Boko Haram

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will on April 30 hold the distinction of becoming the first African president to meet US President Donald J. Trump at the White House in Washington.

“I think it sends a very good signal that the first African head of state to have an Oval Office meeting will be the democratically elected president of Africa’s most populous country and its largest economy,” said J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

The two leaders are expected to focus on security and economic issues.

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Terrorist group suspected in disappearance of ninety school girls

More than ninety missing school girls in Nigeria—thought to have been abducted by Boko Haram—show that while the militants may have largely been defeated militarily, Boko Haram remains alive and well in Nigeria, according to an Atlantic Council analyst.

According to J. Peter Pham, vice president for regional initiatives and director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, the “iteration of Boko Haram the military force was defeated. However, Boko Haram evolved and it has become a more classical terrorist group.” Pham described how Boko Haram has “increased suicide bombings and—if this kidnapping is confirmed—returned to mass kidnappings as well.”

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A nearly $450 million investment package from the Millennium Challenge Corporation—an independent US foreign aid agency—for Niger will empower farmers and bolster transit infrastructure in the West African state, improving the livelihoods of more than 3.9 million Nigeriens, according to Niger’s prime minister, Brigi Rafini.

The Nigerien government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on July 29 enacted the investment compact—the first of its kind for Niger.

“The main problem in Niger is agricultural production and we want to focus, in particular, on the livelihoods of agriculturists and farmers—and that is at the very heart of the [MCC] program,” Rafini said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on July 28.

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