The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) for the second phase of BASICS-II project, to improve seeds of cassava varieties.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Building of Economically Sustainable and Integrated Cassava Seed System (BASICS-II) to IITA in May, to transform the cassava seed sector.
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At the formal signing of the MoU, the Director-General, IITA, Nteranya Sanginga, who was represented by Gbassey Tarawali, Officer in charge of IITA Abuja, said that the project will midwife a new role for cassava seed producers and root farmers in Nigeria.
He further said that the project will provide another impetus to develop a commercially sustainable and viable model for cassava seed system in the country, as well as address one of the major problems that has limited the power of cassava in Africa, in terms of poverty reduction and livelihood improvement among growers.
According to him, “We are sealing an alliance by all actors to ensure facilitation and supply of quality certified and disease-free seeds to farmers, to help Nigerian smallholders improve their productivity and family income. Our vision is to see that at the end of this project, we have a commercially sustainable model for cassava seed system, which can be replicated in other parts of Africa. Therefore, our model must increase not only farmers’ income but also roots for processors and the industry, who will in turn contribute to the socio-economic development of our communities.”
On his part, the President of the Nigerian Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), Segun Adewumi, said the MoU will enable the regeneration of various varieties of cassava and ensure more yields and better quality of products.
According to him, “We are really excited as we look forward to the cassava revolution that will enable our cassava industrial derivatives compete favorably in the domestic and international market. With this development, many of the utility industrial items like ethanol, industrial starch, sweetener, and others for which we spend hundreds of billions of Naira to import can be produced in Nigeria. Incidentally these products are raw materials to other essential utility items with limitless market potential; this is to say cassava can trigger industrial revolution in Nigeria.”
The Head of Cassava Team, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chinedu Ogbonnaya, reiterated the apex bank’s commitment to support farmers’ access to certified seeds.
Mr. Ogbonnaya said his bank is currently supporting cassava production in Nigeria with N25 billion in 2020.
He promised that the bank will strengthen partnership with other stakeholders to create a community of seed entrepreneurs across the cassava value chain.
The BASIC-II project consists of six components mainly, ensuring integration of breeding and seed system activities, development of early generation seed enterprises and development of commercial seed entrepreneurs.
Others are, development of the processor-associated seed system model, quality control and disease management, and catalyzing scaling and replication through partners.
Twitter to establish its first African presence in Ghana
Twitter has announced Ghana as headquarter of its operations in Africa.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc has announced today in a tweet that the company is establishing a presence in Africa.
“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo,” Dorsey tweeted.
As part of its mission to serve the public conversation, Twitter is making it easier for everyone to join in and provide more relevant experiences for people across the world.
Why Ghana as a choice…
Twitter stated that it chose to expand to Ghana first because the country is an advocate of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet.
In a blog post the company said, “In line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana. To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.”
“Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.
“Whenever we enter new markets, we work hard to ensure that we are not just investing in the talent that we hire, but also investing in local communities and the social fabric that supports them. We have already laid foundations through partnerships with Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Afrochella in Ghana, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria, and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana. As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation, and corporate giving,” Twitter stated.
The company is also looking to hire specialists to join several teams to operate in product, design, engineering, marketing and communications.
The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is EXCELLENT news. Gov’t and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country. 1/3 #TwitterInGhana #TwitterGhana https://t.co/HdCqFgXK0x
— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) April 12, 2021
Reacting to Dorsey’s announcement, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, in a tweet said that the government and people of Ghana welcome welcomed the micro-blogging site.
“The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. Government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country,” President Akufo-Addo tweeted.
Youths need critical skills to strengthen Nigerian economy – Bankers Committee’s FITC
Nigerian youths need to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.
Bankers Committee’s FITC has called on Nigerian youths to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director, FITC, Chizor Malize, during the launch of its Future of Work Academy for Youths on Monday.
According to her, the initiative is to continuously bridge the knowledge gap in the country and Africa at large, as it is expected to equip the youths for the peculiar needs of the Future of Work.
It also seeks to solve the prevalent issue of producing university graduates with degrees and skills that have limited practical use in the current global job market, as well as the requirements for the Future of Work.
She said, “The world of work is changing rapidly, and competition for the right talent is fierce. Graduate talents have for decades been primarily identified and employed based on academic excellence, however, in the emerging world of work, creativity, innovation, and work-ready skills have become the non-negotiable indicators for competitive advantage, and to evaluate capabilities.
“It is therefore important for youths to build critical skills, that will equip them for the requirements of the Future of Work in the ever-evolving business landscape. The value FITC FOWA is bringing to corporations at this time cannot be overemphasized. By equipping youths and creating a pool of well-engaged workforce for organizations, FITC FOWA will be directly strengthening the economy and the society in general.”
Malize added that the initiative offers essential courses in Data Science, Data Analytics, Coding, Digital Marketing, Graphics Designs, MS Excel & Analytics, Digital Marketing, Use of PowerPoint, and other key areas that have been strategically packaged to educate, enlighten, and upskill undergraduates and graduates with the vital skills for the Future of Work.
What you should know
Owned by the Bankers Committee (CBN, NDIC and all Nigerian deposit money banks), FITC was established in 1981 as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector.
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