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G7 devt. finance institutions, others to invest $80bn into African businesses

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The G7 Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) have announced a commitment to invest 80 billion dollars in Africa’s private sector, over the next five years, to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in the continent.

A statement on Monday, from the African Development Bank (AfDB), said the G7 DFIs made the announcement along with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the AfDB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank.

It is the first time the G7 DFIs have come together to make a collective partnership commitment to the African continent, according to the statement.

Each DFI has its own investment criteria which are aligned to an assessment of need, to achieve development impact across a range of sectors.

DFIs play an important role in helping to build markets, mitigate risks and pave the way for other investors to enter new markets.

The G7 DFI group consists of CDC, Proparco (France), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation, DFC (US), FinDev Canada, DEG (Germany) and CDP (Italy).

The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, said the UK was proud to back this commitment by world leaders at the G7 Summit.

“This investment will create jobs, boost economic growth, help tackle climate change and fight poverty. It comes at a crucial time as the continent rebuilds its economies, severely impacted by COVID-19,” Duddridge said.

Also, Nick O’Donohoe, the Chief Executive Officer, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Group, said the patient, high quality capital DFIs provided was urgently needed if African economies were to rebuild quickly from the impact of the pandemic.

“CDC is committed to building long term investment partnerships in Africa that fuel sustainable private sector growth in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” O’Donohoe said.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said the EIB welcomed G7 leadership to enhance support for high-impact investment across Africa during and after the pandemic.

“Last year, the EU Bank’s engagement in Africa, as part of Team Europe, represented the largest ever support for climate action and investment in fragile states in 55 years of EIB operations on the continent.

“We stand ready to cooperate further with African and multilateral partners to tackle both COVID-19 and accelerate the green transition in Africa,” Hoyer said.

Also, Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director, said ensuring an inclusive and sustainable recovery for people, businesses and economies across Africa, in coordination with IFC’s development partners, was at the core of the corporation’s development mandate.

“We know that the private sector will play a major role in financing Africa’s future by creating millions of jobs that are essential to ensuring sustained economic growth and poverty reduction.

“We, therefore, welcome this important partnership and are proud to provide financing and to work with partners to help create the right conditions to bring more private investment to Africa,” Diop said.

Similarly, David Marchick, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) said investing more in Africa, under President Biden’s leadership, was a top priority for DFC in fulfilling its development mandate.

“DFC is proud to be doubling down on our commitment to Africa, alongside our G7 and multilateral partners .

”We will continue to prioritise investments in vaccine manufacturing, COVID-19 response, climate mitigation and adaptation, and gender equity on the African continent,” Marchick said.

Dario Scannapieco, Chief Executive Officer, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) said closer collaboration among DFIs and multilateral partners was an essential factor in fostering sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa.

“CDP looks forward to contributing to this strategic partnership, supporting the African continent in developing its entrepreneurial and financial private sector, to unlock its vast, untapped potential,” Scannapieco said.

Also, Solomon Quaynor, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, AfDB, said the bank welcomed the global partnership and the opportunity to provide the African voice, as Africa builds back better and boldly.

“The opportunity to create jobs, particularly for youth and women, from a focus on industrialising Africa underpinned by the African Continental Free Trade Area, will be our priority.

“Given the gap between the IMF estimates and what this partnership is committing to, we will seek to crowd-in African development partners.

”As well as African savings from SWFs, pensions, and insurance pools, estimated to have US$1.8 trillion AUM,” Quaynor said.

Furthermore, Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, said harnessing the potential of the private sector was essential in supporting prosperity in Africa and meeting its development needs.

“In the North African countries where we work, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, we have invested over 11.5 billion euros in only nine years.

”It will be focused on boosting the private sector, developing green sustainable infrastructure and promoting youth and women participation in the economy.

“We will pursue our efforts to expand private sector investment opportunities at scale in the region, in close cooperation with other development actors,” Harmgart said.

However, Monika Beck, member of the DEG-Management Board, a German development finance institution, noted that many of the institution’s African partner countries had been affected by the pandemic.

“We quickly developed new services to support private sector SMEs and to help protect jobs and livelihoods.

“In Africa, DEG has always been specifically committed to creating prospects for the young, growing population. Therefore DEG welcome and is proud to be part of the G7 DFI Africa initiative,” Beck said. (NAN)

 

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Export Rejects: NEPC, other Inter-Agencies on a fact-finding mission to UK

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In a bid to curb the incidences of export rejects, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is leading an Inter-Agency team to the United Kingdom (UK) as part of strategic effort to address the issue which constitute a major constraint to the growth of the non-oil export sector.

The National Food, Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), National Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) Federal Produce inspection Service (FPIS) and Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) are among the Agencies participating on the fact-finding mission.

The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak who led the team lamented that these cases of rejection had resulted in stricter inspection regime on Nigerian exports in the importing countries and in some cases led to the suspension or ban of some products.

According to him “It also attracts unfavourable international media attention, gives the country a negative image as well as constitutes financial burden to the exporters who have to bear the cost of either reshipping the banned product to Nigeria or destroying the product.”

A statement by Ndubueze Okeke, the Head Cooperate Communication of the NEPC, the objective of the 5-day visit is to provide Nigerian export-regulatory and facilitating agencies the opportunity of observing the processes of agricultural commodities import procedures and interface with Port Health and Food Import Regulatory Agencies at the Border Control Points (BCPs) in the UK.

Other areas to be visited by the team are, Southampton Port (the second busiest port in UK), Spitafield Market – a one-stop aggregation and distribution centre for imported food in the UK as well as the Food Standards Agency (FDA), the parliament among others.

The team also held an interactive session with some Nigerian food importers in UK as part of effort to address the challenges encountered in importing food items from Nigeria to UK. It will be recalled that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) Otunba Niyi Adebayo recently inaugurated a Technical Committee to address the incidences of export rejects with view to proffer solutions to the problem.

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SON Commends FAO, NCC on review of food standards

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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has commended the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the National Codex Committee (NCC) for critical role played in the elaboration of food Standards at the International level especially at the various committees of the Codex Alimentarius Commission where Standards are adopted at the National level.

The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Mallam Farouk Salim disclosed on Thursday while speaking at the awareness and advocacy workshop organized by the National Codex Committee (NCC) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).

for high level policy and decision makers and public presentation of the 4th Edition of the revised National Codex Committee Procedural Manual in Abuja said the review was apt in order to keep abreast with the growth of Codex activities.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Olobayo Kunle, SON Director General said NCC has also contributed to the review of the Food safety policy and Food safety Bill in Nigeria.

“The National Codex Committee Procedural Manual was first prepared in line with CAC procedural manual published in 2002, with further revisions in 2007 and 2012 to guide the activities and improve functions of all the stakeholders involved for effective operations.

“The review of the NCC Procedural Manual was necessary to keep abreast with the growth of Codex activities over time, incorporate major changes, improve and strengthen Codex structure in Nigeria

“The National Codex Committee (NCC) Nigeria successfully applied for the Codex Trust Fund (CTF) 2 support to build strong, solid and sustainable national capacity to engage in Codex activities through the organization of annual awareness and advocacy workshops with political decision-makers, targeted competent authorities and other stakeholders to disseminate more information on Codex.

“The overall objective of the activity is to sensitize public decision-makers and competent authorities on the need to engage more in the national codex and to regularly provide all the support to increase its actions in favour of food safety at national level” he said.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Representative to Nigeria, Fred Kafeero said since the inception of CAC, FAO has worked with World Health Organisation in the development of international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practices to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices in the food trade using the principles of risk analysis and scientific advice provided by joint FAO/WHO expert bodies and consultations.

Represented by the FAO Assistant Representative Administration, David Fehintola said its country office in Nigeria with support from the regional office for Africa has continued to partner the Government and the National Codex Committee towards creating effective and efficient policies and strategies to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.

He said FAO believe that ensuring the supply of safe, quality and nutritious foods is as important as ensuring the availability of foods and food standardization as “Poor quality foods do not ensure food security” he said.

The FAO Representative to Nigeria said the agency has been supporting the National Codex Committee (NCC) in Nigeria, which has members from all the MDAs and the Private sector through the execution of the Codex Trust Fund 2 activities with a focus on the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025.

“We, at FAO believe that it is vital that the NCC commits itself to the core values of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in its Inclusiveness, Collaboration, Consensus Building and Transparency in all its work.

“FAO in its support through the CTF2 project endeavors to ensure the participation of all Codex members in the country in standard setting process to ensure these core values are met.

“A lot has been achieved this year in terms of capacity building of codex members, advocacy, sensitization and public awareness as well as in the review, finalization and dissemination of the NCC procedural manual” he said.

 

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Export4Survival: NEPC partners NOA to drive campaign in 36 States

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As part of strategic collaboration to promote the export of Made-in-Nigerian products and thereby increase foreign exchange earnings for the country, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has team up with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to create awareness for the Export4Survival campaign in 36 states of the federation.

The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak while on a working visit to the NOA in Abuja, said the visit was borne out of the need to seek strategic collaboration with relevant government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in a bid to rejuvenate the nation’s fragile economy in the wake of dwindling revenue from crude oil.

In a statement by Ndubueze Okeko, Head, Corporate Communications of the NEPC, Dr Yakusak, pointed out that the #Export4Survival is a patriotic call on all Nigerians to realize the urgency of engaging in non-oil export trade as a viable means of economic growth, poverty alleviation, industrial development and boosting our foreign exchange earnings.

“We must export our goods and services or perish. That is the only way the country could create jobs, create wealth and ensure a sustainable economy that guarantees prosperity for all Nigerians”, he added.

Responding, the NOA Director General, Dr. Garba Abari commended the NEPC for initiating the Export4Survival campaign as part of strategic initiative to increase the awareness of opportunities in the sector and benefits of exporting Nigerian goods and services to the overall growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

With 813 offices spread across the country, Dr. Abari said the NOA was strategically positioned to help the Council drive the campaign to the 36 states of the federation as well as the 774 local governments areas.

“Export4Survival is indeed strategic in finding a solution to the nation’s fragile economy. It is the only way to regain the value of the Naira as it will create wealth and job opportunities for all Nigerians”, he noted.

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