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Africa

African press review 28 January 2016

media DR

Kenya, Somalia and Nigeria mark the Al-Shebab attack on a military camp, while South Africans worry about corruption. All that, and more, in today's African press review.

We start with regional paper The East African, which expresses concern about growing debt in the region. The paper reports on a UN agency souding the alarm "over Africa's growing foreign debt".

The comments come from the United Nation's Economic Commission for Africa ahead of the African Union summit opening later this week in Ethiopia.

According to the East African, the UN describes the condition created by countries that invest in foreign bonds as "imported inflation".

The UN warned countries that continue to borrow abroad that "[they] need to put in place policies" says the paper.

The agency also gave an outlook of what to expect when it comes to the economy this year. In short, West an East Africa's economies are expected to grow this year, despite the risks of inflation.

This is going to be a problem in West Africa especially: the UN expects inflation to remain at 8.4% there.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari paid tribute to the Kenyan soldiers killed during the Somalia's Al-Shebab attack. You'll find a report on that in today's Daily Nation.

The two head of states where accompanied by Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at a ceremony at Eldoret's Moi Barracks.

"Moi Barracks is the home of the ninth Kenya Rifles, where most of the soldiers killed in the attack came from" explains the paper.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

According to the Daily Nation, Kenyatta vowed that "the fallen soldiers' blood would not be shed in vain" and dismissed calls urging the Kenyan army to withdraw from Somalia.

The government has yet to reveal the number of casualties from the January 15 attack that saw armed group Al Shebab target a Kenyan camp in Somalia.

Meanwhile, The Standard, which also reports on this story, notes that that "ten of the soldiers" killed or missing during the camp attack "were parents of 22 children" attending a nearby school.

"As a school administration, we are grappling with what to do to help them" told a school representative to the paper.

Now to South Africa, where the government is seen as corrupt. Today's Business Day is reporting on the annual Corruption perceptions Index by rights group Transparency International.

According to the data gathered by the NGO, "South Africa has moved from 67th to 61st place" in 2015. "But, while South Africa’s ranking improved, the country’s score was unchanged at 44" says Business Day.

Just to be clear, the score refers to "the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 to 100" - the higher, the cleaner.

"South Africans surveyed for the barometer saw prominent political and public and private sector leaders at all levels continuing to loot their towns, provinces and national government on a grand scale and getting away with it," an activist explained.

Whether there's as much corruption as the South Africans thinks doesn't change one fact: the country's politicians will want to make SA's rank go up next year.

Meanwhile, Egyptians are criticising the sentencing of a journalist for blasmephy. The Egypt Independent is talking about Fatema Naout, who was sentenced to three years in jail for insulting Islam.

Naout posted a Facebook message in 2014 "describing the Islamic ritual of slaughtering sheep [...] as a massacre" explains the paper.

Media and intellectual figures were quick to react, with "cinema director and MP Khaled Youssef demanding legal changes to prevent such “shocking” verdict".

The journalist said she had appealled the verdict. According to The Egypt Independent "She had told interrogators that her comment was meant as a humorous metaphor".

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