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The Africa Report: 23 October

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

Fianarantsoa, Madagascar. Commons Wikipedia

ECONOMIC DECLINE IN FIANARANTSOA

The extent to Madagascar's economic decline is plainer to see in the south central city of Fianarantsoa.

According to statistics from the World Bank, 92% of the population of 22 million people live on less than $2 a day.

Life expectancy on the island has gone down to 65-years-old for men and 69-years-old for women.

Making matters worse are the sanctions that followed after the military coup five years ago.

The extent of the economic declined that has followed is evident on the streets of the city.

Only the bare necessities are available to residents, and children are often seen filling potholes in an attempt to get money from passing motorists.

Friday's elections are hoped to break the country out of its economic turmoil which has been amplified by threats of bubonic plague and the lynching of foreign nationals.

__

ANGER OVER ZUMA'S MALAWI REMARKS

President Jacob Zuma has angered his African counterparts and South African citizenry by comparing the country to Malawi.

In a speech about e-tolls, Zuma stated that Johannesburg roads needed to be of an international standard and not mirror the likes of a Malawian national road.

"We can't think like Africans because we're in Johannesburg and not some national road in Malawi," said the South African president.

The Presidency has responded to the backlash that followed Tuesday's remarks.

"The words have regrettably been taken out of context and blown completely out of proportion," said Presidency spokesperson, Mac Maharaj.

__

LIBYAN MILITIA BRIGADE ARREST CAR BOMBERS

Libyan militia have arrested car bombers, an action which they have no authority taking.

Earlier this month Libyan militia were seen on CCTV footage kidnapping Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from a hotel in Tripoli.

They released him a day later.

Now, Libyan militia have detained a number of people in Benghazi whom they argue are guilty of car bombings.

Libyan authorities have responded saying the militia have no authority to do so.

Wednesday is the second anniversary of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi so the arrests by the militia are a pointed attempt at flexing their military muscle.

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