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African Press Review 20 February 2018

What's in store for the South African economy under Ramaphosa? Is God on Kenyatta"s side? And why did the Tanzanian police want to speak to opposition leaders?


South Africa’s BusinessDay reports on the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings' latest projections for the country.

According to the agency, although the country’s fiscal growth is likely to improve slightly on the back of favourable investor and business sentiment, it is still too low.

It adds that the budget speech will be an important indicator of the direction of fiscal policy under President Cyril Ramaphosa.

A senior agency official is quoted in the report as saying that, despite Ramaphosa promising a number of initiatives to increase employment and strengthen growth, the impact of these measures is likely to be relatively modest.

He also said that former president Jacob Zuma’s resignation last week reduced South Africa’s policy paralysis risk.

Tough budget coming

Meanwhile, South Africa’s finance minister has indicated that a tough budget is in the offing. The Mail and Guardian quotes Malusi Gigaba as saying that Ramaphosa has been pressurising the finance ministry to reduce spending and increase revenue.

The country has experienced a 50-billion-rand shortfall on top of which it has to provide funding for free higher education, introduced before Zuma quit power, he adds. As a result, the government has to stabilise the debt and lower the budget deficit.

Kenyan church backs Kenyatta

The Standard in Kenya reports on the Redeemed Gospel Church urging the National Super Alliance to recognise Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency.

The report states that the church leaders has urged the opposition leaders to accept the legitimacy of Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency since he was validly elected.

Tanzanian police summon Chadema leaders

The Citizen in Tanzania does a follow-up on the death of a student by a stray police bullet during a demonstration by the opposition party in Dar-es-Salaam last Friday.

It states that police have now summoned opposition party Chadema’s top brass for questioning in connection with Friday’s demonstrations.

Those summoned for questioning included party chairman Freeman Mbowe and secretary general Vincent Mashinji.

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