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United States Suspends Sudan Sanctions

In response to “positive actions” taken by the Government of Sudan over the past six months, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced today an amendment to the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (“SSR,” 31 C.F.R. Part 538) that effectively suspends virtually all of the U.S. sanctions against Sudan by authorizing … Continue Reading

Donald Trump and Africa

For Africa, at stake in this election of Donald Trump is the strong bipartisan consensus in Congress that has been the cornerstone of U.S. policy toward the continent for the last three administrations. This consensus, supported by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, was predicated on the notion that Africa has opportunities worth U.S. attention and … Continue Reading

A Summary of Congressional Hearings on U.S. Sanctions in Sub-Saharan Africa

This past June, the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy held a hearing to discuss U.S. sanctions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The United States, the European Union, and the United Nations impose far more sanctions on Sub-Saharan African targets than on any other region, and these sanction regimes have been changing over … Continue Reading

Africa, TPP and TTIP: Integration or Isolation?

With the demise of the Doha Development Round at the WTO Ministerial in Nairobi this past December, the multilateral approach to global trade negotiations has largely ended. Given that the number of regional trade agreements has increased from 70 in 1990 to more than 270 today, it appears that it is every region for itself … Continue Reading

No Holidays for African Currencies

As the currency crisis plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 continued through the recent holidays, Nigerians have learned that they can have their naira, but they can’t spend it too. Nigerians saw several restrictions on foreign exchange (“forex”) put in place, limiting what they could do with their naira. Triggered by the dive in oil prices … Continue Reading

Nigeria’s Automotive Industry Shifts into High Gear

In late 2013, the administration of then-President Goodluck Jonathan made a bold bet: that it could jumpstart the country’s ailing automotive industry through a comprehensive—and controversial— industrial policy, known as the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP). Although the policy is still young, there are now promising signs that these efforts to revive the once-vibrant … Continue Reading

From the AGOA Forum in Gabon to the WTO Ministerial in Nairobi

For years, many observers treated Africa’s plans for regional integration with a healthy dose of skepticism. Though the skepticism remains, what has changed is the wide-spread acknowledgement and elevated importance of regional economic integration to grow Africa’s economies, create jobs for its rapidly growing youth population, and improve lives. Last month’s AGOA Forum, hosted by … Continue Reading

Africa’s Tripartite Agreement: Another Step toward Integration?

Considerable attention has been paid to the recent signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) which will bind three of Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) together into one large free trade market of 26 countries, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the continent’s GDP.  How significant the Agreement will prove to be lies in … Continue Reading

President’s Advisory Council Focuses On Capital, Supply Chains and Infrastructure

One of the major initiatives announced during last summer’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was the establishment of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, a private sector-led body tasked with assisting the President in the development and dissemination of U.S. private sector strategies for taking advantage of trade and investment opportunities on the continent. … Continue Reading

AU-UN Report Reveals Startling Illicit Financial Flows in Africa

A new, comprehensive report published by the African Union’s high-level panel on illicit financial flows and the United Nations economic commission for Africa (Uneca) concludes that Africa loses more than $50 billion every year to illicit financial flows (IFFs).  The report, entitled Illicit Financial Flows, represents the first African initiative of its kind, and is … Continue Reading

Debate in the European Parliament on the European Commission’s Conflict Minerals Proposal

On November 6, the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament will have a first exchange of views on the proposal presented in March by the European Commission (EC) on “Minerals originating in conflict affected and high risk areas.” This is the European Union version of the so-called Dodd-Frank 1502 legislation in the … Continue Reading

Strengthening U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment

The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is currently considering the renewal and strengthening of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  AGOA is the cornerstone of the U.S.-African commercial relationship, and the African Union (AU) has called for a 15 year extension of the Act, from 2015 to 2030.  Since its enactment in … Continue Reading

U.S. Reacts to Central African Republic Conflict

In response to escalating sectarian violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has been embroiled in civil war since late 2012, President Obama has issued an Executive Order imposing sanctions on five individuals involved in the conflict and authorizing the U.S. Treasury Department to impose sanctions on other parties who engage in violence, human … Continue Reading

Boko Haram and U.S.-Nigeria Relations

On March 18, 2014, National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with governors from Nigeria to explore, among other topics, how the U.S. can work together with the state governments in Nigeria to address the insurgency of Boko Haram an Islamist terrorist organization.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry designated Boko Haram (also known as the … Continue Reading
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