Thursday, May 31, 2012

US State Dept. to Host 5 Africa-Focused Trade & Business Events in June

Bureau of African Affairs
US Department of State

May 31, 2012

The Bureau of African Affairs of the State Department is organizing five trade and business events during June in cities throughout the United States. The AGOA Forum, the AGOA Civil Society Session, the Cincinnati Business Conference, the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, and the Young African Leaders Initiative Program. These events will include hundreds of participants from across Africa from different sectors – business, government, civil society, and academia.

• The U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with several U.S. Government agencies, will host the eleventh annual U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Forum, commonly known as the AGOA Forum, June 14-15, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the U.S. Government’s signature trade initiative with sub-Saharan Africa, and is the parent legislation of the Forum. The AGOA Forum brings together over 600 participants, including senior U.S. and African officials, as well as U.S. and African members of the private sector and civil society. AGOA represents a progressive U.S. trade and investment policy toward the continent working to reduce barriers to trade, increase diversified exports, create jobs, and expand opportunities for Africans. AGOA provides trade preferences to 40 sub-Saharan African countries that are making progress in economic and political reforms.

• From June 12-15, the Civil Society Session (CSO) of the 2012 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum will examine civil society’s role in legislative reforms, regional integration and bilateral trade facilitation efforts, diversifying imports, technical assistance and capacity building, engaging the Diaspora, public-private partnerships, youth entrepreneurship, and empowering women entrepreneurs in AGOA . Twenty-seven civil society representatives from Africa will participate in the four days of activities in Washington, D.C.

• The State Department, in collaboration with several U.S. Government agencies, will host the U.S.-Africa Business Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 21-22, Echoing the theme of the AGOA Forum, the event will focus broadly on infrastructure development, including energy, transportation, and water and sanitation. The U.S.-Africa Business Conference aims to provide an opportunity to showcase U.S. business expertise to potential African clients, and to highlight trade and investment opportunities in Africa to U.S. exporters and investors.

• The U.S. Department of State announced yesterday that the third annual Africa Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) will kick-off its international exchange component in New York on June 4. Leading off the program, fashion designer, philanthropist and Chairman/Founder of DVF Studio LP, Diane von Furstenberg will participate in a conversation with the women, who hail from the fashion and textile industry, agribusiness, and home d├ęcor. For three weeks, 47 African women entrepreneurs from 37 countries will engage in professional development training and networking opportunities with American counterparts from civil society, corporations, industry associations, non-profit organizations, and multilateral development organizations throughout the United States.

• The U.S. Department of State is working with Meridian International Center to bring 65 young African social and business entrepreneurs to the U.S. for a high profile summit and leadership development program from June 11-July 1. The Young African Leaders Program is part of the President’s Young African Leaders’ Initiative and will coincide with the AGOA Summit in Washington.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Statement by Secretary Clinton on Cameroon National Day

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC

May 18, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Cameroon as you celebrate your 40th anniversary of the Republic this May 20.

Our two countries are partnering together to address issues of democracy, good governance, and economic development. U.S. companies are investing and expanding their activities in Cameroon. I am pleased that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is assigning two Americans to work on a range of development projects, including a new $16 million Food for Education program in Cameroon’s Far North Region.

We hope to continue to work with Cameroon to consolidate democratic gains and economic growth; particularly as you embark upon municipal and legislative elections planned for 2013. We support your efforts to strengthen electoral institutions, enhance transparency and allow for contestation of results. As you celebrate your National Day, know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend. We are committed to this relationship for a brighter future for all Cameroonians.


Friday, May 18, 2012

United States & Tunisia Sign Money Transfer Agreement In Washington

State Dept. Photo

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
Tunisian Ambassador to the United States Mohamed Salah Tekay
Department of State, Treaty Room, Washington, DC

May 17, 2012

Remarks At Signing Ceremony
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s wonderful to welcome Ambassador Tekaya here, along with members of the Embassy of Tunisia to celebrate this important step in our partnership. In the United States, we have an old saying: You’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. You can’t just say you support something; you have to back it up with value. And we have been very supportive of Tunisia’s democratic future, and we want to back up those words, Ambassador, with actions.

It was less than two months ago that I announced this cash transfer, and I’d like to thank all of my colleagues at the State Department and USAID for their work to make this happen so quickly. But this transfer is only one of many valuable commitments we are making to the people and the new government of Tunisia. We will soon be finalizing a sovereign loan guarantee agreement, fully backed by the United States, which will provide several hundreds of millions of dollars more in financing for the Tunisian Government. We are working through USAID to help Tunisia develop its information communications technology sector. And last fall, Tunisia became eligible for the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Threshold Program, which will support sustained, broad-based economic growth throughout the country.

We are also deepening our ties with the Tunisian people, helping to build Tunisia’s institutions of democracy and governance, fostering the growth of civil society and the private sector, and expanding educational and cultural exchanges. And as Tunisia’s leaders shape the country’s new institutions, we are encouraging them and working with them to ensure that core principles of human rights, transparency, and accountability are part of Tunisia’s democratic transformation. After years of totalitarian rule, the Tunisian people deserve a government that is responsible to their needs and usefully using their resources.

So the United States stands firmly with Tunisia, as do many others. Tunisia’s neighbors are increasing their investment and budget support, and we are delighted to see other nations joining in this important effort. The Tunisian people have friends all over the world, and each investment is a tangible demonstration of commitment to the Tunisian peoples’ goals of realizing a Tunisia founded on democratic principles, built on inclusive economic growth, where every man, woman, and child has the opportunity for a better future.
So, Ambassador, we are proud to be your partner in helping to shape that future.

AMBASSADOR TEKAYA: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Honorable Secretary, for your warm welcome and your kind words about Tunisia and the trust that you have in the ability of Tunisia to succeed in this transition.

It is, for me, a distinct honor to be here today, and to sign with Your Excellency, the Memorandum of Acknowledgment of the Cash Transfer that you have just mentioned, which is really to support the stabilization of the Tunisian economy through provision of budgetary support. Indeed, this is a significant measure of support for Tunisia at a critical stage in its transition to democracy, and it’s also a critical stage in its history. And on behalf of the Tunisian Government, I would like to extend to you – and through you to the Government of the United States – our deepest gratitude for that support.

Indeed, the cash transfer is one of the various measures that the U.S. administration has granted Tunisia. You have mentioned the loan guarantees, also the Tunisia Enterprise Fund, and the Threshold Program with MCC. So we are really grateful, and we also – I also want to extend a special thanks to the members of Congress for their support for these measures, as well as the various departments and agencies for the work that they have done to materialize these measures.

Tunisia today has made significant progress in this transition to democracy with the organization of free, fair elections and also the election of a president, a speaker of the constituent assembly, and also a head of government. And the constituent assembly is currently engaged in elaborating a new constitution for Tunisia – for a modern Tunisia, for a new Tunisia, which would be respectful of human rights, respectful of the values of the democracy, and which would respond to the aspirations of the Tunisian people for freedom and for dignity. And we count on the support of our friends in the first place, the friends who share these values, the values of democracy, liberty, and dignity, and the United States is certainly in the forefront of those countries with whom – for whom we seek the support.

Tunisia is facing enormous challenges, economic, social, and also financial challenges. It counts, in the first place, on its own resources and its own means, implementing meaningful reforms and also mobilizing national resources to face these challenges. But Tunisia counts also on the valuable support of its friends. And the United States has been steadfast in that regard. In his – we always want to recall that in his State of the Union Address in January last year, President Obama said that the United States will stand with the people of Tunisia. And I think that his support is really highly appreciated by the people of Tunisia. And since then, United States has been delivering on that support, so we are thankful.

We are also thankful for the role that United States – and the active role that United States has been playing, galvanizing international support for Tunisia. And I would like to pay a special tribute to you, Madam Secretary of State. You have been a special supporter of Tunisia, a strong advocate of support for Tunisia, so we owe you a lot of credit for that.

And as the revolution in Tunisia has opened new opportunities for the people of Tunisia, it has also opened – created new opportunities for the relations between our two countries. And these opportunities are really for us to explore, and we invite our friends from the United States to share with us these opportunities in many sectors. Last September, our two countries launched a political and economic partnership, which is setting up a rich, comprehensive agenda of cooperation on many areas of mutual interest. And that partnership is moving forward, and we’re happy to continue to work together to further advance it.

Tunisia looks forward to attracting American investment. We invite American companies to come to Tunisia to explore the opportunities that Tunisia offers, a Tunisia that is implementing far-reaching reforms – economic reforms, financial reforms, also strengthening good governance, strengthening transparency and the rule of law. Tunisia will be a very good place for American investors and for American companies.
So with this, also I would like to stress how important our friendship is, and we would like to further promote understanding between our two peoples through student exchanges, through additional exchanges, and through partnership between the private sector in Tunisia and the private sector in the United States of America. And I thank you, Honorable Secretary, for providing us with this opportunity to celebrate a friendship and a partnership between our two countries.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ambassador. (Applause.)

(The Memorandum of Acknowledgement of the Cash Transfer Agreement between the United States and the Tunisian Republic was signed.)


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much. Thank you.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Belafonte, Glover, Senator Lugar Receive Mandela Awards at DC Gala

Story / Picture Source:
Embassy of South Africa, Washington, DC
Brand South Africa

Remarks by
William J. Burns
Deputy Secretary

Fairmont Hotel
Washington, DC

May 10, 2012

Ambassador Rasool, Senator Lugar, Representative Dellums and other distinguished guests; it is a truly an honor to be with you tonight. Given all that binds us together, it is fitting to see so many American friends of South Africa and champions of freedom honored tonight.

Every country in the world celebrates a national day. But Freedom Day is not just a day for South Africans. It strikes a deep chord for people around the world who have carried your long national struggle in their hearts. We remember the “long walk to freedom,” the long lines of people patiently waiting to cast their votes in the country’s first democratic elections — a vote they had waited their entire lives to cast. South Africans inspired the world with their courage and their triumph.

Success has a way of looking inevitable in hindsight. But at the time, many predicted South Africa would be trapped by a history of violence and racism. But South Africans put their faith in a force more powerful than violence. And from all walks of life and political persuasions, South Africans embraced a comprehensive peaceful political revolution. They beat the odds and banished the threat of civil war that hung over the country’s future. This revolution soon came to be known by what it so clearly was: the South African miracle.

At the center of the miracle was Nelson Mandela, embodying the country’s hope for the future and its determination to rise above the past. Mandela, who emerged from 27 years of incarceration without rancor or bitterness; who forgave his captors; who understood that “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Mandela had the courage of a revolutionary, but also the wisdom of a statesman. It was a commingling of virtues that has proven far too rare in Africa and around the world.

Mandela determined to create a new South Africa built on principles of democracy and human dignity. He was a rare political leader, who combined great vision and moral grandeur with tactical genius. He not only saw where South Africa needed to go, but he understood how to take the country there. He knew that “after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Mandela practiced a politics of magnanimity. By the 1980s, it was clear that apartheid was at a dead end. What was not clear was what would replace it. Mandela’s genius was to give voice to and embody in his own life a new vision of what it meant to be South African. He reached out to all of his countrymen and women, friends and former enemies. He appealed to their better natures. He converted them to the idea of a new constitutional order that looked beyond the politics of racial groups and replaced it with a politics of human rights and democracy. His personal decency and courage impressed even Afrikaners who had embraced apartheid for decades. His qualities created the political trust and emotional space for a Constitutional process that set the country on a new path.

It is often said that democracy is a road and not a destination. And South Africa’s constitutional process opened a path for a new nation to follow. A large, diverse and remarkable group of teachers, lawyers, former guerrillas, activists, and bureaucrats worked for hours, shoulder to shoulder, in a cavernous hall. Together they bridged their differences and crafted the guiding principles for South Africa’s future: human dignity, equality, non-racialism, the rule of law, and democracy. It was a radical break with South Africa’s past. The drafters deliberately turned the country’s sad history of isolation into a future of inclusiveness.
That vision extended beyond South Africa’s borders. Its leaders and diplomats have drawn on the principles that guided the South African transition – patient dialogue, consensus building, mutual respect – to build bridges between enemies and to heal divided nations.

South Africa has also taken a leadership role in world bodies, transforming itself from a cause championed by others to a champion for the rights of others. It chaired massive international negotiations to address the problem of global warming. In many ways, America and South Africa take convergent approaches to world politics, particularly so on the challenges facing Africa.

The United States has outlined five priorities for our work in Africa, our work with Africans. South Africa is a vital partner in pursuing all five.

First, we both support strong democratic institutions across the continent. South Africa and the United States have supported free and fair elections and pushed back against threats to democracy.

Second, we share a commitment to sustainable economic development. The beauty of democratic transitions and rule of law is that they do not sit isolated in the political realm. They provide the foundations for fostering economic development and prosperity. When governments transition peacefully, countries stay open for business. South Africa is proof of that. When regulations for doing business are known and transparent, companies feel comfortable investing. South Africa is proof of that. The new South Africa is one of the most important emerging economies in the world, a G-20 member, and a leading U.S. trading partner. More than 600 U.S. companies have offices there, employing South Africans, using the country as a sophisticated base of operations in Africa, and building economic prosperity throughout the continent.

Third, South Africa and the United States share a vision of a continent at peace with itself and the world. Under Presidents Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma, South Africa has worked hard to resolve conflicts in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and, today, Sudan. We seek ways of strengthening local institutions to find creative and lasting solutions for the conflicts that have limited Africa’s development over the last fifty years. And all of Africa looks to South Africa’s peaceful end to apartheid as an inspiration for building peace throughout the rest of the continent.

The fourth pillar of U.S. policy in Africa is to support health and education projects, and nowhere have we had a more successful partnership for improving health than in South Africa. In 2010, we signed a five-year Partnership Framework– a five-year joint strategic plan to fight HIV/AIDS. Working together, the U.S. and South Africa provided antiretroviral treatment for 1.1 million men, women and children last year. More than 5 million individuals received HIV counseling and testing. More than 236,000 pregnant HIV-positive women received services to bring healthy children into the world. The progress that has been made in fighting HIV in the last few years is giving real hope that within a generation, HIV may be a relic of the past.

Fifth and finally, we are fighting the transnational challenges that no nation can solve on its own, but that will not be solved without collective resolve and leadership. In Durban and elsewhere, both our countries demonstrated a strong commitment to stopping and reversing the damage done to our environment, and seeking new and greener ways of promoting economic development.

I am pleased to confirm that Secretary Clinton plans to visit South Africa this summer to continue our important discussions on all these issues under the framework of our Strategic Dialogue.

As we mark Freedom Day, we celebrate the founding principles of the new South Africa: Democracy. Justice. Equality. Human rights. These are the values on which both the United States and South Africa were founded, and the values that America and South Africa continue to fight for today, to ensure that all people, all around the world, can enjoy these freedoms. Tonight, we are proud to see our citizens honored by a country that knows what courage means.

As we celebrate South Africa, I hope you’ll let me borrow a few words from an Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, who said: “History says, Don’t hope / on this side of the grave. / But then, once in a lifetime / the longed for tidal wave / of justice can rise up, / and hope and history rhyme.”

That is what we celebrate in South Africa, and what we strive for: everywhere and always.

Thank you.


Secretary Clinton Issues Statement on Algerian Elections

Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State

Washington, DC
May 12, 2012

I would like to congratulate the people of Algeria on this week’s elections. The Government of Algeria invited international and non-governmental organizations to send observation missions and conducted elections that provided the Algerian people with the opportunity to express their will. These elections — and the high number of women elected — are a welcome step in Algeria’s progress toward democratic reform. The United States looks forward to working together with the newly elected National Popular Assembly and to continuing to strengthen our ties with the government and the people of Algeria.


Moroccan Foreign Minister El Otmani Meets Deputy Secretary Burns

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

May 14, 2012

Deputy Secretary Burns hosted Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani in Washington on Friday, May 11. They had a constructive discussion about issues of mutual concern related to our bilateral relationship. During the meeting, Deputy Secretary Burns affirmed the United States’ continued support for efforts to find a peaceful, sustainable and mutually-agreed solution to the Western Sahara conflict, including the UN negotiation process led by the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Belafonte, Glover, Senator Lugar to Receive Mandela Awards at DC Gala

Story / Picture Source:
Embassy of South Africa, Washington, DC
Brand South Africa

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2012

Singer-activist Harry Belafonte, actor Danny Glover and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-author of 1986 Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, will be honored together with 10 other eminent Americans and organizations for their contribution to South Africa’s freedom at a Washington awards ceremony on Thursday, May 10, the 18th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s first president elected on the basis of universal suffrage.

“As we celebrate the hundredth birthday of Nelson Mandela’s movement, the African National Congress, we want to reaffirm our gratitude to all the American people and their leaders who played a part in making that extraordinary day, May 10, 1994, possible,” South Africa’s ambassador to the US, Ebrahim Rasool, said. “By taking — and persevering in — a stand against an evil system, they helped South Africa find inspiring new ways to resolve generations-old divisions and conflict and become part of a continent where democracy is now the norm and which is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”

The other honorees at Thursday’s gala event are: former Pennsylvania Congressman William Gray; Dr Mary Frances Berry, co-founder of the Free South Africa Movement; William Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unions; TransAfrica, whose founder, Randall Robinson, recently received one of South Africa’s highest honors, the OR Tambo award, from President Jacob Zuma; Kodak, which was among the first US companies to sever economic ties with apartheid South Africa in 1986; the Congressional Black Caucus, which collectively took a leadership role in legislative efforts to isolate the apartheid government; Lincoln University in Philadelphia, America’s oldest historically black college; and the Southern Africa Support Project and its founder Sylvia Hill, who pioneered efforts to place the freedom struggles of South Africa and its neighbors on the Washington agenda.

Two champions of South African freedom will be honored posthumously, the late Rep. Howard Wolpe and Rep. Donald Payne, both of whom served as chairs of the House African Affairs Subcommittee. South Africa laments their passing. Their awards will be accepted by members of their families.

The design of the awards is based on the famous image of Nelson Mandela emerging from prison with arm raised in a freedom salute. The image was used for the statue that now stands outside Victor Verster prison from which Mandela walked to freedom in February 1990 and will also be the basis for the statue due to be unveiled next year outside the South African embassy, across Massachusetts Avenue from the statue of Winston Churchill outside the residence of the British ambassador.

The event will take place at the Fairmont Hotel.

President Obama Nominates New U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia

Photo – Ohio State University

Office of the Press Secretary
May 9, 2012

President Obama Announces Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Deborah Malac of the Department of State as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia. This nomination was announced together with several other posts within his administration.
The President said, “These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Op-Ed by Mauritian & Zambian Ambassadors to the U.S. – AGOA

The below Op-Ed piece by Mauritius’s ambassador to the United States and Zambia’s ambassador to the United States ran in The Hill newspaper today. It outlines the urgent need to extend the Third Country Fabric Provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in order to protect jobs in the United States and Africa. Unless Congress renews it, the Third Country Fabric Provision will expire in September of this year.

Protect Jobs Supported by US-Africa Textile Trade
By Somduth Soborun and Sheila Z. Siwela

Time is running out for Congress to save jobs on both sides of the Atlantic by renewing the third-country fabric provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is set to expire in just a few months.

AGOA provides duty-free entry for more than six thousand items from Sub-Saharan African countries to the United States, making it the most comprehensive trade and investment package between Africa and America. In the textiles and apparel sector, it provides essential certainty and predictability for American manufacturers and retailers who depend on African workers to produce high-quality goods for the U.S. market. A majority of these AGOA-supported textile and apparel jobs go to low-income women in Africa, including many who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work and earn a living. Their livelihoods, and the jobs of others in the United States, are already threatened by the September expiration of this vital provision.

The third-country fabric rule, which allows AGOA beneficiaries to use yarns and fabrics from any country, has been a fundamental driver of the success of the apparel industry under AGOA. It accounts for 95 percent of AGOA apparel trade and has enabled African exporters to remain competitive in the American market. In Kenya, for example, exports of textiles and apparel under the third-country fabric provision account for about 70 percent of Kenya’s total exports into the United States.

In Mauritius, the apparel and textile industry is the largest employer in the private sector. It increased its export of apparel and textiles by 25 percent in the year 2010 once its eligibility for the third-country fabric provision was renewed in 2008.

In Lesotho, the textile and apparel industry was almost nonexistent prior to AGOA. Today, it is the No. 1 employer, providing 40,000 jobs. Of those jobs, 34,000 are held by women, and each woman is likely the sole breadwinner for a household of 4 to 8 members.

And in Swaziland, where 98 percent of the textile and apparel exports are covered by the third-country fabric provision, almost 30,000 women are employed in the apparel and textile industry. Furthermore, because families tend to be large in Swaziland with an average of 10 dependents each, the industry supports as many as 300,000 people overall — nearly one-quarter of the country’s entire population.

But today, all of that economic growth and development is at risk. American retailers typically place their textile and apparel orders with African manufacturers up to nine months in advance — with expiration of this provision looming on the horizon, many American retailers have already begun to cancel orders, disrupting the flow of their business and leaving African exporters empty-handed. Fortunately, swift congressional action is available to halt further trade disruptions and reaffirm the positive benefits of AGOA.

When Congress first enacted AGOA at the dawn of this millennium, it was an historic milestone in trade relations between the United States and Africa. Since then, AGOA has helped to reduce poverty and hunger by empowering mothers, sisters and daughters across the continent. This has in turn increased awareness and respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, and strengthened democratic values in the vast majority of the Sub-Saharan African countries.

For the sake of women, families, workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, we are appealing directly to Congress to renew the third-country fabric provision, through legislation such as S. 2007 and H.R. 2493. Passing these bills right away will guarantee American manufacturers can continue to obtain high-quality textile and apparel products from Africa at competitive prices. The U.S. Congress and the administration can rest assured of our unflinching support in this effort to sustain our strong, mutually beneficial U.S.-Africa trade ties.

Soborun is Mauritius’s ambassador to the United States, and Siwela is Zambia’s ambassador to the United States.

# # #

Saturday, May 5, 2012

President Obama Receives New Liberian Ambassador to the United States

The White House
May 2, 2012

Ambassador Jeremiah Congbeh Sulunteh of Republic of Liberia presented his Letters of Credence to President Obama at the White House. The presentation of credentials is a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an Ambassador’s service.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Secretary Clinton's Remarks On World Press Freedom Day

President Obama Invites 4 African Leaders to Join G-8 Summit at Camp David

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
May 3, 2012

President Obama has invited 4 African Leaders to join Leaders at the G-8 Summit at Camp David on May 19 for a discussion session on accelerating progress towards food security in Africa. The African Leaders who have been invited to participate in the Summit are:

Chairperson of the African Union and President of Benin H.E. Yayi Boni
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi – Ethiopia
President John Mills – Ghana
President Jakaya Kikwete -Tanzania

The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of eight of the world’s largest economies. The forum originated with a 1975 summit hosted by France that brought together representatives of six governments: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, thus leading to the name Group of Six or G6. The summit became known as the Group of Seven or G7 the following year with the addition of Canada. In 1997, Russia was added to group which then became known as the G8. The European Union is represented within the G8 but cannot host or chair summits.

The annual G8 leader’s summit is attended by the heads of government. The member country holding the G8 presidency is responsible for organizing and hosting the year’s summit.

Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 100 kilometers (62 mi) north-northwest of Washington, D.C., on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in unincorporated Frederick County, Maryland, near Thurmont.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tunisia to Host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Conference

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 1, 2012

Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer will travel to Tunis, Tunisia from May 2 to May 6 to represent the United States at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day conference.

While in Tunis, Assistant Secretary Brimmer will deliver remarks at the opening ceremony of the World Press Freedom Day conference. Assistant Secretary Brimmer will also meet with senior Tunisian government officials, regional journalists, and civil society representatives as part of the Secretary’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, which aims to elevate U.S. government engagement with civil society worldwide and provide a framework for civil society involvement in policymaking.


Delegation from Kenya Attend Workshop Hosted by the International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 27, 2012

Assistant Secretary of State Thomas M. Countryman welcomes a senior-level Kenyan delegation to Washington, D.C. from April 30 – May 5, 2012 for a Legal-Regulatory Implementation Workshop on Strategic Trade Controls and Border Security. The Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) will host the Kenyan delegation, which will be led by the Assistant Defense Minister of Kenya; Major General Joseph Nkaisserry (retired). Ambassador Ochieng Adala, Executive Director of the Africa Peace Forum, and other senior Kenyan officials involved in strategic trade control issues will also participate in the workshop.

The training, supported by the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program, is organized by the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. The five-day workshop will cover the spectrum of issues pertaining to the development, implementation, and enforcement of an effective strategic trade control and border management system in Kenya, which will advance the dual goals of improving international security and fostering sustainable economic growth.

This visit provides a unique opportunity to discuss the fundamentals of an effective strategic trade control system with key Kenyan legislators and government officials and to help them incorporate strategic trade controls into future legislation.