Recursion Enters into Agreements to Acquire Cyclica and Valence to Bolster Chemistry and Generative AI Capabilities

SALT LAKE CITY and TORONTO and MONTRÉAL, May 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Recursion (NASDAQ: RXRX), a leading clinical stage TechBio company decoding biology to industrialize drug discovery, today announced it has signed agreements to acquire two companies in the AI-enabled drug discovery space: Cyclica and Valence.

“Recursion has pioneered the massive, parallel generation of -omics data with machine learning in order to map and navigate biology to discover new medicines faster. The strategic acquisitions of Cyclica and Valence add industry-leading capabilities in digital chemistry, as well as machine-learning and artificial intelligence, which combined with our large-scale automated wet-laboratories and supercomputing capabilities, enables us to deploy what I believe is the most complete, technology-enabled drug discovery solution in the biopharma industry. We look forward to showing the world proof of the compounding benefit of this full-stack approach through the rapid acceleration of our pipeline and partnerships. Amidst a rapidly accelerating global race for technology talent, these acquisitions cement Recursion as the center of gravity for the best and brightest in ML and AI who want to reimagine how drugs are discovered,” said Chris Gibson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Recursion. “I am so excited to welcome the Cyclica and Valence teams to Recursion, especially at such a dynamic moment in history when machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating so much rapid change across every industry.”

Cyclica, headquartered in Toronto, has built two highly differentiated products in the digital chemistry space which will be integrated into the RecursionOS. MatchMaker™ is an AI-enabled deep learning engine that predicts the polypharmacology of small molecules as the foundation for small molecule drug discovery. It is able to generalize across the proteome and uses both AlphaFold2 structures and homology models. POEM™ (Pareto Optimal Embedding Model) is a unique similarity-based property prediction model. In contrast to other AI prediction models, POEM uses multiple types of molecular fingerprints to describe molecules, providing a much richer measure of similarity that leads to greater accuracy.

“Cyclica and Recursion both believe in the value of industrializing drug discovery,” said Naheed Kurji, CEO and Co-Founder of Cyclica. “Combining our proteome-wide prediction of small molecule-target interactions into Recursion’s data universe will create one of the largest fit-for-purpose biological and chemical datasets in the drug discovery space. Together, I believe Recursion will have an immense impact on human health in the years to come.”

Valence, headquartered in Montréal at Mila, the world’s largest deep learning research institute, is committed to unlocking the full potential of deep learning in the drug discovery process. The company has pioneered the application of low-data learning in drug design, unlocking the ability to design differentiated small molecules with improved properties and function from datasets too small, sparse, or noisy for traditional deep learning methods. Valence has an unparalleled track record of innovation in molecular machine learning, including best-in-class methods for AI-enabled structural biology, generative chemistry, and multi-parametric optimization, ultimately enabling the design of best-in-class or first-in-class chemistry against challenging biology.

“The integration of Valence’s powerful AI-based chemistry engine into Recursion’s diverse and data-rich operating system will help unlock the true power of AI-first digital chemistry and drug discovery,” said Daniel Cohen, CEO and Co-founder at Valence Discovery. “Recursion is a leader in technology-enabled drug discovery with a proven track record of leveraging data to uncover novel biology, and I’m thrilled for our teams to join forces and combine our respective strengths to rapidly advance new medicines to patients who need them.”

Joining forces with Recursion’s Montréal deep learning research office, Valence will become an artificial intelligence and machine learning research center to be led by Daniel Cohen with continued advisory from Yoshua Bengio.

“The acquisition of Valence gives Recursion the opportunity to create a true center of excellence for some of the most compelling AI/ML research in the world,” said Yoshua Bengio, deep learning pioneer and scientific advisor to both Recursion and Valence. “With this newly integrated group housed in the Mila ecosystem, Recursion’s team of researchers in AI and ML for drug discovery reaches a critical mass at a crucial time in the development of new AI algorithms for scientific discovery.”

Terms of the Acquisitions

Recursion has entered into agreements to acquire Cyclica for a purchase price of $40 million and Valence for a purchase price of $47.5 million, in each case subject to customary closing and post-closing purchase price adjustments. The purchase price in the acquisitions will be payable in the form of shares of Recursion Class A common stock, shares of a subsidiary of Recursion exchangeable for shares of Recursion’s Class A common stock and the assumption of certain outstanding Valence and Cyclica options. In certain limited circumstances, Recursion may pay nominal cash consideration to Valence and Cyclica shareholders in lieu of such exchangeable shares or Recursion Class A common stock. Recursion expects no material change to its cash runway as a result of these acquisitions. Recursion expects both acquisitions to be completed in the second quarter of 2023, subject to applicable closing conditions.

About Recursion
Recursion is a clinical stage TechBio company leading the space by decoding biology to industrialize drug discovery. Enabling its mission is the Recursion OS, a platform built across diverse technologies that continuously expands one of the world’s largest proprietary biological and chemical datasets. Recursion leverages sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to distill from its dataset a collection of trillions of searchable relationships across biology and chemistry unconstrained by human bias. By commanding massive experimental scale — up to millions of wet lab experiments weekly — and massive computational scale — owning and operating one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Recursion is uniting technology, biology and chemistry to advance the future of medicine.

Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City, where it is a founding member of BioHive, the Utah life sciences industry collective. Recursion also has offices in Toronto, Montréal and the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Cyclica
As a neo-biotech, Cyclica is efficiently advancing an industry-leading, robust and sustainable drug discovery portfolio focused on CNS, oncology, and auto-immune diseases. Cyclica has built the only generalizable platform across the entire proteome, expanding the target space for low-data targets, including AlphaFold2 structures, PPIs, and mutant oncogenic targets. Cyclica has brought together a diverse and experienced team of biologists, chemists, computer scientists, and business professionals who are collectively passionate about changing the drug discovery paradigm. By exploring the unexplored, and drugging the undrugged, Cyclica strives to impact patient health like never before. For more information, please visit:

About Valence Discovery
Valence is harnessing a revolution in computation to improve human health. The company is a leader in developing and deploying AI and physics-based technologies to enable the design of differentiated small molecules with improved properties and function. Following successful partnerships with leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and an unparalleled track record of innovation featured in top AI journals and conferences, Valence has built a team of interdisciplinary industry veterans and computational experts focused on rapidly advancing a portfolio of internal drug discovery programs. Valence launched publicly in 2021, is supported by leading biotech and deeptech investors, and is headquartered in Montréal. To learn more, please visit

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Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains information that includes or is based upon “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, those regarding the timing and completion of the Cyclica and Valence acquisitions and the outcomes and benefits expected from such acquisitions; Recursion OS and other technologies; business and financial plans and performance, including cash runway; and all other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements may or may not include identifying words such as “plan,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” and similar terms. These statements are subject to known or unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements, including but not limited to: challenges inherent in pharmaceutical research and development, including the timing and results of preclinical and clinical programs, where the risk of failure is high and failure can occur at any stage prior to or after regulatory approval due to lack of sufficient efficacy, safety considerations, or other factors; our ability to leverage and enhance our drug discovery platform; our ability to obtain financing for development activities and other corporate purposes; the success of our collaboration activities; our ability to obtain regulatory approval of, and ultimately commercialize, drug candidates; our ability to obtain, maintain, and enforce intellectual property protections; cyberattacks or other disruptions to our technology systems; our ability to attract, motivate, and retain key employees and manage our growth; inflation and other macroeconomic issues; and other risks and uncertainties such as those described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K. All forward-looking statements are based on management’s current estimates, projections, and assumptions, and Recursion undertakes no obligation to correct or update any such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.

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Fathers’ Day: be good ambassadors of Christ, cleric advises Christians

Rev. Samuel Nyakno of Missionary of St. Paul (MSP), Gwagwalada, Abuja, has advised Christians to be good ambassadors of Christ and exhibit good virtues wherever they find themselves.

Nyakno gave the advice during his homily on Sunday in commemoration of the 2023 Fathers’ Day celebration at St. Luke’s Camplaincy, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

According to him, Christians should be one with Christ, part of his body and part of his creation.

Nyakno said one could only attain eternal life if he was connected with God, saying “whenever we are connected with Him, whatever we ask Him He will give us”.

“God is a Father and has given man the privilege to share in the fatherhood with him. Man is to lead other creatures to God.

“How are you contributing to the development of the House of God?

“Whatever position you occupied in the society, you are expected to represent God in those positions,” he said.

The reverend further explained that there were many channels to get connected with God through different works of life.

Earlier, the Chaplin, Rev. Fr. Patrick Nnamani while commending fathers for their support towards the church said without fathers the building would collapse.

Nnamani said that many men were going through difficult times and prayed that God would bless them and give them the hearts to accommodate all the challenges.

Mr Ezekiel Alagboso, President of Catholic Men’s Organisation, of the Camplaincy said that fathers were entrusted with a lot of both human, capital and spiritual resources.

Alagboso said that fathers were expected to draw knowledge and courage from the examples of Jesus Christ by leading exemplary lives.

He said if this was achieved the world would be a better place.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of this year’s Fathers’ Day celebration is “Effective management for organisational growth.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

134 kidnap victims rescued in Kogi

The Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, says no fewer 134 kidnapped victims have been rescued in Kogi by a vigilance group.

He said this in a statement in Lokoja on Monday, noting that the rescued victims were abducted in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State.

Mohammed said that the victims were rescued during a rescue operations launched by the Kogi vigilance group in forests located in the state and some parts of Nasarawa State.

“The vigilance group had stormed the hideouts of kidnappers in the Odullo forest of Kogi and Sardauna in Nasarawa State and rescued 134 victims who were abducted from Abaji, Kuje, and Kwali in FCT, as well as Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa.

“The vigilance group, comprising 92 members who participated in the operation at the Odullo forest and Sardauna in Nasarawa State, returned and were gladly received by Chairman of the area, Mr Dauda Aliyu,” he said.

He also said that Aliyu, who received the rescued victims, commended the vigilantes for their bravery and achievement.

He said that the chairman commended the Yahaya Bello’s administration’s support to security operatives in the state, adding that the victims had been properly reunited with their families.

“The council boss appreciated Bello for supporting the vigilantes that he said had continued to help immensely in the fight against insecurity in the state”, the statement said.

The statement also said that the Security Adviser to the state governor, retired Commodore Jerry Omodara, also praised the vigilance group and other security agencies in the state for their efforts in fighting crimes in the state and beyond.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

102 returnees aboard Tarco airline from Port Sudan

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said 102 evacuees returned home from Sudan aboard a Tarco airliner via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, who gave the update on Monday, said the airline arrive at the airport at about 9:15 a.m.

Earlier, had updated newsmen on a Tarco Airline arriving from Port Sudan International Airport.

“Kindly update you on the following:

“Aircraft :B737-500 CS- MAB. Company: Tarco Airline.

“Left Port Sudan International Airport today, 8th May, 2023, at 12:45a.m. local time, with 124 adult, 5 Infants. Total 129 Nigerian nationals (evacuees).

“Estimated time of arrival Port Sudan (PZU) to Juba (JUB) 2 hrs 50 min.

“Stop over 1 hrs in Juba.

“JUB to ABV = 03:30 min. Total = 7hrs 30min.

“The flight is expected to arrive Abuja around 6:30a.m. to 7a.m. Nigerian time.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Akure Airport to metamorphose into first aerotropolis in sub-Sahara Africa – Investor

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in conjunction with a private company, Ala Resort Ltd., has concluded arrangements to turn the Akure Airport to an aerotropolis.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the resort, Mr Moyosola Niran-Oladunni, stated this in Akure on Monday during a news conference to herald the inauguration of the project.

Niran-Oladunni said that the project would be inaugurated on Tuesday with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FAAN and the management of the resort.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an aerotropolis is a metropolitan area developed in and well beyond an airport premises.

It involves the development of an airport based city, with air travel at its core, and surrounded by commercial, educational, entertainment, healthcare and hospitality centres.

Niran-Oladunni explained that the company was bringing ideas that would impact value on the state.

He said the aerotropolis, which would be first of its kind in sub-sahara Africa, would drive lives around the aviation industry.

According to Niran-Oladunni, the resort had begun moves on the aerotropolis since 2017 when experts were invited to assess the airport for its suitability for the project.

He revealed that FAAN had approved the project, which he said, would be constructed in phases including institutional, industrial, commercial and agricultural.

According to him, the aerotropolis will parade institutional zone including sports academy that can host any sport club, which will be built by Emirate Foundation and a medical centre to be built by a U.S. company.

“The industrial zone will also enable all materials to be used for the construction to be assembled and manufactured in the sector within,” he said.

Niran-Oladunni added that the aerotropolis had the potential to catalyse cargo business in the airport, saying that the airport authority would activate the cargo shed in the airport.

He disclosed that no fewer than 14,000 skilled workers would be engaged by the aerotropolis with the infrastructure facilities gulping N56 billion.

According to him, the project is being developed as a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) between Ala Resort Ltd. and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

“Ala Resort and aerotropolis will be a sprawling development for which air travel will constitute the driving force and central concept, surrounded by complementary developments of commercial, educational, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality and light industrial centres.

“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to perform the ground-breaking, assisted by the Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika,” he said.

Also, the General Manager, Business Development, FAAN Headquarters, Mr Hycinth Ngwu, said the decision was anchored on a PPP geared toward developing an aerotropolis in the airport.

Ngwu assured that the project would be executed as planned and Akure Airport would revolutionise the way the authority generates revenue.

“It’s in the interest of all stakeholders to support the project. It will increase revenue base of the state and local government.

“Certainly, majority of the employees will come from the locality. They should support it because it will transform to their successes.

“We intend to replicate this in other airports. We started in Akure because it initially had the largest land mass before being overtaken recently by Abuja Airport,” he said.

The Airport Manager, Akure, Mrs Lynda Ezike, assured that the management and members staff of the airport were expectant and ready to support the proposed unprecedented developmental mega project.

“We are ready to support Ala Resort Ltd. in ensuring the success of this mega project which is for the betterment of all stakeholders,” she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Traditional ruler commends Runsewe on cultural promotion

Oba Francis Agbede, Okowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom in Ondo, has commended Segun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), on his developmental strides in the culture and tourism sectors of Nigeria.

Agbede, in a statement on Monday, said Runsewe had shown seriousness in handling everything that has to do with culture in Nigeria.

He also commended Runsewe in his efforts to combat the ills and social-vices bedeviling the society, and appreciated Runsewe’s collaboration efforts with other governmental organisations to develop the culture sector of the country.

He enjoined all the stakeholders in the culture and tourism industry to put heads together to move the industry to higher and better level.

“Runsewe’s effort in empowering Nigerian youths in converting waste to wealth is also commendable, this has helped to create employment especially for the youths,” he said.

Agbede took time out to pray for Runsewe, for God to strengthen him in all his efforts to make culture the new oil of Nigeria.

In his response, Runsewe thanked the traditional ruler for paying him a visit, and told him of his intention to see that every traditional ruler carves out a place within the palace where works of arts and crafts will be displayed for visitors especially foreigners.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Empretec trains 2,000 entrepreneurs in agricultural sector

The national training programme (Empretec) trained, in four years, 2,000 national entrepreneurs in the sectors of agriculture and technology aimed at keeping the foundation of the projects sustainable.

With funding from the European Union, the programme has the support of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a body of the United Nations system.

In this training segment, the programme is training a new group of 25 entrepreneurs in matters of entrepreneurship, whose the seven-day training began Monday.

According to the national coordinator of “Train for Trade II”, Adelino Muxito, the training is being run by national trainers already certified by UNCTAD, with the support of the European Union.

The training is expected to contribute to boosting the national economy, as part of the current economic diversification programme.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

SADC praises João Lourenço’s commitment to promoting peace in Great Lakes

Angolan President João Lourenço has received praise for his role as mediator appointed by the African Union ( AU) to facilitate dialogue between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

The recognition emerged from the Extraordinary Summit of the SADC Double Troika plus the Contributing Countries with personnel in the Intervention Force Brigade (FIB) held on Monday in Windhoek, Namibia.

On the other hand, the participants in summit noted, with great concern, the instability prevailing in eastern DRC and reiterated their strong condemnation against the increase in conflicts and activities of Armed Groups, including the resurgence of the M23.

Angolan mediation, in its capacity as President of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), in the conflict in eastern DRC resulted in a ceasefire agreement, as of 7 March last.

Angola plans to send a contingent of 500 soldiers from the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) to the DRC, who are expected to remain in that country for 12 months, comprising a battalion of the FAA and respective components.

During the summit, the participants reiterated the appeal for the immediate cessation of hostilities by all Armed Groups and the unconditional withdrawal from the current occupied areas.

The Summit called for immediate regional support to the Government of the DRC to address the prevailing security situation in the east of that Great Lakes country, ahead of national elections scheduled for December 2023.

On the occasion, SADC’s support was reiterated in the fight against armed groups in the East of the DRC, to pave the way for sustainable peace, security and prosperity for the people of the DRC and the SADC region as a whole.

The event also praised the President of the DRC, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, for the continuous support, collaboration and cooperation of SADC to obtain lasting peace and security in the east of this country.

The Summit also commended the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, for the timely convening of the summit and for his leadership in galvanizing concerted efforts towards achieving lasting peace, security and stability in the SADC region.

The Summit was attended by the Heads of State and Government of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, DRC Félix Antoine Tshisekedi and of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Also attended the meeting Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs Téte António, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço.

The FIB is part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), which was deployed in 2013 as a Brigade with an operational mandate to launch offensive actions against Armed Groups and Negative Forces operating in eastern DRC.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

TAAG launches new modern services website

Angola Airlines launched on Monday in Luanda a 24-hour self-service multi-dimensional website.

The move allows passengers to manage reservations, purchase tickets and check-in online in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish languages.

The platform is available at, and has navigation adaptable to Android and IOS mobile phones operating system.

Passengers can also check the destinations and connections, among other useful information.

The national flag carrier has a fleet of 21 aircrafts, including 14 domestic and 13 international destinations, with more than 50 destinations.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angola participates in International Ombudsman Institute meeting

Angolan Ombudswoman Florbela Araújo is participating in the annual meeting of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) to take place from May 8-11, with the aim to discuss ways to strengthen the organisation.

According to a note issued by the institution that reached ANGOP Monday, the Angolan Ombudswoman, who is participating in the event as Director of the IOI for the African region, has been in the Austrian capital (Vienna) since Sunday to attend the meeting.

Upon her arrival in Vienna, Florbela Araújo met with her counterparts from Portugal, Zambia, Belgium and the IOI first Vice President, Diane Welborn, from the United States of America.

The meeting of the Governing Board will discuss, among other matters, the reports of the IOI President, Chris Field, issues related to applications for membership of new members.

It will also include the analysis of the cash flow statement and budget, regional grants for the period 2023/2024 and other reports on the recent training initiatives 2022/2023.

The meeting will address various issues related to the life of the organisation in the various sessions, including the Executive Committee, the UN Working Group, the Statutory Reform Committee and aspects to be discussed by the managements of the IOI Board of Directors.

It includes analyses on the revision of the IOI’s official languages and documents on good practices in the regions, and the status of permanent observer at the United Nations General Assembly.

The International Ombudsman Institute is the largest international organisation of Ombudsmen in the world.

It is divided into 6 (six) regions, namely: Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Australia and the Pacific.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Journalism crucial for democracy – Secretary of State

The Secretary of State for Social Communication Nuno Caldas Albino Monday in Luanda stressed the role of journalism in protecting, promoting and guaranteeing human rights.

Nuno Caldas Albino made the statements during the opening of a training course on communication for decentralisation and participatory governance.

He stressed that this tool acts as an important instrument for achieving human, inclusive and sustainable development.

According to Nuno Caldas Albino, journalism plays a central role in the social process, as it enables democratic societies and defines the execution of public policies.

He underlined that carrying out the training promoted by the Support Project for Civil Society and Local Administration in Angola (PASCAL) will empower media professionals with knowledge that will allow them to address, with efficiency, the matters that concern the processes of decentralisation and participatory governance of the country.

“This is the trend we must follow, above all assuming a governance posture that is increasingly closer, interactive, inclusive and participatory”, he underlined.

The training action promoted by PASCAL is funded by the European Union and aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of Media professionals and digital influencers to make journalistic coverage of issues related to decentralization, participatory governance, gender equality and inclusion more effective.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Namibia promotes investment opportunities in Ghana

The Namibian High Commission in Ghana recently hosted the Namibia Investment and Trade Business Forum in efforts to market the country as a lucrative trading partner and investment destination.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in a statement said Namibia is well on course to enhance her presence in Ghana and beyond, with strong participation in the 53rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), which took place in Accra from 23 to 28 April 2023.

It said to build up anticipation for Namibia’s participation in the General Assembly, the delegation hosted the Investment and Trade Business Forum at the Namibian High Commission in Accra to “create linkages with the local business community, while highlighting the comparative advantages that position Namibia as a lucrative trading partner and investment destination.”

The event drew over 100 entrepreneurs from a variety of sectors in Ghana, including oil and gas, real estate, agribusiness, tourism, mining, ICT, arts and fashion.

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu addressed the forum on Namibia’s investment climate and economic opportunities, while Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) Chief Executive Officer Nangula Uaandja did a presentation on investment opportunities in Namibia.

‘Namibia also had an attractive exhibition booth where various products including meat and meat products, dairy products, pomegranates, dates, maize and wheat products, beer, wine, spirits, cow hides, cosmetics, charcoal, artefacts, Nakara handbags and coats, were displayed,’ it said.

According to the statement, the 53rd General Assembly of the WTCA was the first of its kind to be held in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The annual event brings together high-level government and business delegates from across the globe. Namibia participated in the General Assembly under the sub-theme ‘Namibia: the land of many opportunities’, with a focus on agriculture, fisheries, mining, tourism, energy, logistics infrastructure and real estate.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Urgent action required for drought relief: Schlettwein

Recurring drought leading to crop failure and low harvests warrants the prioritisation of responsive actions to address human and livestock needs, Minister of Agriculture Calle Schlettwein has said.

Speaking at the opening of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform’s planning workshop in Swakopmund on Monday, Schlettwein said drought relief measures and distribution networks should be mobilised to mitigate devastating impacts on producers.

“The recurrence of the drought phenomenon also underscores the need for urgent implementation of drought preparedness measures, such as the expanded activity to harvest rain and flood water for better adaptation and resilience in the future,” the minister noted.

He further emphasised the immediate commencement of feasibility studies for timely project planning and budgeting in the next financial year on the basis of assessed feasibility, including for the Neckartal Dam Irrigation Project. Other critical projects are assessment for the establishment of a veterinary barrier to effectively prevent the introduction of Foot and Mouth Disease and Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) into the NCA, and for the extension of the Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory at the Central Veterinary Laboratory for the establishment of a local vaccine production capacity in the future.

“The feasibility study for the Neckartal Irrigation Project should also be extended to include community consultation on the appropriate model for the green scheme which optimises local participation options. Equally, our interventions on the effective veterinary barrier should go beyond conducting the feasibility study to include immediate steps to nullify the effects of the veterinary cordon fence by starting with the compartmentalisation of veterinary zones, commencing with the Kunene Region and Mangetti areas.”

The minister further stressed that effective management of the green schemes is a key lever for food security and food self-sufficiency, saying the ministry should urgently finalise and implement new lease agreements where awards are made to enable timely injection of private capital to wean these schemes from the government budget.

Ministry officials will during the workshop focus on the strategic plan and presentations on various programmes and projects within the ministry.

The week-long meeting will also present a platform for various stakeholders to coordinate planning within the agricultural sector.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

CAN donates core biopsy needles to the health ministry

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) has donated core biopsy needles worth N.dollars 100 000 to the Windhoek Central Hospital’s Breast Clinic to aid in the fight against breast cancer in Namibia.

Each biopsy needle costs around N.dollars 1000 and a biopsy is required to proceed with the treatment plan once a referral is made, either directly from a clinical breast examination or through a mammogram screening, said CAN Chief Executive Officer Rolf Hansen during the handover in Windhoek on Monday.

”CAN believes that by taking these preventive steps, we can collectively influence lives,” he said.

Throughout the rest of the year, he said, similar projects would be implemented through collaborative work between CAN and MoHSS departments, or by private physicians eager to volunteer their skills.

Breast cancer, according to Hansen, is not only a global killer in Sub-Saharan Africa or Namibia, but it is also the world’s first killer among women.

He stated that 3 945 women in Namibia had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in the last ten years.

”If found early, breast cancer is treatable and cured. As a result, the CAN advises women to become 365 breasts aware, which simply means getting to know their breasts and speaking to your doctor or contacting CAN if you notice anything unusual,” he said.

Hansen further stated that in order to combat breast cancer in Namibia, CAN collaborated with the health ministry to establish breast clinics as key nodes throughout the country, with the main clinic in Windhoek serving as the largest referral centre.

”We treat all referrals from our mobile clinics at our main clinic in Windhoek. However, because this type of cancer is treatable and curable, we encourage Namibian women to undertake self-examinations and seek medical attention as soon as possible, as the prospects of survival are very poor once detected late,” he said.

This, he stated, adds to the stigma associated with not only breast cancer but cancer in general.

“With this donation, we hope to enable and empower the medical teams at Windhoek Central Hospital to save lives. We also believe that by forming these strategic alliances, we will be able to save more lives and keep families together,” he added.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

SADC has political will and structure to bring desired peace: Geingob

President Hage Geingob has said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has the political will and relevant structures to bring about the desired results of peace, security, and stability in the region.

Geingob was speaking as Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, during the official opening of the SADC extra-ordinary Organ Troika Summit and Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) in Windhoek on Monday.

“SADC has the political will to deal with political and security threats in our region. We not only have the political will, but we have put in place relevant structures, and will continue to strengthen them, in order to bring about the desired results of safeguarding our region’s peace, security and stability,” he noted.

Geingob said the region stands ready to address the changing dynamics in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) against the proliferation of illegal armed groups, some of which launch attacks against civilians, state security agencies, and public infrastructure from neighbouring countries.

He noted that SADC’s FIB has been deployed in eastern DRC as part of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission aimed at securing the affected part of the country and restoring its overall territorial integrity.

The Head of State further noted that SADC will consider ways to strengthen its efforts in solidarity with the people of DRC during its upcoming elections at the end of 2023.

“Given the long-term commitment to peace and security in the DRC, SADC must focus on regaining the achievements of FIB made since March 2013 to eradicate the illegal armed groups, securing and consolidating the territorial integrity and future of a DRC whose socio-economic development is intertwined with our regional development goals,” Geingob said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency