Give Ghana’s poorest families and children a fair chance to succeed in life
UNICEF Ghana welcomes the Government’s commitment to prioritise funds for social protection programmes, which are dedicated to assisting the country’s poorest families in its 2017 budget. It now encourages the Government to take the next step of ensuring that delivery of social protection to Ghana’s poor is further supported through coordinated implementation with other essential services and interventions, in order to achieve sustainable life-changing impact.UNICEF Ghana made this assertion as it welcomed several of the world’s leading poverty and social protection experts to Accra this week.One in four Ghanaians still live in poverty, making the gap between the rich and poor now bigger than ever. As such social protection programmes - such as Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), School Feeding Programme, and Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme - are more important today than ever before.These programmes support vulnerable families to meet basic needs, access schooling and receive healthcare. They are also effective and efficient tools to reduce poverty and promote growth for Ghana. Evidence shows that when social protection is combined with effective education and health, the effects are even stronger.“The formal connections between LEAP and NHIS have provided poor households greater access to health services and improved their overall wellbeing. This success indicates there is a real opportunity to replicate the collaboration, joining LEAP and other sectors,” said Peter Ragno, Social Protection Specialist at UNICEF Ghana. “For example, ensuring LEAP households are entitled to agriculture outreach services will increase household productivity, promote sustainable and resilient livelihoods, and generate positive impacts in the surrounding communities. Continuous investments in social protection, combined with new linkages to quality social services, will ensure long-term returns for the country as a whole.”UNICEF’s calls have been welcomed by the global experts who arrive in Ghana on 27th March to discuss key issues with national experts related to strengthening the social protection system. One of the experts, Jose Cuesta from the UNICEF Office of Research, said: “Promoting inclusive growth and protecting the poor in Ghana will require expanding the budget for LEAP and ensuring it benefits those truly in need and on time.” On Tuesday 28 March, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will host a national social protection dialogue to discuss how connections across pro-poor interventions can contribute to effective poverty reduction within Ghana.Distributed by APO on behalf of UNICEF Ghana.
Higher Education Committee Conducts Oversight Visit in Limpopo
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training will this week undertake a week-long oversight visit in Limpopo, where the Committee will, among other things, visit both the University of Limpopo and the University of Venda.
The Committee will also visit Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges – and during the visit meetings will be held with various stakeholders in the sector. The Committee kick-starts its oversight visit at the University of Venda on Tuesday. It will assess infrastructure expansion projects, student housing, Agricultural Centre of Excellence and Food Science Technology Centre. A presentation will also be received from the Student Representative Council and trade unions.Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
South Africa and Oman Commit to Enhance Trade Relations
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and his Omani counterpart, Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy addressed the SA – Oman Business Forum in Sandton, Johannesburg, today. The two Ministers committed themselves to ensure that overall trade and investment relations between the two countries are enhanced. The Ministers are of the view that trade between the two countries has performed below potential.
Minister Davies explained that the Business Forum was an opportunity for both South African and Omani officials to work energetically to ensure that the untapped opportunities between the two countries are explored.
“There are a number of realities in the world that create a necessity for us to strengthen our relationship. My counterpart, Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy has briefed me on how Oman is reacting to the fall in the oil price and its objective to seek, diversify and strengthen other aspects of its economy. I was able to tell him that we as a mineral exporter, are faced with the same challenge of the end of the commodity super-cycle and are seeking to diversify our economy as well,” said Davies.
Minister Davies challenged South African businesspeople to take advantage of opportunities that Oman presents.
“There are significant opportunities particularly for agricultural and agro-processing industries to cooperate on both sides, around projects located in the Port of Sohar and Richards Bay,” said Davies.
In addition, Davies stated that there were a number of opportunities for investment in the South African economy.
“We are embarking on a gas industrialisation programme which we think will open up opportunities. It’s been indicated to me that Oman has solid minerals it’s now moving to exploit, and we have pointed out that South African companies with an international footprint, have expertise in mining, mining equipment and mining technology,” he said.
The Omani Minister of Trade and Commerce, Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy said that Omani companies are looking at finding long-term direct relationships with South African counterparts.
“There are areas in which South Africa has advanced as a country and we are keen to draw from that knowledge. We are at the beginning stages of expanding our mining sector and we feel there is a lot to learn from South Africa in that aspect. Minerals are going to be high on the agenda in our engagements going forward,” he said.
The two-day Ministerial visit will conclude with site visits to projects of economic opportunity around Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Total trade between the two countries remained fairly consistent over the last five years and stood at R 5.9 billion in 2016, with Oman enjoying a trade surplus of R 4.7 billion, which is largely due to oil imports.Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
IOM Trains Egyptian Officials on Labour Market Forecasting
IOM this week (19/03) launched the second in a series of trainings on migration data collection and analysis at Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The 10-day training on Building Labour Market and Demographic Scenarios for Egypt and the European Union is being attended by 12 CAPMAS representatives and aims at enhancing the Government of Egypt’s capacities to develop evidence-based policies on labour migration. It builds on the knowledge gained from the first training on “Labour Market Forecasting” delivered by IOM Egypt in November 2016, equipping participants with the skills to better analyse labour market dynamics in Egypt and abroad.
The training will conclude with finalization of a report analysing the labour market in Egypt and potential countries of destination for labour mobility. This report is also intended to inform policymakers in Egypt about those destination countries with regular labour migration opportunities.
“This training is providing us with the economical and statistical tools to analyse the labour market in Egypt and in select countries in the European Union to forecast future needs, demographically and economically. This will enable us to identify potential opportunities for labour mobility of Egyptians abroad and support evidence-based planning in Egypt,” explained Madiha Soliman, Senior Researcher at CAPMAS.
Between 2010 and 2100 Europe’s population is projected to decline by more than 100 million (13.7 percent). According to Eurostat calculations, the region’s old age/dependency ratio – the percentage of non-working over 65-year-olds dependent on those of active working age – will nearly double to 1.9 workers per retiree by 2060, from 3.7 in 2012. This indicates an “increasing burden to provide for social expenditure related to population aging (for example, for pensions, healthcare and institutional care),” according to a recent report.
Conversely, countries in the Middle East and North Africa experience high youth unemployment as a result of booming fertility rates. In Egypt, every year approximately 550,000 new Egyptian workers join an already-saturated labour market, many of whom join the ranks of the 3.6 million unemployed. The demographic transitions in these countries could be addressed by promoting a common understanding on how labour market needs on both sides of the Mediterranean can be aligned in order to plan and manage successful labour migration for the benefit of all.
Accordingly, the training responds to the challenges mentioned above and is reflective of the Egyptian Government’s priorities, as outlined in the National Strategy on Combating Irregular Migration for 2016-2026 and the Action Plan on Institutional Strengthening in the Area of Labour Migration, to provide regular migration channels for Egyptians, specifically through monitoring and analysing local and international labour markets to identify current and future opportunities for labour mobility of Egyptians as a means to curb irregular migration.
This intervention is part of the “Developing Capacities for Forecasting and Planning Migration across the Mediterranean” project funded by IOM’s Development Fund and implemented by IOM Egypt.Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Cairo.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange X-Gen News Alert - Cement Co. of North. Nig. Plc
Company Name: Cement Co. of North. Nig. Plc (www.SokotoCement.com)
Company Symbol: CCNN
[CCNN]>> Company Report
Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc.Market Summary for the Year Ended 31st December
N'000 N'000Revenue: 14,087,553 13,037,847
Cost of Sale: -10,151,268 -9,185,438
Gross Profit: 3,936,285 3,852,409Profit before Tax: 1,740,522 1,549,596
Profit after Tax: 1,253,805 1,201,108Proposed Dividend Nil: 10 Kobo per ShareDistributed by APO on behalf of The Nigerian Stock Exchange Corporate News.
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