On September 16th, elements of Burkina Faso’s military declared they were in control of the nation after presidential guards stormed a cabinet and seized President Michel Kafando, Prime Ministers Isaac Zida, and other government officials during a raid on Ouagadougou. Hours after their detention, an unidentified military official reported the group in control, calling itself the National Council for Democracy, had acted to end the deviant transitional regime. In addition, the military announced the country’s new leader would be former general Gilbert Diendere, an advisor to former President Blaise Compaore. Burkina Faso is scheduled to hold general elections on October 11th . On September 16th , United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for the release of President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, and other government ministers of Burkina Faso. After reports of these leaders being detained by soldiers, Secretary-General Ban stated this is a violation of Burkina Faso’s constitution. Two days earlier, a commission reportedly suggested the dissolution of the presidential guard, the Regiment de Securite Presidentielle. Secretary-General Ban’s input can be seen here. On September 16th, the U.N. Security Council condemned the hostage situation in Burkina Faso and unanimously called for the immediate release of the Burkina Faso President, Prime Minister, and other government officials held by soldiers. The Security Council’s reaction to the situation in Burkina Faso was posted here. On September 16th, the U.S. Department of State expressed concern about unfolding events in Burkina Faso and called for the immediate release of President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Isaac Zida, and all other officials being held. The State Department condemned any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means or resolve internal political disagreements using force. Further, the State Department called for an immediate end to violence, urged the military personnel involved to return to their primary mission, and reaffirmed support for the civilian transitional government to continue its work of preparing for free, fair, and credible elections on October 11th. Additional feedback was posted here. South Sudan On September 11th, South Sudanese rebels ratified the peace deal signed by President Salva Kiir and former Vice President and opposition leader Riek Machar last month. The ratification of the agreement is largely viewed as another step towards ending the 20-month civil war in the country. For more information, click here. On September 15th , Russia and Angola moved to delay the imposition of targeted U.N. sanctions on leading South Sudanese government and rebel officials obstructing peace in South Sudan. This came as human rights groups The Enough Project, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International called on the U.N. Security Council to impose targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for crimes against humanity and human rights violations in South Sudan. The full story can be found here. On September 15th, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir urged his people to unite in implementing the recently signed peace in light of reports of fighting between rebel and government forces since the agreement was signed last month. While President Kiir reiterated his reservations about the agreement and called for the renegotiation of some provisions, he said implementation of the deal would be the best way to utilize the transitional period until the general elections in 2018 to help bring peace to the country. President Kiir’s comments were recorded here. On September 17th, conflict monitors in South Sudan reported the first confirmed violation of the ceasefire provisions included in the recently approved peace agreement for South Sudan. Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) monitors said the ceasefire was violated when a South Sudanese government helicopter attacked rebel positions on the west bank of the Nile, just days after the deal was signed. The violation was reported here. Egypt On September 14th, the Egyptian Interior Ministry reported that Egyptian security forces accidentally killed 12 people and injured ten more after firing upon a tourist group they had mistaken for militants. The tourists, thought to be primarily Mexicans and Egyptians, had pulled off the road in a restricted area in the Western Desert to eat. While state media reported the tourist group was traveling in cars not authorized for tours, the Egyptian tour guides union argued the company was licensed and had notified police of its activity. An investigation is ongoing. Various accounts of the incident were shared here. On September 14th, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto took to Twitter to condemn the deaths of Mexican tourists after Egyptian troops mistakenly opened fire on a safari convoy. President Nieto also called for a thorough investigation of the accident. Developments were reported here. On September 14th, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged reports that a U.S. citizen was potentially injured during the accidental attack on picnickers in Egypt. While Spokesperson Kirby could not confirm those reports, he noted the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was making the appropriate inquiries with police and monitoring the situation. More broadly, Spokesperson Kirby called the attack a tragic accident and noted Egyptian authorities are conducting an investigation. His response can be seen here. On September 16th , Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto directly expressed his nation's outrage to his Egyptian counterpart President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi after eight Mexican tourists were confirmed dead following a mistaken Egyptian military strike. An update on the situation was provided here. Democratic Republic of Congo On September 13th, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) leading opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), announced it was ending talks with representatives of President Joseph Kabila. This leaves the two parties in a deadlock moving forward to next year’s presidential election. Critics argue that President Kabila is attempting to stay in office after his second term as president, which violates DRC’s constitution. The upcoming election could be DRC’s first peaceful transition of office. An article on the situation can be read here. On September 15th, a riot broke out during a protest in Kinshasa, DRC, against what the political opposition claims is DRC President Joseph Kabila’s ambition to cling to power after his constitutional mandate ends in 2016. Unidentified men with batons and planks of wood attacked protestors shortly after opposition leaders began speeches in the streets of the capital. The scene was described here. On September 16th, seven senior political figures were kicked out of the DRC’s ruling coalition after signing a letter sent to President Joseph Kabila on Monday demanding that steps be taken to ensure the presidential election scheduled for November 2016 is held on time. President Kabila’s spokesperson, Lambert Mende, said the leaders chose to exclude themselves from the presidential majority and rejected the letter’s assertion that President Kabila intended to violate the constitution by seeking to cling to power. The situation was discussed here. Nigeria On September 11th, a bomb went off in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) on the outskirts of the Adamawa state capital Yola in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least three people. The blast, the first such attack on an IDP camp in the country, occurred at a school in the hamlet of Malkohi. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but it was suspected that Boko Haram was behind the attack. More information can be found here. On September 13th, suicide bombers attacked a town in northern Cameroon, killing at least seven people and severely wounding 18. The attack hit the town of Kolofata, which sits near the Nigerian border and has been repeatedly targeted by the Nigeria-based Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. More information can be accessed here. On September 14th, the U.N. reported that refugees fleeing Nigeria to Cameroon are suffering from lack of food and water, as well as deadly epidemics. The refugees include families that have escaped violence and attacks in Nigeria and are now dependent upon humanitarian aid that is scarce in Cameroon, according to Toby Lanzer, U.N. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel. With Cameroon’s far north region hosting nearly 200,000 forced migrants, food distribution and health care services are top priorities for U.N. humanitarian workers in the country. Details can be viewed here. On September 16th , the U.N. condemned an attack against a camp for IDPs in Yola, Nigeria on September 11th , killing seven and injuring 14 others. The U.N. stated that IDPs are the most vulnerable of people and must be protected under humanitarian and international human rights law. No group or individual has taken responsibility for the bombing. The full article can be found here. On September 16th, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stated that Nigerian authorities could offer Boko Haram prisoners amnesty if the group hands over more than 200 schoolgirls abducted last year. President Buhari also noted he was confident that conventional attacks made by Boko Haram would end by November, though he cautioned that suicide attacks would most likely continue. The full article can be found here. On September 17 th, Doctors Without Borders (DWB) reported cholera has killed 16 people in three camps in Nigeria housing over one million people who have fled the Boko Haram insurgency. Additionally, more than 200 people have been admitted to DWB’s cholera treatment facility in Maiduguri since September 15th. An article on the cholera outbreak can be read here. Libya On September 10th, the U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) through March 15, 2016, while underscoring that there can be no military solution to the ongoing political crisis. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the country, which has been plagued by factional fighting since the 2011 revolution and where situation has continued to deteriorate in recent months amid significant political fragmentation and violence. The Security Council vote was noted here. On September 13th , U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of UNSMIL Bernardino Leon announced in Skhirat, Morocco, that Libyan parties have approved the main elements of an agreement to end the ongoing political crisis. Special Representative Leon reported his main goal is, once the two Libyan parties, the House of Representatives and the General National Congress (GNC), vote on the agreement, to have it signed by all participants in the political dialogue by September 20th. An update on the talks was provided here. Burundi On September 11th, at least four people were killed when gunmen ambushed the Burundian army's chief of staff in a failed assassination attempt. The Iwacu newspaper said three soldiers and three gunmen were killed in the early morning attack in Bujumbura. General Prime Niyongabo survived the assault. The full story is available here. On September 11th, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby condemned the violent attack on Burundian Chief of Defense General Prime Niyongabo. While the apparent assassination attempt failed, Spokesperson Kirby noted that several people were killed. He reiterated that Burundi must step back from the path of violence and articulated the State Department’s view that the only credible route to stability is a regionally mediated and inclusive dialogue that leads to consensus on a peaceful way forward according to the Arusha Agreement. His remarks were captured here. West Africa Ebola Outbreak On September 10th, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. Government is continuing its focus on West Africa with respect to Ebola, despite the significant decrease in the spread of the disease, particularly in Liberia. He reported the State Department is continuing to monitor the situation with local authorities and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employees and American NGOs still present in the region. Spokesperson Kirby reported the U.S. will maintain its focus on Ebola until the number of cases reaches zero. His comments were captured here. On September 11th, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde spoke in Monrovia, Liberia regarding the country’s past, present, and future challenges. Managing Director Lagarde commended the leadership demonstrated by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her government in responding to the threat of the Ebola epidemic. She also shared the lessons for the international community from the fight against Ebola, the economic challenges that now face Liberia, and how Liberia’s efforts fit into the global effort to support development and overcome poverty. The speech was transcribed here. On September 11th, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, released a statement in Monrovia upon the conclusion of her visit to Liberia. She thanked Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Liberian authorities for their hospitality and commended the Liberian Government’s efforts to combat the Ebola pandemic and efforts to rejuvenate the economy. Managing Lagarde maintained the IMF’s commitment to aiding Liberia in its recovering efforts, citing the $130 million of debt relief and financing that the IMF has already provided Liberia. The statement was posted here. On September 14th , health authorities quarantined hundreds of people in northern Sierra Leone after a 16-year-old girl died of Ebola in an apparent case of sexual transmission, the first confirmed death from the virus in the district for nearly six months. The full story was posted here. On September 16th, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its statistics on the number of Ebola cases in West Africa. For the week ending September 13th, there were five confirmed cases of Ebola, all of which were reported in Sierra Leone. All but one of the cases in Sierra Leone were registered contacts associated with the known chain of transmission in Kambia. Meanwhile, Guinea recorded its first Ebola-free week in over 12 months. Additional data was analyzed here. African Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean On September 14th, European Union (EU) member states authorized plans for military action against smugglers in the Mediterranean, allowing for the seizure and destruction of boats of human traffickers in Mediterranean waters. The EU first launched an intelligence gather phase in July. While not yet approved, the EU is also considering more controversial measures that would allow EU countries to pursue military action against smugglers inside Libyan territorial waters, aiming to destroy their boats and networks before they set sail. The adoption of the new measures was noted here. On September 14th , Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who offered to buy a Mediterranean island to help hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing war, said he was in talks to buy two private Greek islands. Sawiris stated he had been approached by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) to cooperate on the project, which he estimates would require $100 million. More information can be found here. On September 17th , following a call from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, European Council President Donald Tusk announced plans to host an emergency summit on refugee issues in Brussels, Belgium, on September 23rd . Interior Ministers from the EU’s 28 member states are expected to attend the summit to debate a relocation plan for 120,000 refugees, including many from Africa. The summit was announced here. On September 17th, Germany’s Interior Ministry issued a new draft law outlining new policies to slash benefits for refugees. The German Government is reportedly considering measures to speed up asylum procedures, simplify deportations, and remove incentives for false claims as Germany anticipates up to as many as one million asylum applications this year. Details were shared here. United States – Africa Relations State Department On September 10th -11th, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charlies Rivkin traveled to Dakar, Senegal. While in Senegal, Assistant Secretary Rivkin met with government and business officials to discuss the country’s position as an emerging economic partner with the U.S. He also met with representatives from the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for Young African Leaders and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to talk about African business development and delivered trade and investment remarks to business leaders. Assistant Secretary Rivkin’s travel to Senegal was announced here. Assistant Secretary Rivkin’s remarks before the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Dakar (CCIAD) were transcribed here. On September 14th, State Department Spokesperson John Kirby expressed concerns made by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni during a visit to Japan regarding Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law. Spokesperson Kirby said the State Department places great importance on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons around the world. He noted the State Department is constantly evaluating how it may use tools, such as a curtailing of foreign aid, to response to Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law. For more information, click here. On September 15th, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a press statement on the International Day of Democracy. In addition to celebrating democracy for being rooted in the will of the people and respecting the rights of individuals, Secretary Kerry commended Nigeria for its peaceful democratic elections held earlier this year. Secretary Kerry observed the Nigerian elections saw an outpouring of popular support for constitutional term limits in Africa, and the courage of activists around the world who are demanding governments that are accountable, inclusive, transparent, and honest. The full statement can be read here. On September 15th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield attended the Council on Foreign Affairs Town Hall Meeting on “Strategies for Strengthening Africa Health Infrastructure,” at the Department of State. She also attended the Atlantic Council Roundtable Luncheon with U.N. General Assembly President Sam Kahamba Kutesa at the Atlantic Council. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield’s schedule was outlined here. On September 16th, Secretary of State John Kerry, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and Director of Policy Planning David McKean met with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and participated in the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue at the Department of State. Secretary Kerry and Minister Nkoana-Mashabane then held a working lunch, along with Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine Novelli and Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield. Secretary Kerry’s schedule was detailed here. Hi remarks with Minister NkoanaMashabane were recorded here. On September 17th, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli met with Tunisian Minister of Finance Slim Chaker, at the Department of State. The meeting was noticed here. U.S. Agency for International Development On September 11th, Carla Kopella, USAID Chief Strategy Officer, published an opinion piece in Foreign Policy stating that the international community needs to better its engagement with women when countering violent extremism and terrorism. Chief Strategy Officer Kopella argued women can promote peace and settlement during times of conflict. USAID will be engaging with women and girls to counter the rise of extremism, particularly in Kenya, Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso, where USAID is teaching women about peacebuilding and providing civic education. The full piece can be read here. Department of Defense On September 9th -11th, U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) command surgeon’s office hosted a conference at Kelley Barracks to align medical efforts of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Special Operations with military partners in Africa. Officers from other countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Germany were also present to share their own medical operations in Africa. The conference covered issues such as medical readiness of U.S. forces, multinational exercises to train U.S. medical professionals, and building the medical capacity of partner nation militaries. Details can be found here. On September 17th , DOD announced the transfer of Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Morocco. Six departments and agencies comprising the Guantanamo Review Task Force, created by President Obama in 2009, unanimously approved Chekkouri’s transfer. The full press release can be found here. On September 17th, AFRICOM announced that the Massachusetts National Guard will partner with the Republic of Kenya through the Department of Defense’s (DOD) State Partnership Program to work together to strengthen each nation’s domestic response capabilities. This program is administered by the National Guard Bureau and guided by the policy goals of the Department of State. More information can be found here. Overseas Private Investment Corporation On September 17th, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) highlighted Belstar Development LLC’s role as the lead investor in Ghana’s National Medical Equipment Modernization Project. OPIC also committed $250 million in political risk insurance to protect the project against expropriation and incontrovertibility. The project will support the rehabilitation and/or expansion of more than 150 hospitals in Ghana’s health network, and the introduction of new radiology technology, MRI machines, digital mammography technology, surgical services equipment, ophthalmology and dental equipment, and ambulances, as well as mobile and dental clinics equipped with backup generators to reach rural populations. The project was highlighted here. Millennium Challenge Corporation On September 14th, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nancy Lee authored a blog post highlighting last week’s Energy for Development Conference. The Conference was cosponsored by MCC, Power Africa, and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. At the Conference, MCC officials highlighted the MCC’s newly signed compact with Benin and drew attention to the fact that two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to electricity. The blog post can be accessed here. Congress On September 10th, Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department staffer who helped set up the e-mail server in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's home, formally asserted his Fifth Amendment right against selfincrimination rather than answer questions before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. It has been widely contested between the Committee's Republican and Democratic whether Bryan Pagliano's closed-door appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi was necessary. The situation was detailed here. On September 10th, the House Select Committee on Benghazi announced that longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin will testify before the Committee in the coming weeks. Abedin serves a top role in Clinton’s front-running 2016 presidential campaign and was her Deputy Chief of Staff during Clinton’s time as Secretary of. The hearing was announced here. On September 11th, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) wrote to South African President Jacob Zuma, urging him to act expeditiously to resolve remaining elements of the U.S.-South Africa agreement reached in Paris this June to allow U.S. poultry exports to South Africa to resume. Senators Isakson and Coons noted that a rebate facility must be created to legally exempt the annual quota amount from antidumping duties and the rules for allocation and administration of the quota must be developed through a transparent legal process. The letter can be downloaded here. On September 11th, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) put a hold on the confirmation of Gayle Smith to serve as U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator over his objection to the nuclear agreement with Iran. Smith, a National Security Council (NSC) official, has extensive experience in Africa. The procedural hold on her confirmation was described here. On September 11th, House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) issued a statement on the anniversary of September 11th and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Chairman Gowdy remembered Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty, who were killed in the Benghazi attacks. Congressman Gowdy reiterated the Committee’s goal is to conduct an investigation of the attacks that is worthy of those who died. His full statement can be read here. On September 17th, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa met to markup a resolution introduced by Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) honoring the Tunisian people for their democratic transition. The business meeting was noticed here. On September 18th, House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) will host the 2015 Africa Braintrust. Following opening remarks from Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the event will also include panels on health and health care infrastructure post Ebola, U.S. trade and economic investment in Africa, and elections and governance on the continent. Keynote remarks will also be provided by National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice. An agenda for the 2015 Africa Braintrust can be accessed here. North Africa On September 9th, the African Development Bank (AfDB) committed a grant of $22 million to finance water and sanitation facilities in the West Kordofan State of Sudan, in addition to a countrywide Institutional Capacity Development Program. More than 130,000 people in the rural areas of West Kordofan State are targeted beneficiaries. Water supply points will also benefit approximately 730,000 heads of livestock. A press release was posted here. On September 10th, U.N. humanitarian officials in Sudan strongly condemned an attack carried out against health workers who were returning from a routine mission in West Darfur. The health workers came under attack when unidentified gunmen ambushed a vehicle carrying two health ministry staff and a doctor from the WHO. The three health workers were unharmed, but the driver and a security official were killed in the attack. The assailants then stole the vehicle and fled the scene. The full story is available here. On September 13th, Mohamed Mediene was abruptly removed from his job as head of Algeria’s spy agency, the Department of Intelligence and Security. Mediene has served as Algeria’s top spy for 25 years. He was widely believed to have wielded enormous power, and his sacking could signal a period of instability inside Algeria. The situation was described here. On September 15th, the Egyptian military announced Egyptian security forces had killed 55 militants in Sinai as part of its new comprehensive operation against Islamist militants that was launched in the area on September 7th . According to Egyptian authorities, the offensive, known as the Right of the Martyr, has so far resulted in the killing of 415 militants and the arrest of 320 people. An update was provided here. On September 15th, Director General of the Tunisian Tourist Office Abdellatif Hamam said Tunisia is increasing security at hotels, airports, and museums in hopes of restoring tourism numbers following the June attack on tourists at a beach hotel in Sousse. Director General Hamam said safety will continue to be a top priority for the country’s tourism sector. Tunisia typically relies on tourism for roughly seven percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Details can be viewed here. On September 17th, more than 100 people were killed and another 50 seriously injured in South Sudan when an oil truck exploded in the Western Equatoria area. The victims were killed and injured trying to gather fuel from the vehicle, which had veered off the road before exploding. The incident was reported here. East Africa On September 10th, the World Bank approved a $50 million program to support the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in generating better and more accessible data to inform policy-makers and contribute to strengthening its capacity. The Kenya Statistics Program-for-Results will support the Government of Kenya in filling data gaps, improving the quality of key official statistical products and processes, enhancing dissemination practices, and making data more accessible. The program was detailed here. On September 11th, Ugandan police fired tear gas for a second consecutive day to disperse supporters of presidential contender Amama Mbabazi, who is seeking to unseat incumbent President Yoweri Museveni in next year's elections. Government officials say Mbabazi's mass rallies are illegal, as he has not yet been formally nominated by the electoral commission. The situation was discussed here. On September 11th , Mail & Guardian reported that thousands of Tanzanian children are beaten, burned, imprisoned and subjected to exorcism rituals each year because they are believed to be witches, simply for bedwetting and other behaviors. Accusations of witchcraft are on the rise in the region. An article on the issue can be read here. On September 12th , thousands of Kenyans attended a monument’s inauguration paying tribute to the victims of torture and ill-treatment during the emergency period of British rule. The British High Commission said the memorial was built as part of an out-of-court agreement reached between the British Government and some Mau Mau veterans in 2013. Details can be viewed here. On September 14th, the World Bank published the latest edition of the Uganda Economic Update (UEU). The update finds that Uganda is positioned to continue to achieve modest economic recovery. According to the World Bank, with the falling global prices of oil, the delay in oil production in Uganda could benefit the country if that time is used to strengthen the policy framework for oil management. Further, the World Bank urged Uganda to pursue aggressive infrastructure development and a more effective system of land governance. The most recent UEU can be downloaded here. On September 15th, Director-General of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova condemned the recent killing of Somali journalist Abdullahi Ali Hussein. Hussein, Editor for the news website Waagasucub, was shot dead in Mogadishu on September 8th. Director-General Bokova argued that extremists must not be allowed to stifle freedom of expression with their violence and intimidation and asserted that free and vibrant media, with committed journalists, have an essential contribution to make to the rule of law and good governance in Somalia. Her comments were captured here. On September 15th, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $600 million in financing to support Ethiopia’s continued efforts to improve equitable access to basic services and reinforce accountability systems at the decentralized level. The financing was awarded after the World Bank’s most recent Poverty Assessment report, completed in 2014, found that improving access to basic services is one of the key drivers for Ethiopia’s success in reducing poverty in the past decade. More information can be found here. On September 15th, the World Bank called attention to how the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Program (SWIOFish) is helping to protect Tanzania’s fisheries and mariculture, despite the impacts of illegal fishing and climate change. Through the project, local communities are looking at banning blast fishing and turning to alternative livelihoods, such as seaweed farming, to conserve coastal ecosystems and grow the local economy. The program’s success was highlighted here. On September 15th, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry reported that hundreds of Ethiopian rebels fled their base in Eritrea and surrendered to authorities, handing over their weapons. The rebels belong to the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM), which launched 14 years ago with the goal of seeking to establish a popular democratic government in Addis Ababa. The full story is available here. On September 15th, the Kenyan Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) initiated legal action to end a teachers’ strike over pay as the strike entered its third week. Members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers initiated the strike when the government refused to raise their pay by up to 60 percent. The legal proceedings were detailed here. On September 16th, the Executive Board of the IMF completed a review of Kenya’s performance in the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) under the Standby Credit Facility Arrangement (SCF). The review found that Kenya’s economic performance has remained satisfactory, despite challenges in international markets and domestic challenges in Kenya. A more detailed assessment can be accessed here. On September 16th, the AfDB approved a $121 million loan and grant to help Uganda’s government improve access to electricity for rural households, businesses and public institutions to ultimately improve the livelihoods, economic opportunities and access to social services in rural communities. The AfDB-financed Uganda Rural Electricity Access Project will build medium voltage and low voltage distribution networks, and provide last-mile connections to the grid for over 58,206 rural households, 5,320 rural business centers, and 1,474 rural public institutions. Details on the project were posted here. On September 16th, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called upon international NGOs to conduct wildlife protection programs, particularly in South Sudan and Somalia. President Kenyatta’s request was presented during a meeting with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Chief Executive Officer Azzedine Downes. The meeting was summarized here. On September 16th, teachers on strike in Nairobi, Kenya were given an ultimatum to report to work by Friday or face being fired from their positions. Kenya National Union of Teachers Chairman Mudzo Nzili said no amount of intimidation would make teachers return to class and called the move just a threat. Details were shared here. On September 17th, the AfDB approved a $211 million loan to help address the need for water and sanitation in Arusha, Tanzania. This will cover 90 percent of the cost of the Tanzanian Government program to alleviate this major environment and health issue. Currently, the Arusha Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority sanitation network only serves 7.6 percent of the population. Additionally, less than 44 percent of the population in Arusha has water coverage. The financing was awarded here. On September 17th, Al Shabaab killed three off-duty Somali soldiers by detonating a bomb as the soldiers went to collect their pay in Kismayu. The bomb was planted inside a military camp and ten other soldiers were wounded by the explosion. While Al Shabaab has perpetrated a number of attacks in recent weeks, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has denied a resurgence of the organization. The latest attack was reported here. West Africa On September 9th, hundreds of Cameroonian soldiers who served as part of the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR Central African Republic (CAR) (MINUSCA) went on strike in Yaounde for unpaid salaries. The soldiers, who helped bring order to CAR, said many of their Cameroonian colleagues were killed and wounded. The full story is available here. On September 10th, Benin’s Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou paid a courtesy visit to AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina at the Bank’s headquarters in Cote d’Ivoire, where they discussed existing partnerships and explored areas for future cooperation. President Adesina commended the Government of Benin’s efforts to consolidate the country’s macroeconomic framework and the sustained growth achieved since 2011. He also praised the Government’s energy program, which was designed to provide electricity to about one million people in the next six months. The meeting was summarized here. On September 10th , U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous presented the latest report on the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to the U.N. Security Council. Under-Secretary-General Ladsous observed that Liberia is working hard to build institutions, pass legislation, and put in place mechanisms that will enable it to maintain stability without the presence of a peacekeeping force. In addition, he reported that Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has recently transmitted to the Legislature 25 proposed amendments emerging from a constitutional review process, along with her recommendations. Excerpts from the presentation were highlighted here. On September 11th, at least one person was killed and many others injured during protests in Cote d’Ivoire over the validation of incumbent President Alassane Ouattara's candidacy in the October election. Demonstrations broke out in the commercial capital Abidjan and in the country's western cocoa growing regions on Thursday, a day after the constitutional court cleared ten candidates, including President Ouattara, to take part in the election. For more information, click here. On September 12th, unknown attackers killed two police officers in the central Mopti region of Mali. This may show that a new armed group has emerged in Mali, though Mali’s military has recently arrested three suspected members of a new Islamist militant group, the Massina Liberation Front. The attack was reported here. On September 13th , Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced he will spend three days in Paris following an invitation from his French counterpart Francois Hollande. The trip will focus on the further strengthening and consolidation of ongoing bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in the areas of defense, security, trade and investment. The trip was outlined here. On September 13th, Gabonese President Ali Bongo named Mathieu Mboumba Nziengui, a powerful executive of the opposition Union of the Gabonese People (UPG), as Minister of State for Agriculture. Another leader of the UPG, Dieudonne Moukagni Iwangou, rejected this position. This change is the result of a presidential decree from September 11th that expanded the Cabinet from 34 members to 41 members. The decree is seen as a response to critics of President Bongo’s family’s involvement in Gabonese politics since its independence from France in 1960. An article on the appointment was published here. On September 14th , an IMF team completed a visit to Cotonou, Benin to conduct the Article IV Consultations. IMF staff found that Benin’s macroeconomic performance has remained solid since 2014 when the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with the IMF expired. Further, the IMF reported that low budget deficits will allow the Government of Benin to ramp up public investment to address challenges in the country’s energy and transportation sectors. A press release was issued here. On September 14th, the AfDB kicked off Energy week in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Energy week entails a series of events, including high-level discussions and partnerships focusing on lighting and powering Africa and unlocking the continent’s energy potential. The events also align with new AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina’s pledge to prioritize energy as an area for the AfDB’s focus. More information can be found here. On September 14th, at least four children died and 24 others were injured after a primary school building collapsed near the central Nigerian city of Jos. The cause of the collapse was not clear, but investigators are trying to determine whether it may have been due to extra floors being added to the one-story building. The incident was reported here. On September 15th , an IMF mission concluded a visit to Freetown, Sierra Leone to conduct discussions on the joint third and fourth reviews under the ECF arrangement approved by the IMF in October 2013. The IMF team observed that Sierra Leone continues to battle the impacts of the Ebola epidemic and the crisis in the country’s mining sector, which are both expected to have dramatic impacts on GDP. Despite the difficult environment, IMF staff commended authorities in Sierra Leone for moving ahead with their reform program. Highlights from the visit were noted here. On September 16th , an IMF mission concluded a visit to Senegal, to conduct discussions on the first review of the three-year arrangement under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) approved in June 2015. The mission met with the Prime Minister, as well as with the ministers responsible for economy and finance, planning, monitoring the PSI, the budget, energy, tourism and air transportation, the BCEAO National Director, other senior government officials and representatives of Senegal’s development partners. A press release was issued here. On September 16th, a group from the IMF completed a mission to Mali. The mission found that GDP growth in Mali is in line with its historical trend at 4.9 percent, the harvest is successful, and manufacturing output weakened in 2015. The mission highlighted the importance of economic policy in Mali that would foster job creation and sustained growth, such as implementing fiscal decentralization and reforming the structure of taxation of wages and salaries. Additional analysis was shared here. On September 16th, a group from the IMF concluded a mission to Senegal for its first review of a three-year agreement under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI). The mission found that economic development of Senegal has been broadly satisfactory. The mission projects a rate of growth in Senegal above 5 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. More economic data was analyzed here. On September 16th, contrary to the recommendation of Nigeria’s Central Bank, President Muhammadu Buhari said the naira should not be devalued further. Due primarily to the fall of global crude oil prices, the Central Bank has imposed increasingly strict foreign exchange rules to save its reserves and avoid its third currency devaluation in the past year. President Buhari called on the Central Bank to make modifications in terms of making foreign exchange available to essential services and industries. An article on the state of the naira can be read here. On September 16th, the Senegalese Government released a plan for a new city near Diamniado to alleviate congestion in Dakar. The plan includes groundwork for an airport, university, state ministries, and an industrial park funded by China. This highlights the strong economic ties between Senegal and China, with trade at $633 million in 2013. Senegalese President Macky Sall has pledged to double growth in the country by 2020 since his election in 2012. The plans were outlined here. On September 17th, the AfDB highlighted the Azito Power Project in Cote d’Ivoire, which aims to expand an existing 288 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant into a combined cycle plant. This is the third phase in the construction of the Azito power generation facility, as two phases were completed in 1999 and 2000, respectively. A full report can be found here. On September 17th, Guinea-Bissau’s ruling party selected Carlos Correira to serve as prime minister. President Jose Mario Vaz had previously appointed Baciro Dja to the post, after sacking former Prime Minister Domingoes Simoes Pereira in August, but Dja and his government were quickly dismissed to comply with a Supreme Court ruling. Correira has previously served as prime minister on three occasions. His appointment was announced here. On September 17th, ten finalists were announced for the Second West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF2) awards. Ten clean energy projects from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal were chosen, covering issues such as biofuels, biomass, biogas, hydroelectric, solar, and conversion of waste-to energy. The event is cosponsored by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), and hosted by the Energy, Environment, and Climate Change department of the African Development Bank. The finalists were profiled here. Sub-Saharan Africa On August 27th -28th, World Bank officials met with the African Caucus in Luanda, Angola to present an update on the work to revise policies for protecting the poor and the environment in Bank-financed projects. World Bank lending for Africa reached a record $11.6 billion in new investments last year. A summary of the African Caucus meeting was issued here. On September 10th, the World Bank highlighted how collaborative management of the Zambezi River Basin ensures greater economic resilience. Accounting for half of the installed hydropower capacity in southern Africa, the river plays a vital role in stimulating economic opportunities for 250 million people in the region. The World Bank’s Zambezi River Basin Program helps bring together the various cooperation commitments within a $2 billion portfolio to facilitate further development. More information on the program can be found here. On September 11th, upon the completion of a four-day visit to the CAR, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous reported seven U.N. peacekeepers in the CAR have been repatriated, while nine have had their payments suspended. This follows 63 allegations that relate to peacekeepers alleged sexual exploitation and abuse. While in CAR, Under-Secretary-General Ladsous also met with members of MINUSCA to discuss the allegations. Details can be seen here. On September 11th , the Executive Board of the IMF concluded its annual Article IV consultation with the DRC. The IMF reported the DRC had robust macroeconomic performance through the first half of 2015, while noting its difficult political climate. The IMF also noted challenges for DRC, including the Central Bank of Congo’s fragile state and a projected current account deficit increase. The IMF recommended DRC officials focus on growing domestic revenue mobilization, eliminating bottlenecks to private sector activity, accumulating more international reserves, and strengthening the transparency and the management of natural resources. A more detailed assessment was shared here. On September 11th, a study stated that one million Africans will catch malaria this year because they live near a large dam and, at a time of booming dam construction on the continent, greater efforts must be made to protect people from the killer disease. Almost 80 major new dams are due to be built in sub-Saharan Africa over the next few years, leading to an additional 56,000 malaria cases a year. The study’s findings were summarized here. On September 12th, three South African men were charged with illegal capture, translocation of wildlife, and attempting to export 29 sable antelopes in Zimbabwe. This follows Zimbabwe’s charge of two men with breaching hunting rules after American dentist Walter Palmer illegally killed Cecil the lion. The full story is available here. On September 13th , Mozambique's opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama escaped after his convoy was hit by gunfire while returning from a rally in the central Manica province. Police stated the bullets that struck three cars in his convoy were not aimed at the former rebel Renamo commander's convoy, but targeted a motorist who had refused to stop at a road block, although Dhlakama believes he was directly targeted. The incident was reported here. On September 13th, South African school principal Benedict Daswa, who was murdered in 1990, was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. This makes Benedict Daswa closer to sainthood. Benedict Daswa was killed 25 years ago after refusing to join villagers in consulting a sorcerer about a lightning strike. Details can be seen here. On September 14th, the Executive Board of the IMF approved approximately $11.8 million in financial assistance for the CAR under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). This assistance is to aid authorities in the emergency economic recovery program and balance the payments of needs in CAR. This approval enables the disbursement of the entire amount of financial assistance following a financial assistance package of approximately $7.9 million to CAR in March 2015. Details can be viewed here. On September 14th , it was reported that Lusaka Zambia cannot provide enough water to keep up with demand from the booming population in Zambia. With the country's population forecasted to grow five-fold or more by 2100, experts expect the country will struggle to meet the demand for water, especially in urban areas where population growth is expected to be fastest. An article on the situation was published here. On September 15th, MINUSCA received a new allegation of sexual exploitation in the CAR and condemned any instance of sexual exploitation committed by U.N. personnel in the country. The latest allegation follows 15 other cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by MINUSCA personnel that are currently under investigation. Meanwhile, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for the CAR Aurelien Agbenoci expressed alarm regarding the recent eviction of 114 people from the Saint Jean Gabaladja displacement site in Bangui and warned the evictions could signal the start of a wave of forced movements. Developments in the CAR were reported here. On September 15th, the AfDB highlighted the Sere Wind Farm project in South Africa, which has been supported with $95 million in AfDB and related financing. The construction of 46 wind turbines has added an additional supply of 100 MW to South Africa’s national power grid. Further, the project is projected to lead to a reduction of almost 6 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over its 20-year operating life and to provide electricity to an additional 124,000. Additional statistics on the project were posted here. On September 15th, South African President Jacob Zuma defied an International Criminal Court (ICC) order to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and said President Bashir will be allowed to visit South Africa again. President Zuma told diplomats in Pretoria that Sudan was a member of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a meeting between China and 50 African states which will hold its second summit in Johannesburg in December, and as such, will be expected to attend. More information can be found here. On September 15th , Zimbabwe's 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe read the wrong speech at the opening of parliament, an error which the main opposition quickly used to question whether President Mugabe is still of sound mind and fit to serve another term in office. The full story is available here. On September 15th , Theo Bronkhorst, who helped American dentist Walter Palmer shoot Cecil the lion, was accused of exporting sable antelope without correct paperwork. Bronkhorst was arrested in Bulawayo in connection with the 29 sable that were found last weekend in a truck in the middle of the Limpopo River that borders South Africa. Three of the sables have since died. Details can be viewed here. On September 16th, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe announced his government will introduce a new law that requires senior public officials to report their assets. He said the law will be introduced in an effort to combat corruption in Zimbabwean politics and to increase transparency in the government. Moreover, the law comes in response to President Mugabe’s critics who state that he turns a blind eye to graft within his inner circle. The new law was highlighted here. On September 16th, a South African court rejected the state’s bid to appeal a ruling that authorities had erred in letting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir leave the country in June, despite an ICC warrant for his arrest. While South African President Jacob Zuma claimed President Bashir had diplomatic immunity as a guest of the African Union (AU), the court rejected this pretense. The ruling was largely supported by South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party. For more information, click here. On September 16th, Zambian Development Agency (ZDA) Director General Patrick Chisanga said the country expects to triple power output to 6,000 MW in two years through expansion of solar energy by foreign investors. Reportedly, the ZDA is in talks with a Germany company regarding a $500 million investment in a new solar power plant. Director General Chisanga’s comments were captured here. On September 16th, after Angolan activist Jose Marcos Mavungo was found guilty of attacking the country’s sovereignty, human rights groups accused the Angolan Government of using the legal system to crack down on its critics. Mavungo was arrested in March for his role in organizing a protest against poor governance and human rights violations. According to Amnesty International, Mavungo’s conviction is a blatant violation of freedom of expression. An article on the conviction can be read here. On September 16th, a Rwandan-born Swedish national charged with genocide and other crimes from the 1994 ethnic massacre went on trial in Sweden. Claver Berinkindi is Sweden’s second case related to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Berinkindi is accused of participating in and leading attacks on Tutsi civilians in Rwanda in 1994. An article on the trial can be read here. On September 17th, Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs Oldemiro Baloi declared the country free of landmines. For the past two decades, British charity HALO Trust has been leading an effort to rid the country of landmines. HALO reported having cleared more than 171,000 landmines from 1,100 minefields in Mozambique since 1993. The effort was described here. General Africa News On September 10th, a report estimated that over the next 15 years, the number of malaria cases and deaths in Africa could be reduced by up to 90% if the agenda of the WHO and the Roll Back Malaria partnership is fully implemented. The partnership will build on the successes of its global malaria action plan, a strategy developed in 2008. The plan was developed through an intensive consultation with 30 endemic countries and regions, 65 international institutions, and 250 experts. The report’s findings were highlighted here. On September 15th, Kellogg Company announced its intentions to spend $450 million to expand its presence in Africa. The company is setting up a joint venture with the African arm of Singapore's Tolaram Group to bolster its breakfast and snack food offerings. Details were reported here. On September 16th, 17 African countries and members of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), with assistance from the World Bank, adopted the Uniform Insolvency Act in Cote d’Ivoire. This law replaces a 1998 law that lacked features of a modern insolvency regime. This new law complements the previously adopted Uniform Act on Secured Transactions. These two laws will create legal framework for credit access for businesses in addition to lowering the cost of credit. An article on the law was published here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2015 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.