AfDB secures $20m concessional investment agreement on COVID-19 recovery platform
By Gistflash News
Aug 15, 2021
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has reached a close on financing agreements for a $20-million-dollar concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for the COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP).
In a statement from the AfDB on Sunday, the concessional loan agreements were signed following approval by the board of directors of the bank in December 2020, for the $20-million-dollar concessional investment from SEFA, to establish the platform.
The agreements were signed with fund managers Lion’s Head Global Partners, Triple Jump, and Social Investment Managers and Advisors.
Harry Guinness, Managing Director, Off-Grid Energy Access Fund, part of the wider Facility for Energy Inclusion, expressed gratitude for the support from the AfDB.
“Lion’s Head is immensely grateful for the support from the AfDB, in particular the SEFA team and funders, for developing this innovative and catalytic co-investment instrument.
“African markets have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to lack of infrastructure, macro vulnerabilities, especially in terms of currency and credit shocks and increasing global protectionism,” Guinness said.
Also, Jan-Henrik Kuhlmann, Head of Sustainable Energy, Triple Jump, said: “The COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform comes at a critical moment for early-stage energy access companies affected by COVID-19 and allows the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund to continue releasing flexible capital into the sector at a time when risk capital is increasingly scarce.”
Furthermore, Asad Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, Social Investment Managers and Advisors, said the AfDB’s relief efforts were market-driven and flexible, and would help to leverage existing funds to ultimately assist energy distribution business in Africa.
Joao Duarte Cunha, Division Manager for Renewable Energy, AfDB, said the pandemic had jeopardised the progress achieved over the last decade in electrification, through off-grid technologies across Africa.
Duarte Cunha, however, expressed delight that the initiative would increase the resilience of the sector.
“(We) look forward to working closely with our partners to safeguard energy access services and enable continued business expansion through and beyond the crisis.”
The COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP)supports businesses commercialising solar home systems, green mini-grids, clean cooking, and other renewable energy access solutions in mitigating the impacts of the pandemic and ensuring enhanced commercial recovery of the industry.
Through this Platform and other renewable energy initiatives, the AfDB is committed to building a sustainable and more climate-resilient future by catalysing private investment in low carbon infrastructure.
This is as a means to create green jobs, diversify national energy sectors, accelerate green growth and increase the climate resilience of rural communities.
Meanwhile, SEFA is the special fund, managed by the bank, to provide catalytic finance for renewable energy.
SEFA’s goal is to contribute to universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all in Africa, in line with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and Sustainable Development Goal 7.
It was established in 2011 in partnership with the Government of Denmark and has since received contributions from the governments of the U.S, U.K, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the Nordic Development Fund and Germany.
FG converts National Blood Service to commission
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The Federal Government has established the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) to replace the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services.
This is contained in a statement by Abdullahi Haruna, the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity on Saturday, in Abuja.
It explained that the NBTS was formerly a unit under the Department of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It also disclosed that Dr Omale Joseph-Amedu, the National Coordinator, would serve as the Acting Director-General of the commission in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the commission.
“Commission which has the statutory mandate to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services on a country- wide basis within the national health plan.
“Therefore, the commission is legally mandated to ensure proper compliance with the National Blood Service Guidelines and standards.
“It will also maintain a system of quality assurance at all levels of service, encourage research in all aspects of blood transfusion services and promote the rational use of blood, blood products and alternatives to blood where appropriate.
“The commission which takes effect immediately as National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has communicated that its new name and status more aptly reflects the mandate of ensuring the availability of safe, quality and adequate blood services to all Nigerians,” it stated
UK donates 1.2m COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria – Envoy
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
COVID-19: 4, 680,000 Nigerians vaccinated – NPHCDA
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 4,680,000 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the South South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA and the Edo government.
Shuaib noted that out of the 4,680,000 million vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He stated that the figure was below the nation’s target ,adding that the threats posed by the virus could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, in the course of the next few weeks, NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the town hall was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure citizens were safe and protected against the deadly coronavirus.
Ehanire, said Nigeria had so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19, adding that the virus had also affected the nation’s GDP.
According to him ,the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out off this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said
He disclosed that the Federal Government was working with the private sector for the production of vaccine in the country.
According to the minister, records have shown that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 are from unvaccinated persons.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said the state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, Obaseki said the state target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.
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