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Okonjo Remains Positive Despite US Refusal to Accept her as WTO Consensus Candidate

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

US Rejects Okonjo as WTO Consensus Candidate

Former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, remained in high spirit despite recent setback regarding her bid for the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Okonjo-Iweala, who is leading by a wide margin after the European Union (EU) agreed to support her candidacy, on Thursday said she was happy for the success and progress of her bid, adding that despite few hiccups she remain focus and will continue to keep a positive mind going into November 9 election between herself and South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee.

In a tweet, Nigeria’s former minister said, “Happy for the success & continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!.”

This was after the United States said it supported the Korean trade minister for the top job because she is “a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policy maker.”

The statement further said Yoo Myung-hee has all the expertise necessary to be lead the World Trade organization.

This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade,” the statement said.

There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the dispute settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations.”

Okonjo-Iweala continues to lead across the board and she is expected to eventually emerge as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) even without the USA support.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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UK Provides £29 Million to Support People Affected by Conflict in Northern Ethiopia

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The Minister for Africa Vicky Ford has announced an additional £29m of humanitarian aid to people affected by the catastrophic conflict in northern Ethiopia.

The announcement marks World Food Day today [16 October] and increases the UK’s commitment to the crisis to more than £75m – making the UK the second largest donor.

The Minister is also calling on all parties in Ethiopia to urgently agree a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid through and for the Ethiopian Government to lift the de facto blockade of humanitarian relief into the Tigray region. The people of Tigray need 500 trucks of critical assistance per week, but less than 10% of this has been met since June.

The conflict has caused a humanitarian catastrophe, with the UN estimating that 5.5 million people face acute food insecurity. Over 400,000 people in northern Ethiopia are experiencing famine-like conditions – more than in all of the humanitarian crises in the rest of the world combined.

Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said:

The Ethiopian people are facing a humanitarian catastrophe and are in urgent need of support.

This pledge will provide vital food, water and healthcare to the hundreds of thousands of people facing famine in northern Ethiopia.

This is a man-made crisis. I urge all parties to urgently agree a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach starving people.

The new funding comes as the UK’s Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, recently concluded his third visit to Ethiopia since the start of the conflict in November 2020, where he pressed for improved humanitarian access to the areas affected by conflict.

Special Envoy Nick Dyer said:

On my third visit to Ethiopia since the start of the Tigray conflict, I saw a further deterioration of the crisis and the conditions for humanitarian operations.

We are pleased to provide more funding but humanitarian agencies need access into all areas where people are in need now, so that lives can be saved and catastrophic famine avoided.

The conflict in northern Ethiopia has spread beyond the borders of Tigray now, so we are expanding UK funding to reach those in urgent need in Afar and Amhara.

The funding will be delivered by UN agencies and NGOs, including the WFP, UNICEF, and the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund. Our partners expect to deliver lifesaving nutrition treatment for more than 100,000 malnourished children, and 27,000 pregnant and new mothers.

The pledge will also deliver clean water and sanitation for 26,000 people and provide services to prevent and respond to gender-based violence for almost 3,000 women and children.

It will also support people who have been forced to flee their homes by the spread of conflict across northern Ethiopia, providing shelter, healthcare, and support to children who have been separated from their families and to survivors of sexual violence.

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Travel

Air Passenger Traffic Rises by 9 Percent in Q2, 2021

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Drawing on data provided by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released its latest report on air passenger traffic. The report estimates total traffic in Q2 ‘21 at 3.2 million passengers, representing an increase of 9% q/q and 72% y/y.

However, despite this impressive year-on-year increase, the aviation sector is still recovering from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic as overall passenger traffic is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Based on the national accounts, Nigeria’s air transport segment grew by 4.9% y/y in Q2 ‘21 compared with a contraction of -11.8% recorded in the previous quarter. The reopening of airports and the reinstatement of flights, following the ease in movement restrictions and positive base effects contributed to the uptick in the segment’s growth rate.

For Q2 ‘21, passenger traffic on departures accounted for 50% of total domestic air travel and 51% of total international air travel. According to the report, 86% of total air passengers in Q2 ‘21 were domestic travellers, pointing to a 9% q/q increase.

Passenger traffic in the Lagos domestic airport increased by 13% q/q to 861,320 passengers. As for Abuja, there was a 9% q/q increase to 1 million passengers in Q2 ‘21. The Abuja airport accounted for the largest share (37%) of total domestic passengers during the quarter under review. While Lagos and Port Harcourt accounted for 31% and 7% of total passenger traffic (domestic) respectively.

As for international travel, air passenger traffic grew by 4% q/q and 2179% y/y. We suspect the growth mirrors the lifting of international travel restrictions and the rollout of vaccines globally.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global international air travel will continue to recover in 2022. However, low vaccination rates in Africa may remain one of the key obstacles to quicker air travel rebound.

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Education

iReader Joins Publiseer’s Expansive List of Store Partners

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Publiseer, Africa’s leading digital content distributing platform, on Monday announced that iReader, China’s leading mobile reading platform with over half a billion users, has joined its expansive list of online retail store partners.

iReader has a global reach, as it distributes over 600,000 book titles to 70 million active book readers in over 150 countries. This addition is to help Publiseer authors reach iReader’s global audience.

“Authors already distributing their books through Publiseer have to do nothing to get their titles on iReader. All they have to do is sit back and relax, and Publiseer will automatically send their titles to iReader,” says Chidi Nwaogu, CEO at Publiseer. “For those who want to opt-out from iReader, all they have to do is to shoot us an email, letting us know that they don’t want their titles distributed to iReader. Our partnership with iReader offers our authors exclusive featuring and merchandising opportunities, such as in-app marketing and promotions.”

Publiseer is a digital platform that helps independent and underserved African writers, musicians, filmmakers, and video game developers, typically those from low-income and disadvantaged communities, to earn above the minimum wage and live above the poverty line from the sales of their creative works. Every day, Publiseer discovers extraordinary local African creatives and gives them the platform to focus on doing what they love doing the most, which is to create, while Publiseer handles the tedious but important business of transforming their creativity into wealth for them.

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