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African press review 1 June 2018

Burundi's Constitutional Court upholds the result of last month's referendum. The authorities in Juba say threatened UN sanctions against three government ministers will not help the peace process. And migration within Africa appears to have surprising economic benefits.


Last month's referendum in Burundi has been validated by the country's constitutional court.

Regional paper the East African reports that an opposition petition to invalidate the referendum was dismissed yesterday.

The Hope of Burundi coalition had called for the results to be annulled, citing intimidation and arrests during the campaign and on the day of the vote.

The court ruled yesterday that the 17 May referendum had taken place in accordance with Burundian law.

The reforms, which passed with 73 percent voting in favour, extend presidential terms from five to seven years, and could result in current president Pierre Nkurunziza remaining in power until 2034.

South Sudan angered by UN on sanctions

The authorities in South Sudan have protested against the proposed blacklisting of three government ministers by the UN Security Council. The three have been accused of fuelling violence.

In a letter delivered to the Security Council yesterday, Juba claimed that the sanctions demanded against the defence, cabinet affairs and information ministers will undermine efforts to bring peace to South Sudan.

The call for the sanctions was driven by the United Sates, which Juba accuses of seeking regime change.

South Sudan also accuses leading rebel commander Thomas Cirilo of feeding the US with false reports alleging that the government is providing military support to Sudanese rebel groups active in Upper Nile State.

Stay of execution

According to a related report in the Khartoum-based Sudan Tribune, the Security Council yesterday decided to delay for one month the imposition of an arms embargo or individual sanctions on six South Sudanese including four top government officials in the event of a ceasefire violation or lack of a viable peace agreement.

The resolution also renews for 45 days the sanctions imposed in 2015 on those accused of blocking peace in South Sudan.

The positive face of migration

Migration into and within Africa could boost economic growth and productivity. If properly managed, migration could lead to a substantial increase in Gross Domestic Product per capita by 2030, says the United Nations.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development’s 2018 Economic Development in Africa Report focusing on migration found that although 17 million Africans left the continent in 2017, 5.5 million others returned to it.

This influx, as well as the movement of 19 million mostly young Africans within the continent, had positive benefits for both the source and destination countries.

The report estimates that global migration could boost Africa’s GDP per capita from the 2016 level of less than 2,000 euros to well over 3,000 euros in 2030, at an annual growth rate of 3.5 percent. In 2017, the top five intra-African migration destinations were South Africa, Côte d'Ivoire, Uganda, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

All five countries received more than one million migrants.

The report says that, far from being a drain on the host countries’ resources, the net effect on their economies was positive. Not only do migrants bring their skills, they also contribute to their new countries’ development through taxes and local spending.

Cairo on the cheap

If you're planning your summer holidays, note that a recent study conducted by the Swiss bank USB of 77 metropolitan areas shows that Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is the cheapest city in the world. The Swiss city of Zurich is the most expensive.

This is proudly reported in the Egypt Independent, based in Cairo. Yeah!

In terms of buying power for the average worker, the US city of Los Angeles is the world leader.

The study shows that a couple seeking dinner with a bottle of wine and cinema tickets would pay more in Tokyo, New York or Stockholm than in Prague, Mexico City or Rio de Janeiro. You have to wonder how much USB had to pay for that remarkable insight?

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