AfDB launches 5-year strategy for sustainable economic performance in Africa
By Gistflash News
July 2, 2021
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a five-year Strategy for Economic Governance in Africa (SEGA) to promote sustainable economic performance in African countries.
The launch, held virtually on Friday, noted SEGA was aimed at fostering transparent and accountable governments and institutions to secure inclusive, sustainable development.
SEGA also proposed tougher anti-corruption measures in the public and private sectors.
These include the establishment of systems to monitor and hold governments accountable for the delivery of public service and the elimination of corrupt practices.
The AfDB Acting Senior Vice President, Mrs Swazi Tshabalala, said the strategy would serve as a blueprint for the bank’s future engagements in debt management and transparency.
Tshabalala added that the strategy would also address broader public financial management, anti-corruption, curb illicit financial flows and general accountability in the public sector.
“Over the next five years, our country managers and programme officers in the regional member countries will sit across the table from government officials, politicians and technocrats and will engage with them leveraging this new strategy in the form of an enhanced policy dialogue.
“This is aimed at reforms to enable a sustainable fiscus, adoption of e-government tools, building a vibrant private sector, a thriving space for civil society organisations, and inclusion and transparency in the conduct of public service.
“It is our fervent hope and expectation that governments will embrace these measures at this critical time the African economy is gearing itself to build back better and greener. The quality of life of our citizens depends on it.
“The future of our continent depends on it,” Tshabalala said.
Also, Mrs Vera Esperança dos Santos Daves, Angola’s Minister of Finance, described the strategy as a milestone.
Esperança dos Santos Daves, who is also the Governor of AfDB, was represented by Mr Ottoniel Santos, Secretary of State for Treasure and Finance.
The minister stressed that Africa’s recovery was dependent on transparent and accountable governments and strong institutions capable of driving a prompt, sustainable and inclusive recovery and ensuring economic resilience.
“We are very delighted that it will contribute to promoting public sector effectiveness at national and subnational
level, thus stimulating structural transformation throughout the continent, and ensuring that our people participate in public sector governance,” she added.
Mr Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Director, Governance and Public Financial Management, AfDB said the SEGA refocused the bank’s fundamental priorities on the most effective areas for improving economic governance in Africa.
“With SEGA, we are consolidating on our past successes and leveraging the lessons learnt from our experience working on governance,” Coulibaly said.
SEGA is expected to ensure the sound management of public resources at national and sub-national levels to maintain macroeconomic stability and the delivery of the High Fives.
The strategy is also expected to foster structural transformation by enabling a competitive private sector and level playing field for all enterprises.
It is further expected to increase transparency, accountability and inclusion in policy-making and service delivery, and combat corruption in public and private sectors.
The strategy stands on three pillars namely: public sector effectiveness at national and sub-national levels, governance for structural transformation as well as inclusive governance and accountability.
SEGA will run from 2021 till 2025.
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State
By Gistflash News
Sept 13, 2021
NASRDA harps on space technology for precision agriculture
By Gistflash News
Sept 13, 2021
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) says it is engaging space science technology to boost agricultural products for food security in the country.
Dr Rakiya Babamaaji, the Head, Natural Resources Management Division of NASRDA, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Babamaaji explained that space science technology could be deployed into agriculture through the application of Geospatial technology that involved Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System application.
She said that geospatial technology could be used to map and monitor the location of natural resources, take inventory of vegetation and for smart agriculture and water resources management among others.
She further said the Agency had in May, commenced a Space-Based Smart Agriculture for Food Security in Nigeria.
Babamaaji said that the programme was in line with government’s mandate to ensure food security and enable the country achieve Sustainable Development Goal Two, aimed at ending hunger and increasing availability of food.
“We are trying to use space technology in agriculture and we have a programme called Space Base Smart Agriculture for Food Security in Nigeria which will address food availability.
“Under the programme, there is the Crop Watch project, a platform used to monitor agricultural activities across the country using geospatial technology.
“Under this project, we are going to gather all the spatial data available with restrictions to agriculture, so that farmers can know what is happening in their farms, from the cropping to monitoring the farmland.
“The project will provide the farmers with the climate data, letting them know when to plant, when to apply fertilizer, different soil type in terms of fertility,’’ she said.
“We want to achieve this by engaging farmers on their phones, use of jingles in the radio which could possibly be transmitted in the three major languages and English to reach rural farmers.”
The official said they were working with relevant stakeholders in the country, including the China Academy of Science and China Remote Sensing Centre as technical partners towards achieving the Crop Watch project.
Babamaaji also said the programme would be addressing the Value Supply Chain, whereby challenges faced by farmers from the beginning of the farming season to harvest time would be reviewed.
“We are trying to look at the challenges that prevent them from achieving maximum production in their farming activities and we have chosen a farm in Kuje and in Nasarawa to start this assessment.’’
Babamaaji, however, decried the dearth of data, funding to support the project and lack of awareness among farmers on the importance of space technology to farming.
She recalled that the management of the agency has been advocating for new and advanced satellites that would aid provision of data and help to plan better towards enhanced precision agriculture.
“Most of the farmers don’t know the importance of using satellite or geospatial technology in agriculture, so there is need for us to create more awareness on that.’’
She said that the agency was taking seriously the deployment of space science technology in other sectors to advance good governance and the socio-economic development of the nation.
VON D-G urges South-East to embrace FG’s Farm Estate Project
By Gistflash News
Sept 12, 2021
The Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has urged the people of South-East, especially Enugu State communities, to embrace the Federal Government’s ongoing nationwide Integrated Farm Estate Project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government recently announced that it would establish Integrated Farm Estates across the 109 senatorial districts of the country.
However, the government’s plan had been faced with mixed feelings, as some people wrongly feel it is an indirect way of reintroducing the controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) project.
Okechukwu, on Sunday, urged the people of the zone and communities in Enugu State in particular to participate fully in the project as it would be community-based and managed by the communities themselves.
He said that the Federal Government’s programme, meant for the 109 Senatorial districts in the country, was a presidential mandate to close bandits’ market, provide employment and food security.
He explained that the appeal had become necessary “because our people are embarrassingly missing billions of naira budgets from the Anchor Borrowers Programme, one of the key projects in the Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution Value Chain”.
The VON boss said: “One with a progressive mind should subscribe to this people-oriented and laudable back-to-land project.
“It is clearly community-based aimed at generating mass employment, as the creation of employment is the best way to close banditry, kidnappings and terrorism in our land. For an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.
Okechukwu said that it was regrettable that some people’s past-time has become stock-pilling hatred against the central government as if President Muhammadu Buhari was going to preside over Nigeria for life.
“We should not gloss over the truism that the central government remains the only common shelter, which shelters us all.
“In no distant future, Nigeria will take her destined status as the giant of Africa. Therefore, it is not pragmatic to cut our nose to spite Buhari’s face,” he said.
According to him, South-Easterner should not reject humanitarian projects which ignite employment, close bandits’ market, reduce poverty and provide food security all because of sentiments.
Okechukwu further said that he was happy that the Executive Secretary of the National Land Development Authority (NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne, a South-Easterner had clarified the concept of the programme.
According to him, the true position is that the national integrated farm estate is designed to accommodate the youth from that community in order to engage them in the entire agricultural value chain.
“And it depends on what the community is interested in going into, some states are getting into poultry like in the north, in the south like Abia they’re doing fishery and rabbit rearing.
“In Oyo, the people are into rabbit rearing and crop farming and in Ekiti they are opting for crop farming.
“It is not another or anything that has to do with Rural Grazing Area (RUGA); what we have is poultry, fishery, piggery and any farming model of the choice of the community,“ he said.
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