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Africa

African press review 26 February 2018

media

East Africa is sure about the need for new infrastructure, less sure about how to pay for it. How did a man, wanted by the police in South Africa, managed to vist the South African consulate in Dubai last week and leave unscathed, twice? And what will Robert Mugabe have to say when he meets the man who replaced him, Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa?

East African heads of state have recommitted to the construction of several hundred ambitious infrastructure projects intended to link the region and increase electricity generation capacity. To complete these projects the region will need at least 80 billion euros over a 10-year period.

If the projects are implemented, east Africa will see a huge increase in electricity generation capacity, 7,600km of improved roads as well as 4,000km of standard gauge railway lines, 3,000km of oil pipelines and an oil refinery.

However, at the weekend East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit in Kampala, attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, John Magufuli of Tanzania, Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, it was clear that funding these projects would be an uphill task.

With the exception of Kiir, who was preoccupied with rallying the EAC to support him against international arms embargoes and sanctions, and Burundi’s Vice-President Gaton Sindimwo, whose only contribution to the discourse was to say he backed the proposals, the summit dwelt largely on how the six countries would raise the billions needed to complete the infrastructure plan.

Gupta visits South African consulate, avoids arrest

In South Africa BusinessDay reports that Atul Gupta, who is on the run from police, last week visited the South African consulate in Dubai.

Gupta was there on Monday and Tuesday to certify documents to support his court application to have a preservation order against him in South Africa set aside.

He was not detained because South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation had not received any requests to do so from law enforcement agencies.

Gupta allegedly took millions of rand from a government dairy-farming project. He has been implicated in criminality by the Asset Forfeiture Unit, which is applying to freeze his bank accounts.

The hunt for Gupta comes as the special anti-corruption police unit, the Hawks, and the National Prosecuting Authority feud over who was responsible for failing to detain the Gupta brothers Ajay and Atul, and the former president's son, Duduzane Zuma. All have fled South Africa.

Which heads will roll in Ramaphosa reshuffle?

The Mail & Guardian wonders whose heads will roll in the cabinet reshuffle expected to be announced later this week.

The ministers at Social Development, Water, Co-operative Governance, Mineral Resources, Public Services and Finance are all seen as being compromised or underperforming by the new president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Some ministries are likely to be merged in keeping with the president’s promise to pare down the executive.

A meeting of minds in Zimbabwe?

The Sowetan reports that Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has requested a meeting with his former boss‚ Robert Mugabe.

The two former allies are set to meet for the first time since Mnangagwa took power following a military coup.

Mugabe continues to claim that he was deposed illegally.

Nigerian power sector loan nears agreement

The top story in Nigerian daily paper Punch reports that the Federal Government and the World Bank are in the final stage of negotiation for the release of a one-billion-euro performance-based loan for Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Programme.

It appears that the loan is currently being prepared for final approval based on the recent findings on the recovery programme by the World Bank Group.

The programme is described as a series of policy actions, governance and financial interventions to be implemented by the Federal Government over the next five years.

Its target is to restore the financial viability of the power sector, improve transparency and service delivery, resolve consumer complaints, reduce losses and energy theft and reset the Nigerian electricity supply industry for future growth.

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