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African press review 4 May 2016


The Interbnational Monetary Fund predicts poor economic prospects for most of sub-Saharan Africa, except Kenya. The southern African drought forces Zimbabwe to put the wild animals in its 10 national parks up for sale. And Jacob Zuma's cows may have a better standard of living than many residents of Durban's Clare Estate.


There's disappointing news for African economies on the front page of regional paper The East African.

The International Monetary Fund says economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will probably slow this year to its weakest in nearly two decades, the slowdown mainly due to a slump in commodity prices, the Ebola virus outbreak and drought.

In its African Economic Outlook, the IMF says it expects the region to grow by about 3.0 percent this year - the lowest rate since 1999 - after expanding by 3.4 percent in 2015.

Growth is predicted to climb to 4.0 per cent next year, helped by a slight recovery in commodity prices.

Interestingly, a separate story in The East African reports that Kenya's economy grew by 5.6 percent in 2015.

Most of that growth is due to expansion in the agriculture, construction and real estate sectors.

Elephant, anyone? Lions and leopards free to good homes

Zimbabwe yesterday put its wild animals up for sale, saying it needed buyers to step in and save the beasts from the effects of the drought currently ravaging southern Africa.

Members of the public "with the capacity to acquire and manage wildlife" - and enough land to hold the animals - should get in touch to register an interest, the state Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said.

There were no details of the animals on offer or their cost, but the southern African country's 10 national parks are famed for their huge populations of elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and buffalos.

A drought across the region has left more than four million Zimbabweans needing aid and has also hit the crops they rely on for food and export earnings, including maize and tobacco.

The lap of luxury for Zuma's livestock

In South Africa, opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane told residents that President Jacob Zuma’s cattle were better off than the people living in the city’s Clare Estate informal settlements.

According to Johannesburg-based BusinessDay, Maimane visited a number of areas around Durban on Tuesday morning as part of his post-manifesto tour to encourage citizens to "vote for change in the upcoming local government elections".

He told a crowd of DA supporters following his door-to-door visit in the shack area that President Zuma’s cows live in better conditions.

Corruption thrives across the Arab world

The Cairo-based Egypt Independent reports that a report issued yesterday by Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organisation, shows that 28 percent of citizens in Egypt believe that corruption increased in 2015.

The survey, which was conducted in nine Arab countries - Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia and Jordan - showed that 61 percent of the citizens of these countries believe that corruption increased in 2015.

At the top end of the scale, 92 percent of Lebanese citizens believe that corruption rates increased in 2015, with the lowest perception being 26 percent in Morocco.

Sixty-eight percent of 11,000 citizens surveyed in the nine Arab countries believe that their governments are doing poorly in the fight against corruption according to the same report.

Kenya crushes planned anthrax attack

According to the front page of the Kenyan Daily Nation, security agencies last week foiled a planned biological attack using anthrax and arrested three suspects. This was announced by police yesterday.

The Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett said a medical intern at the Wote Hospital was one of the suspects arrested after police foiled the planned attack on 29 April.

Two other suspects have gone into hiding since the arrest. Both are said to be medical interns in Kitale and police have offered a bounty for them.

The suspects were planning a large-scale attack akin to that of Westgate Mall with the intention of killing innocent Kenyans. The team included medical experts with whom they planned to unleash a biological attack in Kenya using anthrax, according to the police statement.

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