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African press review 9 May 2018


South Africa counts its losses as Iran is slapped with US sanctions.

We begin in South Africa where the papers are purring into the likely economic implications of US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the UN-brokered Accord on Iran's nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on the oil producing country.

Times reports that previously‚ sanctions imposed on Iran by America saw a massive decline in South African trade with the countries.

The publication quotes Statistics South Africa as stating that oil sales were particularly hard hit in 2004‚ when the country bought eight million tons of crude oil from Iran ‚ making them the third-biggest exporter of oil to South Africa in 2011.

The Times speaks to Hameed Amouhadi‚ chairman of the South Africa Iran Trade Desk. He says that the two countries' aim to hit eight billion dollars in trade by 2025 are now in huge doubt due to Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

BusinessDaysays the decision was a vicious attack on the signature foreign policy achievement of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama noting that Trump's main argument is that the deal did not address Iran’s ballistic-missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

According to the economic newspaper renewing sanctions would make it much harder for Iran to sell its oil abroad or use the international banking system.

DRC/ Ebola Outbreak

Kenya's Standard newspaper reports another outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The newspaper quotes an official of the DRC’s heath ministry as the source of the news, adding that the two cases confirmed are part of the samples taken from Bikoro, Equateur province by the laboratory of the National Institute of Biomedical Research.

Standard reports that with this reappearance of the epidemic in 2018, the DRC is now in its ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976.

Kenya/Odinga agenda

In Kenya today's hot topic in the Daily Nationis a campaign by opposition leader Raila Odinga for constitutional amendments that will see through the nine-point agenda he agreed on with President Uhuru Kenyatta two months ago.  

According to the newspaper, on Tuesday he rallied his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party troops behind a proposal to restructure the Executive and introduce a three-tier system of governance.

The Nation says the ODM leader has scheduled a series of public events across the country to outline the terms of the March 9 meeting, commonly referred to as The Handshake, to Kenyans.

However the publication argues that Odinga’s agenda is likely to raise political temperatures in the country as Deputy President William Ruto and his allies are opposed to any constitutional amendments ahead of the 2022 polls.

According to the Nation, the fact that President Kenyatta and Odinga worked on the deal in secret is also likely to antagonize some of their followers, whose political ambitions could be affected adversely by the changing political dynamics.

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