By Abdullahi Mohammed
Africa should be the breadbasket of the world, has no reason spending US$ 35 billion a year importing food, Adesina tells Agriculture conference in U.S.
The President of the African Development Bank Group Akinwumi Adesina, has made an urgent call to give farmers across the continent new technologies with the potential to transform agricultural production. Adesina said the technology transfer was needed immediately and that evidence from countries like Nigeria demonstrated that technology plus strong government backing was already yielding positive results.
”Technologies to achieve Africa’s green revolution exist, but are mostly just sitting on the shelves. The challenge is a lack of supportive policies to ensure that they are scaled up to reach millions of farmers,” Adesina said during a keynote speech delivered at the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C August 5, 2018.
Adesina cited the case of Nigeria, where policy during his tenure as the country’s Minister of Agriculture, resulted in a rice production revolution in three years.
“All it took was sheer political will, supported by science, technology and pragmatic policies…Just like in the case of rice, the same can be said of a myriad of technologies, including high-yielding water efficient maize, high-yielding cassava varieties, animal and fisheries technologies,” Adesina said.
The African Development Bank is pointing the way to how this can be done, and is currently working with the World Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to mobilize US$ 1 billion to scale up agricultural technologies across Africa under a new initiative called Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
TAAT is taking bold steps to bring down some of the barriers preventing farmers from accessing latest seed varieties and technologies to improve their productivity.
“With the rapid pace of growth of the use of drones, automated tractors, artificial intelligence, robotics and block chains, agriculture as we know it today will change,” the President said. “It is more likely that the future farmers will be sitting in their homes with computer applications using drone to determine the size of their farms, monitor and guide the applications of farm inputs, and with driverless combine harvesters bringing in the harvest.”
Adesina used the opportunity to advocate for African universities to adapt their curriculum to enable technology-driven farmers and to focus on agribusiness entrepreneurship for young people, emphasizing the need to rise beyond theories to application.
Through its innovative Enable Youth initiative, the African Development Bank has in the past two years committed close to US$ 300 million to develop the next generation of agribusiness and commercial farmers for Africa.
Adesina stressed the Bank’s resolve to change the face of agriculture in Africa to unleash new sources of wealth.
AAEA President Scott Swinton said Adesina and the African Development Bank exemplify the use of economics that makes a difference in people’s lives.
“If applied economics is economics that make a difference, I think that there is no better example of someone who has used that than Akinwumi Adesina,” Swindon said.
Adesina told delegates at the 2018 conference attended by over 1,600 agricultural and applied economists from around the world: “There is no reason why Africa should be spending US$ 35 billion a year importing food. All it needs to do is to harness the available technologies with the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers, and assure lower food prices for consumers.”
Adesina, who was the 2017 World Food Prize winner, is advocating for the creation of staple crops processing zones across Africa (SCPZs): vast areas within rural areas set aside and managed for agribusiness and food manufacturing industries and other agro-allied industries, enabled with right policies and infrastructure.
“I am convinced that just like industrial parks helped China, so will the SCPZs help to create new economic zones in rural areas that will help lift hundreds of millions out of poverty through the transformation of agriculture- the main source of their livelihoods- from a way of life into a viable profitable business that will unleash new sources of wealth,” he said.
The African Development Bank has already begun investing in the development of processing zones in a number of African countries, including Ethiopia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique, with a plan to reach 15 countries in a few years.
To help Africa transform its agriculture, the Bank is investing US$ 24 billion over the next ten years to implement its Feed Africa Strategy.
Nexford University And A.Y.E Agree Pioneering Partnership To Empower African Entrepreneurs
Nexford University NXU, and Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs A.Y.E, a network with more than 12 million members, have announced a new partnership that will equip Nigerians with the skills needed to grow and sustain successful startups.
The partnership, which has been described as pioneering and the first of its kind in Africa, will offer 11 full scholarships for learners to study MBA and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees as part of the university’s founding cohort of learners, NexFirst.
Summy Smart Francis, President of A.Y.E, announced the beneficiaries of the Africa’s Young Entrepreneurship Scholarship Scheme at A.Y.E’s Annual Convention held in Lagos.
Francis, who will be one of NXU’s first BBA learners, said: “Just as we are dedicated to developing the next generation of outstanding African entrepreneurs, Nexford is creating a next-generation learning experience that will positively impact millions of lives around the world.
“We hope our pioneering partnership will shape the economies and political landscapes of members’ home countries.” he added.
Also speaking was Fadl Al Tarzi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NXU who stressed that the partnership was the first of its kind in Africa.
“Nigeria faces a major unemployment challenge, small to medium enterprises can play a major role in addressing this. Organizations such as A.Y.E are a catalyst to advancing the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. We hope through bringing quality, affordable education to Nigeria we will also play a role in improving living standards and creating jobs. With a strong knowledge economy, Africa can leapfrog its way into the future.”
He stated that Nexford enables greater social and economic mobility across the world by providing learners with access to high-quality, dynamic education that prepares them for the global workplace.
A.Y.E members will sharpen their entrepreneurial skills through project-based simulations, interactive, AI learning, and local African business case studies.
According to him, In January 2019, the university will offer the following degrees and certificates: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business, BBA, MBA, nine undergraduate and three graduate certificates in the field of business: registrations have commenced. It will also offer a range of specializations to match high-growth employment areas such as Data Science, Sustainable Energy, and Artificial intelligence.
NXU is licensed by the Higher Education Licensure Commission, in Washington, D.C, and is on a mission to be the largest, most affordable American university in the world. The university is now accepting registration from learners in Nigeria as well as markets such as the US the Philippines and Egypt.
The convention was however attended by renowned Nigerian businesswoman Folorunsho Alakija, Sahara Group’s Tonye Cole, and record producer and entrepreneur, Don Jazzy and Nexford’s Country Ambassador for Nigeria Olamidun Majekodunmi.
Why you should switch off your electronics before takeoff – Air host
for some persons Air transportation is their only means of moving from one state to another, while some others have a phobia for flying which is Aviophobia. In this interview, Jude a cab crew staff with Arik airlines tells our correspondent Ere-ebi AGEDAH that his job as a airhost has become a hobby and less of a job: excepts
May we meet you?
I am a cabin crew staff or air host with Arikair and for the last 5 years I have been flying around Nigeria. My name is Jude Anikamadu, I am from Anambra state from Onitsha north local government area, a graduate of history and international relations from the University of Portharcourt.
What is your job description
As an Airline cabin crew my primary responsible on board is to ensure the comfort, safety and welfare of passengers travelling on our aircrafts during flights to and from international and internal destinations.
We must also make certain the safety of ourselves and the aircraft also, because if there is a bridge in safety it could have diverse effect.
Our comfort comes secondary, so we ensure that all our passengers are safe then we can attend to our personal comfort. That is why we have pre flight safety demonstrations to properly explain certain procedures before take-off, to our passengers about the safety features of the aircraft they are aboard.
When we have passengers on board the aircraft, you are told to turn off your mobile phones at some point, no smoking on board, passengers are expected to fasten your seat belt. No matter how smooth the flight is we advice that you keep your seat belt lightly loosed because someturbulence may occur unannounced.
Basically I can say we work generally for the safety and comfort of our passengers, administering first aid when needed, providing specialattention to certain passengers such as the people who are sacred of flying.
Why are passengers asked to switch off their phones
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA passed the policy because phones that have radio transmitters can jam signals from the pilot . What the pilots do is computer based and any interference could prevent communication with the tower, during the cause of the flight, the pilot might need to call the tower to get certain information and if communication is hampered it could lead to a diverse effect which could be life threatening.
Why did you go into aviation
As a air host in the aviation industry, it affords you the opportunity to travel a lot, you get to meet with a lot of people from diverse backgrounds, social standing. It affords you the opportunity to meet with some persons that on a normal day you might not have the opportunity of havingaccess to them.
For me I carrier out my international relations in the course of the flight, because as a crew, you might be mandated to engage in conflict resolutions, you might be caught up in a case of interacting with someone from a different nationality. Having an international relations background, aviation gives me an edge especially during international flights.
In a nut shell as long as you meet people on a daily basics which is part of the job description you will always practice your international relations, so diving into aviation was a closer alternative which I have come to appreciate and it has become a hobby to me and less of a job.
It takes 3 months to train one crew, you do not just hop on a plane and start flying, you must undergo some form of training which could be internal examinations, for Arikair you have to go through the training process, it is not just teaching you how to fly but it is to put you into the culture of the organization.
You have to take the professional examination which qualifies you to have a license to fly in the Nigerian airspace, even pilots have to go through the process not considering the amount of airlines you might have previously worked with.
As it concerns crew, we take a lot of life saving skills, if there a pregnant woman on board and she runs into labour during the flight you have to be trained to handle such situation. If a passenger falls sick on board you have to handle such situation. During the Ebola scare we had passengers on board that we had to quarantine till we had professional help attend to them when we landed. It is an all round job centered on passenger safety.
Cabin crew is a woman’s job
That is a miss conception which is quite laughable, yes the very first cabin crew was a woman and we cannot dispute that but when it comes to life saving gender is thrown out of the window.
We need to disabuse our minds from the angle that it is a woman’s job if we want to appreciate what a cabin crew can do for you. There are some typical things that you must do on every flight and as a woman you might be constrained, am not saying men are any better but in the end it’s symbiotic, it is give and take. Once it has to do with safety, gender does not apply, but if you are thinking of comfort then you might be thinking of gender.
As a matter of fact the ration of female crew to male crew in Arikair is not much, it’s like 60- 40 sharing formula and it works well for us.
If you are nor flying, what are you doing
I am spending time with my family and playing computer games.
Grand Pela Hotel and Suites promises exciting times to local, foreign guests
Grand Pela Hotels and Suites Abuja has stated that the star facility has embraced fresh perspective in its quest to be the leading hotel of choice in Nigeria and beyond.
The Hotels said it will continue to provide proactive approach to hotel management with the specific needs of all stakeholders, particularly guests and visitors in mind, even as it completes and launch its new multi million naira international events and conference center as part of its plans to take Nigeria’s hotel and hospitality industry to greater heights.
Chairman and Chief Executive Chief Peter Chukwudi Nwakeze, made these disclosures in Abuja, while showing journalists the world class facilities the hotel has provided.
He said because of the high standards that Grand Pela Hotels and Suites has set for the industry in Nigeria, that the Durumi, based hotel will provide expertise management training of international standard to hotels across Nigeria in order to expand the industry in Nigeria and bring it up to speed in line with global best standards.
Nwakeze said the multi million naira events and conference was designed and built with the utmost comfort of guests and visitors in mind, pointing out the group has gone to great length to ensure that the events and conference center changes the landscape and experience of major events hosting.
According to him, the facilities and luxury available at Grand Pela Hotels and Suites is comparable to anywhere in the world, saying that the hotel’s newly built events and conference center is capable of sitting more than two thousand people at once will change of face of the hospitality industry in Abuja and in the country.
“We want to carve a niche in the hospitality business that will leave a lasting and unmatched experience in our customers,” the Grand Pela Hotel Chairman said.
The Grand Pela Chairman explained that the Hotel is strategically located in the Federal Capital City, and can compete and surpass any in the world. The world class facilities are available for the comfort of guests and for the development of the industry in Nigeria, he said.
“ We have made massive investments in the comfort and luxury of guests at the hotel which we consider as paramount, because the hotel decided to make a paradigm shift by adding new features which represents the chairman’s core values of excellence and professionalism in order to change the old perception of Abuja hotels by tourists and visitors.
“These new features will be observed as you inspect our facilities and rooms. The hotel is prepared and offering unique and exceptional services that are consistent and inspiring. It remains the most sort after hotel in Abuja. Grand Pela Hotels and Suites brand is synonymous with creativity and excellence”, he said.
Nwakeze also noted that the mission statement which is to offer a unique and exceptional services that will promote Grand Pela Hotel and Suites into an inspiring and most sort after brand synonymous with creativity and excellence is apt, because it represents his personal values and that of the hotel.
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