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Dangote says “We need to do more collectively for Africa” at the Africa Business Health Forum

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An interview with the Group Executive Director of Dangote Group,  Halima Dangote by Jess Denny.

 

Your foundation has obviously got a lot of influence in Nigeria, what are your main objectives for this year?

One of the main pillars is health. Nutrition determines the state of one’s health and we are investing towards nutrition, specifically primary health care, and most importantly towards eradication of polio, that itself is a good example of what Public Private Partnerships should put on the top of their list. This year’s Dangote Foundation is partnering with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nigerian government. It is crucial for us to get buy in from each state government that we partner with; so Dangote Foundation, government and B&M Gates Foundation have equal responsibilities and we do really see the impact when we each are accountable. Through impact assessment in the rural areas, studying the root causes, we are able to determine where we want to see results and how to achieve progress. The formula is working and we will keep at it as there is a lot to cover.

Healthcare and infant mortality obviously is a huge issue across the poorest countries in Africa. What could other corporates do to get more involved into helping, following your model?

The business sector is the most important in this model, and we put a strong emphasis to really pull the business sector, like the ones here at the Health Business Forum. This thing that we are pushing to get 1% of the tax dedicated to health; we need the support of other businesses do it as well? All of us corporate can just contribute and see this would ultimately help the health sector, and I mean, the way the foundation sees it, when investing in health, it should not be considered a cost, it is a huge investment in the future generations and it’s going to cost us a lot more if we don’t start now, a lot more.

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What are your proudest moments?

I am extremely proud of being able to make a difference in this world, that collectively we are changing and influencing people to keep aiming for a better lifestyle and to take better care of their health and well-being of their loved ones.

If you had one single most important message from you personally to the world, what would it be?

I think, every single person has a role to play, and it is important to search deeper and find ways to contribute. Ultimately it can be very little, but you have to make an effort to participate. It’s not just about saying it. It is about being honest with yourself and having the courage to walk the talk.  We all live on the same planet. Our communities within our cities play a strong role in the way we live with one another. Everybody has to participate! Everyone deserves to be healthy and happy!

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Interviews

Uses WhatsApp the most, has eight hours of sleep… here’s how Barkindo spends his time off

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Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), says WhatsApp is the most used mobile application on his phone.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua, Barkindo also said he is an evening person.

Here’s how OPEC’s secretary-general who recently began his second term in office spends time away from the work.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Normally between seven and eight.

What time do you set your alarm to wake up?

For 6 a.m. to pray al-Fajr.

Are you a morning or evening person?

Evening.

Do you have an essential morning ritual?

My prayers. And a glass of water.

What’s your typical workout?

It is more a mental workout for me.

What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

Football. The Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles.

Which app is in heavy rotation on your phone?

WhatsApp.

What’s your go-to lunch spot?

Le Couscous in Vienna.

Who is your favourite author?

I have always loved reading Shakespeare. And the great poet and scholar Rumi.

What’s your favourite place to go on vacation?

It has to be returning to my home city of Yola. It’s where I can see family, relax, recharge, and reconnect with my roots.

What living or historical person do you truly admire?

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Dr Rilwanu Lukman, the former OPEC secretary-general. The most decent person I have ever met.

If you had to take a year off, what would you do?

I think I would go back to university. To research and write.

What is your biggest fear?

The breakdown of international institutions and the global order.

If you were 20, what business would you get into?

It would be the oil and gas sector, with a focus on technologies that can help reduce emissions.

Do you ever expect to retire?

Yes, but to return to academia.

 

Sheraton Lagos Hotel captivates audience with momentous Live Concert featuring living legend Femi Kuti

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SGB Rejuvenates Education In Oyo State, Says Bamgbose

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Reverend Muyiwa Bamgbose, an educationist, and the Proprietor, Education Advancement Centre (EAC), Ibadan was a member of Education Committee set up by Oyo state government under the leadership of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

In this interview, he told the story of the School Governing Board (SGB) , how it was birthed and successes recorded

Excerpts: 

As an Educationist and one time member of Education Reform Committee set up by Oyo State Government, how will you tell the story of School Governing Board (SGB)?

The story of Oyo State School Governing Board is the story of the birthing of a renaissance! It is a story of turning disadvantage to advantage through resourcefulness. Where there is is a will, there is always a way!

I had the privilege of serving on the committee that birthed the concept and can talk about the feeling of fulfilment that comes with achieving purpose. Everywhere I have had the opportunity of interacting with representatives of the SGB, the feedback has been exciting.

Before the advent of the SGB, the public education system was plagued with decay and lopsided distribution of resources die to the fact there was ‘no ownership’ of the provided resources. We went round this state and saw unbelievable deplorable situations. What was more pathetic was the attitude of the people and students themselves. Everyone looked up to government for provision, direction and implementation while government looked up to the federal government.

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The fact of the situation is that the resources abounded among the people , to help secure the future of their community , alma mater or institution, but there was no sense of belonging. Business mist not continue as usual if we are to avert a looming disaster worse than the failures in WAEC.

What makes the School Governing Board system unique in Oyo state?

While the School Based Management System is not new, the Oyo State SGB is a variant with a significant difference with the adoption of a subtle but powerful innovation that recognised the role of core- stakeholders. It sounded alien to the known schemes , and I can say there were fears and mistrust about the intentions. Some notable groups fought against it but thank God at the end, everyone saw reason and embraced ‘true change’.

In the short period of operation, we thank God for notable testimonies of development. I want to say without any doubt in my heart that what we see is just a tip of the ice-berg. The success of the SGB is much more than these  facilities, and resources. It is the impact it will have on our future, collectively.

The positive competitive spirit among the SGBs will lead to greater manifestation of the wealth of this state and even this region.

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In a simple word, what is your advise  to your constituency on the new face of education in Oyo state?

 

Like Malcolm X said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.

The best is yet to come.

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Billionaire Daughter Rahma Indimi shares how she is fighting Poverty, Inequality

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Rahma Indimi, a Director at Oriental Energy Resources and Founder of Yakolo Indimi Foundation, who is driven by an unwavering passion and determination to support the less privilege gave an insight into how she is giving succour and saving the lives of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-East via her foundation, aptly titled; Rahma Indimi: A Look at The Thousands of Lives saved and improved by her Yakolo Indimi Foundation.

On the making of the NGO, Yakolo Indimi Foundation, Rahma said

“I grew up watching the generosity of my father, Dr. Muhammadu Indimi, OFR. He is always trying to solve problems for people. He speaks often about poverty and how it can be diminished. He instilled in us the awareness of heartbreaking issues in society. Like every parent, he worked hard to make his family comfortable. But he taught us to adapt to different situations. So, the idea of the Yakolo Indimi Foundation was born from lessons shared by my father. I saw the smiles on the faces of those helped by my daddy. I wanted to be like him, helping people. Before Yakolo Indimi Foundation was created, my team and I had been investing in humanitarian activities. Empowering people is one of my greatest motivations. It brings immense happiness and peace in my heart.

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On why Yakolo Indimi Foundation seem to be focusing on the northeast geo-political zone

“Presently, the impact of the insurgency in the North-East is overwhelming, particularly in Borno and Adamawa. The people need all the help they can get. Although the IDPs are in other states, the conditions in the North-East are dire. To make things worse, insecurity cuts off access to many parts of Borno and that makes it impossible to save thousands of children and families. In spite of the long distance, my team and I do not hesitate to go home again and again to help our people. For example, the Muhammadu Indimi Foundation created by my father developed homes for 100 households. The Yakolo Indimi Foundation reached out to the women and gave them sustainable means of earning revenue. Several IDPs have been given sewing machines and flour processing machines. They also received training as well as start-up finances. Little by little, all IDPs will be empowered. That is the vision. Periodically, the Foundation visits to conduct surveys on the needs of IDPs, in collaboration with the office on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in the North-East. Additionally, the Yakolo Indimi Foundation recently started a food security project. We equip beneficiaries with modern farming skills and provide an environment to do so. Livelihood is restored when they can sell produce and keep their families nourished.”

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Yakolo Indimi Foundation’s intervention in the health sector

The Foundation collaborates with a medical team during its outreach. We support the team with medicine. The recent trend of increased pregnancies in the IDP camps was a concern. You could easily come across a woman with 20 children and you would see children roaming the streets. So, the Foundation sensitized the women on birth control. It was successful because some of the women showed interest. The health challenges in the North-East are overwhelming, but not insurmountable. We believe partnership would increase and accelerate impact.

This issue also includes a special feature to celebrate Versace’s 40th anniversary of Iconic world of class and to celebrates this milestone, the magazine had an exclusive interview with the brand’s Vice President and its founder’s little sister, Donatella Versace who joined the company in the creative department in 1988 and there began her distinctive commitment and influence on the brand. Following the tragic murder of Gianni in 1997 in Miami, Donatella has shown redoubtable strength of character and has managed the company up to the present day.

Plus, Donna Wallace, a Jamaican-Briton and proprietress of Oxford Manor College, Abuja who sold her London home to investment in Nigerian Education. Wallace in this interview with Pleasures Magazine shared her start-up experience and why Nigerians being one of the most intelligent races in the world don’t need to pack their bags and pay millions of Naira abroad to get their children educated.

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And as usual, the magazine is incomplete without your usual light stories and other human interest narratives. Read the interesting tourist sites in Kenya, these and many more reports combine in making the magazine a collector’s item and reading pleasure for all and sundry.

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