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Private Sector Key to Realising Sustainability Agenda in Africa – UN

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The United Nation Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed is asking African governments to leverage capital, technology, and manpower from industry to hasten realisation of sustainability agenda and pandemic recovery in the continent.

She made this call on Thursday during a virtual summit to discuss the role of business in the attainment of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like poverty eradication, health, and gender parity in Africa.

Mohammed, in her remarks, emphasised that targeted investments from Africa’s indigenous businesses are required to catalyse inclusive growth in the continent amid COVID-19 linked economic shocks.

“The private sector in Africa should seize the opportunity to invest sustainably and create a peaceful, prosperous continent that is also resilient to the shocks triggered by the pandemic,” said Mohamed.

More than 2,000 delegates including policymakers, donors, and grassroots campaigners participated in the day-long virtual summit dubbed “Uniting Business for the Africa We Want: Decade of Action and Opportunities”.

The summit that was organised by the UN Global Compact in collaboration with local private sector networks in Africa, discussed market-led interventions that can revitalise the sustainability agenda in the continent.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General said that Africa requires private sector investments to address chronic underdevelopment, inequality, youth unemployment, and the public health crisis created by COVID-19.

“The business sector should be on the frontline of efforts to re-energise African economies and enhance their resilience to the pandemic by tapping into innovations,” said Mohammed.

She said that robust policies should be enacted to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tackle Africa’s gaping youth unemployment.

Hanna Tetteh, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to the AU said that businesses should embrace sustainability principles across their key operations in order to strengthen the response to the climate crisis, pandemics, and civil disruptions in Africa.

“We should utilise the energy, innovation, and creativity of African entrepreneurs to boost recovery from the pandemic, create decent jobs for the youth and strengthen cohesion,” said Tetteh.

Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of UN Global Compact, on her part pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a reawakening among African businesses on the need to invest in programmes that transform local communities.

“African businesses have been working hand in hand with governments to help defeat the pandemic by providing communities with sanitizers, clean water, and protective gear,” said Ojiambo.

“These businesses are providing local solutions to the challenge of poverty, hunger, lack of clean water, and disease.

“Those actions have ensured the continent is closer to realising the UN 2030 goals and Agenda 2063,” she added.

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Pirates Kill One, Abduct 15 Sailors in the Gulf of Guinea

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Nigerian Pirates

Fifteen sailors were abducted by pirates from a Turkish container ship – M/V Mozart, reports said on Sunday.

A sailor was killed in the attack, which occurred on Saturday and has been described as brazen and violent.

Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel, possibly with explosives.

Three sailors remain on the Mozart, which was approaching Gabon’s Port Gentil on Sunday and expected to dock.

The Liberian-flagged vessel was headed to Cape Town from Lagos when it was attacked 160 kilometres off Sao Tome island on Saturday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said on Sunday he was orchestrating officials in the “rescue of kidnapped ship personnel”.

Erdogan spoke twice by phone with the ship’s fourth captain, Furkan Yaren, who remained aboard after the attack, his office said.

Yaren reportedly claimed he had been “cruising blindly” toward Gabon with damage to the ship’s controls and only the radar working. The pirates beat crew members and left him with an injured leg while another still aboard the ship had shrapnel wounds.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said the pirates had not made any contact with Ankara.

Seyit Kaya, brother of the ship’s kidnapped 42-year-old captain Mustafa Kaya, a father of two, said in an interview he awaited details from the ship’s owner on any possible ransom.

“Since that area is where many attacks take place, they take cautions against pirates,” said Kaya, who is also a sailor.

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Nigerian Celebs Mourn Late U.S Broadcaster, Larry King

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Some Nigerian celebrities are mourning late American broadcaster, Larry King, who died on Saturday morning January 23, aged 87.

These celebrities took to their Instagram handles to pay tribute and mourn the ace broadcaster who had contributed immensely to American Journalism.

Veteran Nollywood Actress, Joke Silver wrote on her page with the broadcaster’s picture “Rest well Larry King. You were the king of interviews. Always polite, always listening”.

Renowned Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka said “Legends don’t die, they transit to glory. Rest in peace Larry King”.

Also Ace Comedian, Atunyota Akpobome, popularly known as “Alibaba” mourned the late broadcaster saying “Rest on” with King’s picture displayed.

The Giant of American broadcasting, Larry King was reported to have battled health problems over the years like prostrate cancer and type-two diabetes.

Recall that he contracted the Coronavirus earlier in January.

King began as a local Florida journalist and radio interviewer in the 1950s and 1960s and gained prominence beginning in 1978 as host of The Larry King Show, an all-night nationwide call-in radio programme heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1985 to 2010.

He hosted the nightly interview television programme Larry King Live on CNN.

His works were recognised with awards including two Peabody, an Emmy award and 10 Cable Ace awards.

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Cyclone Eloise Rages on Africa’s East Coast, Leaves Several Dead

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Power utility EDM said power supplies were shut down as the cyclone uprooted some electricity poles thereby damaging power lines.

Also walls around low-lying buildings collapsed, swaths of land were flooded and vehicles were submerged in water in Beira.

South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eswatini have also been impacted by the recent rains.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department has advised communities in Jozini, Mtubatuba, Ulundi and Umlalazi areas and its surroundings to be vigilant over the stormy weather.

Cogta spokesperson Nonala Ndlovu
said
“We are trying as hard as we can to make sure that people predicted to be on the path on that storm are moved.

Those that can be moved so that when the storm hits, they are not severely affected”

Cyclone Eloise originated close to Madagascar where, there was at least one death, swamped settlements and displacement.

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