Five things to know to start your Saturday

EU inaugurates €1.3bn Nigeria green economy project

In its quest to promote sustainable economic growth and diversification, using smart agriculture and renewable energy in Nigeria, the European Union (EU) has inaugurated the “Team Europe Initiative (TEI) Nigeria Green Economy”.

According to NAN, Samuela Isopi, the EU ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), unveiled the project at the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum tagged: “Nigeria and the New Economy” on Friday, in Lagos.

Accordingly, members of the TEI Nigeria Green Economy Project are Denmark, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Isopi said that the TEI Green Economy, which is valued at 1.3 billion Euros consists of 60 projects of different natures that are to be executed across the agricultural and energy sectors by 2027.

According to the Ambassador, the Green Economy project is to ensure that the country improves the competitive advantage of its agriculture and energy sectors, with an emphasis on clean and renewable energy.

Other benefits include and are not limited to the creation of jobs for our teeming youth population, and skills development.

Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu commend Airtel on SmartCash PSB launch

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu have commended Airtel on the launch of its SmartCash PSB product targeted at bridging the financial gap between the banked and the unbanked population in the country.

Osinbanjo welcomed Airtel’s initiative and commended them for taking advantage of the CBN directive to telecommunication companies to do everything possible to help bring the unbanked rural population and the neglected poor living in the cities into the financial system.

The Vice President was represented at the launch by Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments.

Sanwo-Olu on the other hand who was represented by Rabiu Olowo, the Commissioner for Finance, commended Airtel for the SmartCash PSB initiative and believes that this product will help bring banking closer to the people, especially those living in remote areas in the state.

Victoria Kwakwa appointed World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa

The World Bank on Friday, July 1,2022, appointed Victoria Kwakwa as the new Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa. A statement from the development agency said that Kwakwa, an expert in development economics with over 30 years of experience, will lead and oversee an active regional program including a financing portfolio of over 300 projects totaling more than $50 billion.

Kwakwa brings a wealth of experience to the position, having worked in countries in Africa, and East Asia. In her most recent role as the World Bank’s Vice President for Corporate Strategic Initiatives, she worked closely with the World Bank Managing Director of Operations to enhance the Bank’s operational efficiency and impact.

The World Bank said that it will continue to provide vital support to countries during her leadership to countries in Eastern and Southern Africa as they face a series of challenging situations, including fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, climate change and rising food and energy prices.

Kwakwa succeeds Hafez Ghanem, who retired from the World Bank on June 30, 2022.

US orders 2.5 million more doses of monkeypox vaccine

The US government has awarded Bavarian Nordic A/S another contract to supply 2.5 million more doses of the approved monkeypox vaccine in the US.

According to Bloomberg, the Denmark-based biotechnology company engaged in the development, production, and marketing of vaccines for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases will supply 2.5 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine to US authorities in the last quarter of the year.

The supply will also extend into 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services reported in a statement it issued on Friday.

With this new order from the US government, the number of supplied monkeypox vaccines will rise to more than 4 million this year, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 396 cases of monkeypox in the US and more than 5,300 globally.

FBI adds “Missing Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova to top ten most wanted

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has placed Ruja Ignatova, also known as the “missing Cryptoqueen”, on its top 10 most wanted list.

According to the BBC, the Bulgarian national who carried most of her white-collar in the UK is wanted for her alleged mastermind role in running a cryptocurrency scam known as OneCoin.

The woman, who some say is in her forties, is accused by the FBI of using the scheme to defraud victims out of more than $4 billion.

It is said that she has been in hiding since 2017 when US officials signed an arrest warrant and investigators began closing in on her.

The BBC reported that the OneCoin scam started in 2014 when she began offering buyers commission if they sold the currency to more people.

The coin was worthless as it was never safeguarded by the blockchain technology used by the other cryptocurrencies. The workings of the coin were similar to an “MMM” Ponzi scheme that resulted in a loss of investors’ monies.

Accordingly, the bureau notice published on Thursday offered a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of Ignatova, who was charged in 2019 with eight counts, including wire fraud and securities fraud.

She is the only woman on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.

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