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.

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.

Buhari To Participate In Africa 2016 Business Forum In Egypt

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari will depart Nigeria on Friday for Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to take part in the Business for Africa, Egypt and the World Forum.

A statement on Thursday by a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, said the forum would open in the Egyptian resort town on Saturday, February 18.

It is being organised by the Egyptian government under the auspices of the African Union Commission.

The forum’s objective is to accelerate private sector engagement and investment within Africa and promote the development of African ties and partnerships.

President Buhari, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt and the Presidents of Togo, Sudan, Kenya, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, as well as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia are among confirmed speakers at the forum.

Other confirmed speakers include the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and the President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote.

President Buhari would be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, alongside the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelama.

The President is expected to return to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital at the conclusion of the forum.

Hope For Ambitious Climate Change Bill Heightens In Paris Conference

COP21-in-Paris on Climate ChangeThe hope for an ambitious climate change bill that will give birth to a transformed development pathway for different countries has increased, as world leaders meet in Paris Conference of the Parties (COP21).

While the talks are ongoing, the world looks to the COP21 to deliver a new climate agreement that will be realistic and reduce the effect of climate change on different continents of the world, especially Africa.

Success at COP21 can drive and accelerate the transition to a cleaner, healthier and more secure future, locking-in sustainable economic growth and development.

Participants at the conference say a low-carbon, climate resilient world by the end of this century is no longer a hope but a necessity.

Particularly Vulnerable

Talks on how to reduce the effect of climate change topped talks at the conference.

On the sideline of the ongoing COP21 meeting in Paris, the United Nation’s Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, held a high-level meeting on Africa and climate change.

Mr Ban said Africa was particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, where much of the economy depended on a climate-sensitive natural resource base, including rain-fed subsistence agriculture.

“Disruptions in food or water supplies pose serious risk not only for your economies but also for political stability, particularly in fragile states,” Mr Ban said.

He, however, stated that African countries had shown great determination and vision in attempting to reduce poverty and meet demands for growth without jeopardising sustainability.

The World Bank President and the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, said Africa had every reason to complain, stressing the continent had been short-changed by climate change.

“We must not abandon Africa. Africa must not be short-changed in climate finance,” Dr Adesina stressed.

One message that is common in the series of the meetings by different African leaders at the conference is to see the huge effect of pollution by other continents on Africa corrected through a profitable climate deal for Africa.

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.

Jonathan Orders Investigation Into Morocco Phone Controversy

 JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has ordered full investigations into the controversy that has erupted over whether or not he had a telephone conversation with His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

The Nigerian President on Wednesday said he was shocked, surprised and highly embarrassed by the controversy.

In a statement by the President’s spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the the regrettable furore that has developed over the matter is due entirely to misinformation, as President Jonathan had neither spoken with King Mohammed or told anybody that he had a telephone conversation with the Moroccan Monarch.

” It is true that President Jonathan has been speaking with some African leaders to seek their support for Nigeria’s candidate for the position of President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“In continuation of his efforts in support of the candidacy of the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina for headship of the AfDB, President Jonathan indicated that he would like to speak with the King of Morocco, the President of Algeria and the President of Egypt,” ,” the statement read.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was consequently directed to make necessary contacts with the embassies of the three countries and arrange for President Jonathan to speak with their leaders.

Dr. Abati said that since that directive was given, President Jonathan had spoken with the Prime Minister of Algeria and subsequently sent Vice President Namadi Sambo to Algiers as Special Envoy to follow-up on his discussions with the Algerian Prime Minister on support for Nigeria’s candidate in the coming elections for the AfDB Presidency.

“The President has, however, not yet spoken with King Mohammed VI and President Al-Sisi of Egypt as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must know.”

As a result the controversy, President Jonathan ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, to urgently undertake a full investigation of the claim which emanated from the Ministry that the President spoke with King Mohammed VI.

The investigation is to identify all those who were responsible for the unacceptable act of official misinformation which had resulted in an unnecessary diplomatic row with another country and national embarrassment.

It is also expected to unveil the motives of the culprits.

President Jonathan also ordered that prompt and commensurate disciplinary action should be taken against the culpable person or persons.

While awaiting the outcome of the investigations, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to “disregard the vituperation of opposition elements, who have, true to type, latched on to the regrettable faux pas as a fresh opportunity to unpatriotically denigrate the government of their country and advance their irresponsible quest for victory at any price in the coming elections”.

The Kingdom of Morocco had said that there had never been a phone conversation between HM King Mohammed VI and the President of this country”, the ministry said in a statement.