Gateway Fair: Dangote to spend 10 billion dollars on rice cultivation…gives tools to block makers

The Dangote Group ( shone at the just concluded 2017 Gateway Trade fair which was held in Abeokuta, emerging as the second most patronised exhibitor, just as the Group disclosed that it was investing N10 billion dollars in rice cultivation in five states to boost food self-sufficiency.

To mark its Day at the Fair, a subsidiary of the Group, Dangote Cement, gave out several tools and implements to the block makers in Ogun State in appreciation of their patronages. Tools such as wheel barrowers, shovels, umbrellas and hand gloves were donated to block makers who assembled from different areas of the state.

During the 10-day trade fair, Dangote Flour delighted customers and participants with free sampling of its new pasta products. The wet sampling made the Group’s pavilion the center of activities at the Fair as participants trooped in for their daily meal. Customers were rewarded with branded coolers, kitchen aprons, exercise books and customized ladles.

Commending Dangote Group for its sponsorship and participation at the Fair, President of Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) Mrs. Adesola Adebutu said the support given by the Group went a long way in making the staging of the Fair a success.

She commended the Pan African Conglomerate for its giant strides in economic development of the country through massive investments in several sectors of the economy describing the feat as worthy of emulation by other Nigerians.

A director of Dangote Group, Tunde Mabogunje who represented the Group at the special day, said that the partnership with OGUNCCIMA is beneficial as Ogun State is the host of the 12 mmtpa Dangote Cement Plant, Ibese, the second largest cement plant in Nigeria.

Dangote Cement, he said, “through the plant provides thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the state. As a responsible corporate citizen, we participate fully in all events and activities designed to drive social and economic welfare of the state.”

He described the theme for this year’s Trade Fair: Promoting Agricultural Value Chain through SMEs for Nigeria Economic Recovery as being apt, given the nation is now paying attention to Agriculture, which has the potential of becoming the major driver of the economy instead of oil, pointing out that in line with the theme the Group is at the forefront of job creation and is the largest employer of labour outside government.

Mabogunje stated “We have been contributing our quota to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. Towards aiding agriculture, we are building a fertilizer plant in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos State. When completed, farmers will have regular access to fertilizer for their farming activities. The delays and disruptions experienced in waiting for imported fertilizer will cease.”

“We are investing about $1 billion in rice cultivation. We have an outgrowers scheme where thousands of farmers are empowered with improved seeds and items needed to cultivate rice.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Dangote Group.

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Francis Awowole-Browne
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IAEA project maps groundwater in Africa’s Sahel region, shows significant reserves

An IAEA project shows that significant reserves of good quality water are available in Africa’s drought-prone Sahel region. Pollution is still limited and has not yet become a serious threat to these vital resources. The findings, compiled in five reports published today, are the result of a four-year Agency effort to help 13 countries use isotopic techniques to assess groundwater origin and quality in five shared aquifers and basins, providing the first broad overview of the region’s groundwater supplies.

Scientists from participating countries – Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo – were trained by the Agency to carry out a detailed examination of groundwater using nuclear-based techniques.

The project looked at the aquifers and basins that provide the main source of groundwater to the region’s population: the Iullemeden Aquifer System, the Liptako-Gourma-Upper Volta System, and the Senegalo-Mauritanian, Lake Chad and Taoudeni basins.

“This project is a significant achievement given the vast area studied,” said IAEA project leader Neil Jarvis. “Inadequate water management practices can increase water scarcity. If countries are to manage growing demands for fresh water, they need to have the tools to understand and map the water resources at their disposal.”

The Agency promoted collaboration among national experts and provided equipment and training for technical staff to collect water samples and investigate their origin and composition, using hydrochemical analyses and mapping techniques.

Partner organizations included the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Niger Basin Authority, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Volta Basin Authority, the Liptako-Gourma Integrated Development Authority, the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.

Spreading over a 7-million square kilometre area, the Sahel is home to 135 million people across West, Central and North Africa. The area has suffered from extreme drought in recent decades, affecting agriculture and causing widespread hunger. Without many rivers to draw water from, groundwater systems are the region’s main source of fresh water.

The data gathered has so far provided valuable information for the participating countries, including origin and flow patterns between the different aquifers and contamination levels in the basins.

The isotope studies confirmed the existence of large quantities of good quality groundwater suitable for human consumption, in several parts of the project area. In some areas, such as the Lake Chad Basin, the sources of recharge for various aquifers were established for the first time.

Areas where groundwater has become contaminated, usually through human activity, appear to be isolated at present. “This is good news, but it is important that governments take prompt measures to protect this vulnerable resource against pollution, as the situation can change very quickly,” said Luis Araguás Araguás, an IAEA isotope hydrologist.

The project also helped to generate a better understanding of the relationship between surface and shallow groundwater in many areas, as well as the age of groundwater. “This information can offer valuable clues as to how long it would take for the water to be – if at all – replenished,” Araguás Araguás said. In various areas, such as the Liptako-Gourma region, the analyses show that groundwater exists in small independent pockets, which could have implications for managing this finite resource.

Water molecules carry unique “fingerprints” based on their different proportions of isotopes – variations of an element with a different number of neutrons. Scientists study changes in the proportion of isotopes in water samples to determine its source, age, and quality. These include past and present rainfall conditions, recharge rate of aquifers, interactions between water bodies, as well as the path and fate of contaminants.

The IAEA, through its Technical Cooperation Fund, and with contributions from the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand and the USA through the Peaceful Uses Initiatives, as well as in-kind contributions from Australia, ensured the effective implementation of the project.

The project will be showcased at the first International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme: Sixty Years and Beyond – Contributing to Development, taking place 30 May – 1 June in Vienna, Austria. Several heads of state and government, ministers, senior representatives of international organizations and donors will gather at the IAEA to review its efforts to help countries benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear technology in key development areas such as food security, the protection of natural resources, human health, and energy.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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Wang Yi to Visit Niger, Angola and Zambia

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang announces:

At the invitation of the government of the Republic of Niger, the Republic of Angola and the Republic of Zambia, State Councilor Wang Yong will visit these three countries from 1 to 9 June.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

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Comment by the Information and Press Department on the upcoming visit by Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba to Russia

On May 30 and June 1, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zambia Harry Kalaba will be in Moscow on a working visit at the invitation of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

On May 31, the ministers will discuss the further development of traditionally friendly Russian-Zambian relations by building up a mutually beneficial partnership in the economy, culture and other areas, and the improvement and strengthening of the legal framework of multifaceted bilateral cooperation.

In the context of the upcoming Zambian chairmanship of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in June this year, Mr Lavrov and Mr Kalaba will discuss conflict settlement and stability in Sub-Saharan Africa, African Great Lakes region, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, the Horn of Africa, Libya and Syria. The ministers will discuss Russia’s cooperation with regional organisations, primarily the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. They will focus on the fight against international terrorism, extremism, cross-border crime and drug trafficking.

Mr Lavrov and Mr Kalaba will highlight the importance of implementing intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and building the Nuclear Research and Technology Centre in Zambia.

Over 650 Zambians are receiving free or paid education at Russian universities. Zambia has been among leaders among the Sub-Saharan countries in terms of scholarships allocated by the Russian government. As many as 128 scholarships have been approved for Zambian students for the 2017/2018 academic year, including 20 scholarships for Zambians studying to become nuclear energy professionals.

Russia and Zambia are considering joint projects in the areas of mining, industry, tourism infrastructure, modern information technology, healthcare and tourism in Zambia.

Zambia is Russia’s longstanding reliable partner on the international stage. The two countries maintain a regular political dialogue, coordinate positions and support one another’s candidates within multilateral organisations, primarily the UN. The latest round of consultations between the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Zambia was held in Moscow on February 17, 2017.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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Source:: Comment by the Information and Press Department on the upcoming visit by Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba to Russia

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