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G20 nations pledge to use all means to boost sluggish world growth

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The world’s top 20 economic powers pledged during a ministerial meeting on Saturday to use all policy tools at their disposal to uplift the world’s sluggish economic growth.

The G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs meeting in Shanghai, China, said in a communiqué that while the global recovery was continuing, “it remains uneven and falls short of our ambition for strong, sustainable and balanced growth,” AFP reported.

The gathering was held amid fears about the general slowing down of economic growth in the host nation, China, drastic drop in world financial markets, and US interest rates having risen for the first time in nine years, while Japan has adopted negative rates.

The meeting came after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) cut its 2016 global growth forecast from 3.3 percent to 3.0 percent last week.

The G20 communiqué cited a list of specific risks the world faces, including volatile capital flows, falling commodity prices and rising geopolitical tensions, along with “the shock of a potential UK exit from the European Union and a large and increasing number of refugees in some regions.”

However, disagreements about the right solution emerged on Friday, which was the first day of the meeting, after Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said attempts to boost economies with monetary loosening could be counterproductive and fiscal stimulus, which aims to make governments spend more or cut taxes, had run its course.

“Fiscal as well as monetary policies have reached their limits,” he said, adding, “If you want the real economy to grow there are no shortcuts without reforms.”

As the European Union’s largest and richest member, Germany sometimes has different economic priorities to other countries and Schaeuble was at odds with the United States, Britain and China, which all backed the use of monetary and fiscal tools to fight a downturn, as well as structural reforms.

Berlin does “not agree on a G20 fiscal stimulus package,” the German minister clearly said.

The communiqué acknowledged, “Monetary policy alone cannot lead to balanced growth,” saying that fiscal policy would be used “flexibly,” while giving a nod to the importance of structural reforms.

In the meantime, France’s Finance Minister Michel Sapin told AFP that while “no-one” was suggesting a coordinated global stimulus package, those in a “better situation” should use it in an “intelligent” way to “support global demand.”

Asked about the German stance, he said some countries might be “reluctant for historic, cultural reasons, which can be understandable… but today we are in an economic situation which requires all the policy tools that exist to be used.”

The G20 communiqué, however, did not express any explicit concerns over China, where growth has slowed to its weakest in 25 years.

In the communiqué the group reaffirmed their previous commitments to “refrain from competitive devaluations” or “target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.”

There are widespread concerns among G20 countries that Beijing may cut the value of its yuan in order to lift its struggling export sector, though Chinese officials deny any such plans.

“There is no basis for persistent renminbi depreciation from the perspective of fundamentals,” People’s Bank of China chief, Zhou Xiaochuan, said Friday, adding, “We will not resort to competitive devaluations to boost our advantage in exports.”

Aviation, Travel & Trade Summit

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The Africa Travel Association (ATA), in partnership with the African Union Mission to the United States and Global Strategies for Good, will launch the ATA Aviation, Travel & Trade Summit in Atlanta, GA April 17-18, 2016. Sponsored by the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport withHonorary Chair Ambassador Andrew Young, the event will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center.

Inspired by the theme Elevating Africa’s Aviation & Tourism Industry, the Summit will bring together leading global airlines, aviation experts, tourism professionals, corporations, business leaders, government officials, travel buyers and suppliers who have an interest in the advancement of the airline industry, business development and tourism in Africa. The Summit will include an Africa Cultural Night and a full-day of sessions.

HONORARY CHAIR

Ambassador Andrew Young
ATA Aviation, Travel & Trade Summit, Honorary Chair

PRESENTING SPONSOR


SUPPORTING SPONSOR 



EVENT PARTNER

EVENT SPONSORS 

http://www.africatravelassociation.org/ATA-Event.asp?id=3;23

COP21 Summit in Paris draft text

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PARIS: A draft text of climate deal being presented to ministers at COP21 Summit taking place in Paris. Final draft of Paris climate text will be a ‘Historic turning-point’ if adopted, according to COP21 president – Laureny Fabius. He also said the text is the best balance possible with 100 billion dollar financing for developing countries by 2020.  He also said that climate deal will limit warming to well below two degrees centigrade.  Text set 5-year reviews of plans for curbing warming.

Ban Ki Moon , UN Secretary General said the world is watching and people are relying on the wisdom of the ministers to come to a reliable conclusion. According to him, ‘the end is in siight, let us now finish the job.’

WHAT IS COP21

France chairs and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), from 30 November to 11 DECEMBER. The conference is crucial because the expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2 degree centigrade.

COP21 Summit in Paris draft text

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NOW IN PARIS: A draft text of climate deal being presented to ministers at COP21 Summit taking place in Paris. Final draft of Paris climate text will be a ‘Historic turning-point’ if adopted, according to COP21 president – Laureny Fabius. He also said the text is the best balance possible with 100 billion dollar financing for developing countries by 2020.  He also said that climate deal will limit warming to well below two degrees centigrade.  Text set 5-year reviews of plans for curbing warming.

Ban Ki Moon , UN Secretary General said the world is watching and people are relying on the wisdom of the ministers to come to a reliable conclusion. According to him, ‘the end is in sight, let us now finish the job.’

WHAT IS COP21

France chairs and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), from 30 November to 11 DECEMBER. The conference is crucial because the expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2 degree centigrade.

Climate Challenge and African Solutions Summit

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TOPIC: COP 21, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY, INTERNATIONAL, DEVELOPMENT AND FRANCOPHONIE

The President of the Republic, with the Secretary General of the United Nations, chaired a summit Tuesday, December 1st on “Climate Challenge, African solutions”, organized in the framework of COP21, at Paris-Le Bourget

This summit brought together twelve African heads of state, the President of the African Union Commission and representatives of several governments and international institutions (World Bank, African Development Bank).

During this summit, the Head of State said that the ambition COP21 allows the realization of concrete projects in Africa, facilitates the adoption of a more sober carbon development model and supports adaptation to climate change observed on the continent. He recalled that Africa, which was not responsible for climate change, yet have suffered the most serious consequences. He also said share the desire of African countries that funding for the Africa should be mobilized as quickly as possible, without waiting for 2020.

Francois Hollande has pledged to bring more than 2 billion euros funding by France of renewable energy in Africa over the period 2016-2020. This effort will represent an increase of 50% of French bilateral commitments to the last 5 years. The projects funded by France will be part of the framework of the African Initiative on Renewable Energy, led by the African Union. They will implement both projects designed by African governments or organizations of civil society and local authorities. These programs will encourage the use of solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal according to the potential of each country.

In the fight against desertification and adaptation to climate change, the President said that France would triple its bilateral commitments gradually in Africa. This effort responds to the demand of African countries that funding for sustainable development that are more today on adaptation to climate change.Development assistance of France shall focus on projects within African initiatives of Great Green Wall, or preservation of Lake Chad and the Niger River.

All these projects show that the agenda of solutions for the climate, major focus of COP21, will find many variations on the African continent.

Sustainable Development Goals

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On September 25th, countries will have the opportunity to adopt a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

Do you want to get involved? You can start by telling everyone about them.

Nigeria’s economic challenges provide opportunities for innovation – GMD Access Bank Plc

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The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, has said the current economic challenges in Nigeria and other economies across the world present opportunities for new discoveries and innovations.
Wigwe, said this at the 2015 Access Conference held in Lagos on Thursday with the theme: “Leading in a transformational world – the imperative of innovation.”
The Access Bank boss pointed out that there were significant opportunities, which everyone, especially the youths must grab to contribute positively to the development of the world.
While noting that the Nigerian environment has its challenges, he expressed optimism that there are opportunities to create tenacious entrepreneurs, courageous politicians and innovative chief executive officers.
“All these people are individuals who cannot rest on their laurels, particularly as the line between business and politics becomes blurred and technology begins to change our entire world beyond our recognition.
“Innovators change the world with a very simple question: What if? What if our literacy rate in Nigeria is 100 per cent? What if all Nigerians had access to education? What if the fight against malaria, HIV was won? What if our infrastructure enables economic success and opportunity for all Nigerians? More interesting, what if the banking industry could contribute to all these lofty goals by providing the best and cheapest services for all Nigerians?” he said.
According to Wigwe, the question about leadership and innovation is more pertinent in Nigeria today.
The successful democratic election in the country this year, he said marked the momentous change and achievement for Nigeria’s political system, adding that the smooth transition was a validation of democracy not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.
“Leadership in a transformation world, not only benefits from innovation, but it demands it. At Access Bank, we recognise that innovation is key to our business and of course to the financial services industry. What we have done in Access Bank, is to use innovation to turn threats into opportunity and offer excellent services to our customers,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, said in the world today, transformation is taking place at an increasing rate in every sphere of the human endeavour.
Technology has now so developed, he said, noting that just over two decades ago, mobile phones were unknown in Africa.
“Today, there are over 160 million mobile lines in Nigeria alone. It is a fact that we now use mobile phones in doing everything and in transferring monies across the world. As the theme of today’s event states, we must continue to innovate. This is what would bring about the transformation leadership in the world we find ourselves.  Those who refuse to innovate would stagnate at best, or worst vegetate.
“We live in an era where our ability to change the society depends very much on how we are able to bring on innovative ideas to bear on our responsibilities. In Lagos state, we have decided to take the bull of transformational leadership by the horn. We have created the office of transformation, innovation and creativity to champion of vision of transforming the way we do business in the state,” he added.
Also at the conference were Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes; Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak; Air Asia founder and CEO, Tony Fernandes; founder and CEO of Gigameet.com, Chinedu Echeruo; co-founder of Yudala, Nnamdi Ekeh, among others.

FG to focus on creating enabling business environment – Osinbajo

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Creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and flourish is one of the key priorities of the Buhari administration meant to spur the growth of the economy and create opportunities for gainful employment.

This view was expressed yesterday by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the federal government and a leading Chinese technology firm Huawei in his office.
The MOU provides 2000 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) trainee jobs to young Nigerians next year under the “Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme.”

According to the vice-president who was joined by the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and Communications Minister, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, “ICT is one of the quickest ways people can get decent jobs, so we think this is absolutely important.”

Continuing, he said “in the change agenda, how to grow the economy is important, and we want to create ICT hubs and support existing ones. We thank Huawei for this initiative of advancing technology in Nigeria, apart from the job creation itself.”

Observing the poor rating of Nigeria in the global rankings of business environments, the vice-president disclosed that the president has already given the Trade, Industry and Investment Minister the task of addressing the challenges of doing business in the country.

At an event also attended by the Chinese Ambassador Mr. Gu Xiaojie, the vice-president said the relationship between Nigeria and China is a strategic one, and urged Chinese investors and business leaders to consider Nigeria for manufacturing plants.
He said the Chinese investors “should encourage not just the selling, but also the manufacturing of products in Nigeria.”
This he said would lead to the mutual prosperity for both countries.
According to the Chinese envoy, China is in partnership with the Buhari presidency in the “change” agenda, listing the nation’s plans to be involved in such areas like agricultural modernisation, industrialisation, infrastructure, trade and investment, poverty alleviation, and peace and security among others.
Nigeria’s Ministers for Labour and Communications, whose ministries would select the 2000 trainees, signed the MOU on behalf of the federal government while  Messrs. Li Teng and Lanre Odekunle, Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director respectively signed for Huawei. Mr. Richard Cao, the Vice-President of Huawei West Africa was in attendance.
Both ministers commended the initiative. While Ngige stated that “China has blazed the trail,” on the job creation MOU with the Buhari presidency, Shittu praised the effort and asked the Chinese people to consider setting up a technology institute or polytechnic in Nigeria.

According to Cao, “Huawei has long been committed to developing Nigeria’s ICT sector, and is working hard to build a Better Connected Nigeria. At the same time as delivering cutting-edge ICT technologies and services to Nigeria, we are also committed to fostering a skilled local ICT workforce.”

He added: “As a leading global supplier of ICT products and solutions, Huawei will continue to share its global experience in the development of the ICT industry with the Nigeria government. We hope to become a strategic partner to the Nigeria government in the future ICT planning and development, and will continue to expand our contributions and training programmes in Nigeria.”
The ICT training initiative strives to create a platform to nurture work-ready ICT experts by providing authentic ICT industry-relevant education.
The Chinese firm also introduced a group of Nigerian ladies it has selected to embark on an ICT training mission to China to the vice-president, who praised the idea saying it promotes women empowerment and advances girl-child education, both concepts which are dear to the Buhari administration.

Has the Nigerian messiah come…?

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By Isa Sago/

President Muhamadu Buhari and his team have enormous task ahead of them, and also, presently in their hands. And it is true that the President is and has never been part of Nigeria’s problem as it were but obviously has a lot to deal with; taking on some people in opposition, in his government and some close to him in terms of his anti-corruption war. His body language speaks volume, and for those who took part in the sharing of public funds should better get ready for a big war.

I am convinced that the President is aware of the battle ahead – as corruption often fights back very dirty. It is a pity that it happened that of every leader Nigerians had hoped for and looked forward to leading them, it was President Buhari in their least of hearts , especially those from the south-south, south-east and north-central. But man with his limitation could not have been able to stop PMB’s coming. It was ordained by God. And for those who painstakingly supported him all along saw clear what those who did not were blinded with; false stories, character assassination, name it. Politics or no politics, Nigeria comes first, after God – and as Nigerians, we must all have learnt that in whatever we do we must play by the rules conscience , truth and honour.

With all the stories on the news about President Buhari (before the elections) I had doubt at first of his action plan and sincerity of purpose when he gets into power but as time went by it became clear to me and millions of Nigerians that maybe the messiah has come.

The President’s sincerity of purpose has started winning him over to those who never believed in him. Now that darkness is vanishing because of light which has come forth, Nigerians are praying that those who do not want the country to slip out of their manipulative hands do not frustrate the visionary leadership purpose of President Buhari’s government.

Today, as everyone hopes for the better, I urge the few Nigerians who still nurses unfounded grievances against the President (not because of anything reasonable but because of their allegiance to those who want to commandeer power perpetually and impoverish everyone, and peddle false stories) to think twice and support this government with prayers and what they can offer to make the country grow.

Now that it has dawned on those who have doubts that the President’s obvious slow pace in his first 6 months of taking over the leadership of Nigeria is however, invested in taking stock of how far Nigeria as a country is faring in leadership, governance and management of her common wealth. And his findings are beginning to yielding results because Nigerians can now see the way their country was governed in the past. From obvious reasons , it shows that for over three decades and more that the citizenry of the country lived in abject poverty, sharing of their common wealth was the only service of those in power at the expense of the tomorrow of over 170 million people. It is a pity.

Now that times are changing, and changing very fast, those in government are becoming very careful with their attitude towards governance, administration and management of public funds. This is a sign of some good things happening to Nigeria, and it clearly indicates the sign of a leadership messiah. I may be wrong or right, but time shall unfold the truth about today.

 

Nigeria, others require $250bn annually to fund landscape conservation – Okonjo-Iweala

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23 Sep 2009 --- epa01871956 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of The World Bank listens to speakers during a panel discussion on the second day of the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York, New York, USA, on 23 September 2009. The annual meetings, which run from September 22 through 25, is led by Bill Clinton to address poverty, health, climate change, and other worldwide issues drawing activists and political leaders from around the world. EPA/RAMIN TALAIE --- Image by © RAMIN TALAIE/epa/Corbis

A working paper released by the New Climate Economy project at the weekend has showed that Nigeria and other developing country need $250 billion annually for funding landscape conservation.

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who cited the report, solicited for support from developed economies to address the challenge of climate change in developing countries.

Okonjo-Iweala, said this in a speech she presented at a high-level opening plenary of the Global Landscapes Forum held Paris at the weekend.

However, she pointed out that only $25 billion a year was being invested on this, with 60 per cent of the amount from domestic budgets. The balance of $10 billion from external sources was from public foreign assistance, offsets, and philanthropy.
“How can this need be met where most of the land in question is densely occupied, often by very poor people? Public funding needs to play a large role. Communities typically need to stop planting or grazing on steep slopes, which have to be reforested.

“ Terracing or other forms of land and water management for agriculture are often necessary. Property rights and responsibilities of those on the land need to be formalised. Yet total annual expenditures by Ministries of Agriculture and of the Environment combined in developing countries do not exceed $50 billion from domestic sources, and total official Development Assistance ODA in agriculture has been of the order of US$3-4 billion per year, with perhaps another US$1 billion plus for forests,” she queried.
Okonjo-Iweala, who also noted that developing countries were not only aware of climate change added that many of them were already living with the consequences.
She also said there were concerns about the most recent predictions from the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC that food production per capita in developing countries would be sharply lower in the coming decades.

“ Most have put increasing food productivity and increasing the resilience of rural livelihoods at the top of the policy agenda. Yet land use is also vital to addressing climate change. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, of which I am a member, has featured land use issues in its New Climate Economy project. It finds that land use interventions can produce from 15 per cent to 35 per cent of the needed mitigation to get the world back to a two degree Celsius climate pathway by 2030. It also shows this path to be unlikely without a big contribution from these interventions in developing countries.

“ This Forum addresses the main need for going forward, a stronger consensus that landscape restoration is critical to achieving a vital “triple win” for development and climate: increasing rural productivity, resilience, and mitigation simultaneously.
“According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, a staggering third of all agricultural landscapes are now degraded, mostly in developing countries. Solutions need to come from those most directly involved. India for example has led on forest restoration. By 2030, additional forest and tree cover is expected to absorb at least 2.5 gigatons of CO2.

“The massive restoration of China’s Loess Plateau from the mid-1990s onwards is another. Annual household incomes grew from US$70 to US$200 per person over the first decade, through agricultural productivity gains and diversification. Soil losses were reduced by 100 million tonnes per year, and massive amounts of new biomass and soil carbon sequestered,” she said.
Furthermore, she noted that there was more than US$100 trillion in private investment capital, whose interest rates are very low.
On the other hand, Okonjo-Iweala said the bad news was that landscape investments in developing countries were inherently risky, especially where smallholders and poor forest communities are involved.

“There are institutional and infrastructure deficiencies, missing skills, market risks, political risks, and weather variability. These all keep bond investors away. A recent review by the Climate Bonds Initiative found that while there were US$ half-a-trillion in Green-themed bonds being held globally in 2013, less than 1 per cent of these were for land use investments.
“The NCE Working Paper being released today suggests a way forward through structured capital partnerships put together by “Impact Investors.” Such investments in land use in developing countries have been of the order of US$1 billion per year to 2013. But the amount is expected to continue to double every 4-5 years going forward,” she added.