The European Investment Bank, in close cooperation with the European Union, is planning to support large-scale investment by South Africa’s specialist human vaccine manufacturer Biovac to increase development and manufacturing of vaccines and enable a quicker response to future pandemics.
The EIB’s first support for vaccine investment in South Africa is expected to increase annual production capacity at Biovac’s Cape Town plant to 500 million doses, enable manufacturing of viral and bacterial targeted vaccines and strengthen resilience to future pandemics in Africa.
Agreements to prepare detailed feasibility studies, finance preparatory works and commission detailed designs of the expanded vaccine production facility, to be financed by EUR 15 million European Union grant support, have been concluded by Biovac, the European Union and European Investment Bank.
This is a key step to enable new investment at the Biovac facility in the coming years, expected to exceed EUR 175 million and backed by South African and international financing partners.
“Africa remains highly vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases and to both the current COVID pandemic as well as future ones as well. Scaling up local vaccine development and manufacturing capacity is crucial to enable a quicker and more effective response to future health crises. The new EIB and EU support for feasibility studies and preparatory works will maximise the impact of large-scale investment at Biovac’s pioneering Cape Town plant and enable Africa to host a world-class international vaccine manufacturing facility. This is a key milestone in ensuring that that South Africa has the required vaccine manufacturing capacity to respond to both local and regional needs.” said Dr Morena Makhoana, Chief Executive Officer at Biovac
“We are excited for the support pledged by the European Investment Bank to BIOVAC. BIOVAC is listed as one of ISA’s critical Social Projects registered and approved into the ISA Pipeline. ISA is working closely with BIOVAC and the Western Cape Province to unlock an additional R260 million which will further aid in the expansion of Biovac as a Manufacturing Company for Africa. BIOVAC was also one of the projects highlighted at this years SA investment conference and is certainly a centre of excellence for vaccine manufacturing in Southern Africa” said Patricia De Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure of the Republic of South Africa.
“The European Investment Bank is working with experienced partners across Africa and around the world to improve health security and develop vaccines. The EIB is pleased to back preparation of large-scale investment by Biovac to transform Africa’s vaccine production capacity and strengthen resilience to future pandemics. The European Union’s grant support will accelerate technical and production preparations for future investment to enable 500 million doses a year to be produced by Biovac in South Africa ” said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the importance of a rapid response to a pandemic and local vaccine production capabilities to ensure equitable access to vaccines. The European Union is pleased to support future investment by Biovac through an unprecedented early stage EUR 15 million grant support for project preparation and technical design, under the Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa. EU support for Biovac demonstrates how South African, European and international partners are joining forces to strengthen resilience to future pandemics in Africa,” said Dr. Riina Kionka, European Union Ambassador to South Africa.
Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company, based in Cape Town, that is the result of a partnership formed with the South African government in 2003 to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability for the provision of vaccines for national health management and security.
EIB support for vaccine production across Africa
The European Investment Bank is working with partners in South Africa, Senegal, Rwanda and Ghana to unlock large-scale investment to improve local vaccine development and production capacity to better respond to existing and future pandemics.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank, owned directly by the 27 European Union member states and has been active in Africa since 1965.
The EIB is increasing targeted support for health investment and has provided EUR 1.7 billon for health investment across the continent.
Since the pandemic EIB has provided more than EUR 8 billion for private and public investment across Africa.
AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina Won African Man of the Year Award
African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been named 2022 Man of the Year (Africa).
African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been named 2022 Man of the Year (Africa).
Several encomiums poured in as African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina was named African 2022 Man of the Year. The award which was organised by EMY Africa Magazine recognised outstanding African men for their visionary leadership.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina was recognised for his visionary leadership as the president of the African Development Bank Group. He was also recognised for his outstanding contribution to Africa during his period as agriculture minister in Nigeria.
The award ceremony which was hosted in Accra, Ghana witnessed the presence of important personalities in Ghana and beyond.
Presenting the award, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Abani stated that Akinwumi Adesina has exemplified himself with his contribution to people, the African agricultural value chain and the African society at large.
It will be recalled that Akinwumi Adesina was Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture from 2011 to 2015. During his time as minister, he turned the agricultural sector around with several innovations.
He also ended Nigeria’s age-long corruption in the fertiliser sector by developing and implementing an innovative electronic wallet system, which directly provided farmers with subsidized farm inputs at scale using their mobile phones. Within four years, the mobile wallet system reached more than 15 million farmers scattered across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
As AfDB President, Adesina achieved the highest capital increase since the establishment of the bank in 1964.
In 2019, all stakeholders from 80 member countries raised the general capital from $93 billion to a historic $208 billion.
AfDB under Adesina’s leadership also played a major responsive role to the Covid-19 pandemic. The bank launched a landmark $3 billion Covid-19 Social Bond which was made available to African countries. The continental bank also issued a Crisis Response Facility of up to $10 billion.
Similarly, AfDB approved $1.5 billion Food Facility to tackle the global food crisis sparked by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
The funds will help 20 million African farmers to produce an extra 38 million metric tons of food to address the growing fears of starvation and food insecurity on the continent.
Nigerians Spent More Than N5 Trillion on Foreign Education
As Nigerians flocked to different countries abroad for tertiary education, more than N5 trillion has been expended on oversea education between 2019 and 2021
As Nigerians flocked to different countries abroad for tertiary education, more than N5 trillion has been expended on oversea education between 2019 and 2021, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Education in Nigeria, especially in the tertiary education sector, has been marred by industrial actions by tertiary institution-based unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (CEASU).
Academic activities in most of the government-owned public universities are currently grounded. The lack of agreement between university lecturers and the federal government has kept students out of class since February 2022.
Although a significant number of Nigerians also trooped overseas for greener pastures through the student visa, the dilapidated state of the education system in Nigeria is another factor which has aided the word “Japa”.
“Japa” is an informal word used to describe the movement of people out of Nigeria.
Subsequently, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shows that a sum of $11.6 billion (N5 trillion) has been expended on foreign education within the last three years.
The data further showed that a sum of $882 million was spent on education-related expenditures by Nigerians in the first half of 2022, a 34.3 percent increase when compared to the $657 million spent in the second half of last year.
Thus, Investors King understands that the amount spent on foreign education has further put pressure on the naira. The incessant and increasing demand for foreign exchange could have hurt the value of Nigerian currency.
For instance, the number of Nigerian students in the United Kingdom has jumped 686 percent. Nigerian students now constitute the third largest foreign student group in the UK after India and China.
Despite the high exchange rate of strong foreign currencies against the naira, several Nigerians continue to find their way overseas. This shows the desperation of many Nigerians to the exodus of “Japa”.
According to the UK Home Office, 65,929 Nigerians were granted a sponsored study visa in the year ending June 2022. This is a rise of 57,545 (686 percent) compared to 2019 when 8,384 were given.
Nigerian-French Singer Asa Sues Joeboy Over Copyright Infringement, Demands 60% Publishing Split
Nigerian-French singer, Asa, has sued Joeboy on charges of copyright infringement. She is demanding a 60% publishing split for using her beat in his recently released single “Contour”.
Nigerian-French singer, Bukola Elemide, popularly known as Asa, has sued Joeboy on charges of copyright infringement. She is demanding a 60% publishing split for using her beat in his recently released single “Contour”.
The notice of the lawsuit was made public by Joeboy on his verified Instagram account.
According to the details of the notice dated 30th September, Asa accused Joeboy of sampling one of her beats, Composition, created by Alageu Michael Chidozie (P.K.A Tempoe) on September 22, 2020.
The legal counsel of the veteran singer has required Joeboy to take down the song from all digital streaming platforms within 24 hours, adding that Joeboy should compensate Asa with a payment of N300 million and a written apology.
The notice reads, in part, “It has been brought to our attention that your newly released song, Contour (the “Song”), infringes on the copyright of our Client, as recorded/captured in a musical composition (the “Composition”) which she created in a recording session, which took place on 22 September 2020, with the producer of the Song, Alageu Michael Chidozie (p.k.a Tempoe) in attendance.
“We hereby demand that you immediately remove the Song from all DSPs and any other platforms within twenty-four (24) hours of your receipt of this letter, with a written apology issued to our Client as well as halt any additional infringements of our Composition, including any other infringements.
“We also demand that the sum of N300,000,000 (Three Hundred Million Naira) as well as a 60% (sixty percent) publishing split on the Song be assigned to our Client.”
Joeboy, who seems to have found the whole charge ludicrous, took to his Instagram story to express his anger. The musician who felt disrespected by the whole notice claimed Asa wanted to exploit him because of his seemingly calm nature.
He said, “Cos I Dey always do love and light you think sey I be soft meat.”
A few hours after his first tweet, the obviously angry musician, tweeted again, calling on Asa to take him to court as the notice (24 hours) he was given had elapsed.
“You said I have 24 hours ‚it’s been 48hours, do something.”
Veteran singer Asa is a pop indie and Afrobeat singer, who’s famous for her hit tracks like Bibanke, Jailer and Fire on the mountain amongst many others.
Asa is highly regarded as a music legend amongst the millennials and a few of the Gen Z whose music taste resonates with her genres of music.
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