African press review 17 March 2016

The East African

We start with regional paper The East African, which is headlining on illegal fishing. The paper has a long and interesting report on the subject which explains how -and why- fish stocks are collapsing across the African continent.

The collapse is the result of ” illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, which costs the continent billions of dollars in lost revenue” explains the daily.

Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish is illegally caught every year, worth between 8 and 19 billion euros.

“The West African coast is said to be the most affected by illegal fishing, with 40 per cent of total catches falling in that category” says The East African.

And it seems that Africans are not the one to blame for this: “Illegal fishing is carried out mostly by Chinese and European Union vessels” according to Greenpeace.

The paper takes a look at how countries are tackling the issue.

For example, Namibia is using air surveillance systems while Kenya has just passed a bill on the matter.

The Egypt Independent

The Egypt Independent headlines on women’s rights this morning.The least we can say is that the report by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights paints a bleak picture of what it’s like to be a women in today’s Egypt.

But first a good news: “Egyptian women have witnessed a slight improvement in political rights through 2015.

“There are 89 women legislators in the new parliament. […] With a total of 596 MPs in parliament, women now make up 14.7 percent of the legislature” explains The Egypt Independent.

At the same time however, “socio-economic circumstances have declined and acts of violence against women have continued”.

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This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Egypt was ranked 136 out of 145 countries for gender equality in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015.

South Africa

The South African papers are all headlining on the same story: a political scandal.

Here’s what’s happening:

Deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas said yesterday he had been offered the job of finance minister by an Indian family, the Guptas, accused of wielding influence over President Jacob Zuma.

Jonas said he had been asked last November, just days after the previous finance minister had been sacked by the government.

The Guptas are a wealthy family who own an array of South African companies and are being accused of controlling parts of the government explains The Mail & Guardian.

The family has denied any wrong-doing, but that didn’t stop the social media from “exploding”.

The Mail & Guardian says the news was commented on by over 600.000 Twitter users.

An editorial of economic daily Business Day wonders if the Guptas really control the South African state.

“The jury is still out on these, but the situation is looking increasingly ominous” it writes.

But “some influence on the government by the Gupta family is obvious. One example is the hugely expensive “business breakfast” functions […] at which various ministers and senior African National Congress figures often appear” it continues.

The paper argues, however, that The Guptas are small players when it comes to business. “The Guptas say they are not interested in politics. Mr Zuma should take them at their word” Business Day concludes.

Source: rfi afrique