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A selection of State.gov, IIP Digital and DipNote Articles on Africa.
February 4-10, 2013
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Kenyan Elections


President Obama’s Video Message to Kenyans
In a video message, President Barack Obama tells the people of Kenya that the upcoming elections are a historic opportunity for Kenyans to stand together, as a nation, for peace and progress, and for the rule of law.

  Transcript   Transcript of President Obama’s Video Message to Kenyans  
  Audio   Audio Version of President Obama’s Message to Kenyans  
  Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson in Kenya   Briefing  by Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson on the upcoming Kenyan elections (Trancript + Audio)  
  Transcript   Obama’s Video Message to Kenyans (Swahili)
A Swahili translation of President Obama's video message to the people of Kenyan on the first national elections under their new constitution.


  Photo Gallery  

Africa Center for Strategic Studies Panels Discuss Priorities for Restoring Stability in Mali
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) hosted a pair of expert panels February 6, 2013, that examined the actors and drivers of instability in northern Mali and the requirements for stabilizing this territory beyond the near-term military intervention. The roundtable, attended by more than 200 people in Washington, D.C., sought to highlight the complexity of the stabilization challenge in northern Mali.

  Daily Press Briefing   Mali Security Situation
SPOKESPERSON NULAND: "We had not only the suicide attack in Gao, but...today...some of the guard to the former president had a clash with the Malian military. All of these incidents speak to the continuing fragility of the security situation in Mali."
  Fact Sheet   African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) Program
ACOTA is a program within the Office of Regional and Security Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State. It began as the Africa Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) in 1997 with the mission of enhancing the capacity of African partner nations to participate in worldwide multinational peace operations. 

Central and East Africa

  Media Note  

Assistant Secretary Carson to Discuss Democratic Republic of Congo
On Monday, February 11th, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson will deliver remarks on why the United States, African countries, and the broader international community should redouble efforts to find a sustainable solution to persistent instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has claimed millions of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.

  Rows of people seated at conference tables (DOD)   Eastern African, U.S. Officials Discuss Security Threats
Increased regional cooperation is crucial for addressing the irregular security threats facing Eastern Africa, senior officials from the United States and...
  Statement   State Dept. on Security in North Darfur and Jebel Marra
The United States is “profoundly concerned” by the rapid and significant deterioration in security in North Darfur and Jebel Marra, says State Department ...
  Statement   Concern About Somalia Rape Case Verdict
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the United States is deeply concerned by a Mogadishu court’s decision to convict and sentence an alleged rape victim and the journalist who interviewed her.

Peace Corps, USAID and MCC in Action

  Man holding loop of bright beads attached to white netting (Peace Corps)  

Peace Corps Teaches Ugandan Youth Business and Life Skills
Ugandan youth are raising money for school fees and learning business skills thanks to their involvement with a hammock company co-founded by a Peace Corp...

    USAID Contest to Recognize Pioneers in Science and Technology for Development
Many of the great development challenges – water, infectious diseases, food insecurity, energy, climate change, connectivity, and biodiversity loss – have at their origins or find their solutions through science, technology and innovation.
  Girl looking into microscope (AKDN/Ramji)   USAID Launches Science and Technology Contest
USAID launches the Science and Technology Pioneers Prize contest to celebrate USAID-supported projects that use science, technology and innovation to solv...
  Fact Sheet   MCC Fact Sheet on Threshold Program
The Millennium Challenge Corporation releases a fact sheet on its Threshold Program, which is designed to assist countries that are not yet eligible for M...

Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

  A Masai girl holds a protest sign during the anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) run in Kilgoris, Kenya, April 21, 2007. [AP File Photo]  

International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM: Working Together To End a Devastating Practice
About the Author: Melanne Verveer serves as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues.
On February 6, 2013, in observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, I had the privilege of leading a panel discussion at the State Department to help bring global attention to a harmful traditional practice that risks the lives, dignity, and well-being of women and girls in far too many places around the world.

  Group of young women (USAID)   U.S. Taking Steps to Stop Female Genital Mutilation
The United States is taking steps to stop the practice of female genital mutilation worldwide, says the U.S. ambassador for global women’s issues.
    International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
February 6th marks the tenth observance of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), an internationally recognized day to foster awareness of the devastating effects of FGM/C and renew the call for the abandonment of this harmful traditional practice.

Global Health

  Smiling girl, with head and shoulders visible as she is vaccinated (GAVI/2012/Youngblood)  

Alliance Gives At-Risk Girls Vaccine Against Cancer-Causing Virus
A campaign to vaccinate young girls in eight developing world nations will be aimed at preventing cervical cancer, which kills 275,000 women each year, 85...

  Woman and child in blue doorway (AP Images)   Child Survival Rates Focus of National Summit in India
Boosting child survival rates will be the focus of a national summit in Mahabalipuram, India, February 7–9 that will bring together more than 200 delegate...

Secretary of State John Kerry

  Teresa Heinz Kerry and John Kerry standing together (AP Images)  

Kerry Says He Will Keep America’s Promise of Democracy
Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States needs to use hard and soft power in its diplomacy to” keep the promise” of democracy.

  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry displays his first diplomatic passport, while delivering welcome remarks to U.S. Department of State employees in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2013.  Secretary Kerry was issued the passport while his father served as a U.S. diplomat in Germany; Kerry’s first stamp in it was 1954 in Le Havre. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]   Coming Home: A Day of Milestones
About the Author: John Kerry serves as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States.
A day of milestones -- here at what I'm learning now to call "the Mothership," they tell me this is the 5,000th blog entry on this page, and it's the first of what I hope will be many opportunities to share thoughts and occasional observations on the challenges ahead.
  Transcript + Video   Ceremonial Swearing-in for Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry (Feb. 6): "I am proud to take on this job because I want to work for peace and because the values and the ideals of our nation are really what represents the best of the possibilities of life here on Earth." 
  John Kerry holding up passport with crowd of people behind (AP Images)   Secretary Kerry Gets Warm Welcome at State Department
John Forbes Kerry receives a warm welcome from hundreds of State Department employees February 4 as he enters the department for the first time as secretary of State.
  Transcript + Video   Secretary Kerry's Arrival at the State Department
Secretary Kerry (Feb. 4): "I want to thank President Obama for his trust in me to take on this awesome task, and for his trust in you, every single one of you, and what you do every single day."

U.S. Culture and Society

  Woman dancing at New Orleans Mardi Gras (AP Images)  

Celebrating the Indomitable Spirit of New Orleans
Despite a long history of hardships, New Orleans still knows how to have a good time.

  Rosa Parks commemorative stamp (U.S. Postal Service)   Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks!
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks is remembered with a commemorative stamp.