On November 12th, Dalberg Global Development Advisors provided new insights into the types of organizations that have contributed most to international response efforts to address the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The research finds that only two percent of the $1.2 billion committed to the Ebola response thus far has come for individuals and corporations, while private giving as a whole, including from foundations and NGOs, accounts for only seven percent of total funding. This is significantly less than private contributions made in response to other crises, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. More information was provided here. On November 13th, Anthony Banbury, head of the United Nations (U.N.) emergency health mission coordinating the Ebola response effort (UNMEER), called for the global community to scale up its response to the Ebola outbreak. Special Representative Banbury referenced the more than 5,000 confirmed deaths from Ebola, as well as the disease’s devastating impact across the development and economic sectors of the hardest-hit African countries, before calling for increases in staff on the ground, Ebola treatment facilities, and community care centers. Excerpts from Special Representative Banbury’s statement can be read here. On November 13th, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $40 million International Development Association (IDA) credit and a $10 million grant to help strengthen the Government of Guinea’s ability to manage public funds in response to the Ebola crisis and related macroeconomic and fiscal shocks. The financing will be used to implement the Government of Guinea’s Ebola response plan, which includes operationalizing surveillance and containment efforts, setting up Ebola treatment centers, deploying health inspection teams at major airports, and monitoring food prices in areas affected by the outbreak. The funding was announced here. On November 13th, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki issued a press statement noting the State Department, in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was in touch with the family of a U.S. legal permanent resident working in Sierra Leone who contracted Ebola. According to the statement, the individual’s wife, asked the State Department to investigate whether he is well enough to be transported back to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for treatment. The statement was issued here. On November 13th, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel signed an order authorizing the involuntary mobilization of approximately 2,100 Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers to support Operation United Assistance. These troops will replace forces in Senegal and Liberia who are supporting the response to the Ebola outbreak. U.S. soldiers will conduct regionally-specific training on Ebola prevention, malaria prevention, and other medical threats, and complete medical readiness requirements before deploying. More information can be found here. On November 13th, more than 80 U.S. service members arrived at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia after deploying to Liberia as part of the U.S. effort to stop the spread of Ebola. While none of the troops showed any symptoms of Ebola upon arrival, they will be kept in controlled monitoring for the next 21 days. The troops will undergo medical screening twice a day, be housed in a secluded area of the base, and be prohibited from seeing their families in person. This represents the implementation of the first controlled monitoring regimen for U.S. military personnel in the U.S. The full story is available here. On November 13th, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Chris Coons (D-DE) urged support for the Obama Administration’s $6.18 billion emergency funding request for the fight against Ebola and warned about the danger in cutting funds for efforts to stop the spread of the virus in West Africa. Senator Coons also recounted a conversation last week with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who he said is grateful for U.S. engagement, and expressed gratitude for the volunteers, missionaries, aid workers, and military personnel who have deployed to West Africa to fight Ebola. Senator Coon’s statement was posted here. On November 13th, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced legislation laying out steps the U.S. Government should consider taking to fight the West African Ebola epidemic. The legislation promotes efforts to recruit and train health care personnel, establishing full functional treatment centers, conduct education campaigns among populations in affected countries, and developing diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. The bill’s introduction was highlighted here. On November 13th, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced a resolution to acknowledge and thank medical professionals and volunteers for their courage in responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In introducing the resolution, Congresswoman Bass and Congressman Cicilline noted the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has received nearly 4,800 self-nominated, non-vetted requests for health care volunteers. A press release was issued here. As of November 14th, Malian officials indicated they were working to trace over 250 contacts linked to confirmed and probable Ebola victims. The effort, following Mali’s second confirmed case of Ebola, comes near the close of the 21-day quarantine period for contacts linked to the initial Ebola case in Mali. More on Mali’s efforts to contain Ebola are available here. On November 14th, Dr. Bruce Aylward, World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Polio and Emergencies, warned the number of Ebola cases in Liberia is starting to reverse its decline, most likely because people are relaxing their guard in view of recent statistics. Dr. Aylward cautioned against this relaxation, especially given the lack of promising Ebola vaccines and the limited number of drug trial sites in Liberia. Further statements from WHO experts can be read here. On November 14th, the WHO announced its initial assessment of over 120 potential treatments for Ebola patients, finding no treatments that definitely work and some that definitely do not. In particular, the WHO found that lamivudine and ZMapp had no effect on Ebola and should not be administered. Upcoming trials, including Doctors Without Borders’ (DWB) plan to begin testing brincidofovir and favipiravir in West Africa next month, were also announced. Additional Ebola treatment efforts can be read here. On November 14th, USAID issued a justification for its emergency funding request for FY15. The Administration’s emergency funding request includes $2.1 billion for USAID and the State Department to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa and advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). According to USAID, the requested funding will enhance the Administration’s current whole-of-government response to help end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and support increased domestic preparedness. The justification document can be downloaded here. On November 15th, the G20 Leaders issued a statement on the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The G20 observed that West African governments are making tremendous efforts to fight the outbreak, with the support of the African Union (AU) and other African countries, international and regional organizations, financial organizations, NGOs, and religious entities. G20 Leaders pledged to work to expedite the effective and targeted disbursement of funds and other assistance balancing between emergency and longer term needs and called on other governments to contribute to response efforts. The full statement can be read here. On November 15th, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued a statement welcoming the call to action on Ebola issued by G20 Leaders as a clear signal to the global community to unite and muster all available resources to fight Ebola at its source in West Africa. In addition, President Kim welcomed the G20 Leaders’ call for the World Bank to explore new flexible mechanisms to deal with the economic impact of future health crises. President Kim’s statement was posted here. On November 15th, the State Department announced that it was using protocols developed by the CDC to facilitate the medical evacuation of Dr. Martin Salia, a U.S. lawful permanent resident from Sierra Leone to the U.S. for treatment for Ebola. The evacuation came at the request of the patient’s wife, who agreed to reimburse the U.S. Government for any expense. Additionally, the State Department noted the University of Nebraska Medical Center was prepared to receive the patient and that every precaution would be taken to ensure the evacuation would be completed safely and securely. An update from the State Department was provided here. On November 16th, Operation United Assistance Commander Major General Gary Volesky said he is cautiously optimistic the war on Ebola is being won, but said hard work remains to stop the spread of the virus in Liberia. While the rate of new Ebola infections in Liberia has leveled off in recent weeks, Commander Volesky observed that new cases continue to be reported in areas where patients lack access to Ebola treatment centers. Commander Volesky’s comments were recorded here. On November 16th, the CDC and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Mali has been added to the list of countries from where travelers arriving in the U.S. will face heightened screening for Ebola, similar to passengers originating their travel in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone. There are no direct flights to the U.S. from Mali, but an average of 15 to 20 travelers per day start their trips in the country. The new screening procedures went into effect on Monday. Details can be viewed here. On November 16th, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said he would like to amend the Obama Administration’s $6.18 billion request for emergency funding for the Ebola crisis so that more of the money is spent in the U.S., and in particular, in New York City. Senator Schumer also said he was not confident Congress would pass the full funding request, especially as there may not be enough support to fund the emergency appropriations among House Republicans. Senator Schumer’s comments were captured here. On November 16th, Dr. Martin Salia, the surgeon who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, arrived in the U.S. for treatment at Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment unit. Doctors overseeing Dr. Salia’s care reported he was extremely ill and perhaps sicker than the first Ebola patients successfully treated in the U.S. Dr. Salia was the third person to be treated for Ebola at Nebraska Medical Center and the tenth Ebola patient to be treated in the U.S. His arrival in the U.S. for treatment was noted here. On November 16th, the Washington Post reported that the unpredictable nature of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has made partnerships with private donors critical to crisis response efforts. According to the article, private organizations have been more effective in channeling resources to West Africa because the federal appropriations process is too bureaucratic and politically charged. The full story can be read here. On November 17th, the U.N. praised the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). U.N. officials applauded DRC authorities for their rapid, coordinated response in the face of significant logistical challenges. The WHO reported 66 cases of Ebola in the DRC, including 49 deaths, before authorities declared the end of the outbreak. Further information on Ebola in the DRC can be found here. On November 17th, the World Bank highlighted the launch of the “11 Against Ebola” campaign, which brings together some of the biggest European soccer players to promote preventative measures aimed at communities affected by the Ebola virus. As part of the campaign, 11 soccer players recorded videos to convey health messages related to Ebola that were selected by health experts from Africa, the World Bank, and the WHO. The campaign was highlighted here. On November 17th, the White House issued a statement on the passing of Ebola patient Dr. Martin Salia, who died of Ebola at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. According to the statement, Dr. Salia was born in Sierra Leone and dedicated his life to serving others. The White House said Dr. Salia’s death is another reminder of the human toll of Ebola and the continued imperative to tackle the epidemic on the frontlines in West Africa. The full statement was published here. On November 17th, USAID Chief Economist Stephen O’Connell authored a story for USAID’s Impact Blog on the economic impacts of the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Before the Ebola outbreak, the economies in Liberia and Sierra Leone had been growing, with Guinea also expected to see stronger economic growth in 2014. Chief Economist O’Connell argued that a robust business climate will be needed to encourage private sector investment and to expedite economic recovery in light of the Ebola epidemic. The blog post can be accessed here. On November 17th, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel traveled to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to visit with families of the U.S. military service members deployed as part of Operation United Assistance in West Africa. While at Fort Campbell, Secretary Hagel delivered remarks thanking members of the 101st Airborne Division who are training to deploy to West Africa to help fight Ebola at its source. Secretary Hagel’s visit to Fort Campbell was announced here. On November 17th, the Red Cross expressed concern about its ability to continue to recruit health care workers to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as the virus continues to spread. The organization reported that 62 percent of the people who volunteer to work in the Ebola zone subsequently back out due to pressure from family and friends. While disease transmission seems more under control in some parts of Liberia, Ebola is now posing a greater challenge in some remote parts of the country, as well as in Mali. Insights from the Red Cross were shared here. On November 18th, the WHO reported it is assisting Mali’s Ministry of Health in contract tracing and identifying all potential chains of Ebola transmission in the country. According to the WHO, Mali has officially reported a total of six cases of Ebola, with five deaths. In addition, Mali is also ramping up its capacity to perform exit screenings for symptoms of Ebola at the airport in Bamako. Meanwhile, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with the Government of Mali, as well as DWB to increase food and water delivery and improve hygiene and sanitation. More information on Ebola response efforts in Mali can be found here. On November 18th, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $285 million grant to finance Ebola-containment efforts underway in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, as well as to help address the socioeconomic impacts of the outbreak and to restore basic health services. The grant is part of the nearly $1 billion previously announced to support the countries affected by the Ebola crisis. A press release was issued here. On November 18th, officials at the New Delhi Airport reported than an Indian man who was successfully treated for Ebola in a Liberian hospital was being held at a quarantine facility as a precautionary measure after his semen tested positive for Ebola. Though the patient’s blood samples tested negative for the virus, medical officials confirmed the virus can linger in other bodily fluids for as long as three months. The patient will remain in quarantine until all of his bodily fluids test negative for Ebola. The full story is available here On November 18th, U.S. President Barack Obama met with national security and public health advisors, including Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain. Following the meeting, President Obama said, “we are nowhere near out of the woods yet.” In addition, President Obama urged Congress to approve his Administrations $6.18 billion emergency funding request before Congress adjourns for the holidays. President Obama’s comments were recorded here. On November 18th, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Africa hosted a hearing titled, “Fighting Ebola: A Ground-Level View.” Witnesses included Rabih Torbay of International Medical Corps, Brett Sedgewick of Global Communities, and Darius Mans of Africare. The hearing was announced here. On November 18th, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled, “Update on the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak.” Witnesses included CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Preparedness and Response Dr. Nicole Lurie, and Acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak. Details can be viewed here. On November 18th, a coalition of companies and aid groups announced plans to collect blood plasma from Ebola survivors to treat new victims of the virus in West Africa. Clinical Research Management, Inc. will lead the plasma study in Africa. Plasma will be collected through three bloodmobiles donated by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and the Greenbaum Foundation. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) will provide Ebola testing for the study, in collaboration with several universities, the Blood Centers of America, and the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation. More information can be seen here. On November 18th, New York City health officials said a woman who died of an apparent heart attack will be tested for Ebola out of an abundance of caution because she had recently been in West Africa. Officials reported the woman had been in one of the four African countries affected by Ebola just 18 days before her death, but she had not experienced any symptoms of the virus. The full story is available here. On November 19th, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said while Liberia has seen positive changes in its number of Ebola cases, the international community must maintain its high level of support. Last week, the WHO reported that growth in the number of cases in Liberia was beginning to slow. President Sirleaf’s statement was captured here. On November 19th, medical sources reported that another Sierra Leonean doctor died of Ebola, bringing the total number of doctors in the country killed by the virus to seven. Already suffering a weak healthcare system, Sierra Leone has seen 128 of its health workers infected with Ebola. Additional information can be read here. On November 19th, the WHO reported the number of new Ebola cases in Guinea and Liberia are no longer rising. The number of cases in Sierra Leone, however, is continuing to increase. This week, the U.N. and its partners deployed preparedness teams to Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, and Senegal in an effort to bolster existing frameworks for Ebola response. The WHO stated that increasing preparedness in currently unaffected countries will help control and contain Ebola should the virus spread. The latest U.N. reports can be read here. On November 19th, World Bank Chief Economist Francisco Ferreira said the impact of the Ebola epidemic for sub-Saharan Africa’s economy would be between $3 billion and $4 billion. Previous estimates found the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak could be as high as $32 billion. Chief Economist Ferreira attributed the change in estimates to the success of containment efforts in West African countries. Additional analysis can be viewed here. On November 19th, the World Bank shared new insights on the impact of the Ebola outbreak on the Liberian workforce. According to phone surveys, nearly half of those working in Liberia when the Ebola outbreak began are no longer working, as of early November 2014. The World Bank also noted those engaged in self-employment activities have been the hardest hit, as has the wage employment sector. The World Bank also observed Liberia’s agricultural sector has shown the most resilience to the Ebola outbreak. Additional information was analyzed here. On November 19th, USAID, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Illumina, Inc. announced a publicprivate partnership to train local and Ebola outbreak-deployed personnel to sequence viral genomes and to expand genomic surveillance operations. The partnership is intended to collect information that can assist in the development of Ebola diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies. Sequencing and patient monitoring facilities will be created first in Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone and will later be launched in other West African countries. The partnership was announced here. On November 19th, airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard transferred control of a humanitarian cargo hub to replacement forces in Senegal, completing their support for an Ebola response mission that has processed more than 750 tons of relief supplies for airlift into Liberia. As the Kentucky unit plans to redeploy to the U.S., the humanitarian cargo operation at Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport will continue under the direction of new airmen from the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron. The transfer of control was noted here. On November 19th, a U.S. service member returning from Liberia threw up during his flight to Texas and was subsequently tested for Ebola. The test for Ebola came back negative. The service member was hospitalized and released. The 70 other troops he was traveling with will undergo a mandatory 21-day quarantine and Fort Bliss. The incident was reported here. On November 19th, Pentagon Spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said the U.S. military is scaling back the size and number of Ebola treatment facilities it is building in Liberia. While the Department of Defense (DOD) had originally planned to construct 17 treatment facilities in West Africa, DOD will now move forward with building just ten treatment units. Additionally, seven of the ten planned facilities will now include 50 beds rather than the 100 beds previously planned. An update was provided here. On November 19th, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on “Preparedness and Response to Public Health Threats: How Ready Are We?” Witnesses included Assistant Secretary of HHS for Preparedness and Response Dr. Nicole Lurie, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kathryn Brinsfield, USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg, and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey. A recording of the hearing can be watched here. On November 19th, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee marked up and approved the Adding Ebola to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Priority Review Voucher Program Act. The bill would make Ebola treatments eligible for priority review vouchers at the FDA, cutting the regulatory evaluation time in half. Information on the bill can be accessed here. On November 19th, U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation to allocate funds to support the establishment of regionally designated hospitals to provide specialized care to Ebola patients in an isolated setting. The bill directs HHS to distribute funds to assist hospitals that voluntarily seek designation as an Ebola treatment center. The legislation was detailed here. On November 19th, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hosted a hearing titled, “Examining Medical Product Development in the Wake of the Ebola Epidemic.” Witnesses included Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Director Dr. Robin Robinson, FDA Assistant Commissioner for Counterterrorism Policy Dr. Luciana Borio, CDC Senior Advisor for Ebola Response Rear Admiral Steve Redd, and National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. A webcast of the hearing can be watched here. On November 19th-20th, more than 1,000 public and private security professionals from U.S.-based businesses, academic, faith-based institutions, NGOs, and the federal government met at the U.S. Department of State for the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) 29th Annual Briefing. The briefing included a panel discussion titled, “Ebola: Lessons Learned,” featuring Dr. Kent Brantly and Dr. Lance Plyler of Samaritan’s Purse. More information was shared here. On November 20th, congressional Republicans introduced companion legislation to temporarily ban visas to residents of the countries the CDC has designated as having widespread transmission of Ebola. The legislation includes a carve-out for aid workers and foreign military who must travel to the U.S. In the U.S. Senate, the bill was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Pat Roberts (RKS), John Thune (R-SD), and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The House bill was introduced by Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA). A press release was issued here. Burkina Faso On November 14th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people of Burkina Faso on their adoption of a Charter of Transition, providing the framework for a civilian-led transition and elections in November 2015. The Charter will allow for the designation and installation of a civilian Transitional President, as well as the commencement of the work of the Transitional organs. More from Secretary- General Ban’s statement can be read here. On November 16th, a committee of politicians, army representatives, and civil and religious leaders announced former Foreign Minister Michel Kafando as their selection to serve as interim president of Burkina Faso. After the military seized power last month following the resignation of President Blaise Compaore, the army named Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida as interim president. Due to pressures from the international community, Lieutenant Colonel Zida pledged to quickly hand over power to a transitional authority. Burkina Faso’s new interim leader was announced here. On November 17th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people of Burkina Faso on the signing of the Charter of the Transition and on the appointment of former Foreign Minister Michel Kafando as Transitional President. The Charter, which provides a legal framework for a transitional government and elections in November 2015, follows heavy protests earlier this month that led to the resignation of former President Blaise Compaore. More can be read here. On November 18th, Michel Kafando was sworn in as Burkina Faso’s interim president. President Kafando will hold the position until elections are held. Upon his swearing in, President Kafando indicated he would likely announce his prime minister later in the week. An article on the swearing in can be read here. On November 18th, the U.S. Department of State issued a statement congratulating the people of Burkina Faso and their leaders on the signing of a charter that will guide the transition to a democratically elected government. The State Department congratulated Michel Kafando on being sworn in as interim president and encouraged him to build on the momentum of the past two weeks and to select individuals to serve in the transitional government who are firmly committed to a democratic, civilian government. Additionally, the State Department urged Burkina Faso’s armed forces to continue to safeguard the territorial integrity of Burkina Faso and the security of its citizens. The statement was posted here. Zambia On November 14th, Peter Sinkamba, announced his candidacy on the Green party ticket to replace Zambian President Michael Sata, who passed away last month. Sinkamba is known as a leading environmental activist in the country. Sinkamba is expected to run on a platform that includes legalizing marijuana and imposing stricter regulations on Zambia’s mining industry. Elections will be held in January. Details were reported here. On November 19th, Zambia’s interim President Guy Scott announced plans to hold elections on January 20th to choose a successor to President Michael Sata. The Zambian constitution mandates elections within 90 days of President Sata’s death. Following the announcement, Defense Minister Edgar Lungu announced his candidacy for the ruling Patriotic Front party. President Sata’s son, Mulenga Sata, who serves as Mayor of Lusaka, also said he will also seek to be the Patriotic Front’s candidate. The party is likely to select its candidate later this month. In addition, former President Ruphiah Banda announced he will run as a candidate for the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy party. President Scott cannot run in the elections because his parents were not Zambian. More information can be found here. On November 20th, the widow of recently deceased Zambian President Michael Sata announced she will seek to replace him in January’s elections. Christine Kaseba will run as a candidate for the ruling Patriotic Front party and will be one of nine candidates seeking election. Her candidacy was announced here. Libya On November 13th, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) condemned rising violence in eastern and western Libya, including bombings at the Egyptian and Emirati embassies in Tripoli and ongoing fighting in Benghazi and Jabal Nafusa. UNSMIL warned against continued violence and called on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and respect international law with regards to the protection of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid. Excerpts from UNSMIL’s statement are available here. On November 14th, the U.N. Human Rights Office (OHCHR) voiced alarm over escalating violence in Libya, including car bombings, clashes between rival armed groups, and beheadings of activists. This violence has also been directed at Libya’s national human rights institution, the National Council of Civil Liberties and Rights, which was recently closed following a targeted campaign of violent threats and intimidation. More information on the humanitarian situation in Libya is available here. On November 18th, fighters loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of the Libyan city of Derna and began flying the ISIL flag over government buildings. According to sources on the ground, there are 800 ISIL fighters in Derna, and approximately half a dozen ISIL camps located on the outskirts of the city. The situation in Derna was reported here. On November 19th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of UNSMIL Bernardino Leon announced that conflicting parties in Benghazi had agreed to an unconditional humanitarian truce. The 12- hour truce will allow for the evacuation of civilians retrieval of the dead. Further details are available here. On November 19th, U.S. Department of State Press Office Director Jeff Rathke welcomed U.N. Special Representative for Libya Bernardino Leon’s announcement that a ceasefire had been negotiated in Benghazi. He called on all Libyans to support the ceasefire, to allow the Red Crescent to evacuate civilians from affected areas, and to allow affected civilians the opportunity to address their immediate humanitarian needs. Director Rathke also noted the State Department was following reports that extremist groups in Libya have pledged their support to ISIL. His comments were transcribed here. On November 20th, the U.N. Security Council blacklisted Ansar Al Sharia Benghazi and Ansar Al Sharia Derna. The two groups are branches of the Islamist extremist group Ansar Al Sharia, believed by the U.S. to be responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attacks. Both groups have been added to the Al Qaeda sanctions list and will face an arms embargo, global travel ban, and asset freezes. More information was shared here. Nigeria On November 14th, Boko Haram seized the town of Chibok, in Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, the same town where 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped over six months ago. The Nigerian military is developing a plan to retake Chibok, but is already facing significant difficulties trying to contain Boko Haram in other parts of Nigeria. More on the attack on Chibok is available here. On November 14th, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the State Department was closely monitoring the situation in Chibok, Nigeria, following Boko Haram’s seizure of the town. Spokesperson Psaki condemned the Boko Haram attacks in Chibok, a community that she said has already suffered too much. She also reiterated that the U.S. remains committed to helping the Government of Nigeria in addressing the threat posed by extremist organizations and to assisting Nigeria, as well as Cameroon, and Chad, in addressing critical security needs. Spokesperson Psaki’s comments were transcribed here. On November 14th, a Nigerian military helicopter crashed and exploded, killing all three crew on board. It was not immediately clear if the helicopter, which was flying in northeastern Nigeria, a central location in the Nigerian military’s battle against Boko Haram, had been shot down or crashed because of technical failure. It was the second Nigerian military helicopter to go down this week. Further details of the incident are available here. On November 16th, a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a mobile phone market in the town of Azara in Bauchi state, Nigeria. The area in the northeastern part of the country is among the worst hit by attacks launched by Boko Haram. The attack killed at least 13 people. The incident was reported here. On November 17th, Muhammad Sanusi, the Emir of Kano and one of northern Nigeria’s most influential Muslim leaders, said that Nigerians should acquire whatever weapons might be needed to protect themselves from Boko Haram. Nigerian police said the emir’s comments were a call for anarchy and should not be acted on. In addition, police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu said the police force is living up to its duty to protect lives and property. The emir’s comments were captured here. On November 20th, Nigerian Senate President David Mark shut down parliament after police fired tear gas to prevent the speaker of the lower house of parliament from presiding over a session. The speaker has defected to the opposition and the parliament was assembling to debate a bill intended to extend a state of emergency in three states affected by insurgency. Read the report here. Somalia On November 14th, U.S. Special Representative for Somalia James McAnulty warned the U.S. may cut foreign assistance to Somalia unless Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed put an end to their political bickering. Tensions began last month when President Mohamoud rejected a cabinet reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister Ahmed and have escalated with President Mohamoud seeking a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Ahmed in parliament. The U.S. gave $58 million to Somalia in development assistance in this fiscal year and an additional $271 million in military assistance for the Somali national army and the AU force in Somalia. Details can be seen here. On November 17th, Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed told Cabinet Ministers to resign if they are unhappy. His statement came in response to a petition put forward by over 100 lawmakers loyal to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to remove the Prime Minister from office. This is President Mohamoud’s second push to oust a prime minister in less than a year. Additional details are available here. On November 17th, U.N. Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay met with Somalia’s political leaders, urging them to find a solution to the political crisis that would allow the Federal Government to implement the Vision 2016 plan for Somalia’s political transformation. The talks, preceding the first Ministerial-level High Level Partnership Forum Copenhagen on November 19th-20th, emphasized adherence to the peace and state building agenda. Specifics of this program can be read here. On November 19th, Jeffrey Feltman, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said the international community must continue their efforts in supporting the security of Somalia. In his speech at the High-Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen, Under-Secretary-General Feltman said while Somalia has improved in some areas, the momentum of aid during the country’s political transition must not waiver. Excerpts from his speech were highlighted here. South Sudan On November 15th, U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Charles Twining said his armored diplomatic convoy was attacked last month by a solider in a South Sudanese military motorcade carrying Vice President James Wani Igga. Ambassador Twining said two shots were fired at the follow car behind his vehicle. Meanwhile, South Sudanese Army Spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer said the soldier did not fire shots, but instead hit the U.S. vehicle with the butt of his gun. No one was hurt in the incident. The situation was described here. On November 18th, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said it has begun relocating nearly 15,000 South Sudanese refugees who were stranded in Ethiopia after the refugee camp where they were due to live was flooded. The first group of 125 refugees began their travel to the Pugnido Refugee Camp on Monday, while an additional 29 refugees with special needs will be flown to the new refugee camp by helicopter. The situation was reported here. Central African Republic On November 17th, the U.S. Department of State issued a press briefing endorsing the conclusions of the sixth meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on the Central African Republic (CAR), held in Bangui on November 11th. The conclusions outline a broad consensus on the way forward toward a peaceful, prosperous, tolerant, and democratic future, starting with an intensive effort of the CAR Government and international partners to prepare for an inclusive national dialogue in the next few months. The State Department also encouraged the CAR Government to take all steps necessary to expedite the organization of free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections. The statement was issued here. United States – Africa Relations White House On November 17th, Vice President Joe Biden departed for Morocco to lead the U.S. delegation to the Fifth Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Marrakech. The GES brought together more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and high-level government officials to allow innovators from Africa and around the world to promote their products and share new ideas on communications technology, water management, and alternative energy. Information on the GES was posted here. On November 19th, Vice President Joe Biden met with King Mohammed VI of Morocco to reaffirm the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Morocco. Vice President Biden thanked King Mohammed VI for hosting the GES. In addition, the leaders discussed how best to support Morocco’s success, and reaffirmed their dedication to working together to promote human and economic development, including through vocational training and educational exchange. They also discussed a wide range of global, regional, and bilateral issues, such as efforts to combat ISIL and other violent extremism, the peace process in Libya, the situation in the Western Sahara, and trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa. A readout of the meeting can be seen here. On November 20th, the White House issued a fact sheet on the GES being held in Marrakech, Morocco. The fact sheet highlights the U.S. delegation to the GES led by Vice President Joe Biden and including several cabinet members, heads of agencies, and senior U.S. Government officials. As part of its participation in the GES, the U.S. delegation announced a $50 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) investment to support the development of public-private partnerships in Morocco, as well as the establishment of a training academy for entrepreneurs in the country. In addition, the U.S. Government announced a Middle East and North Africa Investment Initiative to provide financial and practical support to small and medium sized businesses fun by entrepreneurs. The fact sheet can be downloaded here. Department of State On November 6th-17th, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli was on travel to Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. In Tanzania, Under Secretary Novelli was the senior U.S. Government official speaking at a regional summit on stopping wildlife crime and advancing conservation. In Kenya, Under Secretary Novelli met with cabinet secretaries from the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Energy, and the National Treasury, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and energy sector and business leaders. She also visited Nairobi National Park, the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the iHub tech entrepreneur center, and met with leading Kenyan wildlife conservations and social media experts. In South Africa, Under Secretary Novelli delivered remarks at the University of Pretoria on global supply chains, the advantages of open economies, the need for regional integration, and Africa’s opportunity to prosper in the new economy. She also toured the Ford Factory in Silverton and met with the Ministers of Trade and Industry, Energy, and Health, as well as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Finally, Under Secretary Novelli met with the Minister of Environmental Affairs and presented to South African authorities State Department-provided equipment to combat wildlife trafficking. Under Secretary Novelli’s travel was announced here. On November 14th, as part of her visit to South Africa, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli met with Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Bheki Cele in Pretoria. Under Secretary Novelli also hosted a roundtable discussion with entrepreneurs. Her schedule was outlined here. On November 14th, the State Department announced Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation Ambassador Adam Scheinman’s departure on overseas travel for consultations in preparation for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon). As part of his trip, Ambassador Scheinman was scheduled to visit Algiers, Algeria. Ambassador Scheinman’s travel was noted here. On November 18th, the State Department issued a fact sheet on International Study in the U.S. and Study Abroad by U.S. Students. According to the fact sheet, education exchanges have reached record highs. In addition, the State Department highlighted that study abroad continues to diversify with greater numbers of U.S. students choosing nontraditional locations, including sub-Saharan Africa. The fact sheet can be downloaded here. On November 19th, State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon and Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli met separately with U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Douglas Griffiths, at the Department of State. Both meetings were noticed here. On November 19th, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski was on overseas travel to Nairobi, Kenya. Assistant Secretary Malinowski’s travel was announced here. On November 19th-20th, Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell traveled to Morocco to attend the Women’s Entrepreneurship Signature Event on Innovation and Inspiration – the Next Billion Rising – and delivered closing remarks at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day luncheon and high-level policy dialogue. Ambassador Russell also visited the Women’s Education and Training Center in the Hay Mohammadi district of Marrakech with Second Lady of the U.S. Dr. Jill Biden. Additionally, Ambassador Russell attended meetings in Marrakech and Casablanca to discuss the status of women and girls in the region with religious leaders, members of parliament, civil society leaders, adolescent girls, and women entrepreneurs. Ambassador Russell’s visit to Morocco was outlined here. On November 19th-20th, State Department Special Representative for Global Partnerships Andrew O’Brien was on travel to Marrakesh, Morocco, as part of the U.S. delegation participating in the GES. Special Representative O’Brien’s participation was highlighted here. Department of Defense On November 13th, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) reported on a recent educational session the Charlie Company, 407th Civil Affairs Battalion recently held for 19 Djibouti Armed Forces cadets during their ongoing partnership with Arta Interservices Military Academy (AMIA). The course was focused on civil military cooperation (CIMIC), army logistics and intelligence collection, and preparing cadets to enable security cooperation and neutralize violent extremist organizations. Details can be viewed here. On November 14th, sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams participated in a community relations project in Port Victoria, Seychelles. The project took place at Nature Seychelles, a local nature sanctuary, where sailors widened and dug out a canal to help support the Red Mangrove ecosystem, cut down invasive plants, and transported soil that would be mixed with compost to enrich soil. The project was detailed here. On November 17th, Marines from U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) celebrated the 239th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. The celebration was held at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, and featured a keynote address from Lieutenant General Steven Hummer, Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations, and birthday cake. The event was described here. On November 17th, AFRICOM reported on U.S. Army Africa’s participation in a recent planning event for Eastern Accord 15 (EA 15) held in partnership with Uganda’s People Defense Forces and other African partner nations, including Burundi, Djibouti, Rwanda, and Tanzania. EA 15 is scheduled for March 2015 and is intended to allow participants to hone their skills and experiences to conduct future peacekeeping operations in support of U.N. and AU operations in East Africa. More information can be found here. On November 17th, AFRICOM announced the launch of the Fusion Action Cell and the Threat Security Cooperation Hive that recently launched at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The new entities are part of the reorganization of CJTF-HOA and are intended to build joint inter-agency, inter-governmental, and multinational teammates from Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, and Uganda. An article on the new initiatives can be read here. On November 17th, ten journalists from Botswana and Malawi arrived at AFRICOM headquarters as part of a five-day visit of a media delegation that is intended to enhance reporters’ understanding of the command’s mission and programs in Africa. As part of the visit, African journalists interviewed senior AFRICOM leaders. More information was posted here. On November 18th, maritime professionals from South and East Africa, Europe, Indian Ocean nations, and the U.S. met to begin finalizing plans for Exercise Cutlass Express 2015, which is scheduled to be held early next year. The exercise occurs annually in several operational areas along East Africa and is intended to increase capabilities in deterring piracy, countering illicit trafficking, and addressing other maritime threats. Elements of planning for the 2015 exercise were highlighted here. On November 18th, AFRICOM shared photos from a training session hosted by U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Africa for members of the Burundian National Defense Force in Bujumbura, Burundi. The ten-week course will cover best practices in operations and logistics. The training session, which is currently in its fourth week, was detailed here. On November 19th, AFRICOM Commander General David Rodriguez delivered remarks at the Defense One Summit in Washington, DC. Commander Rodriguez’s participation was noted here. On November 20th, AFRICOM hosted a graduation ceremony for the first Senior NCO Academy in Sub- Saharan Africa for the Malawian Defense Forces (MDF). The Senior NCO Academy was paid for through the African Military Education Program (AMEP). It is the second U.S.-sponsored course held in Malawi as part of the effort to build African military capabilities. More information was shared here. Department of Justice On November 18th, the D.C. Circuit agreed to reconsider a decision that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot force companies to disclose when their products contain conflict minerals originating from the DRC. While the court has previously decided the SEC could not make the rule the recent American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) case has raised new issues for the court’s consideration. Business groups have continued to oppose the SEC conflict minerals rule on the account that disclosures would not be purely factual and uncontroversial. The full story is available here. Congress On November 14th, the House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “The Future of Energy in Africa.” Witnesses included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources Robert Ichord, USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Africa Eric Postel, and Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind. The Committee also received testimony from Walker Williams of Leadership Africa USA and Dianne Sutherland of Petroleum Africa Magazine. A webcast of the hearing can be watched here. On November 17th, the Senate approved the nomination of Erica Banks Ruggles to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda. Ambassador Ruggles was confirmed by a voice vote. More information can be found here. On November 18th, the Senate confirmed James Peter Zumwalt to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. Ambassador Zumwalt’s nomination was approved by a voice vote. Details are available here. On November 18th, House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) said as lawmakers continue to prepare a spending bill for consideration during the Lame Duck, she is looking for a debate on easing the restrictions placed on $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt following the ouster of democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi. While Congresswoman Granger indicated she would support allowing the State Department waiver authority, it remains unclear if her Senate counterpart Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) would be willing to adjust his firm stance on restricting military aid for Egypt. The situation was detailed here. On November 19th, the Senate voted on the nominations of Robert Yamate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and Earl Robert Miller to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Botswana. Both nominations were approved by a voice vote. Both votes were recorded here. North Africa On November 14th, sources in the French police revealed that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was hospitalized in the French city of Grenoble. President Bouteflika suffered a stroke in early 2013. The reason for his current hospitalization has not been released. The source statement can be found here. On November 14th, the AU-U.N. Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) reiterated its commitment to investigating allegations of the mass rape of 200 women and girls in a town in North Darfur. The investigation has, so far, been unable to find evidence confirming the claims. UNAMID’s next steps are detailed here. On November 17th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over allegations of mass rape in Tabit, North Darfur and urged the Sudanese Government to allow international authorities access to the town. Investigators from UNAMID have so far been denied access to Tabit, leaving them unable to confirm reports alleging the mass rape of 200 women and girls. More information is available here. On November 17th, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team concluded a visit to Morocco for discussions with Moroccan authorities on the 2014 Article IV consultation, as well as on the first review of economic performance under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement approved in July 2014. The discussions focused on policies to consolidate recent gains in macroeconomic stabilization, and build the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth. Details on the discussions were provided here. On November 17th, an Egyptian woman died of H5N1 bird flu after coming in contact with infected birds. It is the second death from the virus, and the seventh case identified in Egypt, so far this year. More can be read here. On November 19th, ten civilians were killed in fighting between the Egyptian army and Islamist militants. In the fighting along Egypt’s border with Gaza, at least three of the victims were children and three were women. An article on the fighting can be read here. On November 19th, the U.N. Security Council called on the Sudanese Government to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations that a mass rape of 200 women and girls occurred in North Darfur back in October. While UNAMID visited Tabit on November 9th to conduct their own investigation, the presence of military and police made a complete investigation difficult. The Security Council called for unhindered access to Tabit for UNAMID to complete its investigation. The situation in North Darfur was detailed here. On November 20th, according to Egypt’s Interior Ministry, authorities fired tear gas and arrested 25 people in Cairo. Several dozen protestors were gathering to commemorate the 42 activists killed by authorities in 2011. The gathering violates Egypt’s strict anti-protest laws. More information on the event can be read here. On November 20th, Egyptian authorities arrested Mohamed Ali Bishr, one of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to escape jail after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last year. Bishr has played a key role in organizing the underground of the Brotherhood since the group was labeled a terrorist organization in 2013. For more details on the arrest, click here. On November 20th, Egypt’s Industry and Trade Minister announced that three African economic blocs will merge to create a 27-nation free-trade zone. The agreement will be signed in Cairo this December and will unite the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the South African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC). An article on the economic agreement can be read here. East Africa On November 9th, a team from IMF concluded a visit to Kenya. Following meetings with Cabinet Secretary to the Treasury Henry Rotich, Principal Secretary to the Treasury Kamau Thugge, and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, the mission reached staff-level agreement on a program that could be supported by the IMF through a Stand-By Arrangement and Stand-By Credit Facility (SBA/SCF). The arrangement would allow Kenya to access IMF resources in the event of exogenous economic shocks and would also help support Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. The mission was summarized here. On November 14th, UNHCR announced that, so far in 2014, nearly 37,000 Eritreans have sought refuge in Europe, compared with only 13,000 during the same period in 2013. Reasons given for refuge-seeking include an intensified recruitment drive into Eritrea’s mandatory national service and a frustration with the shortage of services and absence of self-reliance opportunities in refugee camps. Additional information can be read here. On November 14th, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) announced it would begin serving reduced rations to roughly 500,000 refugees in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya, due to insufficient funding. The WFP distributes 9,500 tons of food monthly in Kenya, at a cost of almost $10 million. The organization is currently struggling to raise the $38 million necessary to cover its refugee operations for the next six months. More on the WFP’s efforts can be read here. On November 14th, the World Bank highlighted the effectiveness of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). The program has helped to increase the food security of Ethiopian households during the leanest harvest period and has also helped generate new assets, such as local infrastructure and savings to help safeguard the country’s food supply from repeated shocks. An article on PSNP can be read here. On November 16th, Nicholas Kay, U.N. Special Representative for Somalia, issued a statement expressing concern over an outbreak of violence during preparations for parliamentary elections in Somaliland. Special Representative Kay referenced reports of members of parliament being detained and casualties caused by violence. More on the violence in Somaliland can be found here. On November 17th, almost 1,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya, protested a series of vicious public attacks on women who were wearing mini-skirts or other clothing perceived to be immodest. The attacks, in which women were stripped naked and assaulted, were captured by cellphone cameras and spread through social media. The attack in Nairobi occurred in broad daylight on a busy street, sparking broad public outrage. Further details are available here. On November 17th, Kenyan police killed a man and arrested 250 others in conjunction with raids on two mosques suspected to be used to recruit militants and stash weapons for Somalia’s Islamist group Al Shabaab. Civil rights groups condemned the raids, stating that security agents were unfairly targeting Muslims in Kenya, which is majority Christian. More on the raids and other police efforts is available here. On November 18th, Kenyan authorities reported that a group of youths armed with machetes killed three people. The events occurred after police raided tow mosques allegedly used to recruit Islamist militants. At least two of the three victims were Christian, police said. Details on the attacks can be read here. On November 19th, Kenyan authorities seized explosives and weapons from three mosques in Mombasa. In the latest in a series of raids that began Sunday, police arrested 109 people suspected of participating in militant training. In total, 376 people have been arrested and 158 will be charged with being members of Al Shabaab. Details on the raids in Mombasa are available here. On November 19th, Kenya Power announced it had secured a $190 million loan from Standard Bank to enhance its transmission network. The company is Kenya’s only electricity distributor and has been struggling with out-of-date infrastructure. A portion of the loan will also go towards acquiring additional transformers. More information on the loan to Kenya Power can be viewed here. West Africa On November 14th, U.N. relief officials warned the deteriorating security situation in northern Mali continues to threaten Mali’s development and economic prospects. Officials also called for the global community to reaffirm its commitment to combatting malnutrition and sexual and gender based violence in Mali. Excerpts from U.N. officials’ statements can be found here. On November 18th, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $36 million development policy credit and a $27 million development policy grant to support Mali’s First Recovery and Governance Reform Support Operation. The project, launched in partnership with the IMF, is intended to help Mali strengthen government accountability and transparency, as well as improve public sector spending. Project details can be viewed here. On November 19th, U.N. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel Robert Piper reported that insecurity is rapidly spreading across the region. According to Coordinator Piper, two of the region’s biggest challenges include the Ebola outbreak and the ongoing conflict in Nigeria. To date, the conflict in Nigeria has displaced 1.5 million people. Furthermore, there are 25 million people in the Sahel experiencing food insecurity. For details on the challenges in the region, click here. On November 19th, Ivory Coast soldiers, formally part of the government rebellion in 2011, returned to their bases after the government agreed to pay them back wages. Witnesses say that soldiers had deployed to several crossroads in the evening but were gone by morning. Other witnesses say looting occurred in the town of Bouake. The rebel soldiers are demanding payment for their service to the current President Alassane Outtara. More details on the conflict can be read here. Sub-Saharan Africa On November 13th, the World Bank highlighted the first commercial-scale wind energy project it has financed under its Eskom Renewables Support Project in South Africa. Once fully operational in March 2015, the 100 megawatt (MW) Sere Wind Farm in Western Cape Province will generate electricity for approximately 124,000 standard homes. In addition, the project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to six million tons over 20 years. More information can be found here. On November 14th, Zimbabwe’s ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party suspended several senior officials aligned with Vice President Joice Mujuru, who is currently in a fierce battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe. The suspensions, citing disciplinary issues, were given to politicians seen as critics of President Mugabe and are expected to significantly weaken Vice President Mujuru’s position in the succession race. The situation was detailed here. On November 14th, a Botswana judge overturned a government ban on a gay rights lobbying group. The ruling allows for the group to register and campaign for changes to anti-gay legislation, while also reiterating that it remains illegal to engage in homosexual acts. Excerpts from the ruling, which is expected to put pressure on President Ian Khama’s anti-gay agenda, can be read here. On November 16th, Zimbabwe’s Vice President Joice Mujuru issued her first public response to charges that she is planning to challenge President Robert Mugabe. In her statement, Vice President Mujuru denied involvement in any treasonous activity and reaffirmed her commitment to President Mugabe. The battle to succeed President Mugabe is being fought within the ZANU-PF party with an eye to the President’s reportedly failing health. Further details are available here. On November 17th, South Africa’s main opposition party revealed that it had asked law enforcement authorities to charge a government minister and police with assault after several of its parliamentary deputies were injured during a brawl. The incident occurred during a parliamentary debate over alleged corruption in a $23 million state-funded upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s house. More on the disturbance, including each side’s conflicting allegations, is available here. On November 18th, UNHCR urged authorities in the DRC, as well as the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to boost their capacities to stem the violence in the area in Katanga province known as the triangle of death. In October, UNHCR registered 1,737 incidents in the triangle of death, including the looting and burning of houses, extortion, torture, forced labor, recruitment into armed groups, and sexual violence. During the last three months, more than 71,000 people in Katanga province have been displaced. Insights from UNHCR were shared here. On November 18th, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors announced a $40 million International Development Association (IDA) grant to support the implementation of Mozambique’s Conservation Areas for Biodiversity and Development project. The project will also receive a $6.3 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The initiative is intended to protect and improve the communities around Mozambique’s conservation areas, promote tourism, and create jobs. Details are available here. On November 18th, Uganda suspended five staff members at the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The suspensions come at the start of an investigation into the theft of more than one ton of ivory from the agency’s vaults. Three of the staff members possessed keys to the vault and the other two suspended were security guards on duty at the time of the theft. Read more about the theft here. On November 18th, South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced that South Africa will spend $2.2 billion over two years to buy HIV/AIDS medications for public hospitals. Aspen Pharmacare and U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories are two companies involved in a $667 million two-year contract to manufacture the HIV/AIDS drugs for South Africa. Details can be found here. On November 18th, Human Rights Watch released a report entitled, “Operation Likofi: Police Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kinshasa.” The report alleges that police in the DRC killed at least 51 youth and forcibly disappeared 33 others during an anti-crime campaign carried about between November 2013 and February 2014. Human Rights Watch called on Congolese authorities to investigate the killings and bring those responsible to justice. The full report can be downloaded here. On November 19th, nearly 4,000 workers in the Mauritius sugar industry went on strike over a pay dispute with producers. Workers are demanding a 40 percent pay increase and a 100 percent increase in benefits. So far, the Mauritius Sugar Producers’ Association has offered an 11 percent raise over the course of four years. The sugar industry in Mauritius accounts for 1.2 percent of its GDP. More details on the strike can be read here. General Africa News On November 13th, the U.N. Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the release of Guidelines on Methods and Procedures for Ivory Sampling and Laboratory Analysis, intended to support the deployment of forensic technology to combat elephant poaching. The guidelines were released in response to critically high levels of elephant poaching, leading to their possible extinction in parts Africa. More on the guidelines’ content and intended recipients is available here. On November 20th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made a statement promoting the development of green, clean industrialization in Africa. Secretary-General Ban noted that agriculture still accounts for the major share of rural household income and employs over 60 percent of Africa’s labor force, particularly women. Excerpts from Secretary-General Ban’s statement can be seen here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2014 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.