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African press review 30 August 2011

Text by: Brian Eads
4 min

It’s a mixed bag in the African newspapers, although a few still have thoughts on Libya.

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In Nigeria, Punch notes that though mystery continues to surround Kadhafi’s whereabouts, it is certain now that his iron-fisted rule is over. Before the toppling of his regime, Kadhafi, who described himself as “an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the Imam of Muslims,” had held court in Libya for 42 years.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

This is where the international community comes in, the paper says. Already, there are positive signs that support will not be lacking as moves are already being made to unfreeze some of the country’s assets, Punch says.

A sum of 1 billion euros has been released by the United Nations to take care of salaries and other exigencies but this is just the beginning. Libya’s 48 billion euros sovereign wealth assets will help at this critical moment. A lot of rebuilding, both in terms of physical structures and the human psyche, will be needed to bring Libya back to the pre-revolution stage.

The Herald in Zimbabwe has a different view.

Nato's assault on Libya, a criminal imperialist war from the outset more than five months ago, has descended into an exercise in out-and-out murder as special forces operatives and intelligence agents hunt down Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.

"Operation United Protector," as Nato dubbed its military onslaught, would have been more accurately described as "Operation Imperialist Gang Rape,” the Herald declares.

The driving force behind the Libyan war is imperialism, aptly described by Lenin as reaction all down the line. It is a war that has been pursued in the predatory interests of finance capital.

Not often one hears Lenin quoted nowadays, is it ?.

In Kenya, the Daily Nation says that the elusive malaria mosquito may have just played another masterstroke or finally thrown in the towel. But it definitely has scientists dancing in circles.

Malaria is said to have declined by about 50 per cent in the last five years in several parts of Africa, including Kenya. Until now, the decline has been attributed to mass distribution of nets, more effective malaria drugs and better managed prevention measures.

But at the weekend, a Danish-Tanzanian research group tabled evidence showing that the malaria mosquito had disappeared from villages, even those without any organised control programmes.

The paper quotes a Danish scientist who says this may be due to global climate changes. Not all bad, then.

The Times in South Africa has a disturbing picture of a dead, pregnant rhino and her dead calf – shot by poachers. Needless to say, the horn of the adult has been removed.

An estimated 280 rhinos have been illegally shot in South Africa so far this year as demand for the horn increases - especially in South East Asian nations such as Vietnam and Thailand.

It seems demand in Asia has been boosted by nonsensical reports that – as well as improving sexual performance - rhino horn might help cure cancer.

Sadly, the creature’s survival in the wild is again in doubt.

In Gambia, the Point considers time. Or rather - African time.

It is the norm that many people do not have much regard for time, regardless of what work or appointment they have. Most people refer to this lackadaisical attitude towards time as African time.

What everyone needs to understand is that time is money, and that the more time we waste the less productive we become. And - more lyrically - the paper quotes Shakespeare: “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.”

Finally, the New Times in Rwanda notes that a group of 36 coffee farmers, last week, won the highly recognised Cup of Excellence award, when their coffee samples were judged the best in competitive tasting process by what it calls 'professional cuppers'.

The criteria were acidity, body, flavours, sweetness, uniqueness in taste and cleanliness.

Coffee, says the New Times, is one of the country’s main foreign exchange earners.

But, revenue could increase if the country exported processed coffee as opposed to green beans. Whereas the international coffee market is widely dictated by the European and American economies which continue to demand green coffee beans from countries like Rwanda to feed their own roasting factories, it is imperative that Rwandans export fully processed coffee.

Now - it must be time for a cup of coffee.

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