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African press review 11 June 2018

There's a possibility of real peace in South Sudan. What lessons are to be learned from the collapse of the value of South Africa's currency, the rand? How honest are the people investigating multi-million fraud at Kenya's National Youth Service?


The two Sudans dominate the front page of regional paper the East African . . .

There are fresh hopes for peace in South Sudan.

The East African says the Juba government has reaffirmed its commitment to making peace with rebel leader Riek Machar.

Information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei yesterday confirmed the planned talks between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, scheduled to take place in Khartoum.

He said the dialogue was the initiative of Kenya's opposition supremo Raila Odinga, of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Machar held talks with Raila Odinga in Pretoria, South Africa last Friday.

Heglig oil wells to be reopened

Meanwhile, South Sudan and Sudan have agreed to reopen oil wells in the contested Heglig region which straddles their common border.

Yesterday it was announced that a joint team from Juba and Khartoum will soon assess damage to oil wells in the area in the wake of the 2012 war between the neighbouring states.

Repairs to the damaged wells are expected to take three months.

What can we learn from the rout of the rand?

The collapse in the value of the local currency, the rand, in the focus of the editorial in South African financial paper BusinessDay.

The article says the currency crash is a reminder that South Africa’s twin deficits   on the balance of payments and public finances   make it highly vulnerable to global market swings.

Friday’s rout of the rand should have punctured any illusions that the post-December surge in investor confidence was enough to revive South Africa’s economic fortunes.

Argentina and Turkey have been savaged recently as a strong dollar, rising US rates and trade war risks have cut global investors’ appetite and turned the tide of sentiment against emerging markets.

The rand on Friday was trading at 13 to the dollar, dropping at one stage by more than two percent to almost 13.30, its worst level since December’s ANC conference. For the week it was down almost four percent against the dollar, making it the fourth-worst performer among emerging market currencies.

A separate article in BusinessDay warns that the weak rand could force the Reserve Bank's hand on a hike in interest rates.

Complicated corruption in Kenya

Kenya's corruption troubles just got even more complicated.

According to the top story in this morning's Nairobi-based Standard newspaper, the latest round of inquiries into a multi-million euro scandal at the National Youth Service (NYS) have been told by a suspect that the lead investigator was a partner in the business deals he was investigating.

The suspect, Jeremiah Ngirita, whose family is at the centre of the graft probe, claims the lead investigator, Mike Julius Kingoo Muia, was their partner in a company that traded with the NYS.

Dam on the agenda at Egypt-Ethiopia talks

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is in Cairo for talks about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam after ending his official visit to Kampala, where he met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

The Ethiopian prime minister arrived in Egypt on Saturday for a two-day official visit during which he will hold talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The Ethiopian prime minister's visit to Egypt is of great importance to the bilateral ties between the two countries, according to the Cairo-based Egypt Independent, especially as this is the first meeting between Sisi and Ahmed since the Ethiopian prime minister took office.

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