Search NaijaAgroNet

Friday, July 10, 2020

Extensive Drought: ARC, WFP respond to Zimbabwe with $1.7m - NaijaAgroNet

The African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) Thursday paidout the sum of USD 1.4 million to the Government of Zimbabwe and another US$ 290,288 to UN World Food Programme (WFP), in parametric drought risk insurance payouts to support the extensive drought response efforts in Zimbabwe, reports NaijaAgroNet

The payouts announced via a virtual ceremony were the result of drought insurance policies bought by Zimbabwe’s National Treasury and UN World Food Programme (WFP) to cover the 2019/20 rainfall season. 

These payouts will contribute in funding the early response measures put in place by Government and WFP through the ARC Operational Plan mechanism. The payout to the Government will be used to support over 155 000 families in the highly vulnerable districts of Buhera, UMP, Chivi, Binga and Bulilima, through direct mobile cash disbursements during the month of August 2020. 8. WFP will use the ARC payout to support around 33,550 beneficiaries with unconditional food assistance in prioritized wards during Sept/Oct’20 and complement the Government’s response efforts through the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy.

Speaking after the official notification of the ARC payout, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honorable Prof. Mthuli Ncube, said; “This is evidence that the Government of Zimbabwe is taking measures of cushioning its fiscus against natural disasters, in Zimbabwe. The payout will complement existing social safety nets that Government has structured to counter droughts but also to respond to the emergence of the COVID 19 pandemic.”

Zimbabwe is increasingly vulnerable to severe drought events, and other calamities such as floods and tropical cyclones. Given the unpredictable nature of occurrence of these disasters, Government has had to resort to National Budget reallocations to cushion vulnerable populations against their impacts. In that sense the Government of Zimbabwe has moved to revamp its disaster risk financing systems. 

The ARC parametric risk insurance facility has been identified as a low hanging opportunity. With adequate insurance coverage against droughts, floods and outbreaks and epidemics at sovereign level, Government stands a better chance to cushion its fiscus against natural disasters now and in the future. 

Speaking on the ARC payout to Zimbabwe, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Chairperson of African Risk Capacity (ARC) Agency said, “it is helpful that this payout is coming at a time when there is a compounded effect of COVID 19 pandemic; and we hope that in addition to assisting the population affected by the drought, it will enable the Government in easing the financial pressure of supporting affected communities. Although disasters are not to be celebrated, when a Government takes steps of hedging its investments in food security against natural risk to broaden fiscus flexibility when a disaster strike, it should be commended. “The payout signifies the policy direction that Zimbabwe and other Governments across the continent are taking towards a transformative culture to disaster risk management and financing for the benefit of the population that is vulnerable to climate change’, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala concluded.

The Government has also called upon Development Partners to complement its efforts to increase insurance coverage at sovereign level. This support can either be direct or indirect. The ARC insurance products can be accessed by non-government entities such as UN Agencies, INGOs and private sector entities. 

Mr. Niels Balzer, the (a.i) UN World Food Programme Country Director and Representative for Zimbabwe, said, “The ARC payout to the Government of Zimbabwe and WFP through the Replica initiative is proof that the concept works as an innovative instrument to finance early response and lifesaving actions in the aftermath of extreme droughts. When combined with other instruments such as micro-insurance for smallholder farmers and Forecast-based Anticipatory Action, it provides powerful combined approach that has the potential to accelerate progress towards zero hunger in Zimbabwe.” He urged other Governments and Development Partners especially in the SADC region to capitalise on this instrument for enhancing climate resilience and food security in the region. 

Development Partners running resilience projects in disaster prone regions of Zimbabwe can directly secure their investments by purchasing insurance coverage from ARC, whilst micro-insurance companies can either act as insurance aggregators of small-holder farmers to allow bulk purchase of crop insurance from ARC or can purchase re-insurance products from ARC on specific terms and conditionalities. The ARC insurance products are highly competitive given that they capitalise on pooling risk across the risk diverse African continent, thus attracting favorable rates on the international re-insurance market. 

Over and above insurance products, these entities can also capitalise on ARC early warning, risk analytics, operational planning for early response and knowledge on disaster risk financing products and capabilities. 

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

 ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Pix: Representatives of ARC, Government of Zimbabwe, and other partners during the virtual ceremony

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Adamawa: BUA cement targets ultramodern 3m plant, 50mw power - NaijaAgroNet

BUA Cement, one of West Africa’s largest cement companies has announced that it is set to establish a three million metric tonnes cement plant and 50 megawatts power plant in Guyuk and Lamurde local governments of Adamawa state in the North Easter region of Nigeria. This was revealed when the Chairman of BUA, Abdul Samad Rabiu led the BUA Cement Management team on a courtesy call to the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in the Government House, Yola.

Speaking during the visit, Abdul Samad Rabiu said preliminary findings show that the two local governments of Guyuk and Lamurde are reputed to have good quality of limestone deposits and BUA Cement is ready to begin the investment in the state. He added that the BUA will use new technologies to supply power to the proposed cement plant and communities of Guyuk and Lamurde in addition to providing three thousand direct and five thousand indirect jobs.

The Chairman stressed that the Guyuk Cement Plant will be the major investment in the North East by BUA and solicited for support of Governor Umaru Fintiri to set up the factory in Guyuk. Rabiu said the company made a decision to source its raw materials locally and it has invested billions of dollars in various sectors across Nigeria and therefore urged the state government to support BUA to actualize the Guyuk Cement project. In addition, he praised the commitment of the governor within one year in office in many sectors of development despite the economic challenges in Adamawa.

Responding, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri said his administration's effort in exploring local contents has started yielding results and thanked BUA for showing interest in establishing the cement plant in Guyuk. He further assured the management team of BUA that government will make whatever is needed and provide the necessary support which will create enabling environment so that the BUA Cement company in Guyuk will become a reality.

He also expressed readiness of the government to protect the investment once it is established and told them that his administration will maintain the good relationship with the company for the benefit of the state.

BUA is Nigeria’s second largest Cement Producer by volume with cement plants in Sokoto and Edo States. The Company’s newest plant in Sokoto is expected to be operational in 2021. When completed, the Guyuk Cement Plant will bring BUA’s total capacity to 14million metric tonnes per annum.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Monday, July 6, 2020

Drought Response: Madagascar receives $2.13m from African Risk - NaijaAgroNet

The Government of Madagascar has received a symbolic cheque in the amount of USD 2,13 million from the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) to cover anticipated losses to livelihoods of its vulnerable population from the crop failure in the just concluded farming season, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The ARC payout is the result of drought insurance taken by the country with the support of the African Development Bank (the Bank) through its flagship programme, Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) Programme, which financed 100% of the 2019/2020 insurance premium for sovereign drought risk transfer for the Republic of Madagascar.

The payout held last Thursday, will be implemented to assist the lives and livelihoods of 600,000 vulnerable population affected by the drought, thereby preventing them from resorting to negative coping mechanism including eating their seeds, selling farm implements, internal displacement, forced migration etc.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Richard RANDRIAMANDRATO, representing the Malagasy Government during the official handover ceremony stated in his speech that: "The drought insurance of African Risk Capacity is one of the sustainable solutions to strengthen the efforts of the Government and partners in the Southern region of Madagascar. It demonstrates the mutual assistance between friendly African countries to respond efficiently to natural disasters, particularly drought." Such a mechanism is beneficial for Madagascar as it will enable us to improve the conditions of farmers and the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the "Great South" that are victims of recurrent drought, as well as to preserve their production capital. Early interventions to be implemented with this fund will focus on unconditional cash transfer and Cash for Work (CFW) for 15,000 vulnerable households, nutritional support for 2,000 children under 5 years of age, and water supply for 84,000 households. Thus, this insurance mechanism supports the implementation of the National Disaster Risk Management Policy and Strategy, particularly the promotion of financial resilience to climatic hazards.

Madagascar faces disaster risks from an increasingly variable and changing climate, which add to the challenges of widespread food insecurity. Due to its geographical position, the country is vulnerable to various climate shocks. Cyclones, floods, and droughts bring devastating consequences by putting considerable pressure on the country’s public finances as well as real GDP growth.

According to African Development Bank, natural disasters in Madagascar in 2017 caused an estimated USD 420 million in related damages. It is in this context that, in October 2019, Madagascar joined the ARC drought insurance risk Pool VI for the 2019/2020 crop season as one of the pilot countries of ADRIFI programme.

In his remarks, UN-ASG Mohamed Beavogui, the Director-General of African Risk Capacity said, “The payout made by ARC to support the drought-affected population in the Great South” region was made possible thanks to the leadership and commitment of the Government of Madagascar to protect its people. We also thank the AfDB for their laudable support through the ADRiFi programme. This is a vivid testimony that collaboration between African governments and development partners, both within and outside the region, using market approaches can go a long way in saving developmental gains on the continent.

“Our purpose in working with Member States to provide disaster risk insurance is targeted at promoting resilience and providing financial protection to the vulnerable population when perils occur”, remarked Lesley Ndlovu, the CEO of ARC Insurance Limited. “We are glad that this payout will assist the Government in quickly supporting its affected population to rebuild and recover from the effects of the drought and prevent them from resorting to negative coping mechanisms”, he concluded

In establishing a framework for collaboration, ARC and AfDB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2017 to support African states to manage disaster risks and to be better prepared to effectively respond to climate related perils that seriously affect the continent. It is within this framework that the Bank provided the financial support to the Government of Madagascar for the payment of its insurance premium over a period of 5 years (2019-2023) through the ADRiFi programme.

“The insurance policy payout is timely, with Madagascar also facing the challenges of dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic. It demonstrates that risk transfer programmes can help countries manage the risks of climate-related disaster and release pressure on public finances when multiple crises occur,” said Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development at African Development Bank.

With the support of the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, the Rockefeller Foundation and the United States, ARC helps the member states of the Union to reduce the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting African populations by providing, through sovereign disaster risk insurance, targeted responses to natural disasters in a more timely, economical, objective and transparent manner. ARC is now using its expertise to help tackle other major threats facing the continent, including outbreaks and outbreaks.

Since 2014, 45 insurance contracts have been signed by ARC member states, representing USD 83 million in premiums paid for a total insurance coverage of USD 602 million to protect 54 million vulnerable people in participating countries.

“Madagascar’s accession to the drought insurance mechanism as part of this ADRiFi program is a very encouraging initiative. The collaboration between the Malagasy Government, ARC and the AfDB is still as fruitful in terms of developing a financial protection mechanism in the face of disaster risks. The sustainability of this tripartite collaboration will allow us to open doors of extensions to other risk areas of the country or even for other types of climatic hazards such as cyclones, floods and epidemics,” said General of Air Brigade Mamy Razakanaivo, Executive Secretary of the CPGU (Prevention and Support Unit for Emergency Management) within the Prime Minister's Office and Supervisor of the ARC program in Madagascar.
Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Pic: Madagascar Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Agriculture and ARC Partners during the ceremony.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Ecobank Group leads new private sector initiative to end malaria - NaijaAgroNet

The Ecobank Group has reaffirmed commitment to support ending malaria, by launching the first-of-its-kind Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative in partnership with Dakar-based not-for-profit strategic communications and advocacy organization, Speak Up Africa, and the UN-hosted RBM Partnership to End Malaria, NaijaAgroNet.

The new programme is set out to drive private-sector engagement on the fight against malaria in Africa. It supports the Pan-African Zero Malaria Starts with Me Movement, led by the African Union and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria launched two years ago today by African Heads of States at the 31st African Union Summit in Nouakchott.

The collaboration will support malaria affected countries across the continent, starting with Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal by advocating for stronger political will, increased funding, and stronger targeted disease elimination responses. The campaign’s objectives are three-fold:
  • Foster domestic resource mobilization for sustained financing of malaria control and elimination programs
  • Mobilize businesses and business leaders to contribute to the reduction and elimination of malaria;
  • Leverage Ecobank’s networks and partners to reinforce or create collaborative platforms.
“Ultimately, ending malaria will increase prosperity across Africa, by creating a healthier workforce that can drive economic growth. The Ecobank Group is thrilled to collaborate with Speak Up Africa, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the African Union on the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative, and to use its position as a platform for co-ordinated action against this treatable and preventable disease”, says Paul-Harry Aithnard, Regional Executive UEMOA, Ecobank.

Originally launched in Senegal in 2014, Zero Malaria Starts with Me engages political leaders, the private sector and communities to take action to protect themselves from malaria, and the new initiative will continue to progress this mission. To date, 15 countries across the continent have rolled out their own national Zero Malaria campaigns.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over US $10 billion is needed to implement national strategic plans for malaria control in 30 African countries over the next three years[1]. However, despite all the efforts made by governments, funding for the fight against malaria remains a challenge. An annual US $2 billion in additional global funding is required to reach all those at risk of malaria, outlining the importance of private-sector engagement.

“To become the generation to end malaria, it is crucial that we increase funding to fight this disease to protect everyone at risk. There is an incredible opportunity for the private sector to join the fight, and we are thrilled to see the Ecobank Group leading the way with the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative. By increasing private-sector funding and engagement, we will unlock valuable resources and mobilization, that will go a long way in helping us rid the African continent of malaria once and for all”, highlights Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

Malaria remains one of the continent’s deadliest diseases, with more than 400,000 fatalities in 2018 alone. Malaria not only impacts the health of communities across Africa, but prosperity too, as the disease limits economic growth and increases poverty amongst the workforce.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Fayemi dreams of 50,000 affordable homes - NaijaAgroNet


The government of Ekiti State under Gov. Kayode Fayemi is dreaming of at least 50,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years, reports 

NaijaAgroNet gathered saw to the partnership of Ekiti State with SHS Holdings and UNOPS have today, July 1, 2020, entered a deal to build at least 50,000 affordable homes over the next decade worth some $2bn.

All of the new affordable homes built will include renewable energy and disease preventative technology – including solar panel roofs, waste-to-energy technology and mosquito-repelling coatings.

The Nigerian state is the latest to join one of the largest affordable housing initiatives in the world, part of UNOPS Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3I) - which will deliver 1.3 million homes across multiple countries on three continents over the next decade. The partnership will create thousands of local jobs at the factory and on construction sites and will spur economic growth among a host of local industries.

As part of the agreement signed today, UNOPS and SHS will seek to mobilize resources from third party investors to fund this initiative whose gross development value (based on the sales value of completed homes) is estimated to reach US$2 billion. SHS will supply proprietary state-of-the art technology as well as oversee the development of housing by qualified contractors. UNOPS will bring to bear its comparative advantages in the mandated (by the UN General Assembly) areas, such as: infrastructure, procurement and project management. The Government of Ekiti will identify and allocate suitable land for potential developments, and help create an enabling environment for foreign direct investment and mortgage finance.

S3I aims to break down barriers and create attractive opportunities for private sector investors to engage in long-term development initiatives – with a focus on affordable housing, renewable energy and health infrastructure.

Ekiti State Governor, H.E. Dr. Kayode Fayemi said: “We are very excited to partner with UNOPS and SHS to deliver affordable housing to the people of Ekiti State. This partnership will not only deliver 50,000 homes in our communities, it will also increase foreign direct investment into Ekiti State, and put thousands of our people in jobs. This is how our promise of developing Ekiti, and improving the lives of the people can be achieved. This partnership has come at an important time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reminded us of the need to deliver quality social infrastructure to the people. I am excited that UNOPS and SHS have chosen Ekiti State as the first destination in Nigeria for this project, and we will do everything to ensure we create a model that can be replicated across the country.”

Speaking on the announcement, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Chief Executive of S3I (Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments), Vitaly Vanshelboim, said: “We are very pleased to support this contribution to Nigeria’s national development priorities and in particular, to help meet the critical need for affordable housing, through innovative approaches to construction and mortgage financing. UNOPS is strongly committed to helping find new ways to finance inclusive, resilient and sustainable development activities that generate positive social, economic and environmental impacts.”

Dr Allen Zimbler, Chairman of SHS Holdings, said: “SHS Holdings is proud to participate in signing a collaboration agreement with the Ekiti State Government of Nigeria and UNOPS in respect of building at least 50,000 sustainable housing units for key government employees and other eligible citizens, in sites to be identified within the State. SHS is committed to making housing accessible to all, using a robust and reliable construction technology, and employing proprietary energy efficient solar rooftops, waste to energy technology and mosquito-repellant coating. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Development of the Ekiti State Government and to creating opportunities for the employment of significant numbers of local citizens in the process.”

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Africa needs inclusive workable energy transition - NaijaAgroNet


The African Energy Chamber takes notes of recent initiatives taken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to support Africa’s energy transition and salutes the leadership of the IEA in this dialogue, reports 

Such conversations notably echo the Chamber’s recent statement on African Lives Matter, questioning the OECD and IEA’s recent call to phase out fossil fuels. While the conversation of Africa’s energy transition continues, the Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty.

Unfortunately, the Africa Ministerial Roundtable organized this week has sidelined key stakeholders and actors within Africa’s energy sector, preventing its ability to be truly inclusive and impactful on the ground. Africa’s energy transition will not be possible without the inclusion, and participation of, the continent’s petroleum and gas ministries and companies.

The Chamber strongly believes that key institutions like the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), led by its Secretary General Dr. Farouk Ibrahim, need to be part of this dialogue, along with representatives of the petroleum ministries of producing countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial, Libya, Congo or Gabon and key National Oil Companies such as Sonatrach, GEPetrol, Gabon Oil, NNPC or Sonangol. The African private sector was not invited while we note the invitation and participation an international oil company. Given the importance of the oil & gas sector for several African economies, the Chamber questions the relevance of an energy debate that would exclude them from the conversation.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

How crypto is helping NGO with Covid-19 response - NaijaAgroNet


Coronavirus cases are multiplying at alarming rates in South Africa, where NGOs estimate the population will require assistance for many months to come.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the world, causing almost half-a-million deaths, illnesses, and economic downturns. The World Bank argues that the deadly virus could push up to 60 million people into extreme poverty, wiping out the progress made in this area in the past three years.

In a recent report, the financial institution also said they believe that about a million people will drop back into extreme poverty in South Africa alone. In this Sub-Saharan country, where about a third of its 67.4 million inhabitants do not have access to essential sanitation services, the Covid-19 disease could have a particularly devastating effect.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently warned that because more than a third of Africa's population lacks access to adequate water supplies and nearly 60% of the urban population lives in overcrowded slums where the virus could thrive, the continent could be the next epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


The impact of Coronavirus or COVID-19 on the food security and agriculture in Nigeria is already being felt, says PwC Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

PwC in its latest report available to 
NaijaAgroNet, noted that with COVID-19, the challenges hampering the attainment of food security in Nigeria could deepen.

“The impact is already being felt in the form of rising food prices,” part of the report stated.

Also, it said that as at April 2020, food inflation rose to 15 per cent compared to 14.7 per cent in December 2019.

“To ensure that the agricultural sector is not further impacted by the distortions caused by COVID-19, the government should ensure more palliatives are provided to farmers in the form of improved seedlings, basic farm implements at highly subsidized prices, and free or more affordable farm extension services.

PwC equally noted that of importance is the need to ensure that the sector is accorded more budgetary allocations in line with the Maputo declaration, increase the operational capacity of the strategic grain reserves, and reintroduction of farming clusters to be financed through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

In addition, the report pointed out that state governments should reassess their area of core competence in the agriculture value chain and promote investment in that area.

Highlights of the report include challenges in the agriculture sector before COVID-19, policy measures for agribusiness, the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s agricultural value chain, recommendations for improving agribusiness post COVID-19, and case studies for using innovation to boost agribusiness.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

 ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Building purpose-driven businesses is key to economic empowerment

Earlier this month and following the death of George Floyd, SoftBank announced a $100m investment fund for minority-owned businesses. 

The Opportunity Fund will invest only in companies led by people of color, and is the first such fund to be created in response to growing protests, in the US and worldwide, against racism and lack of equal opportunities for black people. While the initiative is not the first of its kind in the US or abroad (South Africa has several financial institutions dedicated to providing financial support to black entrepreneurs), its significance is much stronger now.

The US is in fact home to several financial institutions dedicated to supporting low- and moderate-income communities of color. However, as their relevance grows in the wake of the current crisis, their number has been steadily declining over the past years. One of the oldest such institution still in business today is the Unity National Bank. It is Texas’ only black-owned bank and an example of what purpose-driven businesses can accomplish for their communities and their country.

The Unity National Bank was established in the early 1960s and has since then supported the banking and capital needs of low- and moderate-income communities across Texas. While it used to operate in a banking industry with 47 African American-controlled banks in the early 2000s, the recession of 2008 took its toll on its peers. In 2019, the US had only 22 remaining black-owned banks.

Since 2005, the Unity National Bank is majority-owned by Nigeria-born oil executive Kase Lawal and his family. Kase Lawal is also Chairman of CAMAC International and seen as one of the few successful black entrepreneur in the energy sector, which remains an industry widely dominated by white men. He currently serves as Board Chairman of the Unity National Bank and, under his leadership, the bank has been able to weather the storm since 2008 and keep expanding. In 2018, it opened in Atlanta, its first expansion beyond the state of Texas, in order to consolidate and serve the African American community better.

Its lending program is focused on supporting and rebuilding its community, especially via commercial and mortgage loans. Unity National Bank has forged a network of partners and agents that are able to support the very core of its activities, from lending to supporting financial literacy across community.

While the bank, like other African American-owned banks, has struggled in recent years due to its smaller size and financial performances, its management is putting the foundations in place for the business to continue growing. It recently partnered with Citigroup and introduced a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which reportedly allowed the saving of 3,000 jobs. The PPP loans, acclaimed for their support to small black-owned businesses, even earned Unity National Bank a visit by Vice President Mike Pence this year.

“Kase Lawal is real, a legend. He is an improbable driver for black empowerment through entrepreneurship, even as most people never saw him coming and counted him out. I am not surprised that he will rise to the occasion, walk the walk and execute during these times when our communities are dealing with the scourge of Covid19 and difficult economic conditions,” stated NJ Ayuk Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “His humanity and humility lets him walk with the little guy and still keep his virtue. He may seat with Presidents and Ministers yet never loses the common touch or forgets where he came from. He is always thinking about the poor and the upward mobility of those who have not been dealt a fair hand by our economy,” added Mr Ayuk.

Now that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on American jobs and lives, and even more so for African American communities, and at a time when the world calls for better support to black entrepreneurs and businesses, the Kase Lawal-chaired institution is set to benefit. It remains one of the few institutions in the US with a true purpose of working with communities and linking their fate together to create a better future for African American families and gives countless of talented young women and men the means to build a successful future.

As the world seeks new ways to build equal societies, developing successful business models that promote equal opportunities and bring much-needed capital to talented communities is becoming the need of the hour. In doing so, looking at black-owned banks and businesses and learning from their experience would prove very beneficial. Beyond looking at pure business principles and balance sheets fundamentals, these companies are driven by a true social purpose which could well be the kind of basis the world needs to build fairer societies.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Monday, June 29, 2020

HP committed to sustainable development, releases 2019 impact report - NaijaAgroNet


HP Inc has reaffirmed its commitment to eliminating 75 per cent of single-use plastic packaging by 2025, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The company restated the commitment in its just-released 2019 Sustainable Impact Report, which also highlights the progress HP is making to drive diversity and inclusion, as well as strengthen communities globally.

“The HP culture has long been built on the belief that how we do things is just as important as what we do. Recent events have laid bare the systemic racism and deep inequalities that remain a stain on society, and it’s imperative for all companies to act with urgency on all fronts,” said Enrique Lores, HP President and CEO.

“It’s especially important for companies to hold themselves accountable and publicly report their progress,” Lores continued. “This year’s data shows that HP is making significant strides forward in many areas, while also revealing where we must do better. For example, the number of African American employees is below where it needs to be, and we are taking actions to improve. While we have a lot of hard work ahead, our values-driven culture that unites our teams and our partners gives me confidence in our ability to accelerate our progress and foster a more sustainable, equitable, and just society.”

As part of these commitments, HP announced a new goal to eliminate 75 percent of single-use plastic packaging by 2025, supporting the company’s efforts to drive a low-carbon, circular economy.

Efforts to make a sustainable impact on people, the planet and communities are integrated into HP’s business strategy and operations, and have become an increasingly important driver of customer purchasing decisions. HP’s Sustainable Impact efforts helped drive more than $1.6 billion in sales wins in 2019, up an estimated 69 percent, reflecting the growing business imperative for companies to lead with purpose.

The goal focuses on hardware unit packaging and is predicated on a move to moulded fibre packaging cushions. HP’s environmental packaging strategy aims to eliminate unnecessary plastics and materials of concerns wherever possible.

For instance, in 2019, HP decided to eliminate power cord plastic ties and plastic document bags in hardware packaging. HP also has shifted to more recyclable, paper-based alternatives. To accelerate this shift, the company is transitioning from plastic foam packaging cushions to those made with 100 per cent recycled, moulded pulp for HP’s notebooks, desktops and displays. The transition to moulded fibre Personal Systems packaging cushions eliminated 933 tonnes of hard-to-recycle expanded plastic foam last year.

In Printing, HP reduced plastic foam by 40 per cent and eliminated over 95 tonnes of the material in 2019 just by redesigning the packaging of a printer model.

Launched in 2019, the HP Tango Terra is HP’s first printer with zero plastic packagings, using a combination of moulded fibre cushions and glassine paper to replace the typical plastic foam and bag.

In 3D printing, HP recently announced the availability of a new material called polypropylene (PP), that helps reduce waste by enabling up to 100 per cent reusability of surplus powder.

HP has also sourced more than 60 million bottles of ocean-bound plastic and launched the world’s first notebook, display, mobile workstation and enterprise Chromebook made using ocean-bound plastics.

With 111 Gold and 268 Silver EPEAT-registered products – more than any other company in the IT industry, HP has the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio.

Aside from the environment, HP has also committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the company while fighting racial inequality, announcing a new goal to double the number of Black and African American executives inside the company by 2025.

The Company’s Board of Directors continues to be the most diverse of any U.S. technology company, comprised of 42 per cent women and 58 per cent minorities. In 2019, 63 per cent of U.S. hires were from underrepresented groups, including women, U.S. ethnicities, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

Globally, 40 per cent of HP hires in 2019 were women, and the company’s Global Supplier Diversity program spent $374 million with small and diverse suppliers including minority- and women-owned businesses, contributing $698 million in overall economic impact.

Earlier this year, HP re-committed to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The HP Foundation pledged $500,000 to social justice organizations to confront and combat systemic racism and inequality in society.

HP is also leveraging its platforms to shine a spotlight on these issues globally, and is partnering with Girl Rising, a global non-profit dedicated to eradicating poverty by providing education to women and girls, to launch ‘My Story: The 2020 Storytelling Challenge.’

The challenge will bring to life examples of young leaders fighting for human rights, racial justice, gender equity and the advancement of education for girls.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology