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African press review 14 September 2011

Text by: Brian Eads
5 min

Judging by some of today’s African papers, the continent is still divided over the ousting of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi. How can Jacob Zuma solve his Malema problem? Are Kenyuan business schools teaching ethics? And does Italy's ENI have any? And who's afraid of Nigeria's SIM card registration?


In an opinion piece, The Guardian in Nigeria reflects on Kadhafi’s 42 years in power.

Many in the West view Libya’s influence in Africa with concern, the paper says. But many poorer African nations welcomed the oil-rich country’s largesse, managed by someone they see as a man of integrity, whose administration displayed wisdom, maturity, tactical astuteness and concern for the welfare and development of Libyans.


However, while Kadhafi's sons and friends benefited from Libya’s oil wealth, most Libyans subsisted on one euro a day, the paper says. Kadhafi sponsored terrorism in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. His best friend in Africa is Robert Mugabe, an octogenarian who has remained in power for 31 years and who hopes to continue.

Now that the self-acclaimed “king of kings” has fallen, says the Guardian. The crisis in Libya is an eye-opener for the sit-tight leaders in Africa who resist change. 

In South Africa, the Mail and Guardian looks at South Africa’s relations with Libya.

Pretoria has not recognised the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and will not do so until specific conditions are met, President Jacob Zuma is quoted as saying on Tuesday.

This in line with policy agreed upon by the African Union, Zuma says.

Nonetheless, at least 20 AU member-nations have independently acknowledged the legitimacy of the NTC, including Botswana, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Reiterating South Africa's stance on Libya during the presidential question and answer session in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Zuma did not say what the "specific conditions" were. 

The Sowetan leads with an interview with President Zuma under the headline "How do you solve a problem like Malema?".

The troublesome ANC Youth leader, Julius Malema, should be helped, not banished, says Zuma.

Malema is currently facing an internal African National Congress disciplinary hearing on charges of bringing the party into disrepute and of sowing division in party ranks.

His comments were his first since the start of the disciplinary action and the strongest indication yet that Malema will not be suspended from the party, which would have ended his political career.

Malema was found guilty of hate-speech for singing an apartheid-era song calling for the killing of white farmers in a separate civil court case on Monday. 

In Kenya, Business Daily wonders if business graduates are failing what it calls the “ethics test”.

When key figures in some of Kenya’s most infamous cases of corporate fraud and corruption are professionals and local business school alumni, it is not surprising that people question their training.

Are business schools to blame? In the past few years, a number of business gurus and commentators have publicly condemned business schools in general and MBA programmes in particular for their lack of attention to ethics in the curriculum.

But, in all fairness, there are plenty of examples of corporate crooks who have not attended business schools, so there are many different aspects to consider, Business Daily concludes.

In Uganda the Daily Monitor also focuses on ethics or – perhaps the lack of them.

Italian oil giant ENI had “made personal payments” to Ugandan officials at the highest level of government in an attempt to win exploration licenses, according to leaked cables from the whistleblower site Wilkileaks.

The Daily Monitor says could not independently verify the bribery claims made in the cables, which were sent by US Embassy officials in Kampala to Washington DC and were not meant to be publicly circulated..

This is the second time cables leaked by Wikileaks contain allegations of Ugandan government officials receiving bribes in exchange for favourable consideration in the country’s nascent oil sector but officials have always denied the allegations.

Finally, in Lagos,The Nation explores the controversy over SIM card registration.

It would really be a surprise to see any Nigerian who would not want his SIM card registered in the ongoing SIM card registration exercise across the country. This is simply because the benefits simply outweigh any reason to do otherwise.

The only people who should be afraid of SIM registration, naturally, are the criminally minded who know that their days are numbered after all existing SIM cards are registered.

The criminally minded are probably asking themselves about what the future holds in a situation where phones may no longer be available for their nefarious activities, The Nation speculaties.

A lesson in ethics from Nigeria, one hopes.

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