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African Press Review 19 July 2018

The African press is this morning full of stories linked one way or another to planes and air travel, so fasten your seat belts, sit back and enjoy the ride. Venezuela's president's comments on the French football have not gone unnoticed and there are new figures on HIV rates in South Africa.


The first flight from Ethiopia to Eritrea after the ending of the "state of war" between the two countries makes it into the pages of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian.

“Song, dance and tears as Ethiopian flight lands in Eritrea” it headlines, before describing the party atmosphere on one of the two inaugural flights between the countries.

This comes two weeks “after the neighbouring countries declared an end to two decades of bloodshed and animosity, sealing a breakneck peace process that begun last month,” the paper says.

“In Addis Ababa passengers in all classes were given champagne and fresh roses before the plane, which Ethiopian Airlines dubbed "the bird of peace', soared into the sky,” it reports.

The East African also celebrates the reopened flight route, writing that Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Ably Ahmed had, since taking office, acknowledged “that the conflict was placing an unsustainable economic burden on both sides".

More airline news

Other high-flying stories include Uganda Airlines signing a deal to buy four Bombardier jets and two Airbuses. That can be found in the Daily Monitor who writes “The deal is part of Uganda's effort to revive its defunct National Airline."

Meanwhile, in Nigeria the federal government has unveiled a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, which should run on 81 routes, according to The Punch. The aim is to launch the airline by the end of the year.

Nigeria Air, which is a public-private partnership, is set to operate 40 domestic, regional and sub-regional and 41 international routes. The paper writes that the “federal government had learnt a lot of lessons from the experience of the defunct Nigeria Airways and was now determined not to repeat the mistakes that led to its demise”.

South Africa new HIV cases fall

The Mail & Guardian is happy to report that “new cases of HIV have been slashed by almost half” and that “the country’s investments in HIV treatment and prevention are paying off”.

Recent surveys show they have fallen by 44 percent in the last five years.

“The country has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world, with more than four million people with HIV on ARVs, health department figures show,” the paper tells us.

However, over at the Sowetan alarm bells are ringing as the number of young people infected is apparently on the rise.

The figure consistently declined between 2005 and 2012, with the 2017 figure increasing from 7.1 to 7.9 percent. The paper writes that “Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has blamed parents for the high HIV infection levels among young people, saying he was criticised when he tried to distribute condoms to schools in 2012 as part of an HIV/Aids awareness drive.”

Did Africa win the 2018 World Cup?

Some World Cup after thoughts have made it into the Sowetan with an article entitled “Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro believes Africa and not France are the true winners of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.” This is because most members of Les Bleus are of African heritage.

“How much have they despised Africa and in the football World Cup France won the trophy thanks to African players or the sons of Africans,” the paper quoteshim as saying. “That’s enough racism in Europe against Africans, enough discrimination against migrants […] Hopefully France and Europe will appreciate that we, southerners, Africans, Latin Americans, are worthy and powerful.”


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