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Bill Gates Donates $1m for Food, Farming Aids to Borno

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Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima on Sunday inaugurated the distribution of food items and farm outreach committee targeting 40,000 victims of the Boko Haram insurgency through the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which donated one million dollars to the Borno State Government as a post conflict intervention meant to support victims who are returning to their communities.

Shettima inaugurated the support commitee to begin with the distribution of 25 kilogram bag of rice and 10 kilogram bag of beans to each of 1,100 households at Mainok village in Kaga local government area, 45 kilometres away from Maiduguri.

The governor said officials of the state government working with the Gates Foundation used the $1m to procure the food items and commenced funding of 100 hectares of farm where beans is being cultivated.

He explained that 200 farm-families would be allocated tilled and fertile land measuring half hectare each along with improved seeds, fertilizer, chemicals and technical supervision so that they can start growing food crops. The Governor also announced the release of two trucks of maize grid to add to the food procured with the Gates’ donation.

“We are grateful to God for creating people like Mr Bill Gates and his dear wife, Melinda. These leading lights of philanthropy across the world have shown love to the good people of Borno State at a time we are on the ground and looking for any hand to hold in trying to lift ourselves up.

“Now, with the emerging peace in Borno State, it is only necessary that as Post Insurgency response, focus should be combined in supporting all categories of the victims from those at Internally Displaced Persons, those in communities within Maiduguri, those in our satellite camps outside Maiduguri, those in communities across different local government areas who are returning to their homes and those being resettled.

“It is in this regard, that we are gathered today to Flag off the distribution of a key intervention of one million dollars food and farming aide donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Let me say it for the record, that unlike majority of interventions which happily came to us in kind, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated cash of one million dollars to the Borno State Government. “It is the State Government that is carrying out procurement in the implementation of this particular intervention. The intervention is targeting returning and re-settling communities by giving them food aid and also helping them to return to their familiar ways of producing food for themselves and for commercial purposes.

“The intervention from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is being used for food supplies and to fund farming activities for households. As a preliminary stage, beans is being cultivated in one hundred hectares of land. Half hectare is being allocated to a farm-family with a target of reaching 200 households. Each household may have from 2 to 10 family members.

“Already, farms have been established in Konduga and Damboa. Each household is to be allocated not only tilled and fertile land but also improved variety of seeds, fertilizer, chemicals and most importantly, technical field supervision by extension workers.

“On the food aspect, one thousand, one hundred households, not individuals, will be given a 25 kilogram bag of rice and a 10-kilogram bag for each household here in Mainok, Kaga local government area. The intervention aims at reaching 40,000 victims of the insurgency through households on both food aid and farming activity.

“We are particularly interested in ensuring that citizens begin to produce food crops in safe locations because direct food aid in post conflict situations is never sustainable over a long period of time” Shettima said.

Officials of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ‎(UNOCHA) witnessed the distribution with goodwill presented by them.

The Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Borno State, Dr Babagana Umara Zulum explained that two trucks of food items as well as two farms in Damboa and Konduga funded through the Gates donation were ‎ready for immediate access on Sunday while more communities were to benefit in a continuous exercise.

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.

Investment

Investors Turn to Digital Health Startups With $10 Billion Funding in 2020

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Global Investors Dump $10 Billion on Digital Health Startups in 2020

Data presented by Buy Shares shows that digital health startups funding has hit $9.9 billion in 2020. The highest funding was recorded in Q3 at $4.6 billion.

The surge in funding is expected to continue

Between Q1 and Q3, the funding grew by 58.62%. During Q1, the funding was $2.9 billion. The figure slightly dropped during Q2 to $2.4 billion.

The Buy Shares research also overviewed the five largest digital health funding deals as of Q3 2020. Bright Health was the biggest deal at $500 million with funding from Blackstone, Tiger Global Management among others. XtalPi recorded the second-highest funding at $319 million.

In the third spot, there is RecursionPharmaceuticals with cumulative funding of $239 million while Ro is fourth at $200 million. Out of the overviewed top funding, Ground Rounds is ranked fifth at $175 million.

The research highlights the value of digital health to investors. According to the research report:

“To investors, the digital health sector offers a promise of both good financial returns and key positioning by supporting companies that build solutions to address clinical and operational hurdles. The sector offers a unique value to companies as they hold integral direct access to both providers and patients.”

The surge in funding is expected to continue and shatter various records in 2020.

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World’s Five Largest Asset Management Companies Hold $22.5trn in Assets, More than US GDP

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Global Five Biggest Asset Management Companies Hold $22.5trn in Assets, More than US GDP

Institutions and individuals who invest money usually do so with the asset manager’s help, a company that manages their investments and makes a profit for both sides. These firms make well-timed investment decisions on behalf of their clients to grow their portfolio and finances.

According to data presented by Stock Apps, the world’s five largest asset management companies hold $22.5trn in assets, more than the GDP of the United States. With more than $7.3trn in assets under management or one-third of that value, BlackRock represents the leading asset manager globally.

Total Assets Under Management of BlackRock Surged 57% in Five Years

Asset management companies work with several investors, which enables them to reduce the risk, diversify their clients’ portfolios, and provide access to higher-value options with better capital appreciation prospects. In many cases, they make money by charging fees based on the number of assets they manage, although some companies charge flat fees. These firms usually also provide other services than asset management, which generates only a part of their revenue.

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, has become one of the leading players on the financial market over the last 25 years. It serves individual investors, companies, governments, and foundations through 70 offices all around the world. BlackRock also tops the list of largest Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) providers in the United States and has played a huge role in advising the US government during the financial crisis.

In 2015, the total value of assets under BlackRock’s management amounted to $4.6trn, revealed the company’s annual report. During the last five years, this figure surged by 57% to $7.3trn in 2020. Besides leading in the value of managed assets, the New York-based financial giant also witnessed a steady market cap growth in 2020. In September, the total value of BlackRock stocks hit $83.6bn, a 22% jump year-over-year.

With $5.7trn in total assets under management, the Vanguard Group ranked as the second-largest asset manager globally. The US financial company, with 20 locations worldwide and 17,600 employees, is also the second-largest provider of exchange traded funds and the largest provider of mutual funds in the world.

Eight of the top 10 Asset Management Firms are US Companies

UBS Group represents the third-largest asset manager globally, with more than $3.5trn in assets under management. The Swiss financial corporation and the country’s largest bank announced a net profit of $1.23 billion for the second quarter of 2020, an 11% drop year-over-year mostly caused by the continued credit losses amid the coronavirus crisis.

However, higher trading activity continued to support the bank’s earnings between March and June. The Group’s quarterly earnings also revealed an operating income of $7.4bn, compared to $7.5bn a year ago. Statistics show the Swiss lender lost $1.6bn in market capitalization in 2020, with the total value of stocks falling from $45.6bn in December 2019 to over $44bn this month.

State Street Global Advisors and Fidelity Investments ranked as the fourth and fifth largest asset managers globally, with $3.05trn and $2.92trn in total assets under management.

Analyzed by geography, the US asset managers lead on the global list of the most successful companies, with eight of the top 10 asset management firms from the United States. Statistics also show the world’s largest banks like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America were not among the top five asset managers in terms of managed assets.

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Germany Advances as Major Player in Pan-African Trade and Investment

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Germany Emerges as Major Player in Pan-African Trade and Investment

“Investment and Trade for Africa’s Economic Development” – a public webinar held on Wednesday – targeted opportunities for cross-border collaboration between Africa and Germany; the African Export-Import Bank announced its plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with German car manufacturers to establish an automotive industry in Africa; the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF), Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber co-hosted the webinar, as part of a GABF cooperation-focused series.

The Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) hosted its second installment of its German-African cooperation-focused webinar series on Wednesday, aimed at outlining the opportunities for sustainable FDI between Germany and the African continent.

The panel comprised H.E. Günter Nooke, Africa Envoy to German Chancellor Angela Merkel; NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and Rene Awambeng, Global Head Client Relationship at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

Anchored by the theme of investment and trade for African economic development, the opening keynote was delivered by H.E. Nooke, and outlined four key success factors in driving Africa’s economic development: investment and business climate, transport, energy and technological infrastructure, available workforce, and access to markets.

Digitalization and green energy were advanced as two of the critical sectors for facilitating Africa’s economic and social development. Africa contains a young, tech-savvy population, noted H.E. Nooke, translating to smooth technological adoption and enhanced opportunities for both consumers and businesses.

Highlighting efforts to expand global market reach, H.E. Nooke noted the anticipated benefits of the recently adopted African Continental Free Trade Agreement, signed by 53 African countries and already implemented by 30. The agreement is set to boost intra-African trade, with the ultimate objective of creating a common market that empowers African nations.

Meanwhile, cross-border developments in clean energy have already been progressing. This month, a German delegation visited the Democratic Republic of Congo to study opportunities related to the Inga III hydroelectric dam project. Germany is eyeing major opportunities for hydrogen production, a clean fuel alternative, as well as wind, solar and hydropower resources scattered across the continent.

Germany is currently active in a range of investments across the continent. The European leader played a major role in securing a $300 million facility from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The funds are aimed at creating jobs, reviving economies in a post-COVID-19 environment, and encouraging investment reforms to boost FDI.

Furthermore, Afreximbank will imminently announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with German automotive manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, intended to create an African-driven automobile manufacturing strategy.

“We are looking to create a holistic approach to automotive manufacturing,” said Rene Awambeng. “Our goal is to build an entire value chain, with the support of Germany and Europe, in order to be able to design, build and market cars across Africa.”

In a bid to drive investor engagement in a variety of sectors, NJ Ayuk called for a change in the perception of risk associated with investing in Africa.

“We need to create an enabling environment for banks, financial institutions and investors to perceive Africa as a safe and profitable destination,” said Ayuk. “Rwanda paved the way and we have seen outstanding results. We have an obligation to make the change.”

Ayuk also appealed to Europeans nations, such as Germany, to focus on investment rather than aid. Investment enables the creation of synergies and partnerships and places project leaders in a position of accountability. While aid is welcome in periods of crisis, noted Ayuk, it must not be the standard for sustainable, long-term business.

Awambeng underscored that long-term, affordable financing is available for Africa’s investment opportunities, combined with technical capacities and business support.

“Huge amounts of capital are available across the continent in all forms: equity, bank debt, development financial institutions, sovereign funds, among others. All we are missing are the people to make the transition happen.”

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