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Washington, DC — It has been an encouraging year for our partnership with Africa. Alongside our African partners, we have made significant progress advancing democracy, peace, and prosperity throughout the continent, though challenges, of course, remain. Let me share some of the highlights:

Africa is not a country. It is a continent that feels like it has come of age. Despite the very real problems of poverty, corruption and the sense you sometimes get in some quarters, that no-one is held to account, business types hail Africa as the "final frontier". After nearly 12 years reporting this region, for me it feels like a place where one grows up.

In a landmark move, China has announced that it will enforce a total ban on domestic ivory trade within a year. Shops must hand over their licenses to trade ivory by March 2017, China’s State Council says a complete ban will be in place by the end of the year. Under China’s new terms, auctions of previously legally obtained ivory, likely imported in the 1970s, will be permitted only with authorization and under strict supervision. Holders of legally obtained ivory will also need authorization to continue to display it in museums and at exhibitions.

Recently, inhabitants of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, have been gazing forlornly at their smartphones, frustrated by the government’s mobile internet shutdowns.

Paul Collier, a leading development economist, has spoken with DW about a new G20 agenda for Africa, which should focus on improving private investment, learning from China, and not repeating the mistakes of the past.

Recent tenders for the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects in different parts of the world suggest that the uptake of solar PV could boom in Africa faster than previously thought. The falling cost of solar power has been obvious for more than a decade.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) believes that Africa is over the worst of the economic downturn. As a big lender to African projects, it is obviously in the Bank’s best interests to talk up the continent’s economic prospects.

After a decade of rapid growth, Ethiopia's bubble is not bursting. Dubbed the 'African Lion' by economists, Ethiopia is the home of booming industrynew infrastructure, and showpiece summits. It has become a powerful force in the region and beyond.

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The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2009 by 35 founding national business chambers to influence government policy and create a better operating environment for business.

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