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Impact of elections, Support investigation, Training high-schoolers, Investigate operations, Troubled housing

A roundup of global commentary for the Aug. 14, 2017 weekly magazine.

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto greets people at the IEBC National Tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya, August 11, 2017.
Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
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  • Monitor Editors

Iran Daily / Tehran Iran

Impact of elections

“[W]hy do the elections in Kenya matter not just to Kenyans but to the rest of the African continent and the world?” writes Hamza Mohamed. “Nairobi is East Africa’s economic hub, and the country is the second-largest economy in the region.... The port in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa serves neighboring landlocked countries.... If elections disrupt this transport corridor ... the price of everyday goods, such as rice and cooking oil, could rise significantly.... Kenya is home to several UN and humanitarian agencies that oversee relief efforts in the region. Most of the aid agencies operating in South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are based out of the Kenyan capital.... The country is also home to the world’s largest refugee camp.”

Daily Observer / Gambia

Support investigation

“There is a need to render support and helping hands to the newly established commission of inquiries into the properties and acquisition of wealth related matters of former President [Yahya] Jammeh, his associates, family members and friends over the ... regime,” states an editorial. “It’s about moving the country where it ought to be ... having all hands on the deck, regardless of our political affiliation and status in life, armed with the desire to achieve such objectives within the confines of rule of law, democracy, good governance and respect for human rights.”

The Gleaner / Jamaica

Training high-schoolers

“The traditional areas of economic activity ... continue to get support from Government, while many of the creative industries ... are struggling to stay afloat...,” states an editorial. “[W]e are keenly interested in the work of the Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ), which has used its flagship high-school programme, the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE), to teach students how to operate a business, while learning the core business skills required to succeed globally.... [T]he JAJ’s recent successful exposition ... effectively demonstrated how an ordinary person can be transformed into an entrepreneur if given the right training and motivation.” 

The Toronto Star / Toronto

Investigate operations

“Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has asked her department to get to the bottom of reports that Saudi Arabia has used Canadian-made armoured vehicles in operations against its own civilians,” states an editorial. “If true, that would be a violation of the terms of Canada’s arms deals with the Saudis.... [I]f it turns out the Saudis have indeed violated their agreements with Canada then the government may have no choice but to pull the plug on arms deals with Riyadh. That would come at a stiff cost, both in jobs and in Canada’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. But not acting in the face of clear evidence that the Saudis cannot be trusted would carry its own costs in terms of Canada’s international reputation, as well as its self-respect.”

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

Troubled housing

“Local authorities and the State need to be at the heart of providing social housing, not outsourcing every aspect of it to private construction industry, which clearly hasn’t been mobilised effectively to provide social housing,” writes Una Mullally. “The solution to a lack of supply is the State building houses. Every intervention that has been made has failed. From the Central Bank’s new mortgage-lending rules to the so-called two-year rent freeze – everything has resulted in house prices rising and rent rising. This is because the crisis has effectively been poked with a stick instead of being properly taken in hand. Unless we tackle several things at once, it will continue.” 

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