On July 30th -31st, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt announced plans to deliver eight F-16 fighter jets to Egypt approved as part of a military package that was unfrozen earlier this year. Delivered to Cairo West Air Base, the jets were flown directly from the U.S. and immediately integrated into the Egyptian Air Force. Four more F-16s will be delivered to Egypt this fall and the U.S. will continue to provide follow-on support, maintenance, and training for Egyptian Air Force pilots and ground crews. Details are available here. On August 1st -3 rd , U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski was on travel to Cairo, Egypt, to join Secretary of State John Kerry for the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue. In addition to participating in meetings led by Secretary Kerry, Assistant Secretary Malinowski also met with members of Egyptian civil society and political parties. His meetings were noted here. On August 2nd , U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cairo for the first U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue since 2009. Secretary Kerry was accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Tom Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin, Senior Advisor to the Secretary Ambassador David Thorne, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Scott Nathan, Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Robert Malley, Spokesperson John Kirby, Deputy Chief of Staff Tom Sullivan, and Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Secretary Kerry also met with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. Secretary Kerry’s visit to Egypt was outlined here. Secretary Kerry’s remarks at the U.S.- Egypt Strategic Dialogue were transcribed here. A joint statement on the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue was published here. Secretary Kerry’s press availability with Minister Shoukry was highlighted here. Burundi On August 2nd, gunmen wearing military uniforms shot and killed General Adolphe Nshimirimana, a former Burundian security chief and close ally of President Pierre Nkurunziza. General Nshimirimana was in charge of President Nkurunziza’s personal security at the time of his death. Three bodyguards traveling with General Nshimirimana were also killed when the car they were traveling in came under fire in the Kamenge district of Bujumbura. Despite President Nkurunziza’s call for calm, sporadic gunfire was reported throughout the day across the capital. An article on the attack can be read here. On August 2nd, the U.S. Department of State condemned the murder of General Adolphe Nshimirimana in Bujumbura, Burundi and urged calm and restraint in the aftermath of the attack. The State Department called on all sides to renounce violence and redouble their efforts to engage in a transparent, inclusive, and comprehensive political dialogue. Additionally, the State Department reiterated the path forward must address foundational issues, including respect for human rights, freedom of the press and other fundamental freedoms, and respect for the Arusha Agreement and its power-sharing provisions. A statement was issued here. On August 3rd , United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern over the situation in Burundi, where security continues to worsen following the recent elections, and condemned the assassination of General Adolphe Nshimirimana. Secretary-General Ban welcomed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s message to the nation to remain calm and to the competent authorities to expeditiously investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. He also renewed his appeal to all Burundians to resume an inclusive dialogue without delay and peacefully settle their differences under the facilitation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as mandated by the East African Community (EAC). Secretary-General Ban’s response was captured here. On August 4th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) condemned the assassination attempt on Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, a leading Burundian human rights defender who was shot and wounded by unknown assailants in Bujumbura. Acknowledging the killing of General Adolphe Nshimirimana earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban said this assassination attempt is part of a growing pattern of politically-motivated violence in Burundi that must be broken before it escalates beyond control. Feedback from the U.N. was posted here. On August 4th, official data showed that Burundi’s tax revenues fell 36.4 percent below target in June. The country’s revenue authority said it collected just $27 million last month. The decline is largely attributed to the political turbulence in the country stemming from President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term. The tax revenue data was analyzed here. On August 5th, U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner condemned the brutal attack on prominent Burundian human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa and called for those responsible to be brought to justice immediately. He said the attack reinforces the urgent need for the government and the peaceful opposition to work together in pursuit of consensus and to find a peaceful path forward for the people of Burundi. Further, Deputy Spokesperson Toner urged the Government of Burundi to ensure Mbonimpa’s safety. His comments were transcribed here. On August 5th, Come Harerimana, president of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) chapter in the Kanyosha district of Bujumbura, Burundi, was attacked by a crowd throwing stones as he was heading to his office on the back of a motor bike. Harerimana was pulled from the motorcycle and shot dead, marking the third high profile attack in Burundi in three days. The incident was described here. Nigeria On August 2nd, Nigerian troops rescued 178 people from Boko Haram in attacks that destroyed several camps in Borno state, Nigeria. According to an army spokesman, 101 of those freed are children, along with 67 women and ten men. The Nigerian Air Force reported killing a large number of militants in repelling an attack on Bitta village. The freeing of the Boko Haram hostages was reported here. On August 4th, at least eight people were killed and about 100 others kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in an overnight raid on the Cameroonian border village of Tchakarmari. A military officer responding to the attack said the death toll could rise. After a spate of Boko Haram suicide bombings in Cameroon in July, the government announced plans to send an additional 2,000 troops to boost security in the northern part of the country. The attack was detailed here. On August 5th, as part of a two-day visit to Niamey, Niger, Guinean President Alpha Conde said Guinea is ready to help in the regional fight against Nigerian Boko Haram militants. President Conde praised Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to fight Boko Haram and said Guinea is ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by regional partners. President Conde’s comments were recorded here. On August 5th, Chadian forces killed seven Boko Haram fighters in Lake Chad on the island of Tchoukou Dallah. Clashes occurred when Boko Haram militants in boats opened fire on Chadian forces. Thousands of Chadian troops have been deployed to the Lake Chad region as part of an effort to secure islands from being used as Boko Haram hideouts and bases to launch attacks. An update on the situation in Lake Chad was provided here. On August 6th , Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency announced 12,000 Nigerians would be repatriated over the next three to four days after seeking refuge in Cameroon from attacks by Boko Haram. Cameroonian authorities expelled about 2,800 Nigerians over the weekend following a series of suicide bomb attacks in July. The returning Nigerians will be accommodated mainly in the town of Mubi, close to the border. Details were shared here. Sudan On August 4th, Sudanese Deputy U.N. Ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan indicated that Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes and genocide charges, is planning to travel to New York to attend the U.N. Generally Assembly meeting scheduled to begin on September 28th. President Bashir wanted to speak at the U.N. General Assembly in 2013, but Sudanese officials said his visa application was left pending, preventing him from traveling. Details can be viewed here. On August 5th, U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner declined to comment on reports that Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is planning to attend the U.N. General Assembly in September. Deputy Spokesperson Toner said it is State Department policy not to disclose details of any individual visa cases. While he acknowledged the U.S. is not a party to the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, Deputy Spokesperson Toner said the U.S. strongly supports the ICC’s efforts to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur. His comments were captured here. Zimbabwe On July 31st, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act to curb the sport killing of species that are proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The legislation is named after an African lion who was allegedly lured outside of a national park in Zimbabwe earlier this week, shot with an arrow, and tracked for 40 hours while injured before being shot. A press release was issued here. On August 3rd, in response to the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, Delta Air Lines became the latest carrier to ban the transport of trophy-hunting kills as cargo. Delta’s announcement came as a group of airlines including Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas signaled last week they would also ban the transport of trophy-hunting kills. The ban was first initiated by South African Airways in April and initially joined by Emirates, Lufthansa, and British Airways. The full story is available here. On August 3rd, Cecil the lion was among a group of endangered species honored on a 1,250 feet tall canvas on the Empire State Building. The spectacle was staged to promote the documentary “Racing Extinction,” produced by the Oceanic Preservation Society. Cecil was not included in the presentation originally but was added to honor him after his killing sparked international outrage. Details can be seen here. On August 4th, in response to the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to request the details of their members’ policies on the shipping of killed animals. The letter follows announcements from Delta, United, and American Airlines, which are members of A4a and IATA, of policy changes to ban the shipment of trophy animals on their planes. Details can be accessed here. On August 5th, Theo Bronkhorst, the Zimbabwean hunter and safari tour guide who led the expedition in which American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil the lion, appeared in court in Zimbabwe on charges of failing to prevent an illegal hunt. Bronkhorst denied any wrongdoing and described the charges against him as frivolous. The trial has been postponed until September 28th to allow Bronkhorst’s legal team more time to prepare their case. If convicted, Bronkhorst faces up to 15 years in prison. The legal proceedings were described here. West Africa Ebola Outbreak On July 31st, the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) officially transferred its role to the World Health Organization (WHO). Secretary-General Ban said UNMEER had achieved its core objective of scaling up the Ebola response on the ground and establishing unity of purpose among responders in support of nationally led efforts. UNMEER, the first-ever U.N. emergency health mission was always intended to be a temporary measure, and helped to deploy financial, logistical, and human resources to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to support the push to zero cases. The closing of UNMEER was noted here. On July 31st, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that more than 70,000 Liberian children whose births were not recorded during the Ebola outbreak may be unable to access basic health and social services, obtain identity documents, and risk the danger of being trafficked or illegally adopted. In 2013, before the start of the Ebola outbreak, the births of 79,000 children were registered. In 2014, when many health facilities closed or reduced services because of the Ebola crisis, the number of registrations fell to 48,000. Details were shared here. On July 31st, European researchers said an experimental Ebola vaccine tested in West Africa might be highly effective in protecting people from the deadly virus, raising the possibility it could be used to prevent future epidemics. The vaccine, called VSV-ZEBOV and developed by Merck & Co. and New Link Genetics Corp., was recently tested in Guinea. The trial results suggest the vaccine may be most effective beginning ten days after inoculation. The outcomes of the trial were described here. On August 1 st, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Li departed for a three-day visit to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea to observe the Ebola response. China is Africa’s largest trading partner and has sent hundreds of medical workers to West Africa and contributed more than $120 million to the effort to stamp out Ebola. Minister Wang’s travel was announced here. On August 5th, the WHO updated its statistics on the number of Ebola cases in West Africa. For the week ending August 2nd, there were two confirmed cases of Ebola, including one in Guinea and one in Sierra Leone. This is the lowest weekly total to have been reported since March 2014, and marks a third consecutive decline in weekly case incidence. Additional data was analyzed here. On August 5th, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine outlining a plan to accelerate the study of investigational medicines during public health emergencies so that new drugs can reach patients faster. The model, based off the clinical trial designed earlier this year to test Ebola treatments, used a common protocol to simultaneously evaluate multiple therapies, regardless of their stage of development, against a shared control group. This approach allowed ZMapp to advance rapidly to later-stage clinical trials. The editorial can be downloaded here. On August 5th, a patient who recently returned from West Africa and was being treated for Ebola-like symptoms at the University of Alabama Birmingham hospital tested negative for Ebola. After two tests, the patient was diagnosed with malaria. Following the announcement of the diagnosis, six Birmingham Fire and Rescue firefighters and two family members who came into contact with the patient were released from quarantine. The full story is available here. African Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean On August 3rd, the Spanish Government said a Moroccan man suffocated while being smuggled to Spain in a suitcase stowed in the boot of a car. The man was found dead after the car arrived at the port of Almeria on a ferry from Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa. The car’s owner, the dead man’s brother, was arrested for murder. The incident is yet another example of African migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean. Details can be accessed here. On August 5th, a boat packed with migrants from Africa overturned in the Mediterranean Sea, throwing an estimated 600 passengers into the water off the Libyan coast. Italian and Irish vessels deployed following reports of the incident to try to rescue survivors. More information can be found here. On August 6th, search teams in the Mediterranean said they were unlikely to find any more survivors from the boat carrying around 600 migrants that sank off the coast of Libya. According to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), 400 people were rescued. Meanwhile, the Italian coast guard reported the recovery of 25 bodies. The rescue efforts were detailed here. United States – Africa Relations White House On July 30th, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Robert Porter Jackson to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana. A career member of the Foreign Service, Jackson currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He has also previously held positions in Cameroon, Morocco, and Senegal, and served as Country Officer for Botswana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Jackson’s nomination was announced here. On August 3rd, President Barack Obama delivered remarks at the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Presidential Summit Town Hall in Washington, DC. The President discussed his recent travel to sub-Saharan Africa and his commitment to helping the continent address its many challenges. He also said next year he will increase the number of YALI fellows from 500 to 1,000. President Obama’s remarks were transcribed here. On August 4th, following a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Barack Obama renewed pressure on South Sudanese warring leaders President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, insisting they accept an August peace deadline. President Obama said if South Sudan misses this target, it may become necessary to pursue a different approach. A failure to strike a deal is likely to lead to a range of punitive measures, including an arms embargo and targeted sanctions, such as travel bans and asset freezes. President Obama’s remarks can be seen here. On August 5th , President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Linda Etim to serve as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau or Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Etim currently serves as Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Africa. She has previously served on the National Security Council (NSC) staff as Director for African Affairs and as a Senior Intelligence Officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). More information can be viewed here. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative On August 7th, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will hold a public hearing to gather information on South Africa’s eligibility for benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preference program. The hearing was noticed here. State Department On July 31st, Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Benin on the celebration of their 55th anniversary of independence. Secretary Kerry said the U.S. and Benin share a friendship based on democratic values. He also acknowledged the opening of the new U.S. Embassy compound in Benin in July and the second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact expected to be signed in the coming days as demonstrations of a growing bilateral partnership. Secretary Kerry’s full remarks can be seen here. On August 3rd, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a press statement congratulating the people of Niger on their 55th anniversary of independence. Secretary Kerry commended Niger for advancing peace and tolerance as it battles violent extremism among its borders. He also commended Niger for its willingness to host over 150,000 refugees and returnees who have fled violence in neighboring countries. Secretary Kerry’s comments can be read here. On August 3rd, the Governments of Gabon and the U.S. announced the availability of media accreditation applications for the 2015 AGOA Forum of the U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation to be held from August 24th -27th in Libreville, Gabon. The 2015 AGOA Forum, themed “AGOA at 15: Charting a Course for a Sustainable U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Partnership,” is expected to bring together over 800 participants, including senior U.S. and African officials, as well as U.S. and African members of the private sector and civil society. Details were shared here. On August 3rd -5 th, several State Department and USAID officials provided remarks at the Presidential Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African leaders, held in Washington, DC. The Summit brought together 500 of sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising young leaders to meet with President Obama and leading U.S. entrepreneurs, government officials, and civil society representatives. Participants included Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield. The event also featured a town hall with President Obama, a plenary session with members of Congress, and breakout discussions with leaders in business, government, international development, and non-governmental organizations. For more information, click here. On August 6th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield participated in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), held at the Department of State. Assistant Secretary ThomasGreenfield’s participation was noted here. U.S. Agency for International Development On August 3rd, USAID Worldwide Polio Eradication Coordinator and Senior Technical Advisor for Health and Child Survival Ellyn Ogden authored a blog post recognizing Nigeria’s achievement of one year since the last reported case of wild polio in Nigeria. Historically, Nigeria has been the main virus reservoir responsible for repeated outbreaks across the world. While applauding this milestone, Coordinator Ogden said it is far too soon for Nigeria to be complacent, as the risk of undetected polio transmission remains in Nigeria and other vulnerable areas in and around conflict zones in Africa. The blog post can be read here. Department of Defense On July 30th, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) highlighted a recent senior leader familiarization event on cybersecurity held in Washington, DC. As part of the event, AFRICOM hosted ten military officers from nine African nations for visits with several government agencies and academic institutions to learn about the U.S. approach to cybersecurity. The event was detailed here. On July 31st , more than 180 military personnel from 16 different countries stood in a final formation to mark the end of Western Accord 2015 at Winkelman Kazerne in the Netherlands. The annual, 12-day exercise, sponsored by AFRICOM, provided participants with an in-depth academic week of study on U.N. operations, peacekeeping, and military planning, followed by a week of computer simulated scenarios designed around the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission template in Mali. The closing of the exercise was acknowledged here. On August 3rd -14th, the U.S. Army, in partnership with the Zambian Defense Force, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and other partner nations, will conduct Southern Accord 2015 in Zambia. The exercise brings together more than 850 military members of the U.S. and the SADC to increase capabilities to support regional peace operations, combat terrorism in the region, and address transnational threats. Southern Accord 2015 was outlined here. On August 5th, AFRICOM’s Office of Security Cooperation and the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, transferred ten dirt bikes to the Uganda People’s Defense Forces to help combat the spread of AIDS. The dirt bikes, delivered under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will allow military health care professionals to reach previously inaccessible parts of Uganda. Details were shared here. U.S. Trade and Development Agency On August 9th -20th, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will host a delegation of senior officials from sub-Saharan Africa’s agribusiness sector in the U.S. for the Agribusiness Reverse Trade Mission (RTM). The visit is designed to introduce delegates to U.S. companies that provide equipment and services for large scale agribusiness projects and to showcase state-of-the-art U.S. agribusiness technologies and facilities. The RTM will also provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss upcoming agribusiness projects in sub-Saharan Africa with interested U.S. firms and agencies. Details can be viewed here. Overseas Private Investment Corporation On July 31st, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) highlighted BrazAfric’s efforts to help Kenyan farmers with productivity improvement services and purchasing equipment with an emphasis on solutions that enhance energy and environmental conservation. BrazAfrica’s customers include co-ops that reach 69,000 low income farmers throughout East Africa. BrazAfric is supported by Grassroots Business Fund, an OPIC client that received a loan in 2011. More information can be found here. Congress On July 29th, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) reflected on his recent visit to Kenya and Ethiopia with President Barack Obama. In Kenya, Senator Coons participated in bilateral meetings with the Kenyan Government and in the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). He also visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Fund and met with African entrepreneurs benefiting from U.S. government-sponsored programs. In Ethiopia, Senator Coons attended meetings with the Ethiopian Government and the leadership of the African Union (AU). He also had the chance to visit Ethiopian Airlines’ new B787 simulator made by Boeing. Senator Coons’ recent trip to Africa was profiled here. On July 29th, House Select Committee on Benghazi Communications Director Jamal Ware reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, confirmed Secretary Clinton has accepted the Select Committee’s offer to appear on October 22nd. Members of the Committee will question Secretary Clinton about Benghazi and her email arrangement consistent with the scope and jurisdiction of the Committee laid out in the House resolution. The hearing was noticed here. On August 4th, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) reintroduced the Electrify Africa Act. Originally offered in the 113th Congress, the legislation would leverage public and private sector resources to extend electricity access throughout Africa, to help 50 million Africans with first-time access to electricity and to add 20,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the grid by 2020. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Gardener (R-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (DNH), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Details can be viewed here. On August 4th, 136 members of Congress sent a letter to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Senate and parliament asking them to give 400 adopted children exit visas, after the DRC suspended international adoptions because of fears children were being trafficked. In the letter, members of Congress noted that due to the delay in processing outstanding adoption cases, at least one child has unnecessarily died despite already possessing a valid visa to enter the U.S. The adoption issue was discussed here. On August 4th, while visiting Nigeria, Congressman Darrel Issa (R-CA) said the U.S. could lift a ban on shipping arms to Nigeria’s military to help fight Boko Haram if the country improves its human rights record. Congressman Issa expressed his belief that the new administration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari could quickly deal with past human rights abuses. Legislation known as the Leahy amendment currently prohibits the U.S. from offering weapons or training to countries where there is credible information that authorities have committed human rights abuses. More information was posted here. North Africa On July 29th, Africa50, the new infrastructure investment platform promoted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), held is Constitutive General Assembly in Casablanca, Morocco. Twenty African Countries and the AfDB have subscribed for an initial aggregate amount of $830 million in shared capital. The founding African countries include Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, The Gambia, and Togo. More information was provided here. On July 31st , AfDB President Donald Kaberuka visited Tunisia, one of the three biggest beneficiaries of AfDB financing. President Kaberuka met with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and expressed the Bank’s gratitude to the Tunisian Government for the hospitality the AfDB received during its relocation to Tunis from 2003 to 2014. Additionally, President Kaberuka met with Prime Minister Habib Essid, who expressed the government’s determination to strengthen economic growth in spite of the security problems faced by the country. His visit to Tunisia was summarized here. On July 31st, aid groups warned thousands of civilians in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state face starvation after the government blocked aid organizations from using the Nile River to deliver relief food aid. According to the South Sudanese Government, Nile transport was temporarily put on hold for security purposes because the river was used by rebels to attack army bases along its banks. Meanwhile, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that at least 35,000 civilians, including 77 children with severe malnutrition, have been put at immediate risk. Details can be seen here. On August 3rd, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi amended Egypt’s electoral law, paving the way for preparations to hold a long-delayed parliamentary vote. Legislative elections were due to take place between March 21st and May 7th, but were delayed after the constitutional court deemed some provisions of the electoral law unconstitutional. President Sisi’s amendments have resolved the court’s objection to earlier provisions concerning the drawing of constituent boundaries. Details can be found here. On August 4th, supporters of toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi staged a rare demonstration in Benghazi, waving pictures of Libya’s former ruler and demanding the release of his son, Said al-Islam, who was sentenced to death last week for crimes committed during the uprising. The demonstrators dispersed after opponents opened fire and hurled rocks. Benghazi residents reported this was the first protest of Gaddafi loyalists since 2011. The scene was described here. On August 4th, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a panel discussion titled, “The Role of the Intergovernmental Development Authority (IGAD): A Regional Approach to the Crisis in South Sudan.” Speakers included Southern Voices Network Scholar Dr. Getachew Zeru Gebrekidan and Founding Director of the Enough Project John Prendergast. A recording of the panel can be watched here. On August 5th, the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), released a video threatening to kill a Croatian hostage if Egyptian authorities do not release Muslim women held in prison within 48 hours. Tomislav Salopek, the Croatian hostage shown in the video, said he was captured on July 22nd and will be killed if Egyptian authorities do not act. The video surfaced as Egyptian authorities planned to announce a new extension of the Suez Canal. The full story is available here. East Africa On July 29th, the World Bank touted Tanzania’s Water Sector Development Program, financed by the World Bank and several other development partners, that is helping the Tanzanian Government reach its goal of providing water access to 15.4 million rural residents. Since the project began, thousands of residents have gained access to water points closer to their homes. Better access to clean water has also contributed to the growth of small business in rural areas. The success of the project was highlighted here. On July 31st, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni picked up presidential nomination forms, indicating that he is preparing to run for another five-year term after 30 years in office. President Museveni secured the presidency through a coup three decades ago and has been re-elected three times since 1996. Recent polling suggests he has the support of 71 percent of Uganda’s electorate. Details can be viewed here. On July 31st, the Kenyan Government and wildlife officials reached a deal that will allow a new Chinese-built rail line to cut through Nairobi National Park. Under the deal, the park will not decrease in size and the new railway will be walled off and elevated to allow animals to pass underneath. The $13.8 billion rail project is intended to replace the colonial area railway known as the Lunatic Express. Details were reported here. On August 1st , authorities in Migori County, Kenya, announced the closure of a primary school and gold mines in the area due to a cholera outbreak. The Philgona Primary School was closed on Friday after eight students started showing symptoms of the disease. At least 27 people have died of cholera in Kenya since the start of the year. The full story is available here. On August 3rd, following the close of the High Level Partnership Forum in Mogadishu, Somalia, the U.N., the IGAD, the European Union (EU), the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and the Governments of the U.S. and the United Kingdom (U.K.) issued a statement welcoming the commitments made to deliver a transparent and inclusive electoral process in Somalia in 2016, to strengthen security, and to accelerate the delivery of concrete results to the people of Somalia. Cohosted by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and U.N. Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay, the Forum reviewed the country’s progress in the political, security, and economic sectors. For more information, click here. On August 3rd , Quartz reported the Kenyan Government will establish a whistleblower platform and publicize all claims of public graft. The pledges are part of an agreement with the U.S. agreed to during President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Kenya. The deal also includes an electronic procurement system to help track Kenya’s government spending. Details can be accessed here. On August 3rd, Djibouti relaunched its national airline, Air Djibouti, with a cargo flight to Somalia. The company, which went bankrupt in 2002, is reported to be backed by British Company Cardiff Aviation, chaired by Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson. More information can be found here. On August 4th, the World Bank highlighted the Connect to Implement Development project (C2iDev), which was designed to help address youth unemployment in Uganda. As part of the program, following ten weeks of intensive business development training conducted in Kampala, ten young Ugandan entrepreneurs have received seed capital for their business idea. The project was described here. On August 4th, Cyberoam unveiled a new report on cyber hacking in Africa and the Education Cyber Security Symposium. The report finds Kenyatta University and JKUAT are among the Kenyan universities topping a list of hackers on the continent. More generally, the report place Kenya among African countries leading in cyberattacks, after Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. The report’s findings were summarized here. On August 5th, OCHA reported at least 310 Kenyans have been killed and over 215,000 forced from their homes this year in ethnic violence in northern Kenya. While ethnic violence is common in Kenya’s northern Rift Valley regions, the number killed and forced to flee in the first six months of this year as already the same as the total for all of 2014. Additional information was shared here. On August 5th, the Government of Cote d’Ivoire announced October 25th as the date for its presidential election, which is thought to be a key milestone for the country in overcoming a decade of political turmoil and civil war. More than 3,000 people were killed in the violence sparked by former President Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to concede defeat to current President Alassane Ouattara in the last presidential election held in 2010. The date of the presidential election was announced here. On August 5th, Tanzania’s four main opposition parties nominated former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, once seen as a leading contender for the ruling party nomination, as their joint presidential candidate ahead of October’s general election. On July 12th, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party nominated Works Minister John Magufuli as its candidate. The opposition’s nomination of Lowassa, who crossed party lines last week, is expected to shake up the political landscape in Tanzania. The implications of Lowassa’s nomination were discussed here. On August 6th, coastal resorts in Kenya reported an uptick in bookings by Western visitors, suggesting a rebound for the tourism industry, despite recent warnings against non-essential travel to Kenya due to recent Al Shabaab attacks. Britain, the source of more than half the country’s tourists, lifted a travel advisory covering most of the coast in June. Visitor arrivals to Kenya fell by a quarter in the first five months of this year. An update on tourism in Kenya was provided here. West Africa On August 1st, the AfDB reported on the effectiveness of its efforts to help Togo reform its tax systems. The reforms, operationalized in 2014, led to the establishment of the Togo Revenue Authority (OTR). Additionally, reforms have led to a tax case revenue increase of 26 percent after the OTR’s first year of operation. Togo’s tax reforms were detailed here. On August 1st, in his speech marking Benin’s Independence Day, President Thomas Yayi Boni apologized to the Netherlands for a corruption scandal involving Dutch aid money and said authorities are prosecuting those involved. The Dutch Government cut all development aid to Benin in May after uncovering what it said was a serious fraud case in which grants for drinking water projects worth at least $4.4 million disappeared. President Boni’s comments were recorded here. On August 3rd, the World Bank highlighted a two-day workshop recently convened in Bamako, Mali, to review various approaches and strategies used in the implementation of safety net programs in the country. The workshop was attended by representatives of government services, donors, and international organizations and focused on threats facing the country, such as natural disasters, political and economic uncertainty, and food insecurity. Since 2013, the World Bank has been supporting an Emergency Safety Nets project, which has provided targeted cash transfers to 62,000 households. The workshop was summarized here. On August 4th, an evaluation conducted by the Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) department of the AfDB revealed the Bank’s substantial investment in road infrastructure in Cameroon from 2004 to 2013 resulted in time savings and a 40 percent drop in transportation costs. Between 2007 and 2013, journey time fell from 15 to seven days between Douala and N’Djamena, Chad, and ten to five days between Douala and Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). The AfDB also reported a 17 percent increase in trade. Additional data was analyzed here. On August 4th, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the National Planning Commission (NPC) to go back to the drawing board and produce a framework for the 2016 budget that will reduce recurrent expenditure and prioritize developmental projects. According to a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President for Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, President Buhari said capital projects must now be given the fullest possible priority because Nigeria cannot achieve real development without adequate investment in infrastructure. An article on the order can be read here. On August 4th, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the ICC to broaden its investigation into the violence in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010 and 2011 and what violations may have been committed by loyalists of President Alassane Ouattara. So far, the ICC has only charged former President Laurent Gbagbo and his supported for crimes committed in the post-election violence that left at least 3,000 people dead. For details, click here. On August 5th, the AfDB and AccessBank Liberia Ltd (ABL) signed a technical assistance partnership agreement. Supported by a grant from the Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), the partnership is expected to enhance ABL’s reach to Liberian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). A press release was issued here. Sub-Saharan Africa On August 2nd, following a visit to Lesotho, SADC Deputy President Cyril Rampahosa called on authorities in the country to give consideration for the SADC’s recommendations to provide for greater stability. While in Lesotho, Deputy President Rampahosa met with King Letsie III, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisilli, members of the cabinet, and leaders of Lesotho’s opposition parties. Lesotho continues to face political turmoil in the aftermath of former Lesotho Defense Force Commander Lieutenant-General Maarparankoe Mahao being gunned down in his home, which resulted in three opposition leaders fleeing the country. For more information, click here. On August 2nd, New World Wealth predicted that Mozambique is expected to add millionaires at the fastest rate in Africa over the next decade, followed by Cote d’Ivoire and Zambia. Researchers predicted the number of people with net assets of more than $1 million will surge 120 percent in Mozambique by 2024 to 2,200. Meanwhile, the number of millionaires in Cote d’Ivoire will jump 109 percent to 4,800, while those in Zambia will double. Additional analysis was shared here. On August 3rd , following a similar sentiment offered by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks against a convoy of the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization in the CAR (MINUSCA) in Bangui on Sunday that resulted in the death of one peacekeeper. Eight other peacekeepers were injured. MINUSCA peacekeepers were attacked by an armed group during a search operation intended to arrest a suspected criminal in application of a judicial warrant from the Public Prosecutor of Bangui. Three suspects were arrested during the operation. Details were reported here. On August 3rd, Mauritius responded to a request from the Government of Malaysia and officially joined the search in the Indian Ocean for possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Deputy Prime Minister Xavier-Luc Duval said coast guard ships were deployed on Monday, while the government was also appealing to private boats and fishermen to inform police of any possible sightings of wreckage. Mauritius’ role in the search effort was discussed here. On August 4th, a South African judge threw out corruption charges against opposition leader Julius Malema, once a leading figure in the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Malema had been accused of money laundering, racketeering, and fraud related to government contracts. While Judge George Mothle said Malema had waited too long for his trial after multiple postponements, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) argued the move did not constitute an acquittal and the action could be revived at a later date. An article on the ruling was published here. On August 4th, South African Deputy Director General for Energy Planning Ompi Aphane said the country is considering deploying power barges using gas to generate electricity to help overcome supply shortages. Deputy Director General Aphane noted the South African Government is looking also looking at other options to help supply electricity to the national grid, including piping and importing liquefied natural gas (LNG). His comments can be seen here. On August 4th, the South Africa Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said the country’s black middle class population has experienced rapid growth in the past two decades, representing roughly 10 percent of South Africa’s population. Based on indicators ranging from household spending levels, workplace seniority, education levels, medical aid cover, internet usage, banking patterns, and property ownership, the SAIRR estimated between one and two in every ten South Africans could be considered middle class. Details can be accessed here. On August 4th, South African anti-apartheid cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu was released from a hospital in Cape Town after being re-admitted for a recurring infection related to his treatment for prostate cancer. According to Tutu’s family, his cancer is well under control and he will continue his recovery from the infection at home. Tutu’s discharge was noted here. On August 5th, U.N. Special Representative to the CAR and head of MINUSCA Babacar Gaye briefed the U.N. Security Council on developments in the country. Special Representative Gaye said the security situation in the CAR remains precarious, but due to political progress and the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers in nearly 40 localities, the overall security landscape has improved. While the improvements are helping some internally displaced persons (IDPs) to recover, Special Representative Gaye cautioned that many parts of the CAR are still targeted by armed groups. Excerpts from the briefing were highlighted here. On August 5th, the U.N. Security Council issued a unanimous statement calling for refugees from the CAR to be allowed to vote in the October 18th elections. Transitional authorities in the CAR have rejected a draft electoral bill that would allow tens of thousands of refugees, primarily Muslims, to vote by absentee ballot. The situation was described here. On August 5th, the Zambian Chamber of Mines announced mining companies in Zambia’s copper belt have agreed to reduce power usage between 10 and 15 percent to ease pressure on the national grid. Zambian power utility Zesco Ltd is limiting power it supplies to customers, including mining companies, after water levels at its hydroelectric plants dropped due to drought. The full story is available here. On August 6th , Reuters reported U.S. pop start Pharrell Williams’ concerts scheduled in South Africa next month are likely to see disruptions from pro-Palestine protestors over a promotional deal the singer has with major retailer Woolworths. Williams has been targeted by the South African branch of the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement for participating in the Woolworths’ “Are You With Us” campaign. The situation was discussed here. General Africa News On August 5th, the World Bank completed its annual Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CIPA) Africa analysis, which rates the performance and challenges of poor countries and is used to determine the allocation of zero-interest financing and grants for countries that are eligible for support from the International Development Association (IDA). The analysis showed that 26 percent of countries made broad progress in supporting development and poverty reduction in 2014. The full CIPA can be downloaded here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2015 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.