Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Bureau of Public Affairs,
January 27, 2014
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will lead the U.S. delegation to the African Union (AU) Summit. The delegation will include high-level officials from across the U.S. government, including:
- Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield,
- Deputy to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rexon Ryu,
- U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth,
- U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes and the DRC Russell D. Feingold,
- USAID Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein,
- USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa Earl Gast and
- Acting Assistant to the Administrator for Food Security Tjada McKenna,
- Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Florizelle Liser, and
- Special Assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris.
The delegation will meet with a variety of AU and regional officials to discuss how the United States and the AU are working together toward important shared priorities for Africa.
January 27, 2014
Six exchange alumni who have made significant impacts in their home countries will travel to the United States beginning January 27 to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Gold Stars initiative.
Gold Star participants have made important contributions in their home countries as a direct result of ideas that originated during – or were inspired by – their first IVLP exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, IVLP allows current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields to experience the United States firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. The Gold Star initiative brings these participants back to share their successes, re-connect with Americans who inspired them, and network as a means to start new initiatives in their home countries.
This year’s Gold Star participants come from Latvia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, and Vietnam. More information on the participants can be found on the Gold Stars Tumblr blog.
The Gold Star participants begin in Washington, D.C., where they will attend the annual Global Ties U.S. National Meeting from January 29-February 1. Global Ties coordinates the meeting for the more than 90 organizations in 45 states that arrange IVLP projects in collaboration with the Department of State. The Gold Star participants then individually visit several cities in the United States, including the city that inspired them to make a difference in their home countries, before coming together in Philadelphia to discuss new ideas and ways to collaborate. Gold Star alumni are encouraged to continue to share their experience once they return home.
Meet 2014 IVLP Gold Star, Chinyelu Okafor!
Chinyelu “Chichi” Okafor participated in the “2009 Women and Entrepreneurship” IVLP and returned to Nigeria inspired to make a difference in her community. Impressed by the influence that IGNITE (Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution) had on teenage girls in the United States to pursue careers in science and technology, Okafor launched an IGNITE program in Lagos in 2010 which has impacted more than 200 girls in 20 schools. She has plans to expand the program throughout Nigeria and is particularly interested in outreach to Muslim youth. Okafor is a leading Nigerian businesswoman who is serious about her role as a mentor to other women in the business community. Her pursuits include working on training sessions to encourage female entrepreneurs, coordinating events which are designed to ensure that women have a voice in the business community, serving as the co-chair of the Nigerian Chapter of Women Corporate Directors, and playing an active role in the Nigerian Association for IVLP Alumni. Okafor embodies the spirit of female professional leadership to which many aspire. She is a dynamic public speaker and is able to effectively combine her passion for business and technology.
Spokesperson, Department of State
January 27, 2014
We are encouraged that Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly voted to ratify Tunisia’s new constitution on January 26. A strong constitution, reached through consultation and debate, is the foundation of a thriving democracy. This is a historic moment for the people of Tunisia and represents a significant achievement as Tunisia continues in its political transition.
The debates, discussions, and compromises throughout the process of drafting and ratifying the new constitution resulted in a document that respects and guarantees the rights of all Tunisians. We look forward to further steps in the democratic transition, in particular, the swearing-in of a new independent government and setting a date for early elections so that Tunisian citizens can choose their new leaders and determine the country’s future.
The United States continues to believe the Tunisian people can and will achieve their aspirations for a democratic society, and as a longstanding friend of Tunisia, the United States will continue to support Tunisia’s democratic transition.
Secretary of State
January 26, 2014
The United States is deeply concerned by renewed inter-religious violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). We condemn attacks by both anti-Balaka and Seleka groups in Bangui and the provinces. We are also deeply disturbed by reports that some CAR leaders may be supporting attacks by anti-Balaka and Seleka, respectively, instead of working for peace and reconciliation.
Preventing the violence from gaining further momentum and costing more lives will require all of CAR’s leaders, past and present, to be clear in condemning it. We urge CAR’s past and present political leaders – including senior officials in the previous Bozize and Djotodia administrations such as Francois Bozize and Noureddine Adam – to call on their supporters to cease any and all attacks on civilians.
The United States is prepared to consider targeted sanctions against those who further destabilize the situation, or pursue their own selfish ends by abetting or encouraging the violence. We will continue to work tirelessly with our international partners to hold accountable all those responsible for atrocities committed in CAR.
Last week’s selection of a transitional government offers the people of CAR an opportunity to rebuild their society and restore their tradition of tolerance. Today, I reiterate President Obama’s call for the citizens of CAR to follow a path of peace, rather than one of violence and retribution. The United States stands with Transitional President Samba-Panza as she seeks to bring all the parties together to end the violence foster reconciliation, and move her country toward elections not later than February 2015.
Restoring security in CAR is vital to stopping the violence and ending the dire humanitarian crisis jeopardizing the lives of the millions throughout the country. We continue to support efforts by the African Union, regional leaders, and our French allies to disarm all armed groups. We are transporting, equipping, training, and providing logistical support to African-led International Support Mission (MISCA) troops and have committed up to $101 million to do so.
We commend the commitment of the French, regional leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union, and other members of the international community to helping to restore stability to CAR. We urge all neighboring countries to ensure that no arms or other support to armed groups in the CAR transits their borders, and to take steps to prevent individuals on their territory from fueling the conflict.
Office of the Press Secretary
January 23, 2014
I welcome today’s signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement in South Sudan, which is a critical first step toward building a lasting peace. Now, South Sudan’s leaders need to work to fully and immediately implement the agreement and start an inclusive political dialogue to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict. The full participation of political detainees currently being held by the Government of South Sudan will be critical to those discussions, and we will continue to work to expedite their release. I am grateful for the constructive role played by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and our partners in the region to advance these efforts.
The United States has long supported the aspirations of the people of South Sudan for independence, peace, and prosperity. In order to regain the trust of their people and the international community, South Sudan’s leaders must demonstrate their sustained commitment to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. They have an obligation to ensure that the lives of their people and future of their young country are not further marred by continued violence, and that individuals who have committed atrocities are held to account. Those working for a more peaceful, democratic, unified South Sudan will continue to have a steady partner in the United States of America.
at Africare’s 2013 Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner Gala. Photo: Stuart A. Watson Photography
By Darius Mans
January 24, 2014
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Stephen D. Cashin, CEO of Pan African Capital Group, LLC, as Africare’s Chairman of the Board. Steve and his family have long been affiliated with Africare, and Steve has served as Africare’s Interim Board Chair since December 2012. At the end of last year, our board members enthusiastically decided to remove “Interim,” unanimously electing him to the Chairman of the Board position.
Newly appointed Africare Board Chairman Stephen D. Cashin [left] and Africare President Darius Mans [right]
at Africare’s 2013 Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner Gala. Photo: Stuart A. Watson Photography
Steve’s dedication to the people of Africa and to Africare’s mission is undeniable. His credentials are unparalleled, and his unique and varied experiences across Africa represent the diversity Africare knows is required to develop and deliver programs empowering communities throughout the continent. Steve Cashin is the ideal Board Chair to lead Africare into the future.
In his short tenure as Interim Chair, Steve was almost omnipresent, actively participating in Board activities, wider Africare functions and even Africare-sponsored community outreach events. His eagerness to engage fellow board members, senior leadership and staff, as well as his immunity to exhaustion, attune with the commitment of our team and provide an outstanding leadership example.
Steve also steers his remarkable energy with a singularly diverse combination of knowledge and experience. The son of a U.S. foreign diplomat, Steve was born in Libya, growing up in Libya, Ethiopia and Ghana until the age of 12. He began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, and he has dedicated the majority of his professional life to working in partnership with governments, financial institutions and multi-national corporations to develop markets and infrastructure to spur growth and improve lives in Africa.
He worked for 12 years for Equator Bank, where he opened the bank’s Nairobi, Kenya office and developed the bank’s relationships in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. For the past 20 years, Steve has worked as an investor and advisor with a strong portfolio of investments across the continent in financial services, agribusiness, infrastructure, technology and more. He co-founded and was managing director of the Modern Africa Growth and Investment Company, LLC, bringing investment capital and financial expertise to support African businesses and international companies conducting business in Africa. Now, as CEO of Pan African Capital Group, LLC, which he founded in 2004, Steve invests in companies across the continent and advises companies from around the world on investments in infrastructure, natural resources and other sectors in Africa.
Steve’s passion for Africa extends beyond his professional ventures. He and his family are actively engaged in a wide range of philanthropic pursuits such as Jesuit initiatives supporting refugees, water initiatives in Kenya and numerous programs in Liberia. Steve was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, focusing primarily on African financial markets, and he also currently sits on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
The varied and extensive background upon which Steve draws is vital to Africare achieving its vision: working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities. Africa is vast and complex. The continent’s more than 50 countries are home to more than one billion individuals and thousands of ethnic groups, each generally possessing their own language, culture and history. As a community-facing organization working directly with local populations, it is crucial that Africare’s people mirror Africa’s tremendous diversity to successfully support project participants in overcoming the manifold challenges they face. Our field staff across 18 countries comprises approximately 1,200 employees, more than 97% of whom are African nationals. Our team’s unparalleled knowledge and cultural expertise are the foundation of the sustainability and success of our programs.
Our headquarters staff and leadership in Washington, D.C. also reflect this diversity, literally bringing hundreds of years of experience in Africa to the job and currently representing Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Uganda, France, Haiti and the United States of America.
With his expansive history – partnering with the private and public sectors across the length and breadth of Africa for decades – Steve Cashin could not be better suited to a senior leadership role at Africare. As Africare’s new Board Chair, Steve represents everything that we prize at Africare, everything that has made us successful for 44 years and everything that will propel us to greater success in the future.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Department of Commerce
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced she will lead an Energy Business Development Mission to West Africa with stops in Ghana and Nigeria from May 18-23, 2014. This mission will promote U.S. exports to Africa by helping U.S. companies launch or increase their business in the energy sector in West Africa. It will also help the African region develop and manage energy resources and systems, build out power generation and transmission, and distribution.
“In line with President Obama’s U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, this mission is an opportunity to connect U.S. company products, services and expertise to support Africa’s enormous power potential,” said Secretary Pritzker. “One of the Commerce Department’s bottom-line goals is to increase the global fluency of U.S. businesses and make trade and investment a bigger part of the U.S. economy’s DNA. Trade missions like these are one way of accomplishing these priorities.”
The President approved the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on Sub-Saharan Africa on June 14, 2012, which has become known as the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The Strategy recognizes that Africa holds the promise to be “the world’s next major economic success story,” and this is the first time that promoting U.S. trade and investment has been a cornerstone of a PPD on Sub-Saharan Africa.
With more than 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to electricity, the power development challenge is enormous. More than two-thirds of the population is without electricity, including more than 85 percent of those living in rural areas. According to the International Energy Agency, sub-Saharan Africa needs more than $300 billion in investments to achieve universal electricity access by 2030 – far beyond the capacity of any traditional development program.
Representatives of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will be invited to participate to provide information and counseling regarding their suite of programs and services in sub-Saharan Africa. This collaborative interagency approach highlights the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign, which aims to harness federal trade promotion and financing capabilities to help the U.S. private sector identify and seize upon trade and investment opportunities.
The mission will make stops in Accra, Ghana and Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria.
Businesses interested in participating in this trade mission should complete an online application at the Africa Energy Mission website at http://www.export.gov/AfricaEnergyMission2014 or call the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Business Liaison at (202) 482-1360.
The application deadline is Friday, March 14, 2014.
Secretary of State
January 21, 2014
The United States welcomes the selection of Catherine Samba-Panza as Transitional President in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). As C.A.R.’s first woman head of state since the country’s independence, and with her special background in human rights work and mediation, she has a unique opportunity to advance the political transition process, bring all the parties together to end the violence, and move her country toward elections not later than February 2015.
We also commend the Transitional National Council for conducting the selection process for the new C.A.R. Transitional President in a deliberate, open, and transparent manner that ensured the airing of a full range of views from C.A.R.’s civil society.
The United States has been deeply engaged in the work to help pull C.A.R. back from the brink, including the pivotal visits of Ambassador Power and Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield less than a month ago. The United States, along with regional leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union, and other members of the international community, hopes to support President Samba-Panza and call on the people of C.A.R. to work constructively with her, participate in the political process, and avoid any resurgence in violence.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 21, 2014
The White House is pleased to announce that the United States will host the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 5 and 6, 2014. President Obama looks forward to welcoming leaders from across the African continent to the Nation’s Capital to further strengthen ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. The Summit will build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.
Spokesperson, Department of State
January 18, 2014
The United States welcomes the announcement of the final results of Madagascar’s presidential election. We commend the Malagasy electoral authorities for organizing a poll that reflects the will of the Malagasy people and are grateful to the United Nations for its support to the electoral process.
The election of a new president represents an opportunity for Madagascar to make progress on strengthening democratic institutions, improving respect for human rights, combating corruption, and rebuilding its economy. We look forward to working productively with President-elect Rajaonarimampianina as Madagascar implements the roadmap for the restoration of democracy developed by the Southern African Development Community in 2011.
We look to the president-elect to form a new government whose members have the full confidence of the Malagasy public and the international community.
Source: BBC Media Center
BBC TV presenter Komla Dumor has died suddenly at his home in London at the age of 41, it has been announced. Ghana-born Dumor was a presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programme. One of Ghana’s best-known journalists, he joined the BBC as a radio broadcaster in 2006 after a decade of journalism in Ghana.
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said on Twitter that his country had lost one of its finest ambassadors.
BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks called Dumor a leading light of African journalism who would be deeply missed. He was “committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is,” Mr Horrocks said in a statement.
“Africa’s energy and enthusiasm seemed to shine through every story Komla told, Komla’s many friends and colleagues across Africa and the world will be as devastated as we are by this shocking news.”
The BBC understands he had suffered a heart attack.
Komla Afeke Dumor (3 October 1972 – 18 January 2014) was a Ghanaian journalist who was born in Accra, Ghana. His grandfather was Philip Gbeho, composer of the Ghanaian national anthem. Dumor was the main presenter of the BBC World News programme
Dumor initially did his pre-clinical medicine at the University of Jos, Nigeria but left for his home country where he graduated from the University of Ghana with a BSc. in Sociology and Psychology and from Harvard University with an MA in Public Administration.
He started as the morning show host for Joy FM in Accra, Ghana, and was the 2003 winner of Journalist of the Year award given by the Ghana Journalists Association. Dumor joined the BBC African Service in 2006 as host of the radio programme Network Africa. From 2008 to 2012 he presented The World Today on the BBC World Service. In 2011 Dumor began presenting the World News and Africa Business Report on BBC World News television. When the latter was relaunched in 2013; fellow BBC correspondent Lerato Mbele was chosen as host.
In a list published in New African magazine (December 2013) he was named as one of the 100 most influential Africans of the year 2013, with the citation: “It has been a coming of age for Kumla Dumor this year. The presenter of Focus on Africa, the BBC’s flagship and first-ever dedicated daily TV news programme in English for African audiences, broadcast on BBC World News, has established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting. As a lead presenter for BBC World, Dumor has considerable influence on how the continent is covered.
At the time of his death, Dumor was the only West African news reader on BBC World News. In the words of BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain, “Komla developed his own unique on air style, seamlessly moved between TV and radio & influenced Africa coverage across the BBC.” He was also described by Peter Horrocks, the BBC’s global news director, as “a leading light of African journalism – committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is.”
Monday, January 13, 2014
WHAT: 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner
DATE: January 17, 2014
PLACE: La Fontaine Bleue – 7514 Ritchie Hwy, Glen Burnie, MD 21061
Dinner & Awards Ceremony Starts Promptly @ 6PM
VIP Reception @ 5PM
Tickets can be purchased at http://mlkmd.org/
This event is being organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Office of the Press Secretary
January 9, 2014
The United States strongly supports the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin and General Lazaro Sumbeiywo, to secure a cessation of hostilities and to resolve the conflict in South Sudan peacefully through talks being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This crisis must be ended swiftly through a negotiated settlement in order to prevent the escalation of a dangerous conflict that neither the people of South Sudan, the region or the international community can afford.
The United States calls upon rebel-leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir to sign immediately the cessation of hostilities agreement tabled by IGAD. Mr. Machar, in particular, must commit to a cessation of hostilities without precondition. His continued insistence on the release of detainees as a pre-condition for a cessation of hostilities is unacceptable and runs counter to the express will of the detainees who informed the IGAD mediators yesterday that they support talks on an unconditional cessation of hostilities and stated clearly that their status as detainees should not be an impediment to reaching an agreement on a cessation of hostilities.
At the same time, the United States is disappointed that the detainees being held by the Government of South Sudan have not yet been released. The United States reiterates its call upon President Salva Kiir to release the detainees immediately to the custody of IGAD so that they can participate in the political negotiations.
It is the obligation of both President Kiir and Mr. Machar to ensure that the lives of their people and future of their young country are not further marred by continued violence and atrocities.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Story courtesy of The Carter Center Blog; picture courtesy of J. Stremlau
The Carter Center was pleased to partner with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa for a joint election observation mission to Madagascar’s Dec. 20 legislative and second-round presidential elections. Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem, EISA Executive Director Dr. Denis Kadima, and I co-led the delegation.
One of the world’s poorest countries, Madagascar has faced economic, social, and political stagnation since 33-year-old former radio disk jockey Andry Rajoelina wrested power from President Ravalomanana after a 2009 coup d’etat. The international community did not recognize the new government, and economic activity and human development indicators fell severely amid the political crisis.
The Carter Center felt it could play an important role by providing a credible and impartial assessment of the troubled electoral process, the success of which was critical to moving Madagascar out of the nightfall of corrupt autocratic rule and into a dawn of democracy.
These critical elections were the culmination of an extraordinary and complex five-year concerted diplomatic campaign — led by the Southern African Development Community with substantial backing from Western democracies — to try to reverse the 2009 coup.
The Carter Center highlighted challenges to the electoral process, encouraged resolution of issues through transparent measures, and provided recommendations to improve future elections.
Our joint delegation congratulated the Malagasy people for a peaceful vote on Dec. 20, and on Jan. 3, Madagascar’s electoral commission declared Hery Rajaonarimampianina the winner of the presidential runoff. The opposition is challenging the presidential election result, and The Carter Center will monitor the resolution of these claims by the High Electoral Court, a process we urge all to respect.
We hope these elections will enable Madagascar to rejoin the community of nations and obtain the support it needs to reduce the prolonged and escalating humanitarian crisis among its 22 million people.
It will be important for the international community to hold all parties accountable to their promises to abide by the results and to reward any meaningful post-election process of national inclusion and reconciliation that emerges.
Madagascar’s African and international partners should regard electoral success as the start of a long process not only to help relieve the suffering of the Malagasy people, but also to test techniques of collective engagement that might eventually help other troubled states.
Department of State
January 5, 2014
Coordinator Macon Phillips of the Bureau of International Information Programs will travel to Benin, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa from January 7 to 17.
In Cotonou, Benin, Coordinator Phillips will meet with representatives from the telecom, internet, and civil society sectors, as well as traditional and new media outlets. He will then travel to Porto Novo for a discussion with youth on the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (WFYAL).
In Windhoek, Namibia, Coordinator Phillips will meet with WFYAL applicants and United States Government exchange program alumni. In addition, he will travel to American Spaces in Walvis Bay, where he will engage with youth leaders around the WFYAL. He will also discuss a range of communications and technology issues with private sector leaders and media contributors.
In Harare, Zimbabwe, Coordinator Phillips will meet with journalists and entrepreneurs on new media and digital engagement. He will also meet with civil society and youth leaders to discuss social activism, outreach, and the WFYAL.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, Coordinator Phillips plans to visit the African Regional Media Hub and tour the Mae Jemison Science Reading room in Mamelodi, one of the Department’s premiere American Spaces.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
January 1, 2014
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the people of Sudan as you celebrate 58 years of independence on January 1.
We join with you in looking forward to a peaceful and definitive end to internal conflicts, the development of strong and productive relationships with your neighbors, and durable solutions to humanitarian crises.
We hope that all Sudanese will realize their aspirations for a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future in the year ahead.
December 25, 2013
We at AMIP News wish you a happy and safe Christmas, or Holiday. May you find joy and peace as you celebrate this special season. As you gather around faith, family, and friends, we hope you will also reflect on the important events that have defined your life this year – the ones you took the time to chronicle in your personal journal.
2013 has been a very eventful year and we have had several opportunities to cover many national and international events and developments specific to U.S. engagement with Africa.
We look forward into the coming year with excitement and wish you and your loved ones a prosperous 2014.
On behalf of our team.
President & CEO, AMIP News
Commissioner; Maryland Governor’s Commission on African Affairs