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African press review 28 September 2018
There are too many people in Africa and it will only get worse, a report claims. Another report says the continent is wasting billions of euros in humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping interventions. Why is Nigeria on the verge of a petrol shortage?
Women in sub-Saharan Africa are having more children than they want. And more than the continent can afford.
Based on current trends, Africa's population is projected to double in size by 2050.
Between 2050 and 2100 it could almost double again.
In that case the continent would have to quadruple its efforts just to maintain the current low level of investment in health and education.
The 2018 report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calls for the world to accelerate investments in human capital.
Cost of conflict
Conflicts in east Africa cost nearly 70 billion euros every year in humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping interventions, the front page of regional paper the East African tells us.
The Canada-based Global Centre for Pluralism research firm, supported by the United Nations and the World Bank, also found that countries bordering high-intensity conflict zones experience an annual decline in Gross Domestic Product and an increase in inflation.
In Kenya, for example, the business community lost over 800 million euros in 2008 because of post-election violence, while economic growth shrunk to two percent from seven percent. The Kenyan government has yet to pay nearly 50 million euros to Rwandan and Ugandan traders whose goods were looted or destroyed.
The Nairobi government has also spent billions of dollars to compensate 500,000 people who were internally displaced. This money, the report says, could have been reinvested to reduce poverty and boost public welfare.
The report also says that more countries are experiencing violent internal conflict now than at any time in the past three decades.
Visa changes won't boost South African tourism
The recent decision by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to relax visa regulations won't substantially boost tourism, according to the body which represents major airlines operating in the country.
Ramaphosa announced the visa changes last week as part of the government’s economic stimulus package.
Rules introduced three years ago had a negative impact on the country’s travel and tourism sector. Those requirements stipulated that foreigners who wanted to visit South Africa had to apply for visas in person at a South African embassy.
Overall overseas arrivals declined when the regulations were introduced in June 2015.
The new regulations have been criticised as insufficient and indecisive.
Sudan aid plan agreed, more or less
The authorities in Sudan have agreed to a UN plan which will deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in rebel-controlled areas in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
Khartoum has previously refused to allow the delivery of relief from outside the country to rebel areas, fearing that rebel fighters will benefit from it.
Under the latest deal, as reported in the Sudan Tribune, food distribution will be monitored by UN, AU and Arab League observers.
The main rebel group, a faction of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, has still not accepted the new arrangement.
They have been insisting on overland delivery from outside Sudan to ensure that links are maintained between Ethiopia and the landlocked rebel-areas so that ill or wounded fighters can be moved outside the country for treatment.
Nigeria strike hits petrol supplies
Fuel is becoming scarce in Nigera as the general strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress spreads to the petrol and natural gas sectors, according to this morning's Punch newspaper.
The labour congress directed all its members and affiliate unions to commence a nationwide strike today, following the collapse of yesterday's meeting with Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige.
The trade union body is annoyed at the refusal of the Federal Government to reconvene the meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee.
A spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says he has seen no evidence that the strike had had any impact on oil operations or supplies.