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African press review 19 February 2015

Inflation down in South Africa, protests in Egypt and protocol and titles in Kenya - some of the stories in African papers today ...


In South Africa, Business Day reports on the sharp drop in the inflation rate. The inflation rate stood at a three-year low of 4.4% in January, which was the lowest since April 2011.

The report adds that economists expect the inflation rate to stay between 3 to 6 per cent for the rest of 2015 despite a recent rise in oil prices and a weaker rand.

The daily also carries an analysis piece on how South Africa’s president has mastered the art of keeping everyone guessing until the end, in his state of the nation addresses.

The article says that in the past, presidents have responded to criticism levelled at them by the opposition parties during the debate that followed their addresses.

It says that Zuma, however, has taken the art of not responding to criticism to a new level.

The Sowetan reports on the Telkom workers union’s plan to launch mass action against the imminent retrenchments in the company.

The union has called on Telkom to withdraw all retrenchment notices sent to affected workers.

In a statement, it said that unilateral decision-making by Telkom management can no longer be tolerated.

Egypt Independent reports on the visit of a delegation from the US Congress to the country. According to the daily, the delegation discussed human rights situation in Egypt with a non governmental organisation.

According to the daily, the discussions were mainly revolved around the harsh and intensified imprisonment of anti-regime activists and human rights advocates.

Egypt Independent also reports on yesterday’s protests carried out inside Cairo University by students loyal to former president Mohamed Morsi.

The students, as well as activists of the Muslim Brotherhood, demanded the re-instatement of sacked colleagues and the release of others detained over protest-related charges.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The report adds that a number of the protesters let off fireworks during their demonstrations.

In Kenya, the Daily Nation reports on yesterday’s voting by Members of Parliament to strip governors and county assembly members of the titles ‘Excellency’ and ‘Honourable’.

It says that the removal of the titles could increase animosity between the National Assembly and county leaders.

The report further adds that the MPs also placed themselves at the same level as governors in protocol-ranking and left out county assembly members altogether.

The Standard reports on the start of an investigation of current and former public officials who were implicated in UK courts in cases concerning the bribery of Kenyan officials to facilitate the awards of multi-million-shilling tenders.

The report says that these officials will be questioned by anti-corruption detectives starting on Thursday.

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