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African press review 5 November 2018


Nigeria says the World Bank was wrong to demote the country in the global lender's latest business and investment report. The government in South Sudan is in favour of maintaining the 32-state federal system, despite opposition demands for a reduction of the number of states. Is Fifa boss Gianni Infantino very brave or very naive?

The Nigerian federal government and the private sector are at war over a recent World Bank report, according to the top story in today's Nigerian Guardian.

The global lender's 2019 index of 190 countries from a business perspective saw Nigeria drop one place to 146 overall.

The government says the World Bank failed to take account of significant recent reforms.

But the private sector says the report proves that more needs to be done to make the business environment friendlier and attract new investments.

Foreign direct investment into Nigeria is shrinking owing to alleged harsh operating regulation by the government, they argue.

Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma was unavailable for comment when the Guardian called but a senior official in his office stressed that the new ranking showed Nigeria's position had actually improved by about 37 places and has not slipped, because more countries were involved in the 2019 study.

Healthworkers in Uganda to get Ebola shots

Uganda starts Ebola vaccination today, according to the Kampala-based Daily Monitor.

The neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has registered a total of 285 Ebola cases, 250 of them confirmed, and a total of 180 deaths.

The report quotes Uganda's Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng as saying that only healthcare workers in the five high risk border districts who are prone to infection will receive the vaccine.

Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the World Health Organisation representative in Uganda, says the vaccine is safe with an efficacy level of 90 percent and starts working 10 days from the time it’s administered. It remains effective for 12 months.

The minister stressed that there has been no confirmed Ebola case in Uganda and that an active case search continues in all communities, health facilities and at designated and informal border crossings.

Saudis mull stake in South African defence sector

Saudi Arabia is in talks with South Africa's major arms manufacturers and is considering buying shares in the struggling state-owned defence firm Denel. This is on the front page of tabloid paper the Sowetan.

Saudi Arabia is the world's third largest defence spender behind the United States and China with an estimated military budget last year of 70 billion euros.

Since 2015, the Gulf state has been fighting a war against the armed Houthi movement in Yemen in support of the internationally recognised government there.

Juba government supports 32-state solution

The government in South Sudan is in favour of maintaining the 32-state federal system, despite opposition demands for a reduction of the number of states.

This morning's Sudan Tribune reports that the South Sudanese vice president James Wani Igga yesterday told church leaders in Yei River State that the issue will be considered by the Independent Boundaries Commission but that the Juba government favours the maintenance of 32 states.

The opposition claim that the increase in the number of states from 10 to 32 is a violation of the 2015 peace agreement and is simply intended to legalise the control of fertile land by the Dinka ethnic group.

President Salva Kiir is himself a Dinka.

Fifa favours Persian Gulf peace, and more matches

The head of world football's governing body Fifa has asked 2022 World Cup host nation, Qatar, if there's any chance the emirate would share some games with regional rivals.

According to this morning's Egypt Independent, Fifa boss Gianni Infantino has suggested that Qatar might allow rival Middle Eastern countries to host extra World Cup games during the 2022 competition.

Infantino asked Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar if the number of teams could be expanded to 48 and if other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, could host some of the extra games.

Those three countries cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar in 2017, accusing it of financing terrorism, and they continue to uphold an economic blockade of the Gulf nation.

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