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54gene Launches Trust To Reinvest 5% From Commercial Drug Discovery Programs On African Scientists

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54gene, the health technology company centered on advancing the field of African genomics to unlock scientific discoveries as well as improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes within Africa and the global community, is creating a trust which it will use to invest up to 5% of future proceeds from the company’s commercial drug discovery program.

The creation of the trust is part of its Commitment to Africa in establishing a more sustainable and thriving cyclical ecosystem across Africa’s scientific development space, as well as ensuring better quality healthcare delivery for the communities in which the company operates. 54gene is focused on creating a pipeline of novel drugs for global populations, based on insights drawn from the healthcare and research ecosystem in Africa and wants to ensure that the 1.5 billion people in Africa benefit from its endeavors.

While ensuring Ethical, Legal, Social Implication (ELSI) guidelines are rigorously followed, 54gene is focused on advancing better health outcomes for global populations through precision medicine and addressing the unmet need for novel therapeutics in healthcare. The company has created a proprietary platform that powers drug discovery through its substantial bio- and data-repository of deeply-phenotyped and diverse datasets. It has the potential to power understanding across multiple disease areas such as cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, sickle cell, autoimmune and rare diseases, and infectious diseases.

The new trust has been designed to enable a consistent provision of better diagnostics and medicines for Africans as well as amplifying capacity building within the scientific research space across Africa.

Commenting on 54gene’s commitment to Africa, Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, Founder & CEO of 54gene said: “The biggest challenge in drug discovery in Africa is adequate infrastructure and the extensive need for capacity building. As we work on delivering on our promise of precision medicine for Africans and the global population, we are striving to ensure that our work involves current African scientists and leaders in the field as well as supports the creation of more skilled Africans in science and additional jobs across the continent.

“This initiative is designed to continue fostering partnerships within the African scientific body, to reflect the leadership of Africans in global drug discovery research, and to generate sustainable healthcare delivery systems that will ultimately benefit African communities participating in the scientific work that advances better outcomes for all. It is the inclusion of African talent that will make our  drug discovery work successful in bridging the disparity gap within genomics data. Africa has the ability to contribute far beyond the 1% in global drug discovery that is currently taking place within the continent, and we believe 54gene will help accelerate those contributions.“

The 54gene trust will be managed by an advisory committee. As the company’s commercial operations grow, the demonstrated Commitment to Africa and creation of the trust will ensure an African footprint and sustainable growth in global drug discovery across the continent. 

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CBN Governor Reveals Its Policy Focus For 2022

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Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor has revealed the focus of the apex bank for the year 2022.

CBN will focus on. improving access to finance and credit for households, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2022.

Emefiele revealed this in Lagos while urging all stakeholders to build a more resilient economy that will contain external shocks as well as supporting growth and wealth creation in key sectors of the economy.

Emefiele said, “The policy focus of the bank for 2022 is with a pledge to sustain improved access to finance and credit for households and businesses, mobilise investment to boost domestic productivity, enable faster growth of non-oil exports, and support employment generating activities.”

The CBN governor disclosed that one of the vital lessons learned from the COVID-19 outbreak was the need to make conscious measures to diversify Nigeria’s economic base.

He cautioned that the country must do all that is necessary to decrease the importation of goods.

The CBN boss added that “Proactive steps on the part of stakeholders in the private sector, in collaboration with the government in supporting the growth of sectors such as manufacturing, ICT, and infrastructure, will strengthen our ability to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 and stimulate further growth of our economy.”

Commenting on the importance of creating an efficient infrastructure ecosystem in Nigeria, he stressed that all necessary approvals had been obtained for the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCo) to begin operations in early 2022.

Emefiele said recently that the Federal Government would toll the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kano road, and the second Niger Bridge to repay loans used to fund the project

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CIG Hints On Nigeria’s Exports To China Hitting $300bn In 3 Years – Chen

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Choice International Group (CIG) said Nigeria’s exports to China are expected to rise to $300 billion in three years.

The current exports currently peg at $1.77 billion.

According to its Chairman, Chief Diana Chen, while speaking on the Nigeria-China currency swap agreement, the policy was a strategy of the Chinese government to reduce countries’ dependence on the US dollar.

“The Chinese government just announced this year’s forecast that in two to three years, imports from Africa to China will hit $300 billion and now it is about $1.77 billion and so this looks like a significant form of growth if this opportunity is taken. This currency swap is also to avoid the US dollar depreciating with the other countries’ currencies.

If there is an engagement between the Nigerian government and business owners regarding the currency swap agreement, then there will be better understanding about how the policy works.

During the pandemic, the currency swap kept Chinese company construction work on going and I remember someone asking how much investment from other countries here in Nigeria was going on? But we were able to keep the work because most of them are financed by the IFB”, She said.

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Dangote, BUA To Benefit From CBN’s $73 million Sugar Fund

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will disburse the $73 million on behalf of the government to develop the sugar sector infrastructure with irrigation facilities on 10,000 hectares of sugar plantation.

Dangote Sugar, BUA Sugar and other operators in the sugar industry will benefit from this intervention fund.

The Minister of Industry, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday. It was gathered that the 10,000 hectares of sugar plantations will be located in six sites in Northern Nigeria, as the FG reiterated its commitment to the National Sugar Development master plan.

“The intervention is the setting up of a $73 million intervention fund for irrigation for operators of the sugar backward intervention programme.” Adebayo said.

He further stated that, “The goal is to support the development of irrigation infrastructure on 10,000 hectares of sugar plantations located in six sites in Numan, Adamawa State; Sumti, Niger State; Lafiagi, Kwara State; Bacita, Kwara State; as well as Toto and Tunga, both in Nasarawa State.”

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