: African press review 18 February 2016

Regional paper The East African headlines on visas this morning. The paper is reporting on a new index, published by the African Development Bank, showing that “movement remains heavily curtailed with Africans still needing visas to travel to over half of the continent”.

Apparently the “most visa-open countries are found in East and West Africa”.

In short, “African countries are on average more closed off to each other than open” explains the paper. According to the data “Africans need visas to travel to 55 per cent of other countries”.

It adds: “Global comparisons show that North Americans have easier travel access to the continent than Africans themselves” says the paper.

And that’s a shame, says The East African, because “Analysts say seamless borders can help to plug skills gaps in the labour market, promote entrepreneurship, and diversify the economies”.

South Africa’s Business Day also headlines on a study this morning. This one is a survey from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

The survey indicates that 30% of South Africans went hungry at some point last year, and that 41% had not “had access to clean running water”.

South Africans are also worried about the state of the economy, with a “majority feeling their financial situation has either deteriorated or stayed the same over the past year and that it is unlikely to improve over the next year”.

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This comes at a time when the country is facing “an economic downturn and its worst drought in 23 years” explains Business Day.

All of this, according to the paper, means that “the challenge for nation-building has become increasingly difficult”. And the survey numbers seem to agree: “About 67% of respondents felt that income inequality had either worsened or stayed the same since 1994″.

Meanwhile, Egypt is trying to attract more Japanese tourists to the country. You’ll remember that we already talked about the number of Italian tourists dropping by 90% this year following the gruesome murder of an Italian student.

It seems that the Egyptian government is counting on an increase of the number of Japanese tourists with the opening of a direct connection between Cairo and Tokyo in April.

You’ll find that story in The Egypt Independent.

Apparently “meetings have been held over the past 72 hours with companies operating in the Japanese tourism market to resume the inflow of tourists to Egypt”.

“A visit by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Japan at the end of February will also be used to promote tourism to Egypt” explains the paper.

Don’t be surprised if tourism seems to be an important subject for the Sisi government: “Egypt’s tourism sector, a main source of national income and foreign currency, was negatively affected by political and security instability” explains The Egypt Independent.
 

Source: rfi afrique