African press review 31 January 2014

Kenya's on alert for al-Shebab attacks. British archbishops criticise Uganda's and Nigeria's anti-gay laws. Ugandan-China relations are going strong. Rwanda makes "exceptional progress" in the fight against malaria.


Kenya is on high alert, reports the Daily Nation on its front page today. Intelligence reports indicated that the Islamist al-Shebab group is planning attacks in Kenya and other African countries.

The information was revealed by Kenyan intelligence agencies and confirmed by the 2014 US Global Threat Assessment report and indicate that government buildings and other installations could be targeted.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Airports have already introduced tougher security measures adds the paper, especially at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda could also be targets of al-Shebab attacks, explains the Daily Nation, because of those countries’ troop contributions to the African Union peace-keeping force in Somalia.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who started a five-day tour in Africa yesterday with a visit to South Sudan, also made the headlines in Uganda, along with  Archbishop John Sentamu of York.

The Ugandan Daily Monitor reports that the two archbishops wrote to president Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and president Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, criticising both countries’ anti-gay laws.

Uganda and Nigeria have both passed legislation targeting homosexuals and have been strongly criticised by human rights groups.

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

The Monitor reports that the archbishops took a stand against attacks on gay men and women.

In their letter the archbishops reiterated their support for a document known as the Dromantine Communiqué, published in 2005 by the head of the Anglican Communion declaring the Anglican Church’s commitment to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people and its opposition to the victimisation or diminishment of any human beings.

Let’s stay in Uganda a bit longer, as the country makes the headlines of the East African. The regional newspaper takes a look at the past 20 years of trade ties between Uganda and China.

China was one of the first countries to establish ties with independent Uganda in 1962, explains the paper, but it was in the late 1990s that the relationship between Uganda and China has started growing by leaps and bounds.

The East African explains that China’s support of Uganda’s development agenda through increased trade, infrastructure development and exchange of expertise has played a significant part in enabling the world’s second largest economy to tap into trade opportunities in Uganda.

According to official statistics, bilateral trade between Uganda and China reached 397 million euros in 2012, representing a nearly 35 per cent increase compared with the year before.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Today, explains the paper, nearly every street in Uganda’s capital Kampala has a business with connections to the Asian giant or, at the very least, is selling items imported from China.

Good news in Rwanda, where the fight against malaria - the leading cause of child deaths in Africa - has made tremendous progress.

Rwanda’s New Times headline with the story, as Rwanda is one of seven African countries praised for exceptional progress in scaling up malaria control interventions.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame was handed the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) award during the official opening of the African Union Summit of Heads of State, yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, explains the paper.

Malaria is a leading cause of child deaths and kills 627,000 people every year, mostly in Africa, but Rwanda has achieved significant reductions in cases over the past decade, explains the New Times.

In 2005 malaria was the number one killer of children under the age of five in the country, it reports. In 2008 it dropped to third position and by 2012, to eighth, with a target of zero malaria deaths by 2017.

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