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African press review 5 January 2015


A teachers' strike in Kenya, a warning that South Africa's and Nigeria's economies might not do very well in 2015 and millions of virtual tourists visiting the Giza Plateau in Egypt... Here are some of the stories you'll find in the African Press today.

There's some confusion in Kenya today surrounding a teachers' strike.

The Standard explains that parents are unsure about whether they should send their children to school today. This comes after conflicting statements issued by the government, parents' associations and teachers' unions on whether children should go to class.

This is because three teachers' unions this weekend called for a strike as schools were supposed to reopen today after the end of the year holidays. The Kenyan teachers are protesting against the lack of a salary increase this year and this is why unions have asked all their members to stay away from schools today.

But at the same time public secondary and primary school association heads failed to issue statements advising their members to report to schools. The government on the other hand has told parents to send their children to school. The end result is that it is very confusing.

The South African economy might not do too well in 2015. The warning comes from the country's Times.

The Johannesburg stock exchange ended 2014 higher by 7.6 percent and that's good news, explains the paper. But analysts are warning "that unless real structural changes are implemented there is not much chance that 2015 will be better".

South Africa's economic growth went from 4.5 percent in 2008 to just an estimated 1.4 percent for last year, that's almost half the initial estimate of 2.7 percent. So what is wrong?

A lot according to several economists interviewed by Times: "high government borrowing", "deteriorating infrastructure", "high unemployment" and even crime. Peter Montalto, one of the economists interviewed by the paper, says things could get worse if rating agencies downgrade the country. He expects a growth rate of 2.4 percent but warns "that employment growth will probably disappoint, averaging at best about 50,000 new jobs per quarter".

In Nigeria, the Vanguard also wonders how well the country will do in 2015.

According to the newspaper is doesn't look too good either for Nigeria. It says there are a few things that could have a negative impact on the country's economy this year. They include: the elections, social unrest as well as an increased cost of production "courtesy of high interest rate and devaluation of the Naira".

According to economists interviewed by the Vanguard, the country's economy will grow but the rate of that growth might be impacted by the upcoming elections. And there is something else that could contribute to the economy slowing down according to another article from the Vanguard.

The Nigerian Federal bank and 31 local state governments have "proposed what has been called austerity budget for 2015". The budget will fall from 54 billion euros in 2014 to 43 billion euros in 2015. The last time austerity measures were introduced was back in the early 1980s when the Naria fell against the dollar, the paper explains.

Finally 12 million people have visited the Giza Plateau in Egypt in the last three months but we are talking about virtual tourists. You'll find that story in the Egypt Independent.

Three months ago US Internet giant Google uploaded 360 degree panoramic shots of the Giza Plateau on Google Maps. If you go on the website you'll be able to wander around the plateau and admire the three pyramids as well as the world famous Great Sphinx. "Each monumental view is provided with brief historical information on the sidebar" explains the daily. You should really take a look at the website the pictures are quite breathtaking. And apparently 12 million people seem to agree with me.

For the Egypt Independent the high numbers mirror the fact that the Egyptian monuments still kindle the interests of tourists "but that fears of paying a visit in real life remain an obstacle".