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Africa

African press review 15 February 2017

media

Nigeria wonders about US President Donald Trump's call to its leader, while South Africa questions the motivation of their own.

Nigeria’s This Day leads with US President Donald Trump Calling President Muhammadu Buhari, meaning to show his readiness to help Nigeria with weapons to combat terrorism.

The article says that Trump indicated wanting to cut a new deal with Nigeria signifying a departure from the Barack Obama administration, which had blocked efforts by the Nigerian government to procure American-manufactured military weapons, citing alleged human rights abuses by the Nigerian military.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Daily Nation has a story on how Trump snubed Kenya in his first Africa outreach - but the paper reports that a “failure of Kenyan diplomacy” is to blame for President Donald Trump’s decision on Monday to make phone calls to the presidents of Nigeria and South Africa but not Kenya, according to a well-placed source in Washington.

Kenya should have realised, the source suggested, that “this president is not all that engaged in Africa, and that you need to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise to engage him and the key people around him.”

However, the source noted that with the Trump administration still in its first month, Kenya has time to recover from its “diplomatic miscue”.

Surely, with the upcoming elections, Trump's administration will take a closer look into the country's policitcs. It is a possibility.

Kenya’s The Standard leads with “Panic over fate of degrees as damning audit set to be released”. The main article says that Kenyans with questionable university degrees are currently sitting on the edge as their certificates may be recalled if discovered they did not fulfill standard requirements.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) is set to release results of an audit it carried out on academic papers, universities have been awarding, to ensure quality.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i ordered the audit after it emerged some universities may have awarded degrees to undeserving individuals, either because they were admitted into the programmes without the required minimum qualifications or failed to attend required lectures.

The East African leads with "Tanzania turning the heat on illegal immigrants."

The Regional Immigration Office in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam has embarked on a crackdown on foreigners without residence or work permits.

The department will also take measures against officials who issue foreigners with fake documents.

Regional Immigration Officer (RIO) John Msumule, made the revelation yesterday while briefing the press on last week’s operation which, among other things, seized and detained 25 Indian nationals.

The 25, working with Quality Group, were allegedly living and in employment in Tanzania without permits.

South Africa’s Mail & Guardian leads with a skeptical “Jacob Zuma's state of address speech was full of 'alternative facts' rather than a reflection of reality.”

President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation speech will be followed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget speech next week on February 22.

The article states that they represent the country’s two main warring political blocs: patronage versus prudence.

But after the so-called “radical economic transformation” rhetoric was ratcheted up by the president, and the article says that both men may soon stumble on a terrain potholed by what a Donald Trump aide approvingly terms “alternative facts”.

Zuma at least did include a belated definition of what he means by radical economic transformation: “fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female.”

The paper argues that given Zuma’s distortions of reality, though, this might simply degenerate into another episode of talk left, walk right? To be continued…

 
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