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Sterling One Foundation Commits to the African Union Year of Education (AUYoE) Alongside African Education Ministers and Other Stakeholders

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The Sterling One Foundation has reiterated its commitment to investing in foundational learning and working with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and partners to boost education in Africa.

This commitment was made at the 2023 High Level Policy Dialogue hosted in Zambia by ADEA and the Zambian Ministry of Education to inform policy and decisions on foundational learning, foster dialogue and peer learning, and share good practices on what works in foundational learning in support of the African Union Year of Education scheduled for 2024.

Over the years, development experts have bemoaned the dire situation facing Africa’s youth, given the inefficient education system in place to cater to them, coupled with the rapid rise in their population. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the State of Global Education Update reports that only 10% of 10-year-olds are able to read basic story texts or solve simple arithmetic problems, thus placing the region as the lowest in terms of numeracy skills and foundational literacy in the world.

With this challenge at the front burner, ten African Ministers of Education and some other country representatives agreed to prioritize foundational learning and develop a foundational learning starter pack model for the 2024 African Union Year of Education (AUYoE) and beyond, as an urgent step towards tackling the challenge.

The starter pack is expected to serve as a uniform resource material that will help the participating countries develop a sustainable solution for the problem. Furthermore, the model will prioritize data collection and analysis of the data in partnership with ADEA and other key policy partners to improve laws and bring to fore policies that foster more efficiency, peer learning and best practices in support of the AUYoE.

Sharing her perspective on the resolutions from the Dialogue, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO of the Sterling One Foundation hailed the ideas and strategies put forward, stating that it will strengthen the work of private sector and civil society organizations contributing to the solutions.

“Policies are crucial to sustainable development work in Africa and we are glad that the deliberations here have fashioned out ways to improve the work being done across the early childhood and primary education value chain. At our Foundation, we support the work of different stakeholders through grants, technical support and strategic engagements, and we are excited to see how the mainstreaming of the resolutions here will improve that work,” she added.

Some of the key aspects the decision-makers at the Policy Dialogue hope to address in the immediate future include adoption of structured pedagogy for the continent, introduction of more age-appropriate teaching methods and use of technology to improve teacher quality, through training and performance monitoring and improvement.

The Minister of Education of Zambia, Hon. Douglas Munsaka Syakalima while stressing the importance of all stakeholders taking the resolutions seriously mentioned that education, especially foundational learning is at the base of what will drive Africa’s development.

“It is by building people that we will derive the resources to craft a new vision and bring such a vision to life. Without foundational skills in numeracy and literacy, there can be no further learning quality,” he said.

Participants at the High-Level Policy Dialogue got the opportunity to review some of the solutions and insights from the participating countries to see what works and where improvements and adaptations are possible. There were also school visits organized for participants to get some first hand experience of play-based learning and other important concepts made possible by the right policies.

During his remarks, the Executive Secretary of ADEA, Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva highlighted the need for a collective commitment to tackling the crisis the continent faces, stating that: “Africa is the continent most affected by the learning crisis, and it is where the solutions must be developed.”

He thanked the participating Ministers of Education and other stakeholders for the work they have done so far, and urged them to continue on that momentum to ensure the acceleration of progress.

Some other leaders who spoke at the Policy Dialogue include Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Founder of Human Capital Africa and Co-convener of the Foundational Learning Ministerial Coalition, and Dr Benjamin Piper, Director of Global Education at the Gates Foundation, both of whom advocated strongly for data-driven decisions and scaling what has worked.

About ADEA
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a critical voice and a forum for policy dialogue on education in Africa. It is hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The anticipated impact of ADEA’s work is that African countries are empowered to develop education and training systems that respond to their current and emergent needs and sustainably drive Africa’s social and economic transformation.

About Sterling One Foundation
Sterling One Foundation (SOF) is a registered non-profit focused on tackling the root causes of poverty in Nigeria, and Africa through interventions and social impact programmes across five critical sectors namely: climate action, health, education and youth development, gender equality and empowerment, and food security. The Foundation’s programmes adopt a central theme of prioritizing partnerships for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information visit www.onefoundation.ng

L-R: Albert Nsengiyumva. Executive Secretary, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation, Obiageli Ezekwesili, Former Minister of Education, Nigeria and Founder, Human Capital Africa, John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, Ghana and Dr. Benjamin Piper, Director of Global Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the 2023 High Level Policy Dialogue on Foundational Learning in Zambia recently.

 

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NSIB Receives U.S. Preliminary Report On Wigwe’s Death

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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says it has received the preliminary report from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the crashed helicopter that killed Dr Herbert Wigwe and five others.

Mrs Bimbo Oladeji, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Feb. 9, Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, his wife, son and a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, as well as some others were onboard the ill-fated Airbus Helicopter EC130B4.

Oladeji said that following the accident, the NSIB offered its full cooperation to the NTSB, the lead agency investigating the accident which claimed the lives of six individuals.

The crash occured at the Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, U.S.A.

According to Oladeji, initial findings suggest that the helicopter suffered catastrophic damage upon impact, resulting in fragmentation of major components.

She said: “The preliminary report on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC, under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, outlines crucial details surrounding the tragic incident.

“Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter embarked on a journey to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

“However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterised by rain and a mix of snow, were encountered, as reported by witnesses.

“Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a “fireball” in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

“Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.

“Analysis of the accident site revealed a scattered debris pattern about 300 ft along a 120° magnetic, indicating a trajectory from an initial impact point which was a 1.5 ft deep, 12 ft long and 10 ft wide ground crater.

“Containing fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor structure. The right skid step protruded upward at a 45° angle at the extreme eastern edge of the ground crater.

“All major helicopter components were identified at the accident site. The helicopter’s fuselage was fragmented, and the cockpit and cabin were destroyed.

“Some debris and vegetation displayed thermal damage, indicative of the extent of the collision’s force. The flight control tubes and linkages leading up to the flight control servos were fragmented and continuity could not be verified.

“All three pitch control links were attached at the swashplate and blade pitch change horns. The main rotor blades were fragmented and broomstrawed, and the blade sleeves and tips were present.

“Data analysis utilised sources including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, operator personnel reports, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the flight path and sequence of events leading to the accident.”

Oladeji said that the NSIB, in accordance with the prerogative granted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO’s) Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, had the right to access investigation information.

“On aviation accidents and incidents involving Nigerian-registered aircraft or Nigerian citizens in 193 countries that are member states of the ICAO.

“The NSIB has been actively engaging with the NTSB since the beginning of the investigation.

She said that as the investigation progresses, NSIB will be committed to engaging the NTSB to receive the public docket of the investigation, which will comprise the compendium of information gathered throughout the investigation.

“This typically includes photographs, interview summaries, documentation, and other relevant data that will give a clearer picture of the factors that led to the accident.”

Also, the Director-General of the NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh, expressed gratitude for the cooperation extended by the NTSB, which has facilitated the sharing of vital information.

“We will continue to work closely with relevant authorities leading the investigation, including the NTSB, to gather additional evidence and information necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that led to this tragic event,” Badeh.

(NAN)

 

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BDC: CBN Mandates Sellers Above $10,000 To Declare Sources

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,”

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated foreign exchange sellers to Bureau De Change (BDC) of the equivalent of 10,000 dollars and above to declare their forex sources.

Haruna Mustapha, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the CBN, said this in a revised regulatory framework to curtail excesses of BDCs and check uncertainty in the foreign exchange market.

Mustapha said that such sellers would also be required to comply with all Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism ( AML/CFT) regulations.

He said that the guidelines would significantly enhance the regulatory framework for the operations of BDCs as part of ongoing reforms of the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

According to him, the guidelines revises the permissible activities, licensing requirements, corporate governance and AML/CFT provisions for BDCs.

“It also sets out new record-keeping and reporting requirements, among others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the guidelines also specifies that no person shall carry on the business of BDC in Nigeria except with the prior authorisation of the CBN.

It described BDC as a company licensed by the CBN to carry on only retail foreign exchange business in Nigeria.

It banned commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), including holding companies and payment service providers from promoting BDCs.

It also precluded serving staff of financial services regulatory and supervisory agencies, serving staff of regulated financial services providers, governments at all levels, among others, from promoting BDCs.

The guidelines permitted BDCs to acquire foreign currency from authorised sources like tourists, returnees from the diaspora and expatriates with foreign exchange inflows from work, travel, investment or their domiciliary accounts.

Other permissible sources are International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), embassies, hotels that are authorised buyers of foreign currencies, the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NFEM) and any other source that the CBN may specify.

It warned the BDCs not to engage in street-trading, maintaining any type of account for any member of the public, or accepting any asset for safe keeping/custody.

It said that the BDCs were also not permitted to take deposits from or grant loans to members of the public in any currency and in any form.

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,” it said

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Economic Hardship: Blame Buhari, Not Tinubu – Northern Group Tells Nigerians

What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

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A Northern group, Civil Society For Credible Election has stated that erstwhile president, Muhammadu Buhari should be blamed for the economic crisis plaguing the nation.

The group lamented that President Bola Tinubu inherited the challenges from his predecessor.

They shared their reservations while addressing newsmen in Kano.

Umar argued that Tinubu had since hit the ground working to reverse the situation through various steps and policies put in place.

He subsequently called on Nigerians to exercise patience with the President as things will be better in no distant time in the country.

According to him, “We recognize the fact that Nigerians are passing through hardship at the moment. It is a result of a global economic meltdown, but only further compounded by some shortcomings of the last administration under former president Muhammadu Buhari.

“What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

“Nigerians are all living witness to the phantom steps and policies of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the country’s sociocultural, economic and political indices.

“What President Tinubu need from all Nigerians now is patience, cooperation and understanding of the administration reforms policies. These reforms are strategic and competent enough to in no distant time make all Nigerians proud of their beloved country.”

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