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African press review 3 January 2018

Text by: Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel
4 min

Today's African papers look at the tense political situation in Kenya, plus some good news from Egypt.


Kenyan newspaper the Standard revealed yesterday that President Uhuru Kenyatta had reached a deal on a new government.

Today it reports that Raila Odinga, the opposition leader who's contesting the last election's results, is "set to unveil a plan of action within a week on how he intends to take on [Kenyatta's] Jubilee Party"

According to the daily, the plans includes naming a parallel government, as well as prepare a series of actions. The aim is simple, says the Standard, "make the country ungovernable and force President Uhuru Kenatta to the negotiation table with the National Super Alliance".

But that doesn't seem likely, as the Standard points out, "the door appears to have been slammed by the president’s failure to acknowledge call for dialogue in his New Year message".

The year of Odinga?

Meanwhile, the Daily Nation says it's time for Kenyatta and Odinga to talk. Otherwise, says the newspaper, "Odinga is likely to shape political events in the New Year".

You guessed it, this is another article on what to expect for 2018.

"Odinga promised his supporters that he would take oath as the people’s president in what might mean an escalation of the push for secession," the paper declares.

So what else should you keep your eyes open for in Kenya?

Well, for starters, "a new curriculum for school" that focuses on continuous assessment instead of one-off tests.

You can also expect audits, writes the Daily Nation. "A number of government ministries, both in the national and county levels, will be put to task to explain their expenditures later this year."

And, finally, petitions - 348 of them were filed after the last elections and they'll all need to be examined quickly.

They, at least according to the paper, "could open the door for by-elections that could bring with them long-drawn and messy campaigns as well as all manner of political shenanigans".

Zimbabwe's challenges

South Africa's Mail and Guardian takes a look at what could block Zimbabwe's progress in 2018. The paper is quite tough with new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has spoken of a new democracy "unfolding" in Zimbabwe.

"This is wishful thinking," says the paper and it lists "three major barriers to this".

First, there's the ruling Zanu-PF.

"The country is de facto a one-party dictatorship," says the paper. "And it will be hard for the ruling party to let go of its power".

The second barrier is the president himself.

"His ominous record makes it difficult to build a persuasive case that he represents a new beginning," writes the Mail and Guardian.

After all, "he was pivotal to the collapse of the rule of law" and "has been a central player in the gross human rights abuses" that have taken place in the country.

But the biggest hurdle to clear, according to the paper, will be the military, which allowed the new regime to rule.

The South African daily worries that we are witnessing the rise "of an effective barracks democracy" in the country, with barriers between the military and government becoming more porous.

Renewables on the rise

According to the Egypt Independent, the country is getting ready to build the largest wind farm in the Middle East. The project will be located in the Suez Bay and will be funded by the EU and Germany.

This, of course, is part of the country's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

And, according to the Environment Minister Khalen Fahmy, "the Egyptian climate makes it an excellent candidate for developing wind power due to its geography".

"Wind energy is expected to take an important role in the future," says the daily, although, traditionally, Egypt has depended on oil and gas as a main supply of energy, leading to a lot of problems such as pollution and inefficiency.

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