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Business

African leaders must leverage technology and engage all stakeholders to drive AfCFTA – Tingo International Holdings CEO, Dozy Mmobuosi

Tingo International Holdings Group CEO sees the AfCFTA as a major step toward the continent growing its economy.

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Projected benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could be hampered unless African leaders focus on strategic plans, working with stakeholders and adopting technology to drive the agreement.

January 1, 2021 ushered in a new era for trade in Africa as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) became effective, three years after it was founded.

Hopes are high and there is considerable optimism among the African business community, as the potential benefits to be derived from the single market agreement for goods and services as well as capital movement across Africa, whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is valued at US$3.4 trillion by The World Bank, could be tremendous.

Commenting on the agreement, Tingo International Holdings Group CEO, Dozy Mmobuosi expressed excitement about the agreement but stressed the need to give businesses across all sectors of the economy access to the value chain, improved, reliable information and build value-added ecosystems through the use of technology.

Mmobuosi believes the increasing mobile penetration, which is connecting the agricultural value chain that is accountable for a significant share of Africa’s economy, will play a key role in fast-tracking the objectives of the trade agreement’s objectives, especially in the face of existing bottlenecks across borders and ports on the continent.

Through his company, Tingo Mobile, Mmbousi is committed to supporting millions of farmers and other key players in the agricultural value chain with telecommunications financial services (Fintech) and access to market, among others. Mmobuosi believes that a marketplace platform that connects every actor in the agricultural value chain, from farmers, to packaging and logistic partners to everyday people looking to purchase fresh produce at the best prices, would be of great importance to achieving the objectives of the agreement.

Such platforms, like Tingo’s own Nwassa, are already breaking barriers, according to Mmobuosi.

For many years Africa has been largely dependent on foreign aid and with most of its population living below the poverty line, Tingo International Holdings Group CEO sees the AfCFTA as a major step toward the continent growing its economy as more African businesses will learn to leverage its enormous natural and human resources.

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“Implementation is critical,” Mmobuosi affirmed. He further stated that the agreement could be the best thing that has ever happened to Africa, if implemented and executed well.

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“The decision-makers need to engage every stakeholder to drive the agreement,” he said and “technology firms are already solving real African problems, hence the need for the government to work with the private sector to focus on forward-thinking policymaking which drives growth across the continent.”

Mmobuosi also expressed understanding of the monopolistic environment in the region. The competition environment needs to be addressed in order to promote healthy economic conditions for businesses across the continent.

“No single company shouldn’t be so powerful to determine the choices that customers must make and what goes on. There should be competition and the market should have choices of which platform or provider to use,” he concluded.

The agreement, which was signed by 54 of the 55 African Union member nations, is the second largest free trade area by participating countries after the World Trade Organisation with 164 members.

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Business

FG launches National Gender Steering Committee for Gender Policy in the agricultural sector

The policy document is a developmental strategy for poverty reduction and it is expected to empower small scale holder farmers who are predominately women.

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FG moves to reduce gender inequality in agriculture, De-risking the agricultural sector
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The Federal Government has announced its inauguration of a National Gender Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Gender Policy in the Agricultural sector, in a bid to offer equal access and gender-sensitive approaches towards food production.

This was disclosed by Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, who inaugurated the Committee on Wednesday in Abuja.

“The initiative will promote and ensure the adoption of gender-sensitive responsive approaches, plans and programmes in such a way that men and women will have equal access and control of productive resources,” he said.

He added that availability of the policy document was expected to address the vulnerability of women to biases in the Agriculture sector, integrate gender perspectives in National Planning, create more jobs and financial empowerment for women, citing that the National Gender Policy in Agriculture was consistent with the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by World Leaders at the United Nations Summit in New York, USA, in September 2015.

Director, Special Duties in the Ministry, Mrs Fausat Lawal also stated that “Women, small scale holder farmers constitute about 70-80% of the agriculture labour force and they produced the bulk of food for domestic consumption.”

She added that the policy document is a developmental strategy for poverty reduction and it is expected to empower small scale holder farmers who are predominately women.

What you should know 

  • Female unemployment rate in Nigeria as of Q4 2020 increased to 35.2% from 31.6% recorded in Q2 2020. This is according to the recent labour force report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
  • A total of 61.63 million women were in the working population (15 – 64 years of age) as of Q4 2020 accounting for 50.5% of the total working population. Only 30.15 million of these women were willing and able to work, which represents about 43.3% of the total labour force in the period under review.

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CAC discloses email addresses for manual submission of registration applications

The CAC disclosed that submissions through email would be pended till the deployment of the interface for submission on the CRP.

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CAC, Corporate Affairs Commission selects NIPOST as official courier partner
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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has announced the email address for customers and the public for manual submissions, despite closing the window of submission for some post-incorporation applications earlier this month.

The CAC disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday evening, adding that submission through emails would be pended till the deployment of the interface for submission on the CRP.

“The Commission wishes to inform the General Public and its Esteemed Customer that it shall in addition, continue to accept manual submission of the following post-incorporation application through the respective email address,” they said.

READ: CAC to register companies within 48 hours, approve business name same day

READ: CAC registration: 100,000 business names registered for free so far

What you should know

Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the CAC had stated that it would continue to accept manual submissions in respect of some specific processes, despite the closure of the window on manual submission of registration applications, which took place on March 31, 2021.

They said, “The Commission shall continue to accept Manual Submission in respect of the processes listed below pending the conclusion of the interface for online submission under the Company Registration Portal. The processes are:

  1. Alteration of Memorandum & Article of Association
  2. Schedule 14 (Form of Statement to be filed by Banks, Insurance and deposit Finance Institution)
  3. Amendment of Constitution
  4. Bi-annual Statement for Incorporated Trustees.

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