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Tackling Unemployment among Youths

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  • Tackling Unemployment among Youths

The Katsina State Songhai initiative is an agricultural scheme that was designed to alleviate and tackle unemployment among the youths and to guarantee food security and self-sufficiency among the general populace.

The scheme situated at Makera village of Dutsin-Ma Local Government Area is to provide training on modern techniques of both production and processing of cash crops and other crops including maize, sorghum, millet, beans, cassava, rice, wheat and different kinds of fruits by adding value to them. This, it is believed, will be a base for earning more income from agriculture.

Three selected farms were established at Zobe, Mairuwa and the Sabke dam on over 5000 hectares of land. Structures were built and instructors deployed to teach and guide prospective farmers towards embracing agriculture as a business by the previous administrations.

The motive of the scheme then, also centred on honey production, honey processing, honey packaging, fisheries production, fishery management, poultry and livestock production, animal husbandry, crops and cereals production.

Other areas of the initiative included training on modern techniques of breeding and rearing of different animals, including sheep, cows, goats, guinea fowls, grass cutter and turkey.

The scheme which was designed in such a way that over 50,000 youths all-year round are to be engaged in agriculture-related activities to earn a living has Conference Hall, accommodation, restaurant, staff quarters and students’ hotels was established by the Former Governor of the state, Ibrahim Shema in 2014.

The project, which draws its inspiration from the Songhai Regional centre in Porto Novo, Benin Republic, was said to gulfed N3.4 billion by the previous administration.

No fewer than 60 youths were said to be sponsored by the previous administration to Port Novo in Benin Republic to undertake training from the mother institute, serving as the beginning of the seed it sowed towards using agriculture to address peculiar challenges of the state.

Unfortunately, the project which functioned only for some years was, however, abandoned by the present administration of Governor Aminu Bello Masari.

Masari, who visited the site of the project when he assumed office as the governor of the state had said, “Government cannot maintain the place because it has no enough money for such capital-intensive project. There are some facilities that are not supposed to be here.”

Interestingly, however, the Dangote Group, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government to take over the project for the production of tomatoes within the period of 10 years and is expected to cover other agricultural activities.

The hitherto comatose facility will be maximally utilised as the business mogul intends to inject N500 million this year, take over the staff, recruit additional staff and commence planting of tomato in preparation for the would-be Dangote world largest tomato production and processing plant.

The company, which is currently operating out-grower scheme in rice production in a number of states, has Africa’s largest sugar refinery in Lagos and a sugar cane plantation in Numan, Adamawa State, among others.

The project, according to the President of the Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will generate employment opportunity for the teeming unemployed youths in the state and bring about a complete economic turn-around for the state and its neighbouring state.

The N500 million pact would see the company producing tomatoes and other agricultural products on 10,000hectares of land at Makera in Dutsin-Ma Local Government Area through an out-grower scheme.

He said, the initiative would succeed in mass production of tomatoes with a view to boosting food production, enhancing the economic position of the state, thereby reducing unemployment and engendering industrialisation.

According to Aliko Dangote, “Today is one of my happiest day to see that we have finally concluded and signed this agreement so that we can really move into action. We are not only going to do tomatoes here as we promised. We want to make people of Katsina state to used their arable land and put it into use.

“We also want to use out-growers to support them and make sure that this tomatoes project become a reality. Not only a reality but for it to become a bedrock of doing tomatoes in Nigeria.

“We give the state government all the support that is needed from an entrepreneur. We will do our best to make you proud as a governor of this state”, Dangote added.

Dangote, who advocated for the sustenance of the scheme in view of its importance in nation-building, said the initiative would provide an avenue to shift attention to agriculture from dependence on oil.

According to Dangote, “Apart from tomatoes, we will do other things here since you have provided us the enabling environment and we will do our utmost best to make you proud as governor of Katsina State.”

In his remarks, Masari said the project would not only be for the Katsina people alone but for the entire West African region.

Masari said, “The facility will serve the people of West Africa and the entire humanity. We are happy as a government that we have brought something that will add value to the lives of the people here and to humanity in general.

“The project is not only about tomatoes as other businesses and institutions will spring up and we believe that cultivating over 10,000 hectares of land will provide not only for Katsina but for the whole of the West Africa region.

“This government is investor-friendly and we will do whatever it takes to make sure it succeeds as we want to put something in place that will outlive all of us and evidence that we have added value to the lives of our people and humanity in general.

“The purpose of life is about how we can add value and bring benefit to others. Those who do that are the best among mankind and Alhaji Aliko Dangote is one of them,” the governor said.

A resident of the area, Mallam Sani Dutsin-Ma said he was elated about the huge investment coming to the state.
He disclosed that the MoU would be a game changer for Katsina State economy and Nigeria as a whole.

Dutsin-Ma said, “The deal with Dangote Group would help grow the agricultural sector and create direct and indirect jobs in the state”.

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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Mozambique President Named Africa Oil & Power’s “Person of the Year” for 2020

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H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique has been selected as Africa Oil & Power’s  “Person of the Year” for 2020 by Africa Oil & Power.

This prestigious award is presented to exceptional individuals who display true leadership and innovative thinking in steering their countries or organizations to the forefront of the global energy sector.

President Nyusi has been at the helm of Mozambique’s energy sector during its many recent successes, including several multibillion gas projects which are now in development in this Southern African country. These natural gas projects, once fully actualized, represent more than three times the country’s current GDP, with the Exxon-led Rovuma LNG project valued at $23.9 billion; the country’s Total-led gas project valued at $23 billion; and the $4.7 billion Coral FLNG project, which is expected to reach first gas in 2022.

  • H.E. Filipe Nyusi has steered Mozambique through incredible challenges, and is leading the country to demonstrable economic success.
  • Multibillion-dollar gas projects are transforming Mozambique’s economy and are leading to prosperity, progress for all Mozambicans.
  • Africa Oil & Power will present H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, with highest honors at the Mozambique Gas & Power 2021 event.

“H.E. Filipe Nyusi has led the charge in creating an enabling environment in the energy industry and the broader economy that paved the way for extraordinary energy deals which Mozambique currently enjoys,” said Jude Kearney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the US Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration and currently President of Kearney Africa Advisors. “I can think of no better individual in Africa’s energy space on whom to bestow this award. Mozambique has a bright future ahead as international gas projects drive new growth, job creation, economic development and prosperity,” added Kearney.

Not only has President Nyusi been instrumental in the deals coming through, he has also helped drive a focus on national capacity building and has made sure the projects set aside natural gas for domestic use, setting the country on a path towards economic diversification and energy security.

“H.E. President Filipe Nyusi has worked hard to create an environment that ensures that a strong gas industry will create jobs, boost entrepreneurship, protect our environment, diversify our economy for the benefit of all the citizens and generate much-needed revenue for the government. The President has made the energy sector a crucial component of the economic well-being of Mozambique,” said Florival Mucave, CEO of the Mozambican Oil & Gas Chamber.

“H.E. President Filipe Nyusi has taken Mozambique from a place of relative obscurity in the energy markets, to a place of leadership in the global natural gas industry,” said Renée Montez-Avinir, Managing Director of AOP.  “His leadership has been instrumental in bringing these mega natural gas projects to fruition, providing vital investment security to close several multi-billion dollar deals. There is no doubt, the natural gas projects will transform Mozambique, bringing progress and prosperity to the entire country and placing Mozambique at the forefront of a global natural gas revolution,” added Montez-Avinir.

In office since 2015, Nyusi has aggressively pursued an anti-corruption campaign; continued to lead the country in peace; and has successfully navigated the country through incredible challenges, including Tropical Cyclone Idai that struck Mozambique in 2019 and the economic fallout presented by COVID-19 this year.

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U.S. New Home Sales Jump 108% Over the Last 10 Years

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Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that the United States’ new home sales annual rate has grown by 108.45%. The growth was recorded between 2010 and 2020.

Homes sales spear amid pandemic

The highest sales were recorded this year at 697, 542 as of September 28th, a growth of 2.9% from last year’s 677,386. Over the last decade, the lowest sales were registered in 2011 at 309,853, a drop of 7.40% from 2010’s 334,624.

From the data, it is clear that the new home sales have been rising despite the economic uncertainties. According to the research report:

“The rise in new home sales is a good indicator considering that the United States real estate market was among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The high sales show a rising momentum as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.”

The research also overviewed the sales relating to the existing homes where the annual rate jumped by 128%. From the data, the highest sales were recorded this year at about 1.3 million. Last year, the figure stood at 1.2 million. The lowest sales were recorded ten years ago at 577,774.

An overview of the new home median sale price shows a spike of 46.96% The existing home median sale price had a growth of 62.08%. In 2020, the new home sale median price was $332,560, while ten years ago the figure stood at $219,484. On the other hand, the median sale for existing homes stands at $280,134 while ten years ago, the price was $174,843.

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USAID/Power Africa Announces $2.6m in Healthcare Electrification Grants to Solar Energy Companies in Nine Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

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 Power Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announces grants totaling $2,620,650 to solar energy companies to provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity to nearly 300 healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nearly 60 percent of all healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and of those that do, only 34 percent of hospitals and 28 percent of health clinics have reliable, 24-hour access.  Energy is critical for powering essential devices, medical and sterilization equipment, diagnostics, cold storage for vaccines and medication, information technology, and lights to enable the delivery of continuous health care services. Efficient health services and responses to diseases – including COVID-19 – depend on reliable access to electricity.

In support of the accelerated provision of off-grid solar energy to healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, Power Africa is awarding grants to the following solar energy companies: 

  • Havenhill Synergy Ltd. (Nigeria)
  • KYA-Energy Group (Togo)
  • Muhanya Solar Ltd. (Zambia)
  • Nanoé (Madagascar)
  • OffGridBox (Rwanda)
  • OnePower (Lesotho)
  • PEG Solar (Ghana)
  • SolarWorks! (Mozambique)
  • Zuwa Energy (Malawi)

These companies will utilize Power Africa funding to provide off-grid solar electricity solutions to 288 healthcare facilities across the nine countries represented.

“Solar energy holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, and off-grid solar technology offers a clean, affordable, and smart solution to electrify healthcare facilities located beyond the reach of national electricity grids,” said Mark Carrato, Power Africa Acting Coordinator. “Power Africa’s experience shows that off-grid solar energy systems can be rapidly deployed to even the most rural facilities.”

“These awards demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join together to break down the barriers to reliable electricity for rural healthcare facilities,” said Chris Milligan, Counselor to USAID, on September 22, 2020 during a virtual event announcing the grant awardees.

ABOUT THE GRANTEES AND HOW THEY WILL POWER HEALTHCARE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

Havenhill Synergy will electrify 21 rural healthcare facilities in Oyo State, Nigeria, using an energy-as-a-service business model. The facilities are mostly within peri-urban communities with limited reliable electricity access. Havenhill will provide long-term operation and maintenance of the solar energy systems.

KYA-Energy Group will electrify 20 health centers in Togo. In addition to electricity access, KYA will provide automated solar hand washing stations for infection prevention and solar phone charging stations for generating additional income.  

In partnership with the Churches Health Association of Zambia, Muhanya Solar Ltd. will provide electricity access to seven rural health facilities in Zambia. Muhanya will also electrify staff housing to generate revenue for the operation and maintenance of the solar systems installed at the health facilities. 

Nanoé will electrify 35 rural health facilities in the Ambanja and Ambilobe districts of Madagascar. The company will deploy nano-grids with the health facilities as anchors and connections running to staff housing. Electricity will be sold to the surrounding communities to generate income for the operation and maintenance of the nano-grids. 

With their containerized solution, OffGridBox will provide renewable energy and clean water to six rural clinics in Rwanda. The company will also set up a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) business model, selling electricity and clean water to the surrounding communities.

OnePower will electrify seven rural health facilities in Lesotho, using the facilities as anchor loads for mini-grids. In addition to powering the health facilities, the mini-grids will provide electricity access for rural communities served by the facilities. 

PEG Solar will provide electricity access to 91 rural community healthcare facilities in Ghana. PEG will adopt a private sector approach to energy service delivery for public health facilities, enabling rapid electrification of the facilities while significantly reducing the upfront financial burden of transitioning to solar energy. 

SolarWorks! will electrify 92 rural healthcare facilities in Mozambique’s Sofala province. To ensure sustainability of the systems beyond the grant implementation period, SolarWorks! will cover operational and maintenance costs of the solar energy systems for five years.

Zuwa Energy will install solar energy solutions in nine health facilities in Malawi. Electricity access will enable the facilities to provide higher-quality health services throughout the day and more comprehensive services at night. Additionally, Zuwa will electrify staff housing with the aim to increase staff wellbeing and retention rates.

“Through these grants, USAID is investing in a set of pilot projects that demonstrate how healthcare electrification can be delivered in a commercially sustainable manner, with strong private sector involvement,” said David Stonehill, the Lead for Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative.  “These grants demonstrate the Power Africa model in action:  We use a modest amount of public funding to de-risk transactions, thus opening the door for private investment.”

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