Emirates boost Nigerian travellers’ confidence with free medical cover

World’s first airline to offer its passengers free cover for COVID-19 
medical expenses and quarantine costs, when they fly to any destination, 
in any class of travel

Dubai, UAE, 23 July 2020 – Emirates customers can travel with 
confidence, as the airline will cover medical expenses of up to EUR 
150,000 and quarantine costs of EUR 100 per day for 14 days, should they 
be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel, while they are away from 
home. This cover is provided by the airline, free of charge to its 
customers.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group Chairman and Chief 
Executive said: “Under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, 
UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Emirates is 
proud to lead the way in boosting confidence for international travel. 

We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually 
re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should 
something unforeseen happen during their travel.”

He added: “Emirates has worked hard to put in place measures at every 
step of the customer journey to mitigate risk of infection, and we have 
also revamped our booking policies to offer flexibility. We are now 
taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer 
our customers free global cover for COVID-19 medical expenses and 
quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel. It 
is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, 
and we believe they will welcome this initiative.”

First airline in the world to offer free, global cover for COVID-19 related costs.

This cover for COVID-19 related medical expenses and quarantine costs is 
offered by Emirates free of cost to its customers regardless of class of 
travel or destination. This cover is immediately effective for customers 
flying on Emirates until 31 October 2020 (first flight to be completed 
on or before 31 October 2020). It is valid for 31 days from the moment 
they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates 
customers can continue to benefit from the this cover, even if they 
travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates 
destination.

Customers do not need to register or fill in any forms before they 
travel, and they are not obligated to utilize this cover provided by 
Emirates.

Any impacted customer who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 during their 
travel simply has to contact a dedicated hotline to avail of assistance 

and cover.

The hotline number, and details of what COVID-19 related expenses are 
covered, is available on www.emirates.com/COVID19assistance.

Flexibility and assurance

With the gradual re-opening of borders over the summer, Emirates has 
revised its booking policies to offer customers more flexibility and 
confidence to plan their travel. Customers whose travel plans are 
disrupted by COVID-19 related flight or travel restrictions, can simply 
hold on to their ticket which will be valid for 24 months and rebook to 
fly at a later time; request travel vouchers to offset against future 
Emirates purchases, or request refunds via an online form on Emirates’ 
website or via their travel booking agent.

Emirates currently serves over 60 destinations in its network, 
facilitating travel between the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle 
East and the Asia Pacific through a convenient connection in Dubai for 
customers across the world.

Dubai is open: Customers from Emirates’ network can now to travel to 
Dubai as the city has re-opened for business and leisure visitors with 
new air travel protocols that safeguard the health and safety of 
visitors and communities. For more information on entry requirements for 
international visitors to Dubai, visit: www.emirates.com/flytoDubai

Health and safety first: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of 
measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of 
its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the 
distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, 

hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. For more 
information on these measures and the services available on each flight, 
visit: www.emirates.com/yoursafety

Travel restrictions: Customers are reminded that travel restrictions 
remain in place, and travellers will only be accepted on flights if they 
comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their 
destination countries. Visit: www.emirates.com/travelrestrictions

Dubai residents can check the latest travel requirements at: 
www.emirates.com/returntoDubai

Slum2School Seeks Partnership to Support 10,000 More Children across Underserved Communities to join its Virtual Learning Program.

Having virtually connected 948 children from several slums & remote communities to tutors, mentors, guidance & counsellingspecialists, the newly launched Slum2School Virtual Learning Studio/Classrooms, the first of its kind in Nigeria & Africa, has sparked up a campaign to sponsor and onboard 10,000 children in underserved communities across Nigeria between July 2020 and December 2020. 

The Slum2School Virtual Learning Studio/Classroom is a state-of-the-art virtual space for learning where various activity and discussion-based classroom experience can be recreated. It connects learners from several communities and cities who can easily log in concurrently and join real-time, case-based class sessions with their peers, teachers and trainers. It is a powerful innovative learning space not only for the students but the teachers and helps bring a much more intimate, measurable and equitable opportunity for learning.

The Virtual Learning Classroom is scalable, aids a blended and hybrid learning, is affordable and is truly effective for remote face to face learning.


For the past 8 years, Slum2School has remained committed to providing access to quality education, health care, and a happy community to thousands of children living in slums and remote communities in Nigeria, leveraging various private and public partnerships and a teeming strength of over 10,800 volunteers across several countries to sponsor and support a wholisticeducation process for the increasing number of out-of-school-children, particularly children living in underserved, hard-to-reach communities.

Watch the incredible impact being created amidst an on-going pandemic: www.youtube.com/slum2schoolvlp

Having sponsored, mentored and overseen the overall growth and developmental process for over 3,000 children who were previously out-of-school in Nigeria and living in hard to reach communities while impacting a total of over 87,000 beneficiaries through other forms of medical missions and psycho-social support, the newly launched Slum2School Virtual Learning Program, has expanded the definition and reach of digital learning  for Nigeria’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities having provided educational tablets and internet subscription to all current the learners and connecting them to professional tutors and mentors from all industries. 

The goal to on board 10,000 children is geared towards ensuring that the right of every child to education, good health, and a happy connected community is upheld during and beyond a global pandemic, to ensure that the talents of Nigeria’s most precious resource, her children, is nurtured adequately and to ensure that every child regardless of their soci0-economic background, is equipped with all they need to go after their dreams while remaining instrumental to nation building. 

In a statement to the Press, Slum2School’s Head of Operations & Communication, Ruth Ebe, emphasized the collective responsibility it takes from individuals, volunteers, partners within the private and public sector, in ensuring that hope is restored for every child. She invited all interested organizations and individuals to join forces to see that this innovative program is supported, sustained and scaled.

Read more and get involved with the Virtual Learning Program: https://youtu.be/Hb8oTGGaek0

PRESS RELEASE SAHCO PLC HOLDS AGM, DECLARES PROFIT

The Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC (SAHCO) has conducted her 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM)at the SAHCO Complex at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. 

The AGM was conducted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the conduct of Annual General Meeting via proxies as part of the measures to mitigate the negative effect created by the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

During the event, SAHCO PLC declared a dividend of N 223,340,700 at 16.5k (Sixteen and a half kobo) per share which is payable less with the appropriate withholding tax at the time of payment. 

Speaking during the AGM, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman of the company said he is delighted to address a larger pool of shareholders for the first time even if it is virtually. According to him “You will recall that SAHCO became a publicly quoted company after its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the last quarter of 2018, the listing, a natural progression in our post-privatisation strategic growth plan, is also in furtherance of the vision to becoming the preferred ground handling company in the West African sub-region in terms of revenue, clientele base, quality of service, customer satisfaction, innovation and return on investment.

Dr Afolabi went on to emphasize that when SIFAX Group bought SAHCO, only 7 per cent of the market share was controlled by SAHCO but that has increased to 55 percent over the years for ground handling while in cargo handling SAHCO controls 70 percent of the market share.

In his remarks, Basil Agboarumi, Managing Director/CEO,SAHCO PLC said the Single Africa Air Transport Market initiative contributed to the growth of the Nigeria Aviation industry and Ground Handling sub-sector in 2019. “Essentially, three African Carriers made their entrances into the Nigeria market; TAAG Angola, Cabo Verde Airlines and Air Senegal. However, Air Namibia suspended their flights to Lagos over unresolved diplomatic issues” He said the company is ready to attract new Airlines as we expect new startup airlines before the year ends which are; NG Eagle and Green Africa.

Agboarumi also went on to say that in the year under review, SAHCO recorded an increase of 24.5 per cent in its revenue from N6,136.412 bn in 2018 to N7,665,990 bn in 2019. He emphasized that this remarkable shift was achieved through the resilience of the entire workforce, aggressive marketing strategies that saw to the addition of our clientele list, concerted efforts of cost containment and effective internal control processes.

He stated that the management intended to reposition SAHCO PLC as the best ground handling company in West Africa by acquiring more client airlines using the leverage of being the preferred handling partner of British Airways and other global carriers already in her fold.

Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC is an aviation ground handling company that is involved in activities like Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Cargo Handling and warehousing and all the actions that takes place from the time an aircraft touches down on the tarmac to the time it is airborne, while also ensuring that Ground Handling assignment is carried out in an efficient, speedy and safe manner, while deploying the right tools.

Accelerating African Women’s Economic Participation By Wofai Ibiang

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has significantly affected growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). According to the World Bank, SSA is heading for a recession. The growth forecast in the region shows a sharp fall from 2019’s 2.4 percent to -5.1 percent in 2020. A recent study in 2020 has demonstrated that the current pandemic will have a disproportionately negative impact on women. For most low-income women, entrepreneurship is a means of escaping poverty. Millions of micro and small businesses are shutting down globally due to the pandemic, including those owned by women. These highlights are indicative that more than ever, women-owned and led enterprises need more support if the gains of women’s active economic participation that leads to higher economic growth, must be actualized.  

The African Development Bank (AfDB) acknowledges that women account for a majority of small- and medium-sized businesses in Africa and dominate the agriculture sector as primary producers and food processors. Women smallholder farmers represent 43 percent of agricultural labor in the developing world. If they have equal access to resources such as land, capital, and livestock, total agricultural output in developing countries could rise by more than 14 percent, and hunger rates could fall by 17 percent. In Africa, women are more likely than men to be entrepreneurs and makeup 58 percent of the self-employed population. Research supports the assertion that women farmers are as efficient as men farmers, and greater gender equality in land ownership and access to other agricultural inputs would increase agrarian output. 

In Nigeria, an article from the Council on Foreign Policy (CFR) shows that the nation’s GDP could grow by 23 percent (US$229 billion) by the year 2025 if women participated in the economy at the same level as men. Also, women-owned businesses significantly contribute to the Kenyan economy. They account for 48 percent of all MSMEs, which adds 20 percent to Kenya’s GDP. Because women usually re-invest in their children’s health, nutrition, and education, economically empowered women are significant catalysts for development. Reducing gender inequality in resources and improving women’s status is thus smart economics. Despite this relevance, women’s economic potential remains dwarfed by challenges, many of which can be eliminated. What has been done, and what needs to be done to facilitate African women’s economic participation? To answer these questions, the operations of some international financial institutions in Nigeria and Kenya are considered.

Challenges of Women Entrepreneurs 

The World Bank 2020 report on Women, Business and the Law, highlights the women, business, and the law 2020 index for 190 countries. The highest score is 100 and the least, 26.3. Nigeria scored 63.1, lower than Kenya’s 80.6 scores. Likewise, in its 2015 Africa Gender Equality Index, the African Development Bank ranked 52 countries in terms of gender parity. In that ranking, neither Kenya nor Nigeria came in the first 10. While these rankings may seem a fair percentage, more needs to be done to support women-businesses in both countries.

In terms of financial services, women-owned businesses are underserved. They are less likely to obtain formal financing and have been reported to pay higher interest rates, which often leads to their reliance on group loans or private funding for their businesses. A joint report by the IFC and Global Partnerships for Financial Inclusion, suggests that female owners of formal small and medium-size businesses face a credit gap of up to US$300 billion globally. An AfDB report indicates that only 16 – 20 percent of women in Africa have access to long-term financing from formal financial institutions. The SME finance gap in Nigeria is estimated at US$92 billion, and the women-owned SME finance gap at US$18 in 2017; however, only 5 percent of women can get a loan from a bank. In response to women’s lack of access to finance, providing micro-credit has been the default solution. While that has substantially increased access over the years and has brought about an improvement in welfare and consumption, it is not enough for growth-oriented women entrepreneurs.

Women play a vital role in agriculture, and equal access to agricultural resources will increase women farmers’ productivity by 20 percent and reduce the number of hungry people by 150 million. However, women in Sub-Saharan Africa own only 15 percent of agricultural land. In Kenya, women provide 70 percent of labor in the farming sector yet hold only 1 percent of registered titles and an estimate of 5-6 percent of registered titles held in joint names. Lack of access to land poses setbacks to agricultural productivity. Having access to property rights and land is also essential for women entrepreneurs as collateral for business credit. 

The types of businesses women operate in, impact their ability to access finance. In low-income countries such as those considered in this article, women-owned SMEs tend to concentrate on less profitable industries with their most significant share of involvement being in consumer-based businesses and subsistent agriculture. Compared to male-owned companies, women are nascent in extractive industries such as mining, oil, and gas.

Women are more likely to be home-based and operate within the household than are men heading enterprises. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is more proclivity for informal or unregistered firms among women entrepreneurs and a higher likelihood of working from home than men. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) cited the high rate of unpaid work as one of the obstacles to women’s economic participation. According to the report, 75 percent of global unpaid work is performed by women, and more time spent on outstanding care work means less involvement in the labor force.

Country laws and regulations also hinder women. Nigeria still has laws that make it harder for women to work compared to men. Bro and McCaslin highlight that Nigerian laws do not mandate nondiscrimination in employment based on gender. Their writeup mentions that it is also illegal for women to work overnight in manual labor. Other obstacles such as access to justice, access to education, and adequate financial management training and, access to the formal sector – business entry and licensing, amongst others exist. 

The World Bank Group

Based on consultations from more than 1,000 stakeholders, 21 countries, and working with the public and private sectors, the WBG studied the global landscape changes and the accumulation of evidence on the best approaches to close gender gaps. The Bank designed a gender action plan outlined in four pillars.

Pillar 1 is Improving women’s human capital, including health, education, and social inclusion. Pillar 2, removing constraints for more and better jobs. The report allusions that at the core of the Group achieving its strategy is an increase in women’s participation in the workforce, a rise in their income-earning opportunities, and their access to productive assets. Pillar 3 involves removing barriers to women’s ownership of and control over assets. Pillar 4, enhancing women’s voice and agency and engaging men and boys and promoting women’s participation and decision-making in service delivery. 

The International Finance Corporation (IFC)

The IFC strategy is to increase female representation in the recruitment of Fund Investment roles, increase female employment within the Fund and portfolio companies, and to enhance the pipeline development for portfolio companies that are women-owned and led. As part of its operations to increase access to finance in Kenya, the IFC partnered with AfDB to implement the Growth Women Enterprises Program, which was launched in 2006. The IFC initiative’s objective was to facilitate the growth of women-owned businesses through the provision of partial financing guarantees of between $20,000 and $400,000. The program also included extensive business management training. By 2011, the program had approved 33 loan applications, trained 148 women entrepreneurs, and helped create more than 130 jobs.

The IFC’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (IFC We-Fi) program, a part of the World Bank Group’s We-Fi program: Creating Markets and Finance for All, works with private sector actors to enable women entrepreneurs, to start and grow firms. IFC uses We-Fi funds to provide investment and advisory support, in line with blended finance principles. The program partnered with Tide Africa to offer 20 women-founders structured mentorships and was projected to provide 10 percent Fund investment in women-led tech companies in Nigeria and Kenya.

To support the Bank’s lending to SMEs, in March 2018, the IFC launched a US$60 million investment in a regional risk-sharing facility to provide better tailored financial services and business support to women customers and to document the business case further. In Nigeria, IFC partnered with AXA Mansard, an insurance company, to design insurance policies that meet businesswomen’s needs and to recruit more women into the industry (IDA, 14).

In terms of providing data, the IFC has engaged non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct case studies that show the relevance of women entrepreneurs in Africa. The Gender-Smart Business Solutions Case Studies, for example, highlight the importance of women entrepreneurs. Although not peculiar to Africa, the IFC’s report prepared in partnership with Rockcreek and Olivier Wyman on Moving Gender Forward in Private Equity and Venture Capital provides robust data that can promote women’s participation in entrepreneurship.

In Nigeria, The IFC, with support from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and in partnership with a private company, researched how the fast-moving consumer goods sector in Nigeria can support women entrepreneurs and optimize their growth prospects. The report Women Entrepreneurs Find Business Opportunities in Nigeria’s Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Sector. The World Bank and IFC’s Lighting Africa, Kenya program engaged Practical Action, a non-governmental organization, to conduct a case study highlighting innovative business models to ensure the inclusion of women in the solar energy value chain as both consumers and entrepreneurs. These case studies provide evidence for the business case in gender-lens investing.

International Development Association (IDA)

In 2018, The WBG approved US$100 million for Nigeria for Women project with IDA as the financer. The project’s objective is to support improved livelihoods for women in targeted areas of the country. This project also has a goal to support the advancement of dialogue, strengthen technical implementation capacity and coordination among implementing partners at all levels of government. The first part involves building the social capital of women by galvanizing them to become women affinity groups (WAGs). 

In terms of control over assets focusing on financial inclusion, ten IDA operations in countries including Kenya addressed gaps between women and men in access to and use of financial services through risk-sharing facilities for mortgages to women borrowers. It also included building institutional capacity to identify and target weaknesses and setting inclusion targets for female entrepreneurs accessing credit. In Kenya, an IDA-supported operation was also launched to address gender-based and student violence in schools in the primary education system.

Also, in May 2018, about US$4 billion was earmarked for operations supporting girls’ education. Another example of IDA’s operation is its commitment to provide tailored financial services and business support to women customers while also documenting the business case. Between April 2016 and May 2018, some US$4 billion, approximately 75 percent in IDA countries, was committed to operations supporting adolescent girls’ education, surpassing the pledge of US$2.5 billion made by the World Bank Group.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) 

The African Development Bank has a gender strategy based on three pillars. Through this strategy, AfDB’s priority sectors can be better aligned with the needs of regional member countries (RMCs), and the impact can be increased in the region.

Pillar 1 of the strategy identifies women’s legal status and property rights as vital to inclusive growth and gender equality. Pillar 2 is economic empowerment. Under this strategy, the Bank states its support for advocacy for affirmative action in support of women and women-owned businesses, increasing the productivity of women farmers and women’s inclusion in the market and providing skills training in science and technology for women. Pillar 3 is knowledge management and capacity building. Through this strategy, the Bank promised to provide technical assistance and the resources needed for gender equality knowledge management, improve the Bank’s gender reporting, and build staff capacity to promote gender equality in its operations. The report includes plans to produce better sex-disaggregated data and statistics.

Operations Supporting Women Entrepreneurs In Kenya and Nigeria

The AfDB has promoted women-owned and led businesses through several partnerships with both international institutions and private sector investment organizations across Africa. For example, in 2015, AfDB seeded Alitheia IDF, a fund for women-led African enterprises, with an equity investment of US$12.5 million to support its drive to invest in female-led businesses. The fund is targeted to provide between US$2 million and US$5 million capital to high-potential medium-sized companies in six Sub-Saharan Africa countries, including Nigeria. The company also plans to invest in 12 SMEs with the potential of scaling beyond their countries of origin. In the long run, it is estimated that the investments will create 5,000 jobs for women and also provide access to essential products and services for approximately 100,000 women through its focus on critical sectors such as agriculture, agro-processing, and essential goods and services companies.

In Kenya, AfDB, through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program, collaborated with Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to bridge the access to the finance gap experienced by women entrepreneurs. The World Bank Group hosts this partnership. In 2019, We-Fi approved the allocation of US$61.8 million to support AFAWA’s drive to bridge the US$42 billion financing gap between women and male entrepreneurs. Kenya and Nigeria are 2 of the 21 African countries targeted for the implementation of this program.

In March 2019, AfDB’s Board of Directors approved a US$8 million-targeted financing to Kenya’s Credit Bank for lending exclusively to SMEs in construction, agriculture, renewable energy, and manufacturing. The loan has a five-year maturity with a two-year moratorium and has the objective of providing access to finance. AfDB’s Board of Directors in May 2019 also approved a €100 million partial credit guarantee to the structured finance company, African Agriculture Impact Investment Ltd., for commercial agriculture development in Africa. According to AfDB, one of the benefits of this PCG is that it will have significant youth and women involvement and generate over 8,000 jobs across the region.

According to an AfDB press release in 2019, a partnership between the U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the African Development Bank was sealed. This partnership involves US$2 billion investment with plans to mobilize an additional US$3 billion from the private sector, using debt financing, equity investments, political risk insurance, and other financial tools. Priority sectors are targeted, including critical infrastructure, power, and energy, financial service, and agriculture.

In furtherance of their gender strategy, AfDB partnered with Microsoft to train young women to code through the Coding for Employment program. The program’s objective is to bridge the digital skills gap among women and increase women’s involvement in the ICT sector. It was piloted in 5 African countries. The AfDB’s commitment to promoting gender equality is also exemplified in its provision of US$20 billion to encourage women’s participation in large-scale agricultural businesses in West Africa, over five years.

Future Directions – Recommendations

Partnerships are vital to women’s development in Africa, especially as regards the promotion of women-owned/led businesses. It is commendable that most of the institutions considered in this article already incorporate partnerships in their operations. For example, besides We-Fi’s partnership with AfDB’s AFAWA, there is a collaboration with the UN Women and CARE international to reinforce initiatives of the World Bank, in favor of women entrepreneurs in various sectors mostly overlooked by financiers, donors, and governments. It is also impressive that the IFIs partner with AfDB to a great extent. These partnerships hold potential as the AfDB will bring its Africa-centric perspectives to the table.

These institutions can support the design and launch of gender lens incubation and acceleration toolkits. This will help incubators and accelerators in Africa create their unique fender strategies, providing case studies and strategic frameworks to build a gender-smart entrepreneurial regional ecosystem as done in Southeast Asia.

This research revealed that only IDA included an outlined mitigation action plan against gender-based violence and sexual exploitation in its operations. Although the WBG launched this mitigation strategy, it is recommended that all IFIs and MDBs clearly outline similar plans and provide periodical reports to show project updates.

It is observable that most of the operations of the international institutions are heavily focused on women’s access to finance and provision of training; while this holds the potential to promote women’s entrepreneurship, it isn’t a panacea to the challenges women in business face in the continent. Equal attention should be given to problems such as promoting access to land, robust laws, and regulations that support and protect women-businesses and gender norm change. Although the institutions provide gender-focused data, more is needed. Gender disaggregated research and data can increase awareness and increase gender-lens investments in the region. Hence more commitments should be made towards developing robust data and information dissemination. Also, projects can be bundled to target women with finance, training and skills development, mentorship, and digital financial services. This can be delivered in partnership with local commercial banks, who already provide most of these business support services.

In a working paper by Chang et al. 2020, on what works to enhance women’s agency, it was established that multi-component programs deliver higher impacts across more areas. The review emphasizes that studies of interventions similar to the Graduation approach in Ghana and Uganda suggest that the multi-component nature was critical. Providing access to financial resources alone, such as transfers or savings accounts, did not generate economically meaningful and cost-effective impacts in the way that the integrated packages did. The significance of the graduation model, which was introduced by BRAC, a Bangladeshi non-profit, focuses on solving multifaceted issues through all-inclusive problem-solving. The program’s components include consumption support, asset transfer, livelihood training, savings component, health, and business support services.

Conclusion

SDG 5 – gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls is achievable; there is a positive momentum from institutions and stakeholders that indicates that. However, scale is crucial; programs that create 100,000 jobs out of populations of over a million African women are not sufficient to bridge the gender gap in economic participation.

A wide range of policies and programs can stimulate women’s economic advancement – from strengthening economic rights for women under the law to providing women with greater access to land and property rights and financial literacy. However, it is crucial to critically examine the contexts for which any program is designed to ensure that their implementation leads to actual enhancement of women’s economic empowerment and, ultimately, poverty reduction.

Wofai Ibiang is a Gender Specialist and a Master of International Public policy (MIPP) Graduate.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Washington D.C

EMIRATES SKYCARGO CONT INUES TO CONNECT NIGERIA TO GLOBAL MARKETS

Lagos, 26th June 2020 – Emirates SkyCargo has recalibrated its
operations to support the continuity of Nigerian businesses with once
a week cargo flights in June on its passenger aircraft from Lagos to
Dubai.

The airline has established this short term schedule which utilizes
the bellyhold capacity on its wide body Boeing 777-300 ER passenger
aircraft to supplement the cargo capacity offered by its freighter
aircrafts from Lagos.

Afzal Parambil, Emirates’ Regional Manager (West Africa) said, “As
an extremely agile and customer-focused business, we are very
committed in supporting the Nigerian economy and helping local
businesses maintain continuity by keeping their supplies running
across essential industries.”

Emirates SkyCargo started its operations in Nigeria in 2004.  Emirates
SkyCargo has helped import a variety of goods including mobile phones,
garments, leather, beverages and personal effects. It has also
facilitated the export of local produce including fresh kola nuts and
other foodstuff.

Over and above scheduled flight operations, Emirates SkyCargo also
operates charter flights in response to customer demand. Since March
2020, Emirates SkyCargo has played an important role globally in the
transport of urgently required medical supplies including personal
protective equipment such as masks and gloves, pharmaceuticals,
healthcare equipment, electronics such as laptops and mobile phones as
more people around the world have turned to online working and
learning, food items including fruits, vegetables, sea food and meat.
The carrier operated over 2,500 flights in the month of April.
Currently Emirates SkyCargo is operating more than 100 flights a day
from its hub in Dubai.

SUN INTERNATIONAL IS READY TO REOPEN

Resorts, Hotels, Casinos and Restaurants to reopen.
Sun International said it welcomed the announcement by the President that it could soon reopen its Resorts, Hotels, Casinos and Restaurants. The company said that it was well prepared to reopen its operations.

Anthony Leeming, Sun International CEO said, “Once government has announced the dates we will stagger the reopening of our properties across the country. Our leisure attractions, golf courses and swimming pools will also reopen subject to necessary regulatory guidance

We have put in place world class health and safety protocols which are considerably beyond what is required. Our properties will observe strict head counts and social distancing rules.

Prior to the lockdown, we had introduced social distancing queue management, while every alternative seat at our casino slot machines and tables was removed to create space between customers. Our restaurant layouts were also reconfigured to increase space between tables and meet head count limits. We had also introduced stringent and comprehensive cleaning, sanitising and front and back-of-house food handling and housekeeping procedures. These measures have now been further amplified across all areas of our properties countrywide.

Once we reopen, we will conduct temperature tests for all customers at our hospitality, leisure and gaming operations, and all guests will need to complete a medical screening questionnaire on arrival at hotels, and in advance for casino visitors. For the foreseeable future, only members of our loyalty programme – our Most Valued Guests (MVGs) – will be allowed access onto the casino floor. It will be mandatory for all visitors to wear cloth masks at all times.

After an extended lockdown, we have put every measure in place to welcome our first guests back to our properties, and we will do everything required and more to keep them safe while they enjoy themselves.”

IA- Foundation Inaugural Black-Tie Fundraising Dinner held in London on 8th February 2020

All roads led to Colliers row in London, where IA-Foundation held its inaugural black-tie fundraising dinner, held on Saturday 8th of February 2020. Just in time before the lockdown! The Foundation was foundedby Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo a renowned chartered accountant in the UK.
All the guests were looking immaculately dressed as they posed for pictures on the red carpet, where the canape was served and lots of networking and camaraderie was going on. Over three hundred guests filed into the immaculately decorated hall.
The opening prayers was said by Pastor Kolade Adebayo-Oke. In her welcome address, the founder, Mrs Adeagbo said this Foundation was set up, because she was getting concerned about the number of out -of-school children in Nigeria.
UNICEF carried out a survey in Dec 2018 and the survey confirmed that there are 13.2 million children out-of-school in Nigeria.
She believes if we do not address this problem now, it is a potential time bomb that could consume the country in the next few years. She said that security challenges and poverty was the main reasons the children were out of school, stressing that over 92 million Nigerians were living below the poverty line.

While acknowledging that the government had done well to make basic education free and compulsory, she said other things like feeding, uniform, books amongst others needed for schooling were not provided, hence the reluctance of parents to release their kids for school.

Mrs Adeagbo reiterated the purpose for staging theinaugural fund-raising dinner was to raise funds to tackle the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria and to remove any obstacle that can prevent a Nigerian child from getting good education.

She asserted that the government cannot do everything,and she encouraged the guests to support the Foundation in getting a Nigerian child off the street and into the classroom. This would tackle the poverty cycle, improve social mobility and the Nigerian economy.

She thanked the 10-man organising committee led by Mr Tunde Falode. They had worked tirelessly to make the event a success. The guests were thrilled by Nigerian artiste Weird MC of the ‘Ijoya’ fame. The guests enjoyed the American Auction, which raised lots of funds for the Foundation.

The Raffle draw was excitingand lots of guests won prizes, especially the star prize of a 60” TV. The food was sumptuous, and the networking was superb. The guests all danced into the night to ‘old school’ and afro beat songs dished out by popular UK DJ Omo Whyte. It was indeed a night to remember and guests were asking what date was the next one!

Delta welcomes travelers back with layers of protection for safe travel

During Delta’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday, CEO Ed Bastian shared details about the Delta CareStandard – the global airline’s commitment to a superior level of cleanliness, more space and safer service designed to ensure customers can travel with confidence. As a result of the airline’s comprehensive approach to health safety for customers and employees, the rate of positive COVID-19 cases among Delta’s global employees is nearly five times lower than the U.S. national average in May and during the first half of June 2020.   

Customers can count on the following layers of protection across the Delta experience indefinitely: 

Aircraft interiors sanitized before 100% of flights: Every flight. Every day. Everywhere. That’s Delta’s commitment to sanitizing aircraft interiors because customers tell us cleanliness, above all, is the most important factor they consider whether to return to travel. We use two proven disinfecting methods: • Using a high-grade electrostatic spray that seeks out and clings to surfaces, instantly killing viruses on contact. The spraying method allows the disinfectant to reach even the smallest nooks and crannies of an interiors like the corners of overhead bins. Electrostatic spray sanitization continues to be expanded to employee areas, gates, baggage claim, jet bridges and other common areas.  • Wiping down surfaces customers care about most including tray tables, seat-back entertainment screens, seat belts, arm rests and more.  

Cleaner air on board: Air onboard is recirculated every two to six minutes with fresh, outside air or through HEPA filters that extract more than 99.99% of particles, including viruses. These filters function similarly to filters used in hospital operating rooms, and Delta is committed to changing them out twice as often as recommended by the manufacturer.  

Making it easy to keep your hands clean: One of the first things customers notice when entering any Delta airport space is that they’re never more than a few steps away from a hand sanitizing station. Delta is also providing each customer with sanitizing wipes or gel packs upon boarding and as part of snack bag service on board.  

Cues for safe distance: From check-in lobby bag-drop lines to gate areas and jet bridges, Delta is providing spacing markers to make it easy to determine a safe distance from others in the area. We are also boarding customers 10 at a time starting at the back of the plane to reduce the instances of people passing one another in the aisle.  Additionally, customers will notice acrylic shields on all Delta counters to protect both customers and employees during ongoing interactions.  

Additional layers of protection include those Delta will have in place for the foreseeable future, including:  

Face masks are required for everyone: Delta has had a mask-wearing requirement in place since May for customers and employees because medical experts say that wearing a mask is one of the most important ways customers and employees can help prevent the spread of the virus while flying. It also provides a consistent layer of protection across all travel touchpoints. We take our mask requirement just as seriously as the non-negotiable requirements for customers to remain seated when taxiing or wearing a seat belt during take-off. That’s why those who don’t comply with crewmember or ambassador instruction to wear a face covering or follow other safety requirements risk future flight privileges with Delta.  

Creating more space by limiting people on board: Delta has capped the number of people we’ll allow to book seats on our flights at 60% in the main cabin and 50% in First Class, while blocking the ability to select middle seats. We’re committed to this through Sept. 30, at which point we’ll re-evaluate. We’re doing all of this because medical experts recommend having space between each other in conjunction with wearing a mask as an important step in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Similarly, customers are telling us that having more space between travelers is one of the most important factors they consider when deciding to fly.  

Care Kits provide customers travel safety essentials: Customers arriving at a Delta check-in area without a face mask will receive a complimentary care kit to comply with our mask requirement and individual hand sanitizer gel pouches. The kit also includes an information card that outlines the Delta CareStandard layers of protection. Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer said of the Care Kits:  “Our survey data showed a clear desire for these kits and we have a bias toward action when we see new trends emerge.” 

Testing employees before they go to work: In addition to temperature checks for all employees when they arrive at work, Delta has launched a program to test employees for COVID-19 – both the active virus and antibodies. We view this as a critical step in protecting employees, families, coworkers and customers that can help identify ill employees even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.  

Never letting up 

The Delta CareStandard is the foundation of cleanliness and care upon which the future Delta travel experience – one that brings joy back to travel – is being built. That’s why Delta launched the Global Cleanliness organization. This unique organization led by our VP of Global Cleanliness will continue innovating and elevating cleanliness so that Delta’s transformed standards remain just as high, if not higher, as more customers return to travel. This new division will bring the same focus and rigor through data, testing and tracking to cleanliness that Delta is known for in transforming customer expectations on tracking bags and on-time reliability. In doing so, our new standard of cleanliness is fast becoming an underpinning of the Delta culture.  

Keeping customers informed with cues to cleanliness

Delta is working to build customer confidence by making sure travelers are aware of what they can do to help reduce the spread of virus when traveling and confirming the layers of protection Delta has in place as they make their way across their journey with us.  • Pre-flight emails: Customers receive an email in the days leading up to their flight with tips for travel including reminders about our face mask requirement and links to information about our Delta CareStandard so they can know what to expect before ever setting foot in the airport.  • Fly Delta app reminder:  With more than 60% of customers using the Fly Delta app to check in, we’ve introduced a notification upon check in with links to our sanitization process, travel requirements and even TSA guidelines in case customers have questions on the go.  • Aircraft sanitization notifications: Customers are notified through a push notification in the Fly Delta app and gate information displays when their aircraft has been sanitized and passed inspection by our teams.  • Airport signage  • Care Kit information cards 

Gate and onboard announcements: Gate agents, pilots and flight attendants work together to announce milestones in the departure process like when the aircraft has been sanitized, and to encourage spacing between customers during the boarding and deplaning processes. 

More flights, service return in July as Delta leads safety measures

Delta will add almost 1,000 flights system-wide in July, boosting service and nonstop connectivity to popular summer destinations and major business markets.

As economies reopen and border restrictions lift, Delta will add almost 1,000 flights system-wide in July, boosting service and nonstop connectivity to popular summer destinations and major business markets.

Customers traveling or considering travel this summer can feel confident in a safe experience throughout the journey, from check-in to baggage claim. Delta has implemented several measures to encourage extra space and provide peace of mind at the airport, as well as committed to capping cabin seating at 60 percent in Main Cabin and 50 percent in First Class and blocking middle seats through Sept. 30, 2020.

Pending a lift on border restrictions, Delta will resume service to customer favorite summer destinations – four-times weekly service from New York-JFK to Lisbon and daily service from JFK to Athens. Delta is also expanding its focus on hub-to-hub flying to coastal markets by adding four-times weekly service from Boston to Amsterdam and daily service from Seattle to Amsterdam. We will also restart Detroit to Paris-Charles De Gaulle service.

Connectivity within Africa will also expand, pending government approval, with the resumption of service from New York-JFK to Accra, as well as service from Atlanta to Lagos.

“Confidence in a safe travel experience is key to a successful recovery,” Joe Esposito, Senior Vice President – Network Planning said. “While we’re rebuilding our network at home and abroad, it’s even more critical that we provide the highest industry standard of safety, space and clean so when our customers are ready to travel, we’re ready for them”, he also added.

Customers also have the flexibility to change their plans without a fee for a year, for new flights purchased through June 30.

Even with the modest growth in demand, Delta’s July schedule will be approximately 70 percent smaller than the same time last year, including reductions of about 65 percent for U.S. domestic travel and nearly 75 percent for international.

As Delta looks ahead to the remainder of the summer travel season, the airline will stay focused on adding seat capacity, gradually rebuilding its footprint in local markets, and resuming high-demand service suspended due to travel restrictions.

Delta will continue to add more nonstop connectivity between top markets, with a focus on major hubs like Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City. For customers looking to vacation closer to home this summer, Delta is adding capacity to popular leisure markets like Florida and throughout the West Coast, as well as more transcontinental flying for business travelers.

While seating is capped to ensure more space between customers this summer, we will look for opportunities to up-size to a larger aircraft type or add more flying on routes with increasing customer demand.

With non-essential travel guidelines between the U.S. and Canada extended into July, Delta will continue to operate a limited schedule for those with critical travel needs. Minneapolis, Detroit and New York-JFK serve as Delta’s main gateways to destinations like Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg. Delta will also continue service to Vancouver from Seattle.

Delta has also temporarily consolidated operations in some markets served by multiple airports, as well as suspended flying to select U.S. cities while customer traffic is significantly reduced.