Thursday, December 15, 2016

26 Americans To Travel to Sub-Saharan Africa for Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 15, 2016

Twenty-six Americans have been selected to participate in the Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The U.S. Department of State, through its implementing partner IREX, will provide support for collaborative projects between 27 Mandela Washington Fellows and 26 American professionals. In early 2017, the American participants will travel to 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for up to two weeks to begin their collaborative work. These partnerships will assist Fellows to address community challenges and further strengthen relations between the United States and African countries.

The in-country projects, devised and proposed by the Fellows, address thematic issues including agriculture, arts, civic engagement, disability advocacy, education, energy, entrepreneurship, financial management, health, waste management, and women’s health and empowerment.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI empowers young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. Each year, the Fellowship provides up to 1,000 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills for six weeks at a U.S. college or university as well as support for professional development after they return home.

Follow the conversation at #YALI2016 on social media platforms.

US Breaks Ground on New Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique


Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 13, 2016

In an important symbol of enduring friendship with Mozambique, U.S. Ambassador H. Dean Pittman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Todd Haskell, and local officials broke ground today on the new U.S. Embassy Compound in Maputo.

The multi-building complex will be situated on a 10-acre site. The project will include a Chancery, Marine Security Guard residence, a support annex, and facilities for the Embassy community. It will provide Embassy employees with a safe, secure, sustainable, and modern workplace.

Yost Grube Hall Architecture of Portland, Oregon is the architect of record, Allied Works Architecture of Portland, Oregon is the design architect, and Pernix Group, Ltd. of Lombard, Illinois is the construction contractor.

As part of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations completed 133 new diplomatic facilities since 1999 and has an additional 52 projects in design or under construction.

OBO’s mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives. These facilities represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.

Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield Travels to Liberia

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 13, 2016

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield will travel to Liberia, December 14-17.

While there, the Assistant Secretary will attend a ceremony on December 15 marking the commissioning of the first of four turbines at the Mount Coffee hydropower plant. The U.S. Government, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, has been a key financial contributor to the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee plant, as part of its commitment to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa through the Power Africa initiative. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, other foreign dignitaries, and Millennium Challenge Corporation Deputy Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lee will also take part in the ceremony.

During her trip, the Assistant Secretary will also meet with senior government officials, participants in President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), and female students taking part in the Obama administration’s Let Girls Learn initiative.

Be sure to follow the Assistant Secretary on Twitter @StateAfrica for more updates throughout her trip.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

NOFO: Promoting the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism in Tanzania


Africa: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Promoting the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism in Tanzania

12/08/2016 12:22 PM EST
December 7, 2016

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity: DRLA-DRLAQM-17-041

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: January 20, 2017

A. Project Description

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for programs intended to increase respect for human rights and to combat structural forms of stigma, discrimination, and violence that impacts persons with albinism in Tanzania. This program will be part of DRL’s overall strategy to address human rights violations committed against at-risk populations, including all persons with disabilities.

Persons with albinism in Africa suffer systematic discrimination and violence, particularly in Tanzania. Persons with albinism in Tanzania are at risk of violence that can involve abduction, physical attacks, mutilation, and killing victims for body parts used in rituals or witchcraft. The demand for body parts of persons with albinism drives high prices for such parts, including bones, skin, blood, and severed limbs. Deceased persons with albinism are sometimes buried in guarded or undisclosed locations to avoid grave robbery. In some cases, the cultural belief that having sex with persons with disabilities, including those with albinism, will cure HIV/AIDS has placed persons with albinism at risk of sexual violence and rape. Family members and others seeking to protect persons with albinism are also at risk of injury or being killed. Persons with albinism, like other persons with disabilities, face societal discrimination, including limited employment opportunities, lack of access to education, and being ostracized from communities and families.

Programs should be in accordance with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Programs should focus on Tanzania. Proposals should include governmental justice sector participation and take advantage of existing political will to address this issue.

Requested Proposal Program Objectives

DRL seeks to support a program that will promote advocacy efforts, engage and train the justice sector, and support coalition building among relevant African DPOs and government officials, particularly in Tanzania, to address discrimination and violence among persons with albinism. This program will also support advocacy efforts to strengthen and improve policies that work to protect people with albinism, at both the national and local levels. In addition, this project will also develop a dialogue with officials of the African Union (AU) to affect change in other relevant countries. Results and lessons learned from this program should also be utilized to positively impact all persons with disabilities in Tanzania.

This program should have a direct and lasting impact by promoting reforms and structural changes that take advantage of changing social and political dynamics in Tanzania that may affect this issue. DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and organizational capacity to manage programs that will protect and advance the human rights of the above target audience. Proposals could focus on areas including, but not limited to:

Protection from violence, including sexual violence and hate crime, and combating impunity: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, increased capacity to document violence targeting persons with albinism in Tanzania, as well as investigation processes (or lack thereof); increased and proactive engagement from Tanzanian national authorities, including police and other law enforcement agencies, to prevent, mitigate, or respond to violence impacting persons with albinism in Tanzania; increased protection, safety and support for this population and their advocates at risk of violence, or who have experienced violence; and, establishment of or support to broad-based advocacy coalitions working to reduce and prevent bias-motivated violence.

Ensuring and increasing access to and inclusion within social systems: Objectives may include, but are not limited to; increasing access to justice, including through expanded access to and provision of legal services; advancing inclusion and tolerance in public attitudes and cultural norms; increasing political participation; improving capacity of lawyers and civil society organizations to assist persons with albinism in accessing or protecting their full human rights; combating discrimination against and exclusion of and ensuring legal protections for target populations in access to employment, housing, education, family and relationship-based legal protections, and other social institutions.

Organizational Development and Capacity: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, building or strengthening inclusive coalitions; building advocacy skills toward inclusive legislative reforms; increasing capacity of local or regional organizations to develop and implement strategic plans, work plans, budgets, communication strategies, risk assessments, and security plans; increased capacity of organizations to mobilize community members and build constituencies, and to improve documentation and reporting of human rights violations and abuses against persons with albinism in Tanzania.

Other activities which support the goals noted above may also be considered. While DRL utilizes an inclusive and broad-human rights based perspective, proposals should focus on advancing the human rights of persons with albinism in Tanzania who face discrimination, stigma, and/or violence. Proposals that fail to address the above objective will not be deemed competitive.

Programs must be led by or have strong support from and participation by local organizations in each target country. Proposals should show evidence and explain how local organizations have been involved in the proposal development process.

Organizations are encouraged to include components that focus activity at the local and/or community level, and that include sub-grants to local organizations. Organizations may also want to consider different forms of inclusive sub-granting, such as advisory committees for grant selections.

Projects should have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms, and should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources. DRL prefers innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. DRL also strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable or at-risk populations.

Activities that typically are not considered competitive include:

• The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;

• English language instruction;

• Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;

• Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;

• External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;

• Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or that do not
relate to security concerns;

• Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;

• Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;

• Activities that go beyond an organization’s demonstrated competence, or fail to provide clear evidence of the ability of the applicant to achieve the stated impact;

• Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

• Significant U.S.-based activities.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately $350,000 available to support one or two successful applications submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding.

DRL may issue one or more awards resulting from this NOFO to the applicant(s) whose application(s) conforming to this NOFO are the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO. The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, (d) accept alternate applications, and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

Applications should not request less than $200,000 and no more than $350,000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between February 2017 and March 2017 and the period of performance should be between 12 months and 24 months. New DRL awards are typically between one to three years and must not be for longer than 5 years.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the application’s risk factor, or the needs of the program, which is determined by the grant officer for applications that are successful. If it is determined to award a cooperative agreement, DRL expects to be substantially involved during the implementation of the cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement can include:

1) Approval of the Recipient’s annual work plans, including: planned activities for the following year, travel plans, planned expenditures, event planning, and changes to any activity to be carried out under the cooperative agreement;

2) Approval of sub-award Recipients, concurrence on the substantive provisions of the sub-awards, and coordination with other cooperating agencies;

3) Other approvals that will be included in the award agreement.

C. Eligibility Information

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

For-profit entities should be aware that its application may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process and that the Department of State generally prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. Allowable costs incurred by commercial organizations are determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Project income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility requirement for this NOFO.

C.3 Other

Applicants must have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and NGOs and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status. DRL encourages applications from organizations working with the most at risk and vulnerable communities, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic or religious minority groups, and LGBTI persons.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR,1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR,1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Promoting the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism in Tanzania” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-17-041.” Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

1) All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);

2) All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;

3) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,

4) All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

Complete applications must include the following:

1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B, as directed on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov; completed and signed SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities”(if applicable) (which can be found with the solicitation on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and on the DRL website at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm); and your organization’s most recent audit (A-133 audit, if applicable, or standard audit).

2. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3. Executive Summary (not to exceed two [2] pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:

a) The target country/countries and thematic area;

b) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact;

c) The total amount of funding requested and project length;

d) A statement of work or synopsis of the project, including a concise breakdown of the project’s objectives, activities, and expected results; and,

e) A brief statement on how the project is innovative, sustainable, and will have a demonstrated impact.

4. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple documents in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe file, (i.e., Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).

5. Detailed Line-Item Budget (in Microsoft Excel) that includes three [3] columns including the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget (see below for more information on budget format). A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for sub-awardees should be included in additional tabs within the excel workbook.

6. Budget Narrative (in Microsoft Word) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, DRL recommends applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the detailed budget. Personnel costs should include a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key staff, base salary, and percentage of time devoted to the project. The budget narrative should provide additional information that might not be readily apparent in the detailed-line item budget, not simply repeat what is represented numerically in the budget, i.e. salaries are for salaries or travel is for travel. Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

7. Attachments (not to exceed fourteen [14] pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:

a) Logic model – Page 1-2: Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

b) Risk Assessment – Page 3: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

c) Narrative of Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – Pages 4-5: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

d) Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table – Pages 6-9: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information. This section can be up to four pages long if necessary.

e) Roles and responsibilities of key project personnel – Page 10: Please include short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. This relates to the organization’s capacity. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.

f) Timeline of the overall proposal – Page 11: Components should include activities, evaluation efforts, and project closeout.

g) Additional optional attachments – Page 12-14: Attachments may include further timeline information, letters of support, memorandums of understanding/agreement, etc. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the projects implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

8. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a .pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by project and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding and therefore does not count against the submission page limitations. If your proposal involves sub-awards to organizations charging indirect costs, please submit the applicable NICRA also as a .pdf file (see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information on indirect cost rates). If your organization does not have a NICRA per 2 CFR 200. 414(f) the organization can elect to charge the de Minimis rate of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68. The budget narrative should indicate what costs will be covered using the 10% de Minimis rate.

Please note: DRL retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:

1) Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;

2) Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;

3) Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services if receiving DRL funding for the first time, unless an exemption is provided;

4) Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

Applicants must have an active registration in SAM (www.sam.gov) prior to submitting an application, must prove a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, formerly referred to as a DUNS number, and must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the U.S. government.

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to obtain a UEI number and register in SAM.

SAM requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM and to also maintain its active registration in SAM.

No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235).

DRL may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DRL is ready to make an award, DRL may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

An exemption from this requirement may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

1. An applicant is a foreign organization located outside of the U.S., does not currently have a UEI, and the Department determines that acquiring one is impractical given the geographic location; or

2. If the applicant’s identity must be protected due to possible endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

Please note: foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code in order to register in SAM. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. (As of January 2015, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.)
NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of January 2015 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on January 20th, 2017 on www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Promoting the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism in Tanzania” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-17-041.”

Grants.gov and Grantsolutions.gov automatically logs the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov that is outside of the applicants’ control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

If ultimately provided with a notification of intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.

Project activities that provide training or other assistance to foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended(FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-Federal award costs; however, the grants officer may approve pre awards cost on a case by case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2016.

D.6 Other

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov. Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and that an application has been received by GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for applicants not being registered before the due date or for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

GrantSolutions.gov is highly recommended for submission of all applications and is DRL’s preferred choice for receiving applications.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons.

Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable solicitation and these instructions.

GrantSolutions.gov Applications
All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via www.grantsolutions.gov.
Applicants using GrantSolutions.gov for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration” as soon as possible. This process must be completed before an application can be submitted. Registration with GrantSolutions.gov usually occurs directly after an applicant submits their registration. To register with GrantSolutions.gov, click “Login to GrantSolutions” and follow the “First Time Users” link to the “New Organization Registration Page.” There are different ways to register your organization, click on the link that fits best.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission as well as an official Application Number. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission. Please save this page for your records.

GrantSolutions.gov Help Desk:
For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

Grants.gov Applications

Applicants who do not submit applications via GrantSolutions.gov may submit via www.grants.gov. It is DRL’s preference that applications be submitted through GrantSolutions.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.
Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

Should an applicant experience technical issues, contacted the applicable helpdesk, and is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response after 2 days of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G, who may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk but an applicant should document their efforts in contacting the help desk. Also, applicants may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or grantsolutions.gov that may result in a late submission.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Criteria

Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. DRL prioritizes innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project will have an impact on its proposed objectives. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of subawardees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, applications should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan and address any operational or programmatic security concerns and how they will be addressed.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights projects, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

Inclusive Projecting

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most at risk and vulnerable populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, members of racial and ethnic or religious minorities, and LGBTI persons. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and address considerations to support these populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific means, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. Applicants should provide strong justifications if unable to incorporate the most at risk and vulnerable populations within proposed project activities and objectives. Applications that do not include this will not be considered highly competitive in this category.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources is not required and does not need to be included in the budget. Inclusion in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets however should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people, workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.

The quality of the M&E plan will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, who will be responsible for those related activities. Projects are strongly encouraged to include an external mid-term and/or final evaluation. Explain how an external evaluation (mid-term and/or final) will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in absence of one. Please see DRL’s PSI for Applicants, updated in December 2015, for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The M&E plan will also be rated on the M&E performance indicator table. The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and yearly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation; There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target the most at risk and vulnerable populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All applications for a given solicitation are then reviewed against the same seven criteria, which includes quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institution’s record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (which includes feedback from US embassies), as well as U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)(which includes feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of discussion on an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL has funding available for, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the
proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award.
To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted grants officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted grants officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via GrantSolutions to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities (for more information on these exceptions, see Chapters 5, Federal Assistance to Individuals, and 6, Federal Assistance to Foreign Public Entities Directive.) Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Documents/2015DeptTermsAndConditionsForUSandForeignOrg.pdf.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as downloaded and then uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions must include page one (signed and completed) of the SF-PPR (Performance and Progress Report); a narrative attachment to the SF-PPR as described below; and the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the grants officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Statement. An assessment of the overall project’s impact, should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

• Relevant contextual information (limited);

• Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;

• Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;

• Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;

• Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;

• Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;

• Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;

• Reasons why established goals were not met;

• Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year using the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer. Evaluation indicators from the Foreign Assistance Framework can be found at http://www.state.gov/f/indicators/ ;

• Proposed activities for the next quarter;

• Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipients’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.
DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this solicitation, please contact Travis Benaiges at BenaigesTC@state.gov.

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:
http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2015

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the solicitation period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2016, is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the project evaluation requirements.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, www.grantsolutions.gov, and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL is the foreign policy lead within the U.S. government on promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure, and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl and www.humanrights.gov

Assistant Secretary Malinowski Travels to Ethiopia

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 12, 2016

Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Affairs Tom Malinowski will travel to Ethiopia from December 14-17. During his visit, he will meet with government officials as part of a continued dialogue on human rights and governance. He will also meet with members of civil society, political party representatives, and local government officials during the visit.

For updates on the U.S. Government’s human rights work, visit www.humanrights.gov, the DRL Twitter account: @State_DRL, or A/S Malinowski’s Twitter account: @Malinowski.

US Issues Statement on Terrorist Attack in Mogadishu, Somalia

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2016

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price‎ on the Terrorist Attack in Mogadishu, Somalia

The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack outside of Mogadishu, Somalia, which killed more than 50 people and injured more than 100. This weekend’s cowardly attacks are an attempt by terrorists to weaken Somalia as it works toward a more representative government. The United States stands with the people of Somalia during this critical electoral period. We express our deep sympathies to the victims and their families. We will continue to support Somali and regional efforts to fight terrorism and extremism and support Somalis in their quest for a peaceful and inclusive future.

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US Issues Statement on Terrorist Attack in Cairo, Egypt

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2016

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Terrorist Attack at a Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack on St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral‎ in Cairo this morning that killed at least 25 people and injured scores of others. We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims and wishes for a speedy recovery for those who were injured. This heinous attack targeting Christian worshipers as they gathered to practice their faith demonstrates once again the need for the international community to remain resolute in confronting acts of terrorism across the globe. The United States is committed to Egypt’s security and will continue to work with our partners to defeat such terrorist acts.

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US Issues Statements on The Gambia

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2016

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Situation in The Gambia

The United States strongly condemns the decision by President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia to ignore the will of the Gambian people in calling for the December 1 election to be nullified. It is imperative that President Jammeh, who previously accepted the results of the election, retract his call for a new vote and pledge to facilitate a peaceful and democratic transition to President-elect Adama Barrow. The United States appeals to all Gambians to reject violence and seek a peaceful resolution that upholds the will of the Gambian people and advances the promise of a freer, more democratic, and more prosperous Gambia. We call specifically on The Gambia’s security services to uphold their sacred duty to protect all Gambians and reject any instruction to suppress peaceful expressions of dissent. As we closely monitor the situation, we will work with our international partners to help ensure that there is accountability for any persons who use violence to undermine the peaceful democratic transition that the people of The Gambia both demanded and deserve.

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Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 9, 2016

We strongly condemn President Jammeh’s December 9 statement rejecting the December 1 election results and calling for new elections. This action is a reprehensible and unacceptable breach of faith with the people of The Gambia and an egregious attempt to undermine a credible election process and remain in power illegitimately.

We call upon President Jammeh, who accepted the election results on December 2, to carry out an orderly transition of power to President-Elect Barrow in accordance with the Gambian constitution. We call upon all institutions in The Gambia, including the elected leadership, the armed forces, religious leaders, political parties and civil society organizations to reject violence and peacefully uphold the will of the people that was expressed clearly through the ballot box. The people have spoken and it is time for Gambians to come together to ensure a peaceful transition to President-elect Barrow.

US Issues Statement on Peaceful Election and Transition in Ghana

Photo: Twitter – @NAkufoAddo

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 9, 2016

The United States congratulates the people of Ghana on the successful conclusion of the December 7 general election. We also congratulate President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo. The peaceful and inclusive nature of the election is a testament to Ghana’s citizens and its vibrant democracy.

We commend President Mahama for respecting the results announced by the Electoral Commission, calling on his supporters to do the same, and demonstrating the leadership and commitment to democracy for which Ghana is known throughout the world.

We commend Ghana’s Electoral Commission for administering a credible election process. We also recognize the many civil society organizations that contributed to a peaceful, transparent, and fair election.

As the Secretary said in his calls with the candidates, the United States and Ghana have a close and enduring friendship rooted in our mutual commitment to freedom and democratic values. We look forward to working with President-elect Akufo-Addo and his administration on economic growth, health, governance, and security in Ghana and throughout West Africa.

Acting Under Sec. Bruce Wharton Leads Delegation to African Union Dialogue


Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 9, 2016

Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Bruce Wharton will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 11–12, to lead the U.S. Delegation attending the 4th High Level Dialogue with the African Union Commission, which will take place on December 12.

The High Level Dialogue is an important opportunity to deepen the U.S. Government’s relationship with Africa, and to discuss our common commitments and concerns.

During his visit, Acting Under Secretary Wharton will meet with Mandela Washington Fellows from the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), as well as other alumni of U.S. government exchange programs. He will also tour the newly-opened Africa Surveillance and Response Unit at the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC).

For updates on the trip, please follow Acting Under Secretary Wharton on Twitter at @BruceWharton and on Instagram at @PDatState. For more information about Under Secretary Wharton, please visit our website.

Monday, December 12, 2016

US Issues Statement on Nigerian Govt.’s White Paper on Zaria Clashes


Press Releases: Nigeria: White Paper on Zaria Clashes
12/08/2016 02:35 PM EST

Press Statement
John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 8, 2016

On December 5th, the Kaduna State Government in Nigeria issued a long-awaited White Paper on clashes last year that resulted in the deaths of a reported 348 civilians and one soldier. We fully agree with the White Paper’s recommendation that members of the military who were involved in the unlawful killing of civilians must be held accountable and punished appropriately. As the one-year anniversary of this tragic event approaches, we call on the federal government to be diligent, transparent, and expeditious in following through on this recommendation.

We are concerned by the White Paper’s characterization of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as an “insurgent group,” and urge the Nigerian government at every level to seek pathways for non-violent engagement with all citizens, including minority religious groups. We also encourage the federal government to act on the Abuja high court’s decision on December 2 that IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife should be released from prison within 45 days, as they have been held without charge since the events of last December.

We note reports that the IMN has taken actions that have undermined public order and safety. We call on the IMN to respect public order and cooperate with law enforcement authorities as they carry out their lawful duties.

Respect for the rule of law and the civil rights of all segments of society is a hallmark of democracy. As the White Paper notes, “the right to freedom of worship is a cherished constitutional right” in Nigeria that must be protected. We encourage the people and the government of Nigeria to support these fundamental principles, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or region.

Nigerian Firm Among Winners of US State Department’s Award for Corporate Excellence

Press Releases: Winners for the 2016 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence
12/08/2016 11:17 AM EST

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 8, 2016

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs is pleased to announce the six winners for the 2016 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). The winners will be presented with the award at the annual ACE ceremony on January 5, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. EST at the State Department. The event will be globally streamed online at http://video.state.gov/live/.

The Secretary of State has awarded the ACE each year since 1999, in order to recognize U.S. companies representing American values in their business practices worldwide. Each of these companies is contributing to the growth and sustainable development of the local economies in which they work. In 2016, the four ACE categories include: Inclusive Hiring Practices, Small or Medium Enterprise, Sustainable Oceans Management, and Transparent Operations.

The winners for this year, listed in alphabetical order by category, are:

Award for Corporate Excellence in Inclusive Hiring Practices: General Electric (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) and McDonald’s Deutschland (Berlin, Germany)

General Electric promotes inclusive hiring practices within Saudi Arabia by co-founding the country’s first all-women business services center, which now employs over 1,000 Saudi and non-Saudi women, servicing a fifth of the company’s worldwide service needs.
McDonald’s Deutschland has led by example to support refugees’ integration into Germany’s society and workforce. Since 2015, McDonald’s Deutschland has employed over 900 refugees across the country. The company also provided over 20,000 online German Language learning course licenses to the German Federal Employment Agency, which will distribute them to refugees over the course of two years.

Award for Corporate Excellence in Small or Medium Enterprise: Andela (Lagos, Nigeria)

Andela’s trained software engineers provide software development and information technology services for global companies. Andela pays its trainees above-market wages and provides accommodation, meals, and healthcare. Andela was incorporated in May 2014 and has been an immediate success. Its trainees generated $3.4 million in bookings in its first full year of operations.

Award for Corporate Excellence in Sustainable Oceans Management: Bureo Inc. (Santiago, Chile) and Interface Inc. (Manila, Philippines)

Bureo designs and manufactures a unique line of sunglasses, skateboards, and other sustainable products for the action sports industry, sourced from recycled fishing nets. They have launched a fishing net collection and recycling program, Net Positiva, to help tackle ocean plastic pollution. Through the program, Bureo has partnered directly with fishing communities across Chile and has recycled more than 55 tons of fishing nets.

Interface, a Georgia-based manufacturer of modular carpet tiles and flooring, works to decrease marine pollution in coastal areas of the Philippines while improving the lives of local communities. Interface launched Net-Works, a project to remove discarded nets from oceans to prevent marine life from getting caught in them. Net-Works encourages the recycling of these nets by providing payment to participants in the local community. The recycled nets provided by the program are sent to an Interface, Inc., supplier which uses the nylon found in the nets to produce 100 percent recycled carpet yarn. As of 2015, the program has operated in 26 communities and directly benefited over 4,000 people.

Award for Corporate Excellence in Transparent Operations: Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde S.A.A.
(Lima, Peru)

Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde S.A.A is a mining company that puts transparency and stakeholder engagement at the core of its business model. The company completed a $5.6 billion expansion in 2015 within budget and on schedule because of its proactive transparent consultation with local communities and all levels of government. The expansion included a one billion dollar investment in public water infrastructure that supplies the additional capacity required by the mine, and potable and waste water for the residents of Peru’s second largest city, Arequipa.

The Department of State is committed to working with companies to further responsible business practices worldwide and to recognize their efforts to improve lives at home and abroad. For more information, please visit: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/ace.

US Ambassadors Birx and Russell Travel to Malawi

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 7, 2016

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell will travel to Malawi from December 8 – 10. Together, they will join a high-level delegation, to include representatives from international civil society organizations, that will visit Blantyre and Lilongwe to explore how to better support adolescent girls.

As part of the delegation, Ambassador Birx and Ambassador Russell will meet with the President of Malawi and other members of the Malawian government to discuss how governments and civil society organizations can improve coordinated efforts to support adolescent girls. The delegation will also visit U.S.-funded programs that help keep adolescent girls in school and meet with local advocates and community leaders.

Malawi is one of four countries where the United States is undertaking a comprehensive approach to address the full range of challenges facing adolescent girls. Similar efforts, announced by President Obama over the last year, are underway in Tanzania, Nepal, and Laos. Malawi is also one of ten countries receiving support through the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) partnership.

U.S. and Egypt Sign Cultural Property Protection Agreement

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry sign a U.S.-Egypt cultural property agreement, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on November 30, 2016. [State Department photo]

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
November 29, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will sign a landmark bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cultural property protection on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 5:45 p.m. at the U.S. Department of State.

This is the first cultural property protection agreement between the United States and a country in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Under the agreement, the United States will impose import restrictions on archaeological material representing Egypt’s cultural heritage dating from 5200 B.C. through 1517 A.D. Restrictions are intended to reduce the incentive for pillage and trafficking and are one of the many ways the United States is fighting the global market in illegal antiquities.

The cultural property agreement, negotiated by the State Department under U.S. law implementing the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, underscores the United States’ commitment to our relationship with Egypt, as well as our global commitment to cultural heritage protection and preservation. The U.S. now has bilateral agreements with 16 countries around the world, as well as emergency import restrictions on cultural property from two other countries, Iraq and Syria.

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
The Treaty Room
Washington, DC

November 30, 2016

(The memorandum was signed.)

SECRETARY KERRY: My great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister of Egypt here today, and I think both of us would express our pleasure at signing this U.S.-Egypt cultural property agreement. This has been years in the making. It represents the first agreement in the Middle East or North Africa regarding the protection of antiquities. And it’s a real challenge on a global basis, so this is groundbreaking. I think it’s a good moment for Egypt, the United States, for the region, for us to make it clear that these antiquities are priceless treasures that do not belong to traffickers and crooks and should not be sold illegally and bought by wealthy people to hide away somewhere. They are the antiquities that belong to the world, that have been protected and should be protected by an old civilization. And so I think this is a great step forward, and Sameh, I thank you for joining in this effort. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER SHOUKRY: Thank you, Secretary Kerry. I’m delighted to be here on this occasion to sign this important agreement of the maintenance and protection of our heritage, both for the Egyptian people but for humanity at large. This is a common heritage that we share and it is important to protect and maintain people’s understanding of the commonality that binds us together. So we are grateful for the cooperation that the United States has shown and the understanding on this important issue, and we hope that it becomes a roadmap for the protection of these antiquities to preserve them for generations to come and to preserve them against the treachery of those who want to destroy them and to wipe out this commonality of our humanity. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. (Applause.)

PEPFAR is Saving Lives in Africa


Africa: PEPFAR Is Saving Lives and Changing the Course of the Epidemic

PEPFAR.gov
11/30/2016 11:31 PM EST

New PEPFAR data show for the first time that the AIDS epidemic is becoming controlled in older adults and babies in three key African countries – Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – where the program has significantly invested. New pediatric HIV infections globally have declined by nearly 70 percent since 2000, and there are significant validated declines in adult HIV incidence across Malawi (76 percent), Zambia (51 percent), and Zimbabwe (67 percent) since 2003.

The results of these surveys and program data have allowed PEPFAR to expand results and impact in a budget-neutral environment. They also demonstrate the urgency of redoubling global resolve toward ending the epidemic by 2030 and delivering the first AIDS-free generation in over three decades.

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, said, “PEPFAR’s success is measured in saving lives and changing the course of the pandemic. The fact that the epidemic is becoming controlled in several key African countries demonstrates the remarkable impact of PEPFAR’s investments, which have long received strong bipartisan support.”

These three African countries have achieved an average of 65 percent community viral load suppression among HIV positive adults, approaching the 73 percent target of the UNAIDS 90/90/90 goals. This means they are nearing a point at which HIV transmission would effectively be controlled. However, the data also point to an urgent need for HIV prevention and treatment for young people. Among adolescents and young people in these same countries, the average community viral load suppression is only 42 percent. This is particularly concerning as this young population in sub-Saharan Africa is doubling in size by 2020.

These new data emerge from critical surveys that are funded by PEPFAR and conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ICAP at Columbia University, as well as local governmental and non-governmental partners.

“It is heartening to see the impressive decrease in HIV incidence and gains in viral suppression,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP director. “ICAP is honored to partner with ministries of health, PEPFAR, and CDC to implement these groundbreaking surveys.”

Today, PEPFAR also announced it has surpassed global targets set by President Obama in 2015. PEPFAR now reaches nearly 11.5 million people with life-saving antiretroviral treatment and has provided more than 11.7 million voluntary medical male circumcision procedures. Nearly 2 million babies have been born HIV-free with PEPFAR support.

PEPFAR also announced that it is providing life-saving treatment for nearly 1.1 million children globally, which represents a 97 percent increase since 2014, and reached over 1 million adolescent girls and young women with critical comprehensive HIV prevention interventions through its DREAMS partnership.

There is much more work to be done, especially for adolescent girls. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women and adolescent girls are up to 14 times more likely to get HIV/AIDS than young men. To reduce this elevated risk, PEPFAR launched the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) public-private partnership and the complementary DREAMS Innovation Challenge to develop and drive pioneering solutions, which are often found closest to communities. DREAMS is a $385 million comprehensive, multi-sectoral program focused on addressing the key factors that put young women at increased risk for HIV in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.

Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC Director, noted, “The ground-breaking population-based HIV impact assessments show that, as a result of close collaboration with partner government ministries of health, HIV programs are decreasing the spread of HIV. Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have made remarkable progress helping people learn their HIV status, get life-saving HIV treatment, and suppress the virus completely. This means that more than half of the HIV infected people in these countries can live full, healthy lives – and not spread HIV to others. More importantly, these surveys give us a clear picture of what to do next and where to focus our resources. To further reduce spread of HIV in this new era of Test and Start, we need to reach more men and more young women to provide testing and immediate start of HIV treatment.”

About PEPFAR

PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. Including the President’s FY 2017 Budget request to Congress, through PEPFAR, the American people will invest over $70 billion from FY 2004-FY 2017 to fight HIV/AIDS globally, saving and improving millions of lives and accelerating progress toward achieving an AIDS-free generation. For more information, please visit www.pepfar.gov, and follow @PEPFAR on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

US Issues Statements on the Elections in The Gambia

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2016

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on Elections in The Gambia

The United States congratulates the people of The Gambia on a peaceful and democratic presidential election that has the potential to mark a new beginning for all Gambians. We congratulate President-elect Adama Barrow on his victory, and we commend The Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission for administering a credible election. We welcome President Yahya Jammeh’s concession to President-elect Barrow and welcome President Jammeh’s respect for the will of the Gambian people. The Gambia’s first democratic transfer of power is a moment of great opportunity, and the United States looks forward to being a strong partner in efforts to unify the country, promote inclusive economic development, and advance the vital work of strengthening democratic institutions so that the Gambian people can enjoy the bright, peaceful, and prosperous future they deserve.

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Africa: The United States Commends The Gambia on Peaceful Election

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 3, 2016

I congratulate the people of The Gambia for their peaceful and democratic presidential election on December 1. We also congratulate President-elect Adama Barrow on his historic victory, which will mark the first democratic transfer of power in the country, and we look forward to working with him as he helps to usher in a new era in The Gambia.

I also commend President Jammeh for respecting the results and for agreeing to peacefully
transfer power to the president-elect. We are grateful to the Independent Electoral Commission for its transparent and efficient management of the electoral process.

We call for unity and calm during this transition period, and urge the Gambian government to respect the rights of citizens to freely assemble and express their views on the election results.

The United States and The Gambia share long-standing ties and we look forward to working together to promote democracy and governance, respect for human rights, and economic and social development.

US Special Envoy Perriello Travels to the DRC

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
December 2, 2016

Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello will travel to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); and Paris, France December 3-9. In the DRC, he will engage with government, opposition, and civil society stakeholders to discuss efforts to reach a consensus agreement on holding elections. In France, the Special Envoy will participate in a meeting of the International Contact Group on the Great Lakes Region.

Secretary Kerry Calls Ghana’s President Mahama and Presidential Candidate Nana Akufo Addo

Photo Credit: Ghana Campus Blog

Readout
Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
November 29, 2016

The following is attributable to Spokesperson John Kirby:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today spoke with Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, and New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in advance of Ghana’s elections on December 7.

The Secretary underscored to both candidates the need to ensure a peaceful and fair electoral process and post-election period, including by publicly pledging to reject violence and address any issues through the judicial system and calling on all of their supporters to do the same.

He also encouraged both candidates to attend the December 1 Peace Summit in Accra.
Secretary Kerry cited Ghana’s position as a leading democracy in Africa and recognized the long history of close relations between the United States and Ghana. He stressed our desire to continue to advance our shared priorities with whoever prevails in Ghana’s election.

Press Releases: Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield to Travel to Mali and Ghana


Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
November 29, 2016

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield will travel to France, Mali, and Ghana from November 30 to December 9.

In Paris on November 30, the Assistant Secretary, along with Department of Defense colleagues, will attend a quarterly P3 Africa Meeting with France and the United Kingdom that will focus on the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, the Horn of Africa, and Central Africa.

In Bamako, Mali from December 1-2, the Assistant Secretary will participate in meetings with the goal of advancing the country’s peace process. On December 3, the Assistant Secretary will travel to Timbuktu, where she will meet with United Nations officials, local officials, and youth and women leaders.

In Ghana from December 4-8, the Assistant Secretary will meet with host government officials, political party leaders, civil society representatives, and Mandela Washington Fellows from the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Be sure to follow the Assistant Secretary on Twitter@StateAfrica for more updates throughout her trip.

US Engagement With African Partners on Climate Change – Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 16, 2016

The United States has worked closely with African partners to develop and implement a comprehensive set of climate assistance programs supporting African efforts to combat and respond to the threat of climate change. Even though African countries are currently responsible for only a small percentage of global emissions, the continent is home to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations to climate change. Moreover, African countries have shown considerable leadership on addressing climate change, as virtually every country in Africa has submitted a nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement. In partnership with African countries, the United States has:

• Between 2010 and 2015, committed $3.3 billion in Africa to help facilitate climate resilient, low emissions economic growth.

• Improved climate resilience of over two million farmers in Africa.

• Launched the Power Africa initiative with the ambitious goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. Government’s initial pledge to commit more than $7 billion in financial support for Power Africa has leveraged more than $52 billion in additional commitments from public and private sector partners. Power Africa has already helped bring renewable energy projects to financial close that are expected to generate 2,000 megawatts (MW) from biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower.

• Developed multilateral solutions to climate and clean energy issues, such as partnering with Ghana to co-launch the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and working with many partners to launch the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) and the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) Global Network.

• Supported African climate change planning through the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) program, by partnering with Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia to develop and implement Intended Nationally Developed Contributions (INDCs), create finance tools for renewable energy, reduce emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation, and collect and disseminate critical renewable energy resource data.

Promoting Resilience in Africa

Devastating climate-related humanitarian emergencies in the Horn of Africa in 2011, the Sahel in 2012, and the Horn and Southern Africa in 2016 demonstrated the continued need to reduce disaster risk, strengthen natural resource management, mitigate conflict, improve health outcomes, and expand economic opportunities for vulnerable populations. The United States partners with 40 countries across the continent to protect livelihoods and ecosystems through a range of resilience projects. U.S. programs provide the science, data, and tools that African policymakers need for effective medium- to long-range planning. Together, the United States and African countries are improving food security for vulnerable rural households across the continent. The United States, humanitarian and development partners, and African countries are also partnering to help communities adapt to climate change impacts. Significant accomplishments include:

• Helped 62 communities develop Community Development Action plans, and reached over 75,000 households with participatory learning, livelihood interventions, or improved natural resource management.

• Helped increase incomes for small-scale agriculture-dependent and livestock-dependent families in municipalities in rural Niger through a $65.4 million program to improve crop and livestock productivity, sustain natural resources critical to long-term productivity, and increase market sales of targeted commodities.

• Supported national meteorological authorities in Uganda and Mali to generate reliable weather and climate information to guide key development sectors and improve communication with affected populations to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. In Uganda, the U.S. is training 19 District Local Governments to integrate climate change into development planning processes. In Mali, the United States is helping the government enhance weather-related communications to 561,000 people.

• Helped build the capacity of West African countries to use publically available satellite information and geospatial technologies to manage climate risk and land.

Expanding Clean Energy Access in Africa

The United States invests in clean energy both on and off-grid to help a wide range of African countries meet their growing energy needs, improving development outcomes while keeping greenhouse emissions low. For example, the United States has provided a grant to support the development of an estimated 125-150 megawatt concentrated solar power plant in southern Morocco that is now under construction.

In 2013, President Obama launched the Power Africa initiative with the ambitious goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa brings together the combined tools, expertise and resources of 12 U.S. Government agencies and a diverse coalition of more than 130 public and private sector partners, including bilateral, multilateral and private sector partners, as well as civil society organizations, who are working together toward the goal of adding more than 30,000 MW of cleaner electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections across Africa. To date, the U.S. Government’s pledge to commit more than $7 billion in financial support for Power Africa has leveraged more than $52 billion in additional commitments from public and private sector partners, including more than $40 billion in commitments from private sector partners alone.

Since its launch, Power Africa has helped bring projects to financial close that are expected to generate over 5,200 MW of new, cleaner electricity – three-quarters of which utilize renewable energy that will generate 2,000 MW from biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower. In 2016 alone, Power Africa has mobilized more than $679 million in support of renewable energy projects. In addition, Power Africa is tracking and supporting the development of more than 200 additional renewable energy projects, which could contribute an additional 13,000 MW of renewable energy when completed. By helping these projects reach completion, Power Africa is advancing the goal of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy services and substantially increasing the share of renewable energy by 2030 as articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals

The United States-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (US-ACEF) catalyzes private sector investment in African clean energy infrastructure, including through the U.S. Government’s financing and project preparation tools to mitigate investment risks and mobilize public and private capital for promising renewable projects. Through US-ACEF, the United States has approved funding for 34 clean energy projects in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Already, 15 ACEF projects have secured project funding, which is leading to increased power generation capacity and expanded access to electricity. Project examples include:

• In October 2016, US-ACEF award recipient grantee NextGen Solawazi began construction on a 5 MW solar facility in Kigoma, Tanzania that will provide reliable, low-cost electricity to 16,500 households. This project – the first utility-scale solar facility in Tanzania – will also electrify a refugee camp on the Burundi border and facilitate economic growth throughout the region.

• Since receiving $50 million in US-ACEF support through OPIC, Nova Lumos, a home solar system provider, has rapidly expanded its business in Nigeria. Lumos aims to reach more than 200,000 homes currently without electricity with its portable, affordable, easy to install systems that allow customers to pay for electricity using their mobile phones.

• US-ACEF grantee Amahoro Energy secured $9.36 million in financing for a small hydroelectric project in Rwanda to electrify the Shyira Hospital, and provide electricity to 22,500 households. USTDA’s feasibility study helped the Rwandan company Amahoro Energy refine plans to develop the project, and, as a result of the study, Amahoro Energy will use equipment imported from Washington State to manufacture high-quality fiberglass pipes, drastically reducing the cost of this project and future projects like it across the region.

Agriculture and Land Use

Agriculture and land use changes, such as the conversion of forests to other uses, cause up to 25 percent of global GHG emissions.

Through the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA), Feed the Future (FtF), Food for Peace, and other global and U.S. initiatives, the United States is supporting resilience to climate impacts in the agriculture sector. Since 2010, FtF has mobilized more than $500 million in private sector investment in Africa to help businesses and smallholder farmers gain access to the inputs and technology needed to improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural production. Over the last year, food security investments helped more than 3.4 million African farmers apply improved technologies and management practices to respond to increased climate variability on over 2 million hectares of land.

The United States also helps reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (“REDD+”) while strengthening conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in Africa through a combination of bilateral, regional, and global programs. Results achieved include, for example, more than 16 million hectares of land and forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are better managed as a result of local interventions that helped reduce or entirely avoid nearly 14 million tons of GHG emissions.

In addition, the Powering Agriculture program, launched in 2012, is investing over $50 million to support the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that stimulate low carbon economic growth in developing countries’ agriculture sector. To date, Powering Agriculture has invested in 24 clean energy innovators that are implementing solar irrigation, cooling and cold storage refrigeration, decentralized power or minigrids, energy efficient value added processing or mechanization, and solar thermal aeration technologies in 23 countries.

Water and Sanitation

U.S. investments in the water sector help address the needs of those who lack access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), who comprise over one third of the world’s total population, in particular in Africa. Water supply issues are compounded by climate variability, growing urbanization and water scarcity. Over the last six years, the United States provided more than $860 million to improve water access for 7.8 million people, and improve sanitation for 5.8 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, while committing $286 million for the rehabilitation of 38 municipal water purification systems across the continent.

In addition, the United States also supports programs that address water insecurity. Through Securing Water for Food (SWFF), the United States, in partnership with the Governments of South Africa, Sweden, and the Netherlands, has invested $34 million to promote science and technology solutions that enable less water-intensive food production and increase water availability for food production, processing, and distribution. Thus far, more than 200,000 farmers have used SWFF innovations to save over 700 million liters of water, produce more than 4,000 tons of food on over 124,000 hectares of land under improved practices, and leverage more than $7 million in 60+ additional partnerships.

Eleven years ago the United States joined forces with the Coca-Cola Company to tackle water resource challenges in more than 30 countries, mostly in North and sub-Saharan Africa. To date, that partnership has helped improve access to safe drinking water for more than 600,000 people and to sanitation facilities serving more than 250,000 people, while improving the management of over 440,000 hectares of land. For example, one project planted 13,600 trees to restore the Tano River Basin’s riparian zone in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire while another’s tree-planting activities and Environmental Flows Assessment of the Wami River basin in Tanzania improved the management of 430,000 hectares of watershed land. Looking ahead, another project with the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation will aim to bring efficient irrigation to Morocco’s High Atlas region and enhance livelihoods, economic opportunities, and ecosystem functions there.