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African press review 2 January 2018
Today's African papers look ahead at 2018 and what is to come in the New Year. Plus, news of Kenya's new cabinet.
The East African focuses on South Sudan and thinks 2018 will be "make or break time" for the young nation. South Sudan, of course, has been embroiled in a four-year civil war but, says the article, it is heading for proper negociations in February.
"Children have not been to school for the past four years" and almost "two million face starvation", says the paper. Under a 2015 peace agreement, now being revived, elections should be held next year. But that seems highly unlikely, according to the East African.
In a Christmas message President Salva Kiir promised a new dawn of peace and stability in 2018. But can his words be trusted ? But "even if the politicians and militias agree to silence the guns, suffering is likely to continue throughout the year", concludes the East African.
Four million people remain internally displaced, while three million are refugees in nearby countries.
Nigeria's New Year needs
It seems that most of the African press is looking ahead to 2018.
The year 2017 wasn't a really good year for the country, the paper says.
The misery index climbed to 75 percent at some point.
Unemployment, insecurity, political instability, fuel shortages ... the list goes on.
So what are those wishes Punch was talking about?
Here are four of them:
- First, good health: "May the health challenges of 2017 never be repeated", reads the paper. And, if they are, "may he resign and find better way to enjoy the rest of his life".
- Second wish, Buhari should be in control of his government and work better with the National Assembly.
- Thirdly, "President Buhari should beware of the South-West now".
- But, and this where one gets the feeling that the author of the article is not a big Buhari fan, the president shouldn’t "run for a new term in 2019". "If I were him, I would retire to Daura and spend the rest of my life quietly there," writes the paper. Tough!
What do Egyptians want?
The Egypt Independent takes a look at what Egyptians want from 2018. The newspaper has run a poll asking Egyptians what they though about 2017 and what they want for the New Year.
While not everything was great last year, at least there's something to be grateful about, it finds. "We broke a long-standing jinx and finally made it to the World Cup," says the paper.
Now, let's talk about dreams.
"Ten percent of Egyptians said they dreamed about securing a job for next year" and "with unemployment rates marginally declining to 12 percent one can be hopeful", says the daily.
Improving standards of living and having your kids make it through school were also among the most shared hopes for this New Year. Still, five percent of those interviewed said they had no dreams whatsoever.
Kenya awaits new government
Finally to Kenya, where the Standard has news of the next government. Even though President Uhuru Kenyatta doesn't expect to announce his new cabinet for three or four weeks, the newspaper has heard some agreements have been reached.
The new government, according to the paper, will be made up of 22 people - 12 politicians and 10 technocrats "from civil servants and the private sector". Kenyatta, and his deputy William Ruto, will each nominate 11 people, says the paper.
We don't have names yet but "at least six serving cabinet secretaries will be reappointed". The two are also considering changing profoundly the way the presidency operates. Let's hope that's enough to stitch together a divided nation.