank for SME Banking and Digital Solutions.
We also received the Middle East and Africa Banking Innovation Awards for Best Business Finance Platform 2022, and the Budgit Active Corporate Citizens Award for Civic Investments. Please note that, as a summary, this is not a complete list of the bank's events and activities during each period indicated. As we look to 2023, Union Bank remains committed to providing simpler and smarter solutions for its customers.TRY IT TONIGHT!!! --- Abuja Official Reveals (FREE) Secret Fruits That Increased Your Manh0d Size, Gives You Stronger Erections And Ends Premature Erection In 7 Days... Like This:
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Hajiya Aisha Muhammad, Kaduna State Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Coordinator, has vowed to keep pushing for the state government to release the N100 million donated to people with disabilities (PWD) on time.
She made the commitment while speaking to NAN on the sidelines of the closing of an inaugural four-day Voluntary Local Review (VLR) workshop to ensure stakeholder engagement and outcome in the delivery of SGD in Kaduna.
The VLR is a process through which subnational governments assess and document progress made in achieving global goals.
It is an analysis of the SDGs at the subnational level for a specific local context.
The VLR workshop, supported by United Nations Development Partners (UNDP) and UNICEF, drew participants and stakeholders from state and federal MDAs, paramilitary organizations and others.
Muhammad said the N100m donations to disabled people by the state government were to improve their well-being and livelihood.
"People with disabilities are inclusive, they are not discriminated against, our good office will continue to push for the N100m to be delivered to them as donated by the state government."
She said that there were some administrative reasons behind the delay in releasing the fund.
Muhammad noted that the Kaduna Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), which is responsible for the release of funds, would ensure that the money was released to the Ministry of Finance for disbursement to people with disabilities.
“We want people with disabilities to start implementing their commitment to reduce the number of panhandlers in the state,” he said.
He said, however, the Kaduna state government had empowered many of the disabled with skills and trades.
“There are many plans made for the N100m; so we will do everything we can to make sure they get the money and use it for the purpose they said they would use it for,” he said.
Muhammad explained that the government's gesture was in line with goal number 10 of the SDGs, which was to reduce inequality.
Earlier in the workshop, he said that they would validate input from stakeholders to ensure compliance with the actual data provided to them in the templates (questionnaires).
The coordinator noted that after validation, her office would once again invite stakeholders to validate the draft documents and submit them to the executive council, UNDP and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs.
“All the processes have to be done before the documents can be finalized,” he said.
He mentioned the content of the templates (questionnaires) to include what stakeholders were doing to domesticate the SDGs in their own way.
“All the stakeholders that we invite are tracking various SDG targets, although we already have baseline data, SDG reports from 2017 and also an updated one from 2021.
“We wanted to see what they were currently doing and fill in the gaps so that we can track the level of progress of the SDGs being domesticated across the state,” he said.
The coordinator noted that after developing the documents, her office would want it to serve as a budget framework for the state where the State Development Plan (SDP) and Sector Implementation Plan (SIP) could be taken into consideration.
Likewise, Mr. Joshua James, member of Civil Societies with a focus on governance, said that the expected outcome of the workshop was to ensure the harmony of all stakeholder contributions and to validate them.
He said doing so would provide a standard template that would allow stakeholders to discuss implementation in Kaduna State.
“The Kaduna state government and various supporting partners are also expected to adequately fund the ODS unit in the PBC, to deploy both the hardware and soft components of the SGDs in the state,” James said.
Also on the sidelines, Mr. Abubakar Adam, vice president of the National Joint Association of People with Disabilities, Kaduna chapter, praised the government for adopting the Disability Act.
However, he said there was a provision in the law for a Disability Trust Fund, adding that if implemented well, it would address the plight of people with disabilities in the state.
He noted that the trust fund would address skills acquisition, empowerment, training and many other challenges faced by people with disabilities, if properly managed.
“Since the government created the disability trust fund, we want them to see it through to launch and full implementation; it will take the beggars off the streets of Kaduna,” Adam said.
NAN reports that some of the SDGs are zero hunger, zero poverty, good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, clean and affordable energy. (YAYA)Credit: https://www.sunnewsonline.com/well-continue-pushing-for-release-of-n100m-donation-to-pwds-by-kaduna-govt-sdgs/
A slowdown in the progress made during the past decade against maternal and infant mortality is projected in the African region, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report released today finds.
The Atlas of African Health Statistics 2022 assessed the nine targets related to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on health and found that at the current pace, increased investment is needed to accelerate progress towards the targets.
Among the most difficult to achieve will be reducing maternal mortality.
In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 390 women will die in childbirth for every 100 000 live births by 2030, the Atlas 2022 reports.
This is more than five times above the 2030 SDG target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, and much higher than the average of 13 deaths per 100 000 live births witnessed in Europe in 2017.
It is more than the global average of 211.
To reach the SDG target, Africa will need an 86% reduction from 2017 rates, the last time data was reported, an unrealistic feat at the current rate of decline.
The region’s infant mortality rate stands at 72 per 1000 live births.
At the current 3.1% annual rate of decline, there will be an expected 54 deaths per 1000 live births by 2030, far above the reduction target of fewer than 25 per 1000.
“Africa has scored some of the fastest reduction rates globally in key health objectives, but the momentum is waning.
This means that for many African women, childbirth remains a persistent risk and millions of children do not live long enough to celebrate their fifth birthday,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
“It is crucial that governments make a radical course-correction, surmount the challenges and speed up the pace towards the health goals.
These goals aren’t mere milestones, but the very foundations of healthier life and well-being for millions of people.” Although the region is witnessing a decelerating momentum towards key health objectives such as vaccine coverage, it has made remarkable progress in some areas during the first decade of the 21st century.
Under-5 mortality fell by 35%; neonatal death rates dropped by 21%; and maternal mortality declined by 28%.
In the last decade, advances in all three targets have flatlined, particularly for maternal mortality.
While Africa has advanced on family planning, with 56.3% of women of reproductive age (15-49) having their family planning needs satisfied with modern contraceptive methods in 2020, the region is still far below the global average of 77% and the worst performing.
The slowdown has been exacerbated by the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crucial health services such as postnatal care for women and newborns, neonatal intensive care units, and antenatal care services, immunization services were disrupted during the pandemic.
Since 2021, Africa has also faced a resurgence in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
Measles cases rose by 400% between January and March 2022 compared with the same period the year before.
Inadequate investment in health and funding for health programmes are some of the major drawbacks to meeting the SDG on health.
For example, a 2022 WHO survey of 47 African countries found that the region has a ratio of 1.55 health workers (physicians, nurses and midwives) per 1000 people, below the WHO threshold density of 4.45 health workers per 1000 people needed to deliver essential health services and achieve universal health coverage.
In the African region, 65% of births are attended by skilled health personnel – the lowest globally and far off the 2030 target of 90%, according to the Atlas 2022.
Skilled birth attendants are crucial for the well-being of women and newborns.
Neonatal deaths account for nearly half of all under-5 mortality.
Accelerating the agenda to meet its reduction goal will be a major step toward reducing the under-5 mortality rate to fewer than 25 deaths per 1000 live births.
The Atlas 2022 also presents the latest data for more than 50 health-related indicators of the SDGs and provides comprehensive country-level statistics for the region.
WHO held a press conference today led by Dr Humphrey Karamagi, Senior Technical Officer, Health Systems Development, WHO Regional Office for Africa.
He was joined by Dr Benjamin Tsofa, Principal Research Officer, Kenya Medical Research Institute.
Also on hand from WHO Regional Office for Africa to answer questions were Dr Fiona Braka, Team Lead, Emergency Operations; Dr Fank Lule, Medical Officer, HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care; and Dr Serge Bataliack, Strategic Health Information Officer.
The Sahara Foundation has empowered African social entrepreneurs with a sum of $5000 as seed funding for African social innovators who have completed its 2022 Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) Fellowship programme.
The three-month Fellowship was organized by the foundation in collaboration with Leap Africa, a youth-focused leadership development nonprofit organization; and Impact Amplifier, a social enterprise that accelerates the investment readiness, growth, and capital provision of high-impact, innovative social enterprises in Africa.
The director of the Sahara foundation on Monday disclosed that the organization is committed to impacting lives and building sustainable societies across Africa.
“The Sahara Impact Fund was set up to help close the gap in energy equality in Africa, as well as promote a sustainable environment through the empowerment of creative social entrepreneurs working to move Africa from a continent of potential to actualization,” Uzokwe said.
Uzokwe called upon social entrepreneurs to use the training and funds received from the programme to advance their business dreams and congratulated all 21 Fellows who participated in this year’s program.
She said, “The foundation is looking to continue this relationship and we urge you all as ambassadors to go out there and strengthen your businesses and each other.
Leverage this network and build impactful social enterprises.
As social entrepreneurs, Africa’s future depends on your actions today.
The beneficiaries of the seed funding include the CEO of OnePad Reusable Pad, Ayilara Assurance Oluchi; Lamin Ceesay, CEO of Karakunku Farm, the Gambia; Aminu Moses Rex, CEO of Delfak Nigeria Ltd; Claude Albert Moghomaye, CEO, Bertec, Cameroon; Michael Osumune, CEO, Moon Innovations, Nigeria; Adeyemi Tunde, Ceo, D-Olivette Global Enterprise, Nigeria and Olawale Thompson, CEO, Planet Savers Global Ltd, Nigeria.
Other beneficiaries include James Thuch Madhier, South Sudan; Ligare Allan, Kenya; Siwelwa Lazarous, Zambia; and Gerasia Laurent Andrea, Tanzania.
The objective of the fellowship is to better equip African social entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skill sets required to build sustainable businesses, capable of addressing the continent’s challenges.
Faced with challenges such as inadequate energy, waste management, unemployment, poverty, climate challenges occasioned by drought, flooding, extreme heat, etc.
These African social innovators are helping to address Africa’s social and economic issues with their business models.
The need to accelerate Africa’s growth in access to energy and promote sustainable environments across the continent inspired the creation of the Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship programme.
We believe that Africa’s biggest challenges need diverse, local problem solvers and Sahara Foundation is helping to identify and empower these social solution providers.
Founder of Leap Africa, Ndidi Nwuneli, congratulated the Fellows for successfully completing the programme and he implored them to make good use of the knowledge acquired and help improveAfrica’s development with their ideas and abilities.
Nwuneli congratulated the Sahara Foundation for powering this initiative and commended their commitment to advancing Social Development Goal (SDG) 17 – Partnership for the Goals.
UN experts on Tuesday stressed the need for parliaments around the world to play a greater role in dealing with the climate crisis, according to a statement from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). ).
"Efforts should focus on the transition to an inclusive climate-resilient development model that turns climate challenges into opportunities for all and builds on the lessons learned so far," said Mounir Tabet, ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary.
He made the remarks at a two-day forum organized by ESCWA, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Office for Arab States in Beirut to discuss the role of parliaments in addressing the serious threats of climate change in the Arab region.
In a recorded message, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said that "international commitments such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement must be transposed into national law, backed by adequate budget allocation and robust oversight of government performance.
For his part, the Director of the UNDP Regional Office Center for Arab States, Khaled Abdel Shafi, highlighted "the vital role of parliaments in monitoring the work of governments through the adoption of legislation that mitigates the effects negative effects of climate change to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)".
According to the declaration, parliaments must ensure that the SDGs and other climate-related targets are properly integrated into national policy and legislative processes to achieve sustainable development in all dimensions. ■
As part of the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification being held November 20-25 in Niamey, Niger, a side event on inclusive and sustainable industrialization as a driver of resilience and stability for the Sahel was organized on November 22 by the Government of Niger, the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Subregional Office for West Africa, the Office of the Special Coordinator for Sahel Development, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The objectives of this side event are essentially to present a new narrative for the Sahel based on the opportunities for youth and women offered by industrialization and economic diversification, to sensitize private and public sector participants on the potential of agribusiness activities in various value chains to further support resilience in the Sahel through growth and job creation, to create a better understanding by participants of the strategic investments needed to support agribusiness in the Sahel, and to present Niger's industrial priorities and best practices.
For the Minister of Industry and Youth Entrepreneurship of the Republic of Niger, Ms. Salamatou Gourouza, "We tend to forget the youth and women.
We cannot achieve industrialization or economic diversification if we do not include them in the industrialization value chains.
"The issue of inclusive industrialization in the Sahel is of prime importance," added the Minister of Industry and Youth Entrepreneurship of the Republic of Niger.
In his intervention, ECA Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Antonio Pedro said that eight of the fifteen countries making up the West African sub-region are Sahelian and given the challenges the Sahel is facing, it is extremely important to invest in industrialization in order to change the narrative in this part of the continent, which today is synonymous with conflicts and humanitarian needs.
"At the level of intra-African sectoral trade, it is estimated that full implementation of the AfCFTA will increase exports in agribusiness by 41%, industry and services by about 40%, and energy/mining by 16% by 2045.
In West Africa, including the Sahel region, exports are expected to increase by 24.0% in industry, 23.0% in agribusiness, and 11.0% in energy and mining.
As a result, in absolute terms, nearly three-quarters of the gains in exports from West Africa to Africa would come from industry," said Antonio Pedro.
The ECA Acting Executive Secretary also stated that "transforming economic structures is one of the five strategic foresights towards achieving the SDGs directly aligned with inclusive and sustainable industrialization.
Structural transformations remain one of the major challenges of the countries of the Sahel with the industrialization as the main channel to achieve it”.
The Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, Abdoulaye Mar Dieye on his turn, emphasized the need to have a coalition of African industries, especially the private sector, small and medium enterprises and youth, as driving forces for industrialization in the Sahel and Africa in general.
Abdoulaye Mar Dieye said that "the time for speeches and strategy design is over.
Niamey Summit must be a time for action to change the narrative of the Sahel”.
The UNIDO Representative in Senegal, Christophe Yvetot, deplored the rank occupied by Africa in terms of industrialization.
"With 17% of the world's population, the African continent has only 3% of the wealth, an absurd situation that must be reviewed," said Christophe Yvetot.
"To get out of this rut, industrialization is the right way because by boosting industry to 10%, we reduce poverty by 70%," explained UNIDO Representative in Senegal.
"The industrialization of Africa is possible, it is just a matter of leadership, access to land and energy, Agro-Industrial Poles establishing, barriers reducing and governance improvement, "he concluded.
Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso presented awards to journalists who participated in raising awareness on trafficking in persons, End Child Mirage, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse as the Commemoration of World Children’s Day 2022.
Beneficiaries of the awards included Banana Hata-Hata from Ultimate FM, Sibongile Kolobe from Lesotho Television, and Mosa Maoeng from Informative Newspaper.
Speaking at the event organised by the World Vision International Lesotho, Her Majesty said it is pleasing to be part of this historic commemoration of Children’s Day under the theme ‘Equality and Inclusion for every Child’.
She said this occasion will go a long way in strengthening the means of implementation for local and global partnerships for the Development of Sustainable Goals (SDGs).
She commended various stakeholders for their collaboration and achieving a common goal thus combating child mirage, traffic in persons, abuse and raising awareness on child protection and justice for children.
She noted that the collaboration between the Ministry of Social Development, UNICEF, IOM, World Vision Lesotho, MISA-Lesotho and various media houses will bear good fruits in the long run.
Also Speaking, the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports, Arts, Culture and Social Development, Mr. Pitso Lesaoana thanked Her Majesty as the National Champion of the Vulnerable Children for her commitment to supporting the initiatives aimed at promoting and protecting children’s rights.
Mr. Lesaoana expressed gratitude to UNICEF, IOM, World Vision Lesotho, and MISA-Lesotho together with the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports, Arts, Culture and Social Development for the technical and financial support to this First Media Awards in commemoration of the World Children’s Day. He said the Government of Lesotho is committed to protecting the children and all the vulnerable groups against all forms of abuse, saying media play a pivotal role in advocacy and education as it would not have been possible to do it alone without engaging them in sensitization of the nation.
He, therefore, stressed that it is for the mentioned initiatives that the children’s voice and that of the vulnerable people will be heard and consequently influence the decision made by all stakeholders that work for children’s issues.
The Minister, however, noted that there is more to be done, singling out the passing of the Children’s Protection and Welfare Act Amendment Bill of 2021, which declares illegal Child Marriages among others.
He, therefore, committed himself to expediting the passing of that Bill. He said this day under the theme ‘Equality and Inclusion For Every Child’, stressing that no child shall be left behind in decision making, citing either a child with a disability, exploited, abused and trafficked, be in need of care and protection or any form of vulnerability.
He, therefore, said child participation and mainstreaming child protection in all the programmes have to be the core mandate.
On the same token, World Vision National Director, Mr. James Nkeba Chifelwe thanked the companies that made the event a success and they include; Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, T.
Y Four Square, Blue Mountain Inn, Aloes Guest House and Alliance Insurance Company.
He noted that the role played by Her Majesty as the World Vision Lesotho Champion to support initiatives aimed at the prevention, protection, and mitigation of violence against children in Lesotho is highly appreciated.
He said World Vision Lesotho is a member of the World Vision International and Christian Relief Development and Advocacy dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities to overcome poverty as well as injustice.
UNICEF Lesotho together with Vodacom Lesotho Foundation on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is aimed at expanding support to the most vulnerable Basotho children and youth.
Speaking at this event, the UNICEF Lesotho Representative, Mr. Deepak Bhaskaran said these long-term strategic collaborations of the private sector and development partners are hoped for tackling issues that disturb the well-being of a nation, citing the recent Ukraine and Russia war and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said with the signing of the MOU, UNICEF welcomes Vodacom Lesotho Foundation’s continued support to promoting the rights of children and young people across the county.
He further mentioned that as UNICEF, they are hoping for a long-term agreement which goes further for the betterment of vulnerable groups of Basotho children and youth.
On behalf of the Managing Director of Vodacom Lesotho, Mrs. ‘Mamoorosi Raditapole said the partnership is going to be a fruitful one as both organizations have common areas such as education which each child has a right to.
She said in the 2 years of the agreement, both organizations are aiming at achieving a few factors that include access to acquirable education, be protected from violence and abuse and be able to receive information and assistance during emergencies such as drought, floods and disease outbreaks.
She added that Vodacom Lesotho Foundation stands ready to continue with its support to UNICEF in the areas of their shared priorities.
The partnership brings together UNICEF’s technical expertise and advocacy work with Vodacom Lesotho Foundation’s ‘connecting for good’ mandate.
The partnership also supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)and emergency response in times of crisis.
The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has called for an increase in funding from one per cent to three per cent for the provision of basic healthcare in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, NGF Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, made the call at a high-level forum on the SDG panel discussion on "Universal Coverage and Basic Health Fund" on the sidelines of the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit.
Tambuwal said that increased funding would ensure more Nigerians had access to healthcare services and would reduce the out-of-pocket burden for healthcare services.
“On financing, we have defended in this interactive session that, since the basic health provision fund law says that at least one percent must be allocated annually.
“We can trust that provision that says at least go up to two or three percent,” he said.
He pointed out that inadequate financing and human resources, as well as insecurity were the downfall for the effective implementation of the Basic Primary Health Care Fund (BPHC) in the country.
“That's another solution to funding constraints and then private sector participation in funding and all of the partners that are in health care should possibly provide some funding to the primary health care projects that we're doing. in all our states.
“Insecurity demands collective efforts as the federal government and states are doing everything they can to ensure we stem the tide, so it is an ongoing effort.
“We have to work hard to improve the packaging and well-being of our medical staff, both in the federal and state governments, so that we can stop the brain drain problem and challenge in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking about the proposed state tax financing for health, Tambuwal assured that the issue will be brought up at the next meeting of the Economic Council for deliberation and possible outcomes.
“We will present it at the next meeting of the economic council that the president will preside over, where the minister will attend and all the state governors are expected to attend.
“And once we have the consensus from the governors and the NEC, we believe it will go into effect,” he said.
For her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, said that a framework had been designed to monitor and ensure accountability in the disbursement and utilization of HMOs from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). ).
“In order to isolate the Fund for Basic Medical Care, we have taken steps to place them in the front line category, which means that, on a constant basis, one percent was accumulated from the federal account to that fund.
“We want to make sure that what is provided is used and used correctly.
“For our part, we have committed to ensuring increased funding for the health sector, not only for the fund, but also for the public health sector in general.
“In the 2023 budget, the total aggregate budget for the Health sector is 8 percent,” he said.
In addition, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, Director and Secretary of the Ministerial Oversight Committee (MOC), BHCPF, highlighted the need to block leaks and institutionalize accountability, as well as increase contributory funding for the BHCPF to 25 percent.
Isokpunwu revealed that according to available statistics, one trillion naira was needed annually to effectively cover basic health care for Nigerians.
“There are at least 86 million to 100 million Nigerians as each of our recipients will pay 12,000 naira per year for now.
“So if we have 86 million people on board at N12,000, that's about a trillion naira including operating cost and all of that per year, because the premium will pay for each of our recipients for one year.
“So every year we have to pay for those beneficiaries until they get out of poverty. The whole essence of this is to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses of Nigerians,” he said.
On counter-financing, Isokpunwu added that “states must demonstrate in their budgets that they have released an amount equal to 25 percent of what we have disbursed to them for primary health care and social health insurance services.
“Any state that has met that condition will appear to have met it and qualified for additional spending,” he said.
==============Edited /Sadiya Hamza
Source Credit: NAN