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Africa African press review Press review

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African press review 15 April 2017


Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya are the places whose front pages get mentioned this morning.

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has condemned Thursday's killing of eight police officers in the east of the country.

This is the top story in this morning's regional newspaper, the East African.

The paper describes the tragedy as the latest in a string of killings targeting politicians and security officers in the East African nation.

The eight police officers came under attack as they returned from patrol, and their assailants fled into a nearby forest, according to an official statement.

They were part of a unit deployed to pacify the region south of Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Local authorities say nine officials belonging to the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party have been killed in the coastal districts of Kibiti and Rufiji since last October.

A separate attack killed three police officers in the same area last month. The East African says the motive for the killings remains unclear.

Emerging economies don't need their own ratings agency

An opinion piece in the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay says the idea that emerging economies should establish their own sovereign credit ratings agency is delusional.

The writer says South Africa's recent downgrades simply confirm the disaster that has been unfolding in the country under President Jacob Zuma.

This, he goes on to say, is the reason why the financial markets reacted surprisingly mildly to the downgrades — they were already suppressed. State finances were already in slow collapse, most state-run companies already wrecked, the economy already at a standstill, unemployment and poverty at heart-breaking levels. The rating agencies simply told us what we already knew.

This is why those that argue for the establishment of another ratings agency for the so-called Brics nations are delusional. It’s like an overweight individual hoping he can solve his weight problem by buying a new weighing scales.

The article goes on to say that South Africa's central problem is that the state is too big, there are too many civil servants and they are mostly overpaid. The result is a growing tax burden and record and rising state debt levels. This stifles economic growth and discourages risk-taking and investments.

What is needed is honest and competent leadership. Don't blame Zuma, the article ends. Blame those who have the power to get rid of him and have repeatedly chosen not to do so.

Does Egypt's Al-Azhar University support terrorism?

Why does Egypt's Al-Azhar University, the country's largest religious institution, refuse to condemn the Islamic State terrorist group?

That's the question on the front page of this morning's Cairo-based Egypt Independent. The paper says several media figures and organisations have launched severe attacks on the respected islamic university for its failure to react to last Sunday's attacks that targeted two Coptic churches in Egypt's Delta and Alexandria city, killing at least 45 people.

The paper says Al-Azhar is now facing a backlash for apparently supporting Islamic State through its refusal to name members of the terrorist group as 'apostates' and through maintaining some extremist teachings in the programs that are taught to its students. These teachings, says the Egypt Independent, directly incite the brutal killing of anyone who does not follow Islam or who has been deemed to be an 'infidel'.

Is another clash looming for Kenyan teachers?

The Nairobi-based Daily Nation warns that Kenya is heading for another clash between teachers and their employer, the Teachers Service Commission.

This as the two sides are due to go back to the Court of Appeal for the hearing of a case emanating from the 2015 strike.

Despite last year's collective bargaining agreements, the Teachers Service Commission wants to rectify what it perceives as shortcomings in the court decision which brought the dispute to an end.

The commission claims that, since the strike was unofficial, they should not be obliged to pay teachers their full salaries.

The appeal hearing is set for 22 May.