Nigeria needs 250,000 doctors to meet WHO’s standard — WMA

Nigerian Tribune

Nurse tending patient in intensive care. Image used for illustrative purpose. Getty Images

The President, World Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele, on Thursday, said that for Nigeria to meet the World Health Organisation’s standard of ratio of doctors to patients, the country needed to have not less than 250,000 medical doctors in its employ.

Osahon, who spoke as a guest speaker at the public lecture organised by the Federated Chapel of the Edo Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Benin City, however, lamented that Nigeria had less than 100,000 doctors, a figure he said was grossly inadequate to meet the doctors-patients ratio.

“The present situation by international standards, a doctor should be assigned to less than 600 patients but in Nigeria’s case, a doctor attends to over 3,000. So Nigeria needs over 250,000 doctors to cope with the current reality”

“There is less than 100,000 registered doctor in Nigeria, let’s say it is 98,000 doctors according to the last update’.

“Out of these 98,000, only 50,000 are actually practicing in Nigeria,” Enabilele bemoaned.

The WMA president stressed that for Nigeria to have good healthcare system, there must be political commitment by the Nigerian leaders to meet the Abuja Declaration of dedicating 15 percent of its budget to healthcare provision.

He decried how political leaders in the country traveled abroad to queue up before seeing less qualified doctors to check blood pressure they could conveniently do Nigeria.

Enabulele, however, identified lack of funds, inadequate infrastructure, unemployment, workplace conditions, remuneration, brain drain, economy, inflation and ineffective healthcare among others as problems facing Nigeria’s health system.

“Because of these problems senior doctors, consultants are moving out of Nigeria in drove because of greater remuneration,” he said.

This, he said resulted in low quality of healthcare delivery in the country.

He called for improved political commitment, empowered healthcare work, improved working conditions, recognition of value and professional work of the medical practitioners, stop medical tourism for political leaders, make wages to be competitive to change the narrative in the health sector.

He said Nigeria government must create a better living condition for the people including the medical profession, saying a lots of people want to come back home when the country is better.

“There is need to establish Health Service Commission that would better administer the health system and drive medical man power, training, best human resource, develop plan among others,” he submitted.

Early childhood development programmes should be part of free basic education: SA

Getty Images/Getty Images/Westend61

Only a third of children in SA are enrolled in ECD programmes.

The state should provide free early childhood education, argues the writer. Archive photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

Nearly all early childhood development (ECD) programmes in South Africa (94%) charge fees. Parents who can’t afford to send their child to an ECD programme, such as those from rural areas and townships, often have no choice but to wait until their child is seven years old to access free education. The implications of this are significant.

According to the most recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls), 81% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa are unable to read for meaning, particularly those coming from the rural provinces. The Pirls findings reveal problems with teaching and learning in pre-Grade R and the Foundation Phase.

The South African government has recognised that ECD is key to responding to this reading crisis yet, while the government keeps highlighting the importance of early childhood education, it fails to make the corresponding investment in it.

Data collected for the ECD Census 2021 found that only 34% of children are enrolled in an ECD programme. One major reason for this is the inability to pay fees.

Section 29(1)(a) of the Constitution provides that everyone has a right to basic education, and there is nothing in the wording of this provision to suggest that the right is limited to primary and secondary education. In the light of commitments South Africa has made in international law to promote early childhood development, ECD could be understood to form part of that right. The South African policy framework has adopted this position. The National Integrated ECD Policy of 2015 explicitly recognises the right to early childhood development as an existing right for children, which the state has a duty to fulfil.

The draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA) is also another potential step towards the recognition of the right to early childhood education through the introduction of compulsory pre-Grade 1 education.

The government has also moved the ECD function from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education. This is intended to create an integrated model that will ensure access to quality early learning and development opportunities for all children.

All this strongly suggests that the state has the duty not only to regulate and subside ECD programmes but to directly provide early childhood education services to children. The state provides free basic education. If early learning is part of the right to basic education, why shouldn’t the state also provide free ECD programmes?

It is important that the right to early childhood education is more clearly established to ensure that there are clear legal entitlements for a recognised right. This will provide a clear picture of which government department is responsible for the realisation of such a right.

Parents who cannot afford to pay for quality early childhood education for their children and who do not want to wait for them to start primary school often send their children to poor, makeshift, unregistered ECD centres that charge lower fees. These ECD centres lack adequate infrastructure, do not have monitored curriculum delivery, and often have an unsafe learning and playing environment.

To circumvent the challenges in the ECD sector and ensure the advancement of early education, the government must step in and put its money where its mouth is. Direct government provision of early childhood education would be an important step towards the recognition of a constitutional imperative.

Yolisa Piliso is a candidate attorney at the Equal Education Law Centre.

Views expressed are not necessarily those of GroundUp.

SA startups need to play a longer game to succeed

Start up team working on a business chart together. Getty Images Image used for illustrative purpose.

Succeeding as an entrepreneur in South Africa is trickier now than ever before. Slow economic growth, high inflation and load shedding create a cocktail of challenges that are especially formidable for small and medium businesses. But one award-winning startup owner has found a way to circumvent the obstacles while staying true to the core values driving her, inspiring other entrepreneurs to stay the course during these troubled times.

Reitumetse Kholumo, Kwela Brews

Reitumetse Kholumo has achieved more than most people twice her age. At 25, she’s graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from UCT, become a business owner, and won multiple innovation awards. And she’s done it all while managing debilitating fibromyalgia. What truly sets Kholumo apart from the crowd, however, is the passion she has for her business idea – that it can help to preserve and promote indigenous knowledge systems and beliefs while uplifting communities and creating jobs.

Her business, Kwela Brews, brings the brewers of traditional African beer together under one brand, where she provides business expertise, marketing as well as new markets and customers. She helps improve conditions for brewing and supports home brewers by making them aware of legislation and compliance issues. “There is a stigma attached to African traditional beer, but not many people know that, when brewed according to old recipes, African traditional beer is very healthy and nutritious, high in Vitamin B and amino acids with good bacteria for the gut.”

With a grandmother and great-grandmother who were homebrewers, the tradition is a firm part of Kholumo’s family heritage. But the entrepreneurial bug really bit her when during her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, the class was taken to South African Breweries (SAB) to witness how beer was made industrially.

When she graduated in 2021, her grandmother and other family members expected her to go into a well-paying corporate job, but Kholumo knew it wasn’t for her. “Initially, I thought I wanted to be a brewer but then I realised that by using my skills in engineering and design thinking, I could drive social impact and really support home brewers in a more meaningful way.”

A design thinking course that Kholumo took in 2021 was instrumental in shaping how she set up her business. A strategy for tackling complex challenges, design thinking is used in business and development work, policy making and other sectors. It prioritises human experience when designing solutions, consulting extensively with the prospective users of whatever product or services one conceptualises. This invariably leads to uncomfortable discoveries – like Kholumo saw herself, when a brewing machine she acquired for home brewing was rejected by the brewers.

“Design thinking teaches you to not become too attached to your solutions. Even if you are a chemical engineer, you don’t necessarily know the answer to a particular problem. You have to fail fast, to try something else, to see what works in a real situation,” she says.

Entrepreneurs need to learn this lesson quickly, the sooner the better. According to Angus Bowmaker-Falconer, SA lead on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa report, much needs to be done to improve the entrepreneurial landscape in South Africa. He talks specifically about creating enabling environments, improving the confidence of entrepreneurs, and addressing their fear of failure.

According to a recent news report, African entrepreneurs say their biggest challenge is funding and access to finance. But as entrepreneurial support company, Founders Factory Africa’s co-founder Sam Sturm says: “Money doesn’t solve problems. People solve problems.”

Kholumo agrees with this. But often, there is pressure from potential funders regarding expectations to make money. This can make life tough for entrepreneurs as there are limited supportive spaces, which nurture them to grapple with the problems. She advises entrepreneurs to be aware of how long it can take to secure funding and how difficult it is to rely on financial support and therefore to be conservative with your initial capital and input. Research shows up to 80% of small businesses in South Africa fail in the first five years of business and Kholumo believes that taking things slowly can be a more sustainable way of operating in the long run.

Since starting Kwela Brews in October 2021, she has worked steadily to build the business and spread awareness, focusing on fomenting relationships with home brewers in their own communities. As the company’s only employee – who is also undertaking a master’s degree full-time – there is only so much time and energy she can dedicate to the business. She believes that slow and steady growth is not only more sustainable in the long run, but also healthier for her.

By definition, entrepreneurs are risk-inclined and highly self-motivated. Kholumo is risking more than many in this arena, but she is also compelled by a deeper mission. “Having my own levels of being disenfranchised as a black woman living with disabilities, I’m even more motivated to leverage the privilege that I have,” she says. “I want to imagine a world in which the various systems of oppression no longer exist.”

Business tourism in Africa as a key driver of economic growth

Africa Business

Couple shopping at market, Cape Town, South Africa – stock photo. Image Courtesy: Getty Images Image for illustrative purpose.

Africa, known for its breath-taking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse wildlife, has long been a sought-after destination for leisure travellers. However, in recent years, a growing trend has emerged, demonstrating that business tourism in Africa is making significant contributions to the continent’s overall tourism GDP.

In fact, tourism – both business and leisure – showed a sizable surge of 78.2% in the first half of 2023 on arrivals to South Africa when compared to the same period in 2022[1] with the latest reports showing that business spending represents a share of 43% of overall tourism contributions.[2]

“This development reflects the increasing recognition of Africa’s potential as a hub for international conferences, conventions, and corporate events. This remarkable growth can be attributed to several factors that have combined to make Africa an increasingly attractive destination for business travellers,” says Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers.

According to Paulsen-Abbott, there are five key factors contributing to the rise of business tourism in Africa:

Infrastructure Investment

African countries have made substantial investments in infrastructure development, such as modern airports, state-of-the-art convention centres, and top-notch hotels. These facilities have enhanced the continent’s capacity to host large-scale business events, conferences, and exhibitions.

Improved Connectivity

Enhanced connectivity through expanded flight routes and airline networks has made it easier for international business travellers to access African destinations. Major airlines have increased their services to African cities, providing convenience for corporate travellers.

Political Stability

The continent’s political stability in many regions has fostered an environment conducive to hosting international business events. This stability has increased confidence among organisers and attendees alike.

Economic Growth

Africa’s emerging economies and growing middle class have attracted more business investment. As a result, the continent has become an attractive location for global companies to expand their operations, leading to an influx of business travellers.

Cultural Diversity

Africa’s diverse cultures and unique experiences are increasingly incorporated into corporate events and conferences. This blend of business and cultural experiences adds to the allure of the continent.

As business travellers explore African destinations, they often extend their stays to explore the continent’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, contributing to the growth of leisure tourism as well. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism sector contributed 7.6% to global GDP last year alone – an increase of 22% from 2021 and only 23% below 2019 levels – showcasing the contribution of business tourism on the global GDP[3].

Business tourism has also led to job creation and economic empowerment in local communities which has a ripple effect on various sectors, including hospitality, transportation, and local businesses, thereby fostering sustainable economic development.

“Industry experts and stakeholders see this trend continuing in the coming years, with Africa poised to become a premier destination for international business events. Governments and tourism authorities across the continent are recognising the potential of business tourism and are actively working to attract more conferences and conventions,” adds Paulsen-Abbott.

Africa’s rising prominence in the world of business tourism signifies a new era for the continent, one in which it plays a pivotal role in shaping the global business landscape while sharing its unique cultural and natural treasures with the world.

Uganda NSSF savers to get 10% interest rate

The East African

View of downtown Kampala city, Uganda, Africa. Getty Images

Uganda’s Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija on Tuesday declared a 10 percent interest rate for National Social Security Fund (NSSF) members for the 2022/2023 financial year, arguing that it is consistent with the fund’s commitment made in 2013 to pay savers a real annual return, that is, at least 2 percentage points above the 10-year rate of inflation.

According to the minister, the new rate which is equivalent to Ush1.591 billion ($422,800) in total, will be calculated and credited to the balance outstanding on the members’ accounts as of July 1, 2022.“Last financial year, the 10-year average rate of inflation was 4.2 percent. The rate I have just declared is 5.8 percent above the 10-year average, which means that the Fund has once again delivered on its promise and surpassed it by almost 3.8 percent. To the members, thank you for trusting the NSSF with your money. The fund is an institution we are proud of,” Kasaija said during the NSSF 11th annual members meeting in Kampala.

Read: Uganda NSSF savers expect higher interest rateDuring the meeting, the NSSF management reported assets growth from Ush17.26 trillion ($4.6 billion) in Financial Year 2021/22 to Ush18.56 trillion ($4.93 billion) in financial year 2023/24.“Many naysayers did not imagine the possibility of growing this fund to Ush20 trillion ($5.3 billion). Achieving this strategic objective, a year ahead of schedule is laudable,” the minister remarked seeming to thwart members’ fears and anxiety in the aftermath of media reports of a poorly managed fund which saw the former managing director Richard Byarugaba clash with one of his supervisors, Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi.“The second KPI I am interested in is the money you generated during the year because that shows the productivity of the investments that I approved during the year. I am therefore glad that the total realised income earned increased by 15 percent from Ush1.9 trillion ($504.92 million) in the financial year 2022/22 to Ush2.2 trillion ($584.64 million) in the financial year 2022/23.

This is very commendable given the turmoil in Europe due to the Russia-Ukraine war, investor flight from most of the developing markets back to the US, reduction in value across all East African stock markets and increased scrutiny that the fund underwent in the third quarter of the just concluded financial year,” he said.

Earlier, the fund’s Chairman Board of Directors Peter Kimbowa reported that member contributions had increased by 15.4 percent from Ush1.49 trillion ($396 million) in Financial Year 2021/22 to Ush1.72 trillion ($457.1 million) in financial year 2022/23.“Total Realised Income earned increased by 15 percent from Ush1.9 trillion in the financial year 2022/22 to Ush2.2 trillion in the financial year 2022/23. Benefits paid to qualifying members increased by 1 percent from Ush1.189 trillion in the financial year 2021/22 to Ush1.199 trillion in the financial year 2022/23. The cost-to-income ratio improved from 11.7 percent in the financial year 2021/22 to 9.4 percent in the financial year 2022/23,” he said.

Read: Uganda pension grows its key assets by $400m post-CovidAccording to him, the fund’s cost of administration reduced from 1.18 percent of total assets to 1.02 percent.

Amongi tasked the fund managers to change in the way “we are conducting business at the fund” and innovate solutions for its members based on the three dimensions, during the three lifecycles so as to provide actual social protection.

The fund declared an interest rate of 9.5 percent in the financial year 2021/2022 down from 12.5 percent it declared in the previous year and the lowest in recent years.

NSSF former managing director Byarugaba said the decline in the 12.5 percent interest rate paid the previous year was mainly attributed to the reallocation of investment in long-term to short-term fixed income instruments to provide liquidity for mid-term payouts, inflation pressures and spillovers from turbulence in the global economy. 

Two Kenyan health startups picked for Google AI Growth Academy

The East African

FILE PHOTO: Visitors stand near a sign of artificial intelligence at an AI robot booth at Security China, an exhibition on public safety and security, in Beijing, China June 7, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

Two Kenyan health startups have been selected by Google for a three-month Growth Academy that infuses artificial intelligence (AI) for development in the healthcare industry.

The companies, Zuri Health and iZola Limited will be among 30 others selected globally and part of the five selected in Africa for the hybrid program whose aim is to support promising startups that use AI technology to grow and innovate responsibly.

The training will involve mentorship and networking events with company founders coming up with data-driven strategies that will open doors for new customers and partnerships.

They will use the opportunity to learn and take advantage of emerging technologies to expand to new markets.

Read: Google to invest $1 billion in Africa“Africa’s innovative spirit in the AI for Health domain is profoundly inspiring. These startups stand as a testament to the continent’s ability to develop global health solutions. We aim to stand alongside them, offering support and partnership as they strive to scale and disseminate their groundbreaking solutions,” said Yuval Passov, Head of Google for Startup and lead of the program.

The two startups embrace telemedicine with iZola Limited specifically focusing on supporting families with neurodivergent children via an AI-integrated therapeutics platform.

Telemedicine in the country is gaining momentum and studies show that it peaked during the pandemic.“We showed that the coronavirus pandemic had a modest increase in the utilisation of telemedicine for healthcare services delivery during the pandemic period probably due to limited infrastructure to scale up,” says a study published in the International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications this year.

The study shows that Kenyan doctors are now more aware of telemedicine options, which they fully embrace.“The current utilisation in Kenya is to support doctor-to-doctor consultations and provide education with minimal utilisation in actual healthcare delivery,” explains the study.

Read: US gives $30m for Nairobi regional data centreHowever, the study shows that there are hurdles to its use and implementation at scale in the country.“There is limited single use of telemedicine in providing direct clinical services to patients. Telemedicine is regularly used in combination with in-person clinical services, allowing for continuity of clinical services beyond the physical hospital infrastructure,” says the researchers.“Africa and other developing countries, significant improvements are needed in multiple areas cutting across regulatory, infrastructural, legal, and financial, to better support telemedicine services and improve healthcare delivery,” they add.

The scientists also suggest that the inclusion of telemedicine in healthcare providers’ curricula in their training programs may also promote awareness and uptake of telemedicine in the country.

A report forecasting the country’s telehealth market released by 6Wresearch in 2020 showed that there is likely to be a two-fold increase in uptake of the new digital health options. This prediction was made for six years between 2020 and 2026.“With a market value worth a double-digit billion number, the market is anticipated to reach a triple-digit revenue value and is expected to register significant growth in the next decade. This significant rise in the market value can be attributed to the rising adoption of digitalised and the virtual platform underpinned by the superior growth patterns in the healthcare sector,” said the report.

The report details that the uptake is supported by the rising prevalence of chronic illnesses in the country.

Read: Base technology for Africa on the best science“The increase in the healthcare costs, a spur in the technological innovations in the healthcare sector, and efforts to find a resolution to address the accessibility issues of the healthcare sector in remote areas which have been a perennial problem in the developing economies across the world are expected to ramp up double-digit growth prospects for the Kenya telehealth market,” they explained.

Five years after introducing the Google for Startups Accelerator programs in Africa, Google has so far supported 106 startups from 17 African countries.

These startups have collectively raised over $263 million in funding and created more than 2,800 jobs.

Stock Exchange of Mauritius seeks to tap Kenyan investors

The East African

Image used for illustrative purpose. Getty Images

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) has opened a window for Kenyan investment banks and stockbrokers to trade on its market platform, potentially opening up new offshore investment options in the Indian Ocean Island State.

SEM’s chief executive Sunil Benimadhu said in the exchange’s 2022 annual report that a new automated trading system (ATS) installed last year will allow the integration of foreign intermediaries.

Allowing foreign members onto its ATS will allow the SEM to tap into a wider pool of investors, with the move coming at a time when African exchanges have sought to boost cross-border trading to improve liquidity and trade activity in their markets.

Last November, seven African exchanges, including the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and SEM, launched the African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP) which is meant to facilitate cross-border trading of securities in Africa.

Read: African stock markets inch closer to integrationThe AELP is a flagship project of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).“The new ATS of the SEM has facilitated the integration of remote members to our platform. Consequently, despite the difficult economic environment, the SEM will work towards attracting remote members, initially from South Africa and Kenya, during the financial year 2022/ 2023,” said Mr Benimadhu.“The objective of this initiative is to increase the investor base of our market and attract more global order flows to our platform”.

The Mauritian exchange has been looking to compete with European platforms as a host for African capital-raising ventures, including the issuance of sovereign bonds.

The exchange currently offers a multi-currency platform, through which it hopes to attract the participation of foreign stockbrokers.

The market also offers a raft of fiscal incentives to investors that include no withholding tax on dividends, no capital gains taxes, free repatriation of profits, capital and interest, as well as double taxation avoidance treaties.

The incentives are meant to help widen the pool of investors in its capital markets beyond the relatively thin population of the island nation.

Read: Kenya charms diaspora to capital marketsThe Mauritian exchange has about 100,000 account holders, who hold about 17.2 billion shares with a market capitalisation of Ksh1.09 trillion ($7.4 billion).

In the past decade, Mauritian financial sector firms have established a presence in Kenya, following a growth in bilateral investment flows between the two countries after the inking of a double-taxation agreement in 2012.

Some key deals include the acquisition of Fidelity Bank and assets of the collapsed Chase Bank by SEM-listed financial services group SBM Holdings and in the capital markets, fund manager Axys’ acquisition of stockbroker ApexAfrica Capital.

A number of Kenyan firms have also moved the other way, establishing offices there to take advantage of more favourable tax laws. 

Invest in infrastructure for Nigerians to enjoy shared prosperity, experts task FG

Nigerian Tribune

Double exposure business man with social media and digital technology. Getty Images Image used for illustrative purpose.

Experts across different sectors of the country have urged the Federal Government to invest in infrastructure in order for the citizens to enjoy shared prosperity.

An Information and Communications Technology Expert, Ayoola Oke tasked the Federal Government on eliminating taxes and levies in ICT in order to enhance the nation’s prosperity.

Oke, who spoke to Nigerian Tribune, also advised the government to regulate the ICT industry to encourage innovators to emerge especially in the fintech area which will encourage SME access to capital and boost production in various sectors.

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According to him, ICT is the engine of economic development and expansion and both mean different things.

“Therefore if possible eliminate taxes and levies in ICTs specifically to grow Nigeria’s market share in the international BPO market.

“Regulate the ICT industry to encourage innovators to emerge especially in the fintech area which will encourage SME access to capital and boost production in various sectors.

“Development includes growth but goes beyond mere growth of population and therefore volumes of trade and production.

“True development must include quality depth and efficiency in production that can only be driven by ICTs

“ICT is the engine of economic development and expansion and both mean different things,” he said.

Speaking also, Head, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Sovereign Trust Insurance, Mr Segun Bankole said the government should invest in sustainable infrastructure.

Bankole stated that good roads, electricity, etc. will drive development in the country.

According to him, the unavailability of sustainable infrastructure contributes to the brain drain in the country.

Segun said these infrastructures are readily available to the populace over there.

He urged that government should stop paying lip service to all the promises during electioneering campaign.

The Head, however, complained that the cost of governance is very high; Hence, they should reduce it.

“The government should invest in sustainable infrastructure for shared prosperity.

“Good roads, electricity, transportation and the likes will drive development in the country.

“The unavailability of the sustainable infrastructure contributes to the brain drain in the country.

“These infrastructures are readily available to the populace over there.

“The government should stop paying lip service to all the promises during electioneering campaign.” He said.

Educational Expert and Former Special Adviser on Education to the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo said the government should have education on its front-burner for socio-economic development of the country.

Soyombo emphasised on education at all stages, including the early years children and that the curriculum should be revamped.

She said that they should look at literacy skills so that every Nigerian will understand the basic rudiments of English language.

“The Federal Government should have education on their front burner for socio-economic development.

“I am talking about education at all stages. Early years children should be looked into. They should revamp our curriculum.

“We should look at our literacy skills so that in every nook and cranny of the country, Nigerians will understand basic English,” she said.

Kenya to build nuclear power plant from 2027

The East African

France. Nuclear power plant, dusk – stock photo. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Kenya targets to kick off the construction of its first nuclear power plant in 2027 as the country seeks to further diversify its energy generation amid rising demand and push for zero-carbon energy.

Acting CEO of the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) Justus Wabuyabo told the Business Daily the agency has advanced plans to float international tenders for the construction of the in either Kilifi or Kwale counties.

The revelation follows approval by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2021 for Kenya to go ahead with setting up the infrastructure for the plants.

“We will do the bidding stage, as anytime between 2026 and 2027 and start construction in 2027. Construction ranges six to ten years so we are looking at 2034-35 to commission the first plant,” Mr Wabuyabo said.“We are now focusing on Kilifi and Kwale as our ideal sites. They have met most of the criteria but before we determine the final site, we have to do a detailed scientific study as provided for by IAEA like seismic tests,” he added.

The plant is expected to have a capacity of 1,000 Megawatts (MW), which if successfully delivered will be key to helping boost the electricity supply to the economy and help reduce reliance on dirty thermal plants.

Kenya’s quest to develop a nuclear power plant stems from the projected increase in electricity demand as the country angles to be a middle-income economy by 2030.

Geothermal energy accounted for the biggest share of the electricity generated as of May with a share of 45.21 percent followed by hydro (21.05 percent), wind (16.08 percent), and solar at 3.92 percent.

But besides the costly nuclear plant, Kenya will also be required to upgrade its electricity transmission network to provide reliable and off-site power to nuclear power plants.

A joint study by NuPEA and SGS consortium says the current electricity grid will require significant enhancement based on safety needs imposed on nuclear plants and the large size of such installations.

South Africa is the only African country with a commercial nuclear plant that accounts for five percent of the electricity generated in the country. Nuclear accounts for 47 percent of electricity generated in the US.

Kenya has over the years stepped up efforts to actualize its nuclear energy dream and has been sending dozens of students abroad to developed economies using nuclear energy, to boost their skill sets and ensure that the country does not wholly import the labour.

Niger govt seeks collaboration to boost local trade

Nigerian Tribune

A supporter of Niger’s National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) holds a Niger flag as they gather for a demonstration in Niamey on August 11, 2023 near a French airbase in Niger. Thousands of supporters of Niger’s coup leaders gathered on August 11, 2023 near a French military base on the outskirts of the capital Niamey. Protesters shouted “down with France, down with ECOWAS”, a reference to the West African bloc which on Thursday approved deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in Niger. (Photo by AFP)
Agence France-Presse (AFP)/AFP

Niger Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago has sought a collaborative effort between the State Government and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for the creation of a Free Trade Zone to be located in Tafa, Bida and Minna.

Governor Umaru Bago stated this at the Government House Minna when he received members of the GIZ team on a courtesy visit at the government house, Minna.

He said the free trade zones will enable local entrepreneurs and farmers to have value for their products, pointing out that value chain cluster production brings about positive development.

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The governor who acknowledged the developmental strides of GIZ in different aspects of the nation also sought further collaboration with the development partner in the area of ICT and Scholarship to enable people to develop their careers.

The leader of the team and Head of Pro-growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria SEDIN who also doubles as the Coordinator, of the Sustainable Economic Development Cluster (SEDEC), Mr Marcus Wauschkuhn said GIZ has been partnering with the state for over 2 decades in the areas of employment and private sector promotion.

He said the team would be focusing on economic development, improved market access and access to finance for MSME in the new phase of its programme which will commence from 2023 to 2026.

Mr Wauschkuhn said the project would also be extended to students to catch them young in skills acquisition.