African press review 22 January 2015

How Ebola is impacting the economy, children's rights violations during a protest in Kenya and Uganda's teachers going on strike are all topics in today's African papers.

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This morning's Front Page Africa talks about how Ebola is impacting the economies of affected countries. According to new figures from the World Bank, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will loose at least 1.4 billion euros in forecast economic growth in 2015 as a result of the epidemic.

The three countries' economies show significant signs of slowing down, says the newspaper. We should now expect a growth of -0.2 per cent in Guinea, 3.0 per cent in Liberia and -2.0 per cent in Sierra Leone, it reports.

Pre-Ebola estimates were of 4.3 per cent for Guinea, 6.8 per cent for Liberia and 8.9 per cent for Sierra Leone.

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According to the World Bank, "even if Ebola is controlled, economic costs will be incurred across sub-Saharan Africa in 2015". 

Why?

Because "consumer and investor confidence has been eroded by the outbreak".

Still, there's a bit of good news, says the daily. The probability of spread and the associated economic costs beyond the three most affected countries are now much lower than previously feared.

In Kenya lawyers are investigating children's rights violations after a protest on Monday at which five children were injured after police used tear gas.

In today's Standard we learn that a team of lawyers from the Law Society of Kenya is investigating children's rights violation against the police. Apparently, preliminary investigations indicate children's rights were violated since the officer in charge has been suspended.

According to the daily, the team wants to know on whose instructions the police were acting.

After the Kenyan teachers' recent strike, it's now Ugandan teachers' turn to withdraw their labour, says the Daily Monitor. They will today start a strike over the government's failure to pay three million euros, which were part of a package promised to their union.

The unions are accusing the government of diverting these funds.

"The announcement comes just a week to the opening of schools’ first term," explains the Kampala-based daily.  The money was supposed to be part of a grant of seven million euros that President Yoweri Museveni pledged in 2011 towards improving teachers' welfare.

That pledge followed a strike that paralysed teaching for almost a year as teachers demanded a 100 per cent salary increment.

According to the head of the Makerere University in Kampala, who spoke to the Daily Monitor, you should accept any job offer being offered to you. You studied history? It doesn't matter, unemployment is too high in the country to turn down any job offer.

The Mail and Guardian takes a look at Africa's secret economic weapons.

The newspaper takes a look at why, despite Ebola, conflicts and falling commodity prices, Africa's economic growth is expected to come in at 4.5 per cent for this year, 5.6 per cent if you exclude South Africa.

Click here for our coverage of Africa Cup of Nations 2015

The numbers are good and, according to the newspaper, that's because of "businesses and projects that are not in the news". For example, there's the Maasai livestock protection programme in Tanzania where a local pastoralist created something he calls "living walls".

He basically created a natural fence for the animals and the project has managed to successfully reduce the killing of lions, which is extremely valuable for tourism revenue.

The Mail and Guardian also talks about a mobile app for money transfers. Another impressive idea, WoeLab, transforms e-waste into modern machines, such as 3D printers. In 2012 the world produced about 49 billion tonnes of electronic and electric leftovers.  And the team behind WoeLab is even planning to sell a 100-dollar laptop in Ghana.

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