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African press review 6 February 2017

Text by: Clea Broadhurst
4 min

Encouraging debate on the upcoming General Election in Kenya makes the headline, Morocco still against Western Sahara and more female presidents wanted in South Africa.

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Kenya’s Daily Nation has a massive headline, saying Nation Agenda: Let’s use this election to fix problems, not create them.

The article starts off by stating that an election should not be the existential threat that it has become to Kenya.

The paper is clear: it’s an election, not an ethnic census. Kenyans, it says, and particularly the political leaders, appear to be approaching the mobilisation of voters to register on the basis that the outcome of the elections will depend solely on the number of people registered from the various tribes.

This conflated view of the electoral process accounts for the sad place that Kenya is becoming, Daily Nation states, a place where leaders and the people do not think deeply about the problems facing the country.

And so, that is why every election year, the Nation issues an agenda, which it considers to be the most pressing for the country.

The paper highlights two main topics this year.

First, it wants to tackle corruption: as much as a third of the national budget is wasted through corruption, the paper says.

Then, climate change: today, their perennial rivers, streams and springs are drying up, and something has to change.

The article ends by saying that this coming General Election is an important moment for national dialogue, so that is why in the next 10 days, starting tomorrow, the Nation will make its contribution by opening up the debate, encouraging people to speak up and talk about the issues surrounding the elections.

The East African leads today with Morocco 'will never recognise Western Sahara' despite rejoining the African Union after a decades-long dispute over the territory.

That is what Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said in published remarks Sunday.

"Not only does Morocco not recognise   and will never recognise   this so-called entity," Mr Bourita said, "It will (also) redouble its efforts so the small minority of countries, particularly African, which recognise it, change their positions."

Last Monday, the AU approved Morocco's re-entry into the bloc which it quit in 1984 in protest at the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) declared by the Polisario Front at the height of a war for the territory.

South Africa’s Mail & Guardian leads today with “Africa needs more women presidents” (doesn’t the world in general?)

The former chairperson of the African Union commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says Africa needs more women to be elected into presidential positions.

“Right now there is just one, in Liberia [Ellen Johnson Sirleaf] and her two terms come to an end in October,” Dlamini-Zuma said yesterday. She called on women to stop undermining their own capabilities.

But she also shared with the crowd a list of targets she helped set up while at the African Union, such as having leaders opting to debate over issues instead of resorting to warfare.

And also, she wants to see Africans successfully trading within the continent, saying that this would give countries in Africa a competitive edge when they approached the global market.

And Nigeria’s the Punch leads with Cameroon’s Africa Cup victory. Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench to score a late goal to steer Cameroon to a 2-1 victory over Egypt in the final of the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Libreville yesterday.

The victory helped the Indomitable Lions seal a fifth African title, having won the tournament in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002. Cameroon, who denied the Egyptians a chance to win their eighth African title, will host the 2019 edition of the finals.

The reigning champions also qualified for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia following their victory over Egypt at Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville.

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