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  1. At least one hostage held by gunmen in a hotel in central Mali
  2. Nigeria's president calls for a local arms industry
  3. Striking Ghana doctors withdraw emergency services
  4. Kenya Tourism Board suspends advertising campaign with CNN

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    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: "A bull that's already pinned to the ground does not resist the branding iron." A Meru proverb sent by Paul Kinoti, Mombasa, Kenya.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    In the meantime, we leave you with this group photo of Focus on Africa TV's Peter Okwoche posing with models due to take part in African Fashion Week in London.

    African Fashion week models with BBC's Peter Okwoche
  2. What does African fashion mean to you?

    BBC Africa's Uwa Nnachi and Veronique Edwards give their African style tips on the day African Fashion Week models did a catwalk at the BBC offices in London. 

    View more on twitter
  3. Italian police arrest alleged people traffickers

    Italian police have published pictures of the five men arrested this week on suspicion of people trafficking. This follows the shipwreck on Wednesday off the coast of Libya in which more than 200 people are feared drowned.

    Alleged smugglers arrested

    From left to right: Suud Mujassabi, Imad Busadia, Shauki Esshaush, Ali Rouibah and Abdullah Assnusi.

  4. Toulouse sign Brazilian midfielder called Somalia

    French Ligue 1 club Toulouse have signed a Brazilian midfielder called Somalia.

    Somalia, whose real name is Paulo Rogerio Reis da Silva, has signed a four-year contract, the French club said Friday. Somalia, 26, has spent the past four years with Ferencvaros in Hungary.

  5. Negotiations aimed at ending Ghana health strike

    Sammy Darko

    BBC Africa, Accra

    A negotiating team from Ghana's government are currently locked in a meeting with members of Ghana's medical association to try and resolve a dispute over conditions of service.

    A strike by doctors is now in its 10th day.

  6. Resident: 'People are afraid' in Malian hostage town of Sevare

    A resident of Sevare, the central Malian town where the army is still surrounding a hotel as part of an ongoing hostage situation, has told the BBC everyone in the town is at home. He says it's the first time the city has been hit by an attack like this.

    "Sevare is a city that hosts many NGO offices, the army too. It's a business city. Since the beginning of the fighting in Mali, we haven't experienced such a situation in Sevare. We would expect these things to happen in Gao or Timbuktu, but this the first time it has happened in Sevare," he said.

    Sevare in 2013
    Image caption: A file photo of Sevare taken in 2013
  7. African swimming record broken

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa sport

    At the World Swimming championships in Russia, Egypt's Farida Osman has broken her own African record to reach the final of the women's 50m butterfly - she was the 6th fastest setting a new mark of 25.88 seconds.

    Chad Le Clos

    South Africa's Chad Le Clos has reached tomorrow's final of the men's 100m butterfly - qualifying third fastest.

    But Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry failed to reach the final of the women's 200m backstroke finishing 14th fastest in this afternoon's semi-finals.

  8. African fashion week comes to the BBC

    This afternoon, the BBC Africa office was taken over by models who are here for London's African fashion week, which begins tonight.


    Maggie Smith was wearing a feather dress by South African designers Beach Cult.

    Two models

    Danubia (left) was wearing a suit by Nigerian designers Needle Point, and Aramatou was wearing a dress by South African outfit Yadah Exclusive Designs.

    And can you spot Focus on Africa presenter Peter Okwoche who tried his best to blend in?

    Group of models
  9. Nigeria leader announces plan for country to produce its own weapons

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the ministry of defence to develop capability for the country to produce its own arms, according to a presidential statement.

    President Buhari described as "unacceptable" the country's "over-dependence on other countries for critical military equipment," the statement says.

    "The Ministry of Defence is being tasked to draw up clear and measurable outlines for development of a modest Military Industrial Complex for Nigeria," President Buhari is quoted as saying.

    Image caption: President Buhari has pledged to defeat Islamist insurgents Boko Haram
  10. Ghana doctors strike hits emergency services

    Sammy Darko

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Accident building in Korle Bu hospital

    Things are very quiet today at the emergency clinics of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in the Ghanaian capital, Accra - the country's largest hospital.

    Doctors, who are now in the second week of a strike over working conditions, have withdrawn from providing emergency services.

    The government says that it has been able to arrange cover at the hospitals.

  11. Ukranian foreign ministry confirms hostage in Mali

    BBC Monitoring

    A spokesperson for Ukraine's foreign ministry has said on Twitter that a Ukrainian national is among an unknown number of hostages taken in an attack by Islamist militants in central Mali:  

    The tweet says: "An armed attack has been carried out on a hotel in Mali, and a Ukrainian national is among the hostages. Jointly with our international partners, we are taking urgent steps to free our citizen."

  12. Sudanese man charged in UK after walking through Channel Tunnel

    A Sudanese national has been charged in a British court after allegedly walking nearly the full 50.5 km (31 mile) length of the Channel Tunnel, which links France and Britain.

    The man was arrested close to the tunnel exit on Tuesday, apparently after 11 hours inside the tunnel.

    Abdul Rahman Haroun was charged with causing an obstruction and remanded in custody.

    Migrants in Calais
    Image caption: Migrants in France have been trying to get to the tunnel entrance and board a vehicle to get to the UK
  13. At least one hostage being held in central Mali

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC Africa, Bamako, Mali

    Malian soldiers are surrounding the Byblos Hotel in Sevare, central Mali, where suspected Islamist gunmen are holding at least one foreign hostage, according to the spokesman for the defence ministry.

    Amid ongoing fighting and confusion in the city, which is near Mopti, there are also reports of casualties among people working for Minusma, the United Nations mission in Mali.

    Lt Col Diarran Kone told the BBC: ''The operation is still under way. Until we have searched every room in the hotel we will not be able to declare that the siege is over. But at this stage we can confirm there are dead and wounded on all sides, and hostages.''

    Minusma in Mali
    Image caption: Minusma has been operating in Mali since 2012
  14. 'Seven killed' in Mali attack

    Seven people have been killed in a gun attack in Sevare in central Mali, according to a statement received by the Reuters news agency.

    The dead include "four Malian soldiers, two terrorists and one white foreigner," Malian army spokesman Souleymane Maiga said in a text message.

  15. Remembering the US Embassy attack in Kenya

    Peter Njoroge

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    The victims of the attack on the 1998 US embassy in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, have come together at the memorial park to mark the 17th anniversary. More than 200 people were killed and thousands were injured in the attack which was carried out by al-Qaeda.

    Families of victims

    Peter Maina was 14 years old when he was injured in the blast.

    His lower jaw was damaged, he now complains of pain when it's cold and says he has no money for more treatment.

    Peter Maina

    Victims and relatives of those who died have been campaigning to receive compensation from the US government.

  16. Bag containing $1m found on plane in Angola

    Police in Angola are looking for the owner of a bag containing $1m (£650,000), which was left on a plane heading for Beijing, China.

    The pilot found the bag and handed the money over to the authorities. It is illegal in Angola to transport such a large sum of money across international borders.

    Police spokesman Aristofanes dos Santos said an investigation has now started to find the origin of the money, which has been confiscated by the state.


    Analysts say that anyone who does now claim the money will only be able to recover up to 1.5% of the total amount, while still having to face charges of illegally transporting money.

  17. South Sudan politicians 'barred from travelling to peace talks'

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Regional mediators in South Sudan's conflict say they are concerned that several political party leaders in the country have been prevented from travelling to Ethiopia to attend ongoing peace talks.

    A statement from regional body Igad has called on the South Sudanese government to allow a group, including leading opposition figure Lam Akol, to travel to Addis Ababa to take part.

    Mr Akol and other political party representatives had been invited to attend the talks that resumed Thursday. But they were stopped at the Juba airport allegedly under directives of the government.

    The warring parties have until 17 August to reach a compromise power sharing deal that will end nearly 20 months of fighting in the world's newest state.

    Families with malnourished children wait to receive treatment at the Leer Hospital, South Sudan, on July 7, 2014.
    Image caption: More than 40% of South Sudan's population is in need of food aid
  18. Mali attack update

    Islamist militants are behind an attack on at least one hotel in central Malian town of Sevare, a Malian army spokesman has told the Associated Press news agency. Read the BBC story here.

    Col Souleymane Maiga told AP that the militants are exchanging fire with the army at the Hotel Debo. Sevare is a trading hub near the historic city of Mopti, a popular destination for tourists.

    A resident in the area said smoke was coming from the hotel now surrounded by soldiers.

  19. Border post dispute between DR Congo and Uganda

    A dispute over the exact position of the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has disrupted trade in the northern regions of both countries.

    The Vurra border crossing point was closed after a group of young Congolese people moved the customs post 300m and started building a parking area on land Uganda claims is part of its territory.

  20. London gets ready for African Fashion Week

    Edel Meremikwu is posting pictures on Instrgram as preparations get under way for the start of African Fashion Week in London tonight:

    View more on instagram
  21. SA economy 'needs to diversify'

    Russell Padmore

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Standard Chartered Bank's Africa economist Razia Khan has told BBC Business Correspondent Russell Padmore that South Africa's economy is too reliant on the mining industry.

    Gold miners are closer to a strike after rejecting an offer to increase pay by 17%.

    "Can South Africa continue to run a mining sector given constraints like wage demands," Razia Khan told the BBC's Business Update.

    SA goldmine
  22. Mali attack: Eyewitness reports

    A resident of Sevare in central Mali, which is where several hotels have come under fire, has been speaking to the Reuters news agency.

    "People in the area are hiding in their houses. The attackers are still inside the hotel," the resident is quoted as saying. "I see the smoke from the hotel. There are exchanges of gunfire."

  23. Africans in the pool at World Championships

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa sport

    Osman Farida
    Image caption: Farida Osman is one of three Africans competing today at the swimming World Championships

    At the World Swimming Championships today in Russia three Africans go in this afternoon's semi-finals - Egypt's Farida Osman in the women's 50m butterfly, South Africa's Chad Le Clos in the men's 100m butterfly and Zimbabwe's Kirtsy Coventry in the women's 200m backstroke.

    All three finals will be tomorrow afternoon.

  24. Mali attack becomes 'siege'

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC Africa, Bamako, Mali

    The attack on Sevare in central Mali now appears to have become a siege situation, with the gunmen facing off against the army in the city centre.

    Soldiers are reported to have surrounded three hotels - the Debo, the Motel and the Flandres - all near each other.

    It is understood that all have foreign guests, including from France, South Africa and Ukraine, but it is not clear whether they are inside with the gunmen or have managed to get out.

  25. South Africa 'disappointed' at trophy transport ban

    South Africa's environment ministry has expressed its disappointment that the US carrier Delta Airlines has banned the shipment of wild game trophies.

    The ban came into force in the wake of the row over the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

    South Africa says it fails to distinguish between legal and illegal hunting, and adds that legal hunting is a valuable source of revenue for the country.

    Image caption: The killing of Cecil sparked an international debate about big game hunting
  26. Mali attack update

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC Africa, Bamako, Mali

    More information has been coming in from the gun attack on three hotels in Sevare, central Mali.

    The BBC has learnt that the hotels which have come under attack have guests staying from South Africa, France and Ukraine.

    It now appears that the attackers are holed up in one of the hotels and the army is going to launch an assault.

  27. Flying start for Uganda at netball World Cup

    Nick Cavell, BBC Africa sport

    The Netball World Cup has begun in Australia with the four African nations taking part facing each other today. 

    In Pool D Uganda thrashed Zambia 74-38 - with the She Cranes captain Peace Prescovia, who plays in England, scoring 56 goals. 

    President Yoweri Museveni has joined in with the congratulations:

    In Pool C Malawi, who are ranked 5th in the world, beat South Africa 58-51.  

    Tomorrow Uganda face Fiii, South Africa play Singapore and Malawi take on Sri Lanka. 

  28. DRC earthquake update

    The tremor from the earthquake in eastern DR Congo caused a scare at a nearby military barracks prompting soldiers to fire in the air for about 15 minutes thinking it was an attack, BBC Great Lakes analyst Venuste Nnshimiyimana reports. Read the full story here.

  29. Gunmen attack hotels in central Mali

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC Africa, Bamako, Mali

    Residents of Sévaré in central Mali, are hiding in their homes from gunmen on motorbikes who this morning attacked at least two hotels in the city.

    There are no confirmed reports of casualties yet.


    Martine Latraye, owner of a small guesthouse in Sévaré, told the BBC: ''We heard someone shouting into a loud hailer that everyone should go inside. Then we heard machine guns.''

    Sévaré has an air force base and some UN peacekeepers are in the town.

  30. African ski resort attracts new generations of snow sports enthusiasts

    BBC Africa Business report has been hitting the slopes in Tiffindell, the only ski resort in South Africa, which reopened in 2013 after going into liquidation.

    skier with sungalsses close up

    Every winter it sees 4,000 visitors pass through its gates. For many South Africans it's an affordable and exciting way to enjoy the winter and to experience snow for the very first time.

    young skiers on the slopes

    Three-time Winter Olympian Alex Heath has also set up a youth academy at the resort which hopes to train local enthusiasts to become future snow sport superstars.

    ski academy

    For many youths living nearby in the rural villages it's become a way to see the world, and build careers as ski instructors.

    young girl on the slopes

    For the full report, tune in to Africa Business report at 16:40 GMT on BBC World News.

  31. Mozambique's opposition leader predicts violence

    Afonso Dhlakama
    Image caption: Afonso Dhlakama has led Renamo since 1979

    Long-time leader of Mozambique's opposition Renamo party Afonso Dhlakama has said "people will take power by force" if his party is not allowed to govern in some of the country's provinces.

    Mr Dhlakama told the BBC that "there will be violence if Renamo doesn't get power this year, people cannot wait any longer".

    The opposition leader is basing his claim on the fact that in last year's presidential election his party got a majority of votes in six of the 11 provinces.

    But his critics say that the election was a national and not a regional poll.

  32. What is African fashion and what does it mean to you?

    Today marks the start of our digital Africa fashion series which includes a live fashion show, interviews with designers and models about all aspects of African fashion. 

    We want to hear from you: post us your videos and add your answer to the question about African fashion means to you.  

    View more on youtube
  33. Suggestions to improve Nollywood films trending in Nigeria

    There's no doubting the popularity of Nollywood films, but if you've ever thought they could be improved a bit you're not alone.

    #NollywoodWouldBeBetterIf has been trending in Nigeria:

  34. SA parliament committee supports Zuma over Nkandla


    A South African parliamentary committee is set to back a government report into the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private residence which said he didn't have to pay back any of the $23m (£15m) of state money that was spent, IOL reports.

    The changes made to his home at Nkandla have been the subject of several investigations.

    Previously, the public prosecutor said Mr Zuma should repay costs for some of the unnecessary renovations.

  35. Send us your #EPLstories

    With the return of the English Premier League just over 24 hours away, BBC Africa has been asking: Which is Africa's favourite Premier League team? Read the full piece here.

    The crowd at the unveiling of the Uefa Champions League trophy during the Uefa Champions League Trophy Tour 2012 on 31 March 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya
    Image caption: Millions of African fans are expected to tune in for the return of the English Premier League

    We're asking you to send us your #EPLstories on Twitter, on the BBC Africa Facebook page or via text on +447756205075. We'll put a selection up on the Live Page.

    West Africa datapic
  36. Kenya's tourism board 'waiting' for CNN response

    Kenya's tourism board has confirmed to the BBC that it has suspended its $100m (£64m) advertising campaign with the US broadcaster CNN.

    Spokesperson Kimutai Ngeno said the tourism board is waiting to hear back from CNN following the suspension and is now consulting with the government on their next step.

    The campaign was suspended in reaction to the description of Kenya as a "terror hotbed" in a CNN report.

    Kenya Tourism
    Image caption: The tourism board has recently launched its Magical Kenya campaign
  37. Small earthquake hits Rwanda

    The earthquake that had an impact on the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo was also felt in neighbouring Rwanda, as its Ministry of Disaster Management tweets:

  38. DR Congo earthquake kills two

    Two children have died after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday night, BBC Afrique's Poly Muzalia reports from Kinshasa.

    The epicentre of the quake was near Lake Tanganyika and Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, Information Minister Lambert Mende told AP news agency. He said the earthquake could also be felt in Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province which is about 217 km (135 miles) north.

  39. Striking Ghana doctors stop emergency services

    Sammy Darko

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Ghanaian doctors - now on strike for more than a week - have now stopped providing emergency services.

    But the government says it has put plans in place to cope with urgent visits to hospital.

    It says it has instructed hospital managers - who are also doctors - to deal with emergencies and it is also contracting private doctors.

    Hospital waiting area
    Image caption: The doctors' strike now in its tenth day has emptied hospital waiting rooms
  40. Kenya Tourism Boards suspends adverts on CNN

    Screen grab

    Kenya's Tourism Board has suspended its advertising campaign with the news channel CNN, reports the Kenyan Business Daily newspaper.

    Business Daily quotes an official saying that the move is related to the anger caused by CNN's description of Kenya as a "terror hotbed".

  41. Wise words

    Today's African ‪proverb‬: "A bull that's already pinned to the ground does not resist the branding iron." A Meru proverb sent by Paul Kinoti, Mombasa, Kenya.

    Boys lead a prized bull by a rope from a cattle camp at dawn at the town of Nyal, an administrative hub in Unity state, South Sudan on 25 February 2015

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  42. Get Involved - Send us your #EPLstories

    Ahead of the start of the English Premier League on Saturday, we're asking for your #EPLstories, as part of a day of debate and discussion about the new season.

    Which team do you support? How did you choose them? And what's been your "diehard" moment as a football fan?

    You can also get involved via the BBC Africa Facebook page or text us on +447756205075.

  43. 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.