African press review 4 November 2013

Mohamed Morsi, millionaires and marathon-winners feature in today's African papers ..


The trial of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is the top story in this morning's Cairo-based Egypt Independent.

Morsi, who was ousted by the army in July after mass demonstrations against his rule, is due to appear in court later today along with 14 other senior Muslim Brotherhood figures on charges of inciting violence.

The charges relate to the deaths of about a dozen people in clashes outside the presidential palace in December after Morsi enraged his opponents with a decree expanding his powers.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The trial, according to the Egypt Independent, could further inflame tensions between the Brotherhood and the army-backed interim government.

A separate story in the same paper says the ousted president is expected to forgo legal assistance and represent himself during the trial.

He is expected to direct his court appearance to Islamists in Egypt and allies across the Muslim world, and to portray himself and his organization as victims of a military coup.

The Independent points out that the number of millionaires in Egypt fell by around 3,000 during Morsi’s one-year rule, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report for 2013.

Egypt ranked as the country which lost the sixth most millionaires in the world during the year, with Japan being the country which lost the most: 1,309,000 millionaires. In second place was Brazil, followed by Argentina, South Africa and then Russia.

It's not just the very rich who are suffering. The report says that Egyptian wealth per adult dropped by nearly 13 per cent over the course of the last twelve months.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta will today travel to Pretoria, South Africa for a two-day official visit.

The President will attend a joint summit of the Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

That summit, according to the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper, will bring together the heads of 16 African countries to consider the Report of a Joint Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Also on the front page of this morning's Standard, news that Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo won the men's and women's races at the New York City Marathon on Sunday for a Kenyan clean sweep in cold, windy conditions.

Mutai was forced to wait a year before defending his title after the 2012 race was cancelled due to damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy, but the 2011 Boston winner showed he had not lost his edge as he hit the Central Park finish 52 seconds ahead of Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia. In third place was Lusapho April of South Africa in 2:09:45.

Jeptoo overtook front-running Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba with about two miles to go to win, going away in two hours, 25 minutes and seven seconds. That win earned her a World Marathon Majors bonus of 370,000 euros in addition to the New York prize of 74,000 euros.

Speaking of money, the Kenyan Daily Nation reports that fake currency has found its way into the bank system, raising concern from Kenyans who now want the matter investigated and the culprits prosecuted.

A cross-section of people interviewed by the Nation say some of the money recently withdrawn from automatic bank machines has turned out to be counterfeit.

The main story in the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay says the keenly awaited Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, which will replace a raft of bilateral investment treaties designed to protect foreign investors, has confirmed fears that investors’ rights will be diminished.

The cancellation of the treaties - mostly signed with European Union countries immediately after 1994 - as they come up for renewal has been criticised by a range of groups, from foreign business to credit rating agencies, for causing uncertainty over the security of future foreign investment. Several foreign governments have "regretted" the cancellations.

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