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African press review 14 September 2018


Kofi Annan is laid to rest after an emotional State Funeral in Accra attended by world leaders.

We begin with tributes to a noble son of Ghana, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan laid to rest in his native Ghana on Thursday, after an emotional state funeral in Accra.

MyJoyOnline reports that President Nana Akufo-Addo showered praise on the late Annan calling him "one of the truly iconic figures of modern times".

The Ghanaian Times says the funeral was a blend of culture and diplomacy with traditional rulers such as the Otumfuor Osei Tutu, the Asantehene, performing traditional funeral rites to bid the late Annan goodbye.

The Chronicle says rigid Ghanaian tradition of widowhood had no pity for the mourning Swedish wife of the late United Nations Secretary General Nane Maria Annan.

The paper says the Swedish lawyer, married to Kofi for over 30 years, was required to conduct a ritual bath with cold water three times a day, wear a rope around her neck and to shave her head.

But the paper says it isn't sure whether Mrs. Annan subjected herself to the ethnic Akan widow rites.

Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper carries a photograph of a woman throwing soil into Kofi Anna's grave at the Burma Camp military cemetery where the ex-UN chief was laid to rest in a private ceremony.

The paper relays calls made at the funeral by world leaders to keep the legacy of the “stubborn optimist” alive by creating a better, more peaceful world.

And Ghanaian newspapers reserved some of their pages for former investment banker Kweku Adoboli expelled to Ghana.

He'd been serving a jail term in the UK for illegally trading away 1.9 billion euros while working for the Swiss investment bank UBS. It was the largest unauthorized trading loss in UK history.

GraphicOnline reports that the 38 year-old Adoboli, who has been living in the UK since he was 12 was sent home despite appeals from 114 British MPs and Members of the Scottish parliament.

The young trader reportedly described his deportation to Ghana “worse than being jailed in the United Kingdom”.

Is Africa's debt to China complicated? That's a question Mail and Guardian takes up in an editorial, after this month's China Africa summit in Beijing.

The paper was reacting to an Africa Confidential article in which the publication claims that Zambia's state owned Electricity Company ZESCO, is in take-over talks with a Chinese power giant after Lusaka failed to settle its debts towards Beijing.

Mail and Guardian says the revelations have fuelled the debate about China's supposed debt-trap diplomacy that is angling to take over strategic assets of African nations that have failed to pay their debts.

The paper reports that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to give details of a 33 billion-rand loan (1.9 billion euros), contracted from the China Development Bank by the embattled power utility ESCOM after concerns express by the National Council of Provences.

Ramaphosa reportedly rejected charges that "the State has not sold the soul of South Africa to the highest bidder.

The conviction that China's story in Africa has been a tale of debt, big infrastructure projects, counterfeits, and inflated or over-priced goods is also causing anxieties in Kenya

Standard Ditigal warns African leaders to accept China’s billions with caution arguing that Kenyan’s now view the Chinese as a threat to the economy.

South Africa's, TimesLive leads with the amazing story of a couple to whom five babies born in five minutes last week at Vosloorus Township east of Gauteng Province.

According to the newspaper, Joe Buthelezi‚ the father of the quintuplets collapsed, as "his wife won't close shop" at the Botshelong Hospital. The couple had only been expecting three babies, according to the medic who performed the deliveries.

The Sowetan says it is able to report that babies are now breathing on their own and gaining weight, adding that they will be allowed to go home when each weighs 2 kgs.