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Jacob Zuma Press review South Africa Sudan South Sudan South Korea Kenya Uganda Rwanda

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African press review 8 November 2016


South African President Jacob Zuma is to face another parliamentary confidence vote this week. Protests continue against price increases in Sudan. Rwandan President Paul Kagame is trying to drum up economic and political support. And South Korea promises to invest 150 million euros in east Africa.

The South African parlaiment will hold a no-confidence debate on President Jacob Zuma on Thursday. This is the main story in the Johannesburg-based paper BusinessDay.

The debate has been demanded by the opposition Democratic Alliance, which threatened court action if National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete refused to grant its request. The opposition party has been lobbying other opposition parties and ruling party MPs to support the motion of no confidence, describing it as a nonpartisan move in the interests of the country.

The president is accused of involvement in various corruption investigations and, crucially, in the "State Capture case" in which it is alleged that members of the influential Gupta family made or directed executive decisions.

A number of ANC leaders have been outspoken about the need for Zuma to go.

Even the party’s chief whip in the National Assembly Jackson Mthembu has voiced his unhappiness about recent events, including the planned prosecution of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Thursday will not be the first time a no-confidence debate against Zuma is held in the National Assembly.

Similar attempts by opposition parties have always been stifled by the ruling ANC.

Price increases spark protests in Sudan

The top story in the Sudan Tribune reports that small-scale protests continued for a second day on Monday in several places in Khartoum and elsewhere against the government’s decision to lift fuel and electricity subsidies.

The Sudanese government last Thursday ended fuel subsidies and increased the price of electricity in a bid to stop the surge in inflation and stabilise the value of the Sudanese pound.

On Sunday night, dozens of people staged demonstrations in the capital of al-Jazeera state, Wad Medani before they were dispersed by police and security services.

In the Khartoum neighbourhood of al Deim, protesters on Sunday marched on side streets chanting anti-regime slogans.

Yesterday students from the University of Khartoum took to the streets to protest against price increases before riot police used tear gas and batons to disperse them.

Rwanda's Kagame seeks political and economic support

Regional paper the East African says the Rwandan president Paul Kagame has in recent weeks been on a double-barreled diplomatic offensive addressng economic and political issues.

According to experts, Kagame is attempting to open and consolidate markets for Rwandan manufacturers on the one hand and to neutralise the threat posed by dissident forces operating in southern and central Africa on the other.

In the past couple of weeks the Rwandan leader has been to Mozambique, Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon, where he signed several cooperation agreements.

According to one specialist interviewed by the East African, Rwanda’s immediate aim is to win markets for its national carrier RwandAir, whose recent acquisition of two wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft meant for long haul flights means it is serious about expansion of its African routes.

South Korea promises cash for east African development projects

The regional daily also reports that east Africa has become the latest beneficiary of South Korea’s interest in Africa, with loans for development projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia now topping 150 million euros.

Tanzania will get 50 million for the construction of power transmission grids; Ethiopia will get a similar allocation for the development of agro-industrial parks while Uganda’s 30 million is expected to boost agriculture and forestry conservation programmes. Kenya will get 25 million for multipurpose water resources.

The funds were pledged at the recently concluded fifth Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation conference in Seoul.

Analysts link South Korea’s renewed engagement with Africa to its quest for food and energy security. The Asian nation also hopes to establish new markets for its manufactured goods, says the East African, as well as enhance its credentials as a prominent global power.

South Korea is also, of course, suspected of involvement in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in African waters.