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Africa press review 9 November 2018

Text by: Marjorie Hache
3 min

South Africa puts on a poor show at an international trade fair while Kenya clamps down on a cheating cartel and beer giant Guinness does very well for itself in Nigeria.


The Mail & Guardian is unimpressed by South Africa’s performance at the first China International Import Expo, one of the largest trade fairs ever held.

A reporter in Shanghai depicts a very unflattering scene: “The products on display were hardly a showcase of the best that South Africa has to offer. It included a line of children’s leather shoes and a generic peri-peri sauce brand. One participant, Beef Master Kimberley, tells the paper that they were not interested in growing their existing trade with China because they had no capacity, and were only participating at the behest of the trade and industry department.

The Northern Cape economic development agency “had not thought to bring tasters for the selection of the province’s wines it was trying to flog” writes the paper before deploring that some key South African industries such as the tourism sector had failed to show-up while most stalls hadn’t bothered to employ translators or feature a member of staff who spoke Mandarin.

Altogether 300 companies from 170 countries were there to try get a share of the “10-trillion dollars that China has promised to spend on imports in the next 15 years.”

South Africa put on a poor show which the paper notes was “especially stark in contrast with its African rivals. In particular, Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal who produced slick, sophisticated exhibits that projected an image of efficiency and professionalism, complete with interactive displays and Mandarin speakers to translate.”

Professional cheating is something that has been investigated over in Kenya as The Standard reveals in an article on “an elaborate examination cheating network [that has] been unearthed after a three-year security operation.” According to the The Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) two suspects were arrested on Wednesday it what they dub a “ major breakthrough in the war against cartels that compromise the credibility of national tests.”

The leader of the network however is still on the run.

“The network operates through unscrupulous teachers, parents, students and some security officers who are compromised to beat Knec systems to sneak out examination papers just before they are done.»

The Standard says the cartel “with huge financial muscle, has been behind the fake examination question papers that flood the market during the countdown to the start of national exams.”

It encourage schools to collect money ­ up to Sh30,000 per student to buy examination papers.

“Students in the examination centres planning to cheat are usually informed ahead of time and encouraged to cooperate in the scheme that is executed seamlessly to evade the keen eye of security chiefs.”

Great news for Irish Beer giant Guinness: profits after tax have risen by 249%.

So writes Nigeria’s Guardian noting it “has approved a dividend of 4.03 billion Naira, translating to a payout of 1.84 per share to shareholders for the financial year ended, June 30, 2018.”

The company, at its 68th Annual General Meeting in Abuja, also disclosed an impressive growth with a recorded "31 per cent improvement in operating profit from 10.2 billion Naira in 2017 to 13.4 billion in 2018”

The Chairman said that “despite the poor consumer purchasing power in the country, which had a marked effect in the brewing industry, Guinness Nigeria was still able to expand its operations to see a significant rise in profit. "

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