On September 25th, the United Nations (U.N.) hosted a High-Level Event on the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak. More than two dozen world leaders participated in the meeting, including Guinean President Alpha Conde in-person, and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma via teleconference. Meeting participants agreed on the need for a greater sense of urgency to response to the outbreak and recognized the contributions of individual Member States, including the U.S., Germany, Japan, and Cuba. The meeting was summarized here. On September 25 th , World Bank President Jim Yong Kim delivered remarks at the U.N. High-Level Meeting on the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak. President Kim said the speed, complexity, and magnitude of the response needed to combat Ebola in West Africa is unlike any previous response effort. In particular, he highlighted the need to scale up the ground game and get effective prevention and treatment to every community affected by the outbreak. President Kim’s remarks can be seen here. On September 25 th , U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. meeting on Ebola. President Obama noted the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is spreading at an alarming speed and posing a growing threat to regional and global security. President Obama said response efforts are not moving fast enough and he encouraged international organizations to cut through red tape to mobilize partners on the ground as quickly as possible. He also called for more focus on preparing to prevent, detect, and respond to future biological threats. President Obama’s remarks were transcribed here. On September 25 th , following a U.N. meeting on the Ebola held in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom (U.K.), the U.S., and the High Representative of the European Union (EU), issued a joint statement on Ebola. The G7 Foreign Ministers expressed concern about the unprecedented spread of Ebola virus in West Africa and urged the international community to bring high-quality medical care to Ebola patients and health care workers and to accelerate development and testing of vaccines and therapies. The G7 articulated its continuing determination to support all efforts to stop Ebola virus from spreading further and also applauded the efforts of the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), the World Bank, the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the EU, NGOs, and private companies to increase support for global response efforts. The full statement can be read here. On September 25 th , Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama focused his remarks at the U.N. General Assembly on the need for a sustained, coordinated, international effort to stem the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. President Mahama noted that UNMEER headquarters will be based in Accra. He also discussed his visits to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone last week in his role as chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Excerpts from President Mahama’s address were highlighted here. On September 25 th , the World Bank announced plans to double its financing to $400 million to help the countries in West Africa most affected by the Ebola outbreak. The new $170 million in announced funding will be considered by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in the coming weeks. The Bank plans to spend $230 million on immediate response efforts in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and $170 million on medium- and long-term projects that are focused on building stronger health care systems in the affected region. A press release was issued here. On September 25 th , the third American aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa, Dr. Rick Sacra, was discharged from Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Sacra was treated with a unit of blood donated by another American Ebola survivor, Dr. Kent Brantly, as well the experimental Ebola drug, TMK-Ebola. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that two blood samples taken from Dr. Sacra 24 hours apart found no traces of the virus. Dr. Sacra’s discharge was reported here. On September 26 th , the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took expedited action to approve $130 million in emergency funding to help countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. As a result, $41 million will be immediately disbursed to Guinea, $49 million to Liberia, and $40 million to Sierra Leone. In announcing the new funding, the IMF argued that additional and sizeable budget support from bilateral and multilateral development partners is urgently needed to avoid painful domestic adjustment measures and help eradicate the disease. The funding was announced here. On September 26 th , U.S. President Barack Obama hosted health officials from 44 countries at the U.S. Treasury Department for the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Summit. The goal for the Summit was to build on the attention on the West Africa Ebola crisis to create a longer term strategy for improving basic monitoring systems to stop the spread of infectious diseases. More information was posted here. A White House fact sheet on the GHSA can be downloaded here. On September 26 th , U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks at the GHSA Summit. Secretary Kerry described the tragic conditions resulting from the spread of Ebola in West Africa and said the international community must help African countries beat back the epidemic while also looking ahead at ways to address inequity in health delivery systems, extreme poverty, and crumbling public health systems. He also noted the importance of allowing international trade and travel to continue, despite the spread of Ebola. Secretary Kerry’s remarks were posted here. On September 26 th , U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel addressed the GHSA Summit. Secretary Hagel described Operation United Assistance, the U.S. military response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As part of this effort, Secretary Hagel discussed the deployment of U.S. troops and capabilities including command and control, logistics, engineering, and training support, as well as other resources and expertise to enhance detection and surveillance of Ebola. Secretary Hagel’s remarks were transcribed here. On September 26 th , the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the White House Office of Science and Technology, the CDC, other U.S. Government agencies, and the Government of Sweden announced the “Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development” initiative. The program is intended to engage the global community to identify ingenious ideas that deliver practical and cost-effective innovations quickly, forge public-private partnerships to test and scale innovations, and provide funding to deploy the most promising ideas to the field quickly. More information was posted here. On September 26 th , USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah authored a blog post for USAID’s Impact Blog on the challenges in helping health care workers fight Ebola. Administrator Shah said personal protective equipment that must be worn by clinicians treating Ebola patients can be made safer and more comfortable. He also advocated for the identification of new tools to create a safer clinical environment, including improved infection control and waste disposal. The full blog post can be read here. On September 26 th , U.S. Airmen from the 633 rd Medical Group, accompanied by the Expeditionary Medical Support System (EMEDS), deployed to West Africa to deliver a modular medical treatment center to support humanitarian relief operations in Ebola-stricken countries. The 25-bed deployable hospital facility will be launched with training support from EMEDS and will be able to treat a population at risk of up to 6,500. Details can be seen here. On September 27 th , Director-General of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova condemned the killing of Facely Camara, Molou Cherif, and Sidiki Sidibe, the three journalists who were killed reporting on Ebola aid in southeastern Guinea. Director-General Bokova called on Guinean authorities to investigate the team’s killing and protect aid and media officials working to raise awareness and educate people about Ebola. Her condemnation of the attack was shared here. On September 27 th , Liberian Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Health Minister Bernice Dahn announced her decision to put herself under quarantine for 21 days after one of her assistants died from Ebola. While Deputy Minister Dahn is not currently reporting any symptoms, she has pledged to isolate herself for the maximum incubation period for the disease. In addition, Deputy Minister Dahn has suggested that other staff that came into contact with the assistant also stay home for the next three weeks. The full story is available here. On September 27 th , the U.S. Department of State commended Cote d’Ivoire for reinstating air travel to Ebola-affected countries. State Department officials said the decision will enhance the ability of the international community to facilitate the response to the Ebola outbreak and will help maintain vital trade and commercial links in the region. The statement can be read here. On September 28 th , as the number of Ebola cases in West Africa climbed to 6,574 and 3,091 deaths, the Wall Street Journal reported that while U.S. military personnel and equipment are beginning to arrive in West Africa, there are concerns that the pace is not quick enough to stop the spread of the virus. U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered 3,000 soldiers to West Africa to assist in repairing the runway in Monrovia, Liberia, so that the airport can accept supply deliveries, as well as building new Ebola clinics. The status of response efforts were detailed here. On September 28 th , White House Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where he discussed the U.S. military response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Deputy National Security Advisor Blinken noted the severity of the crisis is a lot worse than initially anticipated. He also described how President Obama is doing everything possible to leverage international partners to help mobilize more resources to address the outbreak. Clips from the interview can be watched here. On September 28 th , an unidentified American physician who had been exposed to Ebola while volunteering to help treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone was transferred to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center for observation and to enroll in a clinical protocol. NIH indicated the patient has been admitted to an isolation unit out of an abundance of caution. Information was shared here. On September 28 th , Reuters reported on the ongoing trials of the experimental GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Ebola vaccine. While it normally takes years to prove that a new vaccine is safe and effective, GSK suspects, pending no adverse side-effects, the vaccine could be made available in West Africa by the end of this year. Similarly, the WHO has said it envisions small-scale use of the first experimental Ebola vaccines in West Africa by January. Details can be viewed here. On September 29 th , Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Samura Kamara used his address to the U.N. General Assembly to urge a stronger and better coordinated response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He said the Ebola crisis is an example of a global challenge that is worsening due to weak infrastructure and human capital in public health and surveillance systems. He also said that while Sierra Leone acted quickly to try to respond to the Ebola threat, the country lacked the necessary resources to address the confluence of dangerous trends that have led to the current crisis. Foreign Minister Kamara’s remarks were summarized here. On September 29 th , Liberian Foreign Minister Augustie Kpehe Ngafuan also took the podium at the U.N. General Assembly to warn of the consequences of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He said inadequate resources, time, and personnel have left Ebola-stricken countries unable to treat other routine illnesses, such as malaria, typhoid fever, and measles, causing more tangential deaths. With international support, Foreign Minister Ngafuan pledged that Liberia will continue to fight the deadly virus. His comments were recorded here. On September 29 th , head of UNMEER Anthony Banbury and his team arrived in Accra, Ghana, to officially open the U.N. mission to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. UNMEER will coordinate international aid to help improve the situation in the region, including health care workers, protective equipment for doctors and nurses, and more treatment beds. The opening of the UNMEER office was noted here. On September 29 th , as the WHO convened a meeting of scientists, regulators, and biopharmaceutical company representatives in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss how to speed up clinical development of Ebola vaccines, a consortium of scientists in Germany expressed frustration that an experimental vaccine developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has not yet entered testing phases. The doses of the vaccine have not been shipped because additional information is required about how the vaccine is manufactured. The full story is available here. On September 29 th , the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) issued an update on the U.S. military response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Army Spokesperson Steve Warren reported that 150 service members are now in Monrovia, Liberia, conducting a range of activities in support of USAID as U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) establishes a joint force headquarters to coordinate U.S. military activities. In addition, a 25-bed hospital and 40 more U.S. personnel arrived in Liberia over the weekend. An update was provided here. On September 29 th , Vox published an interview with CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden regarding his views on the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Dr. Frieden discussed the massive need for health care workers, protective equipment, and medical supplies, and articulated his belief that the outbreak will get worse before the situation begins to improve. The interview can be read here. On September 29 th , Politico hosted a “Lessons From Leaders” event on the response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The event featured a discussion with Bill Gates, Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which recently pledged $50 million for emergency medical care, supplies, and research on Ebola treatment therapies. A recording of the discussion can be watched here. On September 30 th , the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported there has been a spike in the number of orphans in the past weeks that is likely to double by mid-October due to the spread of Ebola. Not only are children losing parents and other extended family to the virus, but fear of Ebola is also outweighing family ties. As a result, UNCIEF is providing physical and emotional healing services in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, including training of mental health and social workers and new initiatives aimed at having Ebola survivors care for orphaned children. More information can be found here. On September 30 th , the CDC confirmed the first diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S. At a press briefing, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said the patient arrived in Dallas, TX, from Liberia, on September 20 th and symptoms of the disease first appeared four or five days later. The patient has been admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he has been placed in isolation. Dr. Frieden said there is no public health risk and the CDC is working to identify people who might have been exposed to the virus. More information can be viewed here. On September 30 th , CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called U.S. President Barack Obama to update him on the recently-diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas, TX. Dr. Frieden and President Obama discussed the isolation protocols under which the patient is being treated as well as ongoing efforts to trace the patient’s contacts to mitigate the risk of additional cases. Dr. Frieden also reported that the CDC has been prepared for an Ebola case in the U.S. and has the infrastructure in place to respond safely and effectively. Their discussion was summarized here. On September 30 th , the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth reacted to the announcement of the first Ebola case in the U.S. by advising the Liberian population in Texas to avoid large social gatherings, which are a prominent part of Liberian culture. The Association also called on CDC officials to identify the patient, so those who may have had contact with him can be tested for Ebola. The Association’s reaction was detailed here. On September 30 th , U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued a statement following the CDC’s confirmation of the first Ebola case in the U.S. While Congressman Royce acknowledged the likelihood of a major outbreak in the U.S. is unlikely, he said it is clear the rapid spread of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone presents a clear and present danger not only to West Africa, but also to the broader international community. Congressman Royce’s comments were transcribed here. On September 30 th , the New York Times reported that Nigeria has been able to contain its Ebola outbreak with quick and coordinated action by some of its top doctors. Despite Lagos being one of Africa’s most densely populated business hubs, the spread of the disease has been stopped and the country is more prepared to address new cases, with laboratories, response teams, and isolation wards ready in every major state. Nigeria’s success in containing the disease was described here. On September 30 th , Marine Corps Times reported that an additional 1,400 U.S. soldiers will deploy to Liberia this month to help support the fight against Ebola. The Army’s 101 st Airborne Division will provide approximately 700 troops, while the remaining 700 will primarily be combat engineers from Army units across the force. Details can be found here. On September 30 th -October 2 nd , USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg traveled to Liberia as part of a U.S. delegation led by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin to assess the response to the Ebola outbreak. The delegation met with local officials, aid organizations, and staff coordinating the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Details can be viewed here. On October 1 st , the Government of Liberia, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) launched a two-week assessment on food security and livelihoods in the wake of the Ebola outbreak. The assessment will include focus group discussions and questionnaires with farmers, forest users, traders, community leaders, elders, women, and youth groups. The results will be used to develop action plans to meet communities’ most urgent needs. The assessment was announced here. On October 1 st , U.S. health officials in Dallas, TX, identified Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, as the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. Duncan had recently quit his job at a shipping company in Monrovia and obtained a visa to travel to the U.S. He likely contracted Ebola while trying to help an infected neighbor seek medical care. Authorities also expressed concern that an opportunity to isolate Duncan earlier might have been missed due to miscommunications about his travel history. While contagious, authorities believe Duncan came into contact with 12-18 people, including five children. The full story is available here. On October 1 st , Democratic leadership of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Republican Committee leadership requesting a hearing on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the first confirmed Ebola case in the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) has said he will hold a hearing on the Ebola outbreak with senior Administration officials in the coming weeks. The letter can be downloaded here. On October 2 nd , the Atlantic Council hosted a briefing on “Combating the Ebola Outbreak: Lessons Learned From and Prospects For the International Response.” Speakers included Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations Anne Witkowsky, State Department Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response Donald Lu, Aspen Healthcare Services Managing Director and CEO Kristi Rogers, Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program Colonel Nelson Michael, and CDC Deputy Director for Policy and Communication Donald Shriber. Details were posted here. Central African Republic On September 26 th , U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a High-Level Meeting on the Central African Republic (CAR). Secretary-General Ban warned the CAR will require international assistance to chart a path to reconstruction, reconciliation, and rule of law. While Secretary-Ban noted the important progress that has been achieved since the cessation in hostilities between anti-balaka and Seleka rebel groups, he warned much more work is needed to address violence and abuse, food insecurity, and the re-establishment of state institutions. Secretary-General Ban’s comments were recorded here. On September 26 th , the WFP said the rainy season has created additional logistical challenges for WFP food distributions in the CAR. In addition, the WFP continues to be challenged by insecurity in the country created by movements of armed elements and rumored attacks. An update from WFP was provided here. On September 26 th , Secretary of State John Kerry met with CAR Transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza and greeted participants at the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-Level Event on the CAR. Secretary Kerry was accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda ThomasGreenfield. Secretary Kerry’s participation was noted here. On September 27 th , CAR Transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza told the U.N. General Assembly she is determined to tackle the challenges needed to put the CAR on the path towards peace and stability. President Samba-Panza reported political instability and internal conflicts between antibalaka and Seleka rebels has put the CAR into a state of extreme vulnerability. She called for international support for the CAR’s transitional government as well as the CAR’s disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration measures. Her address was summarized here. Libya On September 25 th , U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a High-Level Event on Libya on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual debate. During the meeting, Secretary-General Ban warned Libya is in deep crisis as violence threatens the progress of the democratic transition that has been underway since 2011. In addition, Secretary-General Ban reported that more than 300,000 people have been displaced in light of fighting between rival militias, which has also left much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed and promoted the illegal flow of weapons throughout the country. He also reported that U.N. Special Representative for Libya Bernardino Leon continues to try to promote dialogue to end the conflict. Highlights from the discussion were noted here. On September 27 th , President of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh Iissa spoke to the U.N. General Assembly and called on the international community to provide weapons and other assistance to help rebuild security and government institutions as militias continue to perpetuate violence throughout Libya. President Iissa warned that inaction would allow the expansion of terrorist activity further into North Africa and the Sahel. More information can be found here. On September 30 th , U.N. Special Representative to Libya Bernadino Leon facilitated talks between Libya’s House of Representatives and other lawmakers who were elected, but have boycotted the new Parliament and established a second legislative body in Tripoli. Held in Ghadames, the talks resulted in both sides agreeing on the need for a political process to reconcile differences, as well as a ceasefire between opposing militias and humanitarian assistance for those impacted by fighting in Tripoli. There was no immediate response from the Operation Libya Dawn coalition, the alliance of Misurata militias now in control of Tripoli. More information is available here. South Sudan On September 25 th , speaking at a U.N. meeting on the humanitarian situation caused by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar for the crisis and called on them to bring the conflict to an end. Secretary-General Ban also said the international community must remain committed to imposing punitive measures on those responsible for the violence and impeding South Sudan’s peace process. At the meeting, U.N. officials also announced a $60 million contribution from the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for South Sudan, as well the deployment of an additional 5,000 peacekeepers to the country. An overview of the meeting was provided here. On September 25 th , U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth said the U.S. is ready to further expand sanctions against political and military figures in South Sudan to help expedite the peace process. Special Envoy Booth’s comments came in response to a meeting held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting on the humanitarian crisis caused by fighting between forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar. President Kiir, who was also in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, did not attend the meeting. More information was shared here. On September 27 th , South Sudanese President Salva Kiir told the U.N. General Assembly the South Sudanese Government is committed to peace talks with rebels to end the conflict in South Sudan. President Kiir again expressed his belief that the conflict was created by former Vice President Riek Machar, who plotted to seize political power in December. While stating the coup plot was foiled, President Kiir acknowledged that many innocent people have suffered and called on the international community to continue to pressure rebels to cooperate in peace negotiations. President Kiir’s remarks were detailed here. On September 29 th , U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard announced $83 million in additional emergency assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda. Assistant Secretary Richard noted there are more than 450,000 new South Sudanese refugees since December 2013 and an additional 200,000 South Sudanese are expected to flee to neighboring countries by the end of the year. The new aid was announced here. On September 30 th , the WFP and UNICEF reported they have successfully reached more than half a million people, including 100,000 children, in remote areas of South Sudan with humanitarian assistance. Using airdrops and airlifts, the joint mission delivered food, nutrition supplements, learning materials, water, and hygiene supplies in Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity states. The assistance missions were described here. United States – Africa Relations White House On September 25 th , President Barack Obama held a bilateral meeting with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi along the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The meeting marked the first time the two leaders have met face-to-face. President Obama and General Sisi discussed a range of security issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Libya, and efforts to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). They also discussed the need for democratic reforms and protection of human rights in Egypt. Their discussion was summarized here. On September 26 th , the White House, in conjunction with several other governments, including Egypt, Rwanda, and Tanzania, issued a joint statement reaffirming support for U.N. peacekeeping operations. The world leaders acknowledged that U.N. peacekeeping operations have taken on increasingly significant and challenging roles in response to contemporary threats and pledged to assist in supporting peacekeeping operations’ mandates. The full statement can be read here. Department of State On September 25 th , senior State Department officials held a background briefing on Africa issues at the U.N. General Assembly. In particular, State Department officials noted the U.N. General Assembly presented a unique opportunity for following up with Africa leaders on the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. In addition, meeting created a forum for discussing the global response to the Ebola crisis in the West Africa, as well as the issues of terrorism, including efforts to counter Boko Haram and Al Shabaab. In addition, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. officials participated in meetings on the conflicts in South Sudan and the CAR. The briefing was transcribed here. On September 25 th , the State Department hosted a briefing to report on the UNAIDS event held as part of the U.N. General Assembly meeting and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). During the UNAIDS event, Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the tools, science, and commitment available to combat HIV/AIDS and the importance of following UNAIDS’s framework of 90-90-90. Secretary Kerry also expressed unwavering support for changing the tide of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. An overview of the event was provided here. On September 26 th , Ambassador-At-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism Tina Kaidanow met with Moroccan Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nasser Bourita in New York City. The meeting was included on the State Department’s daily appointment schedule, which can be accessed here. On September 26 th , the State Department released a fact sheet on the 27 th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC). Of particular interest, the U.S. co-sponsored resolutions on the CAR and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), calling for protection of human rights through assistance and enhanced dialogue. The HRC also extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan, through a resolution criticizing ongoing violations and abuses of human rights in Sudan. The fact sheet can be downloaded here. On September 26 th , the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) selected the State Department’s African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) as one of this year’s CGI Commitment to Action honorees for its program to help women entrepreneurs develop and integrate their businesses into local supply chains. Working with CGI, AWEP will launch the Missing Middle of Africa Supply Chain Project, which is anticipated to reach more than 5,000 beneficiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. AWEP members include more than 1,600 businesses and 22 chapters in Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. More information can be found here. On September 26 th , the State Department released Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume E–9, Part 1, Documents on North Africa, 1973–1976. The documents are focused on the relationship between the U.S. and North Africa during the Nixon and Ford Administrations, especially related to instability in the Maghreb region. The chronicles also cover efforts by both administrations to re-establish diplomatic relations with Algeria, to reassure Morocco and Tunisia, and to manage relations with Libya. More information can be viewed here. On September 28 th , the State Department issued a statement on the fifth anniversary of the 2009 massacre in Conakry, Guinea, that killed more than 150 people and injured thousands more at a prodemocracy rally. The Department said the victims were killed exercising their fundamental freedom to assemble and protest a repressive military regime that had stifled democratic reform and perpetrated human rights violations and other crimes with impunity. While recognizing that Guinea has taken some recent steps to build democratic institutions, the State Department called on the Government of Guinea to do more to hold the perpetrators of the massacre accountable. The full statement can be read here. On September 29 th , Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Rick Barton circulated a letter at the State Department detailing the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operation’s efforts in Nigeria to promote practical solutions to problems that might otherwise lead to violence. For example, with State Department support, Nigerians have access to weekly broadcasts of “Dawn in the Creeks,” and other interactions on talk radio and social media that are intended to reduce recruitment of Nigerian youths into violence. The letter can be seen here. On September 29 th , the State Department issued a fact sheet on the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), a U.S. Government-funded security assistance program working to meet the growing global demand for specially trained personnel to conduct international peace operations by building the capabilities of U.S. partner countries to train and sustain peacekeepers, increasing the number of capable military troops and police units available for deployment, and facilitating the preparation, logistical support, and deployment of peacekeepers. The fact sheet highlights that GPOI has supported 52 national and regional peace operations training centers and three regional headquarters for the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The fact sheet can be downloaded here. On September 30 th , Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement congratulating Nigeria on the celebration of its Independence Day. Secretary Kerry said the U.S. partnership with Nigeria was founded on shared values of democracy, security, and respect for human rights and rule of law and noted the U.S. and Nigeria must continue to work together to thwart destabilizing forces that seek to undo the gains achieved to date. In addition, he noted his recent conversations with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan related to enhancing bilateral trade and collaboration, and recognized Beatrice Jedy-Agba for her work to address human trafficking in Nigeria. Secretary Kerry’s full statement was posted here. On September 30 th , Secretary of State John Kerry shared remarks on Botswana’s national day. Secretary Kerry said the bilateral relationship is built on shared interests in democracy, justice, equality, and the fundamental rights of all people. He also highlighted how the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is benefitting Botswana’s youths and how PEPFAR is helping to heal the sick. Secretary Kerry’s remarks can be viewed here. On September 30 th , Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman met with U.N. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit at the Department of State. The meeting was noticed here. On September 30 th , Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield also met with U.N. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit. In addition, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield delivered remarks on U.S.-Africa policy at Howard University. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield’s schedule was detailed here. On September 30 th , Ambassador-At-Large and Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, to participate in the 3 rd Annual Symposium of Health Systems Research. The symposium will bring together researchers, policymakers, funders, implementers and other stakeholders to discuss the challenge of making health systems more responsive to the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Event details were shared here. On September 30 th , the State Department issued a statement expressing concern for reports that Sudanese security forces had arrested dozens of political activities and civil society leaders in advance of the anniversary of the 2013 demonstrations. U.S. officials called on the Government of Sudan to establish an independent judicial inquiry into human rights violations and abuses, including those involving the killings that occurred as part of the 2013 demonstrations in Khartoum. The statement can be read here. On September 30 th -November 5 th , companies in California hosted 78 women from the Middle East and North Africa as part of the State Department’s TechWomen exchange program, which aims to provide women with the opportunities needed to advance their careers and build a network of mentors in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This year’s program includes participants from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe. Additional information on participating U.S. companies was provided here. On October 1 st , Secretary of State John Kerry issued a press statement on Guinea’s National Day. Secretary Kerry said the U.S. and Guinea have had a long a productive relationship. He praised the progress Guinea has made in promoting democracy and economic prosperity and said the U.S. and Guinea will continue to work together on health, women’s rights, agricultural development, good governance, transparency, and regional stability. The full statement was posted here. U.S. Agency for International Development On September 29 th , Romi Bhatia of USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab and Jeffrey Jackson of USAID’s Bureau for Africa authored a post for USAID’s Impact Blog on the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM), which encourages starting new global businesses in Africa. ADM is a tool that provides seed funding, expertise, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs looking to create new opportunities in Africa and other parts of the world. More information was posted here. On September 30 th -October 3 rd , USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Ariel Pablos-Mendez traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, to participate in the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. On October 1 st , Assistant Administrator Pablos-Mendez co-hosted a session on how the health systems research community can support the needs of Ebola-affected countries. His travel was announced here. On October 1 st , USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah traveled to Atlanta, GA, to participate in the annual Catalyst Conference. Administrator Shah spoke to the faith community about USAID’s mission to end extreme poverty by 2030, as well as the agency’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. More information can be viewed here. Department of Defense On September 25 th , the Marine Corps Times shared new details on the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Libya on July 26 th due to an uptick in militia violence in Tripoli. While leaders of the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response had advocated for evacuation of Embassy personnel by air, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones ultimately decided to evacuate Embassy staff via ground convoy to Tunisia. The evacuation was described here. On September 29 th , the Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius, for a port visit. The port visit is intended to continue U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa’s efforts to build maritime partnerships with African nations in order to improve regional maritime safety and security. While in port, U.S. sailors were scheduled to participate in two sporting events with the local police force, host a reception, and conduct a community relations project. The port visit was detailed here. On September 30 th , DOD announced that U.S. Marines have established three new staging posts in Africa that will allow the U.S. military to respond more quickly to crises in Africa. The new posts, which are located in Senegal, Ghana, and Gabon, will have minimal infrastructure and will only be used in the event of a crisis at a U.S. diplomatic post that requires a military response. Information on the new staging posts was reported here. On October 1 st , AFRICOM Public Affairs reported on a recent military to military (M2M) event designed to bring women serving in African militaries into direct contact with their American female military counterparts. As part of the M2M, AFRICOM’s Directorate of Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems (C4) hosted nine female officers and two enlisted NCOs from nine African nations in the U.S. for cultural activities, demonstrations of tactical equipment, briefs on operational processes, and discussions on policies to empower women. More information was shared here. U.S. Trade and Development Agency On September 29 th -October 10 th , USTDA will host a reverse trade mission (RTM) on Malawi Power Sector Opportunities. The RTM will introduce high-level representatives from Malawi’s electric power sector to U.S. technologies, equipment, and services, as well as policies, regulations, and financing mechanisms that can support the modernization of Malawi’s power sector. Participating delegates from Malawi will attend a Business Briefing at USTDA headquarters, participate in the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) annual conference, and conduct additional site visits in Washington, DC, Miami, FL, and Atlanta, GA. More information can be found here. Overseas Private Investment CorporationOn September 26 th , the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) highlighted its work with the Calvert Foundation to provide financing for the launch of a new fund for microfinance institutions that are members of the Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) network, to help expand investments in water and renewable energy across sub-Saharan Africa. The fund is intended to bolster financing options that are relatively scarce for borrowers, such as loans with longer tenors or seasonally adjusted repayment plans. Details can be seen here. Millennium Challenge Corporation On September 29 th , the Millennium Challenger Corporation’s (MCC) Poverty Reduction Blog featured a post on Malawi’s evolving power sector. The post was published in conjunction with a panel held with Malawian power sector leaders on increasing access to reliable electricity. Many of Malawi’s challenges, including the small number of Malawians connected to the electricity network, minimal generation capacity, and growing power demand, are problems the Obama Administration is seeking to address through the Power Africa initiative. The blog can be accessed here. North Africa On September 25 th , Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Mazouki spoke at the U.N. General Assembly debate. President Mazouki reported that Tunisia is moving ahead with a peaceful, democratic transition and instituting new policies to advance the country’s socioeconomic development. He also expressed concern about the deteriorating security situation in Libya and more broadly for terrorist activity in the region. President Mazouki’s speech was noted here. On September 25 th , Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Prime Minister Benkirane, on behalf of King Mohammed VI, appealed for developing countries to be treated fairly, especially in Africa, and for development issues to be addressed in an objective manner. He also observed there is no single development model that will work for every country. Prime Minister Benkirane’s remarks were summarized here. On September 27 th , Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra took the podium at the U.N. General Assembly and called on the international community to intensify the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel. Foreign Minister Lamamra also addressed the situation in Libya, calling for inclusive dialogue and national reconciliation, as well as Algeria’s role in facilitating mediation efforts between the Government of Mali and rebel groups in the northern part of the country. His remarks were noted here. On September 30 th , Tunisia’s election commission approved 27 of 70 potential candidates to run in the November presidential elections. Notable candidates include current Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, as well as several officials from ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s administration, such as former Transport Minister Abd Errahim Zouari, former Health Minister Mondher Zenaidi, and former Foreign Minister Kamel Morjan. Other notable candidates include the leader of Tunisia’s secular Nida Tounes party, Beji Caid Essebsi, and former Central Bank Governor Kamel Nabil. More information was reported here. On September 30 th , the World Bank approved the $519 million Noor-Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project in Morocco. An initial 160 megawatt (MW) phase of the project is currently under construction. The second 350 MW phase will include the installation of solar parabolic troughs and a solar energy tower. The expansion is anticipated to increase capacity and output, especially during peak hours. More information can be seen here. On October 1 st , an IMF mission concluded a visit to Algeria for the annual Article IV discussions. During their visit, the IMF team observed that economic activity picked up in 2014, with GDP growth expected to increase from 2.8 percent to 4 percent by the end of this year. While the IMF team noted that both Algeria’s hydrocarbon and financial services sectors have contributed to economic growth, they cautioned that the country’s fiscal deficit could widen due to lower hydrocarbon revenue and not enough financing for small and medium-sized enterprises. More analysis can be seen here. East Africa On September 25 th , Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said that a lack of financial resources has inhibited the ability of some countries to make significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Addressing climate change at the U.N. General Assembly, President Kikwete appealed to all countries to reach a legally binding climate agreement in Paris. He also voiced concern about the Ebola crisis in West Africa, but expressed hope that the international community will stand up against the threat of the disease. More information is available here. On September 25 th , Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn focused his comments at the U.N. General Assembly on the need to address climate change, which he reported is undermining Ethiopia’s efforts to meet its development aspirations. In order to respond to climate change, Prime Minister Dessalegn reported that Ethiopia is seeking to scale up its efforts in renewable energy and to promote energy efficiency. Excerpts from his address were highlighted here. On September 26 th , Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took the podium before the U.N. General Assembly, where he discussed efforts intended to promote inclusive nation building in Somalia. He also noted that Somalia is at a critical junction to achieve security and stability. Themes from his President Mohamud’s address were reported here. On September 26 th , East African insurance regulators concluded a two-week seminar held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on the regulatory and supervisory frameworks in the region. The discussion focused on the growing importance of the insurance industry in the region, strategies for increasing cross-border operations, and the regulatory challenges faced by practitioners. In addition, participants agreed to develop an action plan to help stimulate further regional cooperation. The workshop was described here. On September 26 th , Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) unveiled new research on the radicalization process and the desire to join Al Shabaab in Somalia. The study finds that economic and deprivation factors were more influential in radicalization than religious factors. Perceptions of government and external role players were also found as critical factors in influencing radicalization. The study’s findings were summarized here. On September 29 th , an employee of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC, was temporarily detained after opening fire on the grounds of the Embassy during a protest against the Ethiopian Government. No one was hurt in the incident. In addition, no arrests were made because the Embassy employee has diplomatic immunity. The full story is available here. On September 29 th , after concluding a visit to Italy, to meet with Eritrean refugees, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea Sheila Keetharuth reported that the human rights situation in Eritrea remains dire, with continued forced conscription, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances. She said the newly formed Commission of Inquiry, launched by the HRC, will investigate these violations. Since the start of the year, Italian authorities have rescued roughly 32,000 Eritrean refugees from the Mediterranean. More information was shared here. On September 30 th , from the podium of the U.N. General Assembly, Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Mohammed Saleh called for a restructuring of the U.N., claiming that a few dominant powers have shaped the system’s activities and distracted from the U.N.’s mission to maintain global peace and security, end poverty, ensure sustainable development, advance human rights, avoid epidemics, protect sovereignty, ensure justice and equality, and protect the environment. Foreign Minister Saleh’s comments were captured here. On September 30 th , the World Bank approved a $600 million International Development Association (IDA) credit for Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Nets Project 4 (PSNP4). The funds will be used to expand access to safety net and disaster risk management systems, as well as provide nutrition services and income support to food insecure families living in rural areas. The project is expected to benefit 10 million food insecure people per year. A press release was issued here. West Africa On September 25 th , Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou addressed the U.N. General Assembly and warned against the balkanization of Africa. While promoting African unity, President Issoufou also discussed the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, which he argued should be focused on defense, democracy, and development. Details can be viewed here. On September 25 th , Gambian President Al Hadji Yahya Jammed warned that powerful U.N. Member States should avoid taking advantage of developing countries, so as not to increase international tensions. Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly, President Jammed also called on the U.N. to play a stronger role in responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Arica, as well as conflict in the Middle East. The themes of his comments were noted here. On September 25 th , Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba presented a speech to the U.N. General Assembly. President Ondimba discussed Gabon’s strategic plan to ensure sustainable development, which is focused on good governance, creating opportunities for young people, and addressing the challenges of climate change and food security. He also warned that the Ebola crisis in West Africa poses a global threat requiring mobilization at the international level. President Ondimba’s remarks were summarized here. On September 25 th , Senegalese Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye recognized terrorism in the Sahel as one of Africa’s greatest challenges. Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, Foreign Minister Ndiaye warned the Horn of Africa is also experiencing a number of conflicts, while West Africa is plagued by the Ebola outbreak. Generally, he called for a holistic approach to strengthening the capacity of African countries to respond to recurring crises. Foreign Minister Ndiaye’s comments can be seen here. On September 25 th , Cameroonian Foreign Minister Moukoko Mbonjo delivered remarks at the U.N. General Assembly on behalf of President Paul Biya. Like many other African leaders, Foreign Minister Mobonjo expressed concern for the impacts terrorism is having on neighboring countries. For example, he observed that the CAR has seen a significant deterioration of its security since march, while Nigeria continues to be threatened by Boko Haram. Foreign Minister Mbonjo’s comments were recorded here. On September 25 th , an IMF mission concluded a visit to Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, where IMF staff reached an agreement with authorities on an emergency program that could be supported by the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). IMF staff expects the agreement, which would allow Guinea-Bissau access to approximately $5.4 million, to be submitted to the IMF Executive Board for its consideration in early November. Staff observed that Guinea-Bissau requires assistance, especially given that the new government is facing two years of economic disruption, eroded government revenues, and a decline in GDP. More information was shared here. On September 25 th , an IMF staff team concluded a visit to Bamako, Mali for discussions in preparation of the first and second review of the government’s economic program supported under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The mission met with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister Moussa Mara, Minister of Economy and Finance Bouare Fily Sissoko, and Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) National Director Konzo Traore. Following their meetings, the IMF staff noted that Mali’s economy is returning to normal with 5.8 percent GDP growth expected for this year. Details can be viewed here. On September 25 th , the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $100 million IDA credit for the Agriculture Investment and Market Development Project in Cameroon. The project is intended to help establish partnerships between Cameroonian farmers and agri-businesses to increase production of cassava, maize, and sorghum and to enhance the productivity of approximately 300 producer organizations, benefitting 30,000 farming households. The IDA credit was announced here. On September 25 th , the World Bank announced the approval of a $500 million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) credit for the Development Finance Project in Nigeria. The goal of the project is to increase access to finance for medium and small scale enterprises (MSME) in agriculture, trade, light-manufacturing, and services to help stimulate economic growth and create jobs. A press release was issued here. On September 26 th , an IMF mission concluded a visit to Dakar, Senegal, to conduct discussions for the 2014 Article IV consultations and to undertake the eighth and final review of the three-year arrangement under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) approved in December 2010. The IMF staff team observed a positive economic outlook for 2014 with economic growth expected to reach 4.5 percent. The mission also welcomed Senegalese authorities’ commitment to pursuing economic policies and structural reforms that will result in high and inclusive economic growth. Additional economic analysis was provided here. On September 26 th , an IMF team concluded its trip to Accra, Ghana, for meetings with Ghanaian leaders on a possible program of economic reforms that could be supported by the IMF. The IMF staff met with several government officials, including Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur. The meetings revealed that Ghana continues to face significant domestic and external vulnerabilities, a large fiscal deficit, a slowdown in economic growth, and rising inflation. As a result, discussions on a possible IMF program are slated to continue at the IMF Annual Meetings. More information can be seen here. On September 27 th , U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a High-Level Meeting on the Malian Political Process on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Secretary-General Ban called for greater international support for Mali’s pursuits of peace, stability, and development so that refugees can return home, human rights can be protected, and public services can be restored. Secretary-General Ban also reiterated his condemnation of attacks against U.N. peacekeepers in Mali. An overview of the meeting was provided here. On September 27 th , in his address to the U.N. General Assembly, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita noted the 2010 political and security crisis in Mali has shown common challenges that many Sahel countries face on security, governance, human rights, and development. President Keita reported the process of stabilization and dialogue is now fully underway in Mali. He also called for a more global response to terrorist threats, including in Libya, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tunisia. President Keita’s comments were summarized here. On September 30 th , Permanent Representative of Benin Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou addressed the U.N. General Assembly, calling on the U.N. to play a bigger role in conflict prevention. In particular, he raised concern for the Sahel region. He also discussed the Pan-African Center for Social Foresight and an upcoming March 2015 symposium to facilitate Islamic-Christian dialogue. Representative Zinsou’s speech was noted here. On September 30 th , the World Bank approved two IDA grants for Guinea. The first $20 million grant will help fund the Guinea Stepping Up Skills Project, which was designed to help increase employment opportunities for young people through professional training programs. A second $15 million grant will support the Agricultural Sector Support Project, which is intended to promote food security through agricultural reforms and investments. Both grants were detailed here. Sub-Saharan Africa On September 25 th , DRC President Joseph Kabila addressed the U.N. General Assembly. President Kabila warned that development in Africa is threatened by terrorism, with routine attacks in Libya, Kenya, Somalia, and Nigeria. He said development efforts have also been hindered by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and pledged that the DRC will continue to contribute to the global response effort to stop the spread of the virus. Excerpts from President Kabila’s speech were highlighted here. On September 25 th , Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivered a speech before the U.N. General Assembly. President Mugabe reiterated his criticisms of Western sanctions on Zimbabwe, which he believes are intended to achieve short-term political objectives, including regime change. He also called for the U.N. to play a larger role in promoting dialogue to achieve peace, rule of law, and common understanding among Member States. Details can be viewed here. On September 25 th , Malawian President Peter Mutharika focused his comments to the U.N. General Assembly on the creation of a post-2015 development agenda. He reported that Malawi is on track to achieve four of eight MDGs by 2015. Therefore, President Mutharika argued the post-2015 development agenda must consider countries, like Malawi, that still have work to do to achieve all of the MDGs. Details were posted here. On September 25 th , President of Madagascar Hery Martial Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana also spoke at the U.N. General Assembly. President Rakotoarimanana focused his remarks on efforts to protect Madagascar’s biodiversity, including the implementation of a zero tolerance policy for trafficking of wildlife and natural resources. He also noted that while Madagascar will not reach the MDGs by 2015, the country will continue to invest in its people, enhance infrastructure, and expand education. President Rakotoarimanana’s speech was summarized here. On September 26 th , the AfDB approved a $24.49 million grant to help finance the first phase of the Nyakararo-Mwaro-Gitega Road Improvement and Asphalting Project in Burundi. The project aims to help open up access to the country and boost regional trade. The project is part of Burundi’s Infrastructure Action Plan (2010-2015). A press release was issued here. On September 26 th , the World Bank approved $7 million in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) financing for Seychelles to help the country better cope with extreme natural events such as floods, mud slides, and tsunamis. In announcing the new financing, the World Bank indicated that Seychelles is the first Africa country to partner with the World Bank on a disaster risk initiative of this kind. More information can be found here. On September 27 th , Vice President of Burundi Prosper Bazombanza addressed the U.N. General Assembly and highlighted his country’s progress on achieving the MDGs, including through the implementation of free education and medical care for children. He also discussed Burundi’s 2015 presidential and general elections, which he said should be transparent, free and democratic. Excerpts from Vice President Bazombanza’s speech were noted here. On September 27 th , Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Marques Baloi took the podium before the U.N. General Assembly. Foreign Minister Baloi called upon the U.N. and Member States to embrace multilateralism to address conflicts. He also expressed support for the principle of self-determination, especially for the rights of people in the Western Sahara. Details were posted here. On September 27 th , South Africa finalized a $31 million economic assistance package with Cuba. A first payment of $3.57 million will be used to purchase seeds for Cuban agriculture, while a second installment of $8.93 million is slated for the purchase of goods from South Africa. The remaining $18.75 million of assistance will be issued as a line of credit. The assistance package was detailed here. On September 30 th , the World Bank issued a new report entitled, “A Decade of Development in SubSaharan African STEM Research.” The study finds that while Africa’s economic growth in recent years can be attributed to growing STEM capacities, research in these areas remains insufficient to meet the needs of the modernizing continent. The report’s conclusions were highlighted here. On September 30 th , an IMF staff mission completed a visit to Victoria, Seychelles, to assess performance under the first review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement. The IMF staff team observed that Seychellois authorities are continuing to strengthen the fundamentals of the economy and the conditions for sustained economic growth. However, the IMF also cautioned that short term economic pressures could temporarily slow the economy. Additional analysis was provided here. On October 1 st , an IMF mission concluded a visit to Harare, Zimbabwe, to conduct the third and last review under the Staff Monitored Program (SMP) approved in June 2013 and to hold discussions on a successor agreement. Following meetings with Zimbabwean Government officials, IMF staff observed that Zimbabwe has met all of the quantitative targets and structural benchmarks, and proposed a new SMP to end in December 2015 that will focus on balancing the budget, restoring confidence and stability in Zimbabwe’s financial sector, addressing debt challenges, and clarifying indigenization laws. The trip was summarized here. General Africa News On September 25 th , on the sidelines of the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, the Japanese Government convened the second roundtable of the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to underline the importance of regional infrastructure to Africa’s growth. Participants included Chairman of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Chairman of ECOWAS Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission Erastus Mwencha, and Chief Executive Officers of the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Participants concluded the lack infrastructure in Africa inhibits trade and investment and called for more financing and public-private partnerships to address these shortfalls. More information can be seen here. On September 29 th , the U.N. convened a High-Level Meeting on Refugees in Africa. Opening the meeting, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonia Guterres noted there are more than 3 million refugees, 12.5 million IDPs, and 700,000 stateless people in Africa. The meeting resulted in general consensus on the need for robust international commitment to preventing conflicts and forced displacement and to addressing ongoing conflicts in Mali, Nigeria, Libya, and Somalia. The meeting was summarized here. On September 29 th , the Mo Ibrahim Foundation released its 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). The annual report includes assessments of the quality of governance in African counties through an examination of government and private sector institutions, public policies, and delivery of public goods and services. The IIAG finds the best governed African nations are Mauritius, Cabo Verde, and Botswana. The worst governed countries are Somalia, the CAR, and Eritrea. The IIAG was released here. On October 1 st , the U.N. hosted a high-level meeting on “The Role of Africa’s RECs in Consolidating Peace, Security, Governance, and Development in the Context of Agenda 2063.” The discussion focused on development and the long-term future of the continent in light of the AU’s Continental Agenda 2063. Speaking at the meeting, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson discussed the need to address youth unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, and humanitarian and security situations on the continent. The meeting was noted here. On October 2 nd , the American Security Project (ASP) hosted a conference on “Africa: Promoting Investment and Extending America’s Security.” The event included panels on “Extending America’s National Security Through Private Sector Investments,” “Opportunities for Investment in Africa,” and “How to Invest and Manage Risk for U.S. Companies.” Event details can be accessed here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. 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