News Roundup: U.K, U.S government warn citizens after Kuje prison attack, Africans make up three percent of Genomics Data…

Nigeria to receive $1.3 billion from European Union

The European Union (EU) and development finance institutions will provide Nigeria with $1.3 billion to help the country diversify its economy away from oil, Reuters reports, citing a document from the bloc. Samuela Isopi, the EU’s ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States told attendees at a Lagos conference that the funds were for agriculture, climate, and digital projects. Isopi added that the financing would help Africa’s largest oil producer, “achieve low carbon, resource efficient, and climate resilient development, creating jobs for youth and economic growth.” The funding will be provided until 2027 under the EU’s “Green Deal” initiative. Crude contributes about seven percent to Nigeria’s GDP, however accounts for nearly all foreign-exchange earnings and more than half of government revenue.

President Buhari swears in new Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in seven newly appointed Ministers, charging them to serve Nigeria with all diligence and maintain unalloyed loyalty to the country and office of the president. He also warned all Ministers to stay clear of corrupt practices in their official dealings while assigning portfolios to four new Ministers. According to him, the redeployment was aimed at reinvigorating certain sectors where the government desired to accomplish improved results. The newly appointed Ministers and their portfolios include Ikechukwu Ikoh, Minister of State, Science and Technology; Umana Umana, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Udi Odum, Minister of State, Environment; Ademola Adegoroye, Minister of State, Transport; Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub, Minister of State, Works and Housing; Goodluck Opiah, Minister of State, Education and Nkama Ekumankama, Minister of State, Health.

Read also: Prison attack: Business activities grounded in Kuje, as banks, markets are shut

U.K, U.S government warn citizens after Kuje prison attack

Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have issued separate security advisories to their citizens in Nigeria following the Kuje prison attack. The U.S. government told its citizens to expect an increase in crime in and around Abuja. “It is recommended that U.S. citizens should maintain a high state of personal security awareness for the next two weeks and avoid unnecessary travel on the airport road,” the advisory on its website said. It added that crime is endemic throughout Nigeria and tends to spike after dark. The U.S. also advised Americans to avoid locations and situations that increase the likelihood of being victimised, as well as avoid displays of valuables and limit nighttime activity. Similarly, the UK government asked its citizens to be extra vigilant if in the area.

Africans make up 1.1 percent of Genomics Data

Until recently, only about three percent of genomic data being used for genome-wide association studies came from people of African descent. However, this proportion has fallen to 1.1 percent in 2021, which translates to people of African descent may miss out on the potential benefits of genomic research, including early detection of disease and rational drug design. Experts say the current lack of genomic diversity has led to major scientific opportunities being missed. A study which included people of African descent discovered a gene called PCSK9 which helps in lowering bad cholesterol. This study led to new drugs that help prevent heart disease, and benefits everyone irrespective of their ancestry populations.

Zimbabwe turns to gold coins as local currency tumbles

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says it will start issuing gold coins as legal tender as the country battles to control soaring inflation that has considerably weakened the local currency. John Mangudya,the Central Bank Governor said in a statement that the coins will be available for sale from July 25, 2022 in local currency, U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies, at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost of production. The gold coin named ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, after Victoria Falls, can be converted into cash and will contain one troy ounce of gold. Soaring inflation has piled pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a country that still remembers the economic chaos under the late president Robert Mugabe’s almost four decades of rule.

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