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African press review 13 June 2016


Can regional economic cooperation continue in east Africa as individual governments scramble to protect local industries? Does Uganda need 88 ministerial positions? What is the difference between cheating and leaking in school exams?


The main story in regional paper the East African reports that government efforts to protect local manufacturers are hurting regional integration.

Rwanda is targeting the cement, sugar, rice and clothing sectors, where it believes local production can help reduce imports. Kenya is allowing VAT exemptions on garments and leather footwear produced for export.

Tanzania said the government would introduce a 10 percent customs duty on flat rolled iron products to ensure that locally produced products can compete with imports.

Rwanda to participate in Ingabire human rights hearing

The East African also reports that the Rwandan government is expected to appear at the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights, despite requesting to withdraw from the court’s special declaration that allows individuals and NGOs to sue governments.

In March Rwanda put in a request to pull out of the declaration. The move led to the suspension of the hearing of a case involving opposition leader Victoire Ingabire after the government failed to send representatives.

Ingabire, who heads the unregistered political party FDU Inkingi, took the Kigali government to the Arusha-based court, accusing it of violating her rights and freedoms under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

She wants the court to force the Rwandan government to release her on parole, as well as pay her legal expenses.

She is currently serving a 15-year jail sentence handed down by Rwanda’s Supreme Court in 2013, for inciting revolt, forming armed groups to destabilise the country and denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Zuma heads for Great Lakes conference

President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African delegation to the sixth Ordinary Summit of International Conference of the Great Lakes Region‚ scheduled to take place tomorrow in Luanda‚ Angola.

The summit is expected to focus on the political and security situation in the Great Lakes Region.

While South Africa is not a Great Lakes Region member‚ the country is invited as an observer to conference meetings because of its involvement in peacekeeping.

Museveni wants more ministers

The Ugandan Daily Monitor reports that President Yoweri Museveni has ignored persistent calls for a leaner government and requested MPs to allow him expand the size of his post-election cabinet from 80 to 88 ministers.

The president intends to restructure large ministries and departments to make them more efficient and accelerate service delivery in the country.

Opposition politicians who spoke to the Daily Monitor at the weekend said having too many ministers is not only bad for the quality of government but also for the independence of the legislature.

The Ugandan constitution allows for a government of 42 ministers.

Delta fighters dent Nigerian oil output

The Guardian in Nigeria reports that the country’s crude oil production has been halved as a result of attacks carried out by Niger Delta armed groups in the past few weeks.

With production down to 1.1 million barrels per day, the government is losing an estimated 50 million euros on a daily basis. The fighters have vowed to continue destroying oil facilities in the Niger Delta. They claim that oil profits are not being used to benefit those who live in the producing region.

Cheating, not leaking

The Egypt Independent gives front-page space to a report that the head of the Education Ministry’s public education sector has said that yesterday's public high school physics exam will not be cancelled, despite having being circulated on Facebook.

The ministry accepts that questions from the paper had been circulated on the internet after the start of the exam. A spokesman drew a distinction between exam paper leakage and cheating.

Sunday's events constitute cheating but there was no leak which would have made the questions available to candidates before the start of the exam.

An exam last week was cancelled after the paper was leaked online.

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