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  •  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progress is being made on the Lagos Abidjan Corridor and on issues around the movement of goods and services Osinbajo s spokesman Laolu Akande in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the vice president spoke with newsmen after the 61st Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS hellip
    Progress being made on Lagos-Abidjan Highway Corridor—Osinbajo
     Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progress is being made on the Lagos Abidjan Corridor and on issues around the movement of goods and services Osinbajo s spokesman Laolu Akande in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the vice president spoke with newsmen after the 61st Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS hellip
    Progress being made on Lagos-Abidjan Highway Corridor—Osinbajo
    General news14 hours ago

    Progress being made on Lagos-Abidjan Highway Corridor—Osinbajo

    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says progress is being made on the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor and on issues around the movement of goods and services.

    Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke with newsmen after the 61st Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held in Accra, Ghana.

    The Lagos- Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway is part of the Trans-African Highway within the ECOWAS region.

    The vice president said that at meeting, President Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau assumed chairmanship of the West African regional body, ECOWAS, alongside a newly composed Commission.

    He said there were high expectations regarding the output of the body and the leaders must work harder to resolve lingering issues in the region.

    “President Nana Akufo-Addo did an excellent job in a very challenging period in the history of ECOWAS and many of the challenges remain.

    “So, we expect that the new leadership will take over and work as hard and perhaps much harder to resolve some of the issues.

    “There are even additional challenges today – economic challenges, especially with the Russian-Ukraine crisis, and economic problems.

    “Other issues are the coups that have taken place in the region in the past couple of years and we are still trying to resolve some of those issues.

    “The new leadership under President Sissoco Embaló must step up efforts and address those very many responsibilities that the region faces today.”

    Osinbajo added, however, that besides the challenges, the region was witnessing appreciable progress in the ECOWAS common currency policy.

    According to him, these are things ECOWAS citizens should be happy about.

    “Also, there is progress being made on the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor, some of the issues around the movement of goods and services on that corridor.

    “These are some of the very important decisions that were taken and I think progress is being made,’’ he said.

    Earlier at the opening session of the summit chaired by President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS commended President Muhammadu Buhari.

    Akufo-Addo said that the efforts and commitment of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing other challenges across the region were appreciated.

    “Let me address on behalf of all of us, our thanks to our esteemed colleague,  Buhari,  who in his capacity as champion in the coordination of the fight against the COVID-19, has spared no effort in this endeavour.”

    He recognised Nigeria’s leadership role in addressing other challenges across the region, especially the menace of coups, terrorism, and deteriorating humanitarian situations.

    “Indeed, following the failed coup d’etat of 1st February 2022 in Guinea Bissau and our emergency summit of Feb. 3, we decided to deploy an ECOWAS Standby Force to support the stability of the country and President Sissoco Embalo’s elected government.

    “That deployment of 609 security personnel, composed of 150 Nigerian troops and 140 Nigerian police personnel, 150 Senegalese troops, 100 Ghanaian troops and 59 troops from Cote d’Ivoire, with a force headquarters of 80 officers drawn from across the region, under the overall command of a Nigerian general and force commander has now been completed,” he said.

    He condemned the menace of terrorism in parts of the region.

    Akufo-Addo said that the terrorist attacks were not only focusing on the Sahel, but also expanding to the coastal states in ECOWAS region.

    He also affirmed that ECOWAS remained committed to the restoration of democratic order in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

    Among decisions reached at the end of the meeting was the lifting of financial and economic sanctions against Mali with the expectations for improved progress in the country’s transition to democratic rule.

    A newly composed ECOWAS Commission is also now in place with the emergence of Gambia’s Omar Alieu Touray who was introduced to the meeting of The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

    He replaced Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou of Cote d’Ivoire.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Since joining the African Development Bank Group www AfDB org as its 81st shareholder in 2020 Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin when African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business hellip
    Invest More in Africa—Akinwumi Adesina Urges Keen Irish Business Community
     Since joining the African Development Bank Group www AfDB org as its 81st shareholder in 2020 Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin when African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business hellip
    Invest More in Africa—Akinwumi Adesina Urges Keen Irish Business Community
    Africa16 hours ago

    Invest More in Africa—Akinwumi Adesina Urges Keen Irish Business Community

    Since joining the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) as its 81st shareholder in 2020, Ireland has shown increasing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa. That mission received a major boost last week at the 7th Africa-Ireland Economic Forum in Dublin, when African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina urged the Irish business community to invest more in Africa.

    "If you're not investing in Africa, you're not in business," Adesina told her audience. "Ireland's foreign direct investment in Africa was $572 million at the end of 2020 and represented just 0.05% of Ireland's total net foreign direct investment," Adesina said. “This is too low. Ireland should invest much more in Africa. Let's set a target of 15% of Irish investment in Africa."

    The exhortation from the head of Africa's leading development finance institution was matched by publicly expressed enthusiasm by Irish officials about Ireland-Africa cooperation. Speaking at the forum on Thursday, Foreign Secretary and Defense Minister Simon Coveney spoke about deepening Ireland's economic and cultural links with Africa. He pointed to the prospects for closer trade links with the continent, noting that trade between Ireland and Africa was likely to reach €5bn by 2025.

    Hosting the head of the Bank Group on Friday, Irish President Michael D. Higgins congratulated Adesina on his work in the recent establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation. “Nothing is more important than that,” President Higgins said. He spoke about her long-standing interest in Africa and her optimism for its economic advancement. Discussing the looming global food crisis triggered by Russia's war in Ukraine, President Higgins welcomed the pre-emptive steps the Bank had taken to ensure the continent's food security.

    Describing their meeting, Adesina said, “President Higgins received me very warmly. He has a heart and a passion for Africa. He told me: 'You are doing an incredible job for Africa with your leadership in managing the African Development Bank. I'm inspired by your vision.'”

    Similar support for continued strong cooperation came from senior Irish officials Adesina met during his visit, notably: Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance and the Diaspora; John Hogan, Secretary General of the Finance Department and Deputy Governor for Ireland at the African Development Bank Group; and Paul Ryan, Director of the department's Climate and International Finance Division, which is responsible for managing Ireland's shareholding in international financial institutions.

    Adesina thanked the Irish government for joining the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund, the Bank Group's concessional lending arm, and expressed appreciation for Ireland's contribution, announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense Coveney on Thursday, of 2 million euros to the African region. Development Bank for Climate Adaptation.

    In a speech (https://bit.ly/3Ap2qkt) at the forum on Thursday, the head of the African Development Bank held a packed conference room captive as he spoke about the current African economic environment, the continent's challenges, its many opportunities and on the role of the African Development Bank Group as a "solutions bank", a valuable partner to its regional member countries, its international development partners and the international business community, whose investment he said was desirable. “You can count on the African Development Bank as a partner,” he emphasized.

    The Bank's President was also interviewed (https://bit.ly/3NFm9PZ) at the Institute of International European Affairs (IIEA) by Ambassador David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. Welcoming Adesina, he said: “Dr. Adesina is often described as Africa's Chief Optimist and is widely praised for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa's transformation. Since he took over as president of the African Development Bank in 2015, the Bank has achieved the highest capital increase since its inception in 1964.”

    In his opening remarks, Paul Ryan said: “As well as being Africa's chief optimist, I would like to say to Dr. Adesina that he is also Ireland's closest friend at the African Development Bank and on the African continent as well. . He has been a fabulous partner for Ireland over the last few years, particularly since we joined the Bank in February 2020. […] The Bank's response, under the leadership of the President, to Covid and now to the war in Ukraine, has been absolutely exemplary. Many steps have been taken to prepare for the future in relation to food security, renewable energy and economic development, and it is exactly in line with our development goals. We are very happy to join the bank, very satisfied with the level of commitment and really satisfied with the work that the Bank has been doing on the continent”.

    Ryan added that Adesina, “first elected president of the Bank in 2015 and unanimously re-elected for another five-year term in August 2020”, is a bold reformer who completely transformed the agricultural sector in Nigeria as agriculture minister for four years. years. and that she has replicated that same success at the African Development Bank. “We are very happy with the president. Our colleagues in the constituency are very happy. And what is more important, the broader membership of the African continent is very happy.”

    Adesina spoke about the Bank's work, in particular the top 5 strategic priorities credited with developing the institution, and how he saw these priorities as the fulcrum for both transforming Africa and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the ONU.

    Adesina invited officials and operators from the private sector to the next edition of the Bank's Africa Investment Forum, which will take place in Abidjan in November.

  •  Libyans angry at rising prices chronic power cuts and political gridlock planned more demonstrations on Monday after a night of angry protests in the capital Masked youths set car tires on fire and blocked roads including a major coastal road between central Tripoli and the western suburbs but security forces did not intervene Videos published hellip
    Libya protests planned over power cuts, political deadlock
     Libyans angry at rising prices chronic power cuts and political gridlock planned more demonstrations on Monday after a night of angry protests in the capital Masked youths set car tires on fire and blocked roads including a major coastal road between central Tripoli and the western suburbs but security forces did not intervene Videos published hellip
    Libya protests planned over power cuts, political deadlock
    Foreign17 hours ago

    Libya protests planned over power cuts, political deadlock

    Libyans angry at rising prices, chronic power cuts and political gridlock planned more demonstrations on Monday after a night of angry protests in the capital.

    Masked youths set car tires on fire and blocked roads, including a major coastal road between central Tripoli and the western suburbs, but security forces did not intervene.

    Videos published by local media also showed demonstrations in Beni Walid and the port city of Misrata.

    A youth movement calling itself "Beltress" said more protests were planned in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square at 4:00 pm local time (1400 GMT).

    The movement calls for elections and the dissolution of both the country's rival governments and its two houses of parliament.

    Public anger has been fueled by power cuts that often last 18 hours amid high summer temperatures, despite the fact that Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa.

    The vast country has been mired in political unrest and armed violence since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed dictator Moamer Gadhafi.

    On Friday night, protesters stormed the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk, looting its offices and setting part of the building on fire.

    In both Tripoli and the main eastern city of Benghazi, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, thousands of people took to the streets shouting “We want the lights to work”.

    Some waved the green flags of the former Gaddafi regime.

    Kleptocracy and corruption United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for calm, but UN-brokered talks in Geneva last week to break the deadlock between rival Libyan institutions failed to resolve key differences.

    Presidential and parliamentary elections, originally set for last December, were meant to culminate a UN-led peace process following the end of the last major round of violence in 2020.

    But the vote never took place due to several contentious bids and deep disagreements over the legal basis for the ballot box between rival power centers in the East and West.

    The crisis deepened this year when the parliament, elected in 2014 and backed by eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, appointed a new government to replace caretaker leader Abdelhamid Dbeibah.

    He has refused to cede power except to an elected administration.

    In addition to the political stalemate, Libyans' standard of living has been hit hard by rising food import prices due to the war in Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, supporters of former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha's rival administration have shut down several oil facilities since April as leverage in their power struggle with Dbeibah.

    Libya expert Jalel Harchaoui told AFP that "kleptocracy and systematic corruption" were rife in both eastern and western Libya.

    For normal Libyans, however, the year "has been extremely painful" because the country "imports almost all of its food and the war in Ukraine has affected consumer prices," Harchaoui said.

  •  Pope Francis has rejected suggestions that he may be about to resign saying in an interview published Monday that rumors that he was suffering from a serious illness were court gossip It never crossed my mind Francis told the Reuters news agency after weeks of speculation Pressed on whether he could emulate his predecessor Benedict hellip
    Pope Francis denies resignation rumours
     Pope Francis has rejected suggestions that he may be about to resign saying in an interview published Monday that rumors that he was suffering from a serious illness were court gossip It never crossed my mind Francis told the Reuters news agency after weeks of speculation Pressed on whether he could emulate his predecessor Benedict hellip
    Pope Francis denies resignation rumours
    Foreign18 hours ago

    Pope Francis denies resignation rumours

    Pope Francis has rejected suggestions that he may be about to resign, saying in an interview published Monday that rumors that he was suffering from a serious illness were "court gossip."

    "It never crossed my mind," Francis told the Reuters news agency after weeks of speculation.

    Pressed on whether he could emulate his predecessor Benedict XVI, who was the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign, the Argentine said “for the moment, no. At the moment, no. In fact!"

    But in the interview, which took place Saturday at the Vatican, he repeated his oft-stated position that he might one day resign if ill health made it impossible for him to lead the Church.

    Asked when that might be, the 85-year-old said: "We don't know. God will say."

    Francis said he had suffered a "small fracture" in his knee, which was treated with laser and magnetic therapy.

    Knee pain forced him to postpone a July trip to Africa indefinitely.

    He denied rumors that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer during his colon operation in July 2021, saying it was simply "court gossip".

    Francis will travel to Canada this month, after which he said he would like to travel to Moscow and Kyiv if possible.

    The pontiff has repeatedly offered to help mediate the war, saying he was hoping to receive an invitation to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

  •  The Ukrainian Government is expected to present its priorities for the country s post war reconstruction for the first time on Monday as representatives of some 40 potential donor countries meet in the Swiss town of Lugano Various international organisations and financial institutions were also due to attend the meeting which was planned to agree on the hellip
    Ukraine to priorities for its post-war reconstruction at summit
     The Ukrainian Government is expected to present its priorities for the country s post war reconstruction for the first time on Monday as representatives of some 40 potential donor countries meet in the Swiss town of Lugano Various international organisations and financial institutions were also due to attend the meeting which was planned to agree on the hellip
    Ukraine to priorities for its post-war reconstruction at summit
    Foreign20 hours ago

    Ukraine to priorities for its post-war reconstruction at summit

    The Ukrainian Government is expected to present its priorities for the country’s post-war reconstruction for the first time on Monday, as representatives of some 40 potential donor countries meet in the Swiss town of Lugano.

    Various international organisations and financial institutions were also due to attend the meeting, which was planned to agree on the distribution of various tasks amongst the delegates.

    Hundreds of billions of euros would be required to fund the rebuilding of Ukraine’s shattered infrastructure.

    The most important principles behind the project would likely spell out in a declaration at the end of the conference.

    Those travelling to Lugano for the meeting were expected to include Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

    While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was due to address the meeting by video link from Kiev.

    “Ukraine is a huge country, a lot has been destroyed, you cannot start planning and coordinating reconstruction soon enough,’’ Markus Berndt said.

    Berndt is head of the European Investment Bank’s department of external activity.

    Ukraine urgently needed  help to secure basic services now such as clean water supply, sewage, waste disposal, energy and internet access to ensure macroeconomic stability, Berndt said.

    “We need investment, otherwise, the economy will collapse completely and then we’d lose the most important pillar for reconstruction.

    “Of course, a water supply can be destroyed again during the war.

    “But if we don’t make sure that the cities can function again and people can live there, then the costs, in the long run, are far higher than if we finance a water supply twice,’’ he added. (

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN