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Live Reporting

Farouk Chothia and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Listen to the Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with stories from across the continent on the BBC Africa News website.

    And a reminder of today's wise words‬: If you see a person in a gown eating with a person in rags, the food belongs to the latter. Sent by Weluzani Banda, Zambia.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    Watch out tomorrow for our mini catwalk, where designers across Africa will be showing off their latest designs.

    In the meantime, we leave you with this picture of two Nigerian boys demonstrating how much clothes can vary from place to place. The boy on the left is wearing Hausa attire, while the boy on the right is in Igbo clothes:

    Two boys in clothes
  2. Boat disaster survivors arrive in Italy

    Members of the crew (in white suits) of the Irish Naval vessel the LE Niamh and members of the Italian Red Cross help some 300 migrants as they arrive in Palermo, Italy, on 6 August 2015

    Hundreds of migrants rescued from a boat that sank off Libya with 600 people on board have arrived on the Italian island of Sicily.

    Members of the International Red Cross met them at the quayside with water and medical supplies. The survivors will be transferred to centres around Italy.

  3. Should bride price be scrapped?

    A Kenyan couple at their wedding in Nairobi, Kenya

    The debate on bride price is still going strong on our Facebook page.

    Moses Okorie says no amount of money is too expensive as far as love is concerned.

    "It is proper to pay a full price to appreciate the effort of her parent and save the girl from embarrassment," he adds.

    And Joseph Nduna thinks that the English language spoils it by using the word "price".

    "Cross-check in all countries where the culture is practiced - it has no such offensive meaning," he says

    But Juliet Bulemela isn't so sure, saying: "Your daughter is now someone's property and you have no say. Whatever will happen in the marriage, you must remain in that house and tolerate it."

    And finally Tania Watson says, "Bride price? What is she, cattle?"

  4. China in anti-poaching pledge

    Elephants in Zimbabwe

    China says it will give Zimbabwe equipment worth $2m (£1.3m) to curb poaching.

    The pledge comes at a time when Zimbabwe's wildlife is at the centre of global attention, following the killing of a protected lion by US trophy hunter Walter Palmer.

    The equipment will include all-terrain vehicles, tents, telescopes, mobile radio sets and GPS tracking devices, said Lin Lin, China's ambassador to Zimbabwe.

    There is huge demand in China and other Asian states for rhino horns, used in traditional medicines, and elephant ivory, which is highly valued in artworks or jewellery.

  5. Congolese puddle photographer dies

    World-renowned Democratic Republic of Congo photographer Kiripi Katembo Siku has died at the age of 36.

    He was famous for his images of the capital, Kinshasa, reflected in puddles of water:

    Reflection in puddle

    His photos have been exhibited in Venice and Berlin and are currently on display at the Cartier Foundation in Paris.

    Fellow artists in DR Congo have expressed their shock and sadness at his early death.

  6. Kola nuts as bride price

    Pumza Fihlani

    Bride price is a hot topic of discussion today, after Uganda's highest court rejected a bid by women's rights activists to have it banned.

    BBC staff from around Africa have been telling us what the groom's family is expected to give the bride's family - and it varies from kola nuts to cash.

  7. 3D printer made out of electronic waste

    These self-taught engineers in Lome, the capital of Togo, have made more than six 3D printers out of electronic waste.


    And this is what they have made so far:

    3D printed skull

    Watch our video asking if this will lead to an industrial revolution in Togo.

  8. Sisi inaugurates new Suez Canal

    Sisi and child

    Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has opened the new Suez Canal at an elaborate ceremony attended by foreign leaders, including French President Francois Hollande and Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev.

    Mr Sisi vowed to defeat militant Islamists, in an address he gave after signing an order allowing ships to cross the new stretch of waterway, AFP news agency reports.

    "Egypt during this year stood against the most dangerous terrorist threat that would burn the world if it could," he said.

    Mr Sisi took power after overthrowing Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

  9. Abduction of Tanzania preachers causes alarm

    A senior Muslim cleric in Tanzania has told BBC Focus on Africa radio that he is "appalled" by the abduction of six preachers in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (see 11:15 post).

    Sheikh Mohamed Issa appealed to the governments of the two states "to work around the clock" to secure the release of the preachers, who are Muslims from Tanzania.

    "How can people kidnap religious leaders? We hear about it in other countries, but it is a new thing for us," said Mr Issa, who is the deputy secretary of the Organization of Muslim Scholars in Tanzania.

  10. Cecil the lion statue commissioned

    Cecil the lion pictured in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park - 21 October 2012

    A conservation group has commissioned a life-sized statue of Cecil the lion and wants it displayed at Hwange National Park.

    Cheryl Rodrigues from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Cecil was "such an icon and it's created such a fuss everywhere we thought it would be nice to do it".

    The group has commissioned John Binder of Birds for Africa to make the statue.

    Earlier this week the group's chairman Johnny Rodrigues suggested Cecil's head be mounted in a glass case.

  11. Kenya peace walk ends

    Top athletes in Kenya have completed a 22-day "Walk for Peace", covering 840km (522 mile), to end violence in the northern Rift Valley region.

    Former world marathon record holders Wilson Kipsang and Tegla Loroupe (below) were among dozens of people who walked through the region to promote peace and reconciliation between rival pastoralist communities fighting over scarce resources such as livestock and water.

    Tegla Loroupe

    Former Commonwealth marathon champion John Kelai helped organised the event after three of his uncles were killed in cattle raids.

    Members of local communities take part in an 840-kilometre (522-mile) "Walk for Peace" against ethnic violence in Baringo on August 6, 2015
    Image caption: Locals also took part in the march

    The UN says more than 310 people have been killed and 215,000 forced from their homes in the conflict so far this year.

    The same number of people were killed in the whole of last year, it adds.

  12. South Sudan peace talks begin

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchanges signed documents with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar in northern Tanzania's town of Arusha on January 21, 2015, as Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete (C) looks on.
    Image caption: Salva Kiir, left, exchanged signed documents with Riek Machar in January

    A new round of talks aimed aimed at ending the 19-month-long civil war in South Sudan have begun in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

    Mediators from the regional bloc Igad are trying to persuade President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to sign a peace deal by 17 August.

    Mr Machar has described the deadline as confrontational.

    South Sudan's influential Council of Churches has called on the two leaders to stop the war immediately, saying it's unacceptable that people continue to die while they argue over power.

  13. Suez Canal expansion in numbers

    There are some mind-boggling figures in the story about the Suez Canal expansion.

    Here are a few of them:

    Suez in numbers
  14. Sisi swaps outfits

    BBC Monitoring


    Egypt's President Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi has changed his outfit from the military uniform to civilian clothes after sailing across the new Suez Canal during its inauguration ceremony.


    Television footage showed Mr Sisi in presidential car after getting off Al-Mahrusah yacht, which was used in the inauguration of the original canal in 1869 by Egypt's then ruler Khedeve Isma'il.

  15. Bride price 'skyrocketing'

    A bride and groom sit together for a photograph during a mass wedding of some 1,000 couples in what has been dubbed the 'Marriage of Unity' on November 13, 2010, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum
    Image caption: Traditions about paying bride price vary across Africa

    Some men have been saying on our Facebook post that the bride price is sometimes extortionate.

    LJaco Egwang from Aduku in Uganda says the bride price has become meaningless.

    "People nowadays use it as a source of wealth, it should have been scrapped," he says.

    Dauda Ezhin from Abuja, in Nigeria says some in-laws over charge.

    "I think bride price should be reduced to a minimum so that even less privileged people in society can a wife and children," he adds.

    Mariar Ajer says in South Sudan the bride price is "skyrocketing".

    "In some communities you pay up three hundred herds of cattle which must be delivered to the girl's family before she is given away. In monetary terms it is about $50,000 [£32,000]."

    Finally Chris Xorse from Accra in Ghana says he would rather stay single than buy iPhones, laptops and cars "just to marry a woman".

  16. Sisi at Suez ceremony

    A general view of the Suez Canal from Al Salam "Peace" bridge on the Ismalia desert road before the opening ceremony of the New Suez Canal, in Egypt, August 6, 2015.

    Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is leading an elaborate ceremony to open a major expansion of the Suez Canal.

    Television footage showed him in military uniform on a ship sailing along the new channel, as fighter jets and helicopters flew past.

    The new waterway, carved through the desert, runs parallel to the old Suez Canal for 35km (22 miles).

  17. Diamond becomes a dad

    Abdinoor Maalim, BBC Africa, Nairobi:

    Popular Tanzanian singer Naseeb Abdu, known as "Diamond Platnumz", has been blessed with a baby girl.

    His wife, Ugandan businesswoman Zarina Hassan, gave birth earlier today to the girl named Tiffah.

    The 25-year-old singer broke the news on social media, and posted a picture of his mother, Sanura Kassim, holding the baby:

    View more on twitter

    Before the birth, Diamond, whose most recent tracks include Nana and Love Boast, had been spotted overseas doing shopping for the baby.

    This is the couple's first child.

  18. 'Blow' for Liberia's Bility

    Africa's football governing body, Caf, has refused to back Liberian Musa Bility's bid for the presidency of Fifa.

    Musa Bility
    Image caption: Musa Bility has had a difficult relationship with Caf in recent years

    Mr Bility, the head of the Liberian Football Association, is the only African who has so far announced he is running for Sepp Blatter's job when he steps down next year.

    See the BBC Sport story for more

  19. Nigeria flood warning

    Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Children enjoy games in the waters of the Benue river on 8 May 2015

    Nigeria has issued a flood warning to tens of thousands of people living along one of its main rivers because neighbouring Cameroon plans to release water from a dam.

    The National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) said it had been informed that Cameroon planned to release water from its Lagdo dam into River Benue because of an excessive build-up.

    Nema urged communities to prepare for possible evacuation.

    When water was released in similar circumstances into River Benue in 2012, it caused massive flooding in parts of northern Cameroon and Nigeria.

    Dozens of people were killed and tens of thousands were left homeless.

  20. How much is the bride price?

    Tweeters have been telling us what men are expected to part with when giving the customary bride price at the time of marriage:

    [250,000 Tanzanian shillings converts to $119 or £76]

    On Facebook Ayinla Oluwaseun Adeshina says the practice in his family is a bit more complex.

    "I was asked to pay any amount. I inserted just 2k [2000 Naira; $10; £6) in the envelope in the end the parents without opening the envelope returned it to me saying I should use it for my wife's business. 

    "And that has been the practice of most Yorubas in my family as well - the bride price is included in the list however it is returned as long as the tradition is fulfilled."

  21. Egyptian tweeters underwhelmed with canal

    Dina Aboughazala, BBC Monitoring, Cairo

    Since early this morning, the Arabic hashtag which translates as  #Son_of_bald_woman_inaugurates_insignificant_canal has been trending on Twitter in Egypt. 

    The majority of tweets are ridiculing what they call Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's "illusionary project" - the expansion of the Suez Canal. 

    Many are just pleased by the creation of the hashtag itself.

    This tweeter sarcastically expresses his fear that the authorities might come up with another idea - to create a new River Nile:

    On the other hand, the project's supporters are using the hashtags #Inauguration_of_New_Suez_Canal and #Egypt_rejoices in Arabic. 

    This tweeter said the the entire world is Egyptian today:

    The image is a map of the Sinai Peninsula and Mr Sisi, and it has the words: “This is my land. My father told us to destroy our enemies."   

  22. Bride price defended in Uganda

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    Uganda's Supreme Court said most Ugandans, like other Africans, did not see the bride price as a payment or a commercial transaction.

    It was customary for the man's family to give it, through livestock or cash, when a marriage takes place. For this reason, the court refused to agree to campaign group Mifumi's request to ban it. And as the highest court in the land, it's ruling is final.

    A groom takes his bride by the waist while entering their wedding reception on January 24, 2015 in Monrovia, Liberia
    Image caption: A groom is expected to pay a bride price in many African cultures

    There were gasps when the judges gave the second part of their ruling, outlawing the refunding of the bride price when a woman wants to divorce.

    Mifumi says this will help women who are trapped in marriages because their families cannot afford to repay it.

    Although the group expected a stronger ruling in its favour, it believes it has taken a major step in challenging traditional practices which it regards as detrimental to women and poor men who cannot afford bride prices.

  23. Kenya tumour patient 'delighted'

    Emmanuel, the Kenyan patient with brain tumour, has thanked people for donating towards his treatment (see 10:48 post): 

     Tweeters raised the money for Emmanuel's brain surgery in two days.  

    He also retweeted Zawadi Nyongo, one of the first people who alerted people about his plight:

  24. Muslim preachers 'seized' in DR Congo

    Gunmen have demanded a ransom for the release of six Muslim preachers taken hostage in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu region, local MP Pilipili Abdul has told the BBC Great Lakes Service.

    Mr Abdul said the gunmen abducted the Tanzanian preachers at the weekend. Three other preachers - two Tanzanians and one Congolese - managed to escape, he said.

    The gunmen had identified themselves as members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group, Mr Abdul added.

    The group, made up of Rwandans, is based in eastern DR Congo.

  25. Twitter power in Kenya

    Anne Soy

    BBC News

    #KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) have raised over $60,000 (£38,000) for a brain tumour patient in two days.

    The target was $10,000.

    The patient Emmanuel directly messaged a popular blogger Bikozulu on Twitter. He, in turn, published Emmanuel's story.

    An M-Pesa account, through which money can be transferred via mobile phones, was set up, people tweeted the word out with the hashtag #1MilliForJadudi and in two days Kenyans raised six times the amount of money Emmanuel needed for brain surgery.

  26. Looking for Zimbabwean lion's cubs

    The BBC's Africa correspondent tweets:

  27. 'Nationalist fervour' in Egypt

    Yolande Knell

    BBC News, Cairo

    A supporter of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi carries his poster on his bike as he celebrates with others for Thursday's opening of the new extension of the Suez Canal, riding on the Qasr El Nile Bridge in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, 5 August 2015

    The expansion of the Suez Canal (see 09:03 post) has stirred up a nationalist fervour in Egypt - flags are flying, public spaces are decked with lights and billboards declare the waterway "Egypt's gift to the world".

    Officials say the additional lane along part of the global trade route will allow more two-way traffic and shorten the waiting time for ships.

    They predict that annual revenue from the canal - one of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency - will more than double in the coming nine years.

    While many economists question those forecasts, it's hoped this project will draw back investors and send out a message that Egypt is returning to stability after years of turmoil since the 2011 uprising.

  28. Bride price: Your experiences

    The Ugandan Supreme Court has ruled that the bride price practice will stay.

    It's not the only country which has this practice.

    weddings in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda

    We want to hear your experiences.

    How much was your bride price? How does it work where you are?

    Should the practice stay?

    Tweet us with the hashtag #BBCafricalive or comment on Facebook,

  29. Activists welcome Uganda ruling

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    Women's rights activists in Uganda say they are excited by the Supreme Court's ruling making it unlawful for the man's family to demand a refund of the bride price if a marriage breaks down.

    They say it was the most pressing issue, as it usually leads to violence.

    Women's organisation Mifumi has been campaigning around the issue for a long time.

  30. Two parts to bride price ruling

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    The seven judges of Uganda's Supreme Court were unanimous in their ruling that women should not be compelled to return the bride price when they divorce.

    However, the judges were split over the tradition of men paying a bride price at the time of marriage - the court ruled, by a majority, that it was constitutional.

    The bride price is often paid in the form of livestock and cash.

  31. Uganda court rules on bride price

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    The Ugandan Supreme Court has just ruled that a "bride price" is not refundable if a couple split up.

    Women's rights group Mifumu argued that the bride price contributes to domestic violence as a man can beat his wife because he "bought her" and she's his "property".

    The case was first filed in 2009, and has been through several courts including the High Court and the Constitutional Court.

    Wedding in Kampala 2005
  32. Suez Canal to expand

    A cargo ship is seen crossing through the New Suez Canal, Ismailia, Egypt, in this 25 July 2015

    Egypt is preparing to open a major expansion of one of the world's greatest man-made sea routes - the Suez Canal.

    A new canal 35km (22 miles) long has been dug parallel to the existing waterway while the canal itself has been deepened.

    Officials say more traffic will now be able to pass through the link, which opened in 1869 to join the Mediterranean with the Red Sea.

  33. Hopes fade for missing Med migrants

    A grab from a video released by the Irish Navy showing the rescue operation in the Mediterranean - 5 August 2015

    Search teams in the Mediterranean say they don't expect to find any more survivors from a boat carrying around 600 migrants which sank off Libya.

    The UN refugee agency said 400 people were rescued while the Italian coast guard said 25 bodies have been recovered so far.

    But it is unclear how many people are missing.

  34. Wise words

    Today's African proverb: If you see a person in a gown eating with a person in rags, the food belongs to the latter. Sent by Weluzani Banda, Zambia.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  35. Post update

    Use #BBCAfricaLive on Twitter to send us your comments and stories you are following or text us on +447756205075.

  36. Good morning

    Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we will keep you up-to-date with the latest news developments from across the continent.