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Press review South Sudan Economy Kenya Royal wedding

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African press review 14 May 2018


Are South Sudanese rivals Salva Kiir and Riek Machar really war criminals? Pretoria takes over the running of a South African province for the first time ever. The International Monetary Fund wants Africans to put away their credit cards. And would you pay 8,500 euros to watch the royal wedding on telly?

South Sudanese rivals Salva Kiir and Riek Machar could find themselves hauled before the International Criminal Court, according to this morning's regional newspaper the East African.

The South Sudan Equatoria Community in Diaspora lobby group wants the ICC to prosecute South Sudanese president Kiir and rebel leader Machar for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The lobby group leader, Federico Vuni, said South Sudan's Upper Nile and Equatoria regions were the worst affected by the war between factions loyal to the two protagonists.

Vuni also called on the international community to join efforts to remove the two leaders and their deputies, describing them as "obstacles to peace".

Ramaphosa kicks out Mahumapelo

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has taken control of North West, the first time the national government has taken over an entire provincial administration.

BusinessDay says the move is against North West regional premier Supra Mahumapelo, who reneged on a public undertaking to step down and instead took a leave of absence without presidential approval.

There have been weeks of violent protests against Mahumapelo’s rule and allegations that he was using the provincial government as a source of personal income.

The South African constitution allows central government to take over a provincial administration for a period of 180 days.

IMF warns on African debt

A front-page headline in the South African Mail & Guardian says the International Monetary Fund wants Africans to put away their credit cards.

The report says there has been a modest increase in economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest regional economic outlook. This growth, projected to reach 3.5 percent in 2018, is nearly a percentage point higher than last year, mostly thanks to stronger global growth and improved prices for raw materials.

The bad news is the number of countries struggling with ballooning debt. The IMF says that six African countries are in debt distress   Chad, Eritrea, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Zimbabwe. Another nine countries are at high risk of debt problems.

Over the past four years, repaying national debt has, on average, tripled as a percentage of national expenditure   from four percent in 2013 to a whopping 12 percent last year.

Watch the Windsor wedding in style

The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that a Nairobi hotel is charging couples one million shillings (8,500 euros) to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married next weekend, on television in Nairobi.

The Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club is offering an exclusive viewing of the wedding, complete with a “champagne toast and live commentary throughout the ceremony". The package also includes a night for two at the hotel and a helicopter ride to Mount Kenya for breakfast.

The Daily Nation makes the point that, for one million shillings, a couple could easily travel to Windsor for the wedding, where they would have ample opportunity to see the newly weds in the flesh.

The brains behind the Nairobi event say that the steep pricing is intentional, to make the event exclusive, and that they aim to attract around 20 couples. When the Nation called to enquire yesterday, the paper was assured that bookings were still being taken for the Saturday event. That's a relief.

Ugandan ambassador recalled over slavery remarks

The Kampala-based Monitor reports that Uganda’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates has been recalled following protests by the Arab state over her conduct.

In April ambassador Nimisha Madhvani claimed that Ugandan girls were being sold in slave markets in the UAE.

An investigation by a group of Ugandan MPs expressed disappointment and concern over “slavery and trafficking of Ugandans in the United Arab Emirates".

Nimisha Madhvani has served as Uganda’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi since 2017.

Prior to that, she was successively Uganda’s ambassador to France, Spain, Portugal and Unesco.