The African Development Bank hosted virtual consultations with African government ministers, representatives of the African Union, government officials, and academics to gather views on the implementation of the Bank’s Skills for Employability and Productivity in Africa Action Plan for 2022-2025.
The first session on 12 April focused on countries in East and Southern Africa. The second, on April 13, targeted countries in Central, North, and West Africa. The Bank is seeking regional member countries’ endorsement of the Action Plan and inputs on how the plan can support investment in higher education, in science and technology, as well as in technical and vocational education and training – also known as TVET.
“It’s another milestone in the Bank’s partnership with our regional member countries to forge partnership in equipping Africa’s labor force with in-demand skills … African youth have the potential to become the world’s largest resource for productive and innovative labor, if they are equipped with quality and relevant skills,” said Beth Dunford, Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
The Action Plan comes at a critical juncture, when Africa is ramping up efforts to enhance scientific and technological capabilities for a more productive and innovative society. Malawi’s Minister of Education, Agnes Nyalonje, said the Action Plan was in line with her country’s aspirations in education and skills development. “We will benefit every inch of the way in the investments and focus that the Bank wants to bring to higher education and TVET,” she said.
The Skills for Employability and Productivity in Africa Action Plan is anchored in the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy (2016–2025), which seeks to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million youth with relevant skills. Public financing of TVET and higher education across the continent has not kept pace with demand. Infrastructure gaps, like shortages of classrooms, libraries, and laboratories, are negatively impacting access, quality, and equity in the sector.
Pascal Gatabazi, the chief technical advisor in Rwanda’s ministry of education, said: “The government of Rwanda has put human capital development on the top of its [development] agenda, with technical and vocational education as a top priority. The government has been putting significant investment in TVET, and that’s why…we have a dedicated ministry in charge of IT and TVET,” he said.
Martha Phiri, the Bank’s Director for Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development, said the Bank will leverage partnerships to boost investment in education infrastructure. This will result in substantial increases in the number of African graduates studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or pursuing technical and vocational education and training. “Our Action Plan places special emphasis on digital skills, online learning and entrepreneurship,” said Phiri.
Buhari Expresses Confidence in Banking Institutions to Tackle Economic Challenges
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his confidence in the West African Banking Association (WABA) to tackle economic challenges in the West African region.
The president expressed his trust while receiving a team from WABA, led by its President, Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, at the State House in Abuja.
The president stated that the sub-region needs to come to an agreement on low access to financial services and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the association, founded in 1981, brings together over 250 commercial banks and 15 institutions from across West Africa, and for many centuries, African countries have traded with one another without a formalized and structured system. He, however, noted that over time, global trade had become more complex and organized.
The president expressed optimism that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area will mark a watershed moment in the way African countries do business.
“More importantly, we will turn the page in ensuring that we deepen and expand our industrial capabilities by making sure we export less of what we have been endowed with in the primary or raw form, and convert larger portions of these resources into finished materials.
“That will allow us to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product,” he said.
“Our ability to overcome the current phase of our development lies in our resolve to work jointly via our regional and sub-regional organizations where we can all reach a common understanding to fight against a common enemy.
“This is one of the reasons I am delighted with the strides ECOWAS has been making towards unanimity and forging alliances with a goal to resolve issues that confront the sub-region.
“I believe that this is also the approach that is being followed in the West African Bankers’ Association and the West African Monetary Union,’’ he added.
While commenting on WABA’s ongoing attempts to synchronize monetary and fiscal policy, the president pushed the organization to find common ground despite the particular macroeconomic challenges that each member-state faces.
He pledged that Nigeria would always be ready to support efforts that are geared towards improving the lives of all its citizens “as long as they do not place us at a disadvantage.”
The WABA President praised Nigeria’s leadership role in the African economy, while also praising President Buhari’s leadership.
“That’s why we are here for counsel and guidance for the financial sector in West Africa,” he said. He further urged the president to be an advocate for the greater inclusion of WABA in the ECOWAS structure.
NGX Sheds 0.13% on Monday to Extend its Decline
The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) extended its decline on Monday as investors exchanged 263,338,835 shares worth N3.549 billion in 4,549 billion.
The market value of all listed equities decreased by N37 billion from N28.562 trillion it closed on Friday to N25.525 trillion while NGX shed 0.13% to close at 52,911.51 index points on Monday.
Jaiz Bank led the most traded stocks with 114007816 shares worth N101,752,697.03. Followed by GTCO’s 12,872,851 shares valued N302,842,620.75. See other details below.
|CONOIL||N 31.15||N 34.25||3.10||9.95 %|
|MRS||N 13.60||N 14.95||1.35||9.93 %|
|MCNICHOLS||N 2.13||N 2.34||0.21||9.86 %|
|ACADEMY||N 1.23||N 1.35||0.12||9.76 %|
|NPFMCRFBK||N 1.87||N 2.02||0.15||8.02 %|
|PRESCO||N 200.00||N 180.00||-20.00||-10.00 %|
|GSPECPLC||N 3.41||N 3.07||-0.34||-9.97 %|
|NEIMETH||N 1.76||N 1.59||-0.17||-9.66 %|
|UACN||N 14.40||N 13.20||-1.20||-8.33 %|
|NEM||N 4.39||N 4.05||-0.34||-7.74 %|
Nigeria Raises Interest Rate by 150 Basis Points to 13%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday unanimously agreed to raise interest rates by 150 basis points from 11.5% to 13% to rein in escalating consumer prices.
The apex Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed this while speaking to the media on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022.
In 2020, the committee cut interest by 50 basis points to 11.5% in September 2020 to encourage borrowing and deepen new investment to stir growth and halt the plunge in economic productivity during the peak of COVID-19.
The nine-member committee voted unanimously to keep Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13% and others as follow:
- The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR was retained
- CRR was retained at 27.5%
- While Liquidity Ratio was also kept at 30%
The increase may not be unconnected to Nigeria’s high inflation rate of 16.82% in April. The committee is now projecting an aggressive increase in the inflation rate due to the forthcoming general election.
Emefiele said the MPC is suspicious “there might be an aggressive accretion of inflation”. Therefore, to prevent the looming inflation, he said the committee had to raise the interest rate by 150 basis points.
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