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African press review 30 December 2013

Egypt, jailed journalists, teachers in Kenya and a report on Kenya's election operation in March, are all subjects in today's African newspapers ..

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The French president, François Hollande, gets front-page treatment in this morning's Cairo-based Egypt Independent.

According to the small print, Hollande said that France supports Egypt’s roadmap for the political transition of power in the wake of the removal of President Morsi.

He also said at a press conference during his official vgisit to Saudi Arabia, that Paris and Riyadh agree about the unity and independence of Lebanon.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The French leader also said that the Paris-Saudi partnership is intended to ensure the stability of the region and is not directed against anyone.

In local news, the Egypt Independent quotes the head of the Constitutional Committee, Amr Moussa, as saying that Egypt's future depends on approving the constitution.

“Egypt will never go backwards,” Moussa said, referring to the Morsi and Mubarak eras. “The new Constitution is the first step on the road to the stability that will achieve the goals of the revolution.”

On the same front page, a report that Egypt was ranked among the top 10 worst jailers of journalists in 2013, according to a census released by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The year 2013 was the second worst year on record, after 2012, for the number of jailed journalists around the world, with a total of 211 journalists behind bars compared to 232 in the previous year.

After reportedly jailing no journalist in 2012, the census reports that Egypt jumped up to ninth place in the 2013 prison census, jailing five reporters.

Following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the military-backed government detained dozens of local and international journalists, particularly those viewed as critical of the government or sympathetic to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Most were subsequently freed.

The countries at the top of the list from the Committee to Protect Journalists are Turkey, Iran, China, Eritrea, Vietnam, Syria, Azerbaijan and Ethiopia.

There's more trouble brewing in the Kenyan education sector.

According to the main story in this morning's Nairobi-based daily newspaper, the Standard, the Kenyan National Union of Teachers is well down the road to another confrontation with the government over the promotion of nearly 53,000 teachers.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The Teachers Service Commission says it is revising promotion guidelines for all its employees. But the trade union said the deadline on teachers’ promotion expires tomorrow.

The union wants all teachers who have graduated after successfully completing certificate, diploma and degree courses to climb up the professional ladder. Union officials claim that, last year alone, some 10,000 teachers were not promoted, despite successfully completing professional courses.

Also in the Standard, the chairman of the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Issack Hassan, says the management of the General Election last March was both a test and a triumph.

The commission managed to register 14.3 million voters electronically, using the Biometric Voter Registration system, despite the challenges in acquiring and implementing the technology.

According to Issack Hassan, conducting six elections in one day stretched logistics, personnel, resources and technological systems to their very limits.

But the commission chairman remains certain that the process was free and fair and that the will of the people carried the day.

South Africa's financial paper BusinessDay gives pride of place to the news that no fewer than four low-cost air companies are to begin operations, promising a busy year in the South African aviation sector.

The paper accepts that the market is overtraded, but says the new arrivals clearly suggest that there is a real demand for cheaper regional air transport.

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