On November 6th, the United Nations (U.N.) World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a scaled-up medical response to the Ebola crisis. The WHO identified a number of candidate vaccines undergoing clinical trials, as well as current clinical trials of therapeutic blood transfusions. The organization also pointed to its recently published study, which provides evidence that supportive care, especially rehydration and correction of metabolic abnormalities, may contribute to patient survival. More details on current clinical trials and WHO efforts are available here. On November 6th, the U.S. Department of State welcomed Australia’s announcement that it will contribute $20.5 million toward a 100-bed Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone, including funding to RedR, an organization that will arrange for the deployment of Australian specialists to the affect region in support of WHO and other efforts to respond to the Ebola crisis. The State Department’s position on the announcement was articulated here. On November 6th, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey estimated the military mission to combat Ebola in West Africa will probably last until early 2016. Anticipating an 18-month mission, Chairman Dempsey noted troops would likely deploy for three, six-month deployments. In addition, he reported there are currently 1,934 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) personnel deployed to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance. Additional insights from Chairman Dempsey were reported here. On November 6th, the Associated Press detailed the shortage of Ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone. The Ebola virus is now spreading more quickly in Sierra Leone than it is in Guinea and Liberia. In the past three weeks, there have been more than 1,174 new Ebola cases reported in Sierra Leone, almost triple the 398 new cases in Liberia and more than quadruple the 256 new cases in Guinea. While Sierra Leone accounts for almost two thirds of all new cases, there are only an estimated 400 beds available to Ebola patients in the country. The full story was shared here. On November 6th, recovered Ebola patient Amber Vinson discussed her experience caring for Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, as well as her own fight against the virus. Vinson reported she had received little training in handling patients infected with Ebola and had no experience using personal protective equipment (PPE) before treating Duncan. In addition, she defended her decision to fly last month, shortly before being diagnosed with Ebola. Excerpts from her interview were highlighted here. On November 7th, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey designated five U.S. bases where American troops will be housed and isolated for 21 days after serving in the African Ebola response mission. The designated bases include Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, Joint Base Lewis- McChord, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis. A base in Germany and Italy will also receive returning troops. More information can be found here. On November 7th, the Ebola outbreak in Texas was declared officially over. It was 21 days since anyone contracted Ebola, which is the incubation period for the disease. Over the past several weeks, Texas state health officials monitored 177 people who were believed to have had contact with Ebola patients Thomas Eric Duncan, Nina Pham, or Amber Vinson, or with medical specimens or waste. The end of the Ebola outbreak in Texas was described here. On November 8th, the first Ebola treatment unit built in Liberia by the U.S. military opened its doors. The Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) was constructed specifically for the treatment of medical workers who are infected while caring for Ebola patients. The 25-bed facility was constructed by a team of U.S. Navy Seabees, soldiers, and airmen from Joint Forces Command – United Assistance and will be operated by personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). Details were shared here. On November 8th, a pledging meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised $28.5 million to deploy at least 1,000 health workers to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The funds, to be managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), will aid in efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in the three hardest-hit countries. More information on the pledges is available here. On November 8th, the Associated Press reported that new policies requiring a three-week quarantine for health workers returning from caring for Ebola patients in West Africa are forcing health workers to reassess whether or how long they can volunteer in West Africa. While it may be too soon to quantify how new quarantine policies have put downward pressures on the number of volunteers, many aid organizations have said the new measures are complicating the search for help in treating the disease. The full story can be read here. On November 9th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon published an op-ed stating that the world is on the right track to defeating Ebola, as the rate of new cases seems to be slowing throughout Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Despite this progress, the U.N. has continued to accelerate its Ebola response, including ramped up on-the-ground medical assistance and providing financial support to the hardest-hit countries. More from Secretary-General Ban’s statement is available here. On November 10th, the U.N. and other international trade and transport organizations expressed concern over reports that those sick on board vessels that had previously docked in Ebola-affected countries were being denied medical treatment. The Travel and Transport Task Force called on international cooperation of the transportation sector and governments to address this problem. Additionally, the WHO released the details of its investigation into the exposure history of Mali’s first Ebola case. The report expressed confidence that no further spread of Ebola would occur in Mali. Details were provided here. On November 10th, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered four soldiers and their commanding officer to be punished for their actions during a protest over Ebola quarantines in August. For the soldiers’ violence, which resulted in one death and several injuries, the disciplinary board recommended they receive sentences including 30 days in custody. More on the soldiers’ actions can be read here. On November 10th, Mali prepared to release 108 people from Ebola quarantine as a step towards declaring it had contained the outbreak. The quarantine was implemented following the death of a twoyear- old girl last month. If no new cases were reported, Mali would be on track to be declared Ebola free on December 6th. More information is available here. On November 10th, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) noted it has received more than 1,000 submissions for its Grant Challenge for Development solicitation aimed at improving health equipment and providing new tools to health workers treating Ebola patients in West Africa. No other USAID challenge has elicited as big a response. Up to $5 million will be awarded through the initiative. USAID is looking to make its first grant decisions within the next few weeks. Details can be viewed here. On November 10th, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin reminding health care centers about what information can and cannot be disclosed about Ebola patients. In issuing the bulletin, HHS officials noted that compliance under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) must be properly balanced with legitimate public health needs. The HHS bulletin was posted here. On November 10th, Kaci Hickox, the Maine nurse who defied quarantine attempts after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, saw the end of her 21-day monitoring period for symptoms of the virus. Hickox said she does not intend to stop speaking out on behalf of public health workers and added that her experience will not deter her from returning to West Africa. In addition, Hickox expressed her belief that health professionals at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be charged with making decisions based on science, as opposed to Governors who are acting on fear. Hickox also suggested she is likely to move out of Maine. Details can be seen here. On November 10th, Google CEO Larry Page announced a new campaign to help raise money for Ebola response efforts. Immediately, Google is donating $10 million to support nonprofits, including InSTEDD, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders (DWB), NetHope, Partners in Health, Save the Children, and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Google is also launching a matching campaign to give an additional $2 for every $1 donated by users, up to $5 million. Page’s family foundation will also contribute $15 million to the fight against Ebola. The fundraising initiatives were announced here. On November 11th, Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), stated that stopping Ebola and getting ahead of the disease is priority number one. The announcement comes amid reports that efforts to contain the outbreak are being hindered by inefficient and costly diagnostic tests. According to the WHO, standard diagnostics require two to six hours to test for Ebola and that each test costs about $100, a large sum for the resources available in West Africa. As a result, testing capacities are limited. Details were shared here. On November 11th, U.N. Special Rapporteur Hilal Elver said West Africa is on the brink of a major food crisis. Special Rapporteur Elver reported that agriculture has been severely impacted since the start of the Ebola outbreak. Agriculture, the main source of West Africa’s economy, has weakened with border and sea port closures in addition to a decline in regional trade and foreign investment. Special Rapporteur Elver’s statement can be accessed here. On November 11th, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that Morocco has been barred from participating in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after refusing to host the Nations Cup in January because of fears related to the spread of Ebola. The CAF now says it is taking the Ebola crisis into account as it reviews the applications for countries that are interested in serving as the new host. More information was posted here. On November 11th, Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer was released from Bellevue Hospital Center healthy and fully recovered. Dr. Spencer became sick after spending five weeks in West Africa treating Ebola patients. Upon his discharge, he was greeted by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who praised Dr. Spencer and those who treated him. An article on Dr. Spencer’s recovery can be read here. On November 12th, the WHO reported the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed 5,160 people. Additionally, more than 14,000 people have been infected with Ebola. In its latest report, the WHO noted that disease transmission remains intense in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and the frequency of new cases is still increasing in Sierra Leone. The most recent WHO statistics can be downloaded here. On November 12th, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a total of $30 million to support Liberia’s medium-term strategy to strengthen its transparency and accountability mechanisms, expand the economy, increase access to quality education, and improve health services that are critical to fighting the current Ebola epidemic. The financing will support the Second Poverty Reduction Support Operation (PRSDPO II), which is intended to help low income countries respond to exceptionally severe crises in a timely, transparent, and predictable way. A press release was issued here. On November 12th, dozens of people were quarantined by authorities in Mali after a 25-year-old nurse died from Ebola. The nurse worked in a clinic where he had treated an imam who died of Ebola-like symptoms. The imam was not tested for the virus. As a result, no precautions were taken before his burial. Reports indicate that another person that lived with the imam also died this week and was buried without being tested for Ebola. Additionally, a doctor at the Pasteur Clinic where the nurse worked is suspected to have contacted Ebola. Given that none of these patients had contact with Mali’s first Ebola patient, health officials have deemed this a second Ebola outbreak in the country. More details can be read here. On November 12th, over 400 health workers at the only Ebola treatment center in southern Sierra Leone went on strike. According to officials, the staff went on strike over unpaid risk allowances the government is supposed to fund. Mohamed Mbawah, a representative of the workers, said that the government had not paid risk allowances since September and signaled the strike would go on until the workers had been fully reimbursed. For more details on the strike, click here. On November 12th, speaking at a meeting at U.N. headquarters on Ebola, U.N. Special Envoy on Ebola Dr. David Nabarro called for a global social media campaign against the stigmatization surrounding the Ebola. In addition to leveraging the NGO community to raise money for Ebola response efforts, Dr. Nabarro stressed that social media companies are also uniquely positioned to promote antidiscrimination and solidarity. Dr. Nabarro’s remarks were recorded here. On November 12th, U.S. President Barack Obama celebrated an Ebola-free U.S. with a phone call to Dr. Craig Spencer, the New York doctor just released from the hospital after being cleared of the virus. Following the call, President Obama pledged continued support to efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More information is available here. On November 12th, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah participated in a Brookings Institution discussion on the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Administrator Shah discussed his assessment of the U.S. response to Ebola after his recent trip to West Africa, as well as " Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development," USAID's effort to generate new ideas to fight Ebola. The full event description is available here. On November 12th, USAID issued a seventh fact sheet on the West Africa Ebola outbreak. The latest fact sheet highlights USAID efforts this week to airlift 23,000 sets of PPE into Monrovia, Liberia, for consignment to the WHO. In addition, the fact sheet notes the Government of Senegal will re-open borders with Guinea and allow commercial flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone to resume. The newest fact sheet can be accessed here. On November 12th, Operation United Assistance Joint Force Commander Major General Gary Volesky conducted a call-in press briefing on the DOD response to the Ebola outbreak. Additional participants in the briefing included U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Debra Malac, and USAID Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART) Leader Bill Berger. Officials announced that DOD will deploy only 3,000 troops to the Ebola fight in Africa, down from the previous estimate of 4,000 troops or more. Excerpts from the briefing were highlighted here. On November 12th, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the U.S. Government response to the Ebola outbreak. Witnesses included HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Deputy Director for Political-Military Conflict James Lariviere. More information can be found here. On November 12th, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), along with many of his colleagues from both parties, introduced a bill to expand the program of priority review to encourage treatments for tropical diseases, including Ebola. A press release issued by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions can be found here. On November 12th, U.S. Congressmen Dennis Ross (R-FL), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), John Duncan (RTN), and Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced a bill to prohibit certain flights from landing in the U.S. and to prohibit the issuance of certain visas to protect the U.S. from the Ebola virus. A press release on the Contain Ebola and Stop the Epidemic (CEASE) Act can be read here. On November 12th, U.S. Congressmen Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Kenny Marchant (R-TX) introduced a bill to impose special limitations on the issuance of visas to, and the admission into the U.S. of, aliens having certain associations with countries with widespread and intense transmissions of Ebola. A press release on the introduction of the Stop Ebola Act can be accessed here. On November 12th, U.S. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced a bill to prohibit the issuance of visas to, and the admission into the U.S. of, an alien during the 30-day period following the presence of the alien in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone. A press release was issued here. On November 12th, the New York Times reported that U.S. officials are debating whether or not to move forward with building all 17 of the planned Ebola treatment centers in Liberia given the recent decline in new Ebola cases. On Monday, the first treatment center was completed in Monrovia. Two other treatment units in Sinje and Buchanan are due to be completed by the end of November, with seven additional treatment units in various stages of construction across Liberia. The full story is available here. On November 12th, thousands of nurses across the U.S. held strikes over what they say is insufficient protection for health workers dealing Ebola patients. The strikes were coordinated primarily at Kaiser Permanente facilities in northern California, where 18,000 members of the California Nurses Association walked out. The California Hospital Association said that the unions were looking to intimidate Kaiser before negotiations as well as build political clout. The situation was detailed here. On November 12th, the family of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the only person to die of Ebola in the U.S., announced it had reached a settlement with Texas Health Presbyterian hospital, regarding Duncan’s care. Reportedly, the hospital acknowledged making mistakes in addressing Duncan’s care. The settlement includes financial support for Duncan’s family, as well as a commitment by the hospital to establish a memorial fund to help Ebola victims in West Africa. Details can be seen here. On November 13th, in a national address, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced that enough progress has been made in addressing the Ebola outbreak in Liberia to lift emergency measures. While in place, the emergency measures closed schools, banned large public gatherings, shut businesses, and allowed the Liberian Government to restrict people’s movement. While some of these measures remain in place, officials are now discussing how to gradually lift them. Excerpts from President Sirleaf’s address were highlighted here. On November 13th, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on “Combating Ebola in West Africa: The International Response.” Witnesses included USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Bisa Williams, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin, Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs in Africa Major General James Lariviere, and Joint Staff Surgeon Major General Nada West. A webcast of the hearing can be watched here. On November 13th, DWB announced plans to launch accelerated clinical trials next month in three Ebola treatment centers in West Africa, using experimental Ebola drugs that have not been through the regular testing process with animals and health people. A trial of Fujifilm Holdings’ antiviral favipiravir involving about 200 patients will begin at a treatment center in Guinea, while Chimerix’s brincidofovir will be tested in as many as 140 patients at a site yet to be determined. A third trial will be conducted at the Donka Ebola Center in Conakry, Guinea, to examine the effectiveness of using survivor blood to treat approximately 100 patients. None of the trials will use placebos, partly because of uncertainty about whether traditional placebo-controlled trials are feasible in the midst of a humanitarian disaster. The clinical trials were announced here. On November 18th, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations will host a hearing titled, “Fighting Ebola: A Ground-Level View.” Witnesses will include Rabih Torbay of International Medical Corps, Brett Sedgewick of Global Communities, Sophie Delaunay of DWB, and Darius Mans of Africare. The hearing was announced here. On November 18th, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled, “Update on the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak.” Witnesses will include CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, Assistant Secretary of HHS for Preparedness and Response Dr. Nicole Lurie, and Acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak. Details can be viewed here. On November 19th, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining Medical Product Development in the Wake of the Ebola Epidemic.” Witnesses for this hearing have yet to be announced. The hearing was noticed here. Burkina Faso On November 6th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people of Burkina Faso on the adoption of an agreement on the principle of a one-year civilian-led transition government. The agreement, which contains a provision for democratic elections in November 2015, follows a week of violent protests in Ouagadougou and the resignation of President Blaise Campaore. Excerpts from Secretary-General Ban’s statement are available here. On November 9th, opposition parties, civil society groups, and religious leaders adopted a plan for a transitional authority to guide Burkina Faso to elections in November 2015. The charter, which calls for the creation of a 90-member transitional government with representation allotted to the military, opposition parties, and civil society, was presented to Lieutenant General Isaac Zida this week. Further details on the charter and the recent turmoil in Burkina Faso can be seen here. On November 10th, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritania’s President and current Chairman of the African Union (AU), arrived in Burkina Faso for talks on the West African country’s political transition. Following the expulsion of former President Blaise Campaore, Chairperson Abdel Aziz’s visit aimed to encourage the military to accept the transition blueprint agreed upon by opposition and civil society groups. More information on Chairperson Abdel Aziz’s trip to Burkina Faso is available here. On November 10th, the U.S. Department of State issued a press statement welcoming the announcement of a Charter for Transitional Government in Burkina Faso developed by political parties, civil society, and religious and traditional leaders. U.S. officials urged continued progress in discussions between these groups and the military so that the process of rebuilding democracy in Burkina Faso can begin. Additionally, the State Department underscored the importance of Burkina Faso returning to constitutional rule and preparing for national elections in November 2015. The statement can be read here. Libya On November 6th, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) emphasized the need for political consensus following a Supreme Court ruling that declared the national Parliament unconstitutional. UNSMIL, which welcomed the Libyan Parliament when it was elected on June 25th, 2014, is currently reviewing the decision made by the Supreme Court. UNSMIL’s statement is available here. As of November 6th, Libya was expected to soon resume pumping crude oil at Sharara oil field, which was shut after gunmen attacked its on-site production compound. The oil field, Libya’s largest, is responsible for almost a full third of the country’s oil production. Unrest in Libya has contributed to daily oil production dropping from 1.6 million barrels per day, preceding the unrest in 2011, to a low of 215,000 barrels per day in April 2014. Production last month averaged 850,000 barrels per day. More information can be found here. On November 7th, the Governments of the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Spain, and the United Kingdom (U.K.) issued a joint statement on the recent Supreme Court ruling in Libya that declared the House of Representatives unconstitutional. The world leaders expressed deep concern for political polarization in Libya and noted they are carefully studying the context and the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision. In addition, the governments recognized the need for political solutions and expressed commitment to helping Libya. They also commended the efforts of UNSMIL to encourage inclusive consultations between all parties. The full statement can be read here. On November 7th, Reuters reported that U.S. government officials are considering imposing sanctions on factions in Libya as a diplomatic tool to encourage militant leaders to negotiate to end a potential civil war. The U.S. sanctions will be separate from a potential U.N. sanctions regime that would be intended to support the negotiations led by U.N. Special Representative for Libya Bernardino Leon. U.N. sanctions would likely target individuals involved in the fighting in Libya and their assets. Potential sanctions on Libya were discussed here. On November 10th, Libya’s escalating political struggles threatened to derail recovery in the country’s oil sector, as a commander in charge of security at its biggest field said forces loyal to a rival government in Tripoli had forced out his men. The conflict is the latest in Libya’s struggling oil sector, which has suffered decreased production as a result of continuing chaos in the country. Further details can be found here. On November 10th, Bernardino Leon, head of UNSMIL, condemned the attacks that occurred near his meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni.The two were meeting to discuss the political transition of the country when two explosions occurred nearby. No one from either party was injured. In a press release, Special Representative Leon said the attacks would in no way impact his work with Prime Minister al-Thinni. For more details, click here. On November 11th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya Bernardino Leon held talks with the head of the self-declared Libyan parliament, Nouri Abu Sahmain. These talks mark the first time the U.N. has included the rival government in efforts to resolve the political crisis in Libya. The talks were detailed here. On November 11th, Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), testified before the U.N. Security Council on the difficulties of the deteriorating security situation in Libya. Prosecutor Bensouda said the instability in the country is making it difficult to pursue investigations. She expressed concern over the increase in assassinations, threats to human rights activists, women, and prosecutors, in addition to the possible torture occurring for those in detention. Highlights from Prosecutor Bensouda’s testimony were noted here. On November 12th, the detonation of car bombs across Libya wounded at least 20 people. Explosions occurred in the towns of Tobruk, Labraq, and Benghazi. The attacks were aimed at the internationallyrecognized parliament and administration of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. More information on the attacks and ongoing conflict can be read here. Zambia On November 10th, the White House issued a press release announcing the presidential delegation traveling to Zambia to attend the funeral of President Michael Sata. Eric Schultz, U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, led the delegation. The press release can be accessed here. On November 11th, Zambia held a state funeral for President Michael Sata, who died last month at age 77. The Catholic Mass, attended by tens of thousands of people, was held at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka. Photos of the ceremony are available here. On November 11th, while attending the funeral for late President Michael Sata, AU Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zumaurged urged Zambia to have a stable electoral transition. With the death of the President Sata, Vice President Guy Scott became Africa’s first white president since the end of apartheid in 1994. Presidential elections are expected to occur in Zambia by January. While Scott is ineligible to run, questions arose when he fired a presidential forerunner on November 3rd, only to reinstate him one day later with no explanation. For more details on the funeral and future elections, click here. Nigeria On November 7th, an explosion at a bank in northeastern Nigeria killed at least nine people. It is suspected that the explosion was triggered by a Boko Haram suicide bomber. This attack and others have raised doubts about a government announcement last month of a ceasefire with the extremist group. More information can be viewed here. On November 10th, a suicide bomber dressed as a student killed at least 48 people, most of them students, and injured 79 others at a school assembly in Potiskum, Nigeria. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, although the city is close to a stronghold of Sunni Muslim Boko Haram militants. Interviews with observers and further information on Boko Haram can be found here. On November 10th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed outrage over the suicide bombing that occurred at a northeastern Nigerian boarding school. Reports indicate that the event killed dozens of students and wounded many others. In the statement released by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban demanded an end to such attacks and extended his condolences to the families of those who were killed. For more details on his statement, click here. On November 10th, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki condemned the attack on Nigerian students by a suicide bomber, which killed dozens of students and wounded countless others at a school assembly in the northeastern town of Potiskum, as well as other attacks on civilians this past week in Nigeria. Spokesperson Psaki extended condolences to the victims and their families and urged the Government of Nigeria to investigate the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice. Spokesperson Psaki’s remarks were transcribed here. On November 11th, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan made the widely anticipated announcement that he plans run for reelection in February 2015. President Johnson made his plans known to a rally of supporters in Abuja. Details can be viewed here. On November 11th, Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S. Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye criticized the U.S. Government’s refusal to sell arms to Nigeria to aid the fight against Nigeria’s Islamic uprising. Ambassador Adefuye said the U.S. is failing an ally in its time of need. The U.S. has refused to sell arms to Nigeria due to allegations that the military has violated the human rights of detained Boko Haram suspects. Ambassador Adefuye’s comments were recorded here. On November 11th, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) published a statement indicating that thousands of Nigerians have fled to Cameroon to escape the ongoing chaos caused by Boko Haram insurgents. After an attack in late October, an estimated 13,000 Nigerians crossed the border. Additionally, UNHCR reported that since the start of 2014, over 100,000 people have fled to Niger and several thousand others have fled to Chad. Highlights from the press release can be read here. On November 12th, a female suicide bomber attempted to detonate inside the library of a college in Kontagora, Nigeria’s central Niger state. According to a police spokesman, she blew herself up before making it inside the building. The incident was reported here. South Sudan On November 8th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the strong stance adopted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) heads of state regarding the conflict in South Sudan. The group, consisting of eight East African nations, has worked to end simmering tensions in South Sudan and foster dialogue necessary to reach a comprehensive peace agreement. Excerpts from Secretary-General Ban’s statement can be read here. On November 10th, the U.N. announced that its first food convoy had arrived in South Sudan. Using a reopened corridor from Sudan, 18 trucks successfully carried enough food to feed 45,000 people for one month. The WFP will continue to use this cross-border route, in addition to river barges, to deliver a total of 4,650 metro tons of food to feed the people of South Sudan impacted by the conflict. More information on the food delivery can be read here. On November 11th, the U.S., U.K., and Norwegian Governments released a joint statement welcoming negotiations between the Government of Sudan and both the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) and the Darfur elements of the Sudan Revolutionary Front as a critical step towards the resolution of ongoing conflicts. The statement also expressed continued concern for ongoing violence and dire humanitarian conditions in both Darfur and the Two Areas. The statement’s full text can be read here. Central African Republic On November 10th, Senior U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic (CAR) Claire Bourgeois said in a press release that the continued violence and instability in country is making it difficult to meet basic food, health, and educational needs. Coordinator Bourgeois stressed the need for additional secure access for convoys delivering aid supplies, as well as an increase in protection programs. She warned that if these needs are not met, the situation in the region will deteriorate further. For more details, click here. On November 10th, USAID announced that the agency would provide $7 million in funding for the CAR Peacebuilding Partnership. The funds will be used over the next five years to support local peacebuilding and atrocity prevention efforts. The full press release can be read here. On November 10th, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) hosted an event entitled, “Peacebuilding in the CAR: The Views of Top Religious Leaders.” As part of the event, the highest-ranking Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant leaders in the CAR, Imam Omar Kabine Layama, Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, and Reverend Nicolas Guerekoyamr Gbangou discussed their efforts to foster dialogue and social cohesion across religious diving lines and to lay out a strategic vision for the future of the country through the Interfaith Peace Platform. A webcast of the discussion can be watched here. On November 10th, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted an exhibition called “Our Walls Bear Witness: Crisis in the CAR.” Held in conjunction with FotoWeek DC 2014, the Museum displayed on its exterior walls building-sized images taken by prizewinning photographer Michael Christopher Brown of the dire situation in the CAR. Information on the exhibition can be found here. United States – Africa Relations Department of State On November 6th-17th, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli was on travel to Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. In Tanzania, Under Secretary Novelli was the senior U.S. Government official speaking at a regional summit on stopping wildlife crime and advancing conservation. In Kenya, Under Secretary Novelli met with cabinet secretaries from the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Energy, and the National Treasury, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and energy sector and business leaders. She also visited Nairobi National Park, the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the iHub tech entrepreneur center, and met with leading Kenyan wildlife conservations and social media experts. In South Africa, Under Secretary Novelli delivered remarks at the University of Pretoria on global supply chains, the advantages of open economies, the need for regional integration, and Africa’s opportunity to prosper in the new economy. She also toured the Ford Factory in Silverton and met with the Ministers of Trade and Industry, Energy, and Health, as well as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Finally, Under Secretary Novelli met with the Minister of Environmental Affairs and presented to South African authorities State Department-provided equipment to combat wildlife trafficking. Under Secretary Novelli’s travel was announced here. On November 7th, Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria James Entwistle, and the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) Managing Director for Program Development, Coordination, and Support Joseph Toussant dedicated the New Office Annex at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja. U.S. officials were joined by local officials, including Chief of Protocol for the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Usman Baraya. The new, $162 million addition to the embassy complex includes a New Office Annex, a U.S. Marine Security Guard residence, a support annex, parking, and community facilities. The project also incorporates sustainable features to conserve resources and reduce operating costs, such as photovoltaic panels on the parking structure, the use of occupancy sensors and light shelves at windows, and LED lighting. More information was shared here. On November 7th, as part of her visit to Tanzania, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli met with Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) Dr. Richard Sezibera and delivered remarks at a reception with local ministers and U.S. heads of mission. Under Secretary Novelli’s schedule was outlined here. On November 7th, Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell met with U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau James Zumwalt, at the Department of State. The meeting was noticed here. On November 9th-11th, Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry Ambassador David Thorne led a U.S. Chamber of Commerce business delegation visit to Egypt. The delegation consisted of more than 150 U.S. executives representing over 60 companies, making it the U.S. Chamber’s largest international trade delegation ever. The delegation also included representatives from the Export-Important (Ex-Im) Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). As part of its visit to Egypt, the delegation met with senior government officials to discuss opportunities for U.S. investment in the country. Details were provided here. On November 10th, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on Angola’s national day. Secretary Kerry noted his visit to Luanda last May, where he toured a General Electric (GE) factory and visited with six Angolan leaders who are a part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Secretary Kerry also reflected on his meetings with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Foreign Minister Rebelo Chikoti. Additionally, Secretary Kerry recognized Vice President Manuel Vicente’s participation in the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the shared commitment to regional peace and security. The full statement was posted here. On November 10th, the State Department issued a statement expressing concern for recent political turmoil in Somalia. While the U.S. remains neutral in the dispute between Somalia’s president and prime minister, the State Department articulated its view that actions to put forward a parliamentary motion for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister do not serve the interests of the Somali people. In addition, because the U.S. views Somalia’s leadership as distracted by political division, the State Department said it does not see the utility in sending a delegation to the High Level Partnership Forum on Somalia, which will meet next week in Copenhagen to review progress under the New Deal. The full statement can be read here. On November 12th, the State Department issued a statement expressing concern for allegations of mass rape by Sudanese military forces in Tabit, north Darfur. U.S. officials called on the Government of Sudan to fulfill its obligation to grant immediate, unhindered, and full access for the U.N.-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and other U.N. agencies investigating the allegations and called on UNAMID to continue its investigations and protection of civilians in an environment free from intimidation. The State Department also expressed its commitment to seeing an end to violence against civilians in Sudan and stressed that victims must be provided medical treatment and psychosocial support. The full statement can be accessed here. On November 13th, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom accepted copies of the credentials from incoming Mali-appointed Ambassador to the U.S. Tiena Coulibaly, incoming Kenyan-appointed Ambassador to the U.S. Robinson Njeru Githae, and incoming Comoros-appointed Ambassador to the U.S. Mohamed Soilihi Solih. More information can be viewed here. On November 13th, while on travel to South Africa, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli toured the Ford Motor Company factory and participated in a press event with President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of South Africa Jeff Nemeth in Silverton. In addition, Under Secretary Novelli met with South African Minister of Energy Tina Joemat- Pettersson and delivered remarks at an event co-hosted by South Africa’s Institute for International Affairs at the University of Pretoria. Under Secretary Novelli’s schedule was outlined here. Under Secretary Novelli’s remarks were transcribed here. On November 13th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Virginia Tech University to discuss U.S.-Africa relations with students, faculty, and staff. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield also delivered remarks on “U.S.-Africa Policy for International Studies Students.” Details were shared here. On November 13th, Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp was on travel to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to lead a stakeholders session at the Greentree Conference on prosecuting international crimes in the national judicial system. Ambassador Rapp’s participation was noted here. U.S. Agency for International Development On November 12th, the Society for International Development (SID) hosted an event to highlight the trade hubs launched by USAID in West, East, and Southern Africa in 2009. The goal of each trade hub is to increase international competitiveness, intra-regional trade and food security in the region through trade facilitation, customs modernization, supporting agricultural value chains, and enabling an environment for trade with different value chains targeted in each region. The discussion was moderated by former USAID Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth Emmy Simmons. Event details were shared here. Department of Defense On November 7th, the U.S. Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO), in coordination with U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Gabonese Military Medical personnel, and Gabon’s Ministry of Health, demonstrated to the country’s military members how to properly don PPE. The demonstration is a part of the effort to develop infection control activities that will increase Gabonese defense capabilities. Photos and additional details are provided here. Department of Commerce On November 5th, the International Trade Administration (ITA) provided a list of the 15 sector leaders appointed by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa the appointees include Wale Adeosun of Kuramo Capital Management, Dominic Barton of McKinsey & Company, J.P. Bilbray of The Hershey Company, Shelley Broader of Walmart, Teresa Clarke of Africa.com, Melissa Cooks of African Sunrise Partners, Karen Daniel of Black & Veatch, Peter Grauer of Bloomberg, Jay Ireland of GE Africa, Kevon Makell of SEWW Energy, Edward Mathias of Carlyle Group, Martin Richenhagen of AGCO, David Storch of AAR Corporation, Dow Wilson of Varian Medical Systems, and Rahma Wright of Shea Yeleen. Details were published here. On November 7th, The Commerce Blog highlighted Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker’s participation in last week’s “Discover Global Markets: Sub-Saharan Africa” Conference, which focused on helping U.S. companies develop trade and investment opportunities in Africa. During her remarks, Secretary Pritzker discussed the Obama Administration’s efforts to strengthen commercial engagement between the U.S. and Africa. She also announced the appointment of 15 private sector leaders to the newly established President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. Secretary Pritzker also reiterated the U.S. commitment to solving the Ebola crisis, while emphasizing that fears about the virus should not get in the way of facts on the ground in Africa. Information on Secretary Pritzker’s participation in the conference can be accessed here. Overseas Private Investment Corporation On November 12th, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) published a blog post highlighting the findings of a recent U.N. report on the impacts of urbanization on development. OPIC noted that urbanization is occurring especially quickly in Africa, which is putting a strain on food production, power generation, infrastructure, and health care. OPIC also highlighted that urban populations are growing fastest in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Uganda, and that by 2030, Africa is expected to be 56 percent urban. The full blog post can be seen here. Millennium Challenge Corporation On November 6th, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) released a story about the challenges that Namibia’s youth face in education and employment. In an effort to address these issues, the MCC has partnered with Namibia to create the Education Project to help increase the efficacy and efficiency of the country’s education system. As a part of Namibia’s five-year, $304.5 million MCC compact, the partnership will expand eight Otjiwarongo Community Skills Development Centers (COSDEC). These centers offer skill training that are helpful in gaining employment in the thriving construction and hospitality sectors. For more details, click here. Congress On November 14th, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International hearings will hold a hearing titled, “The Future of Energy in Africa.” Witnesses will include Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources Robert Ichord, USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Africa Eric Postel, and Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind. The Committee will also receive testimony from Walker Williams of Leadership Africa USA and Dianne Sutherland of Petroleum Africa Magazine. The hearing was announced here. North Africa On November 7th, Zainab Hawa Bangura, U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, recommended that the Sudanese Government give UNAMID access to investigate and verify reports of the mass rape of 200 women and girls in a town in the region’s north. The alleged mass rape follows months of simmering tensions across Darfur, including an October attack on UNAMID troops that killed three peacekeepers. More from Special Representative Bangura’s statement is available here. On November 7th, separate events across Egypt killed at least three Egyptians and wounded eight others. Despite suggestions made by Egyptian security sources, the Muslim Brotherhood denies involvement in the violence. More details on the attacks can be read here. On November 10th, Egyptian terrorist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis publically pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The announcement came in the form of an audio statement posted online. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis first rose to prominence in the northern Sinai Peninsula in the wake of the violent backlash against the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Security experts believe Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is seeking to align with ISIL in hopes that the organizations can share financing, weapons, and recruits. More information can be viewed here. On November 10th, UNAMID stated there was no evidence to support the media claims that 200 women and girls were raped in a North Darfur town. After being granted access in Tabit village and spending several hours investigating the allegations, UNAMID found the media claims to be unsupported. More details on the investigation and findings can be read here. On November 11th, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi said that parliamentary elections will be held by March 2015. The President’s spokesman said the comments were made to visiting businessmen from the U.S. in an effort to reassure them of Egypt’s political stability. H said that President Sisi hopes to have an elected parliament by March so that an economic summit slated to be held at the same time will boost foreign investment and aid. Information on future elections in Egypt can be seen here. On November 11th, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, wounding 10 people. According to security sources, police had already begun evacuating the area due to suspicions aroused by a stolen car parked nearby. The car exploded in the town of Arish, an area where security forces have cracked down on militant Islamists. The incident was described here. East Africa On November 7th, it was reported that a motion of no-confidence for Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed was submitted to the speaker of parliament. The motion accused the Prime Minister of failure to respect the constitution and was signed by 140 of 275 lawmakers. Debate and a possible vote are scheduled for November 15th. The full story is available here. On November 11th, U.N Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay acknowledged Somalia’s political and economic gains, but warned political leaders of potential losses if differences are not resolved. Speaking at the High-Level Partnership Forum of Somali Development and Reconstruction Facility Steering Committee, Special Representative Kay said the country is at a watershed moment and that a continuance of political instability would undo the progress achieved. Special Representative Kay’s comments were captured here. On November 11th, climate change experts and political leaders convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to discuss strategies for climate resilient economic growth. The World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Philippe Dongier, highlighted the importance of the talks saying that the predicted impact of climate change will affect every Tanzanian—from the urban areas to the rural. For more details, read the full press release here. On November 12th, the U.N. Security Council adopted a new resolution stressing the need for U.N. Member States to engage in a comprehensive response to repress piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia. The resolution calls for the implementation of counter-piracy measures, including the deployment of naval vessels, arms, and military aircraft and seizure of equipment used in the commission of piracy and armed robbery. More information was provided here. On November 12th, Samir Ibrahim and Charles Nichols, the American founders of SunCulture, discussed the benefits of their highly efficient drip irrigation system being used in Kenya. The system was specifically developed to address the country’s irrigation shortage. According to Ibrahim, of Kenya’s 13.6 million acres of arable land, 83 percent needs irrigation to be used for farming, but that only 4 percent is currently irrigated. For more information on the positive effects SunCulture has had in Kenya, click here. West Africa On November 7th, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that two independent human rights experts were denied access to parts of a prison and prevented from completing a torture and killing investigation during a visit to The Gambia. The experts, who were invited by the Gambian Government, will present their findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council in March and June 2015. More information on The Gambia’s recent human rights violations is available here. On November 7th, a staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Niamey to discuss implementation and results of IMF programs in, and support for, Niger. The IMF team found Niger’s performance to be generally satisfactory, despite repeated budget shocks caused by unexpected security and food expenditures and a shortfall in external financing. The IMF forecasted a favorable medium-term economic outlook. Additional analysis was provided here. On November 10th, the World Bank published a story highlighting the positive impact that the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) has had in Mali. In a country that regularly experiences harsh conditions, WAAPP has helped over 175,000 Malian farmers increase productivity by 30 percent and revenues by 34 percent. For more details on the successes of the WAAPP, click here. On November 12th, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Search for Common Ground (SFCG), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) hosted an event titled, “Stability and Human Rights in Nigeria: Latest Updates from the Field.” Speakers included Chom Bagu of SFCG, Mausi Segun of HRW, Jennifer Cooke of CSIS, and Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council. Event details were shared here. Sub-Saharan Africa On November 6th, the IMF approved a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) with Zimbabwe, covering the period October 2014-December 2015. The program follows Zimbabwe’s previous SMP, which expired in June 2014. The new agreement lays the foundation for comprehensive medium-term reforms by strengthening the country’s external position and access to external financing. Challenges facing Zimbabwe’s economy are detailed here. On November 7th, lawyers representing Oscar Pistorius formally opposed the appeal made by the State against his culpable homicide verdict and five-year jail sentence. Prosecutors appealed the ruling last Tuesday, challenging Judge Thokozile Masipa’s interpretation of the law. A date for the appeal hearing has not been set. More details can be read here. On November 8th, the U.N. Security Council marked the 20th anniversary of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which was created after the 1994 genocide as part of the fight against impunity in the country. The ICTR’s mandate will expire by the end of 2014. It will be replaced by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. More information on the upcoming transition is available here. On November 9th, Martin Kobler, head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), welcomed the sentencing of General Jerome Kakwaku to a 10-year prison term for serious crimes committed in the country's eastern district of Ituri by the Forces armées du peuple congolais (FAPC). Special Representative Kobler also applauded the DRC judiciary’s efforts to fight impunity. Excerpts from his statement can be read here. On November 10th, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that Cassam Uteem would be appointed as the U.N. Special Envoy and Head of the Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi. The press release stated that Mr. Uteem will begin his new role January 1st, 2015. Details on the appointment can be seen here. On November 11th, the World Bank approved a $20 million grant to generate investment in large-scale sustainable energy projects in Southern Africa. Funding provides by the International Development Association (IDA) grant will go towards energy projects within the 12-country South African Power Pool (SAPP). The full press release can be read here. On November 11th, an IMF mission concluded a visit to Madagascar. George Tsibouris, who led the mission, said the country is experiencing early signs of economic recovery. Going forward, the IMF team said the government must enhance infrastructure, implement reforms to foster the business environment, improve the quality of public spending, and strengthen anti-corruption institutions. Additional analysis of Madagascar’s economy can be accessed here. On November 12th, the IMF concluded a review mission in Malawi. A team led by Oral Williams visited Lilongwe and conducted reviews of Malawi’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) agreement. Mr. Williams said discussions with senior government officials focused on policies aimed at facilitating economic growth. He also said that the IMF would continue to aid in addressing fiscal challenges and that fifth and sixth review will be considered in 2015. Mr. Williams’ full statement was posted here. On November 12th, solar developer, SolarReserve, reported that construction of the 96 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) Jasper solar power project in South Africa is complete and the facility is now fully operational. The project is located in Northern Cape and was launched two months ahead of schedule. The project also represents Google’s first renewable energy investment in Africa. The project was described here. General Africa News On November 8th, Mara Online, a subsidiary company of Pan-African conglomerate the Mara Group, announced the launch of a new messenger App, Mara Messenger. It is hoped that the app, which is slated to roll out in multiple languages and across multiple devices, will challenge the dominance of WhatsApp in Africa. More information on the App and Mara Group’s other projects can be found here. On November 11th, the IMF warned that the economy of central African states may sharply decline as a result of the tripartite threats of decreasing oil prices and increases in terrorism and armed conflict. Growth in the region has stagnated at 5 percent, also due to high inequality and a lack of meaningful job creation. Further statements on the economic potential of central African states are available here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2014 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.