The Africa Report: 02 May

EWN's Africa Correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish, reports on the day's top African news

Flag of Britain – AFP

WITHDRAWAL OF BRITISH AID TO SA CAUSES POLARISATION

The announcement made on Tuesday that Britain will stop giving South Africa approximately £19 million in aid from 2015, has created emotional polarisation in argument.

Besides Pretoria refuting the UK's International Development Secretary,Justine Greening's claims that there was indeed extensive discussion prior to the announcement, three high-profile Britons have too weighed in on the debate.

Peter Hain, member of the British Labour party and a remarkable anti-apartheid activist, has warned the British government from withdrawing aid from South Africa, referencing the United Kingdom's (UK) historical obligation to South Africa.

Hain speaks of the recent announcement as "high-handed arrogance", and argues that the UK government is guilty of allowing the effects of Apartheid to proliferate, and, as written by Hain in his article in The Guardian newspaper, setting the premise for Apartheid to exist.

On the other hand, columnist, foreign correspondent and vehement anti-aid Ian Birrell, argued that aid to any country, not just South Africa, fuels conflict, scars civil society and fosters corruption.

Birrell argued in his piece in The Independent newspaper that Britain should be providing less aid to South Africa and compared the annual aid given to South Africa by the UK with President Jacob Zuma's expenditure on his private home in Nkandla; evidently the two amounts are highly comparable.

Finally, the Shadow Development Secretary, Ivan Lewis, questioned the British government's decision to withdraw aid from South Africa, claiming that Britain was guilty of a serious breach of trust and had acted in a patronising manner, as was reported in The Guardian.

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CELLPHONE DATA TO CHANGE IVORY COAST BUS ROUTES

Positive news for the Ivory Coast as residents of the country's biggest city could find their bus commutes 10 percent shorter.

The suggestion was made at a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday.

Two and a half billion call records from five million cellular phones, the largest-ever release of cell phone records, were used to monitor how commuters moved around the city of Abdijan.

The aim was to find a way in which the use of public transport resources could be done more efficaciously.

This will certainly benefit the Ivorians and will be used more widely in the rest of the world.