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Africa

African press review 6 October 2015

media

The former Nigerian oil minister arrested last week is back in the news in London. Governance is going backwards in Africa. So, sadly, are economic growth prospects. Kenya's teachers are now back at work, with just one week to get their charges ready for the Secondary Certificate exams.

Progress in governance across Africa has stalled since 2011, according to the annual report of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, with deteriorating safety and lack of economic opportunity overshadowing any gains made on the human rights front.

This story is on the front page of regional paper The East African.

Dossier: War in Mali

The Ibrahim Index rates 54 African nations on criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education.

Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Cape Verde, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. Overall the index has improved marginally over four years and conditions in half of the top ten ranked countries have declined.

Much of the deterioration is blamed on a worsening in the business environment over the past four years.

The main story in Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay says the World Bank yesterday joined the South African Reserve Bank in revising South Africa’s economic growth forecasts down, as poverty and unemployment remain stubbornly high.

In its outlook report for sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank adjusted its economic growth forecast for South Africa for this year to 1.5 per cent. Growth will be sluggish and even slower than earlier forcasts for at least the next two years.

Dossier: Ebola outbreak 2014

The World Bank says that, at these growth rates, at least 14 per cent of South Africans will remain in extreme poverty and unemployment will increase, given the threats to jobs in mining.

A strike is under way at coal mines, which could disrupt the delivery of coal to power stations and possibly hamper power generation.

Low economic growth in South Africa has been blamed on power outages, infrastructure problems and an unstable labour market.

The Egypt Independent reports that the number of Egyptian deaths in the Hajj stampede in Mecca has risen to 146, with 92 pilgrims still missing. Eleven Egyptian nationals are still receiving treatment in Saudi hospitals.

The same Cairo-based daily reports that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has defended Saudi Arabia against accusations of mismanagement over the death of more than 700 pilgrims in the stampede on 24 September. Some estimates put that number above 1,100.

Iran, which has been harshly critical of Saudi Arabia, its arch regional rival, said 465 Iranians died in the stampede.

President Sisi, however, said the Gulf kingdom, which is his chief political and financial supporter since the 2013 uprising that brought him to power, was not to blame.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The main story in the Kenyan Daily Nation says that a judge yesterday barred MPs from debating a motion to impeach Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

The Nairobi-based paper says a separate impeachment motion against President Uhuru Kenyatta by the opposition is not affected by the order.

Waiguru is accused of gross violation of the Constitution in the management of the National Youth Service leading to the loss of public funds, financial irregularities, concealing information to perpetuate financial impropriety and improper procurement of non-existent supplies amounting to fraud.

She has also been accused of misuse of her office and violation of the law by abusing, intimidating and threatening public servants under her jurisdiction.

The Standard reports that public schools have reopened across Kenya after the month-long strike by teachers.

Of immediate concern is whether students will make up for the lost time, especially those scheduled to sit national examinations.

Click here to read more articles

Some 526,000 candidates start their Kenya Secondary Education Certificate examinations next Monday, while another 937,000 candidates sit the primary school exams in November.

Candidates from public schools will be expected to compete with their colleagues from private schools where learning continued uninterrupted throughout the strike.

The Guardian in Nigeria says that the United Kingdom National Crime Agency was yesterday granted a six-month freeze on the sum of 35,000 euros seized from former the Nigerian petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, when she was arrested with four other people last Friday.

The arrests are said to be part of an investigation into fraud and money-laundering. The former minister has since been released on bail.

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