Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Travel Warning to Kenya

Travel Warning

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs, Washington, DC

Kenya

December 28, 2010

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. U.S. citizens in Kenya and those considering travel to Kenya should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime. This replaces the Travel Warning of July 24, 2009 to note areas of concern now include portions of Lamu district and provide additional cautions to U.S. citizens regarding potentially threatening circumstances.

The U.S. government continues to receive information regarding potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts could include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation as evidenced by the 2002 attacks on an Israeli airliner, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Many of those responsible for the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in 1998 and on a hotel in Mombasa in 2002 remain at large and continue to operate in the region. Travelers should consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.

In July 2009, three NGO workers were kidnapped and taken into Somalia by suspected members of a terrorist group that operates out of Somalia. In November 2008, armed groups based in Somalia crossed into Kenya near the town of El Wak and kidnapped two Westerners. The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has designated a portion of Kenya bordering Somalia and Ethiopia as “restricted without prior authorization” for purposes of travel by U.S. Government employees, contractors, grantees, and their dependents. Travelers should be aware that U.S. Embassy security personnel recently expanded the restricted area to include portions of Lamu district. This designation is based on reports of Somali-based armed groups known to have crossed into Kenya to stage attacks or to commit crimes. This restriction does not apply to travelers not associated with the U.S. government, but should be taken into account when planning travel. The restriction is in effect for the following areas:

-All of Mandera District.

-The entire area north and east of the town of Wajir, including travel on Highway C80 and areas east of C80 and an 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) wide band contiguous with the Somalia border. Travel to and within the towns of Wajir and Moyale remains unrestricted.

-Within Garissa District, an 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) wide band contiguous with the Somalia border. Travel to and within the town of Dadaab remains unrestricted.

-Within Ijara District, an 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) wide band contiguous with the Somalia border; Boni National Reserve.

-Within Lamu District, a 60-kilometer (about 40 miles) wide band starting northeast of Pate Island to the Somalia border. Towns and resorts within/contiguous to the Kiunga Marine Reserve are now included in the restricted area.

Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings, home invasions/burglaries and kidnappings can occur at any time and in any location, particularly in Nairobi. As recently as spring 2010, U.S. nationals were victims of carjacking and kidnapping. In the short-term, the continued displacement of thousands of people by the civil unrest of 2008 combined with endemic poverty and the availability of weapons could result in an increase in crime, both petty and violent. Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate such acts or prosecute perpetrators.

U.S. citizens in Kenya should be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship. U.S. citizens should also remain alert in residential areas, at schools, and at outdoor recreational events.

U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and political rallies of all kinds. Most political gatherings are peaceful, but they can turn violent with no notice. In the run-up to the constitutional referendum in June 2010, six Kenyans were killed and 100injured at a prayer meeting/political rally in Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Kenya are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254) (20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6000. Travelers may also consult the Embassy home page for more information.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Kenya and the Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department of State's website. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zimbabwe Dialogue - The Copenhagen Statement

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman
December 22, 2010
The following statement was agreed upon by the countries attending a meeting of the Friends of Zimbabwe held in Copenhagen on December 10, 2010.

Participants: U.S., Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, European Commission (EC), EU Council Secretariat, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, African Development Bank (AFDB), United Nations

Begin text:

At a moment when Zimbabwe has to make critical decisions on the way forward, we, friends of Zimbabwe, met in Copenhagen and re-emphasized our commitment to the Zimbabwean people through support for reform and recovery.

We welcomed the progress achieved since the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the formation of the Inclusive Government, including the restoration of basic services, the constitutional process, launching of Human Rights, Media and Electoral Commissions and a significant improvement in macroeconomic management.

However, serious concerns remain relating to the protection of fundamental rights, the rule of law, governance and respect for agreements.

Credible and legitimate elections in line with Southern African Development Community (SADC) guidelines, that are free of violence and that accept the will of the people, are central to democratic transformation in Zimbabwe. To reach this point, the Zimbabwean government needs to create the enabling environment, and agree on and implement significant reforms as stipulated in the GPA. Zimbabweans should not face violence and intimidation to cast their votes.

We welcomed ongoing regional efforts to support democratization in Zimbabwe and we actively encourage regional actors, and SADC and South Africa in particular, to further assist Zimbabwe in ensuring the conditions for credible, legitimate and peaceful elections. We are ready in response to review and adjust, as appropriate, the full range of our efforts and policies.

We commended the significant gains in macroeconomic stabilization and encourage the continuation of efforts aimed at strengthening economic recovery, the promotion of enhanced transparency and the implementation of structural and legal reforms, including the protection of property rights that will help attract foreign investment. We look to international financial institutions to deepen their engagement, including, inter alia, through an IMF Staff-Monitored-Program when all requirements have been met.

The increasing state revenue and strengthening the public finance system provide an opportunity to improve living conditions of ordinary Zimbabweans. It is critical in this regard that the development of natural resources is pursued in a transparent manner that empowers and benefits the people. A critical example of this is Zimbabwe’s compliance with its commitments under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for rough diamonds.

Collectively, we are intensifying our efforts to support democratic reform, enhance the livelihoods of the poor, and restore basic services. Programs benefit Zimbabweans regardless of political persuasion. For example, through the now operational ZimFund, support is provided for the rehabilitation of water and power delivery systems. In 2010, every child in primary school has been provided with new text books, and 600,000 households have received agricultural inputs. In 2011, we expect our collective programs to total more than $500 million. We intend to continue to provide our assistance taking into consideration the priorities of the inclusive government as reflected in the budget and in government sector policies.

The coming months will determine Zimbabwe’s prospects for the years to come. We remain committed to helping achieve the goal of a prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe.

Statement by President Obama on the Inauguration of President Conde of Guinea

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 22, 2010

Statement by the President on the Inauguration of President Conde of Guinea

On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Guinea as they witness the inauguration of their first democratically elected President since becoming an independent state in 1958. Just over a year ago, the world’s attention was drawn to Guinea by horrifying atrocities and dangerous instability. Today, people all over the world are coming together to congratulate Guinea, and to express genuine admiration for the voters who steadfastly acted to support peace and democracy. They have set their country on a path for a more prosperous and stable future.

As the country begins its new democratic era, I extend congratulations to President Alpha Conde on his inauguration. I also express my appreciation for the way in which Cellou Dalein Diallo gracefully accepted the outcome of the election and spoke of the importance of a unified Guinea in moving forward. While the road ahead may be challenging, the United States looks forward to working with the incoming administration as it pursues an inclusive government that represents the people of Guinea, irrespective or ethnicity, religion, and gender; establishes a platform of economic development for all to realize the dividends of democracy; and works to enact critical reforms in the security sector.

The past year will remain a powerful example of how a country at such a pivotal moment can make a choice for a better future, and the responsibility of those in positions of authority to put the country first. As such, I also recognize and honor the leadership of Interim President General Sékouba Konaté who provided the necessary vision and support for Guinea’s historic transition.

####

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

U.S. & South Africa Sign PEPFAR Partnership Framework Agreement

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman
December 14, 2010

Remarks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton And South African Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Participates in U.S.-South African PEPFAR Partnership Framework Agreement

Signing Ceremony December 14, 2010 Treaty Room - Washington, D.C.















SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon. Welcome to the Treaty Room here in the State Department.

Before we begin with the business at hand today, on behalf of all the women and men at the State Department I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Richard was a trusted friend, a valued mentor, and an indispensable colleague to so many of several generations of American diplomats. Of all the many things that have already been said and will be said – and it has been remarkable to see the tributes coming in from around the world – the word that keeps being said over and over again is “statesman.” It’s a word that we don’t use much anymore, but Richard embodied it, a man who loved our country and dedicated his life to serving not only our people but the cause of peace, a diplomat who used every tool in the toolbox and someone who accomplished so much on behalf of so many.

I am very grateful for the wonderful support that has been given to Richard’s family. I have no doubt that Richard would be the first to urge us to go forward and continue his work and continue his mission of not only what he was doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but across the broad reach of American foreign policy.

Let me now welcome a friend and an esteemed colleague who I have had the great pleasure of working with now for over a year, someone who has demonstrated the vigor of the Zuma Administration in her country in tackling problems at home, regionally, and globally. And today we will sign a new partnership framework for the PEPFAR program, which has so much meaning to us as a partner with our friends in South Africa. It embodies a new level of cooperation that has been made possible because of the tremendous efforts of the South African Government.

In addition to Minister Mashabane, I want to welcome Director General Ntsaluba, Ambassador Diseko, Ambassador Rasool, Ambassador Nene. I’d also like to recognize our Ambassador Gips, Ambassador Goosby, Ambassador Carson, and so many others both here and elsewhere in Washington, at our Embassy in Pretoria, and, most importantly, in the Government of South Africa.

We are here at a moment when South Africa is turning the tide against HIV/AIDS. It is exciting to see, and we are already reviewing surveys being done by the South African Government as the minister will, I’m sure, mention that shows HIV among youth is falling. We want to do everything we can to be a good partner. In his moving speech on World Aids Day last year, President Zuma noted that HIV/AIDs is a disease that can only be overcome by individuals taking responsibility for their own lives and the lives of those around them.

And what South Africa has done is to make a tremendous commitment by doubling its investment, now covering 60 percent of the total spending. There is so much that’s being done at the grassroots level on prevention, efforts against discrimination, treating people with HIV, and doing so much more to put together a comprehensive strategy. And we together have worked on the development of a promising microbicide that could prevent the transmission of the HIV virus. This was led by South African scientists, and it’s the kind of new partnership we want to see more of together.

There is a lot that we want to do far beyond HIV/AIDS. In fact, the minister and I are very proud to lead a very reinvigorated bilateral strategic dialogue. We just reviewed the progress in our recently concluded meeting, and I think it’s fair to say that a lot of good is being done that is making a difference in the lives of people in both of our countries and beyond.

So now it is my great pleasure to invite the minister to make her remarks.

MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE: Thanks very much. My dear friend and colleague Secretary of State Madam Clinton, it is always such a great pleasure for me to be here with you. And I would really at the outset want to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and our delegation to pay our sincere message of sympathy to the Ambassador Holbrooke family, to your good self, to President Obama, government and people of the United States. Indeed, you have lost in him a dedicated diplomat and a dedicated statesman and a friend of the international community. May his soul rest in peace, and our hearts go out, again, to the family.

Indeed, in you, I have found a true friend but also a working partner. But we are working together to reinvigorate the very, very strong and very important bilateral ties that looks at our bilateral relationship, elevated to another level through the strategic partnership and strategic dialogue that we have solidified by signing, I hope – in this room last – this year in April. The amount of work that our working groups working on our leadership had covered, from issues around trade and investments to issues of food security, to issues of fighting HIV and AIDS.

And I can confirm what you’ve just said, but in the period that we’ve been working together, starting from last year during a visit in South Africa through Minister Dr. Motsoaledi and President Zuma and all our cabinet members – with your support, we have put 1.1 million people under this care of the HIV and AIDS treatment. We have tested more than 5 million South Africans. And with Dr. Motsoaledi, our minister of health, in the next less than 18 months, we’ll have tested about 15 million South Africans who should really take responsibility to take care of themselves, but also take care of their loved ones.

This partnership under PEPFAR, it’s really through Ambassador Goosby and all those who work with him – really, bravo, and thank you ever so much for the support. It really – it’s turning the tide at home. South African Government spends about 6 billion rand on this program, and your 2.3 billion rand will go a long way. The U.S.A. is a leader; don’t be shy to lead. You lead by also showing compassion to those who need you, those who can account for the resources that you provide for them for support.

I was quite elated to learn from our trade and investment delegation that the last time they’ve had such a vigorous engagement with their counterparts here was about nine years ago. So our partnership has really taken this relationship forward. We want to work with you to make AGOA bring meaning to many of our African compatriots. We have listened to your views about the national investment initiative that President Obama leads. Within, there are synergies between the two, and we should continue to work on that. Under our partnership, we also work on issues around peace, security, peacekeeping, peacemaking, and post-conflict in Africa, which is highly appreciated by all of us.

Madam Secretary, we walk into the United Nations Security Council hoping to find a good friend there under your leadership, your good self. We would want to make a contribution with many progressive governments around the world, in particular with your government, to make sure that United Nations Security Council work for peace around the world, and peace dialogue, and peace first priority. We are making an undertaking here that together with all African countries, we will work to make sure that we bring the AU Peace and Security Council to the table to work with the United Nations Security Council.

Madam Secretary, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your warm hospitality, but inside this building, I actually forget that it’s winter outside. (Laughter.) It’s always a pleasure to meet with you, and I look forward to hosting you again in South Africa next year for our second round of strategic dialogue. I guess by that time, we will have even – covered even greater grounds.

May I take this opportunity to thank our very, very energetic and hardworking ambassadors – Ambassador Gips, Ambassador Rasool, and all the leadership, all for our respective departments – Dr. Ntsaluba, Ambassador Carson, and all your delegations, as you have mentioned them all, and each one of them by name. Thank you ever so much. We look smart, we look progressive, we look focused because you work very, very hard with us.

Once again, bravo, and well done.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Well, they do make us look good.

FOREIGN MINISTER NKOANA-MASHABANE: Yes, thank you. (Laughter.)

(The document was signed.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Remarks by Secratary Clinton & Nigerian Foreign Minister Ajumogobia

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release - December 9, 2010

Remarks After Their Meeting

December 9, 2010 - Treaty Room, Washington, D.C.
















SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the foreign minister back to the State Department to continue our ongoing discussions about our bilateral interests and our shared concerns around the world. Among the chief concerns we discussed today is the unresolved political situation in Cote D'Ivoire. We are in full agreement that Alassane Ouattara is the rightfully elected president of Cote D'Ivoire and that former President Laurent Gbagbo should respect the results of the election and peacefully transfer power to his successor. President Obama is personally involved. He has sent a letter to President Gbagbo urging him to step aside and warning of consequences if he does not.


Nigeria has shown commendable leadership on this issue at an emergency summit convened this week by President Jonathan. The Economic Community of West African States confirmed the election results and echoed the call for Gbagbo to step down, a crucial step that shows the resolve of leaders in the region to respect the will of the people. The United Nations Security Council, Cote D'Ivoire’s own Independent Electoral Commission, the United Nations Special Representative for Cote D'Ivoire have all endorsed this outcome, as well as the African Union.


So the international community is united. Democracy is about more than just holding elections. It is about respecting the outcome of elections and the voice of the governed, upholding principles that are greater than any one person. As President Obama said last year in Ghana, Africa doesn't need strong men, it needs strong institutions. This is an opportunity for Cote D'Ivoire to move past years of crisis, build its institutions, and take steps to ensure a more peaceful and prosperous future.


This is yet another example of why we appreciate greatly the important role Nigeria has played promoting regional stability in West Africa, supporting the Independent Election Commissions in Cote D'Ivoire and Guinea. Nigeria has been a leading voice in calling on its neighbors to respect the will of the majority and refrain from violence.


As Nigeria’s own 2011 election approaches, we look forward to seeing Nigeria lead by example and put into practice in its own democracy the kind of election that will draw universal admiration. This is a critical opportunity for Nigerians to participate in an election that delivers greater government accountability, improved infrastructure and services, and broader economic opportunity for the Nigerian people. The United States stands ready to support Nigeria as it creates a peaceful environment for the elections that will build bridges between ethnic and religious groups and enhance Nigeria’s authority on the global stage.


The foreign minister and I discussed the status of our U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission. It has had several high-level meetings both in Abuja and in Washington over the past months, focusing on electoral reform, preparing for elections, and having productive working group meetings on corruption, good governance, energy, the Niger Delta, regional security, and so much else. Next year we hope to hold talks in Nigeria on agriculture and food security.


Nigeria is a strategic ally and partner. In addition to Nigeria’s leadership in ECOWAS and the African Union, it has been an active member of the UN Security Council, and I wish to thank the minister for Nigeria’s leadership on the Council.


Nigeria’s preliminary report to the Iran Sanctions Committee on its investigation of the illicit arms shipment uncovered in Lagos underlines its crucial role in the international system. And Nigeria will continue its investigation as we work together to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions on Iran.


I want to thank the minister for the active role that Nigeria played in the Security Council discussion on Sudan several weeks ago.


On this and on so many other issues, I see an increasing role of authority and leadership on the part of Nigeria on the global stage. Since I visited Nigeria just over a year ago, the relationship between our countries has continued to grow. Our partnership is rooted in the values our people share and our common belief in the future of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. And I look forward, Minister, to continuing that partnership for many years ahead.


FOREIGN MINISTER AJUMOGOBIA: Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Secretary. I am here again – I was here in September. I’m here again to reinforce the new vigor in the relationship between Nigeria and the United States. Since I was here in September, a lot has happened. We’ve had elections in Cote D'Ivoire, we’ve had elections in Guinea, and I would say we – I guess we won one and lost one. (Laughter.) But we hope Cote D'Ivoire will still be a success.


Nigeria stands united with the international community in endorsing the results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission in Cote D'Ivoire, and identifying with the decision that Alassane Ouattara is the president-elect of Cote D'Ivoire.


The summit was unanimous, led by President Jonathan – it was unanimous in this decision. And as you probably are aware, ECOWAS has suspended Cote D'Ivoire. Under the ECOWAS protocol, the limits on the sort of sanctions that are available to us, the options, the options are limited to sanctions against a country and we’ve done what we can do in that regard. But President Jonathan has made it clear that we will support and the organization will support the – any sanctions regime prescribed by the international community, the UN, the EU, and the African Union.


We also talked about, of course, elections in Nigeria. And I wanted to reassure the Secretary that things are on course. We’re doing everything we can do to ensure that we have credible elections in 2011. And I am reasonably satisfied that in spite of some of the challenges that we still have, we will have credible elections in 2011.


We also spoke about the possibility between now and the elections of more – greater support under the framework of the BNC in terms of engagement of the U.S. private sector in Nigeria through investment in our infrastructure. The details, of course, will have to be worked out, but a framework that gives support and strength to the electoral process that we’re so firmly committed to.


We believe that the framework that – of the Binational Commission which involves not just good governance and elections, but also investment and energy, food security and agriculture and security in the Niger Delta. All these coming together will provide a process to create jobs which, ultimately, perhaps the single greatest threat to democracy in Africa, the fact of the teeming young number of people who are not employed and have no prospects of employment. We believe the United States can assist us in the process of creating jobs in Nigeria, but in a way that provides jobs here in the United States, provides American companies who would supply goods and services to also benefit from the engagement with Nigeria.


We’ve also talked about the – as you all know, we had a terrorist attack on October 1st, our independence day celebrations. I must thank the United States for the support we had in terms of intelligence sharing that helped us in limiting and mitigating some of the damage that might have been caused by that unfortunate incident and resulted in the culprits being caught and who are now being tried in courts in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.


So once again, I am happy to be here to try and reinforce this very important relationship with the United States. We believe that we will – we won’t let you down.


MR. CROWLEY: (Inaudible) Jill Dougherty from CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, the Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo is going to be getting the Nobel Peace Prize. The Chinese Government appears to be furious. They say that this is an imposition of Western values on China. How do you answer that?


And then also there’s an incident that took place very recently with the Indian ambassador, who was subjected to a pat-down at a Mississippi airport. I just checked a statement by the Indian foreign minister, exterior minister, who said that it’s unacceptable. They’re issuing a demarche. And in a broader sense, is it time to look at how diplomats – there have been previous instances – are treated domestically as they travel around the United States?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jill, as to the first question, the United States has made its views very well known with respect to the Nobel Peace Prize. We believe that human rights are universal and that the right to express one’s opinions and to engage in peaceful expression of those ideas is really at the core of what human rights means anywhere in the world.


We have made our position very clear to the Chinese Government. The United States will be represented at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, although neither the recipient nor his wife will be permitted to travel.


And we continue to encourage the Chinese to open up their own political space for greater exchange of opinions and advocacy of ideas. We raise human rights in every meeting that we have between the United States and China, and we will continue to do so.


With regard to the second question, although I was not until just recently aware of the incident, we obviously are concerned about it. I met with the Indian ambassador and other representatives of the Indian Government on Tuesday. It was not raised with me or raised directly with the Department. But certainly, we will be looking into it and not only responding to the Indian foreign minister but also reviewing the policies.


As you know, this matter is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, and all questions about it specifically should be referred to them. But we will be looking into it and trying to determine both what happened and what we could do to prevent such incidents in the future.


MR. CROWLEY: (Off-mike.)


QUESTION: Okay. My question is for Secretary Clinton. Just recently, Nigerian Government filed corruption charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and I’m aware that Nigeria and the United States signed a – the mutual assistance treaty, and very soon I believe the case will be coming up in court. Should we be looking at the possibility of former Vice President Dick Cheney coming to Nigeria on the request of the Nigerian Government to face those charges?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not going to comment on any legal matter. Once an issue is in the court system, we will handle it through appropriate legal channels. So that’s got to be the way that we’re going to respond. But of course, we do not believe that there will be a basis for further action, but we will look into it.


MR. CROWLEY: Thank you very much.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.



# # #

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Secretary Clinton on Burkina Faso's 50th Independence Anniversary

U.S DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokeman

For Immediate Release - December 8, 2010

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY CLINTON

Burkina Faso’s Independence Day


On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Burkina Faso on the 50th anniversary of your independence this December 11

Burkina Faso and the United States proudly work together to strengthen democracy, advance human rights, and pursue sustainable development for the people of Burkina Faso and throughout West Africa. Burkina Faso has been a valued advocate for regional peace and stability as a mediator and through your contributions to African peacekeeping operations. The United States looks forward to expanding our partnership in the years to come as we work together to implement Burkina Faso’s Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact.



The United States firmly believes in the promise and bright future of Burkina Faso. I wish all Burkinabè a safe and joyous fiftieth anniversary celebration.



###

Friday, December 3, 2010

Statement Congratulating Alpha Condé on his Presidential Victory in Guinea

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release

December 3, 2010

STATEMENT BY PHILIP J. CROWLEY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Statement Congratulating Alpha Condé on his Presidential Victory in Guinea

The United States Government congratulates Guinea on the successful completion of its first democratic presidential election since gaining independence 52 years ago. While the 2010 presidential race is a great leap, it is only the first step on the road to democratic transition and civilian rule. We hope that other countries in the region will follow Guinea’s example.

The United States congratulates President-elect Alpha Condé on his victory and we welcome his pledge to work with and serve all Guineans, regardless of political affiliation or ethnic background. We look forward to working with President-elect Condé as he forges a government reflective of the needs and aspirations of all Guineans. The United States will partner with Guinea’s new government in meeting the country’s demands for democratic reforms, human rights, and good governance. Additionally, the United States will continue to provide appropriate assistance and support to Guinea as the new government looks toward legislative elections.

# # #

US Travel Advisory for Guinea

United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Washington, DC 20520


GUINEA

December 3, 2010

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Guinea as the political situation there remains unpredictable. This Travel Warning replaces that of June 16, 2010, to update information on the security situation and note that children of U.S. citizen employees of the Embassy have not yet been authorized to return to post.

Although Guinea has been relatively calm since the interim government declared a State of Emergency on November 18 to deter violence and protests following the disputed November 7 presidential election, large crowds of demonstrators have continued to block major intersections throughout the capital, and pelt passing vehicles with rocks. Additionally, an upsurge in property crime has resulted in the issuance of a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. U.S. citizens are advised that, although the U.S. Embassy in Conakry returned to full staffing on March 29 after a six-month evacuation of family members and non-emergency staff, minor children of U.S. citizen employees of the Embassy have not yet been authorized to return. This restriction will be periodically reevaluated.

The U.S. Embassy in Guinea is open. The Embassy’s consular section continues to provide emergency and other services to U.S. citizens. However, citizens should be aware that the Embassy may be forced to suspend all operations, including emergency services, without advance notice if the security situation deteriorates. The international airport in Conakry is operating normally at this time, but flights may be suspended if the current security situation worsens. Land borders are also open, but may close without warning. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise extreme caution, to be particularly alert to their surroundings, and to avoid crowds, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering. Visitors to Guinea should be familiar with their hotel evacuation plans, policies, or procedures.

U.S. citizens in Guinea should carry their travel documents (i.e., passport, birth certificate, picture IDs, etc.) with them at all times. Additionally, U.S. citizens in Guinea are reminded to stay in contact with friends and family in the United States to keep them apprised of their current welfare and whereabouts.

All U.S. citizens traveling to or remaining in Guinea despite this Travel Warning are strongly urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP - https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/) so you can receive the most up-to-date security information. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of emergency.

The U.S. Embassy is located on the Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma, opposite the New Radio Station in Ratoma, Conakry, Guinea. You can call the Embassy switchboard at +224-65-10-4000, or reach the consular section directly by calling +224-67-10-4444. For after-hours emergencies, please call +224-67-10-4311.

Updated information on travel and security in Guinea may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Guinea and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

Statement by President Obama on the Election Results in Cote d’Ivoire

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3, 2010

Statement by the President on the Election Results in Cote d’Ivoire


“I congratulate Alassane Outtara on his victory in Cote d’Ivoire’s November 28 elections. The Independent Electoral Commission, credible and accredited observers, and the United Nations have all confirmed this result and attested to its credibility.


Cote d’Ivoire is now at a crossroads. I urge all parties, including incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, to acknowledge and respect this result, and to allow Cote d’Ivoire to move forward toward a peaceful, democratic future, leaving long years of conflict and missed opportunities in the past. The international community will hold those who act to thwart the democratic process and the will of the electorate accountable for their actions.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero to Travel to Kenya

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release November 29, 2010

Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero will travel to Kenya from November 29 to December 2 to address global affairs issues related to peace, security, and stability in east and central Africa. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Page will accompany Under Secretary Otero on the trip.

During her visit to Nairobi, Kenya, Under Secretary Otero will give a keynote address at the Citibank Mobile Money Forum, bringing attention to the potential for mobile payment systems to enable financial inclusion and improve Africa’s social and economic development. She will meet with Prime Minister Odinga and with senior government officials and civil society representatives, including youth groups, women leaders and religious organizations focusing on human security, urban refugees, and conflict prevention and mitigation.

As Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero oversees the bureaus of Population, Refugees and Migration; Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; and the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor. She also serves as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

Friday, November 26, 2010

USAID Sudan Director on Southern Sudan Referendum

USAID Sudan Mission Director William Hammink On U.S. Support of the Southern Sudan Referendum

November 23, 2010

Via Teleconference


OPERATOR: Welcome, and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. After the presentation, we’ll conduct a question-and-answer session. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.



And now I’d like to introduce your host for today’s conference, Mr. Mark Toner. Sir, you may begin.



MR. TONER: Good morning, and thank you all for joining us. We’re very fortunate to have with us three individuals who are able to share their insights and perspectives from the field on the status of preparations for the January 9th referendum on Southern Sudan. They’re also going to talk about the support and the technical assistance that the United States has provided to support the parties as they work towards a full and timely implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. On the line today, we have USAID Sudan Mission Director Bill Hammink.



We’ve also got our – we also have our chargé d'affaires in Khartoum, Bob Whitehead, as well as the Juba Consul General Barrie Walkley. Just a reminder, Bill Hammink, the USAID Sudan Mission Director, will make some brief opening remarks. His remarks will be on the record, but just a reminder, that the Q&A session will be on background attributable to U.S. senior officials.



So without further ado, I will hand it over to Bill Hammink.



MR. HAMMINK: Great, thank you. Thank you for joining this call today. We want to inform the press about how the referendum registration process is proceeding so far, and explain to you how aid from the American people, delivered through USAID and the U.S. Government generally, is providing assistance to this important and historic process.



As you may know, the referendum is a key provision of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the CPA, which ended the long and deadly North-South civil war. Since the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement signed that agreement, the U.S. Government has provided assistance to the two parties to help implement the various provisions of the CPA as part of our broad goal to maintain peace between the North and the South. This has included assistance in conducting a national census, multiparty national elections – which took place last April – popular consultation processes in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, which are in the preparation phase, and now this referendum, which will allow the people of Southern Sudan to choose to remain part of the unified Sudan or to secede and form an independent nation.



One thing that is very important to stress is that the referendum is a Sudanese-led process. The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the SSRC, is the official Sudanese body in charge of implementing the referendum. SSRC Chairman Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil is ably leading the SSRC under challenging conditions of a very short timeline for the steps that have taken place so far and the steps that remain to hold the referendum on time beginning January 9. The timeline is short because we are nearing the end of the CPA interim period. The CPA is set to expire July 9, 2011, and the CPA calls for the referendum to take place six months prior to that end date.



USAID is supporting the SSRC in Khartoum and its bureau in Juba, the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau – or SSRB – in three ways: One, providing technical and material assistance to the SSRC and SSRB to enable them to prepare for, administer, and oversee the referendum process, including providing office space and equipment, voter registration, books and cards, training manuals, and polling kits.



Two, support for civic participation, including voter education, assistance to local media, reporting on the referendum, and assistance to domestic organizations that are observing the process.



And three, funding international independent observers. Crucial to USAID’s success in moving referendum preparations forward has been its ability to develop close working partnerships, both directly and through its implementation partners with the Sudanese referendum authorities, civil society organizations, and the broader constituency of stakeholders in this historic process, including, of course, the United Nations and other donors.



It is indeed a significant achievement that the voter registration process began in most locations in Sudan and in several other countries on time, on November 15, in what has been an extremely compressed timeline. Much work had to be completed in a very short period to get us to the stage we are now in the process. USAID and the United Nations procured, delivered, and handed over to the SSRC and SSRB voter registration materials late last month in time to have them distributed across Sudan, which in itself is a significant logistical challenge as Sudan is the largest country in Africa.



Registration began on time – November 15 – and has proceeded peacefully in the 10 states of Southern Sudan, the 15 states of Northern Sudan, and in most of the eight countries where out-of-country registration and voting will take place. There was a one-day delay in the United States and Australia at the request of the SSRC because of concerns expressed by Southern Sudanese communities in the two countries of too few centers for countries with such vast distances. But registration began in both the United States and Australia on November 16 and is proceeding.



The SSRC and the International Organization for Migration, the IOM, which are working together to organize out-of-country voting in accordance with the Southern Sudan Referendum Act of 2009, have been in discussions about ensuring that Southern Sudanese in the United States have access to registration sites. Out-of-country voting was delayed in Egypt, but we understand that registration in Egypt may begin soon. Registration is scheduled to end December 1, after which the SSRC will publish a preliminary register of voters and then hear objections to the register. The final register of voters will be published on January 4. Then voting is scheduled to take place January 9 to 15.



We will continue to provide assistance throughout this process, supporting the SSRC and SSRB, to implement a peaceful, on-time referendum that reflects the will of the Southern Sudanese people. We are continuing to educate communities and voters about the process, to assist local media reporting on the process, to support Sudanese organizations observing the process, and to support independent, international observation.



Thank you for your interest in this historic referendum.



# # #

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Secretary Clinton on Mauritania's Independence Day

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
November 24, 2010

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY CLINTON

Mauritania's Independence Day

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Mauritania on the 50th anniversary of your independence this November 28th.

Mauritania and the United States have worked to strengthen the partnership between our countries over the last several years and improve our cooperation on issues of mutual importance. The United States fully supports Mauritania's return to democratic governance, and we continue to seek opportunities to collaborate on human rights, expand economic growth, and promote sustainable development for the people of Mauritania.

I wish all Mauritanians a safe and joyous 50th Anniversary celebration. The United States firmly believes in the promise and future of Mauritania, and looks forward to expanding our partnership in the years to come.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2nd U.S. - Nigeria Non-Oil Trade Show Held In Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia - Monday November 15, 2010

By Frederick Nnoma-Addison

The American Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce (ANICC) has sucessfully hosted its second U.S. - Nigeria non-oil export trade show in Atlanta, U.S.A. The three day fair (November 11-13) held at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Ravinia attracted approximately two hundred people from government, private and investment communities in both the United States and Nigeria. It was sponsored by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and supported by the Nigerian Consular General in Atlanta.

Speaking during the opening session Mr. Chudi N. Okafor - Honorable Consul General of the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta applauded the American Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce for organizing what he described as a "timely initiative" in view of Nigeria's vision 2020 - A national agenda to be one of the leading economies in the world by the year 2020. He also called upon the American business community to take advantage of the abundant opportunities availabe in the non-oil sector of the country.















Mr. Chudi N. Okafor - Hon. Consul General

















Mr. David I. Adulugba, Esq.


Mr. David I. Adulugba, Esq. Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council who led a delegation used the occassion to reassure American investors about the dividends of doing business in Nigeria and urged them to make Nigeria their preferred destination.

..."They have come in with only their hand bags and have gone with their millions... I can assure you of that, be they in the oil, non-oil or commodities industry. They have all gone home smiling and wanting to come back..."






























Participants
















Ms. Emelia Orubele, President & CEO (ANICC)


Ms. Emelia Orubele, President & CEO of the American Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce (ANICC) thanked the event sponsor, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Nigerian Consulate General, Atlanta and all the participants for making the event a reality and a success.

Founded in 1993 ANICC is an independent non profit organization of professionals with business ties and interests in Nigeria. The organization facilitates business between the United States and Nigeria.

















Dr. Eugene Flecther (ANICC Board Chairman)

In response to a question about American's doing buisness in Nigeria vis-a-vis media reports about Nigeria not being a suitable place to do business, ANICC's Board Chairman Dr. Eugene Fletcher explained that ANICC makes it a point to provide healthy and holistic information about Nigeria which gives potential investors the opportunity to asses the country's business climate for themselves.

"...The subject of whether a country is safe to transact business in is all relative. In fact you can compare the crime rates etc. in a Nigerian city with say New York, Atlanta or LA and you will sometimes find those in Nigeria to be a third less...There are several success stories out of Nigeria and no American should have any inhibitions about doing business in Nigeria..."
















Mr. Anthony Ogbe, Consul Trade & Commerce


During his presentation Mr. Anthony Ogbe, Consul for Trade and Commerce at the Consulate General, Atlanta stressed that the non-oil emphasis of this business forum was in agreement with Nigeria's vision to diversify the country's resource base.

"...We have come to the realization that oil alone will not be the country's only sustainable revenue... there are so many others resources that are yet to be tapped... I am very pleased about this forum because at the end of the day business people from Nigeria and the United States would have interacted and would have identified areas of common cooperation..."

The Trade Forum concluded with a Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday. A total of six Nigerian states participated. They are Lagos, Benue, Cross River, Ondo, Plateau and Bayelsa. Participants and organizers were both pleased with the outcome and the relationships that were formed. ANICC executives and their partnering organizations are already looking into the future for next year's conference.


PHOTO Report















Mr. Titus Olowokere (ANICC Vice President)















ANICC President & Vice During A Session






















Ambassador Oscar J. Webb (right) with Conference Participant















Representative of Lagos State















Mrs. Remi Duyile - Represantative of the Governor of Ondo State















Mr. Emmanuel Artse - Special Advisor to Benue State Governor on Agric & Food Security















Exihibits from Dajo Pottery, Ltd.














Mr. Levi O'Bem Yakubu - Dajo Pottery (in cloth) With Nigerian Government Officials







































































Cashew Nuts from Nigeria - ABOD Success Investment Ltd.





















Ariella Shea Butter Products



































Awards Gala Entertainment










































Miriam Dimande of Kevin & Khaemille Fashions




























Kevin of Kevin & Khaemille Fashions in 24kt gold "Royal Collar"

















Important Contact Information:

Nigerian Export Promotion Council - http://www.nepc.gov.ng/

American Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce - http://www.amicc.net/

Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta - http://nigeria-consulate-atl.org/site/

Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, DC - http://www.nigeriaembassyusa.org/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

U.S. EX-IM Bank To Support South Africa's Infrastructural Development














EX-IM BANK CHAIRMAN FRED HOCHBERG ANNOUNCES PLANS IN SUPPORT OF SOUTH AFRICAN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT




NOVEMBER 10, 2010


JOHANNESBURG – Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg is in South Africa to announce first steps in the approval of financing for U.S. exports to key South African projects, including:

• Ex-Im Bank’s first-stage approval of support for the sale of locomotives to Transnet, a large South African rail, port and pipeline company majority-owned by the government
• The Bank’s initial carbon review of Eskom’s Kusile coal-fired power plant. Eskom is South Africa’s national electric utility.

“South Africa is a dynamic economy with a growing appetite for infrastructure development,” Hochberg said during his Nov. 9-11 trade mission to South Africa. “That’s why it has been designated by Ex-Im as one of nine countries where we aim to increase transactions. American companies and competitive Ex-Im Bank financing are available to meet South Africa’s infrastructure needs and to support other purchases by small and mid-size businesses.”

In addition to meeting with South African government and business leaders, Hochberg is signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC), South Africa’s official export credit agency. Under the agreement, the two agencies will exchange information on trade and business prospects in order to identify opportunities for cooperation, including co-financing opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hochberg announced that, after an initial review of the Kusile power plant project under Ex-Im Bank’s enhanced due diligence process for high carbon intensity facilities, the Bank’s board of directors has decided to proceed with a full financial, technical and environmental review of the project.

After the full review, the transaction to finance the sale of engineering services to Eskom by Black & Veatch of Overland Park, Kansas, will return to the Board for final action. The Kusile project has environmentally beneficial features including water conservation technology, a highly efficient boiler, pollution abatement technology, and carbon-capture-ready status.

“By working together, we can help South Africa ramp up its energy production and infrastructure needs to meet the increased demand of its citizens,” Hochberg said. “We have the know-how to help them in migrating that energy generation toward cleaner, more renewable sectors going forward.”

Hochberg also announced Ex-Im Bank’s first-stage approval of financing for the export of General Electric locomotives to Transnet, pending Congressional notification of the Bank’s intent to approve the transaction.

In addition, Ex-Im Bank recently gave final approval for $7 million in financing to support the sale of five new Caterpillar off-highway trucks and one new tractor to Eqstra Holdings Ltd., a diversified leasing, industrial, construction and mining equipment importer and distributor. Eqstra subsidiary MCC Contracts (Pty) Ltd. will use the equipment.

Hochberg delivered remarks today at a breakfast meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce. During his stay he is meeting with a wide range of private and public sector leaders including representatives of South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises, commercial banks, and private companies including Eqstra, Transnet and Comair.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal agency, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness. Overall during the fiscal year, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance, including more than $5 billion in authorizations for small businesses. More information about Ex-Im Bank is available at www.exim.gov.

# # # #

Secratary Clinton on Angola's 35th Independence

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesman

November 10, 2010

Secretary Clinton




On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Angola on your 35th Independence Day this November 11.

I was honored to help launch a new phase in the bilateral relationship between Angola and the United States during my visit to your country last year. This summer, we took another step forward and signed a Memorandum of Understanding that formally recognizes Angola as a strategic partner for the United States in Africa. Through this dialogue, we will advance our cooperation on energy and security, strengthen institutional capacity, improve transportation systems, and build a brighter future for Angola. The United States is also committed to helping Angola continue the fight against HIV/AIDS and improve its health systems. I look forward to finding new ways to deepen our partnership as we continue our work together.

I wish all Angolans a wonderful holiday, with a peaceful and prosperous year to come.

###

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Rt Rev'd Bishop Barbara L. King a.k.a. Nana Yaa Twumwaa I

















Bishop Barbara King During A Church Service at Hillside

By Frederick Nnoma-Addison

Like Dr. W.E.B DuBois, Shirley DuBois, the Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Erieka Bennett (African Union Diaspora African Forum) and a few other notable Americans with a heart for Africa, the recently consecrated Bishop Barbara L. King (Nana Yaa Twumwaa) has successfully reconnected with her ancestral continent (Africa) and is impacting one country (Ghana) in a powerful way at age 80.

She stands tall amongst both women and men, wears an interesting pair of spectacles, is naturally graceful and full of youthful energy. In my phone interview with her at her residence in Atlanta she remarked “…If you would take me dancing, I could dance all night…Honestly I don’t know what age is…we all have ideas and images of what an 80 year old should look like or be like. My thinking is energy… I am a child of God…”

On Sundays she is usually behind her pulpit at the Hillside Church on Cascade Road, South West, Atlanta feeding her congregation which numbers in the thousands or preaching in some city in the United States or abroad.


BIOGRAPHY

The founder and minister of Atlanta-based Hillside International Chapel and Truth Center was on September 26, 2010 consecrated as the first Bishop within the International New Thought Christian Movement of churches in a solemn ceremony attended by notables from all over the world. She was born in Houston, Texas in 1930 to a set of college students – Ms. Mildred Jackson Shackelford and Mr. Lee Andrew Lewis who was the first African American motion picture operator in Texas.

True to her pioneering spirit she first considered being a minster of the Gospel at age 13, when there were no visible examples of women ministers, especially in the African American community. Bishop Barbara, the mother of one biological son and thousands of other children worldwide recounts being raised by her grandmother - Ida Bates Lewis, the church and the community in middle class America. “… We ate well and lived a decent life. Grandma sewed for a living and sometimes when there was not enough money to pay the rent, she would talk-her-prayer, as if to a real human being. Grandma taught me how to pray and Hillside church is a faith based church… I have always trusted God to do what he said he will do…I started singing in the choir at age 13 and teaching in church at a young age…”

Dr. Barbara as she is fondly referred to had her initial spiritual orientation at Antioch Baptist Church in Fourth Ward, Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of Texas Southern University (1955 – BA), Clark Atlanta University (1957-MSW), has 3 honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees and is currently completing a Doctoral degree in Ministry (DM) with a special focus on succession in charismatic leadership at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.

After her college education in 1955 she moved to Chicago for a number of years and worked as a social work administrator at the Church Federation of Greater Chicago, South Chicago Community Center, Henry Booth House and Malcolm X College. In the early 1970’s she and her son, Michael, moved to Atlanta and has called the city home ever since.

Dr. Barbara is a recipient of several awards and honors as well as the author of seven books including Transform Your Life, Piddlin’ for the Soul, The Church: A Matter of Conscious and Prosperity That Can’t Quit. The March and November 1998 issues of Ebony Magazine listed her as “One of the 100 Most Fascinating Women of the 20th Century” and as “One of Fifteen Outstanding Black Women Preachers” respectively. On April 3, 2003 she was inducted into the International Hall of Honor Portraits in the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the field of religion, Dr. Barbara is known as a minister with an extraordinary gift. Her portrait hangs in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Museum in the gallery of “Women in the Pulpit.” She has the ability to provide leadership through example and instruction, but more importantly, she is known as a spiritual healer and a truth motivator. Not only has she provided leadership to her congregation and the community, but to the larger spiritual community through the Barbara King School of Ministry, her involvement in the International New Thought Alliance, and more recently as guest lecturer at the Harvard Divinity School Summer Institute for Ministers.

At her age there are very few things left for the Bishop to pursue, one of them is to build a museum for her numerous collections from around the world and the other, further expand her church facility. Asked about some of her greatest life lessons she replied “patience and trust in God.” She lists Maya Angelo Susan Taylor, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Tavis Smiley as some of her friends and admirers.

















Bishop Barbara King & Dr. Maya Angelou at the Hillside Church

MINISTRY

Dr. Barbara entered into ministry 40 years ago with a background in social work and psychology instead of a formal education in seminary training. Over the decades she has successfully built a world-class ministry which she attributes to the grace and faithfulness of God. Despite her many life accomplishments she is focused on service to humanity and sums up her life’s mission and ministry in just a few words “impacting lives, bringing value to people and living as an expression of God on this earth.” At age 80, retirement is not really on her mind although she is proactively planning a succession strategy for the ministry.

HILLSIDE CHURCH

Hillside International Chapel & Truth Center is a member of the International New Thought Alliance. Dr. Barbara began this nondenominational, ecumenical ministry in 1971 with twelve members in her living room. The Hillside complex covers nearly twelve acres with a growing congregation numbering more than 10,000. Hillside has a very visible and important role in the development of metropolitan Atlanta through its numerous programs and outreach projects. Hillside Chapel is the first African-American led New Thought affiliate to establish a sister-church in South Africa in May 1994.

Hillside Church which caters to the needs of an extremely diverse congregation is best described as a holistic ministry. It emphasizes ministry to the total man: spirit, soul and body and provides services that meets the needs of all these human departments. Members engage in intense prayer, bible study and devotion throughout the year and also learn how to live healthy and responsible lives especially in these economic times. The church is located on 2450 Cascade Road, S.W. Atlanta, GA 30311 and on the web at www.hillsidechapel.org

















Nana Yaa Twumwaa I (Center) at a Durbar In Ghana

CHIEFTANCY IN GHANA

Aside being priest Dr. Barbara is also the development Chief of Assin Nsuta in Ghana, West Africa and the first female chief in the region. She cherishes this function and title as much as her new one – Bishop and describes her consecration experience as surreal and somewhat similar to her enstoolment in Ghana on August 18, 2001. Her path to becoming a chief is not one of those things she anticipated or discerned it was more of preparation meeting a God arranged opportunity, an opportunity to serve, support and uplift a people which for her, an African-American woman has tremendous importance.

When the surprise enstoolment announcement came to her during a service in her Atlanta church, she neither knew about the word enstoolment nor its meaning. However since accepting the honor and responsibility she has contributed to her town through several development and educational programs, is currently working on a library project for her community and mothering one Ghanaian young lady in the United States. As chief she endeavors to visit her people twice a year. “ ..I am at home when I am in Ghana…”

Her stool name Nana Yaa Twunmwaa I translates into a Thursday born chief with special spiritual power, energy and courage. The name Twumwaa is related to the name Asantawaa in the Akan culture hence Nana Yaa Asantawaa, national hero of the Ashanti’s of Ghana is a spiritual sister of Nana Yaa Twumwaa I. (Dr. Barbara). In Ghana she serves on the council of Chiefs for the Nkosuohene of the Benkum Division of the Assin Apimanim Traditional Area.

Statement by President Obama on Presidential Elections in Cote d’Ivoire














THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 28, 2010

Statement by the President on Presidential Elections in Cote d’Ivoire

The United States supports the people of Cote d’Ivoire as they prepare to express their democratic voice and participate in presidential elections on October 31, 2010. The Ivoirian government, the candidates, their supporters, and all political actors have an obligation to ensure that the long-delayed presidential elections are held in a peaceful and transparent manner. The people of Cote d’Ivoire deserve a secure environment for elections, and for their choice to be accepted by all candidates. These elections are a critical step to rebuilding Cote d’Ivoire. The United States stands with the Ivoirian people as they prepare for long-awaited democratic elections, and move closer to lasting peace and prosperity in Cote d’Ivoire.


###

Saturday, October 9, 2010

African Union Diaspora African Forum















Washington, DC - In an interview conducted at the ATN studios on K Street, Ambassador Dr. Erieka Bennett (left) Head of Mission for the African Union (AU) Diaspora African Forum (DAF) – Accra, Ghana and Dr. Arikana Chihombori, M.D. (right) – International Chair have shed light on a timely intercontinental initiative that is actively engaging the African Diaspora in the redevelopment of the African continent.

“… Our effort is to primarily encourage Diaspora participation, we are not saying everybody come back but we are saying everybody look back…There are two types of Diaspora, those of us taken from slavery and then continental Africans who move for work, study or greener pastures and this is an invitation to both groups…”

Ambassador Dr. Erieka Bennett

Dr. Bennett went on to explain how her mission is facilitating Africa’s social and economic redevelopment through youth development, educational programs, capacity development and infrastructural initiatives.

The Diaspora African Forum mission is the first of its kind in the world. It is accredited with diplomatic status by the Government of Ghana and supported by the African Union. The African Union recently charged her to establish 10 other missions in Africa. Currently it is the only diplomatic Diaspora mission that sits on the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union. The Mission is based on the W. E. B. Du Bois Centre compound in Accra, Ghana. DAF’s partners include the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), The African Communication Agency, USAID, Plan International and the Japanese Entrepreneurs and Presidents Association.

Ambassador Dr. Erieka Bennett who founded the Mission in Ghana was in the United States to receive the Africa Leadership Congress Transformational Leader Award on September 21st, speak at the Leon H. Sullivan Forum in Atlanta and attend the DAF’s international board meeting that appointed Dr. Arikana Chihombori as the International Chair.


Dr. Arikana Chihombori, M.D.

In her interview the newly appointed International Chair for the Diaspora African Forum Dr. Arikana Chihombori, M.D. expressed her concerns about fragmentations in the African Diaspora community and described them as counterproductive to development. She promised to work to foster strategic collaborations between various Diaspora groups and address ignorance that exists between both Americans and Africans about each other. Zimbabwean-born Dr. Chihombori moved to the United States 33years ago with a U.S. funded educational scholarship. She is married to a Ghanaian-born physician, owns 5 clinics between her and her husband and is a mother of 5 children. She is involved in family practice in Tennessee and is a good example of a successful emigration story.


Contacts:

Accra Mission
P.M.B 42 Kotoka International Airport
Accra, Ghana
Tel: +233 302 780923
Fax: +233 302 780218

U.S. Offices
519 Enon Springs Rd. E.
Smyrna, TN 37167
Tel: + 1 615 504 7177
Fax: + 1 615 895 6860

Monday, October 4, 2010

Historic Pictorial Book On U.S. - Nigeria Relations Launched

October 1, 2010 - Bolger, Center - Potomac, Maryland

Immediate Past U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria H.E. Robin R. Sanders (2007-2010) launched a book commemorating 50 years of U.S. and Nigeria relations in a ceremony marking Nigeria's 50th independence Anniversary. The Book " The United States & Nigeria: Celebrating 50 Years of Friendship & Progress In Pictures" was commissioned by Nigeria's Ambassador to the United States H.E. Prof Adebowale Adefuye (pictured below) and published by AMIP News. In his remarks AMIP News's Frederick Nnoma-Addison who authored and published the book stressed the importance of publishing a book that unveils the ties between the United States and one of Africa's greatest nations.
















L-R: H.E. Robin Sanders, Frederick Nnoma-Addison (Author/Publisher), Beryl Nnoma-Addison (Editor)






















The book's cover shares a historic 1961 photograph of President J.F. Kennedy with Nigeria's first Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. The book is available at http://www.usafricapicturebook.org/















H.E. Prof. Adebowale Adefuye


The Foreword to the book (below) was written by Nigeria's Foreign Minister Honorable Odien Ajumogobia, SAN, OFR

Foreword
Today October 1, 2010, Nigeria celebrates her 50th independence anniversary from the United Kingdom. As captured creatively and vividly in this book, it is amazing to reflect on the levels of collaboration and interaction between Nigeria and the United States since that 1st day of October in 1960. As Nigeria and the United States celebrate 50 years of friendship and progress, we also look forward into the next half century with experience, optimism and faith, hoping that our unique stories captured and presented in this medium will inform, educate and inspire similar triumphs around the world. Between a historical road map and a reference book for individuals or institutions with interest in Nigeria - U.S. relations, this book captures and shares 50 years of bilateral relations in a very refreshing and soft way and I am extremely proud of Nigeria’s role in this epic.

In April this year Nigeria signed a Bi-National Commission Agreement with the United States with special emphasis on Energy, the Niger Delta, Good Governance and Food Security. This new agreement is only symbolic of the current cordial relationship Nigeria shares with the United States and we cherish this new opportunity. While Nigeria is proud to have signed this agreement with President Obama’s administration, our relationship with the United States has not always been this good. You will soon find out that significant portions of our 50 years were characterized by high tensions, strained relationships and even uncertainty between numerous administrations. To the credit of both nations and their resilient citizens, we have jointly overcome major international stand-offs and are able to call each other friend and partner.

During my most recent official visit to the United States this year I had the opportunity to interact with thousands of Nigerian-Americans. I learned about their contributions to the world’s greatest economy and found several parallels between theirs and the contributions of American citizens and corporations in Nigeria. Since then I have become even more confident about the future of the relationship between not just our governments but our people. Nigeria is grateful for the partnership and friendship of the United States and looks forward to increased cooperation on all levels in the coming years and decades.

50 years in a nation’s life calls for both celebration and introspection and this book helps us achieve both. As we observe this milestone, my thanks goes especially to my staff here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, the Nigerian Embassy staff in the United States, Secretary Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department including U.S. Embassy staff in Abuja and Lagos for their tireless efforts in overseeing this relationship. On behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I wish you a memorable viewing and reading experience. Long live Nigeria - U.S. relations!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Readout Of The Ministerial Meeting On Sudan By NSC Chief Of Staff Denis McDonough

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release September 24, 2010



READOUT OF THE MINISTERIAL MEETING ON SUDAN BY NSC CHIEF OF STAFF DENIS McDONOUGH



Waldorf-Astoria

New York, New York



4:47 P.M. EDT



MR. HAMMER: Good afternoon, everybody. Denis McDonough, our National Security Council Chief of Staff, just came from the Sudan meeting and we thought it’d be useful for him to give you a brief readout and take some of your questions specifically on that topic.

Denis.

MR. McDONOUGH: Thanks a lot, Mike, and the meeting is obviously still going on, as I think many of you have seen. And I think you have just got a copy of the President’s remarks and I think many of you were able to watch him on the televisions here.

I would just say -- I want to just spend a couple of minutes on the communiqué that came out of the meeting today. We believe that the communiqué is a historic achievement. It’s an unprecedented show of global unity in which the world communicates loudly and firmly that the referenda called for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be held on January 9th and the results must be and will be respected.

I think you heard from both the Vice Presidents who came from Sudan -- Vice President Kiir and Vice President Taha -- that they intend to meet that -- those target dates and to respect the outcome of those referenda whatever the outcomes are.

We believe it’s a strong and detailed communiqué that brings together the more than 40 countries and international organizations, the two CPA parties, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, around commitments for the Sudanese to undertake. It makes it clear that the core objective of the international community and all stakeholders in Sudan is the peaceful coexistence of the people of Sudan -- democratic governance, accountability, equality, respect, justice, and the establish of conditions for the conflict-affected communities to build strong, sustainable livelihoods.

And it includes specific commitments as follows: To hold peaceful and credible referenda that reflect the will of the people on January 9th. It makes it clear that the CPA parties bear the primary responsibility to carry out those referenda and meeting the CPA commitments, and that those CPA commitments don’t end with the referendums -- with the referenda.

They commit, importantly, and you heard this from the Vice Presidents, to respect the outcome of the referenda, and that they will be carried out within the framework of the agreement; that they will resolve the most critical issues necessary to provide a peace -- a path of peace and prosperity to all Sudanese regardless of the outcome; underscores concern about the situation, the humanitarian situation in southern Sudan; and underscores the need to develop governance capabilities -- again, regardless of the outcome of the referenda; expresses, importantly, concern about the security situation in Darfur; supports ending the conflict in Darfur; protecting civilians and calls for a halt of the arms flow into the region; and, importantly, underscores the principles of compensation, justice, and reconciliation in Darfur.

And last thing on this, as it relates to Darfur, there was a very clear call -- again, echoed importantly by the two parties to the agreement, both the government of Southern Sudan and the government of Sudan -- to an end of impunity in Darfur.

So, again, we think it was a historic communiqué that addresses issues as it relates to the CPA, importantly making the commitment that the referenda will be held on time, and also addresses the issues of accountability and impunity around Darfur as well.

So I’ll leave it at that and open it up to your questions.


Q If in fact the referendum goes ahead on the 9th and you end up with what seems to be a credible election for a separate state, would the U.S. be prepared to recognize Southern Sudan as a separate state?

MR. MCDONOUGH: You know, what we’re prepared to say today, David, is that we are prepared to, as the parties themselves said today, recognize and honor the outcome of the referenda, that they should be held on time, peacefully, and that everybody -- the more than 40 parties here that were in the meeting today, and the meeting is still going on as I suggested -- intent to respect the outcome of it regardless of the outcome.

We’ve also been, obviously, aggressively working with the parties. Scott has been in the region 20 times. Secretary Clinton has been having meetings all this week. And the President obviously has been having discussions this week. And we’ve laid out a diplomatic plan -- obligations and responsibilities of both of the parties going forward. So I think they have a clear understand of what we hope to hear from them and what we intend to do if they meet those targets.

Q Denis, there may be a distinction, a difference that I’m not understanding, but if you’re going to honor the outcome of the referendum -- and the referendum obviously is to create a separate state -- isn’t that the equivalent of saying that you would recognize the state if that was the outcome?

MR. MCDONOUGH: What I’m saying right now is I don’t want to -- I don’t want to jump to any conclusions of what the outcome of the elections will be -- of the referendum would be. But I’m telling you that --

Q But you will honor it either way?

MR. MCDONOUGH: That’s exactly what the party said today and that’s exactly what we’ve said all along on this.

Q Denis, as I understand it, the preparations for the referendum are woefully behind. Aside from the declarations today, is there anything in the communiqué or anything was agreed at the meeting in terms of increased assistance to speed up the process?

MR. MCDONOUGH: I think it’s a -- yes, it’s a fair question, and I think that you heard in the President’s remarks today that obviously he recognized that there’s been important progress on the referenda, but that it is still behind. Both of the parties, both the vice presidents, just committed again to the date and to making the necessary steps to meet the date.

I would just say a couple of things as it relates to this, Warren. Before the President announced his participation in this meeting, we were running into a series of roadblocks to include the unwillingness or inability of the referendum commission to order the referendum materials to conduct the referendum. We obviously still -- that’s changed. Early last week, the referendum commission went out and ordered those documents and those materials. That’s an important step and one that had been long in coming and is now underway.

The referendum commission has also released a series of important budget support to conduct the referendum. We think that’s also a positive step directly an outcome of the high-level attention of the international community as a result of today’s meeting.

Those are two positive steps. We’re looking for more. Obviously, the CPA, for example, calls for a period of 90 days for registration for voters in the referendum. That’s going to be compressed now. But we’re continuing to work with the parties, with the U.N., with USAID, to make sure that this -- these referenda come off on time, peacefully, and in a way that recognizes the will of the people of southern Sudan.

Q How about a question on the Middle East?

MR. MCDONOUGH: You are welcome to ask whatever questions you want. I’ll see if I can answer them.

Q Can you give us a status of talks between the U.S. and Israeli and Palestinian officials ahead of the freeze this week?

MR. MCDONOUGH: What I would say is that, as the President outlined yesterday in his remarks, we obviously continue to work this very aggressively. I think, importantly, there is -- continues to be very productive discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And obviously the United States is working on those. Secretary Clinton is leading the charge and working this very aggressively. But we don’t have any big announcements yet on that, Julianna, but we are continuing to work it very aggressively.

Q President Ahmadinejad said today that he believes that as early as next month there will be a resumption of talks with the P5-plus-1. Have you gotten through any channels any indications that in fact they’re really ready to set a date, they’re really ready to go back? And on what terms would the U.S. go back?

MR. McDONOUGH: You know, the EU foreign policy chief, Kathy Ashton, reached out to the Iranians earlier this year to underscore their -- our interest, and that is to say the P5-plus-1’s interest, in resuming those talks. She’s reached out and hasn’t heard back. So when we hear back and when she hears back, then we’ll know whether they’re serious or not.

Q And are we willing to talk just on the TRR or do you want this to be a broader --

MR. McDONOUGH: We’ve been very clear that we have, as the President made clear yesterday, that we have a range of concerns and he made clear this morning on BBC Persian that we have a range of concerns that focus on the illicit nuclear program. Obviously the TRR is an important step, but by no means addresses the main issue about which we have concern. And the President also outlined additional concerns today on BBC Persian to include support for terrorism, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and our ongoing concerns about human rights.

Q Do you see anything in the sort of histrionics of Ahmadinejad this week that reflect what might be increased sort of domestic political pressure on him, perhaps more impact from sanctions than they might have expected?

MR. McDONOUGH: Hard for me to draw anything from the hateful and -- the hateful comments from President Ahmadinejad. We do believe that, obviously, his government probably is under pressure as a result of what appears to be economic mismanagement. And obviously we and many others have talked to all of you, and I know Robert has talked to you and Mike has talked to you, about what appears to be Iranian concern about the impact of the sanctions. As the President made clear today, that the -- there’s a way for the government of Iran to alleviate the pressure of those sanctions, which is to suspend the illicit nuclear program and to live up to its responsibilities to the international community as it relates to that nuclear program. And we’re hopeful that it will do so.

Julianna.

Q Is the administration concerned at all that the legislation passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee today might increase frictions with China?

MR. McDONOUGH: I’m sorry, I haven’t been following the House debate. So is it -- was it --

Q That is -- let me --

MR. McDONOUGH: Is this the Ryan bill, I think -- has to do with --

Q -- the legislation to slap duties on --

Q A tariff.

Q -- countries that have undervalued currencies.

MR. McDONOUGH: I see. Well, I haven’t seen the bill, Julianna, and I’m not aware -- maybe it was -- I had seen a version of it. Maybe it was amended or something today, so I wouldn’t necessarily comment on the --

Q -- legislation that puts additional pressure on China to --

MR. McDONOUGH: What I would say on that is that obviously the President -- I think it was reported in all -- by several very valuable members of the American press corps and the White House press corps and your various newspapers today that the President had a productive conversation with Premier Wen yesterday. This was one of the issues that the President discussed with him. We’ve obviously seen some appreciation in the currency, and if that continues that would be significant.

Q Do you have any reaction to the Japanese officials released the Chinese fisherman who has captured off the Senkaku island?

MR. McDONOUGH: I don’t.

Q Back on Ahmadinejad. I don’t have a complete list of all the delegations that walked out yesterday or issued statements of denunciation, but it seems to be mostly European countries, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand. Are you at all disappointed there hasn’t been more of an outcry from other parts of the world, particularly the Arab world? Or have you heard things that we haven’t heard?

MR. McDONOUGH: You know, we’ve been in meetings off and on all day today, Warren, so I -- it could be that others have said things and I haven’t been aware of them.

I would say, as the President did today on BBC Persian, that what’s most striking about the hateful remarks is the extent to which they so fundamentally are at odds with the actions that the Iranian people took after -- the day after that heinous attack when there were candlelight vigils, public expressions of support for the United States, and against the hateful attacks that were undertaken that day.

So I think that’s the most striking contrast that I’ve seen as a result of what he had to say today -- yesterday.

Why don’t we take one more, then I got to go.

Q (Inaudible) -- just on Sudan, how do you think how U.S.A. administration will make sure the referendum will be -- will have credibility for both sides? And how do you -- what do you think about international community providing some assistance on the referendum?

MR. McDONOUGH: Well, as the President laid out and as both Vice President Taha and Vice President Kiir indicated, that they intend to carry out the referendum on time, peacefully, and in conjunction with the requirements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Those -- if it’s carried out in such a manner, that would obviously be in a way that would maximize its credibility.

And we and other members of the international community are working with both parties to ensure that they have what they need to ensure a credible outcome in that election. But we’re heartened by the fact that today both parties indicated, as did the 41 countries and international organizations that participated in the high-level meeting that the Secretary-General hosted today, that these referenda will take place on time, peacefully, and in a way that will reflect the will of the Sudanese people.

Okay.

MR. HAMMER: Terrific. Thank you very much.

MR. McDONOUGH: Thanks, everybody.

END 5:02 P.M. EDT