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African press review 24 April 2018


A perplexingly odd number of students suspended by a university in Uganda over love affairs. A victory for striking nurses in Zimbabwe. And a big hand for Egypt's Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

An Islamic University in Uganda has suspended 23 students for "engaging in love affairs".

The story gets a mention in the Kampala-based Daily Monitor and is top of the front page in this morning's regional paper the East African.

The Monitor says 23 students at the Mbale campus have been suspended on allegations of engaging in sexual relationships contrary to the university regulations. Male and female students are separated during lectures at the university, which is run according to sharia law.

Each suspension will last for one year.

My question concerns the odd person out - 23 people caught hugging and kissing in dark corners of the campus means that either one got away, or the morality inspectors missed out on a threesome. I'll bet the sharia punishment for that is spectacular.

Remembering Mandela

Former US president Barack Obama will deliver the annual Nelson Mandela memorial lecture in Johannesburg in July, South African organisers announced yesterday.

Obama, who met Mandela in 2005 and who made an emotional address at the South African former president's funeral, will speak at the lecture marking 100 years since the anti-apartheid hero was born.

The New York Times says that Obama will spend five days in Johannesburg holding meetings, workshops and training sessions for 200 young people in what is being billed as his most significant international project as ex-president.

In his funeral address Obama said Nelson Mandela "makes me want to be a better man", hailing him as "the last great liberator of the 20th century".

Healthy result for Zimbabwe nurses

The South African Sowetan tabloid reports that nurses in Zimbabwe have scored a major victory with the government agreeing to hire a number of their unemployed colleagues and reversing dismissal letters sent to 6‚000 others, fired after downing tools.

A fortnight ago 16‚000 nurses in government institutions went on a strike that effectively crippled the health sector‚ resulting in Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga adopting a hardline stance and deciding to dismiss them.

However‚ members of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association in smaller towns broke ranks with their Harare counterparts and began reporting back for duty by the end of last week. On Monday the government accepted all the nurses back in a return to business as usual‚ despite a pending urgent court application by nurses challenging their dismissal.

Figures from the Zimbabwe Health Services Board suggest that the country needs to hire at least 8,000 full-time nursing staff.

Egypt praised by World Bank, IMF

The World Bank has applauded President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s efforts to tackle Egypt’s economic woes. That's the top headline in today's Cairo-based Egypt Independent.

The report says the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, praised the “economic success” that he said Egypt has achieved and applauded the legislation that had contributed to improving the investment environment in the country. The statement came on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington.

During a meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Investments and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Kim said that al-Sisi has courageously managed to overcome the challenges that have been facing Egypt’s development.

Kim said that investments in infrastructure are one of the reasons for the success.

Earlier this month Nasr said that the World Bank’s Executive Council had unanimously agreed to support the implementation of the comprehensive national strategy for the development of pre-university education in Egypt with funding of 550 million euros.

French visit to Eritrean camp in South Sudan

The Sudan Tribune reports that the French ambassador to Khartoum, Emmanuelle Blatmann, and the French special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Stéphane Gruenberg, yesterday paid a visit to Kassala to inspect Eritrean refugees camps in the state.

Kassala state, which borders Eritrea, is a transit point for illegal immigrants from Eritrea who seek to reach Europe through Egypt and Libya.

Eritreans made up the largest group of people from Africa attempting the perilous voyage to Europe last year. The trend continued during the first three months of this year according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

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