Department of State Participation in Flintlock 2018

Department of State Participation in Flintlock 2018

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, April 9, 2018/ — The Department of State is pleased to once again participate in Flintlock, U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) annual and largest Special Operations Forces exercise. Flintlock exercises have taken place regularly since 2005 with partner nations from the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and are planned by African partner nation special operations forces; Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA); and the U.S. Department of State. Approximately 1,900 service members from 20 African and Western partner nations will participate in Flintlock at multiple locations in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Senegal from April 9-20, 2018.

The largest civilian component to Flintlock 2018 is the law enforcement training and equipment provided under the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. Through a partnership with the ATA program, this year’s exercise marks the most thorough integration of civilian equities into Flintlock yet. The law enforcement component will build upon the cross-border counterterrorism communication, coordination, and response at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels between military and civilian law enforcement to counter terrorist threats and attacks.

In general, the law enforcement integration into Flintlock provides a series of training sessions focusing on tactical rural patrol and crisis response capabilities, counterterrorism investigations, command and communication management, post blast and crime scene investigations, community engagement, and human rights. The State Department will also integrate rule of law engagement and humanitarian border management training into components of the exercise.

The State Department is proud to be part of this exercise and values this opportunity for information sharing and integration of civilian law enforcement with the military to increase security sector and multinational interoperability and cooperation in the fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations.

Participating African nations include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. Western partners include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Ugandan Scientist Scoops Award at Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda

Ugandan Scientist Scoops Award at Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda

KIGALI, Rwanda, March 30, 2018/ — Dr. Justus Masa, a Ugandan Lecturer at Kyambogo University and Senior Group Leader of Electrocatalysis and Energy at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany is among the 17 NEF Fellow award winners at this year’s Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda. The event currently taking place at Kigali Convention Centre is running from 26 th to 28 th March, 2018.

The NEF fellows programme is a two year programme which recognizes and awards Africa’s young scientists, innovators and technologists. The 2017/2019 winners emerged from Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Niger, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Guinea, DRC, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Nigeria, and Mali. The strategic objective of NEF Community of Scientists includes, harnessing the benefits of science and innovation to influence policy, education, training, leadership, research excellence, funding, and collaboration. Of these scientists, innovators and emerging leaders, 40% are women. NEF fellows or Ambassadors participate in campaigns and events to encourage young people to pursue scientific careers and drive research-based incubators and start-ups.

The High profile function was graced by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and H.E Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal who were panelists noting that prioritizing science and innovation can lead to economic development. In his remarks, President Kagame used the history of Rwanda and how the government zeroed on the ecosystem of investing in ICT in the early 2000s when every sector was in shambles but the country has seen the dividends from that investment especially with regards to the people-centered approach they undertook (human capacity development).

He informed that many of the young scientists, almost 80% they sent abroad in the 2000s have returned home and are currently the driving force of innovation, research and development in both government and the private sector. The approach to empower women and girls has helped to bridge the education imbalance gap. He further informed that between 15% to 17% of their GDP is geared towards education and health.

President Macky Sall noted that they envisage NEF becoming a yearly event bringing together African Heads of State to support science and innovation to enhance development in Africa like the recently concluded Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Among the Next Einstein Initiatives is the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences(AIMS) which is Africa’s first and biggest pan African network of centres for postgraduate training, research and public engagement in mathematical sciences. It operates centres in South Africa, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Revamped UN strategy aims to address root causes of Sahel crisis

Revamped UN strategy aims to address root causes of Sahel crisis

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, March 30, 2018/ — “The Sahel is a priority for the Secretary-General and the entire United Nations system,” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a conference being held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, to discuss strategies to tackle the Sahel crisis, which leaves 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance this year.

A largely semi-arid region, the Sahel stretches from Senegal on Africa’s Atlantic coast, through parts of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Sudan to Eritrea on the Red Sea coast.

It is plagued by the increasing threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism and its spread in surrounding countries and regions. This is compounded – or caused – by weak development progress in the Sahel and the impacts of climate change on food supplies, migration flows and conflict over land and resources.

“The complexity and multi-dimensional nature of these challenges attest to the necessity to respond collectively to the Sahel crisis, and in a more coherent, comprehensive and integrated manner,” Ms. Mohammed explained.

These challenges promoted changes to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel to better meet the needs of the 10 countries in the region.

The Deputy Secretary-General said five key priorities on addressing the root causes of the crisis are: inclusive and equitable growth; public good services, including access to basic service, governance and rule of law; climate and energy; gender equality and women’s empowerment; and security, including preventing violent extremism, transnational crime and human trafficking. Empowering youth is an overall priority, she added.

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

BERLIN, Germany, March 13, 2018/ — An African ministerial working meeting conveyed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) during this year’s Berlin International Tourism Fair ITB (8 March) agreed to move ahead with a new ten-point UNWTO Agenda for Africa. The final document will be adopted at the UNWTO Commission meeting for Africa, taking place in Nigeria in June this year.

Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals expanding 8% in Africa in 2017, thus outgrowing the world average increase in arrivals, tourism is gaining weight as a development opportunity for the whole continent, with its vast diversity of nature, culture and wildlife its greatest vehicle for development.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa if we manage it in the right way, which is economic, social and environmental sustainability”.

The participants from 17 countries, including 14 ministers, supported a coordinated approach to seizing the continent’s potential for tourism, a sector that last year attracted more than 62 million international visitors. Issues on the UNWTO Agenda for Africa include, among others, connectivity, the image and brand of Africa, poverty alleviation, climate change, education and skills development, and financing. Delegates underscored the importance of educating other economic sectors on the broad impact of tourism for the benefit of societies and its people, and promoting tourism as a priority in national agendas.

The detailed, four-year UNWTO Agenda for Africa will be approved at the upcoming 61st Regional Commission for Africa – UNWTO’s annual gathering of all its member countries of the continent – in the Nigerian capital of Abuja (4-6 June).

The following countries were represented at the meeting at ITB: Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

President Keita hails President Museveni

President Keita hails President Museveni

KAMPALA, Uganda, March 7, 2018/ — The President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Mali, His Excellency President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has hailed his Ugandan counterpart, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, as a true Pan Africanist committed to the development and integration of the African Continent.

President Keita made the remarks after receiving the letters of credence accrediting Mr. Nelson Ocheger as Ambassador Extra- Ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of Mali. The ceremony took place on March 5th, 2018 at the Malian Capital, Bamako.

Welcoming Amb. Nelson Ocheger to the Republic of Mali, President Keita assured his guest of his government’s commitment to strengthening the cordial bilateral relations which exist between Mali and Uganda.

Amb. Ocheger conveyed warm greetings and best wishes from President Museveni to his Malian counterpart, and emphasised the need for regular political and diplomatic consultations on all issues of mutual interest including regional and African integration since both countries have a deep desire for an integrated African continent.

He called for closer cooperation between Mali and Uganda in the defense and security sectors in order to fight terrorism in their respective countries and regions. Headed that peace and security were the prerequisites for the socio-economic transformation of the two peoples.

Noting that the current economic and commercial relations between the two countries remained low, the new Ugandan envoy assured his host of his commitment to scale up cooperation in the areas of investment, trade, tourism, agriculture and transport.

Amb. Ocheger revealed that since Mali and Uganda both have significant deposits of gold, phosphates, salt and limestone, it is imperative that the two countries share experiences in the exploitation of those minerals and other natural resources.