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Live Reporting

By Naziru Mikailu and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

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

    Today's Africanproverb: "Let the thief get used to eating your food and then you can catch him even by using soft banana fibres." A Luhya proverb sent by Nixon Madegwa, Kenya.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    We leave you with this photo of chimpanzees at the Johannesburg Zoo, where animals have been given ice lollies made of frozen fruits and meats because of the extremely hot weather:

    A chimpanzee sits in his enclosure holding a bottle as animals from the Johannesburg Zoo receive ice lollies made of frozen fruits and meats due to the hot weather facing south Africa on January 13, 2015
  2. Cameroon bombing condemned

    A senior official in Cameroon has condemned as "cowardly and barbaric" the suicide attack at a mosque in the Far North region, AFP news agency reports.

    "The provisional toll is 13 dead [including the suicide bomber] and one person who was seriously injured. The mosque was virtually reduced to ashes," said Midjiyawa Bakari, the governor of the region, AFP reports.

    It quotes an unnamed security source as saying that the imam of the mosque in Kouyape village was among those killed when the bomber blew himself up. 

    See our 10:32 post for more details

  3. New charges for 'genital mutilator'

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    A Danish man accused of keeping female genitalia parts in a freezer at his home in  South Africa has had additional charges imposed on him. 

    Prosecutors allege that Peter Frederiksen, 63, breached South Africa's gun laws by keeping firearms, not listed in his registry, at his gun shop in Bloemfontein city. 

    He has not yet pleaded to the charge.

    anish man living in South Africa, Peter Frederiksen sits in the accused dock ahead of his bail application at the Bloemfontein Magistrate's court on November 4, 2015
    Image caption: Mr Frederiksen owns a gun shop

    During an earlier court appearance, he denied a range of other charges - including assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to murder, and bigamy.

    Mr Frederiksen was arrested in September.

    Police allege they found 21 clitorises in labelled plastic bags, as well as surgical equipment and photographs of female genitalia, at his home in Bloemfontein's Langenhoven Park suburb.

  4. Nigeria fire kills six in family

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Bauchi, Nigeria

    Six people from the same family have died after a fire engulfed their home in north-eastern Nigeria's Gombe city. 

    Tajuddeen Badamasi, his pregnant wife and four of their five children were killed when their house in the city's Alkahira area caught fire while they were sleeping last night. 

    Only a five-year-old girl survived the inferno. 

    The charred body of Mr Badamasi was found, holding one of the dead children to his chest, as he apparently tried to escape the fire through a window, a relative, Abdurrahaman Dauda, told me. 

    Police say they are investigating the cause of the fire. 

  5. Mugabe health speculation 'unnecessary'

    Robert Mugabe (December 2015)
    Image caption: Mr Mugabe has ruled since 1980

    Speculation about the health of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, 91, is "unnecessary", his spokesman George Charamba has said, following rumours that he has suffered a heart attack, Reuters news agency reports.

  6. Vladimir Putin tops primary school exam - in Uganda

    Vladimir Putin's result sheet
    Image caption: The result was published in local newspapers

    A Ugandan child named after the Russian president is among the country's top pupils.

    Vladimir Putin was one of those who got the highest possible marks in the primary school leaving exams.

    The BBC's Patience Atuhaire in the capital, Kampala, says it is common in Uganda for parents to name their children after famous people.

  7. South Africa to regulate WhatsApp?

    : Facebook and WhatsApp logos are displayed on portable electronic devices on February 19, 2014 in San Francisco City

    Over-the-top internet services, such as WhatsApp and Viber, could be regulated in South Africa, depending on the outcome of planned parliamentary hearings later this month, the respected Fin24 news site reports

    Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s popularity has increased in South Africa with over 10 million users, according to a recent report by World Wide Worx and Fuseware.

    South Africa's two biggest mobile networks Vodacom and MTN last year called for the regulation of the services, Fin24 reports.

    "You have these players which are getting huge benefit out of an industry without making any investment. How do we level the playing fields?” an MTN official was quoted as saying at the time.   

    Parliament's Telecommunication and Postal Services portfolio committee had scheduled a public hearing for 26 January to, among others, discuss “necessary policy interventions on how to govern" over-the-top internet services, Fin24 reports.  

  8. Lack of hangman stalls Zimbabwe executions

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    A example of hangman's noose

    Zimbabwe has not been carrying out the death penalty because it does not have a hangman, the state prosecutor says.

    Olivia Zvedi was responding to a case brought by death row inmates who want the uncertainty of long periods on death row to be declared unconstitutional.

    Their lawyer said keeping them on death row like this was a "degrading, inhuman punishment as it caused psychological anguish amounting to torture”.

    The inmates want their death sentences to be commuted to life imprisonment.

    The last time a prisoner was hanged in Zimbabwe was in 2005.

    It had been thought that the position of hangman, which was vacant for eight years, was filled in 2013.

    But today’s statement by the state prosecutor suggests otherwise as she said "people were not readily" available to respond to such advertisements.

    There are 76 inmates on death row, some of them for 20 years.

    The Constitutional Court will rule on the case at a later date.

  9. Congo agree deal with Lechantre

    Pierre Lechantre

    The Congo Football Federation says it has agreed a deal with Pierre Lechantre to become the country's next coach.

    The Frenchman is due to sign a contract next week, when further details will also be made public.

    Lechantre is set to replace his compatriot Claude LeRoy, who stepped down in November.

    The 65-year-old has coached Cameroon and Mali in the past and his most recent job was with Libyan club Al Ittihad Tripoli.

    Congo are currently top of their group for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, ahead of Zambia on goal difference after two matches.

    Read the full BBC sport story here

  10. Get Involved: Pastor advises Buhari on corruption


    Many of you have been commenting on Twitter after a prominent evangelical pastor in Nigeria called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to spend too much time on fighting "corrupt" officials in the former government:

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  11. Ethiopia Oromia concessions 'too little too late'


    A leading online campaigner from Ethiopia's Oromo ethnic group says Oromo activists have dismissed as "too little too late" the government's apparent decision to scrap a controversial plan to expand the boundaries of the capital, Addis Ababa. 

    In a Facebook post, Jawar Mohammed said there was little prospect of the decision being taken seriously unless the government immediately released activists and leaders who had been detained during months of protests against the plan to incorporate mainly Oromo areas into the rapidly developing capital. 

    Among other demands Mr Mohammed made are: 

    • an independent investigation and prosecution of those who "ordered and fired on peaceful protesters, killing hundreds and wounding thousands"
    • the withdrawal of security forces "occupying and terrorising Oromia" and
    • a public apology from the prime minister for calling protesters "terrorists and officially declaring war on them".

    Ethiopia's government has not yet commented on his statement, but it has previously dismissed as an overestimation a report by campaign group Human Right Watch that 140 people have been killed since November. 

    See our 09:11 post for more details

  12. Counting elephants from Africa's skies

    The elephant population in Africa continues to decline, despite an international ban on the trade of ivory tusks.

    Counting the remaining animals is a difficult task as they roam through vast areas, across 20 countries.

    The BBC's Sammy Awami went to visit the project in Tanzania.

    Video content

    Video caption: The elephants are being counted from the skies, as Sammy Awami reports
  13. Morocco drugs smuggled on 'pleasure boats'

    View of cannabis plantations in the northern Moroccan Larache region, 16 June 2006.
    Image caption: Cannabis is grown illegally in Morocco

    Spanish police say they have smashed a ring that smuggled cannabis from Morocco, using a fleet of pleasure boats with false bottoms, AFP news agency reports.

    Seven of the boats were seized, 15 people arrested and 4.5 tonnes of the drug confiscated in raids since April 2015, it reports.  

    The gang would transport the drugs from Moroccan waters to the coast of the southern province of Cadiz from where they would be taken by boat on the Guadalete River to remote warehouses, police are quoted as saying. 

  14. Nigerians mix up Twitter handle over #Missingbudget

    Several Twitter users in Nigeria wrongly messaged a Qatari national, Nasser Al-Saadi, to ask him about the Senate's missing copies of the 2016 budget.

    They mistook his Twitter handle, @Nass, for that of Nigeria's National Assembly, which is made up of the Senate and House of Representatives, and is popularly known by the acronym Nass. 

    The National Assembly's Twitter handle is, in fact, @nassnigeria.

    Here are some of the conversations between Al-Saadi and Nigerians on Twitter:

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  15. Nigeria's currency woes continue

    A detail of some Nigerian Naira,(NGN) being counted in an exchange office on July 15, 2008 in Lagos, Nigeria

    Nigeria's currency, the naira, has fallen to a record low of 300 per dollar on the black market after the central bank stopped dollar sales to retail foreign exchange operators, Reuters news agency reports.

    The country's central bank pegged the naira at about 197 to the dollar on the official interbank market.

    However, the currency was quoted between 290 and 300 by several bureaux-de-change operators, Reuters reports.

    The unofficial market accounts for less than 5% of total dollar trades in Nigeria.

  16. French mobile firm expands in Africa

    Customers pass in front of an 'Orange Money' booth, on July 7, 2015 in Ouakam, a suburb of Dakar
    Image caption: The deal will give the firm a presence in 20 African countries

    French telecoms giant Orange says it has agreed to buy two subsidiaries of  Airtel in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone as part of its strategy of investing in emerging markets. 

    The two units of the Indian telecommunications group have combined annual sales of around $298m (£200m). 

    No purchase price was given, but Orange said it would be around eight times both companies' annual operating profits before taxes and charges. 

    The deal, still subject to regulatory approval, will add 5.5 million mobile phone customers to Orange's portfolio, the firm said. 

    It will also raise Orange's presence in Africa to 20 countries.

    On Tuesday, Orange said it had agreed to buy Cellcom, Liberia's second-biggest operator, for an undisclosed sum.

  17. Perking up Ivory Coast's coffee culture

    Fabienne Dervain is the owner of what she says is the first real coffee shop in Ivory Coast, one of the biggest coffee bean producers in West Africa.

    Other than Ethiopia, where coffee was discovered in the 9th Century, domestic consumption of coffee in Africa is relatively low compared with other emerging markets. But this is slowly changing.

    Starbucks is due to open its first store in Johannesburg in the first half of this year, while US doughnut and coffee giant Krispy Kreme has plans to open 31 stores in South Africa over the next five years.

    But Ms Dervain, 27, wants to beat the multinationals at their own game. 

    Having set up Couleur Cafe in Abidjan with about $60,500 (£40,000) in personal savings and family investment, she plans to set up a chain.

    Watch the interview with her:

    Video content

    Video caption: Women of Africa: Entrepreneur milks growing taste for coffee in Ivory Coast.
  18. Fire 'kills seven' at Algeria beach resort

    Seven people have died after a fire tore through a tourism complex at a beach resort on the outskirts of the Algerian capital, the emergency services have said, AFP news agency reports. 

    The fire erupted at a bungalow in the Azur complex in Zeralda, about 20km (12 miles) west of the capital, Algiers, the official news agency APS quoted the civil defence service as saying. 

     One person was also wounded, it said. 

     There were no immediate details on the identities of the victims or the cause of the blaze, which firefighters extinguished after more than two hours, AFP reports. 

  19. The Twitter murder that never happened

    Hands typing

    It was a horrific crime that came to light in a series of impassioned tweets that gripped and appalled a nation. But it was all made up.

    The story of a brutal rape and murder has provoked an outpouring of emotion from South African social media users, and was picked up by the press. 

    It turned out to be completely fabricated, but has sparked a very real debate about rape in the country.

    Read the full BBC Trending story

  20. Nigeria senate to consider Buhari's budget

    Nigeria's Senate says it will start debating the government's 2016 budget on 19 January, after being forced to cancel the debate yesterday because the document had gone missing

    During today's session, some MPs asked for clarification on how copies of the budget - presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last month - had gone missing. 

    Senate President Bukola Saraki said a committee had been set up to look into the issue and it would report back tomorrow. 

    Many people in Nigeria have been reacting to the story on Twitter:

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