Interview: “We Need A Concrete Cultural Industry”

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Yaah Dr Asheri Kilo Fofung, Lecturer, Performing Arts, University of Yaounde I and Buea and Technical Adviser MINAC, talks on the cultural industry in Cameroon.

How would you analyse artistic productions in Cameroon this year?

Cameroon is improving in its cultural productivities and the role of the Ministry of Arts and Culture is to promote these creative activities. We need to build a proper cultural industry in Cameroon that is why the Ministry of Arts and Culture tries as much as possible to support budding artists as well as those who have already made a name. Cameroonian writers and musicians have been creative but this will depend on individual’s judgment. Creativity is something that is inner and comes through inspiration.

There are many people who are very inspired but it is only the best of their works that comes to the fore and the Ministry of Arts and Culture will always promote the best. The ministry has sponsored book publications that are good, good music as well as painters that are doing good artistic works. The idea is to go for the best. Meanwhile, artists that are still working are encouraged to work because excellence is the goal of the Ministry of Arts and Culture.

Reports indicate that a lot of problems usually come up each time author’s right dues are to be distributed. What is responsible for that and how can the problems be solved definitely?

Artists themselves have fully understood what their rights are. Clearly, they have organized themselves into four guilds which is a good way to get things done correctly. There is the musical artists’ guild, the literature/writers guild, photographers and painters’ artist’s guilds. These associations are supposed to be organised in such a way that each time their arts work is exploited, whoever is exploiting them pays for it. An example is the musical artists’ guild in which TV and radio stations that exploit their works pay an amount of money into their account.

At the end of every quarter, they are supposed to sit and share whatever is available. However, the problem is that the artists themselves are not united enough and have not been able to determine who is who within their creative industry. We cannot compare an artist like Manu Dibango with somebody who just started playing music yesterday. If there is any financial reward given to Manu Dibango, it cannot be same with somebody who started playing music two years ago.

The artists themselves have done some categorisation, but it is for them to follow and respect it strictly. The artists themselves have to be organised. The Ministry of Arts and Culture only supports and guides the artists. There is an organ created by the ministry to control and follow-up what the different guilds are doing while ensuring that when there is financial reward, it is distributed according to the percentages that the artists themselves have agreed upon.

Music has a great role to play as far as culture is concerned. Do you think the songs nowadays from our musicians are still worth the salt?

It is a question of taste. But there are different opinions about what type of music should be played. There are huge verities of music and the audiences are different. People have different taste and ways to appreciate different types of music. But I insist on what is good. What is good has to be technically good. How the sounds come together, what lyrics the musicians are using and how the melody blends with his lyrics and whether or not the public will like.

Talking about the old makossas, they were very good pieces of music. They were played based on our traditional rhythms. But today, there are young people who play just anything and get into all types of controversies. Some of the music’s are even banned.  What we want artists to know is that they have to stay within a certain degree of morality and their language has to be acceptable because it is the right of citizens to listen to proper language.

From a cultural stand point, vulgarity and rude languages should not be tolerated in musical productions. We are raised from a culture where seniority is respected; the community is respected as well as values.

What should be done to improve on the lyrics of most musical productions?

The Ministry of Arts and Culture is trying to build the National Institute of Arts and Culture. The pedagogic and technical blocks are already under construction and there is hope that once the decree to set up the structures that will govern the institution is ready, then courses will begin. It is a school where the ministry intend to train artists in all the aspects of arts; music, cinema, theatre, painting and drawing.

Artists will be taught the fundamental of the art. Arts do not happen in vacuum. People get the inspiration but there are fundamentals of getting it beautiful. It is important to note that art is beautiful. If art is not beautiful, then it is not art.

How do you foresee the cultural landscape in the country? 

I see that it is going to be a lot more improved. From 2015, we have already accomplished a lot and we hope to accomplish more. At the Ministry of Arts and Culture, we have a three year programme and whatever we started in the last three years; we need to complete it within the next three year. So, we will do a follow-up and continuation of what we are doing. However, the establishment of a concrete cultural industry is very important.

The committees for arts and letters that study the applications of artists who want support from the ministry has been reinstated and there is hope that at the beginning of 2016, files will be studied and support given to the artists. There will be follow-up to ensure that whatever money taken from the government coffers is effectively used to produce results that will be seen and appreciated by the population.

Cameroon Tribune

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Cameroonian army defeats several Boko Haram incursion attempts – Official

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The Cameroon defense and security forces have defeated several incursion attempts by the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, APA learns from security sources.

In anticipation of New Year’s Eve celebrations on Thursday, the terrorist group tried several incursions into Cameroonian territory, all of which resulted in a miserable failure.

“In the morning, terrorists tried to attack Fotokol, Kerawa, Dabaga localities but we managed to repel their assaults”, the security sources said.

In its response, the Cameroonian military killed 20 militants while others re-crossed the border to take refuge in Nigeria.

“The military high command is on the alert because we expect attacks in this period of festivities marking the beginning of a new year. We have considered this news to reinforce our positions”, the central command of the Fourth Military Region in Maroua explains.

The government reiterates vigilance to people since suicide bombers could take advantage of the festivities of the New Year to make their incursion among the people and commit suicide attacks.

APAnews

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Cameroon: Over 2,000 workers illegally collecting salaries unmasked

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Efforts by the Public Service in 2015 led to the unmasking of over 2,000 workers illegally collecting salaries and allowances.

The story of the bloated Cameroon Civil Service and the financial incidence to the State purse is not new, with efforts to rein in culprits and their accomplices dating back to the mid eighties. However, each time the attempt is made to stem the scourge, the tricksters seem to become wiser by developing new techniques. Consequently, the State monthly wage bill has continued to rise exponentially without a truthful corresponding increase in the number of workers.

And so, it was no surprise to watchers of the Cameroon Civil Service after it was announced in 2015 that at least 2,000 people were collecting undue salaries and allowances from the State. Of particular concern were teachers who continued to collect teaching and research allowances long after being assigned to other positions outside of the classroom.

Earlier in late August 2015, the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms published over 10,000 names of suspected ghost workers, giving them a week to clarify their situation. Those who failed to do so were going to have their salaries cut, the Ministry warned.

The measure was in line with the transition from the current management of State employees with two softwares – the Integrated Computerised System of Human Resources, SIGIPES and Antelope. The new system will merge the two softwares. It is against this backdrop that Prime Minister Philemon Yang instructed that only civil servants recognised by their user ministries be transferred to the new computerised system, SIGIPES II.

The Permanent Secretary of Administrative Reforms, Chancel Ako Takem, explained that the 10,000 workers could not be identified as belonging to any ministry. He therefore urged them to meet Directors of Human Resources in their ministries to clear the air.

Cameroon Tribune

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GHANA TO HOST CONFERENCE ON SEXUAL HEALTH AND RIGHTS

The 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, scheduled to be held from the 8th of February to the 12th of February 2016, has been launched in Accra.

The Conference will deliberate on sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth sub-types including early, middle and late adolescents, adolescent and youth living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), youth in conflict situations and youth living with disabilities.

It will also discuss issues on the vulnerable, excluded and key/marginalized populations, sexuality education, youth-friendly services, forced/early marriage, adolescent motherhood, abortions, gender-based violence and maternal morbidity, and mortality.

Apart from expert meetings, constituency-focused meetings and capacity-building workshops, pre-conferences— Youth pre-conference, Women’s pre-conference, Parliamentarians’ pre-conference and Media pre-conferences— will also be held.

The five-day Conference, which is being organized by the African Federation for Sexual Health and Rights (AFSHR), will be hosted by Curious Minds, Ghana and under the proud patronage of the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Her Excellency Lordina Mahama.

The theme for the Conference is ‘Realizing Demographic dividend—The Critical Importance of Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’

In address to launch the conference, His Excellency Girmay Haile, Country Director, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in Ghana, noted that the high migration rate, management of urban populations and HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were major challenges for governments to deal with in the next twenty years.

His Excellency Girmay said the Conference was necessary as it would provide a platform for the discussion of such issues in an effort to find solutions to them.

In a statement, Dr Babatunde Ahonsi, Country Representative, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), said there was the need to recognise and fulfil the reproductive and sexual rights of all young people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, and ensure access to health education and services, including safe and legal abortion.

Dr Ahonsi described the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights as part of the process of deepening the discourse and moving forward of the agenda of addressing the challenges of policy gaps in promoting sexual health and rights.

He said the organization of such conferences had produced quite a number of youth leaders and put the issues on the policy agenda of Africa’s development.

Dr Ahonsi, therefore, commended the organizers of Conference as their efforts were in consonance with the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Bali Global Youth Forum which stressed the need for the youth to stay healthy; be entitled to and have access to comprehensive education, families, youth rights and well-being, including sexuality; transition to decent work, leadership and meaningful youth participation, comprehensive sexuality education, youth participation, access to comprehensive health services, including abortion; investment in young people and the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against the youth.

Ms Edith Asamani, Conference Manager, who presented an overview of the Conference, said the Conference would identify promising and best practices for adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on effective responses to youth vulnerabilities.

In addition, Ms Asamani said, the Conference would facilitate knowledge management and programming to enhance the regional and global development agenda, and propose actions to promote adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in the implementation of the ICPD Beyond 2014, the post-2015 Development Agenda and Agenda 2063.

The Executive Director of the Conference Secretariat, Kingsley Obeng-Kyereh, in a welcome address, said the Conference formed part of a long-term process of building and fostering a regional dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights that would lead to concrete actions to enhance stakeholders’ ability to influence policy and programming in favour of a sexually-healthy continent.

AFSHR has collaborated with several Core Conference Partners (CCP) and other key stakeholders in sexual and reproductive health over the past twelve years to organize the regional Conference.

The ACSHR had been held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2004), Nairobi, Kenya (2006), Abuja, Nigeria (2008), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2010), Windhoek, Namibia (2012) and Yaounde, Cameroon (2014).

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)

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Le rationnement en eau potable a commencé

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Certains quartiers de la ville de Yaoundé reçoivent de l’eau, d’autres pas, suivant le calendrier de distribution institué par la CDE. Lequel reste encore méconnu des populations.

A Yaoundé, l’air de rien, le bidon d’eau est devenu l’accessoire le mieux partagé, et davantage avec l’arrivée de la saison sèche. Au quartier Mvog-Betsi, une joyeuse troupe d’enfants se promène, bassines et bouteilles sur la tête, à la recherche d’eau courante.

Tandis que dans son véhicule, Annie Pulchérie Ambomo, communicatrice, collectionne les bonbonnes d’eau, histoire de se ravitailler dès qu’elle en aura la possibilité. De son côté, Laurence Onguene, résidente au quartier Nkolndongo, dit avoir remarqué que c’est depuis le 24 décembre dernier, que la zone n’est plus desservie en eau. Dans les faits, la Camerounaise des Eaux (CDE) a récemment annoncé le retour au rationnement en eau potable à Yaoundé, du fait de la saison sèche.

Ainsi, l’entreprise s’est engagée à publier un calendrier de distribution d’eau dans la ville, lequel devrait être disponible et affiché dans toutes ses agences. Toutefois, la plupart des usagers ne sont pas informés du passage à ce mode de distribution. Aimé Parfait Bikok III, résident au lieu dit « lycée d’Etoug-Ebe », a gardé ses habitudes d’approvisionnement. « Il n’y a pas d’eau. Nous sommes obligés de nous rendre dans les puits, les sources dès 4h du matin.

Parfois, il faut se lever à 3 h du matin lorsque l’eau arrive, une fois par mois». A Olembe où la distribution est intermittente, Vicky Bernadette Dikongue, résidente, affirme : « Nous avons de l’eau courante deux fois par semaine. Par ailleurs, nous ne sommes pas informés du programme de rationnement. Lorsqu’il y a de l’eau, nous en profitons, sinon, nous sommes dans l’attente. Peut-être qu’au moment du paiement de la prochaine facture d’eau, nous allons vérifier les jours de distribution. »

En effet, dans certains coins de la ville, la distribution s’effectue deux fois par semaine, tandis que dans d’autres, elle est de quatre jours en moyenne. Le rationnement institué ces jours par la CDE est la conséquence du changement de saison. « Depuis qu’il fait de plus en plus chaud, les habitants ont augmenté leur consommation d’eau.

Plusieurs utilisent davantage d’eau pour lutter contre la poussière en arrosant la devanture de leurs domiciles ou autres », explique Félix Zogo Manga, directeur régional Yaoundé Agglomération de la CDE. Affirmation que renforce le directeur général de la Camwater, Jean Williams Sollo lorsqu’il explique : « Les quantités d’eau produites n’ont pas diminué. L’eau potable produite a augmenté cette année avec l’apport de l’usine sur la Mefou à Nkolbisson ».

Cameroon Tribune

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Relief Challenges As Drought Plunges Lesotho Into Emergency

WFP plans to strengthen collaboration with the government and partners as more than 650,000 people face hunger in Lesotho’s worst drought in decades. Struggling from two successive crop failures, the mountain kingdom has been pushed into a state of crisis by the El Niño weather phenomenon which has brought reduced rainfall to much of southern Africa.

A cloud of dust gathers in the air and, a short distance away, a tractor grinds through a dry field. The pain of waiting for rain has finally driven Berea farmer Teboho Tlale to plant maize under the hot sun.

“I have decided to plant because in the past droughts, it rained in December,” says Tlale. ” I’m praying for enough rain to nourish the crop until March.”

The drought that is ravaging so much of Southern Africa has hit Lesotho hard. It has dried up most rivers in Berea district and other parts of the country. The wasted sheep have only scorched grass for pasture and little to drink. Many subsistence farmers have not planted, a sign that many families will go hungry in 2016. Unlike Tlale, ‘Mamosa Matamane has given up hope that normal rains will fall this season.

“I am worried because we have very little food left from our last harvest,” says Matamane (30) whose husband has gone to join his brother in search of a job in South Africa.

So severe is the situation that, on 22 December, the Government of Lesotho declared a state of drought emergency and appealed for assistance from the international community. Lesotho needs an estimated 584 million Maloti (US$ 37 milllion) to provide water, food, nutritional support and medication to those most vulnerable people and to prevent further loss of livestock. The government has indicated it has only 150 million Maloti (US$ 9.6 million) to support relief efforts. Disaster Management Authority estimates that some 650,000 – a third of the population – will need food assistance in 2016. These include some people in urban areas who will not be able to meet the high cost of food.

Most rural families depend on rain-fed subsistence farming while wool and mohair production are the main sources of livelihhod for many people.

“WFP is appealing for additional financial support to meet the increasing needs of people caused by the drought,” says World Food Programme Deputy Country Director Arduino Mangoni.

In the face of pressing funding challenges, WFP plans to provide nutritional support to nearly 40,000 people including children under the age of two, pregnant and nursing women, and patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy and TB treatment. The provision of food by WFP to 300,000 children in pre- and primary schools is set to continue throughout the country.

Source: World Food Programme

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U.S. Condemns Boko Haram Attacks in the Lake Chad Basin Region

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

The United States condemns the terrible attacks carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria, December 25–28, as well as other recent attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Boko Haram killed dozens of innocent people who were targeted as they went about their daily lives—attending service at a mosque, shopping in a neighborhood market, or simply traveling down a road. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and we stand with the people of Nigeria and the region in the fight against Boko Haram.

The United States remains committed to helping Nigeria and its neighbors counter Boko Haram’s senseless acts of terror. Despite much progress over the past year—due in large part to newly bolstered Nigerian and regional efforts—more work remains to ensure the people of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria can live in peace. The conflict has affected the lives of communities across the Lake Chad Basin region, with some 2.5 million internally displaced people and more than 170,000 Nigerian refugees forced to flee their homes. The United States provides advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support, and equipment to our African partners as they work to defeat Boko Haram. We also support those affected by Boko Haram’s violence through ongoing humanitarian aid and victim support services. The United States will continue working with our partners in the region to identify new opportunities to support their efforts to stop Boko Haram’s wanton violence and restore order in the Lake Chad Basin region.

Source: U.S. Department of State

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Press Releases: U.S. Condemns Boko Haram Attacks in the Lake Chad Basin Region

The United States condemns the terrible attacks carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria, December 25–28, as well as other recent attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Boko Haram killed dozens of innocent people who were targeted as they went about their daily lives—attending service at a mosque, shopping in a neighborhood market, or simply traveling down a road. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and we stand with the people of Nigeria and the region in the fight against Boko Haram.

The United States remains committed to helping Nigeria and its neighbors counter Boko Haram’s senseless acts of terror. Despite much progress over the past year—due in large part to newly bolstered Nigerian and regional efforts—more work remains to ensure the people of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria can live in peace. The conflict has affected the lives of communities across the Lake Chad Basin region, with some 2.5 million internally displaced people and more than 170,000 Nigerian refugees forced to flee their homes. The United States provides advisors, intelligence, training, logistical support, and equipment to our African partners as they work to defeat Boko Haram. We also support those affected by Boko Haram’s violence through ongoing humanitarian aid and victim support services. The United States will continue working with our partners in the region to identify new opportunities to support their efforts to stop Boko Haram’s wanton violence and restore order in the Lake Chad Basin region.

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Africa: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Strengthening Engagement Between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Strengthening Engagement Between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

December 29, 2015


This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity, DRLA-DRLAQM-16-044.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: February 22, 2016 at 11:30pm EST

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for programs to improve accountability through effective engagement between a country’s Parliament and domestic civil society organizations (CSOs). The target countries are Botswana, Lesotho and Malawi; other SADC member countries may be included for compelling reasons. Programs can be regional or focused on one country.

The overall goal of this program is to strengthen government accountability in a country or countries in SADC through improved parliament action via collaboration with civil society around a key issue of national importance. Successful programs will facilitate engagement between a country’s Parliament and its civil society, providing effective tools to hold Government accountable for policies and budgets around an issue of mutual concern. Proposals should include partnerships with relevant CSOs and one or more parliamentary committees, with the objective of improving CSO and parliamentary capacity through development of common resources around one key issue of civil or political rights, such as legal identity documentation.

Technical assistance, including targeted legislative advice to select portfolio committees and strengthening these committees’ oversight functions, should be a key activity of any successful proposal. Activities that facilitate sustained, practical engagement between CSOs and key parliamentary committees should be included, as well as activities that seek to connect committee members with relevant constituencies in innovative ways. Workshops are expected but should not be a focus of the proposal. DRL is not seeking a basic capacity building program for Members of Parliament (MPs); rather, the successful program will create opportunities for collective efforts around the key issue, ensuring that MPs and CSOs work together towards a common goal and producing new and lasting mechanisms as a result, such as improved legislation and/or the establishment of caucuses and working groups.

At least one sub-grant to a local organization is required. Proposals that include letters of support from proposed sub-grantees and key MPs in the Parliaments with which they are seeking to partner will be deemed more competitive, as will proposals from organizations that are registered in Africa and have majority African staff. The successful grantee will plan to invest full-time staff in the country or countries in which they plan to work. Programs that include substantial travel budgets will be deemed noncompetitive. Proposals must demonstrate awareness of similar existing programs and explain how the proposed program would complement and build off of ongoing efforts, especially if funded by the U.S. government. Cost-sharing from non-USG funding sources is highly encouraged.

Programs should have the potential for immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms, and consider ways to use this program as a starting point for continued funding beyond these initial DRL funds. DRL prefers innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that duplicate or add to current efforts by other entities. However, DRL welcomes projects that clearly build from existing successful projects in new and innovative ways. DRL also strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable or at-risk populations.

Activities that typically are not considered competitive include:

• The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;

• English language instruction;

• Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;

• Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;

• External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;

• Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or that do not relate to security concerns;

• Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;

• Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;

• Activities that go beyond an organization’s demonstrated competence, or fail to provide clear evidence of the ability of the applicant to achieve the stated impact;

• Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately $990,099 available to support approximately one successful application submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding.

DRL may issue one or more awards resulting from this NOFO to the applicant(s) whose application(s) conforming to this NOFO are the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO. The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, (d) accept alternate applications, and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

Applications should request $990,099 and no more or less than that amount. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between May 2016 – July 2016 and the period of performance should be at least 18 months in duration.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the application’s risk factor, or the needs of the program, which is determined by the grant officer for applications that are successful. If it is determined to award a cooperative agreement, DRL expects to be substantially involved during the implementation of the cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement can include:

1) Approval of the Recipient’s annual work plans, including: planned activities for the following year, travel plans, planned expenditures, event planning, and changes to any activity to be carried out under the cooperative agreement;

2) Approval of sub-award Recipients, concurrence on the substantive provisions of the sub-awards, and coordination with other cooperating agencies;

3) Other approvals that will be included in the award agreement.

C. Eligibility Information

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

For-profit entities should be aware that their applications may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process and that the Department of State generally prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Project income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility requirement for this NOFO.

C.3 Other

Applicants must have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in‑country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and NGOs and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status. DRL encourages applications from organizations working with the most at-risk and vulnerable communities, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic or religious minority groups, and LGBTI persons.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR,1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR,1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, and other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Strengthening Engagement between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)” funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-16-044. Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

1) All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);

2) All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;

3) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,

4) All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

Complete applications must include the following:

1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B, as directed on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov; completed and signed SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities”(if applicable) (which can be found with the solicitation on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and on the DRL website at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm); and your organization’s most recent audit (A-133 audit, if applicable, or standard audit).

2. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3. Executive Summary (not to exceed two [2] pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:

a) The target country/countries and thematic area;

b) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact;

c) The total amount of funding requested and project length;

d) A statement of work or synopsis of the project, including a concise breakdown of the project’s objectives, activities, and expected results; and,

e) A brief statement on how the project is innovative, sustainable, and will have a demonstrated impact.

4. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple documents in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe file, (i.e., Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).

5. Detailed Line-Item Budget (in Microsoft Excel) that includes three [3] columns including the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget (see below for more information on budget format). A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for sub-awardees should be included in additional tabs within the excel workbook.

6. Budget Narrative (in Microsoft Word) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, DRL recommends applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the detailed budget. Personnel costs should include a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key staff, base salary, and percentage of time devoted to the project. The budget narrative should provide additional information that might not be readily apparent in the detailed-line item budget, not simply repeat what is represented numerically in the budget, i.e. salaries are for salaries or travel is for travel. Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

7. Attachments (not to exceed fourteen [14] pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:

a) Logic model – Page 1-2: Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

b) Risk Assessment – Page 3: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

c) Narrative of Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – Pages 4-5: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

d) Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table – Pages 6-9: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information. This section can be up to four pages long if necessary.

e) Roles and responsibilities of key project personnel – Page 10: Please include short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. This relates to the organization’s capacity. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.

f) Timeline of the overall proposal – Page 11: Components should include activities, evaluation efforts, and project closeout.

g) Additional optional attachments – Page 12-14: Attachments may include further timeline information, letters of support, memorandums of understanding/agreement, etc. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the projects implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

8. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a .pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by project and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding and therefore does not count against the submission page limitations. If your proposal involves subawards to organizations charging indirect costs, please submit the applicable NICRA also as a .pdf file (see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information on indirect cost rates). If your organization does not have a NICRA per 2 CFR 200. 414(f) the organization can elect to charge the de minimis rate of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68. The budget narrative should indicate what costs will be covered using the 10% de minimis rate.

Please note: DRL retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:

1) Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;

2) Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;

3) Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services if receiving DRL funding for the first time, unless an exemption is provided;

4) Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

Applicants must have an active registration in SAM (www.sam.gov) prior to submitting an application, must prove a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, formerly referred to as a DUNS number, and must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the U.S. government.

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to obtain a UEI number and register in SAM.

SAM requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM and to also maintain its active registration in SAM.

No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235).

DRL may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DRL is ready to make an award, DRL may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

An exemption from this requirement may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

1. An applicant is a foreign organization located outside of the U.S., does not currently have a UEI, and the Department determines that acquiring one is impractical given the geographic location; or

2. If the applicant’s identity must be protected due to possible endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

Please note: foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code in order to register in SAM. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. (As of January 2015, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.)

NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of January 2015 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on Monday, February 22, 2016 on www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Strengthening Engagement between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)” funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-16-044.

Grants.gov and Grantsolutions.gov automatically log the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov that is outside of the applicants’ control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

If ultimately provided with a notification of intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.

Project activities that provide training or other assistance to foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended(FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-Federal award costs; however, the grants officer may approve pre awards cost on a case by case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015.

D.6 Other

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov. Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and that an application has been received by GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for applicants not being registered before the due date or for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

GrantSolutions.gov is highly recommended for submission of all applications and is DRL’s preferred choice for receiving applications.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons.

Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable solicitation and these instructions.

GrantSolutions.gov Applications
All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via www.grantsolutions.gov.

Applicants using GrantSolutions.gov for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration” as soon as possible. This process must be completed before an application can be submitted. Registration with GrantSolutions.gov usually occurs directly after an applicant submits their registration. To register with GrantSolutions.gov, click “Login to GrantSolutions” and follow the “First Time Users” link to the “New Organization Registration Page.” There are different ways to register your organization, click on the link that fits best.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission as well as an official Application Number. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission. Please save this page for your records.

GrantSolutions.gov Help Desk:
For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

Grants.gov Applications
Applicants who do not submit applications via GrantSolutions.gov may submit via www.grants.gov. It is DRL’s preference that applications be submitted through GrantSolutions.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

Should an applicant experience technical issues, contacted the applicable helpdesk, and is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response after 2 days of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G, who may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk but an applicant should document their efforts in contacting the help desk. Also, applicants may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or grantsolutions.gov that may result in a late submission.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Criteria

Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. DRL prioritizes innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project will have an impact on its proposed objectives. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of subawardees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, applications should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan and address any operational or programmatic security concerns and how they will be addressed.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights projects, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

Inclusive Projecting

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most at risk and vulnerable populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, members of racial and ethnic or religious minorities, and LGBTI persons. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and address considerations to support these populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific means, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. Applicants should provide strong justifications if unable to incorporate the most at risk and vulnerable populations within proposed project activities and objectives. Applications that do not include this will not be considered highly competitive in this category.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required and do not need to be included in the budget. Inclusion in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets however should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people, workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.

The quality of the M&E plan will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, who will be responsible for those related activities. Projects that are at least 24 months or more than $500,000 are strongly encouraged to include an external mid-term and/or final evaluation. Explain how an external evaluation (mid-term and/or final) will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in absence of one. Please see DRL’s PSI for Applicants, updated in July 2015, for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The M&E plan will also be rated on the M&E performance indicator table. The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and yearly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation; There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target the most at risk and vulnerable populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All applications for a given solicitation are then reviewed against the same seven criteria, which includes quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institution’s record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (which includes feedback from US embassies), as well as U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (which includes feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of discussion on an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL has funding available for, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted grants officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted grants officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via GrantSolutions to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities (for more information on these exceptions, see Chapters 5, Federal Assistance to Individuals, and 6, Federal Assistance to Foreign Public Entities Directive.) Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Documents/2015DeptTermsAndConditionsForUSandForeignOrg.pdf.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as downloaded and then uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions must include page one (signed and completed) of the SF-PPR (Performance and Progress Report); a narrative attachment to the SF-PPR as described below; and the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the grants officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Statement. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

• Relevant contextual information (limited);

• Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;

• Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;

• Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;

• Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;

• Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;

• Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;

• Reasons why established goals were not met;

• Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year using the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer. Evaluation indicators from the Foreign Assistance Framework can be found at http://www.state.gov/f/indicators/ ;

• Proposed activities for the next quarter;

• Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipients’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this solicitation, please contact Emma Friedheim at FriedheimER@state.gov.

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2015

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the solicitation period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the project evaluation requirements.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, www.grantsolutions.gov, and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL is the foreign policy lead within the U.S. government on promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl and www.humanrights.gov.


The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

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A new book authored by researcher Churchill Ewumbue-Monono depicts the South West Regional capital as the symbol of the nation and reunification.

Buea, Cameroon’s mythical mountain-side town, has not ceased to release the treasures of its rich historical past. Another book titled “Buea: Capital of the Cameroons,” written by Churchill Ewumbue-Monono, has just been published by the Buea-based Center for Research on Democracy and Development in Africa (CEREDDA).

Going back to the start of German colonial administration, the author notes that it was on July 3, 1885 that Julius von Soden was sent as Governor of Kamerun. On January 12, 1886, the then German Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, proposed a constitutional foundation for the territory as a German protectorate. However, the existing Treaty of July 12, 1884 between the German Consul, Edward Schimdt and the Chiefs of Cameroon, ended at River Mungo. But this meant nothing to most of the people of the Buea Mountain region who still had relations with the midget British colony in the then Victoria.

In prelude to the signing of the Anglo-German Agreement in 1890 that extended German occupation to the Cameroon coast west of the Mungo, Governor Von Soden had purchased 212 hectares in the Mountain region on February 14, 1887 from the natives of Buea. However, attempts to effectively control the town started in 1891 when the Germans launched an attack on the mountain settlement, meeting stiff resistance from Buea people led by their war leader, Kuve Likenye. Another German attack in 1894 led to the effective occupation of the area and its integration into the German Protectorate.

Buea hosted a German Mountain Station in 1895 and knew social, economic and infrastructural development until the Germans moved the capital to Douala in 1909 following an earthquake on Mount Cameroon. Thus, with over 120 years of modern administration, the author, a son of the soil, states that Buea is unquestionably one of the oldest urban settlements in Cameroon, having served as a capital town for government at all levels, various religious bodies, centre for higher learning, a diplomatic and consular centre and a melting pot of the various tribes of the country. In three parts, his study not only puts Buea in its historical perspective, but it equally situates its significance in the building of the Cameroon nation.

Beyond the German era, the study shows the development of the town under British rule between 1916 and 1961, highlighting its contribution as a symbol of the reunification movement, before it became the seat of the West Cameroon Government between 1961 and 1972. The study further highlights the demise of Buea as a capital city between 1972 and 1982 and its renaissance since 1982 under President Paul Biya.

In the preface of the 305-page publication, Churchill Ewumbue-Monono expresses hope that the book will be useful to tourists, students of history and Political Science as well as curious readers wishing to uncover the myths and marvels of Buea; a town “where the German, English, French, Nigerian, and the local Bakweri cultures have been cohabiting peacefully with people from other parts of the country.”

Cameroon Tribune

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Les souscripteurs à cette opération percevront, dès ce jour, les sommes correspondantes au dernier paiement par l’Etat du Cameroun des fonds collectés il y a cinq ans.

Le remboursement du tout premier emprunt obligataire effectué par l’Etat du Cameroun en décembre 2010 sur le marché financier national, d’un montant de 200 milliards de F, sera bouclé ce jour.

En effet, d’après les informations obtenues au ministère des Finances (Minfi), la somme correspondant au dernier paiement au titre de cet emprunt sera virée aujourd’hui dans les comptes-titres respectifs des différents souscripteurs, soit 841 au total. D’après les chiffres publiés le 23 décembre dernier par la représentation de la Masse des obligataires (représentant des souscripteurs) réunis le 18 décembre dernier à Yaoundé, il s’agit de 52,8 milliards de F correspondant à la quatrième tranche du capital (50 milliards de F) plus les intérêts (2,8 milliards de F).

« La représentation de la Masse informe les souscripteurs que ce dernier paiement marque la clôture de l’emprunt obligataire ECMR 5,60% net 2010-2015 et se félicite du bon déroulement de l’opération », peut-on lire dans le communiqué publié à cet effet.

Ainsi donc, l’Etat du Cameroun a respecté ses engagements envers les investisseurs qui lui ont manifesté sa confiance pour cette première tentative menée il y a cinq ans et couronnée de succès. En effet, en décembre 2010, lorsque l’Etat du Cameroun tente pour la première fois de recourir au marché financier national, il mobilise les 200 milliards de F sollicités en l’espace de 15 jours.

Cette autre voie ouverte dans la diversification des sources de financement de l’économie qui s’avère ainsi fructueuse va être renouvelée en 2013, puis en 2014. Pour l’emprunt obligataire de 2010 réalisé à un taux d’intérêt de 5,6% l’an, l’Etat du Cameroun, en plus du capital (200 milliards de F) a remboursé 39,2 milliards de F d’intérêts, soit au total 239,2 milliards de F. Le remboursement s’est fait suivant le calendrier d’amortissement de l’emprunt qui a démarré en 2011 avec le versement  de 11,2 milliards de F d’intérêts.

Les 200 milliards de F mobilisés ont été alloués à différents projets dans les secteurs de l’énergie (barrages de Memve’ele et Lom Pangar, centrale à gaz de Kribi) ; des infrastructures (Port en eau profonde de Kribi) ; des télécommunications (extension du réseau national de fibre optique) ; des routes et ouvrages d’art (Second pont sur le Wouri, route Ayos-Bonis, Ring-Road, pénétrantes de Kumba) et de l’agriculture. Certains sont achevés, d’autres en cours.

Cameroon Tribune

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KTM Cameroun construira une unité d’assemblage de motos et tricycles dans la ville de Douala

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La société KTM Cameroun Company vient de signer avec le gouvernement camerounais, une convention lui donnant accès aux exonérations prévues dans la loi portant incitations à l’investissement privé au Cameroun.

Ces avantages fiscalo-douaniers pouvant couvrir des périodes allant de 5 à 10 ans sont conférés à cette entreprise, dans le cadre de son projet de construction d’une unité d’assemblage de motocyclettes et de tricycles à Douala, la capitale économique camerounaise.

Ce projet, a-t-on appris au cours de la cérémonie de signature de la convention sus-mentionnée, devrait coûter environ 12,5 milliards de francs Cfa au total, et permettra de créer environ 630 emplois nouveaux dans le pays.

L’appellation de cette entreprise camerounaise correspond à celle du constructeur autrichien de vélos et de motos KTM (photo), qui est également implanté en France, au Canada et en Belgique.

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Chinese B2B platform aims to connect Chinese, African traders

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A Chinese B2B platform is aiming to boost transactions between Chinese and African traders by providing a direct link between importers and exporters from the two lands.

Shenzhen Right Net Tech Group (Kenya)’s team leader Collins Mutoro told Xinhua in Nairobi their website, www.Amanbo.com, provides African importers with savings of up to 10 percent of the cost of acquiring goods from China.

“Our database currently has over 30,000 suppliers of quality Chinese goods at the click of a button,” Mutoro said.

The website was launched in Kenya in September and has presence in Sierra Leone, Egypt and Cameroon, serving as a platform that contains suppliers of goods from China and Africa.

“Chinese traders will also easily find goods from African suppliers,” Mutoro said.

He said the platform would boost Sino-Africa trade.

“It will reduce the need for traders having to travel long distances to buy products.”

Purity Muriuki, the secretary for Shenzhen Right Net Tech Group’s Kenya Office, said that the firm had created employment opportunities for Kenyans.

“We have learnt a lot of skills which we will utilize to improve our lives,” Muriuki said.

Muriuki has worked for the online platform for the past one month.

“The job has helped me become more confident and learn how to relate with customers with different personalities,” she said.

The firm’s Kenya office currently has 15 local staff and plans to increase the number to 50 by the end of the 2016.

Shenzhen Right Net Tech (Kenya) Chief Executive Officer Fu Ruiqiang said more and more Sino-Africa trade would be conducted online.

“We want to encourage more traders to embrace e-commerce due to its numerous advantages over the traditional methods of doing cross-border trade,” Fu said.

He said his firm aimed to boost Sino-Africa trade through promoting trust among business communities.

“Our digital platform provides a guarantee that buyers will pay for goods delivered and that goods will be of the quality promised by the supplier,” he said.

The firm has a showroom in Kenya with samples of goods from Chinese factories.

It also has a showroom in China that exhibits goods from Africa such as coffee, tea and wood carvings.

Fu said goods from Africa were popular in China.

“Agricultural products are produced naturally and so are healthy for consumers,” he said, adding “however Chinese buyers have trouble searching for reliable suppliers.”

Shenzhen Right Net Tech has been conducting Sino-Africa trade since 2003 and began B2B trade in 2009.

Fu said Amanbo.com was designed to tackle the challenges they have experienced in conducting bilateral trade between the two lands.


Xinhua

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“They would expect him to be the boss” [+audio]

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Rebecca EnonchongRebecca Enonchong

Ethel Cofie is a Ghanaian tech entrepreneur who is striving to get more African women working in technology. It is something that Rebecca Enonchong from Cameroon is also passionate about – she owns a global technology company. As part of a special series for Newsday, we brought Ethel and Rebecca together to have a conversation on how women can progress in the male-dominated world of technology. First let’s hear from Rebecca on the difficulties facing women entrepreneurs across Africa.

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YAOUNDE, CAMEROON— To encourage tolerance in Cameroon, a country recently experiencing religious-based violence by the …

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Cameroon Christmas Unites Christians, Muslims

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YAOUNDE, CAMEROON—

To encourage tolerance in Cameroon, a country recently experiencing religious-based violence by the likes of the extremist group Boko Haram, several churches have sponsored interfaith gatherings for Christmas.

At the Evangelical Lutheran Church here in this capital city, Christians traditionally have invited Muslims to help celebrate Jesus’ birth with a feast. This year, Muslim cleric Ibrahima Toukour also got five minutes to preach.

Toukour said Muslims have joined Christians at Christmas to pray for peace, security and stability in Cameroon. He said participants also are praying for God’s protection from Boko Haram, which is preaching division and hatred. Its militants kill, steal and rape while pretending to be serving God, he added.

At the Cameroon Baptist Convention, one of the country’s oldest churches, Pastor Charlemagne Nditemen said everyone – Muslims and Christians alike – was invited to celebrate the day.

Some participated in a gift exchange, Nditemen said. “Some bring food even to the church and after service we have a common meal together…. The bottom line is that Christmas is a symbol [signifying] the love of God for humanity.”

Clementine Awanga, a Lutheran congregant, said the church’s pastor has asked members to live peacefully with Muslims and to open their doors to them, as well.

A Christian, Awanga said she has welcomed not only her Christian brethren but also Muslims to her home. She said she also has honored invitations by Muslims to attend their religious events, adding that Muslim dignitaries always respect her pastor’s invitations to church events.

Growing threats

Cameroon’s neighbors have been suffering rising religious intolerance. Nigeria is threatened by the Islamist group Boko Haram and Central African Republic grapples with violent conflicts between the Christian anti-Balaka and the Muslim Seleka.

Irene Nguinga, a refugee from CAR, said Cameroon should preserve the peaceful cohabitation among its religious denominations to stop the type of carnage that her country has witnessed. There, she said, Christians and Muslims are “at each other’s throats,” fighting and killing.

Nguinga praised the peaceful co-existence of religions in Cameroon, saying its people should do everything possible to preserve it.

Of Cameroon’s 23.7 million residents, 40 percent are Christian, 20 percent are Muslim and the rest hold indigenous beliefs.

In Cameroon, religious tolerance had been the norm until the country got caught up in violence involving Boko Haram insurgents. The extremist group, founded in neighboring northern Nigeria in 2002, aims to create an Islamic state in western and central Africa.

Boko Haram has targeted Cameroon for sending troops to support the Nigerian government’s military’s efforts to quash it.

Last year, Cameroon arrested dozens of Muslim clerics and their faithful for collaborating with the terrorist group. Boko Haram’s allegiance to Islamic State has sparked fears the country may come under extremist influence.

In March this year, Cameroon hosted a conference on Islamic fundamentalism and extremism to educate Muslim clerics about the dangers espoused by extremist groups. All prominent Muslim clerics were invited to the capital and urged to reject such teachings.

VOA

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Lions indomptables : Giresse a été approché

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Avant de lancer un appel à candidatures sur Internet pour le poste de sélectionneur national, la Fédération camerounaise a selon nos informations contacté Alain Giresse, actuellement sur le banc des Aigles du Mali.

En quête d’un sélectionneur depuis le mois d’octobre et le limogeage de Volker Finke, la Fédération camerounaise de football a mis du temps à sortir du bois. Avant de solliciter les coachs intéressés par les Lions Indomptables via son site Internet, l’instance a mené des consultations plus confidentielles.

Selon les informations recueillies par Footafrica365.fr de source proche du dossier, les dirigeants de la Fécafoot ont rencontré Alain Giresse, début décembre à Paris. Le Français est pourtant depuis le printemps dernier revenu sur le banc des Aigles du Mali. Les discussions n’ont visiblement pas débouché.

Aussi a-t-on fini par avoir droit à ce surréaliste appel à candidatures, aux critères aussi détaillés qu’incongrus, mettant sur le même plan la nécessité de résider au Cameroun et la maîtrise d’outils informatiques comme Word, Excel ou Powerpoint. Plusieurs noms ont déjà filtré, dont ceux d’Hervé Renard, de Milovan Rajevac et de Claude Le Roy. Mais pas celui d’Alain Giresse. L’ancien numéro 10 des Bleus serait-il plus à l’aise avec un ballon qu’avec des tableurs ?

Football365/FootSud

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Newcastle & Arsenal Tracking Imposing Cameroon Defender

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Newcastle United and Arsenal are monitoring Sochaux’s teenage defender Jerome Onguene, according to reports in The Daily Mail (via Tribal Football).

Scouts for both Premier League clubs are said to be watching the centre-half with a close eye, with the January transfer window re-opening in about a week.

Born in Cameroon but possessing a duel nationality with France where he has been capped at U19 level, the imposing lad stands at 6 foot 3 inches tall and has impressed on-watchers with his strength and composure for such a young age (he only turned 18 this past Tuesday).

His versatility has also caught the attention of scouts as he has also operated stoutly at right-back, a position where Newcastle United have no cover for Daryl Janmaat and Arsenal meanwhile, if reports in the same newspaper are to be believed, are looking to offload second-choice Mathieu Debuchy in next month’s transfer window and could do with extra cover.

Onguene broke into Sochaux‘s first team last season and is now a regular after impressing during the U19 side’s France youth cup campaign which saw them pickup the Coupe Gambardella trophy.

WhatCulture

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