Edo leverages technology and agriculture investments to drive post-pandemic recovery – Nigerian Observer

…says the Ukrainian war exposed the inadequacies of the global food system

BENIN CITY – Edo State Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki said over the weekend that the state is supporting investment in large-scale agricultural production and harnessing technology and innovation potential of its youthful population to ensure food security and boost the post-war state. COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Plan.

Obaseki revealed this when he joined other world leaders and policy makers at the 2022 Doha Forum in Qatar to talk about innovations to address large-scale economic shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and… other critical challenges facing the global economy.

The Governor was among the panelists at the 20th edition of the Doha Forum on the theme “Transforming for a New Era”.

Other panelists include HE Kandia Kamissoko Camara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire; Charles Murito, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google; Wale Adeosun, Chief Investment Officer, Kuramo Capital Management, and Ken Njoroge, Founder, Cellulant.

Obaseki, who noted that the main effect of COVID-19 in Edo State was the disruption of livelihoods and small businesses, said the war in Ukraine has further exposed the inadequacies of the global food system.

He noted, “For us in Edo State, we have not suffered much from COVID-19 infections or death rate due to the very young population we have in Nigeria and in the state. from Edo. The infection was not so high and the mortality was not as bad as what we get from malaria or other diseases.

“What has really affected us is the disruption of livelihoods and with the closures many small businesses have been badly affected and the availability of technology as a response has created new opportunities for small businesses in particular.

“In terms of our healthcare response, we have realized the opportunities for investment in the healthcare space and private sector involvement in healthcare delivery. Previously, the bulk of investment in health care was left to the government, although the private sector is a key provider of health services. »

Obaseki continued: “For small and medium enterprises, because they had been drained of capital following the lockdown, it again showed the importance and the need to reinvest in this segment of the economy. Thus, small businesses have become a viable sector to invest money in because most of them have started using technology for service delivery and production.

“It opened up an opportunity for other key investments that came out as a result of COVID-19, which are investments in technology and tech startups.

“While many of our young people have started to invest and pursue opportunities in technology, we have found companies outsourcing work to young people in Nigeria and Edo State, many of our young people earning foreign currency to write codes and programs for businesses. abroad. So that’s another area where we’ve found significant investment. »

Regarding food security, the governor said, “The war in Ukraine, for me, has created real alarm for our food systems. With rising food prices, especially wheat, staples and grains, and rising energy prices, we as a government have realized that we now have to invest a lot of resources and time in agriculture, and large-scale farming projects.

“Fortunately, in Edo State, we have started investing in palm oil and have programs in place where we could seriously invest in large-scale oil palm production as a trigger for investments. on a large scale in agriculture.”

“So the opportunities we see in the next three years are first to secure our food supply through food production, and then to use technology and focus on small businesses,” Obaseki added.

Furthermore, Murito said Africa’s young population, which covers a third of the world’s population, should be empowered to fill future local and international jobs.

Earlier, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Qatar was eager to explore ways to partner with Africa and discuss business opportunities that can empower the continent.

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