USAID, United Bank For Africa Sign Memorandum Of Understanding

U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Prosper Africa initiative is partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.   This partnership ensures businesses are equipped with the technical and financial tools they need to enter into new trading and investment relationships in Africa and the United States.  

USAID will provide technical assistance and advisory services to prospective businesses through its Trade and Investment Hubs, and will connect UBA with African Diaspora business groups working across the United States.  The MOU enables UBA, the only sub-Saharan African bank licensed to operate in the United States, to expand access its reach and extend financing to American companies in the United States looking to do business with African nations.

Recognizing tremendous growth opportunities, USAID and UBA are collaborating to advance Prosper Africa’s goal of substantially increasing two-way trade between Africa and the United States. By working together, they will extend financing and technical assistance to businesses that will strengthen the American economy, grow African economies, and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

The two institutions entered into this agreement as part of the opening ceremony of the Tunisia Prosper Africa Conference, co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia. The event facilitated U.S. and African business-to-business connections and featured remarks by key representatives from the U.S. Government and the U.S. and African private sector.

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USAID Increases Funds For Developmental Projects In Nigeria

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced additional $89 million development assistance to Nigeria.

USAID Acting Mission Director, Julie Koenen, in a statement by the U.S. Embassy to Nigeria on Monday in Abuja, said that the assistance was to continue U.S. support for development goals in Nigeria.

Koenen stated that the goals were outlined in a Development Objectives Assistance Agreement between the U.S. and Nigeria signed in 2015.

According to the envoy, nearly half of the new funding, about 44 million dollars will support HIV and AIDS control through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“The remainder is to assist the states in the northeast of Nigeria increase agricultural productivity and economic growth with 15 million dollars; strengthen education with 11 million dollars and support good governance with 10.5 million dollar.

“It will also help improve water and sanitation infrastructure with nine million dollars,” Koenen stated.

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USAID Applauds FG After Recession Exit

Following the announcement by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), that Nigeria is finally out of recession, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has described it as a welcome development.

Team Lead for USAID Bee Keeping Pollination Project, Mr. David Musa, in an exclusive chat with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said report by the National Bureau of Statistics has credibility because farmers especially bee farmers are now selling more and making more profit.

We are happy for this but the government must strengthen the ease of doing business, public policies, help the private sector to deliver wide impact to sustain the exit,’’ he said.

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Sokoto Seeks USAID’s Collaboration On Agro-Allied Industries

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has called on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to collaborate with the Sokoto state government in the area of leather clusters and agro-allied industries.

He said the state government will continue to explore areas of possible collaboration with local and international agencies for the mutual benefit benefit of all parties.

Tambuwal spoke in Sokoto when he hosted the new USAID Mission Director for Nigeria, Mr. Stephen M. Haykin in his office.

“We have benefited immensely from past relationships with USAID in areas of health, education and support for good governance. We have a lot to learn from each other as such, we need a closer relationship in the area of agriculture and especially agro-allied industries.

“You have focused on impacting the lives of a greater number of people in our state. And because agriculture employs more than eighty percent of the populace, we need to come up with policies and programs for the sector.

“I’ve always said it that ours is a rewarding and productive relationship which we are willing and ready to expand,” the Governor said.

Tambuwal extended the appreciation of the people and government of Sokoto to the US government for their care and concern, and especially praised the efforts of Haykin’s successor in office, Mr. Michael Harvey, for his commitment to the development of the state.

Earlier in his remarks, Haykin commended the Sokoto state government for its commitment to the well-being of its citizens. He said USAID, and by extension the United States Government, is happy with Tambuwal’s commitment to fulfill all obligations entered into with development partners.

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NPHCDA To Roll Out Community Volunteer Scheme In Sokoto

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) said it will roll out a new community health influencers/volunteer scheme to enhance mobilization of Nigerians to routine immunization at the grassroots level.

The program, to be rolled out in Sokoto within weeks, will also deepen the fight against child killer diseases and at the same time create focal persons that will supervise immunization efforts.

NPHCDA’s Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, stated this when he led his management team and partners to a courtesy visit to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in Sokoto.

The partners were led by the new USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Mr. Stephen Haykin.

Shuaib said the decision to roll out the program in Sokoto came about as a result of the commitment of the state government to improve primary healthcare in particular and health services delivery in general.

“I am happy to say that the state government’s commitment to settle all outstanding financial commitments with partners has filled all financial gap in funding of projects. This has thrown the ball to our court and we are working to ensure full implementation of all projects on schedule,” the ED stated.

He added that the Federal Government has received request for technical support from the state government on routine immunisation and already that request is being implemented.

In his remarks, Tambuwal commended both USAID Nigeria and the NPHCDA for their commitment to improve health governance structures and well-being of the people of Sokoto.

“As the ED noted, we have no funding gap that has not been filled. Our biggest concern at the moment is data generation and interpretation. We are working with all partners to improve collection of data to ensure targeted persons get the required assistance they need,” the Governor said.

He said his administration has approved the establishment of ward development committees headed by traditional rulers and other influential persons to serve as focal persons in their communities.

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USAID, Sokoto Govt Launch Project To Train 2.1m Primary, Out Of School Children

Sokoto State Government will ensure access to quality education for a total of 1.7m primary school and out of school children under the new Northern Education Initiative Plus (NEI+) policy.

To be funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the policy will reach 1.6million primary school children in grades One to Three, along with 500,000 out of school children and youths attending 11,000 non-formal learning centres.

Speaking at the launching of the project in Sokoto Tuesday, USAID’s Mission Director for Nigeria, Mr. Michael Harvey, said the initiative will use the ‘whole child, whole teacher, whole school and whole system approach which addresses critical supply and demand factors that affect learning, teaching, management, parental participation and responsiveness to parental needs.’

He said in practical terms, the initiative will improve reading skills for more two million school-aged children and youth. “It will also train and equip 45,000 teachers and learning facilitators who can reach children in schools and non-formal learning centres,” he added.

While announcing that Bauchi, and another yet-to-be named state will also benefit from the project, Harvey said the commitment shown by the political leadership in Sokoto to address the challenges of education will have far reaching benefits.

In his remarks, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said his administration is determined to ensure that all children get access to quality education in the state.

He said government has resolved to improve manpower needs of the education sector and that only competent hands will be allowed to implement policies in the sector.

Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said said it has become imperative for members of the society to change their orientation towards education.

He said Sokoto Caliphate was founded on ideals knowledge. He said now that the state government has shown enough commitment to education, “we owe ourselves a duty to support it.”

“Islam abhors begging and hawking. The place of education is Islam cannot be compared to anything. We cannot allow our children to be roaming the streets while their counterparts elsewhere attend classes,” he added.
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