The 29th Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund held at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has ended with calls for increased investments to accelerate the closure of Africa’s infrastructure gap.
The meeting, held on 28 June 2019, was hosted by the AUC and chaired by KfW Development Bank (Germany). Topics discussed included the NEPAD-IPPF Independent Review report, the introduction of reimbursable grants as part of the new business model, the mid-year progress report, updates on continental infrastructure initiatives, and adoption of a proposed joint AUC/AUDA/AfDB Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy.
Michael Andres, the Oversight Committee Chairman, commended the achievements of NEPAD-IPPF and noted that more resources are required given the increasing demands being made on the fund.
“The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund must continue to focus on key priorities, such as PIDA Projects to support the African 2063 Agenda.” Andres said.
While speaking on the Fund’s progress in the first semester of 2019, African Development Bank Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Amadou Oumarou urged participants to consider the continent’s enormous infrastructure needs.
“New contributions from Spain (Euro 3 million) and the African Development Bank (UA 3 million) are indications of confidence in the Fund’s ability to successfully fulfil its mandate, and also recognition that the NEPAD-IPPF is playing a critical role in infrastructure development in Africa. It is therefore expedient for (the Fund) to be further strengthened with the necessary resources to enable it to meet its objectives and mandate,” Oumarou said.
The meeting convened over 30 participants including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives from the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River Basin organizations and regional corridors authorities.
For AUC Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, “The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and Africa’s infrastructure priorities cannot be implemented without adequate resources committed to the NEPAD-IPPF, a critical instrument to prepare high quality bankable regional infrastructure projects across Africa”.
Providing updates on the Fund’s operational performance NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager Mike Salawou, stated that cumulative contributions by donor partners including the African Development Bank amounted to $102 million, out of which $96.1 million had been committed to approve 91 projects. As at June 2019, 60 studies have been completed, 9 cancelled and 22 are on-going, he noted.
The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF. In addition, the Spanish Government announced a new contribution of EUR 3 million to NEPAD-IPPF in May 2019.
Among the studies completed by the Facility, 30 have so far reached financial close and attracted financing of $24.2 billion for physical implementation of power plants, bridges, ports, roads, hydropower schemes, and ICT projects. Of these successful projects, 17 have been constructed, 11 are under construction and two are yet to commence.
“While disbursements of committed funds on supported projects have reached a record, beyond that and without any new contributions to the Fund, NEPAD-IPPF will not be in position to support additional project preparation activities, therefore, there is a need for urgent replenishment of the Special Fund,” Salawou stressed.
Shell to Sack 9,000 over Oil Output Drops
Shell said on Wednesday that volumes of both Liquefied Natural Gas and crude production were down in the third quarter.
The oil major disclosed this in an update to the market, which also detailed plans to cut up to 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022 as it adjusts to the COVID-19 price collapse, according to S&P Global Platts.
Upstream production of oil and associated streams was significantly down in the quarter, in a range of 2.2 million to 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, from 2.6 million boe/d in Q3 2019.
LNG output was down in a range of 7.9 million to 8.3 million metric tonnes for the quarter, compared with nine million mt a year earlier.
In the update ahead of a full results statement on Oct. 29, Shell said its oil sales in July and August had reflected a 15-20 per cent discount to Brent pricing, similar to the second quarter, and its LNG business in the quarter had suffered a ‘significant impact’ from a lag effect in the oil-linked pricing of LNG.
It also highlighted refining weakness, with a utilisation level of just 64-68 per cent and margins “significantly lower” than in the second quarter 2020, and said it intended to reduce its refining footprint globally to less than 10 sites.
On its restructuring plans, Shell said, “Reduced organisational complexity, along with other measures, are expected to deliver sustainable annual cost savings of between $2.0bn to $2.5bn by 2022.
“This will partially contribute to the announced underlying operating cost reduction of $3bn to $4bn by the first quarter 2021.”
Worldwide job reductions of 7,000 to 9,000 are expected by the end of 2022, including 1,500 people who have agreed to take voluntary redundancy this year, Shell said.
It also said production levels in both the upstream business and the LNG business had been lower than in the second quarter, partly reflecting seasonal maintenance, but also the impact of hurricanes in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Western Digital Unveils Speed, Portable SanDisk SSDs
Western Digital Corp. yesterday released two new SanDisk® portable SSDs that offer nearly 2x the speed over previous generations. The SanDisk Extreme® and SanDisk Extreme PRO® portable SSDs are purpose-built to keep up with today’s high-quality content demands.
Professional photographers, videographers and enthusiasts capture and keep life’s best moments every day and they need reliable solutions that perform on the move at astonishing speeds.
With capacities up to 2TB*, the new NVMe™ drives are perfect for creating amazing content or capturing and moving incredible 4K and 8K footage with ease.
The flagship SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD features a forged aluminum chassis made to stay cool under the pressure of a heavy workload and a durable silicone design to withstand the rigors of production. The drives also help keep content safe with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.
“When every second counts, I need fast and powerful solutions that work as quickly as I do. I rely on SanDisk SSDs to keep up with my creativity,” said Tyler Stableford, SanDisk Extreme Team member.
“As an artist, speed is one of my greatest strengths, and I know with the SanDisk Extreme line of SSDs, I can get the job done with greater efficiency and capacity, and I never have to worry about running out of memory wherever the job takes me.”
Rugged and Powerful SSD Performance
Designed with professionals in mind, the new SanDisk portable SSDs were built to reliably handle the most challenging assignments – whether at home, in the office or out on location.
The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is a great go-to drive for those who need more memory and a durable and fast drive, while the SanDisk Extreme PRO was built for an avid pro who needs even, sustained performance and a drive that can go anywhere.
“For our customers, life is an adventure and they rely on us to raise the bar across our portfolio when it comes to delivering powerful solutions to consumers and professionals alike,” said Brian Pridgeon, director of marketing, Consumer Solutions, Western Digital.
“The SanDisk brand is trusted by professional photographers worldwide, which is why we built our Extreme family of drives to perform at the highest level. We amped up the speeds with the latest NVMe technology and used robust materials in our designs to handle the best shots and the most demanding jobs.”
- SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD
– Save time storing and transferring data with powerful NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 2000MB/s** read and up to 2000MB/s** write speeds.
– A forged aluminum chassis acts as a heatsink to deliver higher sustained speeds in a portable form factor.
– Up to two-meter drop protection and an IP55 rating2 make the drive tough enough to take on any adventure. The drive’s forged aluminum chassis and silicone shell design offer a premium feel and added protection.
– Helps keep private content private with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.
- SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
– Get NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 1050MB/s** read and up to 1000MB/s** write speeds in a portable, high-capacity drive that’s perfect for creating amazing content or capturing incredible footage.
– For added durability, the drive features up to two-meter drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance2.
– Durable silicone shell that offers a premium feel and added protection to the drive’s exterior.
Ready to move, consumers can use the handy carabiner loop to secure the drives to a belt loop or backpack for extra peace of mind. The new drives are compatible with PC and Mac computers.
In addition to moving content to a PC or laptop, the new products also now allow users to back up mobile content quickly and easily thanks to compatibility with a range of USB Type-C™ smartphones.
The SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSDs are backed by a five-year limited warranty3 and are now available at the Western Digital Store, and at select e-tailers and retailers worldwide.
The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is available now in 500GB* and 1TB*, and is expected to ship in 2TB* later this holiday season. The SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD is available now in 2TB*, and is expected to ship in 1TB* later this holiday season.
ID Africa Announces ‘Neusroom Untold’ In Celebration Of People, Places And Events That Have Shaped Nigeria’s History
In celebration of Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, ID Africa, Marketing, Media and Technology company and media platform, Neusroom have announced the Untold project, a collection of 78 stories about important people, places and events that have shaped Nigeria’s history and some little known facts that are yet to penetrate mainstream consciousness, especially amongst young citizens.
Nigeria was under colonial rule from 1900 to 1960. Sixty years after independence, the country has survived a civil war, endured eight military coups and rule, and grown to become one of the most populous black nations on earth. With a GDP of $376.3bn, and $1.2 trillion PPP, Nigeria is ranked by the IMF as the largest economy in Africa. But many of the stories, ideas, and events that can unite, motivate, and inspire the mostly youth population appear to have been forgotten.
The Untold project is in line with the Neusroom’s long-term mission to research, document and publish important stories about Nigeria and its people.
The collection includes the work of six Neusroom and Netng writers published over the past two years, and are being presented to the world in honour of the country’s 60th year of breaking free from colonial rule.
At a critical time when access to historical facts and verifiable information on some of Nigeria’s most important people, places and events has become a challenge for the younger generation, Neusroom is taking a position as a reliable information outlet by providing the public with credible, verifiable, and objective information about Nigeria and other African nations.
The Untold project includes profiles of some of Nigeria’s most revered and celebrated personalities such as potter Ladi Kwali, and Alimotu Pelewura, a fish seller who led Lagos market women’s protest against colonial masters. It also includes the detailed account of how Kudirat Abiola fought valiantly to ensure her husband’s mandate as elected President was returned to him, and how Samuel Okwaraji slumped and died on the football field while representing Nigeria.
Events and places such as the Nigerian Civil War, the Oyo town where every household has a set of twins, and the Kiriji war which is popular as the world’s longest ethnic war that pitched powerful Yoruba towns against Ibadan, also make up a part of the collection.
The collection which will be updated quarterly, is aimed at serving as a source of entertainment, knowledge and insight, in easily digestible formats, for today’s youth and future generation of Nigerians.
Speaking on the idea behind the project, ID Africa CEO, Femi Falodun says, “We are using Nigeria’s 60th Independence celebration as an opportunity to share some of the most remarkable stories we’ve curated over the past few years with a wider audience of young Nigerians who may not have previously known about these people, places and events.
Our ultimate goal for the Neusroom Untold Project is to document obscure parts of Nigeria’s past and recent history in short multimedia formats that are interesting, easy to read and readily accessible to anyone on the internet. And as history is constantly being made, we believe that this project will always be work-in-progress.”
Ayeni Adekunle, founder and publisher of Neusroom and Netng, said, “With The Neusroom Untold Project, we are celebrating Nigeria’s journey as a progressive nation with a spotlight on all of its important contributors whose stories may have been lost in the archives or not being told at all.
“We have and will continue to put together, through a thorough editorial process, this project which reflects the country’s rich history, achievers and events that particularly young Nigerians will find interesting and useful.”
Since it was founded in 2015, Neusroom has been a trailblazer in telling the most relevant and impactful Nigerian stories. In June 2020, the ID Africa-owned platform unveiled The Neusroom 100 Project, in recognition of 100 people, organizations, countries, and things helping the world fight the pandemic and flatten the COVID-19 curve.
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