: African press review 29 December 2015

Burundi is making the headlines in many countries today. 

Representatives from the government and the opposition met on Monday in Kampala, Uganda, along with representatives of other countries in the region and international bodies, on the initiative of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who is the East African Community’s mediator in the Burundi conflict. 

Uganda’s Monitor tells us that negotiations to end the violence in Burundi have kicked off, with four former Burundian presidents attending the talks. 

However, there seems to be rocky road ahead. Burundi government has posed the condition that all “coup plotters should not be allowed to attend the negotiations”.

Victor Burikukikiye, the first deputy chairperson of the ruling CNDD-FDD, said during the meeting that it was “wrong to meet people who participated in the failed coup”.

Kenya’s Daily Nation says Willy Nyamitwe, the communication and media adviser to President Pierre Nkurunziza, tweeted that the entire country was against the intervention an African Union force, known as the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi.

The proposed 5,000-strong force was not only opposed by the government but also on the streets on Saturday and Sunday. 

Nigeria‘s Guardian takes a look at the country’s economy. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has on many occasions said that Nigeria can no longer depend on an oil and gas based economy and that his administration is ready to diversify. 

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Senator Abdullahi Adamu from the APC party in Nasarawa West believes that the nation could have excess food crops that could be exported to boost foreign exchange, the paper reports.

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Along with agriculture, the country’s mineral resources could turn its economy around.

Buhari, while presenting the 2016 budget to the National Assembly, reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to job creation and economic diversification.

The Guardian also reports that Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed said he was determined to create jobs in 2016. He added that the Federal Government would unlock 500 billion naira in 2016 in order to help young people who wanted to acquire skills and trade.

In South Africa the unemployment rate seems to be worrying. The headline of today’s Business Day says that, while the number of jobs has increased over the past 21 years, progress remained insufficient.

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This is a “largely unacknowledged success” the paper reports, which is overshadowed by the stubbornly high unemployment rate. 

The official unemployment rate was 25.5 per cent in 2015 and this rate is high even by emerging market standards. Botswana’s rate is 20 per cent, Egypt’s is 12.7 per cent and the Philippines’ is 6.5 per cent.

The South African papers have also been looking at the most pressing humanitarian priorities for 2016 over the last few days.

Today’s Mail & Guardian says that hunger caused by the weather phenomenon El Nino, which is expected to bring more drought to already-parched southern regions in Africa and potential flooding in the east, is one of the main concerns on the continent. 

The paper reminds that South Africa faced its worst drought this year since 1982, with more than 2.7 million households facing water shortages across the country.

Source: rfi afrique