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Stanbic IBTC unveiled as major sponsor as varsity league kicks off

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Stanbic IBTC unveiled as major sponsor as varsity league kicks off

Stanbic IBTC Group has announced its sponsorship of the Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL), which kicked off Wednesday 1 August 2018. Stanbic IBTC said the sponsorship is in tandem with the company’s determination to help grow and develop a vibrant and productive youth population.

According to Stanbic IBTC, their involvement is equally informed by the need to foster unity among the youth, the future leaders, and development of sports as well as the economy using the HIFL platform.

“We are enthusiastic about our sponsorship of the university league. The sponsorship is in line with our objective to engage the youth in talent-moulding and character-building initiatives and our determination to contribute to the development of sports and by extension the economy,” Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mr. Yinka Sanni, said.

Organised by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing, the maiden edition of the league will feature the top 16 universities from across the country. The teams will play a total of 30 games over a 14-week period to determine the winner. The draws for the league groupings were held recently. Explaining the rationale for HIFL at the draws ceremony in Lagos, CEO of the Green White Green, Alhaji Shuaibu Gara-Gombe, said the HIFL is conceived as a platform for students “to exhibit their talents to the world.” The participating universities are Obafemi Awolowo University, Delta State University, University of Benin, University of Lagos, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Agriculture Makurdi, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Bayero University, University of Ilorin, University of Jos, University of Uyo, University of Maiduguri, Usman Dan Fodio University, Ahmadu Bello University, and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University.

The organisers of the league commended Stanbic IBTC for its boldness in sponsoring the HIFL. According to them, the sponsorship will be invaluable to the success of the varsity league, even as they promised to stage the best football spectacle that will “convince our sponsors and indeed Nigerians that collegiate sport is ripe in Nigeria.”

This sponsorship is the latest in a long list of youth-centric development and empowerment initiatives by Stanbic IBTC. Earlier in the year, the company organised a Youth Leadership Series, targeted at igniting and encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit among the youth. It also recently launched an Innovation Hub to serve as incubator for young thinkers to actualise their ideas. Stanbic IBTC assured that it will continue to seek opportunities to support initiatives targeted at developing the youth.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC is a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Stanbic IBTC belongs to the Standard Bank Group, the largest African financial institution by assets and market capitalization. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent. Standard Bank has been in operation for 155 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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