Technological transformations through digitization as well as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are considered as quite critical in supporting the fast recovery of the African economies.
This assertion is contained in the Foresight Africa 2021 report published by African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a non-profit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.
According to the report:
- ”Digital transformation is arguably Africa’s biggest opportunity arising from the crisis.
- “During the pandemic, the continent has accelerated its adoption of ICTs: lockdown conditions have pushed many sectors to raise their online presence and expand their range of digital services, with developments that would ordinarily take years compressed into several months.
- “Significant opportunities remain for digital acceleration in key sectors, particularly government, education, retail trade, and finance.
- The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which also holds promise for accelerating the region’s economies through economic integration and a shift in focus toward high-productivity industrial activities commenced trading on January 1, 2021.
- “With the increased ease of intra-African trade, African businesses will be empowered to transform continent-wide needs into opportunities for entrepreneurship.”
What you should know
- From the hard lessons of the COVID-19, African leaders should prioritize scaling up investments in the physical and technological infrastructures needed as impetus for radical digital transformations.
- The workforce should be appropriately equipped with the requisite trainings to acquire relevant basic and advanced digital skills that would add values in their businesses, from mobile transactions to graphic design and coding, etc.
- Leaders should also encourage digital practices on the small-scale in order to encourage widespread usage of digital tools, as in countries like Kenya and Rwanda that have lowered their transaction charges in digital payments towards boosting adoption.
- Leaders should focus on policies and decisions that would have greater and long-lasting impacts, especially around technological adoption and effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
Lagos, Chinese firm to rollout 1,000 SUVs as taxis, to complete auto assembly plant in 12 months
Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to roll-out 1,000 SUVs as taxis for Lagos residents.
Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm, Choice International Group (CIG) Motors Co. Ltd. on Thursday for the roll-out of 1,000 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as taxis for Lagos residents.
The signing and flag-off ceremony which was held at the Lagos House, Marina also included the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos State, with the Governor saying that the roll-out of vehicles from the plant is expected within the next 12 to 18 months.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the Lagos State Taxi Scheme was another innovative policy of his administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transport system.
Sanwo-Olu said that the scheme would create jobs, accelerate socio-economic growth, and further put the state on the global map as the centre of excellence and a modern megacity committed to sustainable development.
What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is saying
Sanwo-Olu pointed out that the task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transport system is a key thrust of the administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.
He said, ”We are guided by the need for an equitable transport system with mobility choices for our people. The Taxi Scheme, to be known as ”Lagos Ride”, which is being inaugurated today is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians transport choices.
”It is one of the Lagos State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes- a modern ride-hailing service that will be professionally managed in line with global best practices. Under the Lagos State Taxi Service, drivers/operators will be given the cars for a period of four years during which they pay a monthly instalment and they will have the opportunity of owning the cars after they have fully paid the hire amount.
”The Lagos State Taxi Service is structured along a profitability model, it is self-sustaining and able to expand and regenerate itself,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant was expected to revive industrialisation, increase citizens’ employment and wealth creation, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.
He said, ”As we inaugurate the taxis and sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 12 to 18 months.
”I urge the beneficiaries of the Lagos State Taxi Service to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme.We have the political and administrative will to ensure the Taxi Scheme survives.
”I am hopeful that the operators will cooperate with the Lagos State Government to render excellent service to the people,” he said.
The Group Chairman, CIG Motors, Diana Chen, said that they hope to celebrate this exciting moment again when 1,000 units of branded SUVs with high-tech technology arrive and run across Lagos streets and roads, with 1,000 well-trained drivers carrying happy customers that live and work in Lagos.
What this means
- This collaboration by the Lagos State Government with the Chinese auto firm is one of the ways of the government to get private sector participation in a modern transport system within the metropolis’
- The establishment of the Assembly Plant and the Lagos Taxi Scheme were among the benefits of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s official trip to China.
- This is a welcome development as it will help to change the face of public transportation in the state.
FG announces extension of work-from-home directive for GL 12 officers, below
FG has extended the work-from-home directive for civil servants from GL 12 and below until the end of March.
The Federal Government has announced the extension of the work-from-home directive for civil servants from GL 12 and below until the end of March.
This is seen as part of the measure by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which had surged earlier this year, due to the second wave of the outbreak across the country and the discovery of a new variant of the disease.
This announcement was made in a statement by the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, and signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, the office of HOSF, Mr Abdulganiyu Aminu, on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Abuja.
The statement partly reads, “All public servants on GL12 and below have been directed to continue working from home till the end of March 2021.”
Yemi-Esan said the latest directive was in adherence to the advice of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19.
The Head of Service of the Federation harped on the need to maintain the downward trend of the Covid-19 infection in the country and as such the reason for the extension of work from home directive.
While also emphasising the need for all public servants to continue to ensure strict compliance with the existing guidelines on the prevention and spread of the pandemic, she enjoined all Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive officers to bring the content of the circular to all concerned and ensure strict compliance.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government in January 2021, announced the extension of work from home directive for civil servants on Grade Level 12 and below until February 28, 2021.
- The directive was as a result of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which had seen a spike in infection rates across the country.
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