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Nigerian, 2 others win 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards



Nigerian, 2 others win 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards

Oluwafunke Adeoye, Nigerian human rights lawyer and two Kenyan citizens have won the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards.

The award is aimed at inspiring people working within their communities to overcome challenges like air and water pollution, period poverty, unstable infrastructure and gender disparities in education.

It is also to drive the mission to end extreme poverty and improve the living conditions of people globally.

Adeoye founded the Hope Behind Bars Africa, after some personal encounters with the justice system including that of her father’s arrest and detention for a crime he reportedly did not commit.

The organisation closes the justice gap by providing free legal services and direct support to low-income incarcerated individuals while promoting criminal justice reforms through research, evidence-based advocacy, and technology.

Over 7,000 incarcerated individuals have benefitted from their interventions.

With the award, Adeoye plans to fully launch Justicepadi, a tech platform that will revolutionise legal aid in West Africa and also expand her work for climate justice.

“It is crucial for people to understand that behind the labels of “convicts” or “prisoners”, there are human beings with stories, hopes, and dreams.

“By offering legal aid, we strive to ensure that every person, regardless of their circumstances, has access to fair representation and a chance to rebuild their lives”, Adeoye said.

The others are; Peter Njeri and Esther Kimani, both Kenya citizens, were named as the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizen Award winner and the Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award winner.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes totaling $250,000 that recogniae the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty and its systemic causes.

The grand prize is $100,000, with two additional prizes of $75,000 each.

“When we first conceived these awards almost 10 years ago, we wanted to shine a light on those heroes working at grassroots levels to end global poverty. We also wanted to encourage others to do the same.

“The awards have grown in stature and participation rates every year and I am proud that we’ve been able to assist so many outstanding and inspirational young champions from around the world to advance their efforts in the fight against global poverty.

“This year’s winners are no exception and I wholeheartedly congratulate them all”, Alex Waislitz, Chairman and Founder of the Waislitz Foundation said.

Peter Njeri, who grew up in Soweto, Nairobi, and saw his family suffer first-hand from the effects of indoor air pollution, set out to solve this problem.

He produced a technology that turns plastic waste into clean energy and co-founded Mega Gas Alternative Energy— a clean-tech startup on a mission to provide access to clean and affordable cooking energy for low-income families all while protecting the environment.

Today, over 10,050 families in Kenya use his technology. The Waislitz Global Citizen Award will enable him to serve an extra 5,400 families each month.

Esther Kimani is the 27-year-old CEO of FarmerLine, a climate agritech trailblazer disrupting Africa’s agricultural sector.

With delayed detection of crop pests and disease destroying over 47 per cent crop yield every farming season, Kimani developed the first-ever solar-powered AI-based crop pests and diseases detection device.

Its vision is to end hunger and extreme poverty for a million marginalised smallholder farmers.

Her inspiration comes from experiencing farm losses from pests and diseases firsthand as she grew up farming on the slopes of the Aberdare mountains in Kenya.

Kimani’s technology has so far impacted over 60,000 farmers in Kenya.



Hardship: Protesters Defy Police Warning, Hit Lagos Streets



Residents have hit the streets of Lagos State to protest against the increasing spike in the price of food and the high cost of living in the country.

The protest was facilitated by a human rights group identified as the “Take It Back Movement.”

This comes against the warning issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, on Sunday.

The protesters were seen carrying placards of various inscriptions at Ojuelegba Under Bridge area of the state to express their grievances.

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism



In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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