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Press review Africa

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African press review 10 April 2017


Of course many newspapers deal with the latest tragedy to strike Egyptian churchgoers with the deadly bombs at two Coptic churches on Sunday. Nigeria's Chibok schoolgirls and South Africa's beleaguered economy are other preoccupations.

The Egypt Daily News reports that the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched a social media hashtag in the wake of the deadly attacks.

In an official tweet, Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said: "Terrorism hits Egypt again, this time on Palm Sunday. Another obnoxious but failed attempt against all Egyptians."

The tweet featured a hashtag #United_on_PalmSunday "to show solidarity with Egyptians in facing terrorism, and to emphasize national unity".

Officials say the suicide bombings at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria have been accompanied by reports of other explosions, with the death toll constantly rising as those reports come in.

The paper says explosives experts are now working on defusing a second improvised explosive device found around the Alexandria cathedral.

It reports that three security officers at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria died while preventing the suicide bomber from entering the church and wreaking much greater damage, while a high-ranking judge was among those killed in the Tanta church explosion.

Chibok three-year anniversary

The Nigerian Vanguard's top story is about the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls under the headline, "Where are the remaining 197 kidnapped children? Parents ask Buhari".

Reporters from the Sunday Vanguard visited the town in the northern Borno State last week ahead of Friday's third anniversary of the attack by Boko Haram Islamist militants on the school.

"The sight everywhere was one of uneasy calm", they write, with soldiers standing in strategic locations around "what you would think was a national asset".

In fact the report continues, they were guarding largely rubble. That's what the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok has been reduced to.

It was here that the Boko Haram terrorists stuck on April 14, 2014 and captured about 219 students.

The girls, in the boarding house, were writing their final examination at the time of the attack.

21 of the captives were released last October after the government negotiated with the extremist group who are trying to impose a strict version of Islamic law in Nigeria.

The parents are stepping up pressure on President Buhari to do more to ensure the liberation of the remaining 197 hostages, with many accusing the government of "failing their girls".

The BringBackOurGirls group has launched a week long 'Global Week of Action' in the capital of Abuja leading up to the third anniversary of their abduction.

Nigerians: Get up and create jobs

To Zimbabwe where NewsDay reports that President Robert Mugabe has called on Zimbabweans to start creating their own jobs instead of sitting back and waiting to be employed.

According to the paper, the veteran leader made the comment speaking at an expo for SME's in the capital Harare last week.

The 93-year-old leader said Zimbabweans "should not moan" about the high levels of joblessness in the country, as they could easily create jobs for themselves.

"Let's have less tears and more sweat," he is reported as saying.

Spending cuts loom in SA

Turning to South Africa where the ANC tells Business Day that downgrades risk sparking a recession and it may need to rein in spending.

This comes after Fitch cut the country's credit rating to junk on Friday.

In the report Enoch Godongwana, chairman of the ANC’s committee on economic transformation, said South Africa needed to “pull together” to overcome its economic problems.

He said a recession was a possibility meaning the government would need to tighten the public purse to work itself back to investment-grade status.

“We don’t have the full understanding of what the implications are at this stage,” he conceded.