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African press review 15 January 2015

Newspapers, bans, Ebola and the economy are all subjects of interest to various African papers today ...


In Kenya, the Daily Nation wonders what the succes of Charlie Hebdo last issue could mean for the African Press.

Charlie Hebdo sold at least 700,000 copies in France yesterday - and the staff annouced that they would be printing a further 5 million copies.

That's clearly a success.

And that's why the Daily Nation - in an editorial - says the Kenyan press could learn a few things from this.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

The newspaper is quoting an East African media executive who says "the Charlie Hebdo case proves that print is not dead, killed by electronic and digital media, as the doomsayers argue".

But for the Daily Nation that's not exactly true.

First because the jump factor of 60 that this issue of Charlie witnessed is probably a one-off.

But "if the three million copies says anything" says the paper, "it points to how the readers of the future will consume magazines and newspapers".

Newspapers are becoming like our best suits or jewellery: we bring them out two or three times a year for a happy occasion or even a sad one.

And for the rest of the year, you keep them in the wardrobe.

Right now, of course, concludes the paper, the only consequence of the Charlie Hebdo case means every media in the world will be spending more money on security.

Muslim countries are not running Chalie Hebdo's latest cover depicting the Prophet... and other African countries have made that choice too.

You'll find that story in the Mail and Guardian.

Apparently, the Senegalese government decided to ban the French satirical weekly as well as the French daily Libération.

Both of course, were running with a cartoon of the prophet yesterday.

So far, "no Senegalese newspapers or news sites have reprinted the controversial cover" explains the paper.

This is quite surprising, says the Mail and Guardian, because censorship of the press is rare in the mainly-Muslim country."

Plus, Senegal’s President Macky Sall took part in the massive unity march in Paris last Sunday.

Now, we have some good news on the Ebola front in Liberia.

According to Front Page Africa, until yesterday, Liberia hadn't seen any new cases of Ebola for 7 days.

12 counties of the country have also completed the 21 day count without having any confirmed case.

That is, for the newspaper, a sure sign that the spread of the deadly virus is slowing down.

Dossier: Ebola outbreak 2014

And that's good news for Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Back in November she projected that the virus would be out of the country by the end of the year.

Another bit of good news, reports Front Page Africa, is that there "are only 10 confirmed cases in all of the Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia". The Ebola virus oubreak has killed more than 8,000 people and infected 21,000.

Finally, Business Day is talking about South African President Jacob Zuma's visit to Guinea, Angola and Mozambique. Zuma met with Guinea President Alpha Conde Tuesday and yesterday with Angolan President Jose dos Santos.

And Zuma is expected to attend the inauguration ceremony of Mozambique President-elect Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.

According to the daily, these visits are aimed at "using the political process to clear way for South Africa's economic and business interests".

The paper spoke to Webster Zambara, an expert at the Institute for Justice & Reconciliation.

"What all three countries have in common is that they are mineral rich, they are in the post-conflict stage of recovery" he remarks. "South Africa wants to use them to expand its economic interests in Africa and to stimulate its own economy"

Political analyst Abdul Patel said it was clear that Mr Zuma’s visits had been carefully planned.

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