Nigeria Has Plan for HIV Vaccine

Nigeria will be a part of plans for a global vaccine against HIV. With the help of the National Agency for Control of AIDS and the US Department of Defense, Nigeria is now back in plans to have an HIV vaccine after 13 years of absence. Thirteen years ago, the National HIV Vaccine Plan in Nigeria deteriorated because there were not enough funds to keep it in tact.


This gives hopeful prospects for the country, as its population is the second largest in the world that is affected by HIV.


Frelimo re-elects Guebuza in wake of US Funding

President Guebuza said in his acceptance speech on Wednesday that he is committed to working toward the “dream of all Mozambicans… the dream of well-being and happiness.”

Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party upturned the country’s traditional politics on Wednesday when it chose to re-elect current President Armando Guebuza as its head, setting off an array of questions regarding where the party is headed for the 2014 elections. In the past, the party’s leader has automatically assumed nomination as its presidential candidate, but this cannot be the case with President Guebuza. The president is currently serving his second 5-year term in office, which is the presidential term limit set by the country’s constitution. Though President Guebuza has declared his intent to adhere to the constitution’s term limit, one can only wonder what sort of nominee will arise from this unique situation.

This turn of events has occurred just days after the US embassy announced the renewal of its annual 1.4 million USD funding for Mozambican organisations pursuing projects to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

US Ambassador to Mozambique Douglas Griffiths

“To save more lives, we have to continue to work together,” US Ambassador Douglas Griffiths said in his speech on Monday preceding the signing of the funding agreement. “You, our partners, are essential for achieving our target of a generation free from AIDS in Mozambique.”



University of the Western Cape Honors Advocate Bience Gawanas in Cape Town

This past Thursday, Namibian Advocate Bience Gawanas’ academic journey came full circle when she earned a Doctor Legum (honoris causa) from the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town, South Africa). Adv. Bience Gawanas was forced to withdraw from UWC 36 years ago around the same time as the Soweto Uprisings, a peaceful student protest that demanded equal educational opportunities for black South Africans during apartheid. The peaceful protest became tragic when South African police opened fire on the high school students, all of whom were unarmed.

Advocate Bience Gawanas (far left) at the UWC Graduation Last Thursday.

In the decades since, South African apartheid has come to an end and education reform is in full effect. For Adv. Bience Gawanas, her evolution from expelled student to Advocate of the Namibian High Court, and Commissioner to the internationally recognized global movement Every Woman Every Child, is magnified through her recent honor in Cape Town. Her success in the face of adversity will continue to serve as inspiration for children growing up in post-apartheid South Africa, and its neighboring nations. As a Namibian growing up during the apartheid, Adv. Gawanas dared to dream big and pursue a law career at a time when blacks were widely unwelcome in that field. Her determination to fight for equal rights for blacks in Africa’s southern region has been ceaseless, as expressed last Thursday when she said, “I knew that in a white court, black people could never receive justice or fairness and if I were a black lawyer I could ensure that they too deserve respect for their human rights and dignity.”

As Adv. Bience Gawanas’ career in law, global activism, and her recent doctoral honor from the University of the Western Cape indicates, the future is bright for educational opportunities in South Africa.


For more information about Advocate Bience Gawanas, please visit -CAB.

Benin says goodbye to African Partnership Station (APS)

On September 14, civilian and Navy medical personnel from the NGO Project Hope concluded their four day visit to Benin. Project Hope hosted a three-day health fair to “provide optometry care, pediatric, general, and maternal health screenings”. This medical civic action program (MEDCAP) also provided education to patients about hygiene and nutrition.

In addition to the health fair, members of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) 12, Security Cooperation Team 6 conducted a training led by a Marine corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) to teach almost two-dozen members of the Beninois Armed Forces in non-lethal combat skills.

Everyone involved had a “once in a lifetime” experience and was focused to ensure that their visit had a lasting impact on both professionals and the people who they interacted with.

“Commander Matthew McLean examines a Beninese baby during a health fair as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS), September 13, 2012”

Kenya Prepares For 2013 Election

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has begun preparations for a general election on March 4, 2013. The election for next spring will decide: the presidency, the representatives of the house and also for the senate, a government of the county, a woman representative and a country representative. Due to the violence that occurred after the 2007 presidential election, additional safety measures have been taken to ensure that the upcoming election runs smoothly with as little conflict as possible.

The IEBC has traveled to newly created constituencies throughout Kenya to meet with community leaders to discuss where they think the best polling stations should be, before they are installed. The electoral body will soon begin training poll officials who will supervise and administer the vote on March 4th. Along with training the poll officials, the IEBC has begun voter education to ensure that Kenyans understand what the constitution entails. In addition to voter education, the IEBC has negotiated with the government to purchase biometric voter identification and registration kits that will enable the IEBC to begin voter registration by the end of October. With the policies enacted by the IEBC months before the election, the Kenyan government hopes to have a peacefully run 2013 election.

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Namibia: Water Crucial to Development Projects

Last week at the Namibia Water Investment Conference the increasing demand and pressure on the still limited water availability in Namibia was the main item on the agenda. The conference provided a platform for over 20 exhibitors, financiers and investors to share and promote their progress on desalination and increasing the accessibility of potent water resources.

This is the Wlotzkasbaken desalination plant which was inaugurated in 2010

The Minister of Agriculture addressed the importance of solving the problem of water scarcity and stressing its utmost importance to the economic development in Namibia during his speech on behalf of President Hifikepunye Pohamba;  “water is therefore the most important contributor to the country’s development prospects across the board. Its vulnerability and scarcity can be a constraint to development”.  The Namibian government set up six themes through which the objectives are to be met by 2030; investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure, management of water supply and sanitation services, water for economic development, water resource management and public- private partnership and capacity building.

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Sec. of State Hillary Clinton Makes a Stop in Dakar

The Secretary of State made a stop in Dakar, Senegal on her way across the continent stopping at various developing African countries to talk about US investment in the continent.  This is a change from past years when a trip to Africa was usually for humanitarian purposes.

Recently, the United States has been making moves toward stronger investments in developing African countries.  The NY Times states that 7 out of 10 world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa.  The main competitor in investment has been China.  This Friday, the African Presidential Center will host Ambassador Zhong Jianhua, who is the Special Representative on African Affairs for the People’s Republic of China and will talk about Chinese investment in Africa.