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Africa

African press review 26 May 2018

media

South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa scores high, as he marks his first 100 days in office. Nigeria's foreign reserves lie in danger as the country prepares to pay a hefty financial penalty; and Ghana sets a benchmark in judicial governance with the launch of a computerised case-tracking system.

We begin in South Africa where the papers mark President Ramaphosa's first one hundred days in office.

Times live reports that most significantly he struck an 850 million Rand investment deal with the United Kingdom, leading the country's business confidence index to rise by 11 points to 45 percent during the first quarter of 2018 -- the highest in three years.

According to the paper he also appointed four investment envoys to draw 100 billion dollars of investments. Also commended by the newspaper is his decision to reshuffle his cabinet and the boards of state-owned entities to improve the standard of governance.

Ramaphosa is credited for quickly reinstituting the 16 counts of corruption money laundering and racketeering against his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

His government is credited for the passing in Parliament of a motion considering a constitutional amendment allowing the expropriation of land without compensation.

Times however observes that despite his calls for unity within the ANC, the new President continues to face factionalism within the ruling party between members supporting him and those backing Zuma which may slam the breaks of Ramaphoisa train.

To mark the anniversary, Mail and Guardian speaks to ANC National Executive Council member Ronald Lamola who states that lad must be shared among those who need it.

 

In Nigeria, Premium Times warns about the risk of the country plunging into recession as it remains under pressure to settle fines emanated from the contractual actions of three previous administrations – the Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan regimes.

The paper reports that an arbitration court ordered the country to pay an engineering firm based in the British Virgin Island Enron Nigeria a total of 7.6 billion euros in 2013.

The money reportedly includes 1.9 billion euros in accumulated interests due to breaches of a gas supply and processing agreement signed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2010.

Premium Times says the money amounts to about one sixth of Nigeria's current external reserves standing at 40.9 billion euros, the newspaper attributing the figures to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

 

In Uganda, the Daily Monitor takes up a clamour for salary increases by lawmakers which could put the ruling party-dominated house on a collision course with President Museveni's government. The paper says it had seen a leaked supplementary request by Parliament seeking an additional 90 billion Shillings (20.6 million euros) (5,500 euros per month for each of the country's 452 lawmakers.

The Monitor says that the Ministry of Finance was quick to rule the salary increment stating it would be absurd to force the government to borrow in order to pay the wages.

According to the publication, the letter come on the heels of a strike action since March by teachers, medical workers, prosecutors and university lecturers to press their own demands for higher pay. Daily Monitor says the executive director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Julius Mukunda, who denounced the plan as a "disgrace".

 

In Ghana, the Times welcomes the inauguration of a computerised system that enables stakeholders track court cases using the internet. It was launched in Accra on Friday. The paper says that the system will enable stakeholders to trace the stage, status and progress of civil and other legal cases from arrest to incarceration across the complete case lifecycle.

The Ghanaian Times reports that during its launch, the country's vice president Mahamudu Bawumiathe expressed the wish to see an end to undue delays, missing files, and the subsequent clogging of the criminal justice delivery system by excessive court caseloads and backlogs.

 
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