African press review 4 January 2017

The South African row over Taiwan shows no signs of cooling down.

This morning Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay reports that the issue of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga’s recent visit to the Republic of China, as Taiwan is officially called, will now be considered by the President’s Co-ordinating Council. That council is a statutory body, headed by President Jacob Zuma, that brings together provincial and local government leaders.

The ANC and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation have attacked Msimanga’s visit  and have accused him of “treason and violating the constitution”, as well as breaching the “One China” policy which is endorsed by South Africa.

Dean Macpherson, opposition Democratic Alliance deputy spokesman on trade and industry, has pointed out that in 2014 the Department of Trade and Industry led a government-funded trade mission of 18 businesspeople to Taiwan.

Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said at the time the mission would lead to increased export orders, more production output and additional job opportunities.

Taiwan is South Africa’s second-largest Asian investor, after mainland China.

Computer crime proving costly for Africa

“Cyber-criminals are bleeding Africa’s financial institutions dry,” reports the East African.

African countries lost at least two billion euros in attacks on computer systems in 2016, according to the Africa Cyber Security Report 2016.

In east Africa, Kenya recorded the highest losses — 170 million euros. Tanzania lost 85 million while Ugandan companies lost 35 million euros.

Greed and fear in South Sudan

A South Sudanese cleric has warned political leaders in the country against the violent takeover of power, according to the East African.

While celebrating the New Year mass at St Theresa’s Cathedral in the capital Juba, Catholic Bishop Santo Laku Pio lamented the fact that last year was associated with fear, rape, hatred and lack of political will to implement the peace agreement.

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He cited bad governance and misuse of resources for personal and political gain as key elements retarding the progress of peace and development in the country.

Local people want a greater share of Turkana’s oil wealth

Battle lines have been drawn in the dispute over how oil revenue will be shared between northern Kenya’s Turkana County and the government at national level after President Uhuru Kenyatta declined to sign a bill that details the resource-sharing formula.

The prospect of petrodollars has generated high expectations in the arid Turkana area with a push to maximise the benefits from the discovery of 750 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar basin.

Turkana leaders, led by Governor Josephat Nanok, have started agitating for increased allocation of the proceeds to the local community and the county government.

In a memorandum explaining the refusal to assent to the Petroleum Exploration and Development and Production Bill 2016, Kenyatta pushed for reduced shares of oil revenues to the county government and the community.

The president says the revenue due to the local communities should be reduced from 10 percent of what the national government gets as set by parliament to five percent.

Nanok is pushing for a 30 percent share of oil revenues to reverse what he describes as years of marginalisation of Turkana by successive governments.

Sisi beats Barack on latest Forbes’ list

The main story in the Cairo-based Egypt Independent proudly notes that Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi is ranked 44th on the latest Forbes list of the The World’s Most Powerful People, four places ahead of outgoing US leader Barack Obama.

For the fourth year in row, Russian president Vladimir Putin has topped the list, with US president elect Donald Trump in second position, one place ahead of Germany’s Angela Merkel.

The top 10 most powerful people include Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page, the cofounder of Google.

The full list also includes the leader of Islamic State armed group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who ranks 57th, while the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earns the 63rd spot of the global ranking.

Source: rfi afrique