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UAE hosts Annual Investment Meeting in bid to promote economy

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The Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has finalized preparations to organize an Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) from March 29 to 31, 2022, with a focus on expanding investment channels.

The UAE, as a developed economy, had a threefold surge in FDIs in the first half of this year, totaling $424 billion.

In terms of FDI, the UAE is one of the top 20 economies in the world. The FDI Pillar of AIM 2022 aims to investigate key themes such as mainstreaming ESG investments, GVC optimization, IPAs as a favorable business environment, and the importance of SEZs, among other topics.

“Currently, the UAE is ranked 11th in the world for Ease of Doing Business and first in the region. Together, we will make the UAE the best investment destination in the world”, H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.

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Eyeing the augmentation of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) flows worldwide, The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) – an initiative by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy expressed its keenness on continuing to create numerous investment opportunities and innovative economic and business strategies, whilst fully supporting the ensuing macro recovery and subsequent changes to the global economy.

The AIM’s next edition – to be held from 29 to 31 March 2022, with the theme of “Investments in Sustainable Innovation for a Thriving Future” will focus mainly on endorsing and boosting investments towards sustainability and innovation through key activities under the FDI Pillar.

Thanks to rising investors’ confidence, FDI flows have rebounded, globally, in 1H21, as per the latest United Nations (UN) report. Developed economies’ FDIs increased more than threefold in the first half of this year, hitting $424 billion.

Contrary to previous forecasts, global FDI prospects for the full year have improved, the UNCTAD report indicated. This has also been evident in FDIs into East and Southeast Asian countries, which saw a rise of 25%.

The UAE is one of the world’s top 20 economies, in terms of FDI, indicating the country’s strong economic performance. In response to the pandemic, it was one of the first countries in the world to launch stimulus packages and initiatives to provide the necessary support to the economy’s various sectors and adapt to pandemic-related challenges.

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The country’s resilience and relentless pursuit of successful economic transformation and sustainability are clearly manifested in the high global rankings it has achieved.

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE, said:
“With the world’s greatest show, Expo 2020 Dubai, we are now looking forward to collaborating with other organizations and partnering with the best ideas in the world to shape the future.

To achieve our goal of attracting foreign direct investment, we offer a number of incentives to investors, such as zero personal income tax, 100% foreign ownership, and a 10-year golden visa. Currently, the UAE is ranked 11th in the world for Ease of Doing Business and first in the region. Together, we will make the UAE the best investment destination in the world”.

AIM 2022 activities are designed to boost investment opportunities extensively in various sectors. Participants can explore lucrative investment prospects and ideas under the FDI Pillar as global markets offer new investment opportunities to spur economic growth.

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi added that:
“For the past 10 years, the Annual Investment Meeting has played a crucial role in bringing in foreign investment to the UAE. Our focus is now on enhancing UAE’s international reputation as an investment hub and mobilizing concrete investments, along with bringing in solutions for sustainable economic growth. I believe the next edition of the Annual Investment Meeting will bring positive economic change achieving new milestones in the FDI world.”

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AIM 2022 will recognize the best Investment Promotion Agencies across the globe through the AIM Awards, giving tribute to the best FDI projects in regions that have contributed significantly to their markets’ growth and expansion.
AIM’s FDI Pillar will present and discuss key topics; these include:

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“Less than a decade away from SDGs 2030, where are we now, in terms of sustainable investments?” which will explore the concerns and action plans to foster inclusive economic development and resilient societies.

“How FDIs must drive change towards mainstreaming ESG investments”, where experts from global investment agencies will provide their insights and engage in thought-provoking discussions.

“Global Value Chains (GVCs) Optimisation” is also especially relevant, as developed and emerging economies are urged to reposition and optimize their supply chain systems, not only in terms of cost-effectiveness, but more importantly, from the perspective of logistical expertise and long-term regional stability. As GVCs are revisited, redesigned and transformed, this will be reflected in investors’ preferences, in addition to all the complementary initiatives that are implemented by regulatory authorities.

Establishing a digital competitive investment infrastructure has now become mandatory for positioning Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) as favourable business environments, which was evident in the global economic recovery pattern. This issue will be explored in the session: “Accommodating Virtual FDIs: No Longer a Far-Fetched Concept, but a Requisite”.

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− According to UNCTAD, only half of the IPAs worldwide acknowledge the impact of FDI attraction in their country zones. The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) session, “Walking the Talk Beyond Fiscal Incentives”, will discuss the rationality of establishing SEZs: what makes them mutually prosperous and sustainable in today’s business context; and how to best strategize their development through constructive partnerships.

When selecting an FDI location, countries with higher-skilled and better-educated workforces tend to attract more greenfield FDI projects (UNCTAD, WIF). In the wake of workforce flexibility, countries are increasingly promoting diverse and digitally adept talent pools to leverage FDIs.

The session, “Seizing the Opportunity to Attract & Retain the Talent Pool” will present an opportuiny where policymakers and employers will gather to tackle the issue of the remotely functional and resilient workforce in today’s fragmented global economy.

Focused on three regional topics that examine the economic landscapes of Africa, Asia and Latin America, Day 3 of the FDI Pillar’s activities will explore the regions’ risks, challenges and opportunities for growth that call for increased regional cooperation.

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Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, President of the AIM’s Organising Committee, stated that:
“Since the global pandemic, the Annual Investment Meeting has undertaken several innovative and technologically driven initiatives to transform the economy towards an upward direction. The platform has continued to drive investments through smart solutions. It has also pushed for the development of several projects that add value to investors and the economy in general. AIM recognises the UAE’s continued success and will serve as an instrument to further establish future economic developments and boost FDI flows worldwide.”

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The Annual Investment Meeting continues to gain support from several Ministries and Government Departments, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), Smart City Solution Providers, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors and several financial institutions to provide SMEs and start-ups with an abundance of opportunities. Apart from AIM’s FDI Pillar, the Annual Investment Meeting consists of five more pillars: I) the 50 Initiatives Pillar; ii) The Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s) Pillar; iii) The Future Cities Pillar; iv) The Start-ups Pillar; and v) the FPI Pillar.
For more information on AIM 2022, please visit www.aimcongress.com.

About the Annual Investment Meeting
Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) is the world’s leading platform for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), aimed at facilitating strategic networking and promoting investments. It is the largest gathering of the international investment community, policy makers, business leaders, regional and international investors, entrepreneurs, leading academics and experts showcasing up-to-date information and strategies on attracting FDI.

It convenes key decision-makers from around the world, bringing together businesses and countries willing to engage in sustainable partnerships with investors. It offers a variety of features aimed at facilitating strategic networking and promoting investments while providing a worthwhile learning experience.

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78,000 Nigerians in Ghanian universities pay with dollars – CUAB VC, Gbajabiamila

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The Vice Chancellor of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State (CUAB), Prof. Ibrahim Gbajabiamila, has expressed worry that over 78,000 Nigerians schooling in Ghana and pay school fees in dollars.

With this, Gbajabimiala expressed concern that Nigerian parents are spending more on education in other countries than the five percent, which he said was allocated in the yearly budget to education.

The Professor said this at an event on Wednesday.

The don, who was worried about the dwindling standard of education in Nigeria, said the problem facing the nation’s education sector was lack of funding.

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According to him, average countries are doing well in education because they earmark enough money for the sector.

“The standard of education used to be high and I think our issue is that our standards are dropping as illustrated by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) results and other comparative data.

“We are not spending enough on education. Average countries are doing well. For example, Ghana is spending 25%, while we were previously spending 9% and now in 2022 it has dropped down to 5%. That’s why it is difficult for the children to excel, and of course, we still have the issue of the ASUU strike, which meant that since February, the children have been roaming about the street. Of course, losing school time, as we have done, has made us not competitive.

“Education is not a luxury, it’s a human right and our children have that right as an oil-producing nation to have quality education. Unfortunately, we should not rely on only the private sector to provide it. It is the public sector that has that right. But those that don’t have our oil wealth are doing better in that sector,” Gbajabiamila told newsmen.

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Stating the solution to the nation’s poor education standard, the Vice Chancellor said: “The way out is to spend more money on education. Those of us who are old enough would remember that Nigeria was a hub for West Africa in education. We have over a hundred universities, but some of you would remember the ‘Ghana-must-go’. We now have over 78,000 Nigerian students in Ghana alone, and Nigerian parents are paying in dollars. What that means is that the Nigerian parents are spending more on education than Nigeria’s budget in Ghana alone; not to talk of South Africa, Malaysia, USA, and so on.

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“So, we are developing other people’s education sector, and the way out is for us to do the needful and spend what is required to meet the standard. What is required to meet the international standard is that, if you can show me a public secondary or primary school with running water, electricity and internet. Those are the three most important elements of modern education.

“It is very difficult for our children to compete in the WAEC exams in science, when we don’t have quality science laboratories. That was not the case many years ago. In 1958, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, was one of the top 10 hospitals in the Commonwealth, but those are historical now.”

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Dennis Osadebe: Meet the Nigerian artist visualizing Africa’s future by reaching into the past

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In Dennis Osadebe’s “Nigerian Dream,” two figures clad in fuscia and mustard yellow stare out of the painting. Their facial features are obscured by a traditional tribal mask and a futuristic space helmet. The piece parodies the 1930 Grant Wood painting “American Gothic,” but exchanges a rural farmhouse for a modern home, and a pitchfork for an electric fan — a staple for beating the heat in Nigeria.
The 31-year-old Lagos-based artist wants to challenge assumptions about African art, visualizing the continent’s future by reaching into the past.
“I always want to use my art to educate people about Nigeria by making them understand that we’re already future-thinking,” said Osadebe, whose work fits into the movement known as Afrofuturist art combining African heritage with technology. “We are … sophisticated and complicated. [We] can participate in art at any level.”
“Nigerian Dream” is an example of “Neo African” art, a term Osadebe said he coined to describe work that rebels against stereotypes around African art. His style has captivated audiences around the world, and even won the approval of tennis champion Naomi Osaka.

Using surrealism and “post-pop” to transcend expectations

Instead of focusing on Nigeria’s shortcomings, Osadebe said, including inconsistent access to electricity and poor health care, his work celebrates the future by showcasing Africa’s potential.
Osadebe describes his art as “postmodern surrealism,” and “post-pop.” His everyday scenes, anonymous faces, and imagery of common household objects are designed to help people visualize their lives in his art.
“When people look at this piece, I want them to reflect and ask themselves: ‘do I see myself in this piece and why?'” said Osadebe. “I want to convey the feeling of us as human beings … having shared experiences [by celebrating] the most mundane, simple things.”
Research is key to his artistic process. He starts by identifying features of existing images that excite him. He has borrowed horses from Renaissance paintings, David Hockney’s reverse perspective, and René Magritte’s playful obstruction of faces. “It’s similar to collage in that sense,” he added.
Next, Osadebe starts to build a digital image around that feature. When the digital rendering is complete, he prints it on canvas and paints it using acrylic. For him, combining digital and traditional mediums gives him creative freedom.

Capturing a global audience

Osadebe said art is about developing a visual language that transcends geographic boundaries — a “universal language that everybody can connect to.” His work has captivated viewers in galleries all over the world, including Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Miami, London and Hong Kong.
He said learning about people’s perspectives on his art fuels his confidence to create. During his first exhibition in Lagos — 2017’s “Remember the Future,” inspired by the Nigerian space program — he was nervous about his work. “I was like, what have I done? These are all cartoon characters,” recalled Osadebe.
That anxiety went away when he had a discussion with the first person who walked into the gallery. “He [said] ‘as a Nigerian, this is something I felt like I needed to see — this was a perspective, a way of representation, that made me feel and see my potential.'” Osadebe said it was validating to hear that his art started a dialogue that he himself had struggled to put into words.
More validation came from Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka. The four-time Grand Slam champion purchased several of Osadebe’s pieces after coming across them in 2020. Her management team reached out to Osadebe, he said, and told him Osaka was drawn to a painting of a woman sitting on a horse in a living room.
“She was like ‘this evokes the energy I feel when I get into a room,'” he said. While he never spoke to Osaka directly, he speculates that she liked the piece’s message about controlling one’s own narrative.
Last year, he painted a cover for a Racquet Magazine feature about Osaka at her request. It features a figure standing in a living room clutching tennis equipment.

Turning heritage into inspiration

Osadebe’s references to his Nigerian heritage infuse his art with nostalgia. The tribal mask that often appears in his paintings was inspired by the official emblem of the Second World Festival of Black Arts and Culture — a replica of the royal ivory mask of Benin.
Osadebe grew up in Festac Town, the federal housing estate in Lagos that was designed in 1977 to house the festival’s participants. Despite living in a place associated with the arts, he said there wasn’t enough representation of young and relatable artists in Nigeria when he was growing up. “I never knew that [a career in art] was a possibility,” he added.
He is the first artist in his family. His father’s career as an entrepreneur inspired Osadebe to study business management at Queen Mary University of London. He completed a master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship, before returning to Lagos to work for a boutique finance firm. He started painting as a way to vent his frustrations — then realized he could turn his passion into a career.
His personal journey as an artist was part of the inspiration behind his recent series of self-portraits. In “Composure” (2022), furniture, plants, and paper swirl through the air in a living room. A figure stands motionlessly before the objects — calm amid chaos.
“I really wanted to reflect myself as an artist today [and] speak on my findings, my struggles, my frustrations,” said Osadebe. Under immense pressure, there is an expectation to retain composure, he added.
For Osadebe, “optimism is critical.” It’s the phrase he lives by when addressing serious themes in his art — like Nigeria’s long history of military rule from the 1960s into the 1990s in “General (Shoots a fake gun),” or police brutality in the video game he designed called “Playful Rebellion.” He said his art uses “optimism as a source of protest.”
hat mentality fuels his continued experimentation with new mediums. He has already made 3D sculptures and interactive graphic interfaces. While he can’t give away any spoilers just yet, he said his next series will celebrate Nigerian identity.
“With optimism, there’s hope,” he explained. “It’s what drives me to want to create, [to] try out new mediums, because it makes me feel like there’s more possibilities.”

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Are You People that Jobless?: Mum Scolds Her Baby Twins in Video for Watching Cartoon Early in the Morning

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A Nigerian mum found her baby twins watching cartoon early in the money and pulled a hilarious stunt on them The woman faked being angry as she knocked the kids for watching carton so early while their older sibling did chores While ordering them to pick up a broom and clean the house, she wondered if they are that jobless
A video of a Nigerian mum funnily scolding her baby twin boys for watching cartoon early in the morning has stirred hilarious reactions. The mum, in the clip shared on TikTok, accosted the kids and waved a turning stick in their faces as she faked being furious about their action.
She rhetorically asked the dumbfounded kids if they were that jobless to be seeing a cartoon that early in the day.
While one of the kids tried to refocus on the TV, she snapped him out of it, urging them to pick up a broom lying on the floor and join in the chores.
She urged them to take a cue from their older sibling who was doing house chores at a corner in the apartment. The kids looked like she wasn’t making sense to them.

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