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Zambia: African Development Bank Approves $1.4 Million Grant to Improve Household Food Security in the Wake of Covid-19

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Food Security - Investors King

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $1.4 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program to reduce malnutrition among the Southern African nation’s most vulnerable households.

The Mitigating Impacts of Covid-19 on Household Food Security Project will create about 150 permanent skilled or semi-skilled positions and 40 part-time unskilled jobs in crop, livestock and fisheries value chains. The project will supply inputs for crops, livestock and aquaculture enterprises to promote good agricultural practices and increase food production. There will also be a capacity building component.

“The agriculture sector is an important source of livelihoods, employment and GDP in Zambia. Increased food supply resulting from additional grant funds will lead to more jobs, improved quality of life, and reduction of malnutrition in many impacted communities,” said Martin Fregene, African Development Bank Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry.

The project provides supplementary funds to the ongoing Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project, a $32 million grant-funded initiative also from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which has been managed by the Bank in the Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Serenje and Chitambo districts of Zambia over the past five years.

Global Agriculture and Food Security Program administrators said the six districts were selected based on poverty levels, food insecurity and malnutrition prevalence. However, with this funding and program, these districts have the potential for economic growth, and to promote crop diversification. Some 5,000 people, including 3,750 women and 1,000 youth, will benefit. Some 5,000 people will also benefit indirectly along the commodity value chains.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Zambia has implemented bold measures to protect the health and economic well-being of its citizens. These steps included a nationwide program to scale up agricultural diversification. The Bank’s Covid-19 Response Facility launched in 2020 has been a lifeline to member governments by providing resources to tackle the pandemic.

“The facility will consolidate the Bank’s support for Zambia’s economic diversification and impact mitigation against Covid-19,” said Mary Monyau, the Bank’s Country Manager in Zambia.

The Zambian project is in line with the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities, specifically, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Similar Bank projects have been successfully undertaken in Malawi, Niger, Liberia, Senegal and the Gambia.

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program was established as a response to the 2008/09 world food price crisis, following a commitment by the Group of 8 nations (G8) in September 2009 to mobilize up to $20 billion for agricultural development and food security. The World Bank supervises about half of the project portfolio of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. The African Development Bank managed about a quarter in December 2019, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, 11%.

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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Loans

Increase in Banks’ Bad Loans Caused by Construction Sector

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The banking industry saw a 13.6 percent MoM (month on month) increase in bad loans to N2.76 trillion in August 2021, and the Central Bank of Nigeria attributed the increase to the rising loan defaults in the country’s construction sector.

The construction industry is touted to be under intense pressure due to the rise in the prices of building materials.

The Central Bank of Nigeria said this in its August Economic Report, stating that the NPL (Non-Performing Loans) ratio of the banking industry went up to six percent in August, one percentage point more than the five percent regulatory limit.

According to data from the apex bank, the total credit to the domestic economy went up by 2.2 percent to reach N46 trillion in August, from the N44.99 trillion recorded in July. This suggests that the NPL (bad loans) went up to N2.76 trillion in August from N2.43 trillion seen in July, a N330 billion or 13.6 percent increase.

The big rise in NPLs was explained by the CBN as a result of increased loan defaults in the construction sector, which accounted for about 4.7 percent or N905 billion of credit owed to other sectors in August, going up from 4.6 percent of N879 billion back in July.

The apex bank said the increase in the construction sector’s non-performing loans was due to the increase in process of building materials, which made it more difficult for contractors to meet their debt obligations.

Regarding this development, the Managing Director of Built2Suit Limited – a firm of architects – Ibukun Odu, said that apart from the increase in loan defaults, construction firms may have to turn to layoffs in order to reduce overhead cost.

Odu lauded the correctness of the CBN report, stating that a lot of contractors were finding the period extremely difficult. Odu stated that all the main components have witnessed increases of between 75 – 90 percent. He mentioned cement, which used to be sold at N2500 but is now sold between N4000 and N4200.

 

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Banking Sector

FirstBank DecemberIssaVybe: Showing Kindness as You Vybe

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The roof is already getting raised with #FirstBankIssaVybe, #DecemberIssaVybe campaigns. With FirstBank, it is always a total experience of being woven into the fabric of society from banking at its finest, to music, fashion, arts, and sports. Across the spectrum of human endeavour, FirstBank stands tall behind its over 32 million customers and counting. 

As FirstBank makes every day a vybe every December, it is also passionate about ensuring that everyone vybes with kindness. This is in sync with the words of Maurice Elias, Professor of Psychology, “without kindness, our communities, families, schools, and classrooms become places of incivility.” As we get the blast of the season, the 127 years strong banking brand in furtherance of its kindness campaign has created a simple calendar to ease your ability to create a SPARK in the lives of people around you.

At FirstBank, SPARK stands for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. The SPARK initiative was launched 4 years ago to make a difference in the nation by seeking to inspire and institutionalize kindness. By encouraging kindness, empathy and consideration for others, SPARK is placing FirstBank at the forefront of the social impact space. The unique way FirstBank is amplifying kindness is through its different directorates and departments. This way the Bank is reaching more communities, touching more lives, and spreading kindness.

The FirstBank kindness drive stands on three (3) pillars of compassion, civility, and charity. Compassion and charity readily come tops when we think about kindness, and FirstBank is championing the cause to also promote civility through the SPARK initiative. Civility covers the aspects of kindness that does not cost you anything to use in igniting the world around you. Imagine as you get to the venue of the next FirstBank’s DecemberIssaVybe show, and you give up a parking lot closer to the event hall to the car behind you?

The global head of marketing and corporate communication of FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney says “At FirstBank, we spend every waking moment working to create meaning in the lives of our customers and publics. We are inspiring kindness because it brings meaning to lives and creates a happier society. So, as you vybe this Yuletide, vybe with kindness.”

Kindness does not have to cost you a kobo, so click here to download and share your kindness calendar for those simple tips to start performing acts of random kindness every day this December.

The need to promote kindness in our homes, schools, fun places, and the society at large cannot be over-emphasized especially with the increased incidence of bullying prevalent around us. In promoting the need for kindness in education and ‘cyber kindness’, FirstBank sponsored two impactful webinars during its corporate responsibility & sustainability week in July 2021. You can click here to access the Zoom recordings of the webinars.

Kindness should be a way of life, and FirstBank is at the forefront. Join the kindness train, vybe with kindness this Yuletide and always!

 

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Banking Sector

Stanbic IBTC Emerges Most Outstanding Commercial Bank Brand in Nigeria

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, was named the “Most Outstanding Commercial Bank Brand in Nigeria” at the 2021 edition of the BrandCom Awards which was held recently.

The awards, organised by Brand Communicator Magazine recognised brands, organisations and personalities. It took cognisance of their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, appreciated the organisers for the award, and noted that Stanbic IBTC Bank has over the years provided unparalleled services and designed products tailored explicitly towards meeting the needs of its customers. 

Wole noted that the award would spur the organisation to continue providing excellent services to its clients. The awards reaffirm the organisation’s commitment to providing world-class financial services to its network of clients.

The Stanbic IBTC Bank Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have emerged the Most Outstanding Commercial Bank Brand” at the BrandCom Awards. This award confirms that we prioritise our customers’ interests because they are the reason we are in business. We pledge to continue developing innovative products and services that are customer-centric, just as we are committed in our quest to continue fulfilling the financial needs of our customers at all times.”

Wole added that Stanbic IBTC would strive to continue exceeding its customers’ expectations.

Stanbic IBTC remains committed to providing a simplified customer-friendly experience that enhances customer satisfaction and exposes them to new trends in the financial services industry.

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