Meeting in London today, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), announced a strengthened partnership that will boost investment in human development.
The partnership will aim to improve health, nutrition and sanitation in low- and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The partnership will also support developing countries in adapting agriculture to climate change, and enhancing financial inclusion and gender equality.
President Hoyer and Bill Gates agreed to focus on strengthening health systems and primary healthcare, increasing prevention of polio and other infectious diseases, and promoting research and development in the health sector. The two parties will also continue to support the manufacturing, procurement and delivery of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “Ensuring that everyone in the world has access to safe and affordable healthcare, basic services, and tools and resources to adapt to a changing climate, is a moral imperative and a priority for the European Union. I am very pleased to step up our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Working together is the only way to tackle global challenges.”
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “We all need to make strong commitments to sustainable development in lower- and middle-income countries. Our partnership with the EIB will create high-impact development financing and programming to help more people access financial tools, adapt to climate change and live healthier lives.”
Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “This commitment will build on our years of successful collaboration to support the dedicated people working on the front lines in Africa, Asia and around the world. When all people have the opportunity and tools to exercise power over their lives, our world becomes a more equal, healthy and hopeful place.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the EIB have previously collaborated, together with the European Commission, on the African Health Diagnostic Platform and the European Health Platform. Both platforms were set up to improve access to laboratory, vaccine and diagnostic services for low-income populations in Africa and EU neighbouring countries.
The EIB and the Foundation are both contributing to the EU Malaria Fund, which aims to fund projects to prevent and treat malaria. The fund blends investment from the European Union, the EIB, Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other European national and private actors.
Both partners are also supporting COVAX, the global initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
Falcon Corporation Secures N19.41bn Debt Facility for State-of-the-Art LPG Facility in Port Harcourt
Falcon Corporation Limited, a prominent player in Nigeria’s energy sector, has successfully secured a N19.41 billion debt facility from the Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria-managed Infrastructure Debt Fund (NIDF).
The financing will be used for the development of a cutting-edge 15,000 metric ton Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage facility and a dedicated jetty in Rumuolumeni, Saipem/Aker Base Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Managing Director of Falcon Corporation, Prof. Joe Ezigbo, emphasized the company’s commitment to national service through investments in the gas industry.
He highlighted the strategic positioning of the LPG facility in proximity to major gas sources and navigable water routes, anticipating economic gains, job creation, income growth, health improvements, and environmental sustainability.
“We positioned our LPG facility strategically in proximity to major Gas sources and navigable water routes. The Project is set to facilitate and enhance more direct procurement and distribution of LPG, which will dramatically lower conventional delivery and storage costs,” said Prof. Joe Ezigbo.
The project has achieved significant milestones, reaching a completion rate of 65% as of October 2023. Various phases of development, including the completion of the jetty, shoreline protection, and engineering activities, have contributed to this progress.
The entire project is expected to be completed and commissioned by Q4 2024.
Falcon’s General Manager, Finance, Nelson Walter, expressed satisfaction with the partnership with NIDF, highlighting their reputation for providing reasonable terms for impactful infrastructure projects.
The flexible long-term loan repayment structure aligns with Falcon’s goals, making the collaboration instrumental in realizing this groundbreaking project.
Financial advisers Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Chapel Hill Denham Advisory, along with legal counsel Detail Commercial Solicitors, played crucial roles in facilitating this strategic debt facility for Falcon Corporation’s ambitious LPG infrastructure development in Rivers State.
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Zenith Bank Signs MOU With CFA Institute to Develop Finance and Investment Professionals
Zenith Bank Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute to promote efforts and activities that support the formation, training, and updating of human capital in finance and investment for the overall development of the Nigerian financial services sector.
The MoU, was signed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu; the President/CEO of the CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin; and the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu commended the CFA Institute and the CFA Society, Nigeria for their laudable programmes in developing finance and investment professionals in Nigeria.
According to him, your Women in Investment Management Initiative, CFA Institute Research Challenge, CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge and University Affiliation Program are very laudable, and Zenith Bank will continue to partner with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria to ensure that young finance and investment professionals get the needed support for their career development.
In his words, “As a good corporate citizen, Zenith Bank remains committed to furthering the economic, cultural and social development of the society. As such, we continue to support projects and initiatives that have long-term social and economic benefits for our various publics and stakeholders. Partnering with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria is therefore a demonstration of our commitment to building professional excellence in the finance services industry in Nigeria”.
At the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference, during the ‘Journey to the Top: A Discourse with CEOs’ segment, Dr. Onyeagwu inspired future finance and investment professionals to uphold the highest standards of integrity.
He stressed the importance of making difficult yet high-quality decisions, building robust networks, and dedicating themselves to hard work for career success.
In his words, “as upcoming professionals, the opportunities are immense for you. Africa doesn’t get bigger than Nigeria. There is scarcity of the right kind of people that have the talent, that have the character and the leadership to provide leadership in organizations. Make a decision to be one of those, make a decision to be different. You must be driven by your passion; you must delay gratification. In Zenith what is driving us is the strive for excellence. It is not about who you are and where you come from. We have the best class of talents you can think of anywhere in the world.”
He assured the young finance and investment professionals that Zenith Bank will offer immediate employment opportunity to CFA Charter Holders and those who qualify as Chartered Accountants.
Also speaking on the MoU, the President/CEO, CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin reiterated the Institute’s commitment to the professional development of students and upcoming professionals.
In her words, “there are many things that we do for students, we invest heavily in students and why is that? Because they are our future. The mission of the CFA Institute is to lead the investment industry with the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society and that starts with our CFA programme”.
She commended Zenith Bank for its continued support to the CFA Society Nigeria and sponsorship of the CFA Institute Research Challenge over the years.
She also commended the bank for being one of the top employers of CFA members in the country. She expressed her admiration of the culture of excellence in Zenith Bank.
Also speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji commended Zenith Bank for its partnership with CFA Society Nigeria and its commitment to the development of young finance professionals in the country.
The the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference is being hosted by the CFA Institute and CFA Societies from Ghana, East Africa, South Africa and Mauritius. The conference has representatives from over 20 universities in Nigeria (members of their investment clubs being supported by CFA Society).
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