On June 26th , a gunman killed at least 27 people at the Imperial Marhaba hotel, a popular Tunisian seaside resort in the city of Sousse. The attack coincided with other attacks carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Kuwait and France. Similar to the March ISIL attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 22 people, the latest attack targeted Tunisia’s tourism industry, which accounts for roughly 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Following the shooting, the entrances and exists to the city were sealed. News of the attack was shared here. On June 26th, as the death toll climbed to 39 people killed and 39 others wounded, ISIL issued a statement officially claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack on the beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia. The claim of responsibility came with a warning that more attacks would follow. Meanwhile, Tunisian authorities said the assailant of the beachfront attack was killed, but it remained unclear whether more than one attacker was involved. ISIL’s statement was detailed here. On June 26th, British Prime Minister David Cameroon called a meeting of Britain’s emergency response committee to discuss the attacks in Tunisia and France. Prime Minister Cameroon said he planned to speak with the Tunisian Government to offer sympathy and condolences over the Sousse shootings that left 39 people dead. The United Kingdom’s (U.K.) response to the attacks was articulated here. On June 26th, the White House condemned the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, France, and Kuwait, sending thoughts and prayers to the victims. The U.S. pledged to stand with all three countries as they respond to the attacks and the White House noted it had been in contact with the appropriate counterparts in each country to offer support. The White House reiterated terrorism has no place in any society and the U.S. will continue to work closely with international partners to combat terrorist actors and counter violent extremism around the globe. The full statement can be accessed here. On June 26th, the U.S. Department of State condemned the terrorist attacks in France, Kuwait, Somalia, and Tunisia, where dozens of innocent civilians, and in the case of Somalia, Burundian peacekeepers, were killed and injured. The State Department said it grieves with the Governments of Burundi, France, Kuwait, Somalia, and Tunisia, and the other nations affected by these attacks, and stands with them in solidarity as they reject terrorism, protect their communities, restore peace and security, and preserve through these tragedies. The U.S. also pledged to continue to work with allies and partners to address the shared threat of terrorism and violent extremism and to degrade and destroy the ability of terrorist groups to carry out attacks on innocent people. A press statement can be seen here. On June 26th, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) delivered a statement in response to the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, France, and Kuwait. Senator Cardin condemned the attacks and expressed support for all three countries. He said the U.S. cannot be complacent in the face of these incidents and will continue to work with partners to degrade and ultimately defeat any terrorist entity or organization that celebrates violence by targeting innocent civilians. Senator Cardin’s response was articulated here. On June 26th, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued a statement following the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, France, and Kuwait. Congressman Royce said these bloody attacks come just days after ISIL called for such attacks during the holy month of Ramadan. He also noted the attack in Tunisia comes just a few months after a prominent museum in the country’s capital was targeted. Congressman Royce demanded better regional cooperation and more targeted air strikes against ISIL and the destruction of its online messaging. His full statement can be viewed here. On June 28th, Tunisian Interior Ministry Spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said the attacker in Friday’s assault on the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Seifeddine Rezgui, had acted alone, but police were searching nationwide for more suspects thought to have supported him. Investigators believe accomplices may have provided Rezgui with the assault rifle used in the attack, as well as transportation to the hotel. An update on the investigation was provided here. On June 28th , The New York Times profiled the gunmen who shot 38 tourists at a beach hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. The 24-year-old student, Seifeddine Rezgui, was reportedly a silent loner who showed signs of radicalism in the past year, but hid his real intentions. On the day of the attack, Rezgui, who was shot and killed by police, told his family he was going to pray at the local mosque. Witnesses reported Rezgui struggled with handling the weapon and appeared inexperienced. The article was published here. On June 29th, Tunisian Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli announced the arrest of a group of suspects believed to be associated with Seifeddine Rezgui, the gunmen in the terrorist attack at the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse. While he declined to comment further on those who were detained, Minister Gharsalli said authorities were also investigating whether Rezgui had been trained in Libya. The news of the arrests broke as government officials from Britain, France, and German arrived in Sousse to visit a memorial at the scene of the attack. Details were shared here. On June 29th, Tunisian Tourism Minister Salma Loumi said the country expects to lose at least $515 million this year, or about a quarter of its estimated annual tourism earnings, due to the threat of terrorism following the recent attack in Sousse and the March attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Minister Loumi said the government plans to end a visitors’ tax and also review debt relief for hotel operators in order to help sustain the tourism sector. For details, click here. On June 30th, Secretary of State for Tunisia’s Interior Ministry Rafik Chello confirmed Seifeddine Rezgui, the gunmen in the terrorist attack at the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, trained in a jihadi camp in Libya at the same time as the two men who attacked the Bardo Museum in March. Rezgui is thought to have left his studies at Kairouan University in January to train at an ISIL camp in Sabratha. The revelation was detailed here. On June 30th , The Telegraph reported that Tunisian ISIL affiliate Ajnad al-Khilafa had tweeted a warning last month to British and western tourists not to travel to Tunisia for vacation. Following the attack on the Bardo National Museum, Ajnad al-Khilafa warned Christians could not be accepted in Tunisia while their countries participated in air strikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Ajnad al-Khilafa emerged in April and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Tunisia. An article on the warning can be read here. On July 1st, the Tunisian Health Ministry completed identification of the victims in Friday’s terrorist attack in Sousse. The Health Ministry said all 38 victims had been formally identified, including 30 Britons, three Irish citizens, two Germans, one Belgian, one Portuguese, and one Russian national. More information on the victims can be found here. On July 1st, Tunisia began deploying police to tourist sites throughout the country in response to the recent terrorist attack in Sousse. Following the attack, Tunisian authorities vowed new heightened security measures, including 1,000 armed officers to reinforce tourism police at beaches, hotels, and other attractions. Details were shared here. On July 2nd, Tunisian authorities announced they were searching for further suspects in the Sousse hotel attack identified by officials as part of a group that trained at a jihadist camp in Libya. Tunisian Minister for Parliamentary Relations Lazhar Akremi said police were searching for at least two additional individuals believed to have trained with the gunmen from both the Bardo Museum and Sousse hotel attacks. The full story is available here. Burundi On June 25th, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby responded to reports that hundreds of Burundian students had been chased by police outside the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura. Spokesperson Kirby said the Embassy remains open and secure. He said youths had gathered at a construction zone adjacent to the Embassy compound to peacefully protest against their government. While the police attempted to confront the protestors, some of them peacefully relocated to the visitors’ parking lot outside of the Embassy compound. While three or four people suffered minor injuries, there was no police brutality and there had been no effort to forcibly remove the students from the Embassy parking lot. Spokesperson Kirby’s comments were recorded here. On June 26th , United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Burundian authorities to seriously consider the proposal put forward by the Joint International Facilitation Team, comprised of the East African Community (EAC), the African Union (AU), and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), to postpone the July 15th presidential election further in order to create a conducive environment for inclusive, peaceful, and transparent elections. Secretary-General Ban’s comments came as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that more than 600 people are now crossing from Burundi each day into Rwanda, 200 to 300 into Tanzania, and 150 to 200 into Uganda. An update on the situation was provided here. On June 26th, in light of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s continued efforts to violate the Arusha Agreement by seeking a third term, as well as his decision to press ahead with electoral dates absent the conditions necessary for credible elections, the U.S. placed on hold technical assistance to Burundi’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), as well as voter education activities that were to be implemented in cooperation with CENI. The State Department noted it would consider reinstating these measures if President Nkurunziza’s government takes concrete steps to improve the electoral environment. Additional feedback from the U.S. on the situation in Burundi can be seen here. On June 26th, Burundi’s opposition parties announced plans to boycott the upcoming elections, saying it was not possible for a fair vote to be held after weeks of violence triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term. Opposition parties confirmed the boycott would apply to both the parliamentary elections to be held on June 29th, as well as the presidential election planned for July 15th. The boycott was announced here. On June 28th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated concerns about the Government of Burundi’s insistence on going ahead with parliamentary elections on June 29th given the weak political and security environment in the country. Secretary-General Ban emphasized it is the responsibility of the Government of Burundi to ensure that elections take place in a secure environment and to also guarantee the safety and security of U.N. observers so they can perform their mandated responsibilities free from intimidation or harassment. Secretary-General Ban repeated his appeal to all Burundian political leaders to consider the wider interest of the people of their country and to resolve political issues through dialogue. Secretary-General Ban’s comments were transcribed here. On June 29th, Burundi proceeded to hold its parliamentary election, despite an opposition boycott, continuing protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for another term, and Western observers’ calls for the vote to be postponed. Several polling stations were attacked in Bujumbura and in the provinces, with gunfire heard throughout the capital. A grenade was also thrown at a polling station in Musaga where support for the opposition is strong. Voting in Burundi was described here. On June 29th, the U.S. Department of State expressed disappointment that the Government of Burundi moved forward with its parliamentary elections despite inadequate conditions for them to be credible, disregarding the urging of the AU, the U.N., and others calling for a delay. The State Department called on President Pierre Nkurunziza to place the welfare of his country and people ahead of his wish to serve a third term by heeding the calls for dialogue and demonstrating respect for the Arusha Agreement, including its provisions on term limits. Additionally, the State Department urged the Burundian Government to participate in the political dialogue facilitated by the U.N., AU, EAC, and ICGLR. A detailed statement was posted here. On June 30th , UNHCR reported ten thousand refugees fled Burundi over the weekend before authorities closed the borders ahead of the June 29th parliamentary elections. According to the most recent UNHCR data, there are 66,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania, 56,000 in Rwanda, 9,038 in Uganda, 11,500 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and 400 in Zambia. For more information, click here. On July 1st, at least two policemen were injured during a grenade attack in Bujumbura as the country awaited results from Monday’s parliamentary elections. Sporadic gunfire was also reported in several districts around the capital, but it was unclear whether the shots fired related the country’s continuing political tensions or independence day celebrations. CENI reported election results could be expected as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The situation was detailed here. On July 2nd, with the parliamentary election results still yet to be announced, six people, including one police officer were reported killed in gun battles associated with ongoing political tensions in Burundi. The clashes took place in Bujumbura’s Cibitoke district after three grenades were thrown at police. The tensions were described here. Egypt On June 29th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned a terrorist attack in Cairo that resulted in the killing of Egyptian Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat and the injuring of numerous civilians. Prosecutor-General Barakat died when a car bomb detonated in Heliopolis. While no group claimed responsibility for the attack, Secretary-General Ban called for those responsible to be brought to justice. His statement was posted here. On June 29th, U.S. National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Ned Price condemned the terrorist attack in Cairo that killed Egyptian Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat and injured at least nine others. Spokesperson Price said the U.S. stands by Egypt at this difficult time as both countries continue to work together to fight the scourge of terrorism. A full statement was published here. On June 29th, the U.S. Department of State condemned the terrorist attack that killed the Egyptian public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat. The State Department offered condolences to the Egyptian Government and to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and wished those injured a speedy recovery. State Department officials also reiterated the U.S. stands firmly with the Egyptian Government in its efforts to confront terrorism. The State Department’s response to the attack can be seen here. On June 30th, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi delivered remarks at the funeral for slain Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat. While no terrorist group had claimed responsibility for ProsecutorGeneral Barakat’s death, President Sisi pledged to strengthen anti-terror laws and to focus on delivering swift justice to those involved in terrorist activities. Excerpts from President Sis’s remarks were highlighted here. On July 1st, ISIL militants carried out a wave of simultaneous attacks on Egyptian army checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 50 Egyptian soldiers and military officials and wounding at least 55 others. According to the Egyptian military, 70 militants attacked five checkpoints in northern Sinai and 22 attackers were killed, along with vehicles and weapons destroyed. Meanwhile, Sinai Province claimed to have attacked a total of 15 army and police positions, captured soldiers, and seized weapons and vehicles. Various accounts of the attacks can be viewed here. On July 1st, after a full day of fighting, the Egyptian army said more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed after simultaneous assaults on military checkpoints in North Sinai. In response to a wave of attacks carried out by ISIL affiliates, the army launched an operation using F-16 jets and Apache helicopters intended to clear the area of all terrorist concentrations. According to the army, the fighting had been concentrated in the towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah. For details, click here. On July 1st, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the deadly attacks in North Sinai resulting in the deaths of over 70 Egyptian soldiers and the injury of many others. He reiterated the U.N. stands firm with the people of Egypt in their fight against terrorism. Secretary-General Ban’s statement was released here. On July 1st, NSC Spokesperson Ned Price condemned the terrorist attacks against Egyptian security forces in North Sinai. He said the U.S. stands resolutely with Egypt amidst the spate of terrorist attacks that have afflicted the country and will continue to assist Egypt in addressing threats to its security. His full statement was posted here. On July 1st, the U.S. Department of State condemned the terrorist attacks in Egypt’s North Sinai Governorate in which dozens of Egyptian soldiers were killed and wounded. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said the attacks came as Egypt mourned the assassination of its public prosecutor Hisham Barakat. He called for the perpetrators of these crimes to be brought to justice and said the U.S. remains steadfast in its support of the Egyptian Government’s efforts to combat terrorism. Spokesperson Kirby’s comments can be read here. On July 1st, Egyptian security forces stormed an apartment in the suburbs of Cairo and killed nine men who they said were armed and planning to carry out an attack. Among those killed was Nasser al-Hafi, a prominent lawyer for the Muslim Brotherhood and a former lawmaker. The incident was reported here. On July 2nd, Egypt launched new air strikes on Islamist militant targets in the Sinai peninsula, killing another 23 fighters. According to security sources, those killed had taken part in the clashes that occurred in the Sinai peninsula on Wednesday. The latest air strikes were discussed here. Libya On June 25th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Leon was in Skhirat, Morocco, where he previewed what he said he hoped would be the last round of the U.N.-facilitated peace talks on the political situation in Libya. Special Representative Leon said the fact that all participants in the dialogue have accepted a fourth draft proposal as the basis for a political solution is encouraging and expressed hope a final agreement could be reached within a matter of days. His comments were transcribed here. On June 28th, speaking from Skhirat, Morocco where the latest round of the Libyan political dialogue is underway, U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of UNSMIL Bernardino Leon stressed the coming week should be decisive to reach an agreement on the draft proposal to end Libya’s political conflict. Special Representative Leon encouraged flexibility and urged participants to take advantage of the occasion of Ramadan to advance the peace agreement. An update on the talks was provided here. On June 29th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of UNSMIL Bernardino Leon said there is a political agreement amongst the parties to the Libyan political dialogue on the elements of the draft proposal under consideration. Special Representative Leon reported the talks have been preceding a positive manner, with just two or three issues left for discussion. His comments were recorded here. On June 30th, UNHCR reported the number of people displaced in Libya has doubled from an estimated 230,000 in September to more than 434,000 amid escalating fighting. UNHCR warned the numbers could be higher and said it is difficult to collect data due to limited access to affected areas. The largest bloc of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is concentrated in Benghazi, where UNHCR is working with local partners to distribute relief items. More information is available here. On June 30th, the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. issued a joint statement expressing deep concern about the ongoing violence within Libya and the expansion of terrorism in the country. The leaders welcomed the recent round of talks of the U.N. political dialogue in Skhirat, Morocco, and urged all Libyan parties to sign the political agreement presented by the U.N. in the coming days. The joint statement was issued here. On July 1st, the U.N. Security Council urged Libyan parties to agree on a Government of National Accord and sign the proposal presented by UNSMIL in the coming days. The Security Council agreed there can be no military solution to the crisis in Libya and said a Government of National Accord is in the interests of the Libyan people and their future in order to end Libya’s political, security, and institutional crisis and to confront the rising threat of terrorism. The Security Council’s position was articulated here. On July 2nd, Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said he hoped to reach a power-sharing agreement on Thursday during U.N. talks aimed at ending the conflict in Libya. Meanwhile, Omar Humaidan, a spokesperson for Libya’s rival parliament, appeared on television to announce the assembly would postpone participation in the talks until next week to allow more time for consultation. The status of the peace talks was outlined here. Nigeria On June 27th, at least five people were killed and ten others wounded after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the security check outside a leprosy hospital on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria. The attacker was reportedly dropped off at the hospital with two other men who appeared to be seeking access to the building. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, the city has been a target for recent Boko Haram attacks. The incident was reported here. On June 29th, suspected Boko Haram fighters blew themselves up during a police raid in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena. The raid of an illegal arms cache was part of a security operation aimed at dismantling a network of Boko Haram militants blamed for the June 15th suicide bombings in Chad that killed 34 people. While one of the militants detonated an explosive belt as police arrived, security forces arrested Baana Fanaye, who is believed to be the local Boko Haram leader for Chad and northern Cameroon, and seized a number of explosives. Details can be accessed here. On June 29th , BBC reported that some of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls who remain missing after they were abducted by Boko Haram last April have been forced to join the militant group. According to witnesses, some of the kidnapped schoolgirls have been brainwashed and are now being used to terrorize and, in some cases, kill other captives. For more information, click here. On July 1st, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein briefed the U.N. Security Council on Boko Haram’s human rights violations and abuses, discussing the findings of a U.N. team recently deployed to regions of Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria where Boko Haram has been active. High Commissioner Zeid urged the international community to help the region begin to repair the damage. He also called on Nigerian authorities to ease abortion restrictions for women and girls who has been sexually enslaved, raped, and forced into marriage. Excerpts from the briefing were highlighted here. On July 1st, two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a hospital in Maiduguri, Nigeria, shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo arrived to visit refugee camps in the area. It was not immediately clear whether the bombers had been targeting the hospital or if the bombs detonated accidentally. Maiduguri has been the target of several attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari made it the command center for the campaign against Boko Haram. The bombings were detailed here. Lesotho On June 26th , U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing of Former Commander of the Lesotho Defense Force Maaparanoke Mahao. Secretary-General Ban offered condolences to the bereaved family and urged the Government of Lesotho to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice. He also reiterated the urgent need to move forward with institutional and security reforms as outlined in the Government’s Coalition Agreement for Stability and Reform and recommended by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Secretary-General Ban’s remarks were transcribed here. On June 27th, the U.S. expressed concern about the June 25th fatal shooting of former Lesotho Defense Force Commander Maaparankoe Mahao. The State Department urged the Government of Lesotho to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation of Brigadier Mahao’s death and to hold accountable those responsible. The State Department said the this incident highlights the urgent need for security sector reform and encouraged the government to move forward quickly and robustly in transforming the defense force into an institution that enjoys the confidence of all Basotho. The State Department’s position was articulated here. West Africa Ebola Outbreak On June 26th , The Washington Post highlighted a new rapid diagnostic test for Ebola in which a fingerprick blood test yields a diagnosis within minutes. The new test was evaluated in two government-run treatment centers in Sierra Leone, in which the rapid test identified 100 percent of all infected patients who also tested positive for Ebola in a traditional lab test. The rapid test also detected some cases the lab tests did not pick up. For details, click here. On June 29th, after Liberia was declared Ebola-free on May 9th, Deputy Health Minister and head of the Liberian Ebola response Tolbert Nyenswah reported the body of a 17-year-old man had tested positive for the disease. The teenager died on Wednesday in the town of Nedowein and was given a safe burial the next day. He was not tested for Ebola until after he died. While Deputy Minister Nyenswah noted the case is under investigation, he urged Liberians to remain calm. Details can be viewed here. On June 30th, Liberian officials quarantined the town of Nedowein after the body of a teenager tested positive for Ebola. Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah noted several people thought to have come into contact with the teenager were under close observation. He also indicated authorities were still investigating whether the teenager contracted the virus in his community or carried it into Liberia from elsewhere. An update on the situation was provided here. On June 30th, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) published an interview with Eric King, an innovation specialist with the Digital Development Team in the Global Development Lab who worked on USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Liberia. King highlighted how the mobile phone and other technological tools have been helpful in amplifying the Ebola response and sharing credible information. The interview was transcribed here. On July 1st, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that Ebola has resurfaced in Liberia, noting Liberia now must wait for the incubation period of 42 days without new cases of transmission to pass to confirm it is again free from Ebola. The U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) said the re-emergence of Ebola in Liberia shows the importance of staying vigilant until there are zero cases in West Africa. Input from the WHO can be seen here. On July 1st, the WHO updated its statistics on the number of Ebola cases in West Africa. In the week ending June 28th, there were 20 confirmed cases of Ebola, the same number of cases as reported in the previous week. In Guinea, 12 cases were reported from three prefectures and eight cases were reported from three districts in Sierra Leone. Additional data was analyzed here. On July 1st, Liberia confirmed it had at least two cases of Ebola, nearly two months after the country was declared Ebola-free. Authorities identified Abraham Memaigar as the teenager who recently tested positive for the virus after death and noted one of his neighbors in the village of Nedowein also tested positive for the virus. While the latest cases are under investigation, officials have not ruled out the possibility that Memaigar was infected by an animal. More information can be found here. On July 2nd, Liberia confirmed a third new case of Ebola. Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah reported there are now two live cases of the virus in the country. He reported the patients, one 24 years old and one 27 years old, were stable. The third case in Liberia’s new Ebola outbreak was reported here. African Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean On June 26th, European Union (EU) leaders engaged in contentious debate on how to handle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. The debate centered on whether and how to take in 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers now in Italy and Greece and another 20,000 refugees from the Middle East and North Africa currently outside the EU. EU leaders agreed to a voluntary scheme for accepting 60,000 refugees, but granted exclusion for Hungary and Bulgaria. The full story is available here. On July 1st, UNHCR released new statistics on the migrant problem in the Mediterranean. The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach southern Europe was 80 percent higher in the first half of 2015 than a year earlier, while deaths more than tripled. UNHCR said roughly 137,000 migrants have arrived in Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain since the start of the year. Roughly 12 percent of the migrants are from Eritrea. The data was further analyzed here. On July 2nd, an Italian court found Tunisian citizen Khaled Bensalem guilty of trafficking migrants and sentenced him to 18 years in prison for contributing to a 2013 shipwreck that killed 366 people, mainly Eritreans. Bensalem’s sentence was reduced by a third from the possible maximum penalty because he admitted guilt. The sentence was reported here. United States – Africa Relations White House On June 29th, President Barack Obama signed bills renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) into law. The TAA extension bill also included an extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which cuts tariffs on imports from sub-Saharan Africa. President Obama said the legislation will help turn global trade into a race to the top and help raise standards for business and workers. The signing of the legislation was noted here. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative On June 25th, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman issued a statement on congressional passage of AGOA. Ambassador Froman said trade preference programs, such as AGOA, not only promote sustainable and inclusive development abroad, but also encourage the rise of markets for Made-in-America exports that support jobs at home. He noted AGOA has been the cornerstone of the U.S. trade relationship with Africa for 15 years and its improvement and renewal for a ten year period, the longest ever in the program’s history, will incentivize good governance and pro-growth, prodevelopment policies, including on labor and human rights, while providing much-needed certainty for African producers, U.S. buyers, and investors. Ambassador Froman’s comments were captured here. Department of Treasury On June 25th, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew issued a statement on bipartisan approval of TPA, TAA, and AGOA. Secretary Lew noted AGAO is a program central to the U.S. trade relationship with Africa and encouraged Congress to swiftly work on, and pass, trade enforcement legislation that includes robust tools to address unfair trading practices and deal with countries that break the rules. Secretary Lew’s statement was posted here. Department of Commerce On June 25th, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued a statement following Congress’s passage of AGOA. With the ten year extension of AGOA, Secretary Pritzker said the U.S. is reaffirming the importance of deeper and expanded U.S. trade and investment ties with sub-Saharan Africa. She said she looks forward to Congress passing strong trade enforcement legislation that enhances the tools available to address unfair trading practices. Secretary Prizker’s full statement can be seen here. State Department On June 24th -27th, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall traveled to Kenya to lead the U.S. delegation to the East Africa Regional Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), hosted by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi. The Summit, the fourth in a series of regional summits following the February White House Summit on CVE, provided an opportunity for governments, civil society, and the private sector to discuss collaborative, innovative efforts to address the spread of violent extremism. Topics included the typologies and drivers of violent extremism, the architecture and dynamics of radicalization and recruitment, countering violent extremism in cyberspace and the media, promoting research and learning for evidence-driven action, and strengthening local preventive work. Under Secretary Sewall’s travel was announced here. On June 26th , Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Madagascar on the celebration of their independence. Secretary Kerry encouraged all parties to advance Madagascar’s democratic principles and strengthen the rule of law. He said political stability is crucial to the future of Madagascar and a necessary cornerstone for economic progress. Finally, Secretary Kerry reiterated the U.S. remains committed to working with Madagascar to improve health care and foster economic growth. Secretary Kerry’s full statement was posted here. On June 26th, Secretary of State John Kerry released a press statement on Djiboutian National Day. Secretary Kerry said Djibouti and the U.S. share a commitment to protecting and securing the entire region and the bilateral partnership has grown through close collaboration, including between the Kentucky National Guard and the Djiboutian Armed Forces. Secretary Kerry noted he is the first Secretary of State to have visited Djibouti and reflected on his trip to the county this spring, where he met with government officials and toured Camp Lemonnier. His statement can be read here. On June 26th, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom met with and accepted credentials from Botswana Ambassador designate to the U.S. David J. Newman, in Washington, DC. Their meeting was listed here. On June 26th, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon met with Tunisian Ambassador to the U.S. Faysal Gouia, at the Department of State. The meeting was included on the State Department’s daily appointment schedule, which can be accessed here. On June 29th, Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Seychelles on their celebration of 22 years of independence. He expressed appreciation for Seychelles’ cooperation in promoting maritime security in the Indian Ocean and commended authorities’ efforts to develop and maintain a sustainable ocean economy. Secretary Kerry’s comments were recorded here. On June 30th, Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of the DRC on 55 years of independence. He said the U.S. is committed to working with the DRC to address the security challenges facing the country and the region. Secretary Kerry also said the U.S. looks forward to helping the DRC build a peaceful, fair, and stable future for the benefit of all Congolese people. Secretary Kerry’s statement can be seen here. On July 1st, Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Somalia on their 55th Independence Day. Secretary Kerry said he was honored this May to become the first Secretary of State to visit Somalia, where he had the chance to meet with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, and representatives of civil society. He applauded Somalia’s progress in the state formation process and noted the U.S. will serve as a partner during Somalia’s ongoing constitutional review. Secretary Kerry’s statement can be viewed here. On July 1st, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on Rwanda National Day. Secretary Kerry said Rwanda is a leader in advancing opportunities for girls and women by expanding access to secondary and higher education, particularly in the sciences. He also highlighted Rwanda’s efforts to promote stability around the globe, with more than 5,000 troops and police participating in peacekeeping missions in countries such as Mali, the Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur, and South Sudan. Secretary Kerry also said the U.S. will continue to work with Rwanda to advance health and food security, build regional security and cooperation, and promote democracy, human rights, and civil society. His statement was posted here. U.S. Agency for International Development On July 1st, during a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, President Barack Obama announced a $2 million initiative to expand the partnership between USAID through Feed the Future and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) to help Mozambique increase agricultural production, food security, and family nutrition. The partnership will raise agricultural production through new science and technology and provide training for agricultural policy makers, technicians, and farmers. A press release was issued here. Department of Defense On June 30th, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced the Tunisian Government will receive four modified Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters by the end of June 2019. Tunisia requested 12 helicopters valued at $700 million in July 2014. An initial eight unmodified platforms will be delivered to Tunisia by the end of December 2016. The $80 million contract for the modified helicopters was announced here. On July 1st, U.S Africa Command (AFRICOM) Commander General David Rodriguez and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield held a LiveAtState press briefing. The two answered questions submitted by more than 60 journalists who attended listening parties at several U.S. embassies in Africa. A recording of the briefing can be watched here. Department of Homeland Security On June 25th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the initial registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from May 20, 2015 to August 18, 2015 for eligible nationals from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. All three countries were first designated for TPS, each for a period of 18 months on November 21, 2014. The extension will provide additional time for individuals who may be eligible for TPS under these designations to prepare and submit their applications. More information can be found here. U.S. Trade and Development Agency On July 1st, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced the Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. (KETRACO) is inviting bids for the execution of the 400kV Lamu – Nairobi East transmission line and new substations. The project is divided into three lots and interested firms may bid for any or all lots. The deadline for submissions is August 11th . For details, click here. Millennium Challenge Corporation On June 30th, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Dana Hyde delivered remarks at the World Cocoa Foundation’s 15th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony. CEO Hyde discussed the MCC’s investment in cocoa developing countries in Africa, including in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Her remarks were transcribed here. Congress On June 25th, the House of Representatives passed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which passed the Senate on June 24th. The legislation was approved by a vote of 286-138. The bill includes a long-term reauthorization of AGOA. House passage was noted here. On June 25th, House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) issued a statement after the House voted on final passage of the reauthorization of AGOA. Congresswoman Bass praised passage of the law and commended the stakeholders who supported AGOA reauthorization. She added the vote marks a new chapter of American focus on Africa and highlighted how Africa, which is home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies, will become an even more important part of the world economy in the next ten years due to its large, youthful population that is increasingly university-educated, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial. Her full statement can be read here. On June 25th, House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) announced the State Department had informed the Committee that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has failed to turn over all of her Benghazi and Libya related records. Congressman Gowdy reiterated his concern that Secretary Clinton’s decision to erase her personal server has resulted in an incomplete public record. Congressman Gowdy’s statement was released here. On June 26th, former Representatives Ronald Dellums (D-CA) and J.C. Watts (R-OK), Co-Chairs of the AGOA Action Committee issued a statement on the reauthorization of AGOA. Representatives Dellums and Watts thanked the House and Senate for the bipartisan leadership and cooperation shown in getting the legislation approved and sent to the President for signature. Additionally, they said the AGOA Action Committee stands ready to begin the work of implementing the changes envisioned under the reauthorization, including mounting the critical efforts to prepare African nations and several of the regional organizations and alliances to begin and obtain Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the U.S. Their statement was issued here. On June 28th, House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” where he indicated Committee Republicans may compel Secretary of State John Kerry to testify on the State Department’s failure to provide emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. In response, the State Department said it will continue to be as accommodating and as transparent as possible with the Committee and defended the disclosures to date. The full story is available here. North Africa On June 25th, the World Bank issued a new reported titled, “Political Connections and Tariff Evasion: Evidence from Tunisia.” According to the report, between 2002 and 2009, firms with privileged connections to former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali managed to evade an estimated $1.2 billion in tariffs. In addition, the declared value of imports by Ben Ali connected firms was found to be 18 percent higher than average firms, with declared quantities of imports also 21 percent higher. The report can be downloaded here. On June 25th, a staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded a visit to Khartoum, Sudan to discuss economic and policy developments. IMF Resident Representative in Sudan Lodewyk Erasmus reported the IMF representatives had productive discussions with the Sudanese authorities, including on a new Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) for 2015-2016 to support the authorities’ economic reform efforts. IMF staff also observed the progress that has been made toward restoring macroeconomic stability and strengthening economic growth following the shock of South Sudan’s secession. The discussions were summarized here. On June 29th, the U.N. Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the AU-U.N. Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) through June 2016. The mission will consist of 15,845 military personnel, 1,583 police personnel, and 13 police units of up to 140 personnel each and be tasked with providing civilian protection, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance and safety and security of humanitarian personnel, and mediating talks between the Sudanese Government and armed groups. More information was shared here. On June 29th, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda briefed the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Sudan. Prosecutor Bensouda reaffirmed the ICC’s determination to bring impartial justice to the people of Sudan, especially related to the war crimes charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. In addition, she said the time has come for the Security Council and U.N. Member States to join forces with the Court and civil society in devising effective strategies for the arrest of accused persons wanted by the court. Excerpts from the briefing were highlighted here. On June 29th, an Egyptian court said it would issue a ruling in the retrial of Al Jazeera television journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed on July 30th. Both men were previously charged with aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been labeled a terrorist organization. An update on the proceedings was issued here. On June 30th , the U.N. mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) released a new report finding South Sudanese armed forces may have committed widespread human rights abuses, including the alleged raping and immolation of women and girls, during the recent upsurge in fighting. The report suggests the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and associated armed groups carried out a campaign of violence in Unity State, killing civilians, looting and destroying villages, and displacing over 100,000 people. The report’s findings were detailed here. On July 2nd, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on six generals accused of fueling the conflict in South Sudan. The sanctions target three generals from each side with global travel bans and asset freezes. Among those subject to sanctions are the commander of President Salva Kiir’s special guard, Major General Marial Chanuong Yol Mangok, and chief of general staff for former Vice President Riek Machar’s opposition forces, Major General Simon Gatwech Dual. The sanctions were detailed here. East Africa On June 24th, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Aviation Day for Africa and the Middle East concluded in Nairobi, Kenya. The event convened aviation and airline industry leaders and experts, as well as representatives from the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), African Airlines Association (AFRAA), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) under the theme, “Connecting Africa: The Linkage of Regulation, Capacity, and Infrastructure.” The meeting was summarized here. On June 25th, a Tanzanian court ordered Jamil Mukulu, the head of the Allied Democratic forces (ADF) who was arrested in April, to be extradited to Uganda to face murder charges. The ADF is thought to be responsible for attacks in western Uganda and Kampala that killed 1,000 people between 1998 and 2008. Mukulu indicated he would appeal the decision. Details can be seen here. On June 26th, Al Shabaab militants attacked AU troops in Somalia after exploding a car bomb at a peacekeepers’ base in the town of Leego. The blast came at dawn as residents gathered for morning prayers and is the latest in a series of assaults since the start of Ramadan. According to Abdikadir Mohamed Sidi, governor of the Lower Shabelle region, the town was left neither in the hands of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) or Al Shabaab and there were many casualties on both sides. Meanwhile a spokesperson for Al Shabaab reported that 50 Burundian soldiers were killed, as well as six Al Shabaab fighters. The attack was detailed here. On June 26th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay condemned the attack perpetrated by Al Shabaab militants against the AMISOM base in Leego. Secretary-General Ban and Special Representative Kay paid tribute to the Burundian peacekeepers that lost their lives and pledged continued support for the people of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali security forces in their effort to defeat Al Shabaab. The U.N. response to the attack was articulated here. On June 26th, the Kenyan parliament approved President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appointment of Patrick Njoroge to serve as Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. President Kenyatta also appointed Jairus Mohammed Nyaoga as the Bank’s Board Chairman and Sheila M’Mbijjewe as Second Deputy Governor. The new officials are expected to participate in the Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled for July 7th. More information can be viewed here. On June 26th, Kenya’s Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions charged Lands Minister Charity Kaluki Ngilu with obstructing an investigation into fraudulent land transactions. Minister Ngilu, a close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, pleaded not guilty and was released on cash bail. The charges were levied three months after President Kenyatta ordered a crackdown on corruption. An article on the proceedings can be read here. On June 28th, U.N. Special Representative for Somalia and head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Nicholas Kay commended the completion of the establishment of the assembly of Galmudug and the election of Ali Ga’al Asir as Speaker. Special Representative Kay noted the regional assembly will now be tasked with electing the President of the Galmudung Regional Administration and encouraged it to conduct this process in a transparent and credible manner in order to bring the state formation process to a successful conclusion. His comments can be seen here. On June 29th, the Executive Board of the IMF completed the fourth review of Uganda’s economic performance under the program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) and also concluded the 2015 Article IV consultation with Uganda. The Board noted Uganda’s strong economic performance, with tax revenue higher than expected, low inflation, and GDP growth. Ugandan authorities were encouraged to maintain fiscal discipline in the pre-electoral period by adhering to a budget that contains large infrastructure investment and higher tax collections while keeping domestic financing at a moderate level. Additional observations were detailed here. On June 29th , The Economist observed Kenya is among the economies posed to reap the highest dividends from population growth in the next 35 years. Kenya’s labor force is expected to triple to nearly 48 million by 2050 from the current 18 million, which is expected to ramp up economic growth. Based on these projections, Kenya is anticipated to sustain an average GDP growth rate of nearly 4.7 percent over the 35 years. Additional data was analyzed here. On June 29th, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a briefing on “Faith-Based Organizations and Family Planning in Kenya.” Moderated by Janet Fleischman of the CSIS Global Heath Policy Center, the discussion featured Dr. Samuel Mwenda Rukunga, General Secretary and CEO of the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK), and Peter Kariuki Munene, International Program Coordinator at the Faith to Action Network (F2A). Details were posted here. On June 30th, Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o returned home to Kenya to launch a new campaigned to stop the slaughter of elephants for ivory. Nyong’o has committed to serving as an ambassador for WildAid, a conservation organization that engages celebrities to spread awareness of poaching and wildlife crime. For more information, click here. On July 1st, the “Investing in Africa Forum: Partnering to Accelerate Investment, Industrialization, and Results” concluded in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Co-organized by the Government of Ethiopia, the China Development Bank, the China-Africa Development Fund, and the World Bank, and the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, the forum brought together representatives of the Chinese and African public and private sectors, regional institutions, development partners, and think tanks to exchange views on how African countries can attract greater investment, accelerate industrialization, create jobs, and sustain development. The forum was summarized here. On July 2nd, a Uganda police officer opened fire at a rally at the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party headquarters in support of the candidacy of veteran opposition leader Kizza Bisigye. One person was shot and remains in critical condition. While police said they were investigating what they described as an unprovoked and isolated incident, opposition leaders argued the shooting was part of a larger strategy to intimidate President Yoweri Museveni’s rivals ahead of next year’s presidential contest. The full story is available here. On July 2nd, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the construction of Africa’s largest wind power plant, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project. The plant is expected to generate 310 megawatts (MW) of electricity and increase Kenya’s power generating capacity by 20 percent. The first 50 to 90 MW from the project will be ready for injection into the national grid by September 2016, with the estimated time for full completion of the project at two years. The project launch was described here. West Africa On June 25th, the U.N. Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the U.N. Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNCOI) through June 2016, as well as the authorization for French forces to support the mission. The resolution, which was adopted unanimously, maintains the mission’s focus on the protection of civilians, political support, and the implementation of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs. The extension of UNCOI’s mandate comes ahead of Cote d’Ivoire’s planned presidential election in October 2015. More information can be found here. On June 29th, the U.N. Security Council extended the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for one year, within the authorized troop ceiling of 11,240 military personnel, including for the first time, at least 40 military observers to monitor and supervise the country’s newly agreed ceasefire. Extended through June 2016, MINUSMA will be tasked with monitoring ceasefire arrangements, supporting the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, protecting civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, and assisting the Malian authorities in their efforts to promote peace and protect human rights. Details were reported here. One June 29th, following a meeting held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) agreed to strengthen cooperation to address challenges in Africa’s cocoa sector. In addition to promoting youth employment and empowering women participation, the AfDB and the ICCO will work together in a series of domains, such as value addition and promotion of cocoa and chocolate consumption in Africa, access to credit, market access and commodity exchanges, adoption of profitable cocoa farming models and thriving cooperatives, and logistics and transportation. The new partnership was launched here. On June 30th, an IMF team completed a visit to Ghana to conduct discussions on the first review of Ghana’s financial and economic program supported by the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The discussions covered the implementation of the program, the medium-term outlooks, and the policies needed to restore debt sustainability, macroeconomic stability, and a return to high growth and job creation, while preserving social protection spending. The discussions were summarized here. On July 1st, the World Bank highlighted the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund recently launched by Senegalese President Macky Sall. Launched with $5 million contributed by various African governments, the Fund will seek to award 10,000 PhD scholarships over ten years. The Fund is an initiative under the World Bank’s Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (PASET) program. The project was profiled here. On July 2nd, five people were killed and another six were severely wounded in an attack on a U.N. convoy in northern Mali near the town of Goundam. Few details were immediately available and it was not clear whether the victims were peacekeepers or civilian staff. The incident was reported here. Sub-Saharan Africa On June 25th , AfDB President Donald Kaberuka concluded his trip to East Africa with a farewell meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. President Kaberuka and President Kenyatta discussed the AfDB’s roughly $2.2 billion worth activities in Kenya, which are primarily focused on infrastructure. President Kaberuka applauded Kenya’s economic growth, despite the nearby political instability in South Sudan and Somalia, while President Kenyatta praised the AfDB’s regional integration approach toward development. Their meeting was summarized here. On June 26th, following a seven-day visit to the CAR, U.N. Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the CAR Marie-Therese Keita Bocoum called on the international community to redouble its efforts to help the CAR fully realize its transition to peace, national reconciliation, reconstruction, and the end of impunity. In addition, she called for all partiers in the CAR to implement the pact for peace and reconciliation approved at the Bangui Forum. Additional observations from Independent Expert Bocoum’s trip were noted here. On June 26th, the South African Government released the findings of an investigation into the 2012 Marikana massacre, in which 34 miners were gunned down. According to President Jacob Zuma, the report found that Lonmin, the world’s fourth largest platinum producer, did not use its best endeavors to resolve a wage dispute with workers. The report also criticized the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) for losing control of its members and the police for the failure of their plan to disarm and disperse the miners on strike. Excerpts from President Zuma’s introduction of the report were highlighted here. On June 26th, Curro Holdings, South Africa’s largest private education firm, announced plans to replace a school principal in Pretoria over complaints of racial segregation. The school came under fire from parents and government officials after a video appeared to show students separated along racial lines during a field trip. In January, Curro was forced to respond to similar allegations at the same school after a group of parents signed a petition against racial segregation in classrooms. The full story is available here. On June 28th, South Africa launched its “Allow Us to Indulge You” campaign, which is intended to get more Kenyans to tour the country. As part of the campaign, South African Tourism Regional Director for Africa Evelyn Mahlaba said South Africa will open a tourism office in Nairobi. In addition, South Africa is considering legislation that would make it easier for Kenyans to obtain travel visas. More information can be found here. On June 28th, seven lions from South Africa were transported to Rwanda, marking the return of lions to the country for the first time in 15 years. Following the 1994 genocide, lions in Rwanda were poisoned by cattle herders. The lions will be reintroduced at Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. For details, click here. On June 29th, the South African Government announced plans to appeal last week’s high court ruling that found the state erred in letting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir leave the country despite a court order barring him from doing so. President Bashir was allowed to depart the country even though a Pretoria court had issued an order banning him from leaving until the end of a hearing on whether he should be detained under a global arrest warrant related to genocide charges at the ICC. For details, click here. On June 29th, Facebook opened its first sales office in Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Facebook Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Ari Kesisoglu said the South African office will work with brands across the continent to tap into the growing consumer market to create native targeted ads. Of the estimated 200 million internet users in Africa, roughly 120 million users are already on Facebook. The opening of Facebook’s new office was announced here. On June 30th, a Zambian court cleared former President Rupiah Banda of corruption in an oil procurement deal. President Banda had been accused of sealing the government-to-government oil contract with Nigeria during his presidency with benefits of $2.5 million for his family. The Court found no evidence to support the allegations. The case was highlighted here. On June 30th, Botswana’s Shumba Coal said it plans to develop a solar power station to generate up to 200 MW of electricity. Botswana, the world’s top diamond producer, has recently experienced power and water shortages that have jeopardized mining operations. Information on the solar project was shared here. On July 1st, South Africa’s National Treasury announced the sale of its entire stake in wireless carrier Vodacom Group Ltd., worth roughly $2.4 billion, to raise funds for state-owned power utility Eskom in the wake of worsening power outages. According to the Treasury, the sale of the Vodacom stake was the most viable option for ensuring the government was able to swiftly realize the proceeds and inject equity into Eskom to bolster the utility. Details can be viewed here. On July 1st, South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) announced the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town will invest in building a cruise port terminal. It is envisioned that the facility, which will be located at Duncan Dock, will also house retail and hospitality services, growing Cape Town’s already booming tourism industry. The project was detailed here. General Africa News On June 30th, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Makhtar Diop authored an op-ed for China Daily on investment opportunities in Africa. Noting that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa has hit a record $60 billion, Vice President Diop provided recommendations to further growth investment in Africa, including the development of a skilled labor force, improvements to the investment climate, new infrastructure projects, and enhanced agricultural productivity. The full op-ed can be read here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2015 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.