The Africa Report: 14 January

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

FILE: Egypt’s interim government will be holding a referendum on a new constitution on Tuesday, which will be the first ballot since the July 2013 coup. Picture: AFP.

EGYPTIANS TO VOTE ON A NEW CONSTITUTION

In what is hoped to be the turning point for the country, Egyptians are expected to vote on a new constitution.

Egypt's interim government will be holding a referendum on a new constitution on Tuesday, which will be the first ballot since the July 2013 coup.

It is crucial that Egyptians turn up en masse as the previous constitution saw only 33% of the population vote.

Ousted Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in a military coup seven months after.

It is not yet known whether military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make a presidential bid.

The Muslim Brotherhood - to which Morsi belongs - has called for a boycott of the referendum.

If voted into law, the new constitution will enable a president to stand for two four-year terms.

The new constitution would also protect freedom of religion and gender rights, two areas which were sorely lacking in the previous charter.

JAPANESE PREMIER ENDS HIS SAFARI

The Japanese Prime Minister's tour of Africa to boost bilateral relations and counter the Chinese influence has reached its final destination.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed in Ethiopia, the final destination on his three-country African tour.

In a bid to counter the Chinese influence on the continent, Japan will look to offer a $577 million loan to Mozambique, $672 million to the Ivory Coast, and about $90 million to Ethiopia.

China, the dominant trading partner in Africa, has invested $200 billion thus far.

Abe is the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Africa in eight years.

SENEGAL CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Hundreds of delegates have gathered in Senegal to discussing the ticking time bomb that is youth unemployment on the African continent.

On Monday, the 4th Pan- African Summit of Youth Leaders began in Dakar, Senegal.

More than 500 young African people began debates and discussion on tackling youth unemployment in Africa.

Youth unemployment in Africa stands a 34% and 60% of unemployed people on the continent are young people.

Africa's youth - aged between 15 and 24 years - are the fastest growing globally.

It is predicted that by 2045, the youth population in Africa, which currently makes up 20%, will double.