Saturday, April 29, 2023

Texas man slaughters neighbors

A man went next door with a rifle and began shooting his neighbors, killing an 8-year-old and four others inside a house near Houston, after the family asked him to stop firing rounds in his yard because they were trying to sleep, authorities said Saturday.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said authorities were still searching for 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza following the shooting in the town of Cleveland, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Houston. He said Oropeza used an AR-style rifle in the attack, which happened shortly before midnight Friday.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Kenya Must be Exporting Rather than Importing Food - President Ruto

President William Ruto has said Kenya should be exporting rather than importing food. He said it is time bold, ambitious and progressive policy decisions were pursued to make the country produce more. The President insisted that Kenya has the potential to feed itself and sell the surplus to other countries. “We must turn agriculture into a commercial economic activity,” he said.

President William Ruto

The President explained that the Government was consolidating main trading blocs in Africa “so that we can give value to our farmers”. “We should allow our farmers to earn more from their sweat by exploiting new and lucrative markets for them,” he noted.

He made the remarks recently at State House in Nairobi during a consultative meeting with Governors, Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry and Development Partners. The meeting focused on the promotion of trade, strengthening of market linkages, and the establishment of aggregation centers and industrial parks in counties. “We have agreed to work together to promote investment and trade so as to stimulate our country’s economic growth.”

The President insisted that Kenya’s products are premium and much sought-after in the world. He added that land in regions such as Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, among other arid areas should not be lying idle. “Commercial irrigation will turn these regions into our food baskets. Water harvesting will, therefore, form the main part of our country’s transformation plans.”

Source: APO

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

U.S.-Africa Business Summit set for July 11-14 2023 in Gaborone, Botswana

During a recent visit to Gaborone, Botswana, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) President and CEO Florizelle “Florie” Liser was honored to meet with H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, who reiterated his Government’s commitment to successfully co-hosting the 15th U.S.-Africa Business Summit (USABS) in Botswana later this year.

Ms. Liser made the announcement with Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Hon. Mmusi Kgafela that the Summit will be held July 11-14 2023 in Gaborone.

President Masisi noted that key Cabinet officials who attended the meeting were ready to mobilize their ministries and work collaboratively with CCA and the private sector to organize a highly successful Summit.

Florie Liser with H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana

The U.S.-Africa Business Summit is the Corporate Council on Africa’s premier annual event, bringing together African heads of state, senior U.S. and African government officials, and top CEO’s and senior business executives from the U.S. and Africa spanning major business sectors that are critical to the continent’s development. These include infrastructure, ICT / digital, health, energy, mining, agriculture, consumer goods, finance, tourism and creative industries.

The 15th USABS theme “Enhancing Africa’s Value in Global Value Chains” highlights an issue that was heavily discussed during the U.S. - Africa Business Forum, hosted by President Joseph R. Biden on the second day of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC in December 2022. During the Forum, President Biden announced more than $55 billion in new U.S. government programs to support trade, investment and development in Africa along with more than $15 billion in new trade and investment deals made by private sector companies that were in attendance.

 CCA was proud to have co-organized the U.S.-Africa Business Forum which highlighted opportunities for greater collaboration between the U.S. and African private sector. This year’s CCA Summit will build on and advance those discussions, further deepening U.S.-Africa economic engagement and business ties.

 With a desire to keep the positive momentum going from the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and Business Forum, Ms. Florie Liser stated that " the U.S.-Africa Business Summit is an important platform and opportunity to again bring together U.S. and African government and private sector leaders to grow U.S.-Africa trade, business, and mutually beneficial gains for the people and businesses of both the United States and Africa.”

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry the Honorable Mmusi Kgafela said, “We look forward to working with our partners at the Corporate Council on Africa to herald a new era of two-way trade and investment between Africa and the United States. We welcome U.S. private sector businesses to drive investment and technology that can enhance Africa’s role in key global value chains, create jobs, and spur economic growth here in Botswana and across the continent.”

Click HERE for updates.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Starlink, SpaceX's satellite internet service now live in Nigeria

Starlink, SpaceX's satellite internet service, has gone live in Nigeria, making it the first African country to receive service. The company announced the development on its Twitter page on Monday. Isa Ali Pantami, Nigeria's minister of communications and digital economy, celebrated the milestone in a social-media post.

He tweeted: "We have made it again. @SpaceX thank you for hosting me in your Headquarters, USA in December 2022 to complete the logistics for the deployment."

Elon Musk

SpaceX's CEO, Elon Musk, announced Starlink's plans to expand into Africa last year. In May, he said Starlink had been approved to provide broadband internet in Nigeria and Mozambique. Starlink operates in dozens of countries and has more than one million users. However, Musk said the service is losing money.

Musk said in October that Starlink was suffering from a lack of funds, in response to a Twitter user who referenced CNN's report about SpaceX asking the Pentagon to pay for the service in Ukraine. He later said SpaceX had withdrawn the request for funding over Starlink in Ukraine.

SpaceX has provided the country with thousands of Starlink dishes since Russia invaded in February. The billionaire said in October that only 10,630 out of 25,300 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paying for service.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to Insider's request for further comment made outside normal working hours.

Source: Business Insider

Friday, January 27, 2023

Malawi experiencing worst cholera outbreak in two decades

Malawi is currently facing its worst cholera outbreak in two decades, with over 29,000 cases reported and more than 900 people dead. The Malawi Red Cross, in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and in-country partners—Danish Red Cross-led consortium and Swiss Red Cross—is scaling up its cholera response to assist over two million people.

Since the first recorded case in February 2022, cases have continued to spread, with all 29 districts affected. Cholera is now putting over 10 million people at risk, including more than five million children.

President Chakwera

“Malawi Red Cross Society is committed to continue supporting the Government of Malawi in responding to the cholera outbreak and other health emergencies. We are grateful to the IFRC and other Movement partners for continued finance and technical assistance to the MRCS Cholera response plan,” said McBain Kanongodza, Secretary General for the Malawi Red Cross Society.

According to the Malawi Ministry of Health’s cholera update on 22 January 2023, over 29,364 cases and 960 fatalities were reported, leaving the fatality rate at 3.27 per cent, which is considerably higher than the acceptable rate of less than 1 per cent set by WHO.

The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) is already providing lifesaving treatment at the community level by administering Oral Rehydration Therapy. Volunteers ensure that water supplies are safe and that sanitation facilities are working. They also go door-to-door to raise awareness on preventing the disease from spreading. With the rainy season underway, it is crucial that people take precautions to protect themselves and their families.

“We have been monitoring the developments on the ground since the first cases, and we are deeply concerned that this outbreak has taken a foothold in every corner of Malawi. We need to support the joint efforts of the MOH and Malawi Red Cross in their response to this devastating situation. As the outbreak worsens, partnerships are crucial to ensure lives are saved,” said John Roche, Head of IFRC’s Delegation for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The IFRC and its membership are launching an Emergency Appeal seeking 5.2 million Swiss francs, which will help the Malawi Red Cross reach a further 1,385,391 people in need of assistance. Malawi Red Cross and its partners with the IFRC aim to target 15 affected districts, with the core objectives being to prevent and control the spread of the outbreak, reduce morbidity and mortality due to cholera and improve the availability of safe water and sanitation facilities, through continued support to communities and district health offices.

Source: APO

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Soccer Icon, Pele, passes at 82

Pele, the Brazilian who has long been considered the greatest footballer of all time, has died at the age of 82. The legendary figure, a man who transcended his sport and was a global icon, learned that his colon cancer had advanced on December 21 and was told he would be kept in hospital over Christmas - with the iconic forward needing treatment for cardiac and renal dysfunction.


source: Dailymailonline 

Monday, December 5, 2022

ECOWAS Leaders Lay Foundation for a New Headquarters Building in Abuja

The Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) laid the Foundation of a new ECOWAS Headquarters building on December 4, 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria. The new headquarters Project which is being financed by the Chinese Government through China Aid is expected to be completed in 26 months.

In his opening address, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray thanked the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for providing the plot covering an area of seven hectares along the Airport Road in Abuja for the building Project and the Chinese Government who provided technical and financial support for the construction of the headquarters. He added that the New headquarters will enhance productivity among staff and reduce operational costs as the ECOWAS Commission currently operates from three (03) locations in Abuja.

H.E. Cui Jianchun, the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the government of China is keen on expanding diplomatic relations with Africa through support for construction projects like the new ECOWAS Commission headquarters. He highlighted that these buildings demonstrate China’s sincere determination to support the unity, peace and development of the African region along her efforts to promote and support Africa’s infrastructure development programme.

In his remarks, H. E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, highlighted that the project represents China’s commitment to West Africa’s subregional bloc and evidence of a strong and cooperation between Africa and China. He added that the new Headquarters is a symbol of the unity and brotherhood of ECOWAS Member States and signifies a re-commitment to regional integration and development of the countries in the sub-region. He thanked the Chinese Government for their technical and financial support for the building.

H.E. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, thanked the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their contribution towards the realization of the building complex. He said the new and modern headquarters will enable the staff of the ECOWAS Commission perform their duties better and provide a suitable working environment.

The new ECOWAS Headquarters will house the ECOWAS Commission, Community Court of Justice and the ECOWAS Parliament all Headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria.

Source: APO

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Lagos Set for $2.5B fourth mainland bridge

A consortium led by Portugal's builder Mota-Engil and two Chinese ventures has been shortlisted by Nigeria's Lagos state to build a $2.5 billion bridge that is expected to relieve severe congestion in the mega city, an official said on Sunday.

The 37-kilometre Fourth Mainland Bridge will be built under a public-private partnership. It will include three toll plazas, nine interchanges and a design speed of 120 KPH according to a spokesperson for the Lagos state governor.

Mota-Engil is partnering with China Communication and Construction Corporation and China Road and Bridge Corporation in the bid.

China Gezhouba Group Company and China Geo-Engineering Corporation joint venture and a

consortium led by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation are the two other shortlisted bidders. The winner of the bid will be announced before the end of the year, said Gawat.

source: Yahoo news

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Flying fun facts to know about: flight attendants’ perspective

Are you ever curious how often they clean the inside of a plane or where the food really comes from? After years of experience in the industry, flight attendants have seen it all and are ready to spill all of the secrets they've learned. Since flying is supposed to be a fun experience, it's about time to feel more adequately prepared. So, if you're ready to uncover the things that have been kept under wraps for so long, here's your sneak peek at the inner workings of the airline industry.


source: travlerz

Nigeria and African Energy Poverty and Gas-To-Power Projects: Build More and Build Better

As the executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC), it’s my honor and my privilege to tell the world the story of Africa’s oil and gas industry – to explain what this continent can do to help power the world and fuel its own future. But it’s also my mission to talk about African energy poverty and to explain why this continent needs better access to energy now in order to illuminate its own potential and power forward.

To illustrate the issue of energy poverty in general, I’d like to focus on energy poverty in Nigeria in particular.

Within Africa, Nigeria is an interesting subject. It’s the most heavily populated country in Africa, with more than 200 million citizens. It surpassed South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy about a decade ago, and its GDP topped USD441.5 billion in 2021. It has the largest crude oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa and is typically the largest liquids producer in the region, though output figures have slumped this year due to problems with theft and sabotage. Likewise, it has sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest reserves of natural and associated gas and is far and away the region’s biggest gas producer.

Nigeria also experiences significant energy poverty, despite these advantages. As noted in the AEC’s recently released report, “The State of African Energy: 2023 Outlook,” consistent access to modern energy services – that is, steady and reliable electricity supplies – is available to only 60% of the country’s population on average, and access rates appear to be significantly lower in rural areas than they are in urban areas. And according to World Bank data, about 99.9 million people, or more than 47% of Nigeria’s population, lived in rural areas as of the end of 2021. That means nearly 100 million Nigerians are living without any true level of certainty that the lights and the electric power that so many in the developed world take for granted will stay on.

I, for one, think they deserve to have that certainty.

They deserve it on human grounds, and their country already has a significant amount of what is needed to provide them with it. And by that, I mean that Nigeria has gas that it could use to generate power.

What Nigeria Has

As I’ve already noted, the country’s gas resources are the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria has already been shown to have more than 200 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in proven reserves, and government officials believe that the figure could go even higher, perhaps reaching 600 trillion cubic feet (tcf) following additional exploration.

If that prediction comes true, Nigeria will have the fourth largest gas reserves in the world, behind only Russia, Iran, and Qatar. It will have more than enough gas to meet current demand; it will have enough gas to produce significant volumes of LNG for export while also supporting gasification programs, both on the domestic and regional levels.

But it’s not enough just to have all that gas. Nigeria also needs the means to make use of its gas. Without the proper infrastructure, it won’t be able to put its resources to work and will merely have a scattered collection of raw materials.

What Nigeria Needs

In practical terms, this means that Nigeria ought to have the following:

- Upstream production facilities for gas.

- Midstream gas transportation facilities such as pipelines, including field networks and trunk lines.

- Downstream gas-processing plants and production facilities for gas-derived fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

- Downstream gas distribution systems, including town gas networks.

- Downstream gas storage depots.

- Gas-fired thermal power plants (TPPs) – preferably co-generation plants, as they are more efficient.

- Transmission, distribution, and storage infrastructure for the electricity produced by gas-fired TPPs.

- Smart and secure operational technology (OT) systems that can optimize the flow of data and resources between consumer markets and energy networks.

I’m not suggesting here that it’s the Nigerian government’s job to provide all this infrastructure. But I do believe that it’s Abuja’s responsibility to make sure that this infrastructure becomes available. To this end, I think that Nigeria also needs government bureaucracies that are competent and trustworthy enough to ensure that oil-, gas-, and power-related contracts are only awarded to companies capable of providing the goods and services required within the acceptable parameters.

What Nigeria Envisions

Developing this infrastructure requires the right kind of vision, which Nigeria already has in place: its “Decade of Gas” program is designed to make the country entirely gas-powered by 2030.

When President Muhammadu Buhari rolled out this initiative in March 2021, he indicated that it aimed to make the gas sector the cornerstone of Nigerian economic activity. By the time the “Decade of Gas” comes to an end, he said, the country will have done the following:

- Adopted a new oil and gas law to facilitate investment.

- Carried out new exploration projects, discovered new reserves, and brought new fields onstream.

- Constructed new gas-processing plants and production facilities for LPG and other gas-derived fuels.

- Built new export pipelines and constructed new production trains at gas liquefaction plants such as Nigeria LNG (NLNG).

- Constructed new domestic pipelines along routes to serve local customers plus gas-fired thermal power plants (TPPs) to increase domestic electricity supplies.

- Expanded domestic power transmission and distribution networks, especially in rural areas.

Nigeria still has a significant amount of ground to cover before it achieves all of these targets. However, it has made progress. The biggest example of this is the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which Buhari signed into law after it passed both houses of the National Assembly. The Nigerian government is also successfully promoting LPG, a gas-derived fuel, as a replacement for wood and charcoal as cooking fuel. (According to NLNG, domestic LPG consumption has climbed by around 1,000% over the last 14 years.)

And as recently as this November,  Nigeria moved closer to building its first floating liquified natural gas (FLNG) facility. Nigerian company UTM Offshore signed a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract to design the facility with JGC Corporation, Technip Energies, and KBR. Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria, described the project as a step in the right direction for Nigeria to develop, exploit, and monetize its natural gas.

During the African Energy Week in Cape Town, Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited, a Nigerian independent oil and gas exploration and production company and the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed an agreement for the provision of a $600 million syndicated reserve-based lending facility.

To a lesser extent, Abuja can also claim credit for the headway it has made on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, which is being built to bring gas to the northern part of the country. When finished, the pipeline will deliver fuel to gas-powered industrial facilities and feedstock to TPPs with a generating capacity of 3,600 MW. It may also serve eventually as the first leg of the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) network, which will allow Nigeria to export gas to Europe via Algeria. Unfortunately, though, the project has been running behind schedule, and the heavy floods that began hitting many parts of the country in mid-2022 have caused additional delays.

In the meantime, Abuja has also moved forward with plans for establishing another gas export network – the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP), a 5,600-km offshore network that would serve more than a dozen West African states. This system would, like TSGP, pump Nigerian gas to Europe, but it would also serve the purpose of delivering the gas to regional markets as well. As such, it would establish Nigeria as a supplier of fuel to much of West Africa.

Thus far, neither NMGP nor TSGP has been built. But Nigerian authorities are working to hammer out agreements on these projects – and they see the ways that European market conditions have changed since the beginning of 2022 as an incentive to work harder and to work faster.

What Nigeria Could Achieve

If they succeed, they will create infrastructure that could do quite a bit to alleviate energy poverty in Nigeria and beyond.

In the case of NMGP, the construction of this pipeline would provide multiple countries beyond Nigeria with a steady source of gas. As such, it would serve as an incentive for the construction of TPPs in places where millions of people do not have access to reliable energy supplies. At the same time, the pipeline’s access to European markets, where buyers are more likely to pay in hard currency, would help ensure the profitability of the whole system.

Likewise, the TSGP network has the potential to benefit Nigeria by ensuring that the country has enough access to hard-currency markets in Europe to cover the costs of the domestic initiatives that depend on AKK – that is, the gas-fired power and industrial projects in the northern part of the country.

Infrastructure Is Needed Throughout the Continent

Of course, energy poverty is not limited to Nigeria; more than 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity, and nearly 730 million use hazardous and inefficient cooking fuels and technologies. Nevertheless, while each African country is unique, I hope that this look at Nigeria helps shed light on some of the common challenges facing our continent’s countries — a higher rate of energy poverty in rural areas and the tremendous need for infrastructure development.

As “The State of African Energy: 2023 Outlook” points out, even in the four African countries with a universal electricity rate of more than 70% — Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, and Algeria — access to electricity drops significantly in rural areas, to an average of about 63% of the population, compared to an average of 96% in urban areas.

The situation for rural Africans is even more dismal in other parts of the continent. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, only about 19% of the overall population has access to electricity and in rural areas, only 1% of the population has electricity.

This will not change until we develop the necessary infrastructure to deliver energy to Africans throughout the continent.

On the brighter side, Nigeria also gives us examples of measures African countries can take to begin addressing these challenges. No, Nigeria has not achieved its ultimate goal-eradicating energy poverty, but it has plans and initiatives in place with real potential to make a difference — as long as Nigeria continues pursuing them.

If they haven’t done it yet, governments throughout the continent should be developing and implementing multipronged programs of their own to eradicate energy poverty. They, like Nigeria, should be leveraging their natural gas resources. They should be developing and executing gas utilization plans, improving their approach to resource management, monetizing natural gas to help pay for infrastructure projects, and launching more gas-to-power initiatives.

Instead of being daunted by the vast numbers of Africans without electricity, shrugging our shoulders, and giving up, I hope that we will be steadfast in our determination to make energy poverty history by the end of this decade.

For a complete look at our recommendations and “The State of African Energy: 2023 Outlook,” download our report here (

OPINION PIECE by By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.


Monday, November 21, 2022

Axxess Training and Certification Program Surpasses 20,000 Users

The Axxess Training and Certification Program has reached an impressive milestone by attracting more than 20,000 users in just five months. The popular program not only is succeeding in making care at home professionals more knowledgeable about all aspects of care delivery, but organizations have also begun using the material to rethink their staff development efforts.

The Axxess Training and Certification Program, which includes materials for home health, home care and hospice across clinical, operational and financial responsibilities, was launched in June and made available to anyone in the industry at no cost. About 2,000 organizations are currently using the program with more joining each day. Through a robust online curriculum using a series of focused training modules, participants are trained and tested on their understanding of care at home industry standards and Axxess solutions in short elements that can be completed all at once or between other tasks.

“The home health material has been the most widely adopted so far,” said Tammy Ross, senior vice president of professional services at Axxess. “The skilled home health courses have been very popular due in part to OASIS-E and value-based purchasing implementation in 2023. We are also seeing acute care nurses return to practice after the Great Resignation so we have created special breakout courses that focus on compliance elements to ease their entry into home health practice.”

Early program adopters such as Liberty Homecare, Hospice and Palliative Services have enjoyed the program so much they are sunsetting other training tools and switching to the Axxess program.

“We’re moving away from our current learning management system because Axxess has better, more up-to-date features,” said Pamela Reyes, HCM Software Education Coordinator at Liberty. “And the fact that Axxess solutions are ACHC Certified gives our team peace of mind knowing we’re staying compliant.”

The Axxess Training and Certification Program leverages industry expertise alongside Axxess solution training to provide continuing education and development for leadership and staff at all levels. Participants may earn certification from foundational to expert levels across clinical, operational and financial tracks. Up to 66 hours of nursing continuing education units are available at no cost.

About Axxess

Axxess is the leading home healthcare technology company, providing solutions that improve care for more than 3 million patients nationwide and are trusted by more than 9,000 organizations. Axxess offers a complete suite of easy-to-use, innovative software solutions, empowering home health, home care, hospice and palliative care providers to grow their business while making lives better. The company's collaborative culture focused on innovation and excellence is recognized nationally as a “Best Place to Work.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Four U.S.A. Students Knifed to death at home

The four University of Idaho students knifed to death in the early hours of Sunday morning were killed so brutally, blood was left oozing through the walls of their rented home, can reveal.

Police say the scene inside the home is ‘the worst they’ve ever seen’ with the victims left to bleed out following the brutal early morning attack.


source: Dailymail

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Oguta killings irks Buhari

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari is irked by the recent killing of Imo State traditional ruler, Eze Ignatius Asor and three others. Reports claim that the attackers entered the chief's home on false pretense before shooting him dead. Two of the people killed in Monday's attack in Oguta were aides to the traditional ruler.

 President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the killers will face the "full wrath of the law".  Police believe the gunmen were separatists posing as "distressed" passers-by who needed help. It is not clear why the, was targeted.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Monday's attack in Imo state is the latest of a string of killings in the south-east. The secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) - which police blame for these killings and rising violence in the south-eastern region - has not yet commented.

In his statement, President Buhari condemned what he calls the "heinous" killing, describing the attack as a "dastardly act". The gunmen also attacked the office of a community vigilance group as they fled - killing at least one person and stealing three motorbikes, police say.

source: naija news

Monday, November 14, 2022

President Ramaphosa arrives in Bali, Indonesia for the G20 Leaders' Summit

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Bali in the Republic of Indonesia for the annual G20 Leaders' Summit. The President will participate in deliberations among world leaders whose economies account for 85% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

The Summit takes place on 15 and 16 November 2022 under the G20 Presidency of Indonesia, themed “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.

The G20 was formed in 1999 as a result of the Asian financial crises of the late 1990s, initially as a gathering of finance ministers and subsequently as a platform for Heads of State and Government in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The group consists of leading developed and developing economies aiming at a collective response to global economic and financial challenges rooted in the interconnected economic and financial architecture.

President Cyril Ramaphosa 

The G20 also seeks to increase multilateral cooperation for the recovery of the global economy, to bring stability to the global financial system, to promote long-term sustainable growth and to strengthen global economic governance.

G20 Leaders will seek consensus on Global Health Architecture, Sustainable Energy Transition, and Digital Transformation.

The G20 agenda has expanded beyond economic and financial issues and now encompasses issues of peace and security, global governance, international terrorism, the environment, refugees and other geo-political and foreign policy-related matters.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor and Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana.

Ahead of the start of the G20 Leaders' Summit, the President will chair an engagement of the African Union and NEPAD on Africa’s value proposition and priorities.

Issues under discussion in this forum will include the continent’s aspirations to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the realisation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 goals, and securing permanent membership of the G20 for the African Union.

Distributed by APO

Friday, November 11, 2022

$19.3 billion worth of military assistant spent on Ukraine by the U.S.

The United States continues to support Ukraine with military assistance to approximately $19.3 billion since the beginning of the Biden Administration. U.S. secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced an additional $400 million drawdown to include additional arms, munitions, and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories.

“The United States will continue to stand with more than 40 allies and partners in support of the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence with extraordinary courage and boundless determination”.

 Antony J. Blinken

The air defense, long-range, and precision fire capabilities that we are providing are carefully calibrated to best serve Ukraine on the battlefield as it makes gains from Kherson to Kharkiv. The U.S. stated that it will continue to support Ukraine so it can defend itself and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes.

Source: U.S. state department

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Ooni lauds tech entrepreneur for solutions driven initiative

His Imperial Majesty Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, recently visited the Lagos offices of Cavista Nigeria, and lauded its founder and chairman Niyi John Olajide for his strides in creating advanced technology as a tool for development and job creation.

During the visit, the Ooni further stated that the giant strides of Olajide, a proud descendant of Oduduwa from Erinmope-Ekiti, Ekiti State, should not go unnoticed.

“Despite the stereotype woven around Nigerian youths, Olajide has proven himself to be a worthy ambassador putting Nigeria on the world map as a problem-solver.,” the Ooni said. “The purpose of my visit is to show my unflinching support for him and task the government to encourage technology businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams by creating an enabling environment.”

The Ooni also said Olajide, the founder and president of leading global healthcare technology company Axxess, a global partner to Cavista, is setting an extraordinary example for other business leaders.

“At a time when the best brains of our young people are relocating out of Nigeria due to a harsh economic climate, Olajide is in Nigeria utilizing his wealth of experience to create opportunities for job creation while ensuring consistent development of technology solutions in healthcare delivery across Africa,” the Ooni emphasized.

“Olajide is doing a lot, not only for himself but for the Nigerian youths he has engaged,” the Ooni continued. “Nigeria requires more than 65% of its total young population to take the lead in instituting modern governance and leadership, as well as establishing the noblest economic outlooks capable of competing favorably with any nation in the world through their entrepreneurial spirit.”

Since Olajide created Axxess in 2007 as an IT consulting firm, it has created and pioneered innovative healthcare solutions using cutting-edge technology to solve complex challenges in healthcare in North America and Africa. Today, Axxess is trusted by more than 9,000 organizations that serve more than 3 million patients worldwide.

“With investments in Cavista Nigeria, where more than 250 software engineers are currently employed, we provide cloud-based solutions that can be used anytime, anywhere, so people can receive the absolute best healthcare efficiently, and in the privacy and comfort of wherever they call home,” Olajide said.


John Olajide with the Ooni of Ife

“Olajide’s story of struggles and challenges resonate with me and strikes a chord with a lesson of always believing in your dreams,” the Ooni said. “His toughness and doggedness exemplify the widely-held belief of ‘no pain, no gain.’ Indeed, there is the promise of greater value and reward for the price of persistent and intentional work.”

Appreciating the Ooni for his words of encouragement and playing his fatherly role during the visit, Olajide noted he kick-started his entrepreneurial sojourn from his days at the University of Texas at Dallas, where the vision for Axxess was conceived.

Ooni presents a gift to John Olajide

Axxess has a diverse pool of employees representing more than 45 countries worldwide.

“I believe that when we can harness the power of our diversity, we will replicate our success around the world in Nigeria at Cavista,” Olajide said.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Future of Capital Raising in Africa

Since January, I have been approached by investors and projects owners alike who are looking to get projects funded or deals flowing. At the same time, I have been trying to estimate using available data the gap between infrastructure and energy funding. The figure we have been using is $250 billion a year between now and 2025. Given that the African population is set to double between now and 2050, we can expect that figure to be in the trillions unless the continent finds a way to successfully develop and fund energy projects to universally guarantee electricity access and infrastructure expansion.

Over the past few months, I have made a couple of observations of which the most prominent is that not all deals are made equal. Many investors want renewable projects but only deals above a certain size - $2 million is too small, for example, for many larger investors though this project size timeline is much shorter and can bring immediate impact. A project upwards of $2 billion is more attractive in terms of funding returns but the timeline to project completion could be up to a decade. Overall, there is a hesitancy to engage in hydrocarbon projects even though there are about a dozen markets actively touting their blocks, which, in oil and gas hotspots, could be easily tied into existing infrastructure.

Given the enormous funding gap, I truly believe there is an opportunity to revolutionize how projects are funded. My thesis is that more African energy projects should be crowdfunded either in fiat or digital currency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to ensure that these projects get developed, especially the smaller ones.

This could work in two ways. Firstly, through crowdfunding debt. A project needs to raise debt for a project to start. All agreements and feasibility studies have been completed and the project has a 30-year term agreed with the government. Investors can loan the project money with a fixed percentage of return over a two-to-three-year period. The project gets funded, and investors get a great return on their money. Some projects could deliver up to 30% return if successful.

Secondly, through crowdfunding equity. A project needs to raise a percentage equity funding to attract larger institutions who will structure and loan the rest. The owners of the project have already invested all their working capital into completing pre-feasibility studies and there is little scope of sovereign guarantees due to historical mismanagement of funds. Investors can crowdfund to own an equity stake in the project and make the project more attractive to institutions. Equity owners later receive annual dividends over the lifespan of the project. With off take agreements in place from the beginning of the project, this could make the deal even sweeter.

Neither of the above is revolutionary as both strategies are often employed in the start-up scene. However, given the investment gap and how few Africans have a stake in their own energy futures, this could prove an interesting theory.

Then, in my opinion, I started to get a bit creative. I’ve been paying a little attention to crypto, blockchain, web3 and NFTs. I am not an expert by any means and the NFT pump mostly disinterested me until I started to hear about real-world utility. NFTs can be used to prove authenticity and ownership, and this has instant utility in the world of event ticket reselling and luxury fashion. A few weeks ago, I read a few articles about the tokenization of real estate in Miami whereby investors could “mint” a real-estate token giving them part ownership of the building. There must be an analogue linking of the deed to the token but after that point, the token is on the blockchain and can be transferred to future owners. In this respect, the barrier to entry is much lower. Instead of finding a 10% deposit for an apartment, real-estate NFTs could be minted for as little as the creator sets it at.

Could this be applied to African energy projects? I think so!

Let’s look at the above scenarios with a web3 lens such as energy asset NFT – debt. In this regard, the project raises capital via a cryptocurrency. Ethereum based technology makes sense, especially Polygon or Solana. Investors mint an energy debt NFT in order to raise capital for the project. NFT holders are rewarded through holding the NFT throughout the debt term by earning additional cryptocurrency interest known as distribution. The NFT can be sold at any point to a new owner on the blockchain and the sale can also trigger smart contracts ensuring a royalty to the project owner or the wider community where the project is taking place.

Secondly, let’s look at energy asset NFT – equity. This is where things could get interesting. If you tokenize a whole asset – such as a solar farm, oil block, or biogas plant - it means that anyone (with access to a smartphone, WiFi and a cryptocurrency) can own part of a real-life asset. What I like about this idea is the democratization of the energy asset ownership. It is not just energy companies, finance institutions, governments that get to get to own our infrastructure but anyone including everyday Africans and those in the diaspora. While NFTs cannot pay a dividend as they only prove ownership, the value of the NFT will naturally rise over time as a project comes online and starts to cashflow. Owning 1,000 tokens of an oil block pre-production will become far more valuable when the asset is producing, especially at $100 per barrel. Token owners can be rewarded in cryptocurrency or fiat when distributions are paid out.

I think the key thing here is transparency in ownership and transparency which sets the continent up for long-term success. If token holders are also constituents in the project vicinity, it brings an additional layer or accountability and governance. An NFT could contain voting rights, and future sales generate royalties that are directed back into the local community.

By Kelly-Ann Mealia

Source: APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital & Power.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Covid relief fraud lands Texas Nigerian in Jail

Lola Shalewa Barbara Kasali, 24, of Houston, submitted two fraudulent loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of her companies, Lola’s Level and Charm Hair Extensions. Through these loan applications, Kasali sought over $3.8 million in PPP loan funds. Kasali falsely represented the number of employees and payroll expenses in each of the PPP loan applications. 

To support these applications, Kasali also submitted fraudulent tax records. Kasali ultimately received over $1.9 million in PPP loan funds. The Justice Department, along with its law enforcement partners, seized the funds that Kasali fraudulently obtained.

Kasali was convicted of two counts of making false statements to a financial institution and two counts of bank fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for each count of conviction. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.



Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Ikoyi Building Collapse

At least five people have died after a building with more than 20 stories collapsed in an upmarket area of Nigeria's economic hub, Lagos, on Monday, authorities said.


source: CNN

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Reusable protection to the rescue

Tens of millions of dirty, used, and counterfeit nitrile gloves - some of them stained with blood - have been shipped to the United States...


Source: Daily mail online

Monday, October 25, 2021

Only in America – to add or not to add a third Gender

Mauree Turner, a Democrat who represents Oklahoma City in the state legislature, is the first-ever lawmaker in the Sooner State to identify as nonbinary. People who are nonbinary do not identify with traditional male or female gender assignments. Instead, the preferred pronoun is ‘they’ or ‘them.’


source: Daily mail online

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Ghana launches National Breastfeeding Week

The World Health Organization has joined the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, and partners to launch the 2021 National Breastfeeding Week celebration under the theme, Protect Breastfeeding: A shared responsibility.

This year’s event will focus on raising awareness and galvanizing action on protecting breastfeeding to improve public health. The week-long celebration will be marked with a call on stakeholders to make investments and commitments to support actions aimed at reducing   malnutrition amongst newborns, infants, and young children in Ghana.

Ghana’s exclusive breastfeeding rate currently stands at 43 percent, representing a significant drop from 63 percent in 2008. Optimal breastfeeding practices: that is, early initiation within the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and appropriate complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years or beyond - are among the most effective interventions to protect children from common causes of death, including complications from prematurity, newborn infections, pneumonia, and diarrhoea.

WHO and UNICEF released a number of capacity-building tools for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) during the Global launch of World Breastfeeding Week in August 2021. These include a BFHI Competency Verification Toolkit for direct care providers, training of maternity staff in BFHI, and the care for small, sick, and pre-term babies. The tools can also help improve health workers' skills and competencies to ensure universal access to skilled breastfeeding support.

source: APO

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

TB Joshua, global televangelist star mourned

Nigeria's influential pastor TB Joshua, who has died aged 57, was considered a pariah among the country's mega-televangelists and struggled until his death to be accepted within their circles, despite amassing millions of followers across Africa.

Ostracized by both the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) he was described as an "impostor" who belonged to a group of "occults" that had infiltrated Christianity.



By Nduka Orjinmo - BBC News, Abuja

Monday, May 10, 2021

Apprenticeship scheme creates billionaires in Nigeria

The Igbo apprenticeship system has roots in Nigeria's post-civil-war years, says Ndubisi Ekekwe, a Nigerian professor whose article on the apprentice scheme is set to appear in the Harvard Business Review later this month.

Cosmas Maduka
                                                        Cosmas Maduka, Coscharis 


Monday, April 26, 2021

Nigerian Soldiers yet again killed by insurgents

At least 31 Nigerian soldiers were killed when IS-aligned jihadists ambushed a military convoy escorting weapons and overran a base in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, military sources said on Monday.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Six refugees among 137 killed in Niger’s recent attack


UNHCR has confirmed that six Malian refugees were among 137 people killed on 21 March in Niger’s western region of Tahoua, near the town of Tillia. Most of the victims in this deadly attack by unidentified armed groups were internally displaced people who had already fled horrendous violence, some of them during 2020.

The attacks on displaced people and the communities generously hosting them, were targeted and deliberate. In addition to the unjustifiable violence meted out against civilians, shelters and granaries were also burned to the ground and cattle stolen or killed. Survivors have nothing left. An estimated 1,400 people from these villages are now on the move, trying to escape from the violence.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and partners continue to gather information from survivors, many of whom have been left in shock and mourning. Our teams and partners are monitoring the situation and providing humanitarian aid and counselling to survivors.

We reiterate our call for greater protection of civilians and displaced communities. We also call on the international community to seize the sense of urgency and continue supporting regional efforts to address the root causes of this crisis and help us respond to humanitarian needs arising from forced displacement.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Winter storm knocks out power to millions in Texas

More than 3.5 million Texans are still without power as the death toll from the winter storm which has wreaked havoc across the United States hit 23 Tuesday night. The record-breaking cold weather claimed more lives Tuesday, including four family members who perished in a Houston-area house fire while using a fireplace to stay warm and a woman and a girl who died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from a car running in a garage after their home in the city lost power.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Outrage as 100 civilians massacred in Niger attacks

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, condemns in the strongest terms the twin attacks in western Niger that killed at least 100 people, injured 25 others, and forced hundreds to flee on 2 January.

Armed groups mounted coordinated attacks on the villages of Tchamo-Bangou and Zaroumdareye, in Niger’s Tillaberi region near the border with Mali. Some of the injured were evacuated to Ouallam and Niamey, 80 and 120 kilometres away respectively.

“We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of these outrageous attacks on peaceful communities,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Niger, Alessandra Morelli. “Communities which are now torn apart by brutality and forced to flee in a region where tens of thousands of people displaced by violence are hosted and hoping to rebuild their lives.”

According to local sources, the survivors of the attacks and the population of four other neighbouring villages have fled. At least 1,000 people are now on the move, trying to reach Ouallam. Many are making the journey on foot. In Ouallam, UNHCR and its partners are already providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced people, and the vulnerable among their hosts.

“We are preparing to assist the people with essential care, shelter, and protection, but also psychological support to help them overcome the horror they have experienced” said Morelli. UNHCR and Niger authorities are exploring ways to increase the reception capacities in Ouallam.

Niger’s Tillaberi and Tahoua regions, located near Liptako-Gourma which borders Burkina Faso and Mali, currently host 60,000 Malian refugees and nearly 4,000 who fled Burkina Faso. It also hosts 138,229 internally displaced Nigeriens, a number that increased by 77 per cent in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is complicating the humanitarian response.

Despite increased insecurity, Nigeriens continue to show their generosity to people fleeing violence in Africa’s Sahel and Lake Chad regions.

Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali in the Sahel are at the epicentre of one of the world’s fastest-growing displacement and protection crises. The region is already hosting 851,000 refugees and nearly two million displaced inside their own country.

Source: APO

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Ile-Ife crown prince arrives palace to royal welcome

The Ooni of Ife & Arole Oodua, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Tuesday received his crown prince Tadenikawo Adesoji Aderemi Ogunwusi, officially releasing his identity to the public. The Prince came in a motorcade to the entrance (Enu Geru)of the Palace and received by the AGBA IFE led by Obalufe of Ife, Oba Idowu Adediwura, 

The MODEWA led by Lowa Adimula of Ife, High chief Adeola Adeyeye and EMESEs led by Sarun Oriowo Oyeyemi. They all ushered the Prince and his mother, Queen ShilekunOla Ogunwusi (YEYELUWA),  the families, friends and associates from Akure into the Ooni's Palace.

The Prince and his mother first stopped at Ile-Nla within the palace courtyard where the families and relatives of Ogunwusi Royal families and friends were awaiting the arrival of the baby from where they proceeded to Emese's court, where the Prince was finally handed over to his joyful father, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi who came out through the sacred ILE IGBO in accordance to the full culture and traditions of Ile-Ife as always observed whenever a reigning Ooni receives his newly born Prince into the palace after the necessary rites of 21 days.

After receiving his son from the mother, Ooni Ogunwusi accompanied by relevant spiritual aides swiftly took the baby straight into the inner chamber of ILE IGBO for the necessary spiritual confirmation to establish the blood lineage of Oduduwa our progenitor following the foots steps of his ancestors.

The monarch later came out from ILE IGBO with smiles and majestic dance steps welcomed by thunderous shouts "Kabiyesi ooooo!" "Kabiyesi oooooo!" from the waiting crowd who watched with excitements and jubilations as Ooni handed over the Prince to his elated mother who danced with the baby in her hands to her apartment at the palace.

Ooni's Palace was full of activities as various people across the country came in droves to witness the grand entry of the Prince and the subsequent handing over to the joyous father who was seeing him for the first time since he was born 3 weeks ago.

It would be recalled that the palace of the Ooni of Ife two weeks ago during the 8 day naming ceremony announced that it would not release the facial identity of the Prince to the public until after the mandated 21 days in line with the cultural legacy established by Oduduwa Olofin Adimula several centuries ago.

 source: ooni's palace

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Nigeria in Recession

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy is in recession for the first time since 2016. The recession four years ago was its first in a generation, and the country emerged from it the following year. The continent’s top oil producer and exporter relies on crude sales for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

Nigeria normally accounts for an average output of two million barrels per day. But the effects of the pandemic and low oil prices have cut production to approximately 1.4 million barrels.

President Buhari

“Q3 2020 Real GDP contracted for second consecutive quarter by -3.62 percent,” Yemi Kale, the statistician general, said on Twitter on Saturday.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

COVID19: China bars Nigeria, U.K, other nationals

Nigerians and other nationals (United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Philippines, among others) have been suspended from entering China. The Embassy of China and Consulate in Nigeria announced this in a public notice on Thursday, adding that it will no longer issue certified health declaration form for non-Chinese nationals in the country.

The notice stated that the suspension was due to an evaluation of COVID-19 pandemic in the said countries. The statement, entitled ‘Notice of temporary suspension of entry into China by non-Chinese nationals in Nigeria holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits,’ added that; 

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has decided to temporarily suspend entry into China by non-Chinese nationals in Nigeria holding visas or residence permits still valid at the time of this announcement.” 

President Xi Jinping

It added that the Chinese Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria will no longer issue a certified health declaration form for Nigerians.

However, holders of diplomatic passports, courtesy or C-visas would not be affected by the regulation.

Source: vanguard

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Lexus partners with Tosin Oshinowo and Chrissa Amuah for design experiment

Lexus announced its forthcoming collaboration with architect and designer Tosin Oshinowo and textiles and furniture designer Chrissa Amuah that will culminate in the presentation of a conceptual design experiment this December. The project will be in coordination with Design Miami/, which will continue its annual celebration of international design, with adjustments made in consideration of our current global context. Inspired by the changes this year has brought, the concept will align with Lexus’ craft techniques and technology, explore cues from global history and respond to the current global moment to create a series of objects aimed to inspire innovation and exploration.

Taking a human-centered approach, Lexus anticipates and understands the future needs and desires of people and society. Its thoughtful design is guided by attention to detail and a focus on craft traditions resulting in high performance innovations, with a focus on comfort and elegance. Prior international design initiatives have included the Lexus Design Award, presented annually to an emerging designer at Milan Design Week, and an ongoing collaboration with Design Miami.

Based in Lagos, Oshinowo is known for her socially responsive approach to architecture and urbanism and her exploration into the African identity in the modern context. Similarly, Amuah, a British-Ghanaian textiles designer, draws inspiration from her Ghanaian heritage, through Adinkra symbology and a passion to enhance the power of design with proverbial meaning. Both Oshinowo and Amuah have led significant creative careers and been recognized internationally.

Additional details on the collaboration will be released in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

U.S Special forces rescue kidnapped American in Nigeria

An American citizen abducted last week in Niger has been rescued during a high-risk U.S. military raid in neighboring Nigeria. The mission was undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the U.S. citizen, Philip Walton, 27, before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on October 26, 2020.

The operation involved the governments of the U.S., Niger and Nigeria working together to rescue Walton quickly, sources said. The CIA provided intelligence leading to Walton's whereabouts and Marine Special Operations elements in Africa helped locate him, a former U.S. official said.

Then the elite SEAL Team Six carried out a "precision" hostage rescue mission and killed all but one of the seven captors, according to officials with direct knowledge about the operation.

President Donald Trump called the rescue mission a "big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces" in a tweet and the Pentagon lauded the rescue mission in a statement.

source: US news

Thursday, October 22, 2020

United States condemns use of excessive military force in Nigeria

The United States has strongly condemned the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos, causing death and injury. 

The U.S calls for an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces.  Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law.

President Donald Trump

The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles. 

“We call on the security services to show maximum restraint and respect fundamental rights and for demonstrators to remain peaceful.  We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families”. Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Source: State department