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Africa Press review

Issued on • Modified

African press review 4 April 2018

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South Africa has the world's worst social inequality. Botswana has a new president. The Ugandan Catholic hierarchy is not planning a coup. And Moussa Mostafa Moussa is a happy man.


South Africa's poverty rate is down, according to financial paper BusinessDay, but it remains the most unequal country in the world.

According to a recent World Bank report, rich South Africans are on average 10 times wealthier than poor ones.

The report says the role of skills and the labour market have grown in importance in explaining poverty and inequality, as opposed to gender or race, although these remain important factors.

Forty percent of the South African population lives below the poverty line, set at the rand equivalent of 52 euros per month.

Will the real Mokgweetsi Masisi please stand up

The Mail & Guardian asks who is Mokgweetsi Masisi?

Well, he's Botswana’s new president, replacing Ian Khama who's been in charge for the past decade.

The South African daily describes Masisi as "earnest, highly educated, elitist and remote" but says he could well increase the ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s vote in next year’s general election.

This is because the electorate was fed up with Khama, his hard-line policies and his cronyism, and will welcome the leadership change.

Ending corruption, relaunching the stagnant Botswana economy and softening the public image of the ruling party are among the challenges facing the new man.

Archbishop not trying to overthrow Museveni

The Catholic hierarchy in Uganda is not planning to overthrow the government.

The report is on the front page of regional daily the East African.

Earlier this week President Yoweri Museveni and the Catholic Archbishop of Kampala, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, had a reassuring phone conversation.

That discussion followed the archbishop's remarks on Good Friday at Rubaga Cathedral that an anonymous caller had warned the churchman that the government had received information that the archbishop was masterminding a plot to overthrow Museveni.

The archbishop says the president should be more careful in the choice of his informers.

Israeli deal saves migrants from immediate deportation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suspended a resettlement deal for African migrants faced with deportation. According to the East African, the policy shift came just hours after Netanyahu's office had announced the agreement with the UN refugee agency.

The new deal with the UNHCR will cancel a controversial plan to deport African migrants and replace it with one that would see thousands sent to Western countries.

The new accord would at the same time allow thousands more of the mainly Sudanese and Eritrean migrants to remain in Israel at least temporarily.

The migrants have become a political issue, with religious leaders and some conservative politicians portraying the presence of Muslim and Christian Africans as a threat to Israel's Jewish character.

Sudan accuses Umma Party leader of conspiracy

Sudan’s state security prosecutor has filed charges against Sadiq al-Mahdi, the leader of the opposition National Umma Party, accusing him of conspiring with armed movements.

Last month, according to today's Sudan Tribune, the opposition umbrella group Sudan Call, which encompasses political and armed groups, held a meeting in Paris and chose al-Mahdi as its leader.

On Monday Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir threatened to take decisive action against political parties allied with the rebel groups, saying he would never allow a combination of armed action against the state and political activity.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center yesterday said the state security prosecution has filed criminal charges against al-Mahdi for conspiring with armed movements that seek to topple the regime.

How to be a good loser

The loser in last week's Egyptian presidential election, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, is clearly an optimist.

According to the Cairo-based Egyptian Independent, Moussa yesterday described his haul of 700,000 votes against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as “a very big achievement”.

Egypt’s National Election Authority announced on Monday that Sisi had been reelected for a second four-year term with 97 percent of votes.

The Authority said that 24,254,152 citizens voted in the elections out of more than 59 million eligible voters, representing a turnout of 41 percent.

Sisi won 21,835,378 votes, while Ghad Party leader Moussa, Sisi’s sole contender in the election, won 656,534 votes, or 2.92 percent of valid votes.

Moussa said he was very happy at the outcome.