: African press review 27 November 2015

The main story in the Kenyan Daily Nation speaks of joy as an estimated one million people attended yesterday’s papal mass in Nairobi. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church called for harmony in the relations of those of different religious faiths. Pope Francis also spoke against domestic violence and he told Kenyans to shun materialism.

The Nairobi-based Standard reports that American television channel Fox News suffered the wrath of Kenyans on Twitter after the US news service portrayed Africa as a “wartorn” continent in its coverage of Pope Francis’s visit.

On Wednesday, the day the Pope landed in Kenya, Fox News aired a segment with the onscreen caption “Pope visits wartorn Africa”. The storm of internet comments included a description of Fox as showing the “highest level of idiocrity in global media”. One comment points out that, when the pontiff visited the US, he travelled in an armoured car with a security convoy; in Africa he needed only a Honda Ballade.

Rival broadcaster CNN, while covering US President Barack Obama’s visit to the country in July, termed Kenya a “hotbed of terror”. Obama was attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi.

Regional newspaper The East African reports that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will not be part of next month’s summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation, taking place in South Africa.

While the Sudan embassy said Bashir had pressing domestic issues to attend to, indications are that he may have been requested to skip the visit by both the South African and Chinese governments.

The South African government has been under pressure to avoid hosting Bashir after the June debacle at the Africa Union summit in Johannesburg when it failed to enforce a local court order to arrest the Sudanese leader.

The International Criminal Court at The Hague wants the Sudanese leader arrested for his alleged part in crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

There’s plenty of bad news on the front page of South African financial paper BusinessDay.

The headline “Western Cape to ask to be declared drought disaster area,” sets the grim tone. And that’s followed by the warning, “South Africa is sitting on food-price time bomb.”

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The effect of the worst drought in more than two decades is being compounded by the rand’s 18 per cent plunge against the dollar this year, increasing the cost of imports of maize. Food inflation is set to accelerate to more than 10 per cent by the middle of next year, more than double the current pace.

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And, as if all that wasn’t bad enough, the Johannesburg-based paper also reports that South African business confidence is at a five-year low as weak demand weighs on sales and profit margins.

The Bureau for Economic Research’s business confidence index fell two points in the fourth quarter.

Falling business confidence leads to lower investment and less job creation by the private sector.

The Cairo-based Egypt Independent reports that an electoral alliance loyal to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has picked up all 60 of the “list seats” up for grabs in the second and final round of a parliamentary election marred by low participation, according to official preliminary results.

“For the Love of Egypt”, a loyalist electoral alliance led by a former intelligence officer, has now swept both rounds of the elections and will enter parliament with all 120 list seats. The remaining 448 members of the Egyptian parliament are elected on an individual basis.

The second phase of elections, hailed by Sisi as the climax of the country’s return to democracy, were held last Sunday and Monday, with voter turnout officially less than 30 per cent.

The Egypt Independent also reports that the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church is in Jerusalem to attend the funeral of the city’s archbishop, a move that breaks with a longtime ban maintained by the Coptic Church on visiting the city before the end of the Israeli occupation.

The visit is the first by a head of the Egyptian Church since 1967.

Source: rfi afrique