•FCT holds review workshop as schools reopen

As global economies try wriggling out of the harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Union Commission (AUC) has called on the continent to prioritise adoption of digitisation across sectors and access to affordable energy as a way out.

Its Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, during the Nordic-African Business Webcast 2020, organised by the Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) at the weekend, stated that no development strategy could be deployed in the absence of the duo.

She said another priority area for Africa’s recovery was capacity development, especially for the youths, women, and girls, to effectively harness existing and potential opportunities on the continent.

Abou-Zeid hinted that her organisation was working with financial institutions to address the challenges besetting the continent, including harmonisation of regulatory frameworks for sustainable investments.

Also, the AU official said the commission was collaborating with member states to formulate bottom-up strategies for seamless project identification by investors to create an integrated market that optimises Africa’s vast resources and creates value for the citizens.

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Regarding business opportunities on the second largest continent in the world, Abou-Zeid said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would constitute the globe’s largest trade pact, consolidating an integrated market of 1.3 billion consumers, with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately $3.4 trillion.

She said the objective of the agreement was to realise a continent-wide single market for goods and services with free movement of business, persons, and investments.

Also speaking, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, promised that her country would continue to promote lasting growth and private sector development in Africa, noting that to overcome the crisis, the continent must “build back better, greener and bluer.”

In a similar vein, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is organising a two-day interactive review workshop in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, as schools resume today after seven months of lockdown in Abuja.

Acting Secretary of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Dr. Mohammed Kawu, told reporters yesterday that the exercise was to enable relevant stakeholders to collectively review the current response approach with a view to identifying challenges, adopting best practices, and restrategising for improved action.

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A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister, Muhammed Sanni, said the exercise, which holds tomorrow and next, “will also help to document lessons learned, share experiences and utilise available evidence to plan for future outbreaks.”


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