Issued on • Modified
African press review 24 May 2017
The World Health Oranisation (WHO) has a new director general. And he's African. Uganda's Yoweri Museveni warns South Sudan's Salva Kiir to keep the national army on a short leash. And Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the future prosperity of Africa depends on massive industrialisation.
The WHO has elected its first African director general.
The story tops the front page of regional paper the East African.
The Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus beat off British and Pakistani challengers in two rounds of voting yesterday and will take over from Margaret Chan on 1 July.
A specialist in malaria with a doctorate from the British University of Nottingham, Tedros was appointed Ethiopia's health minister in 2005 to 2012 where he oversaw a drive to expand basic healthcare by building thousands of clinics and boosting community-based health services.
He has promised to make the campaign to provide health insurance for every human being his priority.
Tedros also believes the global health body has learned from mistakes made during the H1N1 flu epidemic and the Ebola crisis in west Africa. Those lessons will be central to his management of an organisation which still depends on voluntary contributions to finance 80 percent of its work. Member states hand over the remaining 20 percent.
Important questions remain.
Will Tedros have the courage to take on the global pharmaceutical industry on the question of the right to produce cheap copies of life-saving drugs? Will the governments of member states have the courage to support him if he does?
Museveni warns Kiir against army impunity
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has told his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir not to tolerate army violence against civilians.
Museveni said impunity for crimes committed against civilians by the armed forces could breed mistrust between the people and their government.
The Ugandan leader was speaking at the launch of the National Dialogue Steering Committee in Juba on Monday, where he was the chief guest.
There have been several reports of human rights abuses committed by South Sudan government forces against innocent civilians.
Although Kiir recently issued a shoot-to-kill order against soldiers accused of raping or murdering civilians, not a single culprit had been brought to book.
South Africa to drive continental economic transformation
A South African presidential contender wants to see the entire African economy transformed.
According to the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma believes "radical economic transformation" should sweep through the entire African continent. She made the remark during her keynote address at the slightly bizarre-sounding South African Funeral Practitioners Association gala dinner which was held on Monday night in East London.
Dlamini-Zuma touched on various sectors‚ including minerals‚ land and energy. She said that South Africa must provide the drive for change as one of the continent’s big economies.
She said existing trade agreements favoured foreign companies and resulted in the export of African raw materials. If African products were processed in Africa, the former AU Commission chairwoman told her listeners, that would create jobs and wealth for Africans. She said the paradox of a rich continent with poor people must end.
For Africa to achieve real growth and prosper on its own‚ it has no choice but to industrialise on a massive scale‚ according to Dlamini-Zuma.
Marakana mine union loses ground in platinum belt
BusinessDay also reports that workers have accused the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which rose to prominence in the North West’s platinum belt, of failing to live up to its promises.
The union burst onto the scene in the build-up to and the aftermath of the 2012 Marikana massacre, following which its membership numbers swelled and it unseated the ANC-aligned National Union of Mineworkers as the dominant labour force in the platinum sector.
BusinessDay says Amcu has lost 6,500 members in Marikana in the past year and there are fears more job losses are looming amid talk of lay-offs.