African press review 22 April 2013

The situation in Darfur, corruption in Nigeria, and Africa's bright economic outlook are all subjects in today's African press...


According to the Lagos-based The Guardian newspaper, the United Nations at the weekend urged Sudan to begin an investigation into the death of a Nigerian peacekeeper in Darfur on Friday.

In a statement from the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in New York, the global body expressed its condolences to the Nigerian government and the family of the dead soldier, whose name has yet to be publicly released.

Dossier: Independence for South Sudan

In a separate statement, the United Nations Security Council said the attack was a targeted onslaught.

The US Chargé d’Affaires in Sudan, Joseph Stafford, has warned that security in Darfur is worsening and militia there should be disarmed.

The Guardian also confirms tomorrow as the date for the burial of the late Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe.

Achebe died in Boston on 21 March, and will be laid to rest in Enugu tomorrow.

The Punch gives pride of place to reaction from two of Nigeria's main oposition parties to an American claim that corruption has worsened under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, released on Friday evening, said Nigerian government officials and agencies frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. The judiciary and security agencies, especially the police, were said be lacking in transparency.

In separate statements, the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Congress for Progressive Change said the charges came as no surprise. The ACN described the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Federal Government as a cesspool of corruption.

A PDP spokesman said opposition parties have no reason to trumpet the indictment since it represents an insult to Nigeria and its citizens.

News sites in Somalia are carrying the tragic news of another journalist murdered in the capital, Mogadishu.

According to the RBC Radio website, two unidentified gunmen shot and killed Somali journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh (better known as Honest). He had just returned to his home after finishing his day's work at state-run Radio Mogadishu late on Sunday afternoon.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

Rageh was reporting from the Somali parliament on Sunday during an open session during which MPs questioned the interior minister.

The National Union of Somali Journalists and international press freedom organizations have described Somalia as the worst place for journalists to work in the world.

There's good news on the front page of South African financial daily, BusinessDay.

Africa’s economic outlook is brighter than ever and it is positioned to boost global growth for the first time, but poverty remains a crucial problem.

Speaking on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington at the weekend, officials from Cameroon and Nigeria were optimistic on Africa’s prospects.

Cameroon's Finance Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey noted Africa’s vast natural resources, youthful population and rapidly increasing middle class, describing them as "pillars for global growth."

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was similarly bullish. "Africa is a different place," she said. "For the first time, we are able to contribute to global growth. We are in a good place."

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to grow by 5.6% this year while 18 countries in the region will show growth of at least 6%, according to IMF forecasts. South Africa is struggling to keep pace, with only 2.8% growth expected.

Africa, however, remains vulnerable to external shocks, the ministers warned. Okonjo-Iweala identified sluggish growth in the eurozone as a potential problem.

Figures released to coincide with the IMF meeting also show, however, that a decade of strong economic growth and investment in infrastructure has failed to significantly erode poverty.

More than a third of the world’s extremely poor live in sub-Saharan Africa and their number rose "steadily and dramatically" between 1981 and 2010.

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