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African press review 20 March 2017


The World Bank is to give 57 billion dollars to sub-Saharan Africa. The social grants payment crisis in South Africa has not gone away. How a social media shot of a car could land you in police custody. And why no African delegates showed up at a recent investment summit in California.

Africa is to get 57 billion dollars from the World Bank.

The story is on the front page of today's Kenyan Daily Nation.

According to the report, the money will be paid to sub-Saharan African countries over the next three years, with 45 billion dollars of the total to come from the International Development Association, the World Bank fund that provides grants and interest-free loans to the world's poorest countries.

The package will also include an estimated eight billion dollars in private sector investments, and four billion dollars will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The money is to be spent on programmes in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, infrastructure and institutional reform.

Lamborghini selfies lead to arrest

South African paper BusinessDay reports that the suspected kingpin behind last month's Johannesburg Airport cash heist has been arrested after posting pictures of himself with a new Lamborghini on social media.

On 7 March a gang of 13 men made off with an estimated 15 million euros in foreign currency which were being flown out of the country.

A week later police arrested four people linked to the heist, one of whom is a police officer.

The latest suspect was arrested on Saturday at his luxury Blue Valley Estate home near Pretoria just hours after he posted pictures of himself and friends on social media posing with his new car, valued at 400,000 euros.

A source close to the police investigation said officers also recovered a large quantity of cash in Saturday's raid.

SA social payments in crisis

South Africa's social grants problems have not gone away.

According to the main story in BusinessDay, President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of himself to head the cabinet’s interministerial committee on social grants has raised fears among officials in the South African Social Security Agency that the process to find a long-term solution will again be taken out of their hands.

Late last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that the contract with the private company, Cash Paymaster Services, which distributes grants to 17 million South Africans, could run for another 12 months. But the court demanded a complete overhaul of the way social payments are handled, especially with regard to the tendering process for distribution.

Chief justice office break-in

And the South African opposition Democratic Alliance says the weekend break-in at the Office of the Chief Justice is an attack on the judiciary and that the party will be asking questions in parliament about the lack of adequate security at the premises.

Thieves made off with 15 computers containing confidential information on South Africa’s judges and officials in the robbery.

The ruling ANC has cautioned against speculation over the motive for the crime.

The Kenyan Standard says US president Donald Trump locked African delegates out of a trade summit.

Trump ban blocks African trade delegates

According to the Nairobi-based daily, in the latest episode of the Donald Trump administration’s tough immigration policies, the US government denied visas to over 100 African delegates who were hoping to attend a trade summit in California.

Voice of America radio reported that the delegates, many of them government officials and business leaders, were denied a chance to enter America to meet their counterparts in what an organiser termed discrimination against Africans.

The event was intended to promote bilateral foreign direct investment, international trade, cultural exchange and tourism with Africa. But no Africans showed up.

Five African cities in top 100 places to live

Regional paper the East African says the Austrian capital, Vienna, is the place to live.

For the eighth successive year, Vienna has been ranked the world’s number one city in terms of the quality of life offered to expatriates. This in a survey carried out by Mercer, the international human resource consultancy.

Vienna is closely followed in the category of quality of life by Zurich in Switzerland, Auckland in New Zealand, Munich in Germany and Vancouver in Canada.

In Africa, only five cities, three of them in South Africa, feature in the top 100 ranking.

Port Louis in Mauritius tops the Africa chart, in 84th position globally. Durban is ranked highest in quality of living in Africa and is ranked 87th, followed by Cape Town at 94 and Johannesburg at 96.

The East African says many regional cities fail to make the top 100 because they suffer frequent power outages, along with some of the worst traffic gridlocks on the continent. Nairobi residents, for example, spend almost six hours every day stuck in traffic jams.

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