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African press review 31 December 2014

School league tables, fatwas and mining royalties all make the papers around Africa today.

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Kenya is still talking about schools and grades today.

We’ve been talking about this since the beginning of the week, and it seems that the country is still bitter about the government getting rid of the ranking system for schools and students.

That's what this morning's Daily Nation says.

The paper explains that the government is under pressure to get rid of its ban on ranking of performance of schools and candidates in national examinations.

According to The Daily Nation those opposed are arguing that the move has stripped national examinations of the glory they were associated with.

Kenyan private school owners are saying the government targeted them to undermine their operations.

For the education minister, the reason for getting rid of the ranking is simple: because "it did not give conclusive assessment of the learning process."

But the move might be for nothing explains the daily; some are proposing that counties create their own ranking systems.

The Egypt Independent has an article about the most bizarre fatwas of 2014.

The Egyptian daily says that quite a lot of fatwas - or religious edicts - that were issue this year stirred controversy.

That's why they've chosen to compile six of the weirdest ones.

Here is a little selection:

The first one is that open buffets should be banned.

That one is from Saudi preacher and member of Saudi Arabia’s senior scholars authority, Saleh al-Fawzan.

The preacher stated that open buffet banquets are not permissible on the basis that they do not quote a clear price for transactions.

There another interesting one from Yasser Borhamy, deputy chairman of the Salafi Daawa in Egypt.

He said that for a wife to lie to her husband to be able to get out and vote in the constitutional referendum last January was permissible.

The fatwa was viewed as a manipulation by opponents of the constitution, explains the Egypt Independent.

But I think my favorite is this one:

It came for the United Arab Emirates and it prohibits life on Mars.

According to the paper, the authority said simply that living on Mars was against Islam.

Most of these fatwas haven't really been followed though.

Zambia is planning to increase its mining royalties and some people are not too happy about it

That's what the South African Paper Business Day is reporting.

The African country will raise its royalties tomorrow on open pit and underground mining.

The royalties will increase from 6% to 20% for the pit mines and 6% to 8% for the underground mines.

And that's not necessarily good news, explains Business Day: the Mining industry fears shaft closures.

That could mean up to 12,000 jobs losses.

Zambia is Africa's second-largest copper producer.

Mining accounts for 12% of Zambia’s gross domestic product and 10% of formal employment.

Already, according to the paper, the plan has prompted Toronto-based Barrick Gold to suspend operations at its Lumwana Copper Mine.

The mine supports nearly 4,000 direct jobs in the area.

 

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