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African press review 11 August 2011

Shut up at the back there! Kenyan MPs are sent back to school. Prosecutors appeal for African efforts to track down Rwandan genocide fugitives. Namibia mixes its currencies.  Scientists want a clean-up in African labs. SA police crack down in taxijackers.


In Kenya, the Daily Nation says “It’s back to school for governors and MPs.” Politicians will be sent to a “special classroom” to learn all about how to use public money “wisely” and how to govern under the new constitution. They will also learn how to communicate with the public in speeches and reports.

Officials will have to attend lectures, but will also visit ministries, counties and government agencies to get a full overview of how the country is run. President Mwai Kibaki initiated the idea, saying he wants all members of government to receive the training following next year’s election, even local officials.

The New Times in Rwanda says that the African Prosecutors Association (APA) has called on all African countries to cooperate with Rwanda and track down genocide fugitives.

The article says that Rwanda has received little help from neighbouring governments, who refuse to arrest or extradite suspects linked to the 1994 genocide. The association even called on prosecutors to visit Rwanda and see for themselves the horrors the country has experienced.

The Bank of Namibia says it will continue to have a mix of foreign currencies. This is an article in the Namibian this morning. Banks in Nigeria, on the other hand, did announce they would give its reserves an overhaul amid the current financial crisis.

Part of the reason Namibia says it will keep foreign currencies is because 70 per cent of the country’s debt is actually payable in euros. The bank says that, if they were to sell their euros now, they could lose even more money when exchanging to make debt payments. The other 30 per cent of its debt is payable in “currencies linked to the dollar”. Still, the bank says, it will reconsider investing in any other currencies.

The Guardian Nigeria has published an article explaining the reasons why African researchers often have little to contribute to medical findings in the world. It says that, on top of poor infrastructure and little funding, many of them are unable to comply “with international standard on laboratory practice”.

The association of Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria convened on the issue for three days, calling for stakeholders to renew their commitment to allow and push researcher in Nigeria to abide by universal standards.

In Zimbabwe, The Herald quotes President Mugabe as saying that the UK should deal with its own problems before meddling in foreign state’s affairs. Comments he made during the 31st anniversary celebrations of the Zimbabwean Defense Forces. Mugabe added that he wanted peace to prevail in Africa and not “external interference".

South Africa’s Star says the country has cracked down on a group specialised in stealing minibus taxis. One of the men arrested was a police officer and a taxi owner has been implicated in the affair.

What the gang would do is strip the taxi buses of their parts, repaint them, and sell them bit by bit: gearboxes, doors, radiators. The police dismantled the “taxijacking ring” when they spotted one of the men repainting a taxi minivan outside his front door.

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