FG, NESG sign MoU to drive reforms in creative sector

The Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), towards repositioning the art, culture, and creative economy sectors. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MoU was signed by officials of both organisations at the ministry's headquarters on Friday in Abuja. The MoU was designed to strengthen collaboration between the two parties towards developing a united policy, governance, institutional, legislative and implementation framework for operations of art, culture, and the creative sectors. The goal, according to the Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, is to enhance the sectors' contribution to the national economy. Musawa, who signed on behalf of the Federal Government, said that the partnership would unlock the vast potential of Nigeria's creative economy. She described NESG as a leading private sector-led think tank, dedicated to transforming Nigeria int o an open, sustainable, and globally competitive economy. According to her, the MoU is a bold step forwards fulfilling the mandate of the Ministry through partnership with critical stakeholders. 'Our collaboration with NESG is grounded in a clear set of objectives - to develop a robust governance structure for the art, culture, and creative industries. 'Together, we have co-created the policy thrust for the development of a comprehensive national policy on the creative economy aimed at guiding the development and regulation of Nigeria's creative economy. 'This policy framework will provide strategic direction, outline key objectives, and establish regulatory mechanisms to foster growth, innovation, and sustainability within the creative sector. 'Once approved, the policy will be pushed to the National Assembly for their nod to establish the Act that will create a Central Authority for Art, Culture and the creative economy and establish a fund. 'Through strategic collaborations, forward-thinking policie s, and dedication, we seek to unleash the complete potential of Nigeria's creative sectors, championing enduring economic growth and cultural prosperity for future generations.' On his part, the Director of NESG, Mr Udeme Ufot, who signed on behalf of the group, said that the MoU represents a significant innovation towards transforming the potential of the sector. Ufot is also the Private Sector Co-Chair, Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives, Culture and Sports Industries Policy Commission (THECCS) of NES. He expressed confidence that the partnership would serve as a springboard for the growth of the sector. 'The effective implementation of the MoU would serve as a paradigm shift in the art, culture, and creative sectors of Nigeria's economy. 'It is commencing with the public sector side, which shall witness the establishment and optimisation of the sectors' governance frameworks. 'This will be achieved through reforms of policies, legislation, institutions, incentives, and human capacity deve lopment across relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies. 'On the private sector side, the implementation of the MoU will result in game-changing industry reset for sector practitioners across the cultural and creative sectors value chain and ecosystem,' he said. Earlier, Dr Tayo Aduloju, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, NESG, said signing of the MoU followed a series of meetings, consultations, research, and stakeholder engagements. Aduloju explained that the specific task under the collaborative MoU would among other initiatives, make the Nigeria Creativity Week an annual event. According to him, NESG has established a wide range of institutional collaborations and signed memorandum of understandings to drive economic growth and development across different sectors. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

AfDB affirms commitment to promote mutual reliance on continent

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has reiterated its commitment to promote mutual reliance on the continent in procurement diagnostic tools and social environment safeguards. The AfDB's Senior Vice-President, Swazi Tshabalala, said this at the Annual Development Effectiveness Report held on the sidelines of the 2024 AfDB Annual Meetings in Nairobi. Tshabalala said the Bank would continue to adapt its operational model, simplify its business processes, and further collaborate with other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to promote mutual reliance. 'The report provides supportive development results of AfDB's global finance projects, which demonstrate its increased efforts in normalising and catalysing other sources of finance from the private sector. 'These development results represent a collective achievement delivered in collaboration and partnership with other international development banks and development partners, and of course, our client partners. 'In this year's report, we have incorporate d innovative tools and methods like satellite imaging to better capture and analyse the development impact of our investments. 'For instance, using high-resolution impact mapping, we were able to assess the impact of Bank-financed water and sanitation projects on the living conditions of residents in 28 urban areas in Kenya,' she said. She said the report also provided the supportive development results of our global finance projects, which allowed us to demonstrate the Bank's increased efforts in normalising and catalysing other sources of finance. The vice-president said that, in spite of the pandemic's lingering challenges and geopolitical tensions, the bank group had earned its triple-A award. 'The Bank generated a historically high net income and approved projects to the value of 10 billion dollars, the second-highest funding level. 'The Bank will also support member countries or regional member countries in establishing appropriate platforms for business coordination at the country level. 'The Af DB is recognised for its leadership in financial innovations, implementing many of the recommendations of the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework,' she said. Tshabalala said this was coming at a time when the Bank inaugurated a 10-year strategy (2024-2033) that served as an answer to the continent's current complex hurdles. She said it also boldly outlined the Bank's determination to support Africa in overcoming multiple challenges. Tshabalala said the strategy reflected the ambitions 'for the Africa we want' and came at a time when the continental body was prioritising the fully operational African Continental Free Trade Areas (AfCFTA). 'The new 10-year strategy outlines the vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and integrated Africa. 'It is supported by twin strategic objectives, accelerating inclusive green growth in Africa and driving prosperous and resilient economies. 'To pursue these twin objectives, the Bank has defined clear pathways for addressing Africa's challenges and to help the continen t stay on track toward sustainable economic growth and prosperity. 'The five high-five operational priorities will continue to shape the implementation of the strategy as they continue to be aligned with the objectives of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs,' she said. She said the implementation of those priorities will be underpinned by the cross-cutting priorities to promote gender equality, invest in young people, and respond to climate change. She said it would also depend on building resilience to shocks, conflicts and fragility and of course, strengthening economic governance. 'The strategy outlines AfDB's response to the complex threats facing Africa, the global and regional challenges and answering the G20 call for MDBs to reform, become better, bigger and more efficient,' she said. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Global Transport to train traffic officers in Lagos – Official

The Global Transport Policy Champions (GTPC) says training of Lagos Police Traffic Officers will enhance effective traffic management and service delivery. The GTPC Chairman and Chief Consultant, Dr Segun Musa,told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that plans were on top gear to train Lagos Police Traffic Officers in June. According to him, the training will expose participants to the new world order and global best practices in the traffic management sector. The transport consultant noted that the session was the organisation's intervention of its corporate social responsibility to improve transportation in the society and to make officers compliant to the needed change attitude. Musa, who described transportation as critical to commerce and national growth, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that GTPC would expose officers to global best practices. The theme of the training is 'Improving Traffic Policing: Leveraging Emotional Intelligence Skills'. According to him, global transpor t policy is an innovative brand championing critical input on multimodal systems, structures, strategies and policies through trainings. 'It is our resolve to adopt strategic collaborations and consultancy services with authoritatives to infuse compelling cross-cutting analysis to advance the system. 'The session with the officers will improve their emotional intelligence capabilities to manage the motoring public,' he said. He pointed that a better traffic management, where road incidents that mostly claim lives could be reduced was achievable. Earlier the organisation had paid a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Adegoke Fayoade, to seal the arrangement for the training. The Police commissioner expressed gratitude for the gesture, commending GTPC's move to amplify the conversation on transport infrastructure and policy interventions. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Organisation urges African countries to adhere to nuclear-testing ban agreement

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) has urged African countries to adhere to the agreement on the nuclear weapon testing ban to ensure safety and security in the continent. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a multilateral agreement which opened for signature in September 1996 and has since been signed by 187 nations and ratified by 178 to prohibit any nuclear weapon test anywhere in the world by anyone. The Executive Secretary of CTBTO, Dr Robert Floyd, spoke at the opening of the two-day regional workshop organised by CTBTO for African States Signatories in Banjul, The Gambia. The workshop held from May 31 to June 1. He said although 52 States in Africa signed the Treaty and enjoy CTBTO membership, 50 ratified it. Floyd, therefore, implored countries yet to ratify the CTBT to do so in order to achieve desired goals. 'Two of them, Somalia and South Sudan are very close.' He said that prior to 1996, there were more than 2,000 confirmed nuclear tests; some wer e conducted in Africa but none was conducted by an African country. 'Radioactive traces shown from all nuclear tests, particularly atmospheric tests, carried out some decades ago impacted the world negatively and are still traced in African elephants' tusks. 'Right now, Africa's 35 International Monitoring System (IMS) stations are listening to the earth's crust rumbling and groaning, as well as streaming their data to Vienna. 'The signing of the CTBT just under 28 years ago has yielded landmark achievement: Africa played vital role to build consensus and get the Treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in New York. 'Therefore, the complete adherence by African countries to the CTBT will ensure the full realisation of a nuclear- weapon-free zone in Africa,' he said. Mr Dawda Jallow, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of The Gambia, commended CTBTO for the organisation of the workshop at a time of global tension and conflicts. According to him, the meeting brings together CTBTO stakeholders from Africa to discuss and advance the nuclear testing ban policy objective within the region. 'The challenges we face today require collective efforts through dialogue and diplomacy with relevant support to the CTBT. 'The CTBT's primarily aim is not just to prevent nuclear testing, but to benefit civil and scientific applications as well. 'The verification regime established by the CTBT offers valuable data and tools that can be utilised for purposes, such as climate change research, disaster prevention, including Tsunami warning. 'These capabilities provide additional benefits to countries like The Gambia and also have the potential of generating positive outcomes across various sectors of economy,' he said. Dr Oumar Touray, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), described the workshop as apt, coming at a time Africans needed to partner to tackle the security situation. Touray, represented by Mr Claude Kondor, Political Advisor to the Resident Representative of the ECOWAS Comm ission in The Gambia, said the workshop had become important to unite African countries towards achieving a shared future. 'This is to advance the CTBT and reinforce our collective resolve; to prevent nuclear proliferation and promote global security. 'Today, we are gathered to contribute to a cause that not only affects our continents, but the entire world. 'This workshop is a testament to our shared dedication towards achieving sustainable peace and cooperation in Africa and beyond,' he said. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

WAPA distributes 6,000 sanitary pads to girls, women in Lagos communities

In a bid to ensure good menstrual hygiene among girls and women in Lagos state, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) distributed 6,000 sanitary pads to various communities. Mrs Bolaji Dada, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, disclosed this at a programme organised to commemorate the 2024 World Hygiene Day on Thursday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Menstrual Hygiene Day is commemorated yearly on May 29 to create awareness on the importance of good hygiene during menstruation. Dada noted the importance of empowering women and girls by providing them with tools and knowledge they need to manage their period safely and confidently. She explained that girls and women are faced with challenges due to lack of access to sanitary products, clean water and proper facilities, with consequences on their health, education and general wellbeing. 'As we come together to commemorate this day, it is imperative that we shine a light on this crucial issue that affects millions of women and girls around the world. 'This year's theme, `Together for a Period Friendly World', resonates deeply with our commitment to ensure that every girl child has access to resources and support they need to manage their menstruation with dignity and ease. 'Menstrual hygiene is not just a health issue; it is a matter of human rights, dignity and equality. Unfortunately, women around the world still face challenges in accessing menstrual products. 'We must work together to break taboos, beliefs and silence surrounding menstruation, provide reliable and affordable menstrual products to those in need and have access to information to manage their menstruation in a safe way. 'The 6,000 sanitary packs comprise a pack of pads, soaps and menstrual cycle calendar to aid girls and women to calculate their cycle,' she said. She commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his unflinching support and commitment in empowering women in the state. The Commissioner affirmed WA PA's commitment to collaborate with other agencies and private organisations to enhance the status of women within the state. Speaking also, Mrs Amaka Aniekwe, the representative of Amiga Sanitary Pad, urged government to reduce import duties and VAT on sanitary products to ensure affordability. Aniekwe also advised girls and women to adopt good menstrual hygiene to avoid infections and other health related issue, describing menstruation as a natural biology process every woman should be proud of. 'It is still sad that some girls and women still suffer period poverty in this present time. There is need for government to reduce or remove excess taxation and VAT on sanitary products'. Speaking also, Mrs Yemisi Kalesanwo, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, reaffirmed WAPA's commitment to empowering more women in various acquisition skills. NAN reports that some of the communities that benefited from the gesture included Isheri-Olowora in Berger, Agbalata market in Badagry, Ipedo market Ikeja and Ilaje community in Kosofe. Others are Agbayi riverine community 1 and 2, Oko Agbon community in Kosofe, Isheri Grammer School in Berger among others. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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