African press review 7 March 2017

Ghana’s new President Akufo-Addo impresses nation at giant parade marking the country’s 60th National Day, while FaceBook launches low-cost Wi-Fi service in Kenya.

We start with extensive coverage of Ghana’s 60th National Day on Monday and a giant military parade at the Black Star Square in the capital Accra, attended by several African leaders including 93-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

Several Ghanaian papers lead with colourful pictures of the historic event and excerpts from President Nana Akufo-Addo’s anniversary speech. A key line is his warning that the country had run out of excuses for failing to end poverty and corruption 60 years after independence.

MyJoyOnline picked out Akufo-Addo’s criticism of the exploitation of Ghana’s natural resources with little regard for future generations.

The Statesman commends President Akufo-Addo’s vow to stabilize national finances, help create private sector jobs, cut taxes and promote development with a dam in every village and a factory in every district. Last month, he appointed a special prosecutor for corruption cases.

The Ghanaian online publication GraphicOnline closes in on the buzz President Mugabe’s presence at the anniversary parade caused on various social media platforms.

According to the website, some Ghanaians twitted their admiration for the veteran leader connected to Ghana in many ways, as he once taught there as a teacher and married a Ghanaian woman known as Sally.

In Nigeria, Premium Times highlights a rare warning from the country’s army chief General Tukur Buratai to so-called “agitators for Nigeria’s separation”. They “will have to wait for another four millennia” Lieutenant General Buratai is quoted by the paper as saying, to those bent on destabilizing the country.

Premium Times says the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff was speaking after receiving the “Millennium Hero’’ award conferred on him by a coalition of over 80 civil society organizations, at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.

In Kenya,  the Daily Nation welcomes the launch of Facebook’s low-cost Internet in Nairobi, which it claims has stepped up competition for telecommunication firms which earn significant revenue from users of the social networking site.

According to the newspaper the ‘Express Wi-Fi’ service is a joint project with Surf, a local Internet service provider, which is already available in Uganda, Nigeria and India.

The Nation says the Facebook Express project intended to take the Internet to rural, remote areas has a 10-day offer where users access 100 Megabytes free daily package after which they are required to top up through recharge agents recruited in areas where it is available.

Daily Internet bundles reportedly cost 10 Kenyan shillings or 0.9 euros for 40 megabyte and while weekly Express Wi-Fi bundles cost Sh50 or 0.46 euros for 300 MBs and Sh100 for 500 Megabytes.

In South Africa, the papers take a look at a meeting the country’s Communications Minister Faith Muthambi held with the visiting Russian deputy minister of telecoms and mass media in Pretoria on Monday.

City Press quotes Muthambi as saying that she discussed best practices in the media. According to the paper, the Russian Minister’s visit comes one day after State Security Minister David Mahlobo said he wanted to regulate social media.

City Press is quick to underline a warning from Amnesty International that draconian laws including website blocking and pressure on independent media has grown steadily since Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2012.

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