Monday, November 29, 2010

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

Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release November 29, 2010

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

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

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

USAID Sudan Director on Southern Sudan Referendum

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

November 23, 2010

Via Teleconference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your interest in this historic referendum.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Secretary Clinton on Mauritania's Independence Day

Office of the Spokesman
November 24, 2010


Mauritania's Independence Day

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

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

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

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

Atlanta, Georgia - Monday November 15, 2010

By Frederick Nnoma-Addison

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

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

Mr. Chudi N. Okafor - Hon. Consul General

Mr. David I. Adulugba, Esq.

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

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


Ms. Emelia Orubele, President & CEO (ANICC)

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

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

Dr. Eugene Flecther (ANICC Board Chairman)

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

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

Mr. Anthony Ogbe, Consul Trade & Commerce

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

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

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

PHOTO Report

Mr. Titus Olowokere (ANICC Vice President)

ANICC President & Vice During A Session

Ambassador Oscar J. Webb (right) with Conference Participant

Representative of Lagos State

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

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

Exihibits from Dajo Pottery, Ltd.

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

Cashew Nuts from Nigeria - ABOD Success Investment Ltd.

Ariella Shea Butter Products

Awards Gala Entertainment

Miriam Dimande of Kevin & Khaemille Fashions

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

Important Contact Information:

Nigerian Export Promotion Council -

American Nigerian International Chamber of Commerce -

Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta -

Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, DC -

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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


NOVEMBER 10, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Secratary Clinton on Angola's 35th Independence


Office of the Spokesman

November 10, 2010

Secretary Clinton

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

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

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


Monday, November 1, 2010

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

Bishop Barbara King During A Church Service at Hillside

By Frederick Nnoma-Addison

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 28, 2010

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

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