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Africa

African press review 23 February 2016

media DR

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been arrested for the fourth time in eight days. International investors are deserting Africa in the face of crashing commodity prices, the Chinese economic slowdown and a string of policy failures. And there's a dark tale of cheating in a Koran recitation competition.

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been arrested for the fourth time in eight days. That gets him onto the front pages of the Kampala-based Daily Monitor and of sister paper New Vision.

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The Monitor has a picture of the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change sandwiched beteen police officers in riot gear and press photographers scrambling to get a shot of the event.

Besigye spent the whole of yesterday in a cell at Naggalama Police Station in Kampala, after he was arrested as he attempted to leave his home to go to the Electoral Commission offices.

Besigye said he wanted to collect results declarations that he could use in a possible election petition.

He claims that preticking of ballot papers in favour of the eventual winner, Yoweri Museveni, was going on at a house on Naguru Hill Road in the suburbs of Kampala and that an illegal tally centre had been set up there to change results from the districts before they were sent on to the national tally centre.

BusinessDay in South Africa reports that crashing commodity prices, the Chinese slowdown and a string of policy failures are forcing investors to reassess the risk of investing in Africa after years of optimism about the continent's growth prospects.

Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy and longtime darling of investors, has one of the world’s worst-performing stock indices this year, down 14 per cent since the start of 2016.

The S&P Zambia Index has fared even worse over the past year, plunging 45 per cent as the country’s copper exports tumbled on softening Chinese demand.

The outlook could get even darker: the International Monetary Fund in January warned the continent would grow an average four per cent this year, sharply below trend growth over the past decade and up only slightly from last year’s 3.5 per cent, the slowest in two decades.

Regional paper The East African reports that United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon is on his way to Burundi ahead of talks due later today with President Pierre Nukurunziza. The UN Secretary-General is also due to meet political leaders and civil society representatives with a view to ending the unrest which has killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands.

The same paper reports that at least four people died in grenade and gun attacks in Bujumbura yesterday.

Burundi was thrown into crisis last April when Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term that he went on to win in July. Since then clashes between loyalists and the opposition have turned increasingly violent.

On the front page of the Kenyan Daily Nation a report that doping, bribery and match-fixing are some of the corrupt activities that could kill sporting talent in Kenya if the government does not take action.

A report released Monday by global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International says that while sporting events generate huge revenues, they are also attracting cartels, which means individual athletes gain little.

The Global Corruption Report goes on to say corruption in sport is obvious in the appointment or election of officials, the financing of sporting activities, the planning of major events and match-fixing.

Bob Munro, the chairman of Kenya's Mathare United Football Club says graft in sport could ruin the future of many young athletes and in turn make it difficult to fight corruption in other sectors.

The main story in Cairo-based daily The Egypt Independent says the Al-Azhar Islamic University decided yesterday to expel a student for wrongfully claiming that he had won first place in an international Koran recitation competition in Malaysia.

Social networks users showered Abdel Rahim Radi with praise two weeks ago, identifying him as a model for young people. That was before his victory was revealed to be a scam.

The problem came to light when one of the judges in the Malaysian competition pointed out that the event which Abdel Rahim Radi claims he won has still not taken place.

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