The dti and UNDP Sign MoU to Collaborate on Centre for Trade Programmes

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at establishing a strategic collaboration in the implementation of programmes of the Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation.

The Centre, which was launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies in Pretoria in March this year, is intended to strengthen regional integration through dedicated research to support the Continental integration processes. As well as, build the capacity of Africa’s trade negotiators in the ongoing Tripartite Free Trade Area and Continental Free Trade Area negotiations. The MoU was signed by the Director-General of the dti, Mr Lionel October and the UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa, Mr Gana Fofang.

“The main role of the Centre will be to facilitate the implementation of the development integration approach that aims not only to promote trade but also regional industrialisation and infrastructure development. This implies that the Centre will promote industrialisation in the African Continent thus supporting the continent’s drive to enhance productive capacity.” said October.

He added that the key objective is to promote the development of regional value-chains so as to foster diversification and structural transformation of the African Continent. He emphasised that the Continent’s reliance on exports of primary products is unsustainable and there is a need for a dedicated effort to promote value-addition.

Mr Fofang said the partnership between the dti and the UNDP will ensure that the Centre undertakes and facilitates applied research and analysis, and collect evidence on policies and good practices in developmental regionalism, amongst others.

“Our collaboration will also enable the Centre to develop tools, methodologies and knowledge for strengthening the implementation and monitoring of regional integration, promote intellectual exchange among multiple stakeholders and across disciplines. We will also promote the dissemination of policies and best practices in the sub-region to support the development of policies at national level,” said Fofang.

He added that in order to ensure results, the Centre would cultivate strategic partnerships with a range of research and policy institutions within the continent and other regions, as well as promote South-South collaboration and exchange of knowledge.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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Source:: The dti and UNDP Sign MoU to Collaborate on Centre for Trade Programmes

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At 50, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) expands research investment with the inauguration of 205.5 ha research farm

As the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) ( marks its 50th anniversary, the Institute today inaugurated a new research station in Ago-Owu in Osun state, Nigeria, as part of efforts to expand its research agenda and create impact at farm level.

The Ago-Owu research station is located in Ayedade Local Government Area, Osun state, and will primarily serve as a research and training facility that will backstop the state’s agricultural programs and offer training support to the youth in the area in particular and Nigeria in general.

In 2015, Governor Rauf Aregbesola donated a piece of land measuring about 205.5 hectares to IITA as he sought to bring research closer to the people of the state with a view to creating transformational change in the agricultural sector of the state. IITA accepted the offer with the signing of a memorandum of understanding and began investment on the land with the development of roads and other infrastructure.

Governor Aregbesola said he was glad the MoU with IITA moved beyond paper to implementation. He commended IITA for its research efforts in the last 50 years, adding that the research facility will advance research in Osun state with a spinoff effect on other parts of the country.

“We believe that this research facility will train and empower our youth in modern agriculture,” he said.

The inauguration of the research facility also allowed researchers to make presentations on new findings from cassava weed management, breeding, banana breeding and multiplication, cassava processing, and aflasafe—a technology for controlling aflatoxins among others. There was a presentation of improved seeds of maize, cowpea, soybean, yam, plantain seedlings, and cassava stems for onward distribution to farmers in Osun state. IITA also gave the governor some quantities of Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags which provide simple, low-cost method of reducing post-harvest cowpea losses due to insects’ infestations.

The Director General, IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga said, IITA was happy to work with and in Osun state.

“This research facility is part of our strategy to take research closer to the people. Our plan is to make this station a one-stop shop where farmers’ needs will be addressed,” he said.

Under the refreshed IITA strategy, IITA plans to lift 11 million people out of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 and to reclaim 7.5 million hectares of degraded land and put the land into sustainable use. Achieving this goal entails IITA expanding its partnership scope and strengthening old partnerships.

Dr Sanginga said the Ago-Owu research facility would primarily conduct research on cassava, maize, yam, soybean, banana/plantain and cowpea. “We will also be using the facility to train Nigerian youths in agribusiness,” he added.

The inauguration of Ago-Owo research station brings to six the number of such facilities in Nigeria. Others are located in Onne (Rivers State), Abuja, Mokwa (Niger state), Minjibir (Kano), and Ikene (Ogun State).

Dr Alfred Dixon, Director for Development and Delivery, IITA, said the inauguration of the research facility was a step in the right direction with the potential of bringing many benefits to the people of the state in particular, and the country in general.

He said the research facility would assist the state in accelerating its agricultural reform agenda whose particular focus is on increasing agricultural productivity and job creation.

Established in 1967, IITA is an international agricultural research institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, IITA improves livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. The Institute operates in Nigeria and 13 research stations/hubs across sub-Saharan Africa.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

For more information, please contact:
Godwin Atser
Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert

Source:: At 50, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) expands research investment with the inauguration of 205.5 ha research farm

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Somali Special Forces Strike Destroys Alshabab Training Base in Middle Juba

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s statement on the dawn strike on Alshabab training base near Sakow.

“Earlier today, I authorized our special forces with the support of our international partners to conduct a strike against an al-Shabaab training camp near Sakow, Middle Juba region. This was a successful strike which destroyed a key al-Shabaab command and supply hub. This will ultimately disrupt the enemy’s ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia.”

“I said when I took office that security will be top priority for my administration. This strike will enhance security and reduce the threats of Alshabab.”

“We have long suffered at the hands of Alshabab which is supported by global terror networks. We and our international partners will take every possible precaution to protect our civilian population from harm during these operations while targeting terrorists.”

“All of us know somebody from our youth, our village, our families, who has been killed or injured by the senseless violence of al-Shabaab. I have personally met the families and the victims of several Alshabab attacks. For those who have suffered under al-Shabaab, and for the rest of Somalia, I want you to know that we are committed to defeating al-Shabaab and uniting our people.”

“To the members of al-Shabaab, I tell you that we are bringing the fight to you. If you, however take advantage of my amnesty offer and denounce violence, we will integrate you into our reform program. You have no future with the terrorists, but you can still be a part of Somalia’s future; a peaceful and prosperous future.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal Republic of Somalia – Office of the President.

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President Faure congratulates PM Theresa May following victory in UK General Elections

President Danny Faure has sent a message of congratulations to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mrs Theresa May following her election to office following the country’s general election on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Seychelles.

“Your election to this high office bears testimony to the confidence and esteem that you have generated among the population. I look forward to the continuation of the excellent relations between our two countries under your leadership,” said President Faure in his message.

President Faure further reiterated that the historical links and shared values which continue to provide the platform for Seychelles and the UK’s close collaboration would serve to strengthen the two countries resolve to work together on a vast array of issues both bilaterally and multilaterally.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: President Faure congratulates PM Theresa May following victory in UK General Elections

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