Leading the News
On June 5th, Boko Haram militants launched attacks against three villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing hundreds of people. The militants appeared disguised in military fatigues and reportedly told the villagers they were soldiers that had deployed to protect the community from Boko Haram. Once all of the citizens were rounded up in the village centers, the disguised gunmen began shooting. The attacks were detailed here.
On June 6th, the New York Times profiled the Arewa24 television station, the new 24-hour satellite
television channel to be launched in northeastern Nigeria. The $6 million project, funded by the U.S.
State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, is part of U.S. counterinsurgency efforts to support
Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram. The goal of the channel is to provide original content, including
comedies and children’s programs that will be developed and produced by Nigerians to serve as an
alternative to the violent propaganda and recruitment efforts of Boko Haram. The full report can be read
On June 9th, suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped 20 women from a nomadic settlement near the
northeastern town of Chibok, where Boko Haram militants also abducted close to 300 schoolgirls in April.
According to reports on the ground, the militants arrived midday and forced the women to enter their
vehicles at gunpoint. Three young men who allegedly tried to stop the kidnappings were also captured
by Boko Haram. It is believed the women are now being held in a remote part of Bono state. The new
abductions were reported as Nigerian Defense Headquarters announced that Nigerian troops had been
effective in preventing additional Boko Haram raids over the weekend and in killing more than 50
militants. The full story is available here.
On June 9th, Nigerian military officials reported that a female suicide bomber killed herself and a soldier
outside of army barracks in the city of Gombe on Sunday. The attacker had allegedly tried to enter the
barracks, but detonated her explosive when she was stopped and searched by soldiers at the entrance.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Boko Haram has set off similar bombs in the area
in attacks spanning the past five years. More information can be found here.
On June 9th, United Nations (U.N.) Special Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit concluded his
second visit to Nigeria since the April 14th abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in
Borno state. Special Representative Djinnit renewed the U.N.’s commitment to supporting ongoing
efforts by the Nigerian Government to secure the safe release of all of the kidnapped schoolgirls and
presided over the finalizing of a U.N. Integrated Support Package (ISP) to complement the
Government’s efforts towards rescuing the schoolgirls and addressing related challenges. More on
Special Representative Djinnit’s visit to Nigeria was reported here.
On June 12th, Boko Haram militants reportedly asked for 40 cows as a precondition for the release of
each of the 20 women who were abducted in Garkin Fulani near Chibok last week. Local police
authorities familiar with the request said that the husbands and fathers of the abducted women were
reluctant to provide cows as ransom for the release of their wives and daughters. Reports on the ransom
request were shared here.
On June 5th, the U.S. State Department announced the U.S. delegation to attend the inauguration of
President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi. The delegation was led by State Department Counselor Thomas
Shannon. Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry Ambassador David Thorne also attended the
inauguration and participated in meetings with Egyptian officials. More information can be seen here.
On June 6th, The Middle East Institute hosted a podcast, titled “Egypt After the Elections,” to discuss the
circumstances and outcome of the presidential vote. Speakers included Steven Cook of the Council on
Foreign Relations (CFR), Mohamed Elmenshawy of The Middle East Institute, Amy Hawthorne of the
Atlantic Council, U.S. diplomat Gamal Helal, Emad Shahin of the American University in Cairo (AUC),
and Paul Salem of The Middle East Institute. A recording of the podcast can be accessed here.
On June 8th, General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi was sworn in as President of Egypt. In his remarks at the
inaugural ceremony at the presidential palace, attended by visiting heads of state, President Sisi
committed to working to restore security and stability to Egypt and the region. In a televised speech later
in the day, President Sisi also made clear there will be no cooperation or appeasement for those
engaging in violence. The day was marked with a number of celebrations across Egypt, as well as a few
isolated protests. Details on President Sisi’s inauguration were shared here.
On June 10th, U.S. President Barack Obama called Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi to
congratulate him on his inauguration and to convey his commitment to working together to advance the
shared interests of both countries. President Obama reiterated U.S. support for the political, economic,
and social aspirations of the Egyptian people and respect for universal rights. President Sisi expressed
appreciation for the call and welcomed U.S. support for the new government. In addition, the leaders
affirmed their commitment to the U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership and agreed to keep in touch. A readout
of the call was posted here.
On June 10th, CNN called attention to at least five mob sexual assaults that took place in Egypt’s Tahrir
Square over the past week in conjunction with inauguration celebrations for President Abdul Fattah Al-
Sisi. While human rights groups have suggested there may have been even more sexual assaults than
reported, at least four of five victims required medical attention. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Interior Ministry
announced the arrest of seven men on charges of sexual harassment after two women filed police
reports. An article on the incidents can be read here.
On June 12th, an Egyptian court acquitted former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, who served
under topped President Hosni Mubarak, of charges for money laundering and profiteering. Since 2011,
Minister Adly has been detained on a number of charges, including other charges related to graft and
corruption and the killing of protestors in the uprising of former President Mubarak. The court’s decision
was reported here.
On June 5th, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf indicated the State Department
was still seeking information to confirm reports of an assassination attempt against renegade Libyan
General Khalifa Hiftar. In addition, she reiterated that the U.S. Government continues to believe that
Libyans need to address their challenges, including the prevalence of armed militias, though constructive
and democratic means. Deputy Spokesperson Harf’s comments can be viewed here.
On June 6th, U.N. Special Representative to Libya and head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya
(UNSMIL) Tarek Mitri announced a new initiative to bring together various influential Libyan actors to
discuss the deepening concern over the violence in the eastern part of the country. The group is
expected to convene the week before parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for June 25th. The
announcement came as the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
reiterated its call for restraint and peaceful dialogue to prevent the further escalation of violence. A press
release was issued here.
On June 9th, the Libyan Supreme Constitutional Court declared Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteg’s
appointment unconstitutional, but gave no further details or instructions. Last month, Maiteg was
selected to succeed interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni in a highly contested vote that resulted in
secular lawmakers walking out of parliament. The ruling comes as renegade General Khalifa Hiftar
continues an offensive against Islamist militants in Libya. Details were reported here.
On June 9th, U.N. Special Representative to Libya and head of UNSMIL Tarek Mitri briefed the U.N.
Security Council on Developments in the country. Special Representative Mitri reported achievements in
Libya’s democratic transition, such as progress on the constitutional process. However, he warned that
the deteriorating security situation in Libya, notably General Khalifa Hiftar’s mobilization of some units of
the Libyan National Army against armed groups, threatens both the country’s democratic transition and
more broadly the stability of North Africa. Excerpts from the briefing were highlighted here.
On June 5th, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that it was scaling up
emergency response operations as the rainy season approaches in South Sudan. As part of the ramp up
and in response to access problems with the delivery of supplies by truck, the FAO is beginning largescale
airdrops that are intended to provide remote communities with livelihood kits. To date, more than
110,000 emergency livelihood kits have been distributed. Details were reported here.
On June 6th, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) confirmed reports of intense small arms fire
and shelling close to its base in Renk, Upper Nile state, which is currently sheltering roughly 93,000
civilians. In conjunction with the violence, UNMISS also reported that most houses, as well as a hospital,
were destroyed and looted and that reports of sexual assault and gender-based violence had been
documented. An update on the situation in Upper Nile state was provided here.
On June 9th, UNMISS inaugurated a new site adjacent to its base in Malakal to offer protection for
civilians uprooted by conflict and to relieve overcrowding in the U.N. compound, which is currently
hosting 19,000 people. More than 3,100 people have already moved into the new site. Throughout the
country, more than 93,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have sought refuge at ten different
UNMISS locations since fighting resurged in December 2013. More information can be viewed here.
On June 10th, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar met on the sidelines of
an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and agreed
to develop a transitional government within a 60-day timeframe. Both leaders also recommitted to
adhering to previously signed peace agreements, including the May 9th ceasefire arrangement. Details of
the agreement were shared here.
On June 10th, U.S. State Department Counselor Tom Shannon and U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and
South Sudan Donald Booth attended the Heads of State Summit for the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The summit followed a meeting between South
Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar and was focused on next steps in
ending the conflict in South Sudan. Details were shared here.
Central African Republic
On June 10th, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced, even after delivering an urgent appeal for
funding last week, that the $15 million funding request to support humanitarian operations in the Central
African Republic (CAR) has received just two contributions, leaving the projected budget shortfall at
90%. U.N. officials reiterated the need for funding to assist refugees from the CAR who have fled to
Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Republic of Congo (ROC),
especially in advance of the rainy season, which is expected to create conditions for the outbreak of
disease. Feedback from WFP on the situation in the CAR can be seen here.
On June 5th, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf reacted to reports that Ugandan
Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa was likely to be elected President of the U.N. General Assembly. Deputy
Spokesperson Harf reiterated that the U.S. Government continues to be deeply disappointed with
Uganda’s enactment of its anti-homosexuality law. In addition, she said that the reports are not
surprising given the standard process for selecting the President of the U.N. General Assembly, but
noted that the U.S. delegation to the U.N. will continue to defend lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
(LGBT) rights at the world body. Spokesperson Harf’s comments were transcribed here.
On June 9th, in anticipation of Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa being elected as President of the
U.N. General Assembly, the Associated Press profiled some of the criticisms related to Minister Kutesa
holding the position. In Uganda, Minister Kutesa has been implicated in scandals suggesting that he
accepted bribes from foreign companies seeking oil contracts in Uganda. More than 9,000 people have
signed an online petition urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.N. member states to
block Minister Kutesa from reaching the post due to his involvement in corruption scandals and his
alleged role in the enactment of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law. In addition, U.S. Senator Kirsten
Gillibrand (D-NY) has spoken publically against Minister Kutesa holding the position. More information
was posted here.
On June 12th, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously elected Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa
to serve as its President. The largely ceremonial, but prestigious post rotates annually by region. Minister
Kutesa will take over from current U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe of Anitgue at the start of
the 69th session of the General Assembly in September. Details on Minister Kutesa’s election were
On June 12th, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa at the
Department of State. The meeting was included on the State Department’s daily appointment schedule,
which can be found here.
United States – Africa Relations
On June 5th, while visiting Kinshasa, DRC, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and
the DRC Russ Feingold called on DRC President Joseph Kabila to respect constitutional term limits and
step aside as the country prepares to hold presidential elections in 2016. Secretary of State John Kerry
delivered a similar message while visiting the DRC last month. President Kabila has not publically
indicated that he might seek to alter the constitution in a way that allows him to run for another term.
More information can be found here.
On June 5th, the U.S. Embassy in Kenya held a town hall meeting to brief more than 400 Americans in
the region on a number of terrorist threats. According to U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, who
led the town hall, intelligence has been collected over the past two months to indicate that Al Shabaab is
planning attacks against American targets in East Africa, such as the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and
Ethiopia and the U.S. military base at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. While Kenyan President Uhuru
Kenyatta has vowed to protect the country from Al Shabaab, Ambassador Godec noted that the
Embassy is evaluating its security posture and may consider personnel reductions. The town hall
discussion was highlighted here.
On June 6th-12th, State Department Counselor Tom Shannon was on overseas travel to Africa, with stops
planned in South Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Counselor Shannon was scheduled to meet with South
Sudanese Leaders and regional partners in Juba before traveling to Cairo to attend President Abdul
Fattah Al-Sisi’s inauguration ceremonies, as well as other consultations with the Egyptian Government.
Counselor Shannon was then expected to engage in the Sudan peace process negotiations in Addis
Ababa. Counselor Shannon’s travel was outlined here.
On June 9th, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson participated in the
U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. On the sidelines of the forum, Assistant Secretary Patterson
met with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. In her remarks at the Forum, Assistant Secretary
Patterson addressed the recent elections and the democratic transition in Egypt, as well as the
contributions of Middle Eastern countries to the no-fly zone of Libya and security in the region. Assistant
Secretary Patterson’s remarks were transcribed here.
On June 10th, Secretary of State John Kerry, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, and United
Kingdom (U.K.) Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a joint statement on national dialogue in Sudan.
The leaders welcomed the National Congress Party’s stated intent to undertake a process of national
dialogue in Sudan in order to address ongoing conflicts, poverty, governance, political freedoms and
national identity, and to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity. In addition, Secretary Kerry and his
counterparts encouraged Sudanese leaders to work with the African Union (AU) High-Level
Implementation Panel and to avoid any actions that might raise doubts about the sincerity of this new
initiative. The full statement can be read here.
On June 11th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield and
representatives of the National Security Council (NSC) met with representatives from human rights and
advocacy NGOs at the National Endowment for Democracy to discuss the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders
Summit, which will be held on August 5th and 6th in Washington, DC. The planning meeting was noted
On June 11th-13th, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah
Sewall and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield traveled to London,
U.K., to represent the U.S. at the London Ministerial Summit on Boko Haram. Under Secretary Sewall
and Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield also attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in
Conflict as part of a delegation led by Secretary of State John Kerry and that also included Ambassador-
At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes Issues
Stephen Rapp, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region and the DRC Russ Feingold, and other State
Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials. More information was
On June 12th, the State Department issued a statement condemning yesterday’s attack on U.N.
Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) that killed for U.N. peacekeepers
and wounded others, including members of the Malian Armed Forces. The State Department noted that
the attack comes days after the signatory armed groups to the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement
signed an agreement brokered in Algiers, Algeria, recommitting these groups to a peace process with
the Government of Mali. The full statement can be accessed here.
Department of Defense
On June 9th, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) reported on the annual African Executive Dialogue
(AED), which was coordinated by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), the Office of the
Secretary of Defense (OSD), AFRICOM, and the Department of State and recently concluded in the
Washington area. The meeting brought together high-ranking African, U.S., and U.N. officials to evaluate
regional approaches to security cooperation in Africa, as well as ways to create, implement, and monitor
programs that align with African realities and U.S. strategic objectives and security interests. The
meeting was detailed here.
On June 10th, AFRICOM provided details on the recent completion of a six-week long training mission
conducted by U.S. Marines for Senegalese Commandos. The course, held in Dakar, was designed to
help enable the Senegalese Marines to train their own forces in infantry and amphibious tactics. The
Senegalese Commandos are expected to take over responsibility of instructing their peers by the end of
2014. An article on the training mission can be read here.
On June 11th, the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) reported on women’s health
classes recently facilitated by the Bravo Company of the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion (CA BN) in Tadjoura
and Ali Sabieh, Djibouti. The four-day health classes included discussions about general health and
dental care, basic first aid, CPR, good nutrition, and prenatal care. Details were shared here.
On June 11th, CJTF-HOA noted that U.S. military medics recently concluded a five-day mission at the
Kemenge Military Hospital in Burundi, where they worked alongside hospital staff in dentistry and
general surgery. The CJTF-HOA personnel gained insights on how to care for patients with limited
resources and helped the Burundian National Defense Force establish a proactive dental care plan.
More information on the exchange can be found here.
Department of Energy
On June 6th, the Department of Energy (DOE) shared a summary of last week’s U.S.-Africa Energy
Ministerial (AEM) developed by AEM Co-Chairs U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Ethiopian
Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Alemayehu Tegenu. The leaders noted that the two-day
meeting was characterized by constructive and collaborative discussion among participating delegations,
the private sector, and other stakeholders. The AEM concluded with an agreement to develop a clear
roadmap for catalyzing sustainable energy development across African nations. The full AEM summary
can be read here.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
On June 6th, as part of a solar energy roundtable she was hosting in Johannesburg, South Africa, U.S.
Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Director Leocadia Zak signed grants for three renewable
energy projects in South Africa. USTDA agreements were finalized with Ample Solar for a project that
will evaluate the use of Areva Solar’s technology at two concentrated solar plants in the Northern Cape,
with Basil Read Energy to Assist in their efforts to develop a run-of-river hydropower plant that will supply
electricity to 75,000 households, and with Plessey to fund a pilot project on U.S. fuel cell technology
applications for use by the telecommunications industry in South Africa. Information on all three projects
can be viewed here.
On June 6th, USTDA announced the conclusion of a feasibility study to evaluate the technical, financial,
and other critical aspects of extending the municipal optic fiber backbone and implementing a Wi-Fi
network in Cape Town, South Africa. The project is now moving into the implementation phases, which
are expected to be completed within the next 30 months. Project details were posted here.
On June 6th, USTDA indicated it has nearly completed the final report for a technical assistance grant
awarded to the Ghana Airport Company Limited in June 2013 to develop construction design documents
for the Kotoka International Airport Terminal Refurbishment project. The $150-$280 million project will
include a refurbished terminal and concourse complex with six new gate concourse buildings and the
surrounding road and parking infrastructure. The final report will be released by the end of this month.
More information can be seen here.
On June 8th-18th, USTDA will host a delegation of key public sector officials from Morocco’s energy
sector as part of the Morocco Solar PV Reverse Trade Mission (RTM). The delegation will meet with
U.S. companies to learn about leading solar PV technology solutions, equipment, and services that can
support efforts to expand solar PV development in Morocco. Logistics for the RTM were shared here.
On June 11th, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a confirmation hearing for several
ambassadorial nominees. Ambassador Stephen Beecroft, President Barack Obama’s nominee to serve
as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, appeared before the Committee. A recording of the hearing can be
On June 11th, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa held a
hearing titled, “Assessing Energy Priorities in the Middle East and North Africa.” Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Amos Hochstein testified before the Subcommittee. A webcast
of the hearing can be watched here.
On June 11th, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights,
and International Organizations held a hearing on “The Ongoing Struggle Against Boko Haram.”
Witnesses included J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council, Emmanuel Ogebe of Jubilee Campaign USA,
Anslem John-Miller of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, and former U.S. Ambassador
to Nigeria Robin Sanders. Hearing details were posted here.
On June 6th, U.N. officials welcomed plans to launch the Truth and Dignity Commission in Tunisia on
June 9th. The commission, which will be tasked with determining accountability for human rights
violations that occurred during the Tunisian revolution and addressing recognition and reparations to the
victims, kicked off at a seminar co-organized by OHCHR, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP),
the International Centre for Transitional Justice, and the Tunisian Ministry of Human Rights and
Transitional Justice. Details can be viewed here.
On June 7th, the Associated Press reported on the recent use of barrel bombs in Sudan and concerns
that other unstable governments in the region may also begin using barrel bombs, which frequently
injure people and destroy buildings that are not their targets, to combat insurgents. Sudan’s army began
dropping barrel bombs into rebel areas in late 2011. More information can be found here.
On June 9th, the World Bank announced $26.2 million in additional financing for upgrading water
supplies and services in the Greater Tunis area and other cities in Tunisia and for improving the financial
situation of the national water utility, SONEDE, as part of the National Water Security Investment
Program. The additional funding will be used to complement water conservation initiatives to fund the
rehabilitation and capacity expansion of the Greater Tunis potable water treatment plant, as well as the
Belli potable water plant, to avoid water shortages. The additional funding was announced here.
On June 11th, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) awarded a $5.76 million grant to Tunisia’s Oases
Ecosystems and Livelihoods Project. The goal of the project is to improve sustainable natural resources
management and promote livelihoods diversification in selected oases in Tunisia. The grant was noted
On June 5th, the World Bank Group endorsed a new, five-year development strategy to help Kenya boost
economic growth, create more jobs for young people, build vital infrastructure, and reduce poverty. The
new strategy envisions the World Bank delivering over $4 billion in financing to Kenya over the next five
years to be invested in initiatives that are intended to increase economic opportunities while reducing
inequality. More information can be seen here.
On June 7th, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) welcomed the release of 11 crew
members of the MV Albedo, who had been held hostage by Somali pirates since November 2010, to
officials from the U.N. Office for Drugs and crime (UNODC). The MV Albedo sank close to the Somali
coast in July 2013 due to mechanical failures and bad weather and the crew had since been held on
shore by the pirates. The crew members will now be repatriated to their home countries of India, Iran,
Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Details were shared here.
On June 9th, following Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmend’s call for a diffusion of tensions
and an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, U.N. Special
Representative to Somalia and Head of UNSOM Nicholas Kay called on all parties to refrain from violent
actions, which have resulted in a number of casualties in recent days. Reportedly, recent clashes have
affected hundreds of residents and farmers in areas that were recently thought to have been liberated
from Al Shabaab. The full story is available here.
On June 10th, U.N. agencies expressed concern for the measles outbreak in Somalia. In March and April
2014, 1,350 suspected cases of measles were reported in Somalia, followed by another 1,000 cases
reported in May. In response to the worsening outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.N.
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Somali health authorities are coordinating on vaccination campaigns for
children under the age of five in the areas most affected by the disease. More information can be found
On June 11th, The Africa Report suggested that small oil explorers willing to take financial and operation
risks are likely to take the lead in developing East Africa’s oil and gas resources, especially as major
multinational companies are likely to avoid riskier projects as profit margins fall. This is especially true as
countries in the region, notably Mozambique and Tanzania, would like to seize on the prospects of
exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to consumers in Asia. The full article can be read here.
On June 6th, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the fifth review of Cote d’Ivoire’s
performance under an economic program supported by a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF)
arrangement approved in November 2011, enabling the immediate disbursement of $75.2 million. The
IMF observed impressive macroeconomic growth in 2013, with Cote d’Ivoire’s real GDP growth
estimated at 8.7%. Growth projections for 2014 also looked strong, along with a projected decline in
inflation and higher inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI). Additional analysis is available here.
On June 6th, an IMF mission concluded a visit to Guinea to conduct discussions on the fourth review of a
program supported by an arrangement under the ECF approved in February 2012. The mission met with
Guinean President Alpha Conde, Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana, State Minister of Economy and
Finance Mohamed Diare, and Governor of the Central Bank of Guinea Lounceny Nabe. Throughout the
meetings, Guinean officials and the IMF team reached agreement on a set of policies that, subject to
approval by IMF management and the Executive Board, could be supported by the fifth disbursement
under the ECF arrangement. The meetings were summarized here.
On June 9th, clashes broke out in Kano state, Nigeria, following the appointment of ousted Central Bank
Governor Sanusi Lamido as the new emir. Lamido was appointed on Sunday, following the death of emir
Ado Abdullahi Bayero after a long battle with cancer. Lamido’s supporters, primarily belonging to the All
Progressives Alliance (APC) opposition party were reported attacked by backers of Bayero’s eldest son,
Aminu Ado Bayero, for the position. The full story was shared here.
On June 10th, the Frontier Markets Sentiment Index, commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, was
released, identifying Nigeria as the most attractive market for foreign investment, especially from
American and European companies. Of the top 20 markets identified as most attractive to foreign
investors, nine of them were African economies. More information can be viewed here.
On June 10th, CNN ran a story on the controversial new Bride Price app developed by Lagos-based
digital agency Anakle. The app calculates the users’ value based on answers to a series of ranked
questions ranging from height and weight to leg shape and cooking skills. Despite the fact that the app
includes a disclaimer stating that it is a joke, the app has received mixed reactions both in Nigeria and
from the international community. Details can be seen here.
On June 11th, authorities in Sierra Leone shut the country’s borders to trade with Guinea and Liberia and
closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs as part of the effort to control the spread of Ebola virus in West
Africa. To implement the policy, authorities are establishing health checkpoints and mandating that all
deaths due to Ebola virus be reported before burial. In the past week, the number of deaths in Sierra
Leone due to Ebola virus has doubled to a total of 16 cases. More information on Sierra Leone’s
response to the Ebola virus outbreak can be seen here.
On June 11th, the West Africa Commission on Drugs, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun
Obsanjo, released a report commissioned by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anan that recommends
the de-criminalization of low-level drug offenses in West Africa. While expressing ongoing support for
efforts to combat the drug cartels responsible for the movement of cocaine in the region, the report
makes the argument that punishing personal drug use only incites corruption and provokes violence. The
report’s findings were highlighted here.
On June 11th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Security Council condemned the car
bomb attack against at the MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok and called on Malian authorities to swiftly
investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. The attack killed four Chadian peacekeepers
and injured six additional Chadian and Malian peacekeepers and a number of soldiers from the Malian
armed forces. The incident was reported here.
On June 4th, the IMF concluded the Article IV consultation with the Kingdom of Lesotho. The IMF
observed that Lesotho’s economy has performed well since 2010, with real GDP growth averaging over
5% a year and inflation held to single-digit levels. In addition, the IMF noted that Lesotho’s economic
recovery has been achieved due to the help of a three-year IMF arrangement, which was successfully
concluded in September 2013. Additional analysis of Lesotho’s economy was provided here.
On June 4th, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on efforts to address flooding in the Barotse
floodplain in western Zambia, which experts believe has been made worse by climate change. Climate
Investment Funds (CIF) is providing Zambian communities in the flood zone with $31 million in grants to
fund climate resilience projects. In addition, the World Bank has also provided the Zambian Government
with a $5 million loan to help rebuild canals in the villages most affected by flooding. The full story is
On June 5th, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a three-year, $17.6 million arrangement under the
Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Seychelles. The EEF-supported program will be used to reduce high
debt levels, improve external triggers and sustainability in the face of emergent balance of payments
pressures, and strengthen the economy through sustained and inclusive growth. The new IMF funding is
expected to help Seychelles implement a reform agenda focused on strengthening the management and
transparency of public finances. Details were shared here.
On June 5th, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors endorsed a new Country Partnership
Strategy (CPS) for Rwanda that prioritizes accelerating private-sector driven growth to create jobs,
improving productivity and raising incomes, and supporting transparent and accountable governance.
Developed with input from the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the new strategy aims to
better direct World Bank resources in support of the Government of Rwanda’s national goals. A press
release was issued here.
On June 6th, an IMF team concluded a visit to Lusaka, Zambia, to review economic developments and
discuss the macroeconomic framework with Zambian authorities. The mission met with Zambian Finance
Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Bank of Zambia Governor Michael Gondwe, and other senior
government officials, as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society. While Zambia’s
economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, the IMF team identified a number of vulnerabilities and plans
to return to Zambia in September to discuss an economic program that could be supported by a Fund
arrangement. The recent IMF mission to Zambia was summarized here.
On June 7th, in the aftermath of a cattle rustling incident that left at least 30 people dead and 15 others
wounded, the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) condemned the interethnic
clashed and directed U.N. peacekeepers in the DRC to work alongside local authorities to help
restore calm. In addition, MONUSCO indicated that arrangements were being made to protect local
populations with the deployment of peacekeepers in the town of Mutarule to strengthen the posture of
Congolese (FARDC) troops. MONUSCO’s reaction to the incident was described here.
On June 8th, after being admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Friday for exhaustion, South African President
Jacob Zuma was discharged after undergoing a series of medical tests. Announcing his release,
President Zuma’s office indicated that President Zuma will continue to rest for a few days and will
primarily be working from home. Details on President Zuma’s brief hospitalization were posted here.
On June 9th, South African police announced the arrest of two men in connection with a $5.2 million heist
of rhino horns from the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency in April. Most of the 112 pieces of rhino
horns that were stolen, but have yet to be recovered, were from de-horning operations that were
intended to decrease poaching and protect the rhino species. The South African criminal investigation
team indicated they anticipate additional arrests as their investigation continues. The full story can be
On June 9th, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $4.8 million IDA credit for the
ROC’s Statistics Capacity Building Project. The project is intended to attract qualified staff and upgrade
the government’s statistical communication technology to create a more reliable system for assessing
the ROC’s economic and development situation and to inform policymaking accordingly. A press release
can be seen here.
On June 10th, the Enough Project released a report on “The Impact of Dodd-Frank and Conflict Minerals
Reforms on Eastern Congo’s War.” The report finds that changes spurred by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law
on conflict minerals have helped to significantly reduce the involvement of armed groups in the eastern
DRC in mines of three out of the four conflict minerals. In addition, the report suggests that while
insecurity in the region remains a challenge, the initial restructuring within the DRC army has removed
armed actors from many mines and military operations undertaken by the Congolese army and the U.N.
intervention brigade have significantly reduced the threats of armed groups, such as M23 and the Allied
Democratic Forces. The full report can be downloaded here.
On June 11th, London-based oil company SOCO International PLC and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
announced an agreement to prevent exploratory oil drilling in the DRC’s Virunga National Park, which is
home to 200 endangered mountain gorillas. The oil company and the environmental organization agreed
that drilling will only occur if the DRC Government and the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) reach consensus that drilling will not damage the park’s World Heritage status,
which is already endangered. The full story is available here.
On June 12th, Al Jazeera reported on the uptick in fighting along the border between Rwanda and the
DRC near Goma on Wednesday. At least five Congolese soldiers were killed in clashes between
Congolese (FARDC) and Rwandan (RDF) forces. Both sides have accused their opponents of instigating
the fighting with border crossings and attacks on soldiers. The resumption of the tensions along the
border was detailed here.
On June 12th, the South African National Tax Council (SANTACO), in partnership with Telkom Mobil,
launched free Wi-Fi Internet services as part of its transportation system across the country. To use this
service, which will be provided at no additional charge, passengers will be asked to register their devices
in order to receive a limited quota of megabytes. The service will be rolled out gradually, and is expected
to be available countrywide within three years. Details were provided here.
General Africa News
On June 6th, acknowledging the road safety crisis in Africa, the World Bank announced that the Global
Road Safety Facility (GRSF) is scaling up its efforts to facilitate improvements in world safety. With 24.1
fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, Africa has the highest per capita rate of road deaths in the world. In
fact, road deaths are soon projected to overtake the number of malaria-related deaths in the region. As
part of these newly ramped up efforts, additional World Bank funding will be made available for road
safety interventions. Details were announced here.
On June 9th, the 2014 MasterCard African Cities Growth Index (ACGI) was released, identifying Accra,
Ghana, as the African city with the highest potential for inclusive growth. Casablanca, Morocco, and
Freetown, Sierra Leone, were ranked second and third. Additionally, the report highlights African cities
that lack strategic planning for growth. These cities included Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port
Elizabeth, and Cape Town, South Africa, Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, and Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Cairo,
Egypt. The report’s key findings were highlighted here.
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