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African press review 20 July 2016

Corruption in South Africa, yesterday's failure by the African Union to elect a new commission chairman, HIV infections in Kenya and the strange case of the man who turned down the chance to be Nigeria's national football coach.These are some of the stories in today's African newspapers.

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Corruption in South Africa is hampering reforms intended to boost economic growth and greater transparency is needed at state-owned companies, according to a senior International Monetary Fund official.

The story is at the top of the front page of this morning's Johannesburg-based financial paper, BusinessDay.

IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton told a public lecture in Johannesburg yesterday that cutting taxes and increasing government spending would not solve the problem of sluggish growth in Africa’s most sophisticated economy.

The IMF recently predicted that the South African economy would grow by less than one-tenth of a percent in the course of this year.

President Jacob Zuma’s unexplained decision to change finance ministers twice in four days in December and a series of political upheavals that followed had also hurt the economy’s prospects, Lipton said.

He also alluded to investors’ lack of faith in the management of South Africa’s 300-odd state-owned enterprises, many of which are overstaffed and underproductive.

African Union commission fails to find a new head

Regional paper the East African gives priority to yesterday's failure by the African Union to elect a new commission chairman.

The East African reports that the eastern Africa bloc voted for Uganda’s former vice-president Specioza Kazibwe.

This was not enough to keep her in the race and Kazibwe was eliminated in the first round, leaving only Botswana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, and Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea fighting for the support of the southern and central blocs.

Later it emerged the western bloc, made up of 15 countries, abstained from the two-way election, making it extremely difficult for either of the candidates to garner the required two-thirds majority to replace Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The session was suspended awaiting legal advice, with sources saying that an interim chairperson is now likely to be nominated, and the election suspended until January next year.

Before the AU Summit began, the Economic Community of West African States filed a request to postpone the elections, saying none of the three candidates had the necessary pedigree to replace Dlamini-Zuma.

HIV on the rise in Kenya

The number of new HIV infections in Kenya is rising faster than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa.

This is the main story in today's edition of the Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

Kenya’s rate of new HIV infections has risen steadily over the past decade, more dramatically than in other countries.

According to the study, more than 1.8 million Kenyans were living with HIV in 2015 and 39 percent are on antiretroviral therapy drugs to slow the disease’s progression. The regional average for access to antiretrovirals is 43 percent.

The study from the Global Burden of Disease collaborative network, published yesterday in The Lancet magazine, suggests that the dramatic increase in new infections is undermining efforts to end the global Aids epidemic by 2030.

It's just not cricket!

The Guardian in Nigeria gives front-page prominence to the confusion over the appointment of a new football coach for the national team.

"Shock, disbelief as Frenchman, Le Guen, rejects Eagles job," reads the headline.

In what the paper describes as a major international embarrassment for Nigeria, Frenchman Paul Le Guen, who was announced as Super Eagles’ new technical adviser on Monday by the Nigeria Football Federation, yesterday said he never accepted the offer.

His reaction, which took many Nigerians by surprise, has further complicated issues for the nation in its efforts to qualify for 2018 Fifa World Cup finals, to be played in Russia.

Many Nigerians have called on members of the federation's Technical and Development Committee to resign with immediate effect for committing what the Guardian calls a "schoolboy" error.

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