Abu Dhabi’s artificial intelligence university establishes dedicated robotics and computer science departments to meet surging global demand

MBUZAI Students

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has established two new departments and four associated graduate programs dedicated to robotics and computer science, catering to the surging global demand for these disciplines, which is expected to hit USD $225 billioni and $140 billion, respectively, by 2030ii.

The new departments complement the university’s existing computer vision (CV), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) departments, which are ranked among the top 20 globally by CSRankings.

Aligned with the formation of the new departments, the university has launched master’s and Ph.D. programs in robotics and computer science. These programs will help further develop the UAE’s wider AI ecosystem and strengthen its position as an international hub for AI research and innovation.

MBZUAI President and University Professor, Eric Xing, said: “The addition of these two new departments represents MBZUAI’s lasting effort in developing a solid foundation for research excellence and innovation in artificial intelligence. The university will continue to bring into Abu Dhabi world leading faculty and researchers in the fields and to empower students to become pioneers with highly sought-after skills in developing advanced AI tools and applications across industries. Given the digital renAIssance we find ourselves in, skills in these disciplines are increasing in demand.”

The Robotics Department will focus on rigorous, high-impact, original research, emphasizing robot learning and robot algorithms rather than the development of new robot hardware. The Computer Science Department will provide unparalleled technical depth in the foundational technologies that have given rise to the phenomenal growth and impact of IT in the past four decades.

MBZUAI Acting Provost, Professor Timothy Baldwin, said: “MBZUAI is at the forefront of AI education and research, making our programs distinctive and globally competitive. The Robotics Department will focus on human-centered and autonomous robotics research, as well as the development of the next generation of robotics practitioners with deep skills in both AI and robotics, supporting careers at the cutting edge of academia, industry, and government.”

Robotics is a transformative technology, revolutionizing sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and transportation. Research indicates strong demand for robotics expertise in the coming years, with the robotics technology market expected to surpass US$225.6 billion in value by 2030iii. This demand will be critically hampered by a predicted global talent shortage, with up to 85 million jobs potentially going unfilled by 2030 due to a lack of skilled people to fill themiv. Similarly, the global computer science job market is also booming, with projections of a 14.5% CAGR from 2021 to 2027 and an estimated 3.5 million jobs by 2026v.

Applications for the 2024 admissions year will open on September 1, 2023. For more information, visit mbzuai.ac.ae or contact admissions@mbzuai.ac.ae


Precedence Research
ii Precedence Research
iii Precedence Research
iv Korn Ferry
v CS job market projections (The Most Surprising Computer Science Job Statistics And Trends in 2023 • GITNUX)

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/eb82e469-758c-46ca-b84c-ddeb1502171d

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Zenas BioPharma annonce la publication d’une étude de phase 2 sur l’obéxélimab, un traitement expérimental pour la maladie liée aux IgG4 (ML-IgG4), dans The Lancet Rheumatology

L’étude a montré que l’obéxélimab produisait une amélioration clinique rapide, forte et soutenue, y compris une rémission clinique complète, chez la plupart des patients atteints de ML-IgG4 active

Les résultats soutiennent la poursuite du développement de l’obéxélimab pour le traitement de la ML-IgG4 et potentiellement d’autres maladies auto-immunes à médiation par les cellules B

WALTHAM, Massachusetts, 02 août 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zenas BioPharma, une société biopharmaceutique mondiale déterminée à devenir un leader dans le développement et la commercialisation de traitements basés sur l’immunité, annonce que The Lancet Rheumatology a publié les résultats d’une étude de phase 2 évaluant l’obéxélimab pour le traitement de patients atteints de la maladie liée aux IgG4 (ML-IgG4). Sur la base des résultats de cette étude, un essai de phase 3 chez des patients atteints de ML-IgG4 est en cours afin d’évaluer davantage l’efficacité et l’innocuité de l’obéxélimab administré par injection sous-cutanée.

La ML-IgG4 est une maladie fibro-inflammatoire chronique à médiation immunitaire qui peut toucher plusieurs organes, notamment les glandes salivaires principales, les orbites, les glandes lacrymales, le pancréas, l’arbre biliaire, les poumons, les reins et le rétropéritoine. Environ 20 000 patients sont diagnostiqués comme étant atteints d’une ML-IgG4 rien qu’aux États-Unis. Bien qu’elle soit de plus en plus reconnue, il reste nécessaire de poursuivre la recherche et de trouver des options thérapeutiques efficaces pour les personnes qui vivent avec cette maladie invalidante.

Dans le monde entier, l’utilisation de glucocorticoïdes est largement considérée comme la norme de soins pour traiter la ML-IgG4. Il n’existe aucune option de traitement approuvée pour cette condition. Bien que couramment utilisés, les glucocorticoïdes et les traitements de déplétion des cellules B disponibles conduisent rarement à des rémissions à long terme sans traitement, et sont associés à un risque élevé de toxicité chez ces patients. Ces traitements altèrent également les réponses vaccinales, y compris celles contre le SRAS-CoV-2 et la grippe.

Dans une étude pilote prospective ouverte à bras unique et centre unique visant à évaluer l’efficacité et l’innocuité de l’obéxélimab dans le traitement des patients atteints de ML-IgG4 (inscription NCT02725476 sur clinicaltrials.gov), l’obéxélimab a démontré une forte amélioration sur l’IgG4-RD Responder Index, qui mesure l’activité de la maladie, en inhibant la fonction des cellules B, sans les épuiser.

Le manuscrit publié, intitulé « Obexelimab for the Treatment of Patients with IgG4-Related Disease: An Open-Label, Single-Arm, Pilot Study to Evaluate Efficacy, Safety, and Mechanism of Action » (L’obéxélimab pour le traitement des patients atteints de maladie liée aux IgG4 : une étude pilote ouverte à bras unique visant à évaluer l’efficacité, l’innocuité et le mode d’action) est disponible en ligne et figurera dans le numéro d’août de The Lancet Rheumatology 2023;5(8) [E428-E429].

Ci-après figurent les principales conclusions du document :

  • L’obéxelimab a produit une amélioration clinique rapide, forte et soutenue, y compris une rémission complète (score de 0 sur l’IgG4-RD Responder Index), chez la plupart des patients atteints de ML-IgG4 active.
  • Lors du traitement à base d’obéxélimab, des réductions des cellules B en circulation, y compris les plasmablastes, ont été observées sans preuve de mort cellulaire.
  • Par ailleurs, une réduction des cellules B en circulation et un rapide retour à des niveaux quasi-normaux après arrêt du traitement suggèrent que l’obéxélimab pourrait mener à une séquestration des cellules B dans les organes lymphoïde ou la moelle osseuse.
  • L’obéxélimab s’est révélé bien toléré. La majorité des effets indésirables liés aux traitement étaient de grades 1 ou 2, les plus courants étant des réactions liées à la perfusion gastro-intestinale, modérées pour la plupart.

« Nos conclusions constituent un pas en avant considérable dans notre compréhension des mécanismes sous-jacents de la maladie liée aux IgG4, ouvrant la voie à des stratégies de traitement plus ciblées », a déclaré John Stone, MD, MPH, professeur de médecine à la Harvard Medical School, et de la chaire de médecine Edward A. Fox au Mass General Hospital. « Notre équipe est honorée de voir ses recherches être reconnues par The Lancet Rheumatology, et nous sommes immensément reconnaissants aux patients qui ont participé à cette étude révolutionnaire. »

À propos de l’obéxélimab

L’obéxélimab est un anticorps monoclonal, humanisé, non cytolytique, bifonctionnel et expérimental de phase 3 qui imite l’action de complexes antigène-anticorps en liant la CD19 et le FcγRIIb afin d’inhiber l’activité des cellules de lignée B. Dans plusieurs études cliniques de stade précoce pour diverses maladies auto-immunes, 198 sujets ont été traités avec l’obéxélimab. Dans le cadre de ces études cliniques, l’obéxélimab a démontré une inhibition efficace de la fonction des cellules B sans les épuiser, donnant lieu à un effet thérapeutique encourageant chez les patients atteints de diverses maladies auto-immunes. Zenas a acquis des droits mondiaux exclusifs sur l’obéxélimab auprès de Xencor, Inc.

Davantage d’informations sur l’étude de phase 3 (INDIGO) pour le traitement de la maladie liée aux IgG4 sont disponibles sur clinicaltrials.gov : NCT05662241.

À propos de Zenas BioPharma

Zenas BioPharma est une société biopharmaceutique mondiale déterminée à devenir un leader dans le développement et la commercialisation de traitements immunitaires pour les patients dans le monde entier. Avec un développement et des opérations cliniques à l’échelle mondiale, Zenas fait progresser un portefeuille mondial approfondi et équilibré de thérapies auto-immunes potentielles premières et meilleures de leur catégorie dans des domaines où les besoins médicaux ne sont pas satisfaits, tout en répondant aux exigences de valeur de l’environnement dynamique mondial des soins de santé. Le portefeuille de la société continue de croître grâce à notre stratégie de développement commercial fructueuse. Notre équipe de direction expérimentée et notre réseau de partenaires commerciaux stimulent l’excellence opérationnelle pour apporter des thérapies potentiellement transformatrices afin d’améliorer la vie des personnes confrontées à des maladies rares et auto-immunes. Pour tout complément d’information sur Zenas BioPharma, veuillez consulter le site www.zenasbio.com et nous suivre sur Twitter à l’adresse @ZenasBioPharma et LinkedIn.

Contact auprès des investisseurs et des médias :
Joe Farmer, président et directeur de l’exploitation
Zenas BioPharma
IR@zenasbio.com

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Zenas BioPharma Publica Fase 2 do Estudo Clínico do Obexelimabe, um Tratamento Investigativo da Doença Relacionada à IgG4 (IgG4-RD), no The Lancet Rheumatology

Estudo revelou que o obexelimabe produziu melhora clínica rápida, forte e sustentada, incluindo remissão clínica completa, na maioria dos pacientes com IgG4-RD ativa

Os resultados apoiam o desenvolvimento contínuo do obexelimabe para o tratamento de IgG4-RD e potencialmente outras condições autoimunes mediadas por células B

WALTHAM, Mass., Aug. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A Zenas BioPharma, uma empresa biofarmacêutica global comprometida em se tornar líder no desenvolvimento e comercialização de terapias imunológicas, anunciou a publicação da Fase 2 do estudo que avalia o obexelimabe para o tratamento de pacientes com a Doença Relacionada à IgG4 (IgG4-RD) Com base nos resultados deste estudo, a Fase 3 do estudo em pacientes com IgG4-RD está em andamento para investigar ainda mais a eficácia e a segurança do obexelimabe administrado como uma injeção subcutânea.

A IgG4-RD é uma doença fibroinflamatória crônica imunomediada que pode afetar múltiplos órgãos, incluindo as principais glândulas salivares, órbitas, glândulas lacrimais, pâncreas, árvore biliar, pulmões, rins e retroperitônio. Cerca de 20.000 pacientes são diagnosticadas com IgG4-RD somente nos Estados Unidos. Apesar da crescente visibilidade da doença, ainda há necessidade de mais pesquisas e opções terapêuticas eficazes para indivíduos que vivem com essa doença debilitante.

Em todo o mundo, o uso de glicocorticoides é amplamente considerado o padrão de tratamento para o tratamento de IgG4-RD. No momento não existe nenhum tratamento aprovado para esta condição. Embora comumente usados, os glicocorticoides e as terapias de depleção de células B disponíveis raramente levam a remissões livres de tratamento a longo prazo e estão associados a um alto risco de toxicidade para os pacientes. Tais terapias também prejudicam as respostas vacinais, incluindo as do SARS-CoV-2 e da gripe.

Em um estudo piloto prospectivo, aberto, de braço único e centro único para avaliar a eficácia e a segurança do obexelimabe no tratamento de pacientes com IgG4-RD (registro clinicaltrials.gov NCT02725476), o obexelimabe demonstrou forte melhora no IgG4-RD Responder Index, uma medição da atividade da doença, inibindo a função das células B, sem esgotar as células B.

O manuscrito publicado, intitulado “Obexelimab for the Treatment of Patients with IgG4-Related Disease: An Open-Label, Single-Arm, Pilot Study to Evaluate Efficacy, Safety, and Mechanism of Action,” está disponível online e constará na edição de agosto do The Lancet Rheumatology 2023;5(8) [E428-E429].

As principais conclusões do artigo são as seguintes:

  • O Obexelimabe apresentou melhora clínica rápida, forte e sustentada, incluindo remissão completa (pontuação 0 no IgG4-RD Responder Index), na maioria dos pacientes com IgG4-RD ativa.
  • Durante o tratamento com obexelimabe, foram observadas reduções nas células B circulantes, incluindo plasmablastos, sem evidência de morte celular.
  • Além disso, a redução das células B circulantes e o rápido retorno aos níveis quase normais após a descontinuação do tratamento, sugerem que o obexelimabe pode levar ao sequestro de células B em órgãos linfoides ou na medula óssea.
  • O Obexelimabe foi bem tolerado. A maioria dos eventos adversos relacionados ao tratamento foram de grau 1 ou 2, com os eventos adversos mais comuns sendo eventos relacionados à infusão gastrointestinal, a maioria dos quais foram leves.

“Os resultados são um passo significativo na compreensão dos mecanismos subjacentes da Doença Relacionada à IgG4; abrindo caminho para estratégias de tratamento mais direcionadas”, disse John Stone, MD, MPH, Professor de Medicina da Harvard Medical School e Edward A. Fox Chair em Medicina do Mass General Hospital. “Nossa equipe tem a honra de ter nossa pesquisa reconhecida pelo The Lancet Rheumatology, e somos imensamente gratos aos pacientes que participaram deste estudo inovador.”

Sobre o Obexelimab

O obexelimabe é um anticorpo monoclonal humanizado de Fase 3 bifuncional, não citolítico, de investigação que imita a ação dos complexos antígeno-anticorpo por ligação a CD19 e FcγRIIb para inibir a atividade das células da linhagem B. Em vários estudos clínicos em fase inicial de diversas doenças autoimunes, 198 indivíduos foram tratados com obexelimabe. Nestes estudos clínicos, o obexelimabe demonstrou inibição eficaz da função das células B sem a redução das células, e um efeito encorajador no tratamento de pacientes com várias doenças autoimunes. Zenas adquire da Xencor, Inc. direitos mundiais exclusivos do obexelimabe.

Mais informações sobre a Fase 3 (INDIGO) do estudo para o tratamento de Doenças Relacionadas à IgG4 estão disponíveis em clinicaltrials.gov: NCT05662241.

Sobre a Zenas BioPharma

A Zenas BioPharma é uma empresa biofarmacêutica mundial comprometida em se tornar líder global no desenvolvimento e comercialização de terapias imunológicas para pacientes em todo o mundo. Com desenvolvimento clínico e operações globais, a Zenas está avançando um portfólio global profundo e equilibrado das melhores terapêuticas autoimunes em potencial em áreas de alta necessidade médicas, atendendo aos requisitos de valor do dinâmico ambiente global de saúde. O pipeline da empresa continua a crescer por meio da nossa estratégia de desenvolvimento de negócios de sucesso. Nossa experiente equipe de liderança e rede de parceiros de negócios impulsionam a excelência operacional para oferecer terapias potencialmente transformadoras para melhorar a vida das pessoas que enfrentam doenças autoimunes e raras. Para mais informação sobre a Zenas BioPharma, visite www.zenasbio.com e siga-nos no Twitter em @ZenasBioPharma e LinkedIn.

Contato com Investidores e com a Mídia:
Joe Farmer, Presidente e COO
Zenas BioPharma
IR@zenasbio.com

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India restricts import of computers, laptops, servers

The Indian government on Thursday placed restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, personal computers and servers with immediate effect.

The order issued by the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the imports would be allowed against a valid license for restricted imports.

The restriction will not apply to passengers carrying the mentioned devices in their baggage.

As per the notification, up to 20 of these items per consignment are also eligible for an import license exemption for the purpose of research and development, testing, evaluation, repair and re-export.

Although the government has not elaborated on its rationale behind the move, industry experts say the step is likely to help boost local manufacturing.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Group tasks Tinubu on modular, local refineries

The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), has urged President Bola Tinubu to revive the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries to ensure local refining of petrol.

Mr Jator Abido, the National Coordinator of the council, said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Abido said that granting more modular refineries’ licenses would also ensure self-sufficiency in the energy sector as well as empower Nigerians.

He added that with the hardship caused by the removal of subsidy on petrol and the soaring prices of refined products, the revival of Port Harcourt and Warri refineries were critical priorities.

“With the potential to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities, the region stands to gain greatly from the resumption of operations in these refineries.

“It is also our hope that Modular Refining licenses, if granted, will drive local content within the oil and gas sector, promoting self-sufficiency in the energy sector and empowering Nigerians.

“For a very long time, seaports and inland waterways from the region have been abandoned in favour of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.

‘’This has slowed down development of the country and the region in particular especially as port operations create direct and indirect jobs as well as other spillover effects on the economy,’’ he said.

Abido added: “The commencement of operations in Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar, Warri, Koko and other seports in the region will unlock economic potentials of Nigeria and contribute extensively to the region’s growth.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

APC: Gov. Alia tasks Ganduje on national, party unity

Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has urged the newly- sworn in National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, to work assiduously towards enhancing unity among members of the party across the country.

Alia made the call while answering questions from State House Correspondents shortly after he paid homage to the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, at the Presidential Villa, on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ganduje, who is the immediate past governor of Kano State, emerged as the national chairman of the APC at the end of the 12th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party on Wednesday in Abuja.

The governor also emphasised the need for Ganduje and the new National Secretary of the party, Ajibola Bashir, to promote national unity in the country.

“We came for last night’s APC caucus meeting and then today we had the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting. National issues were tabled and unanimously we elected the National Chairman and the National Secretary of the party as well.

“And these are all faithful servants of the party and the nation. So, we are so pleased at what we all arrived at. We call on them to work for the unity of the party, unity of the nation, and to continue the hard work that was done in the past.

“We need continuity. We have this regime of Renewed Hope. We all have to make our nation continually great. And it’s nothing less that is expected of the new leadership,” he said.

On his visit to the Vice President, Alia said that Shettima had been very supportive of Benue State.

“I came to the villa to pay homage to the Vice President, who has been very supportive of Benue State, he has a very good passion for the state. He (Shettima) is someone who is leading in Agriculture as well.

“Remember, Benue State is the food basket of the nation. So we need everyone with the thinking and actions that can help us to move from grass to grace in terms of food, food security and basic state security, ” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Afrosoul sensation, Emelonye, unveils new single, ‘Baby You’

Afrosoul singer and multi-instrumentalist, Uchechi Emelonye, is set to drop a new single, ‘Baby You’, which will be available for streaming on major music stores from Aug. 15.

21-year-old Emelonye in a statement on Thursday said this track was coming on the heels of previous successes recorded by her earlier releases.

She said her earlier releases, Little Black Bird’, ‘Sunrise to Sundown’ and ‘Underwater’, won the BBC Music Introducing ‘Record of the Year 2022’ in Lancashire, England.

She noted that the new single, ‘Baby You’, aligned with her pattern of music, which addresses realistic themes everyone can relate with.

According to her, this is largely influenced by her interest in soul music legends as well as cultural assimilation occasioned by the privilege of being raised in seven countries and across three continents.

Emelonye said she had completed her undergraduate studies in law at the prestigious United Kingdom Russel League Lancaster University.

She noted that this portends positive signs for her music career as she could now concentrate to work on a full album.

Emelonye’s singles have gained enormous airplay across major Nigerian, British and American radio stations.

Huge interest has been evoked in her, evidenced by the numerous interviews she has done with radio personalities and on TV.

Her music video for ‘Little Black Bird’ directed by Nigerian Director, Sesan, is still being played on prime music channels and has garnered over 130,000 streams on YouTube.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Military neutralises 36 terrorists, arrests 163 criminals – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have in the last two weeks eliminated 36 terrorists and apprehended no fewer than 163 suspected criminals and gunmen across theatres of operation.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, said this while giving update on the operations of the armed forces at the bi-weekly news briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops arrested 137 gunmen, three gunrunners, two kidnappers, six collaborators, 15 perpetrators of oil theft, two kidnappers and six collaborators.

The defence spokesman said the troops also recovered the sum of N3.1 million, rescued 140 kidnapped hostages, recovered 37 weapons and 370 ammunition.

He listed the arms recovered as 16 AK47 rifles, six pump action guns, six Dane guns, three fabricated rifles, two locally made pistol, 199 rounds of 7.62mm special, six rounds of 7.62mm NATO, nine AK47 magazines and two G3 magazines.

“Also recovered were eight vehicles, 45 motorcycles, 32 mobile phones and 925 machetes, and 151 machete sharpeners.”

On oil theft, Buba said the troops discovered and destroyed 61 dugout pits, 32 wooden boats, 87 storage tanks, one speedboat, 32 cooking ovens, three outboard engine, one generator, two pumping machines and 36 illegal refining sites.

He added that 310,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 14,675 litres Automotive Gas Oil, 49,000 Dual Purpose Kerosene and five litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised nine terrorists and arrested 19 insurgents, six terrorist collaborators and couriers and rescued 12 hostages within the period.

He said a total of 313 terrorists comprising 12 male adults, 138 female adults and 162 children surrendered to troops at different locations within the theatres of operation.

According to him, the Air component attacked and degraded terrorists who were gathered at a hideout in Wulade.

In North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stoke conducted several operations in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba, eliminating and apprehending criminals.

He said the troops of Op Safe Haven recovered two AK 47 rifles, three Dane guns, 15 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo and a pair of military uniform belonging to a dismissed soldier identified as Bashir Abass.

According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that one of the recovered AK 47 rifle belongs to the dismissed soldier who is at large with two terrorists members.

“In the course of operations, troops recovered three AK47 rifles, three Dane guns, one locally fabricated pistol, one locally made gun, 23 rounds of 7.62mm special, one cartridge, three mobile phones, a pair of camouflage, jack knife

“In the course of operation, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke recovered one pistol, 40 rounds of 7.62mm special, four rounds of 7.62mm NATO, two G3 magazines, one vehicle, one motorcycle, one mobile phone and a pair of black boots.

“Additionally, troops neutralised one terrorist, arrested 13 suspects and rescued nine kidnapped hostages,” he said.

In the North West, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji rescued kidnapped hostages and arrested some terrorists in Jibia, Matazu and Funtua Local Government Areas all in Katsina State.

He said that troops also foiled attacks on farmers, conducted several air interdictions and recovered arms and ammunition in Maru and Zurmi Local Government Areas of Zamfara.

He added that troops rescued 20 kidnapped hostages and recovered one AK47 rifle, four AK47 rifle magazines, two rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, one motorcycle and 80 livestock.

According to him, troops of Operation Whirl Punch arrested a bandit collaborator and logistics supply, rescued kidnapped hostages and recovered weapons and ammunition in Chikun and Kajuru Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.

“The air component conducted acquired target on terrorist camp at Hanawanka, a Boko Haram Terrorist camp in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State where terrorists were neutralised with bombs and rockets.

“The operation is one of several conducted by the air component.

“In the course of operation, the troops neutralised 11 terrorists and recovered two fabricated rifle, 16 rounds of 7.62mm special, three motorcycles and 80 livestock.

“Troops also arrested 16 terrorist, logistic suppliers or collaborators and rescued two kidnapped hostages,” he added.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Troops destroy 36 illegal refining sites, apprehend 22 suspects

The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe have destroyed 36 illegal refining sites and apprehended 22 suspected oil thieves in the last two weeks.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, said this while giving an update on the operations of the armed forces at a bi-weekly news briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said troops also destroyed 61 dugout pits, 32 wooden boats, 87 storage tanks, three vehicles, 126 cooking ovens, three outboard engine, one speedboat, two motorcycles, one generator and two pumping machines.

He said the troops also recovered 310,700 litres of crude oil, 14,675 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 49,000 litres of Dual Purpose kerosene, one weapon and three ammunition.

According to him, “troops on July 24, intercepted and destroyed one wooden boat loaded with 1000 litres of product suspected to be stolen crude oil at Wellhead Cluster Opukushi Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.”

In the Southeast, troops of Operation UDO KA conducted raids on camps/hideouts of Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network gunmen in Abia and Anambra States.

He said the troops also arrested suspected gunrunners, rescued kidnapped hostage and recovered arms and ammunition at Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra.

“In the conduct of the operations, troops recovered one AK47 rifle loaded with 35 rounds of 7.62mm special, six pump action guns, one locally made pistol, one dane gun, one locally made hand grenade, four vehicles, nine motorcycles, 925 machetes and 151 machetes sharpeners.

“Others are 1,080 sickles, Nigerian Police uniforms and boots, IPOB/ESN uniform, one speaker, rain coats and boots and a chain saw. Troops also apprehended three gunrunners and rescued nine kidnapped hostages.

“Overall, troops will sustain the momentum in tackling the security challenges and shall continue to fight the perpetrators to submission.

“It is expected that well-meaning Nigerians would continue to support the military and indeed stand with the military to flush out the perpetrators of these dastardly acts from among us. Together we can flush them out,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FCE Gidan Madi matriculates 287 pioneer students

The Federal College of Education (FCE), Gidan Madi, in Sokoto State, on Wednesday, matriculated 287 students during its maiden matriculation ceremony.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FCE Gidan Madi which was established in 2019 started its academic activities in 2023 with eight programmes.

The programmes are: Metalwork Technology, Woodwork Technology, Electrical and Electronics, Computer Science, Business Education, Computer Education, Mathematics and Physics.

In his address, Prof. Faruk Umar-Zaki, the Provost of the college, said it planned to expand its programmes to complete the school of Vocational and Technical Education, and School of Science Education.

“This is through the introduction of Automobile Technology, Building Technology, Agricultural Science and Home Economics to complete the School of Vocational and Technical Education.

“We are also introducing Chemistry Education, Biology Education and Integrated Dcience to complete the School of Science Education,” he said.

Umar-Zaki said that a team of National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) had scheduled August 20 to come for resources verification in the college.

He said that the college was presently equipping its Entrepreneurship Centre, while disclosing that the production of soap and vaseline had already commenced.

“Our ICT centre is already functional and the computer application programme for the staffers is due to take off by the end of August.

“All these efforts are meant to support the skills development drive of the Federal Government from where the college drew its motto: ‘Knowledge for Self- Reliance’,“ he added.

While congratulating the students, the provost implored them to be security conscious and report any suspicious character to the college authority at any time.

In his remarks, Prof Paulinus Okwelle, NCCE Executive Secretary, assured the college that all the requests and complaints had made would be duly forwarded to the relevant institutions.

“I am sure that the current government is committed to bolstering of the nation’s educational standards.

“As such, I enjoin the students to shun all negative tendencies of cultism, drunkenness, exam malpractice, and disrespect to constituted authority for which the college has zero-tolerance,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Asky Airlines launches Lomé/Luanda flight

Asky Airlines started direct flight connections with Togo’s capital (Lomé) and Angola, with an inaugural flight that landed in Luanda on Wednesday with 55 passengers.

In this route, Asky Airlines is to have three flights per week, namely arriving in Luanda on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with departures from the Angolan capital to Lomé scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

ANGOP has learnt that the return ticket is to cost USD 600 for the economic class.

Asky Airlines, headquarted in Togo, flies to 24 destinations in 21 countries of Central and West Africa, including Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe. It carries out 200 flights per week, with an average transportation of 200,000 passangers weekly.

This African airliner has been operating for 13 years.

After witnissing the arrival of the inaugural flight, the secretary of State for Tourism, Hélder Marcelino, said to the press that this new air connection will boost businesses, tourism and other services in Africa.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

SADC: Expert defends implementation of guiding plans

An Angolan expert in Foreign Affairs has described the implementation of the guidelines of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) as crucial during Angola’s rotating presidency in the regional organisation.

Conceição Vaz told the Angola’s National Radio Station (RNA) that during its presidency, the country will need to give a further boost to the implementation of the actions, including transparency and good governance.

Speaking ahead of the 43rd Summit of SADC Heads of States and Governments that takes place on 7 – 17 August in Luanda, the expert mentioned the strengthening of the economies of the member States as one of the challenges of the Angolan presidency.

SADC groups Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Angola takes over the SADC’s chair this month for a one-year term, after having done so in 2012.

DRC´s President Félix Tshisekedi is currently at the helm of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) .

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angola improves priorities for National Development Plan 2023/2027

Angolan Government is improving the priorities to be included in the National Development Plan (PDN 2023/2027), a document that will guide the National Planning System bodies toward the preparation of activities and projects to be implemented.

PDN is a medium-term planning instrument, which comes up with the strategic goals by domain and respective action programmes, goals, projects and activities.

According to the Secretary of State for Planning, Milton Reis, the technical and ministerial meetings are currently taking place to improve the projects to be implemented over the next four years.

Speaking at the usual briefing of the Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP), Milton Reis reiterated that the PDN will be analysed and appreciated in a session of the Cabinet Council this month (August).

“The calendar defines that we will take the approval of this important instrument of governance in the Meeting of the Cabinet Council in August”, said the official, to whom “the filters are fundamental, because they will allow us to establish priorities”.

He admitted the need to focus on the most important ones, looking at budgetary restrictions, an exercise that he considers to be “in the final stretch”.

The preparation of PDN is based on ELP – (Long-Term Strategy) Angola 2050, an instrument, approved by Cabinet Council on July 26t, awaiting its publication in the country’s Gazette.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Israeli ambassador praises Cafu’s social impact

Israeli ambassador to Angola Shimon Saloman commended Thursday the role of the water transfer system from the Cunene river, in the Cafu region, in agriculture and fighting against drought in the communities.

The diplomat made the praise at the end of a visit to assess the operation of the pumping center on the Cafu channel, stating that it is a project with enormous potential for the benefit of the communities.

Shimon Saloman said the investment will bring “great benefits” soon, both for rural families who live more than 160 kilometers from the province, and for other families in neighbouring countries.

However, he defended the need to take more advantage of the investment, stressing that the population has free access to water for consumption, agriculture and livestock.

Like Israel, which has scant water resources for agriculture, the diplomat defends the development of technologies to encourage agricultural production by families.

As for diplomatic relations between the two States, the diplomat said several Angolan delegations travel to Israel to exchange experiences, especially in the sector linked to agricultural production, water and cyber security.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Luanda hosts International Comics Festival

Luanda will host the 19th Edition of the International Festival of Comics and Animation (Luanda Cartoon) on August 4-19 at Camões and Belas Shopping cultural site.

In order to ensure the success of the event, BAI Foundation and Estúdio Olindomar, the organizing body, signed a memorandum of understanding for the sustainable development of Cartoons in Angola on Thursday.

The ratification of the agreement on the availability of the financial package to support the Festival is part of the pillar of BAI Foundation culture, aimed at ensuring development and sustainability of Angolan arts and culture.

The annual event brings together cartoon bands, cartoonists, illustrators and animators, amateur professionals and fans.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)