The International AIDS Society (IAS) has announced its President-elect, Prof. Adeeba Kamarulzaman of Malaysia, as the new substantive president.
The announcement was made at the closing of the virtual 23rd AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual) hosted by IAS.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that IAS announced nine newly elected and three re-elected members to its Governing Council.
Kamarulzaman’s new appointment makes her the first Asian to lead the IAS.
Others announced alongside Kamarulzaman, are Sharon Lewin of Australia as President-Elect and Jennifer Kates of the United States as Treasurer.
Kamarulzaman in his remarks, said the new members joining the IAS Governing Council add a great diversity of skills and experiences.
“They will be pivotal in steering IAS into the future and dealing with a fast-changing scientific, social and political landscape.
“I am particularly happy to announce that, for the first time, our Governing Council is majority female with 13 women and 12 men,’’ Kamarulzaman said.
She said that the governing council determines strategy and policy direction for IAS to ensure that the organisation fulfils its mission of leading collective action on every front of the global HIV response.
Kevin Osborne, IAS Executive-Director, said the HIV epidemic continues to require collaborative leadership across regions and disciplines that the governing council represented.
“This new governing council is deeply committed to driving the HIV response on many fronts that will require our attention, not least the remaining challenge of widespread stigma and discrimination,’’ Osborne said.
NAN reports that Kamarulzaman, a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, was trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
She is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University, the United States
She established the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Malaya Medical Centre and, in 2008, the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA) at the same university.
As convener of the Malaysian Harm Reduction Working Group of the Malaysian AIDS Council, she successfully advocated for the implementation of harm reduction measures to tackle HIV amongst people who inject drugs in Malaysia.
Kamarulzaman has been involved in several regional and international organisations, including TREAT Asia, the International Society of Infectious Diseases and was Co-Chair of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Risks of COVID-19 infection through breastfeeding negligible — WHO
Dr Laurence Grummer-Strawn, Head of the organisation’s Food and Nutrition Action in Health Systems unit, stated this on Tuesday, according to the United Nations.
In a report, the UN quoted Grummer-Strawn as making the statement at a news briefing on the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week where he appealed for greater support for the practice.
“WHO has been very clear in its recommendations to say absolute breastfeeding should continue.
He said that the advantages included the fact that breastmilk, including milk which is expressed, provides lifesaving antibodies that protect babies against many childhood illnesses.
“This is only one of the reasons why new mothers should initiate skin-to-skin contact and room-in with their babies quickly.
He explained that the conclusion followed the testing of the breastmilk of many mothers around the world in a variety of studies.
Grummer-Strawn said although a few samples had the virus followup tests showed that the virus was not viable and could not be infective.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Digital economy: Nigeria must shift focus from certificate to skills – Pantami
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has advocated for shifting of focus from certificate to skills education for the actualisation of Nigeria’s digital economic drive.
Pantami made the call at the Graduation Lecture of the National Defence Collage Course 28, titled; “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister added that emphasis on certificate must be reduced in engaging labour force, urging that focus should be shifted to skills if the nation must catch up with development.
He said that many developed and developing countries such as China, United States and Morocco had shifted attention to skills rather than certificate, adding that many of them had established skills centres.
According to him, certificate is important but secondary to skill and that is why we must pay attention to skills in our journey to digital economy.
“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.
“We recently provided a platform, the DigitalNigeria.gov.ng platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.
“We are championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.
“The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here,’’ he said.
Pantami stated that the digital economy was a prime catalyst for development, adding that in less than one year, government’s modest efforts had already yielded remarkable results.
According to him, the recent first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP.
He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic technology, drone and many more.
“These are some of the emerging technologies that will go a long way in promoting security of nations. The security officials are in better position to look into and see how to customize them and make use of them.”
Also, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the Federal Government had taken steps to adopt, adapt and internalise the digital economy in a functional manner.
Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said it was important that security and defence establishments show more than a cursory interest in the digital economy.
He added that the adaptation of digital economy could result in increased cybercrimes thus undermining national security.
“I wish to commend the Commandant, staff and the entire College community for their collective efforts in pursuing the ideals of the College.
“In particular, I commend you for organising the graduation lecture, which was exciting, educative and would be helpful to the economic and security needs of the Nigerian nation,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of the collage, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, said the lecture had become a key component of the training programme of the College and a major highlight of its annual graduation ceremonies.
Kadiri said that a total of 107 participants had successfully completed the course comprising 67 officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, seven Senior Police Officers and 15 participants from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Others according to him, include 18 senior military officers from the Armed Forces of friendly nations.
“The Course was conducted under the theme “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria”. Economic diversification is a broad based strategy designed to cause positive and multi-sectoral economic growth and development,’’ he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
China’s A-share market sees IPO boom in July
In July, IPOs in the country’s A-share market raised a record amount of 109.81 billion yuan (about 15.73 billion United States dollars), surpassing 100 billion yuan in a single month the first time, said the paper.
A total of 52 firms were listed in July, accounting for 30 per cent of the total number of IPOs in the first seven months of 2020, which stood to 169.
In breakdown, the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange attracted 35 listings while the Growth Enterprise Market of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange hosted 43 IPOs from January to July, the paper reported.
Meanwhile, the STAR market, or the sci-tech innovation board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, saw 73 companies listed during the same period.
The stock market posted stronger gains amid the robust IPO activities, the paper reported in July, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, Shenzhen Component Index and ChiNext Index, China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, went up 10.9 per cent, 13.72 per cent and 14.65 per cent, respectively.
Experts say that sufficient liquidity has created conditions for high-quality companies in different industries to raise funds in the A-share market, thus directing funds from the capital market to the real economy.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Ford Motor’s CEO steps down amid waning investors’ confidence
The Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, Jim Hackett, is stepping down on Oct. 1 after three years at the helm.
In a statement on Tuesday, the American multinational automaker said Hackett would be succeeded by Jim Farley, its Chief Operating Officer.
According to reports, Hackett’s exit is coming amid the company’s $11 billion (N4 trillion) global restructuring programme said to be floundering.
Reuters reports that the No. 2 United States carmaker also “faces slumping demand in China, its second-largest market’’.
The 65-year-old outgoing CEO failed to secure investors’ confidence in his leadership amid a sharp crash in the value of the company’s stock under his watch.
Under his leadership, Ford has struggled with product launch problems involving the Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Navigator and the Police Interceptor.
But shares of the company rose by 2.8 per cent in early trading, on Tuesday, according to the news agency.
He will be the Ford’s fourth chief executive officer since the 2008 economic crash, reports say.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)