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United Nations calls for more youth participation in attainment of SDGs by 2030

The  Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with the Youth Wing of the United Nations Association of Nigeria(UNAN) has called for more youth participation to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Olamide Olatunbosun, Project Coordinator, Youth SDG Café, one of the UN organs for the achievement of the goals, gave the advice at a Youth SDG Café’s monthly dialogue on Thursday in Lagos.
The  Youth SDGs Cafe is a monthly meet up for sustainability enthusiasts to learn about the latest trends in the development world.
It is to network with people who are working towards implementing the United Nations SDGs and also build on their skills to empower their immediate communities to action.
The theme of the meeting is: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.
Olatunbosun said that more youth participation was not just towards achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals, but towards policy change in the nation.
“We cannot continue to sit pretty as we are the next generation expected to sort things out and expect everything to go well.
“We must continue to strive to be part of policy institution and changes to ensure the progress we want as a nation,” she said.
She urged youths to be active members of the UNAN to become beneficiaries of its many provisions to ensure the success of their projects.
Mrs Bolanle Olumekor, a Representative of UNIC, said that the priority of the United Nations lied with supporting more youth participation at the forefront of the SDGs.
Olumekor said that a human rights pledge signing ceremony where people signed to render help and services with issues pertaining to human right would take place at the Information Centre on July 27
Mr Femi Boboye, the Guest Speaker and Director of Programmes, Youth Be Inspired Initiative, urged the youth to assess every stage of any project.
Boboye said youths must learn to develop indicators to show progress and measure changes that had occurred in an activity, project or programme.
“Until you are satisfied with the success of a project after monitoring and evaluation, you are not permitted to move to the next stage,” he said. 

UK watchdog and EU tell banks to prepare for hard Brexit

Britain’s banks and insurers must plan for a “hard” Brexit in case a transition period is not in place next March, a senior British regulator said on Thursday in a warning echoed by Brussels.

Nausicaa Delfas, Head of International Strategy at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) gave the warning at an event held by The City UK in London on Thursday.
“With eight months until we exit the European Union in March, it is important we all-regulators and industry-continue to plan for a range of scenarios.
“Across the FCA, together with colleagues from the Bank of England I and the government, we have been working to develop a number of safeguards and contingencies, in the event of a hard Brexit, to ensure that ‘day 1’ works smoothly,” Delfas said.
Britain and the EU have agreed on a transition deal bridging Brexit in March next year and the end of 2020, but it has yet to be ratified, meaning financial firms based in Britain could face an abrupt end to EU market access.
EU banking, insurance and markets watchdogs have already warned their respective sectors to be ready for a hard Brexit.
The bloc’s executive European Commission told EU states on Thursday to “intensify preparedness” for a potentially disruptive Brexit.
Britain has said the EU should act to ensure that cross-border financial contracts like derivatives and insurance policies can still be serviced after March, but the EU reiterated on Thursday that it won’t legislate for now.
“In relation to contracts, at this juncture, there does not appear to be an issue of a general nature linked to contract continuity as in principle, even after withdrawal, the performance of existing obligations can continue,” the European Commission said.
It is unclear what sort of EU market access financial firms in Britain will have after the transition period ends.
This has prompted many banks and insurers to have new hubs up and running in the bloc by next March to avoid potential disruption. 

Ethiopian Airlines says in talks for stake in Eritrean Airlines

 Ethiopian Airlines is in talks to take a stake in Eritrean Airlines and a study will be conducted to determine the size of the acquisition, the Ethiopian carrier’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Tewolde GebreMariam told newsmen  during a visit to the Eritrean capital Asmara that he spoke with Eritrean Airlines’ chief executive officer on the issue on Wednesday.
“We are assessing the situation of Eritrean Airlines right now,” GebreMariam said.
“I spoke with the CEO yesterday (Wednesday). They have one leased airplane – a (Boeing) 737. We have started discussions.”
GebreMariam travelled to Asmara on Wednesday with an Ethiopian delegation on the first commercial flight from Ethiopia to Eritrea in 20 years – cementing a stunning rapprochement that has ended a generation of hostility between the neighbouring Horn of Africa countries in a matter of days.
The two 90-minute flights put the icing on the cake of a peace push by new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
His first three months in office have turned politics in his country – Africa’s most populous after Nigeria – and the wider East African region on its head.
“It is beyond opening routes. This one is different because politically, economically and socially, the flight we flew yesterday is going to make radical changes between the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a game changer,” he said.
He said that based on the demand and bookings he had seen, starting in a couple of weeks Ethiopian Airlines would fly twice daily to Asmara.
“We plan (also) to fly to Massawa and Assab. We have not assessed the market (in the two towns), so we will send market research people,” he said.
“The demand is heavy not only because of Eritrea and Ethiopia but also demand from Eritreans living in Europe, America and so on who are eager to visit friends and relatives in Asmara..
“Connections were (previously) not smooth for them to come back home. They have (had) to go through Dubai or Istanbul and it is not convenient. Now they will have direct flights from the U.S., Canada and Europe.” (Reuters/NAN)

Namibia gets $218m loan from AfDB

Namibian Finance Ministry says it has secured a $218 million loan from the African Development Bank to help the country finance its budget deficit.
The ministry said on Thursday in Windhoek that the $218 million loan was the second tranche of a quarter billion dollar facility from the development lender.
The southern African nation’s mining-fueled economy contracted in the final two quarters of 2017, and by 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.
Its credit rating was cut to sub-investment late last year by Fitch over concerns of a deteriorating fiscal position.
The construction sector contracted partly because of a drop in investment in mining, while hotels and restaurants also performed weakly.
The ministry, however, said on Monday that the economy would expand by at least 1 per cent this year and by double that by 2020 as the mining sector emerged from years of contraction and as the impact of recent severe drought eased.
Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said that the growth would be driven by rising commodity prices. (Reuters/NAN)

Nigeria attracts $1.3bn FDI from US in 2017 – Official

The American Business Council (ABC) has disclosed that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of about 1.3 billion dollars flowed into the Nigerian economy from the US in 2017.
This was revealed during the Launch of the 2018 US Economic Impact Survey on Wednesday in Lagos.
Darrel McGraw, Vice President of ABC, said the survey carried out in collaboration with Accenture, KPMG, PwC and the US Embassy, assessed the overall economic impact of US companies in Nigeria.
He said the survey reflected the contribution of 74 US companies operating in Nigeria and their responses reinforced the role the US played in the economic wellbeing of Nigeria.
McGraw said the roles were in the areas of job creation, investments in training and development, tax contribution, and corporate social responsibility.
According to him, the surveyed companies generated a revenue of over N2.6 trillion in 2017, from N1 trillion in 2016.
He said they contributed N111 billion in tax to both the Federal and State Governments, created approximately 11,200 indirect jobs and over 9000 full time jobs in the year under review.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the surveyed companies spent over N1.6 billion on training and development in 2017 from N340 million in 2016.
“This shows US companies’ commitment in capacity building in order to correct the deficit in labour skills.
“N1.5 billion was spent by the companies on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), from N217 million spent in 2016.
“The focus areas are Education, Health, Infrastructure and Social intervention, which are key area of focus for US companies in Nigeria,” he said.
McGraw disclosed that about 52 per cent of these companies identified Nigeria as a regional hub for their operations in West Africa.
He said findings showed that 64 per cent of US companies had a local content target reflecting an inclination towards localisation in areas such as products, people and supply chain.
According to him, critical issues that impact the business operations of surveyed US companies in Nigeria includes labour, specific industry regulations, local content and crime and security.
“Security of lives as well as Intellectual Property has been a crucial issue for US companies as this impacts investment and derails trust,” he said.
McGraw added that, though Nigeria had improved its performance on the Ease of doing business, businesses continued to face dire challenges in the country.
“In spite of the challenges, this survey shows renewed focus of US companies operating in Nigeria committing in human capacity as well as financial investment.
“This is a clear indication that US businesses are committed to contributing to the Nigerian economy by uplifting its people, increasing investment in Nigeria and facilitating trade,” he said.
On his part, Mr Lazarus Angbazo, President of ABC, said US was a natural business partner of Nigeria and one with a long-standing commitment to the country.
He noted that some American firms had been in existence, partnered and invested in Nigeria since Independence, and there were over 100 US companies operating in Nigeria.
According to him, ABC is an integral stakeholder in the Commercial Investment Dialogue which is intended to deepen trade investment ties between the U.S. and Nigeria.
It is also designed to foster sustained engagement between governments on concrete issues of importance to the private sector.
NAN reports that ABC is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce and was incorporated in 2007 to promote the development of commerce and investments between the US and Nigeria.
The council is a voice for all US companies operating in Nigeria and the first point of call for American investors to Nigeria.