AfDB Records Capital Increase Of $208bn


The African Development Bank on Thursday announced the largest capital increase in its history, with an almost 125 percent jump from $93 billion to $208 billion.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina hailed “a historic day” for the bank and “a day of joy for Africa” at a press conference after the bank’s board of governors held an extraordinary meeting in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan.

He said the increase will give the bank “a lot of resources to go further in the development of our continent”.

Created in 1964, the AfDB is one of the five principal multilateral development banks in the world.

Its shareholders are the 53 African countries as well as 26 non-African states.

Its priorities are fighting poverty, improving living conditions and mobilising resources for the economic and social progress of its African member countries.

African Leaders Should Setup Youth’s Investment Banks, Says Adesina


President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has called on African Leaders and Governments to shift from youth’s empowerment to investments.

He made the call at the two-day Tony Elumelu Foundation Forum which held in Abuja.

Mr Adesina added that a special bank which focuses on young people’s asset should be established.

“It is time for African leaders and the Government to shift from youth empowerment to youth investments.

“And in trying to do that, I propose that it is time that we begin to set up Youths entrepreneurship and investments banks, banks where you walk into and they see assets and not liabilities.”

READ ALSO: 2019 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum

He added that one key driver to encourage youth’s in business and economic growth, lending should be derisked.

“Where you walk into and they have faith and confidence in young people; who can actually help you to grow your business.

“What does this mean; we have to de-risk lending to businesses of young people.”

Nigeria’s Adesina Named World Food Prize Laurette

President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has been named the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

President of the Foundation, Kenneth Quinn, who presented the award, said Adesina won the prize “for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years and improving food security for millions across the continent”.

Quinn added that he “grew up in poverty himself” and embarked on a journey to use his academic exposure to “lift up millions of people out of poverty, especially farmers in rural Africa”.

On his part, Adesina, 57, noted that Norman Borlaug who was an American agronomist, humanitarian and the founder of the prize, was a great mentor and inspiration to him.

In 1970, Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work feeding the world through the scientific advancements of the Green Revolution.

Adesina, will receive the $250,000 award administered by the Des Moines-based World Food Prize Foundation at a ceremony at the state Capitol in October.

Present at the occasion were former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, Congressmen, Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps.

Adesina was the Minister of Agriculture under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He studied agricultural economics at the University of Ife in Nigeria, where he met his wife, Grace, whose father had served as agriculture minister under Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Adesina went on to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate in agricultural economics at Purdue University in Indiana.

5th Africa CEO Forum To Kickoff March 20 In Geneva

5th Africa CEO Forum To Kickoff March 20 In GenevaHaving cemented its status as the foremost business personalities meeting dedicated to the development of the African private sector, the Africa CEO Forum is set to kick off its 5th edition, themed: “re-thinking Africa’s business model”.

The 2017 edition, set to take place in Geneva, would focus on how to succeed in this new economic cycle on the continent.

Slated to hold between March 20 and 21, the programme would bring together more than 1000 personalities, key decision makers in industry, finance and politics from the African continent and around the globe.

The Africa CEO forum 2017 would open the debate with the economic boom of the 2000s, the context of economic growth in Africa and the critical decisions that must be taken to reach rapid and sustainable growth.

Other themes to be discussed include: Unleashing innovation and the entrepreneurial potential of youth and women, making Africa more attractive for international investors, turning African stock exchanges into competitive powerhouses and creating the next generation of African exporters.

Find out more about the programme

The forum would also offer 20 sessions for debate and reflection, allowing participants to hit strategic topics for driving African corporate growth including: digital transformation, fintech, agri-business, private equity, emerging African champions, electricity and innovation.

Some of the African and international personalities slated to take part in the discussion and debate include:

President, African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, CEO Unilever, Paul Polman, President, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, CEO, OTMT Investments, Naguib Sawiris, Chairperson, MTN, Phuthuma Nhleko, Co-Founder and Group Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, CEO, United Capital, Oluwatoyin Sanni, Chairperson, Firstbank, Ibukun Awosika, CEO, Mohammed Enterprises, Mohammed Dewji, CEO, Africa and Middle East, Orange, Bruno Mettling, CEO, MSC, Diego Aponte, CEO, Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, CEO, Rougier, Marie-Yvonne Charlemagne, CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Sola David-Borha, CEO, Uchumi Supermarkets, Julius Kipng’etich, CEO, Cevital, Issad Rebrab, CEO, Casablanca Finance City Authority, Saïd Ibrahimi, CEO, NSIA, Jean Kacou Diagou.

For more information, visit the African CEO Forum website.

AfDB President Tasks Africa On Alternative Power Generation

Akinwunmi Adesina, AfDB, Africa, PowerThe President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has asked African nations to explore other sources of generating power.

He is also urging countries to device other means to move faster and unlock all the potential energy mix which lie untapped across the continent if Africa must meet the 10 gigawatts of electricity by 2020.

Light Up And Power Africa

Dr. Adesina told reporters on Monday at the 2016 AfDB meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, that Africa was currently seating on at least 11 terawatts of unutilised solar energy, 350 gigawatts of hydro and 150 gigawatts of wind power that must be unlocked.

He said proper planning of Africa’s power development was urgently required and attention must be paid to three key needs for power which are light, base load for industries and clean cooking.

Board of governors and officials from 80 member countries on the continent will converge over the next five days for the 51st AfDB’s annual meeting, with a key focus on energy and climate change. It will also focus on one of the regional bank’s high five priority areas which is to ‘light up and power Africa’.

Ninety-six per cent of Zambia’s nearly 2,400 megawatts of electricity is said to be sourced from hydro-power while Nigeria’s all time high of 4600 megawatts comes from hydro-power and gas.

In both countries, as in other African countries, other sources of power such as solar, coal, biomass, lignite and oil remain largely untapped.

With the 10 gigawatts target for Africa by 2020, African countries must hasten to meet the ‘light up and power Africa’ objective with the support of the African Development Bank.

Night Grazing Banned In Plateau State

grazingSecurity operatives have banned the movement of cattle and herdsmen after 7PM in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Mangu and Jos South Local Government Areas of Plateau State.

The Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Major General Tagbo Ude, made the announcement during a town hall meeting between community leaders, village heads and Ardos of the affected communities as part of efforts to maintain law and order in the areas.

Top of the agenda at the meeting was the return of internally displaced persons ousted from both the Berom and Fulani settlements.

They also looked into the issue of maintaining peace and having an understanding between the cattle rearers and farmers especially during the rainy season.

During the interactive session some community leaders expressed concerns on issues of internally displaced persons returning to their homes, in spite of the assurances that it was safe for them return to commence.

Major-General Ude again allayed their fears on the destruction of newly built houses of returning displaced persons. He maintained that security operatives would be available to protect such structures.

He went ahead to read the riot act to perpetrators of such crimes, insisting that the security agencies would not condone any excesses.

The banning of night grazing was one of the agreements reached at the town hall meeting. Participants expressed hope that all concerned would adhere to the decisions taken and embrace peace for the sake of development.

Our Priority Is National Food Security – Buhari

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari says the priority of his administration is to ensure food security in Nigeria before export of food products.

The President made the statement on Saturday while contributing to a Presidential Panel Roundtable on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening session of the ‘Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World’ at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

With Nigeria being a mono-economy, dependent on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, he stressed that the way out of the current slump in the global oil market was for the administration to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development.

“The land is there and we need machinery inputs, fertilizer and insecticides,” he said.

Productive and Self-sufficient

On his opposition to the devaluation of the Naira, President Buhari noted that Nigeria could not compete with developed countries which produce to compete among themselves and could afford to devalue their local currencies.

“Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue, they compete better and manufacture and export more.

“But we are not competing and exporting, but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?” the President asked.

According to him, “we want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency”.

The President stated that those who had developed taste for foreign luxury goods should continue to pay for them rather than pressuring government to devalue the Naira.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of its current economic downturn, pointing out that another major problem militating against economic revival was the huge resources deployed towards tackling insurgency and international terrorism.

President Buhari commended the support being received from the international community in his administration’s fight against terror, as well as cooperation in tracing looted funds stashed away in foreign countries.

Responding to a question on his performance since he assumed office, he said that his administration had been quite focused on three fundamental issues of securing the country, reviving the economy and stamping out corruption.

“The message on corruption has been driven home vividly and Nigerians are very acceptable to the message,” he said.

President Buhari added that those accused of stealing public funds were cooperating by voluntarily providing useful information while investigations and prosecutions were going on.

In his address, the Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, said that Africa needed to concentrate on transforming into knowledge societies using innovation and research.

The Presidents of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia also participated at the Roundtable.

In his message, the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stressed that “Africa must think big, act big and develop big.”

Before departing Egypt, President Buhari and his Egyptian host, had a bilateral discussion on security, military cooperation, agriculture and solid minerals development.

Fayose Hails Jonathan’s Appointment As Leader Of Tanzania’s Election Observers

fayoseEkiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has hailed the appointment of former President, Goodluck Jonathan as leader of a 33-nation observer mission to the general election to be held in Tanzania on Sunday, October 25.

Mr Fayose described the appointment as “a global recognition of the former president’s democratic credentials.”

He said, “Jonathan’s appointment to lead the Commonwealth observer team, comprising of 33 countries is in recognition of his remarkable role in the last presidential election, in which he conceded defeat, thereby saving Nigeria from catastrophe that even the international community thought would befall the country”.

Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said that; “Jonathan should be celebrated and I am happy that the world is beginning to give him the deserved recognition and celebration less than five months after he left office”.

He said, Dr Jonathan’s courage and spirit of sportsmanship in accepting the outcome of the presidential election despite the obvious shortcomings, saved the nation from political chaos and violence, adding that; “Jonathan provided the foundation on which democracy is standing in Nigeria today and one is not surprised that he is being asked to lead the Commonwealth election observer team from 33 nations to Tanzania.

“Even if those who benefited from his show of love and commitment to the peace and development of Nigeria are paying him back with persecution and victimisation, I am happy that the former President and those who worked with him are being celebrated globally.

“Today, four of those who worked with Jonathan, who were called thieves by our friends on the other side, are holding top positions in international organisations.

“Mrs Omobola Johnson, the immediate past Minister of Communication Technology is a Honorary Chairperson of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a United States based global coalition; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister now chair the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, (GAVI), as well as Senior Advisor to Lazard, a 167-year-old global investment firm; Mrs Arunma Oteh, former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development is President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr Fayose added: “I therefore congratulate Dr Jonathan and urge those presently holding power in Abuja to emulate him by putting Nigeria and its interests first”.

New AfDB President, Adesina Resumes, Promises New Deal For Africa

afdb presidentThe new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has promised that the bank will launch a new deal on energy for Africa.

In a speech after his investiture as the 8th President of the bank, Dr. Adesina said his administration would focus on equality and financial inclusion across the continent.

The AfDB President, who is Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Agriculture, underscored the need to rapidly transform agriculture into a business to speed up economic growth and lift millions of people out of poverty.

He announced that the AfDB would embark on innovative programmes and work within five priority areas, including the light up and power Africa project, feed Africa, integrate Africa, industrialise Africa and improve quality of life for the people of Africa.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who witnessed the investiture alongside President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire and some state governors, urged the bank to encourage good governance and increase efficiency of its programmes to address salient issues in health, education, unemployment and agriculture.

Achieving Food Security Through Biotechnology And Genetically Modified Crops

BiotechnologyAgric Information Broker, Mr African-Farmer Mogaji, believes that the technology behind the Genetically Modified Crops is not bad depending on its use.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Business Morning, he stated that the technology has only suffered hostility because of its name, as there are no scientific proofs that the crops have affected people’s health.

He aligned with Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, whom he said, has embraced best-practice by avoiding the controversial term, genetically modified crops and just mention a more favoured term – biotechnology.

The Consultant explained that Biotechnology is a broad term used for a group of technologies that involves a bit of biological processes and systems in improving a product or service.

However, genetic modification is an aspect of it which involves practices like cloning, In vitro fertilization and many others.

Although the views remain that the genetically modified crops are not safe, Mogaji believes that the scientists made a mistake with the choice of term for the technology as Nigerians can be sensitive to such names.

Jonathan Unveils National Identity Card

National Identity CardPresident Goodluck Jonathan has asked the National Identity Card Management Commission to ensure that the issuance process of the new e-card is prompt and swift enough to enable many more Nigerians obtain their e-ID cards, as soon as possible.

While speaking at the unveiling of the e-card, he urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and the private sector, to key into the project, following the benefits from its designed functionalities.

According to the President, the regime of duplication of biometric databases must give way to harmonization and unification with the e-ID scheme, which shall be the primary database.

He asked the commission to also ensure that all registrable persons are enrolled into the National Identity Database and that all MDAs involved in data capture activities, align their activities, with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, while extolling the beauty of the card and its multiple purposes, expressed happiness that the National Identity Management Commission has tried to survive despite various challenges.National Identity Card

The Director-General of the commission, Chris Onyemenem, in a presentation, took the audience through the uses of the card. According to him, the card would solve the challenge of proof of identity, the way no proof of identity has.

There were also testimonies from the operators of the system on what the identity card could do for the holders anywhere in the world.

President Jonathan unveilled the card, and used it to carry out some financial transactions via the ATM.

Top government officials were present for the presidential launch and unveiling of the national e-id card, including the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and the Minister of Finance and Supervising Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

Dame Jonathan Commissions Nigeria’s Newly Acquired Fishing Vessel

Fishing_vessel_polandIn a bid to boost its economy through the agriculture sector, Nigeria today officially acquired the first ever dual purpose vessel Newly built in Gdansk, Republic of Poland.

The vessel is billed for deep sea fishing and research works.

Dame Patience Jonathan, who commissioned the vessel, expressed happiness that when put to use, the vessel named RV Bayagbona after the First Executive Director of Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research, Dr. Bayagbona will further drive the Agricultural policy of President Goodluck Jonathan to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, especially fish production.

The First Lady said the acquisition of the vessel will enhance the exploration of these resources. She also noted that the vessel will boost Nigeria’s capacity in Marine and Oceanography research for sustainable development and management of the country’s vast resources.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina said the acquisition of the 10.1 million Euro vessel will see to 25 per cent reduction in fish importation, giving room for the exploitation of the country’s rich tuna resources.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Lauretta Chiogor, reports that RV Bayagbona is due back in Nigeria next month and will be handed over to the Institute for Marine Research and Oceanography.

She also adds that the vessel will operate on a Public Private Partnership.