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African press review 25 April 2016


In today's African newspapers there is a lot of talk of economic ties, as South Africa seeks to move closer to Iran and Kenya misses out on a lucrative pipeline deal with Uganda, some food for thought from a higher education specialist and a fitting tribute to the late Papa Wemba complete our press review.


Kenya's Daily Nation brings us a worrying story on malaria.

It says the country is now at risk of developing a more resistant form of the disease, due to excessive self-prescription.

According to one expert, when the main malaria parasite is exposed to some available treatment drugs it eventually mutates to develop resistance.

"This has been seen in several countries across south-east Asia", writes the Daily Nation, "that have confirmed resistance to Artemisinin, a powerful medicine known for its ability to swiftly reduce the number of plasmodium parasites in the blood of malaria patients during the first three days of treatment."

Patients need to get tested and have prescribed medicines, instead of resorting to self-prescription.

The Daily Nation says Kenya’s capacity to combat malaria has significantly increased in recent years, but that the disease is still among the country's major public health issues.

Kenya misses out of Uganda pipeline deal

One of the main stories in the Daily Monitor explains how Kenya let slip a multibillion dollar pipeline deal with Uganda.

"Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is usually a very jolly man," the article begins. "But at the 13th Northern Corridor Infrastructure Summit held at the weekend in Munyonyo, Kampala, he appeared to be the opposite of his usual self."

According to the Daily Monitor, he had just been informed that Uganda had already chosen the southern route through Tanzania for a proposed oil export pipeline.

The news came as a blow, as Kenyatta had been hoping he could snap up the deal, to run the pipeline via the northern route, to the Lamu Port on the Indian Ocean.

The project could have brought jobs and investment, and given his government much-needed credit

But the Daily Monitor says several feasibility studies had not gone in Kenya's favour.

South Africa cosies up to Iran

Business Day brings us another story of international trade, this time with an article on the burgeoning ties between South Africa and Iran.

In a demonstration of good will, President Jacob Zuma praised Iran’s 1979 revolution on Sunday, at the start of a three-day state visit which he said could "dramatically expand trade" with the Islamic republic.

At a press conference with president Hassan Rouhani, he pulled out the stops to flatter his new friend.

He said the overthrow of a US-backed Shah was a source had been an encouraging example for black South Africans fighting apartheid.

Rouhani returned the compliment, claiming Nelson Mandela was revered by the Iranian people, and that a street had even been named after him in Tehran.

With the end of international sanctions against Iran, Business Day says trade between the two countries will increase.

The paper says they have already signed eight cooperation agreements ranging from energy development to business insurance.

Competion little help to higher education

For a more philosophical perspective on the economy, Business Daily is running an interesting opinion column by Rajani Naidoo, a professor at the International Centre for Higher Education Management, at the university of Bath, England.

He says that higher education, under the influence of geopolotical rivalry, is trapped in a "competition fetish".

Government-sponsored "excellence programmes" are diverting funding to “world-class” universities so they can better compete on the international scene.

But "few benefits trickle down", warns Naidoo.

He claims universities are becoming crucial engines to enhance a country’s position in the world, but are also being transformed into a commodity.

Universities should stop shaping their speculative value through global rankings, he says, and engage in work that will boost global well-being.

Papa Wemba remembered

Most African newspapers are paying tribute to the Congolese musician Papa Wemba, who died on Saturday, aged 67.

"He will be remembered more for being a firm believer in art for art’s sake", writes Nigeria's Punch, "and for constantly encouraging fellow musicians not to mix their art with politics."


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