African press review 3 March 2016


Pretoria and Washington have agreed to end the chicken war, thus keeping South Africa in the running for benefits under the US’s African Growth and Opportunity Act. South Sudan has been admitted as a full member of the East African Community. And cheating in Kenyan exams is to stop!


The chicken war between Pretoria and Washington is over.

According to the front page of this morning's Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, South Africa will allow American chicken, pork and beef products to be sold on the South African market, meeting requirements for resolving a trade dispute with the US.

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The deal ends 15 years of barriers to US poultry products and is a key step towards President Barack Obama lifting his threat of suspending benefits under the US’s African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Yesterday Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that South Africa had avoided suspension of US duty-free benefits, set to begin on 15 March, after Pretoria met the requirements of the trade deal.

South Sudan has been admitted to the East African Community (EAC), thereby increasing the regional trading bloc's market to 162 million people.

According to a report in the Kampala-based Daily Monitor, the EAC's council of ministers shifted from an earlier position under which South Sudan was to be granted observer status.

The country’s full admission was approved yesterday at the community summit currently in progress in Arusha, Tanzania.

Also in the Monitor, the opposition continues to claim that last month's presidential election was rigged in favour of incumbent Yoweri Museveni. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is calling for an independent audit of the election results.

Party president Mugisha Muntu says the FDC candidate Kizza Besigye won the election, despite an official outcome giving Yoweri Museveni a fifth successive victory with 61 per cent of votes cast.

The FDC says an audit would investigate anomalies such as the fact that no fewer than 50 polling stations registered a 100 per cent turnout. And all of the voters at those stations supported one single candidate. The opposition party claims that many of the so-called voters are actually deceased and that some stations sent in tallies with a greater number of votes than there are registered electors.

The main story in the Nairobi-based Daily Nation reports that the results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations will be announced later today.

The paper says those candidates who get their results today are the lucky ones, because the majority of their peers dropped out of school before reaching the certificate exams.

In spite of free primary education and subsidised secondary schooling, 58 per cent of Kenyan children drop out before sitting the secondary examination, according to a review of education data by the National Institute of Economic Affairs.

Most of them drop out in the primary school years.

Apart from the school certificate result, the education cabinet secretary is today also due to announce measures to reduce the level of cheating during examinations.

Fifty students, teachers and police officers were arrested and 30 mobile phones confiscated from candidates last year.

In several incidents, some candidates managed to get copies of the examination papers days before the tests began.

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

The Guardian in Nigeria reports that a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to publish up-to-date information on recovered stolen funds since the return of civilian rule in 1999.

According to the court, the publication should include detailed information on the total amount of stolen public assets that have so far been recovered by Nigeria, the amount that has been spent from the recovered assets and details of projects on which recovered funds were spent.

Justice Mohammed Idris directed Buhari to “ensure that his government, and those of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan account fully for all recovered loot.”

That may take some time.

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