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  1. South Africa wants 500 schools to teach Mandarin
  2. Ethiopia mourns killing of 208
  3. Kenya's Chase Bank to reopen after cash crisis
  4. Somalis ordered not to travel to Sudan
  5. Immigrants in Zambia flee to church after attacks
  6. Arrests in South Africa after anti-rape protest
  7. South Sudan peace deal at 'risk'
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  9. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 20 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.  

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: A rat which has two holes lives long." from An Oromo proverb sent by Samuel Fekadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    An Oromo proverb sent by Samuel Fekadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Click here to send us your proverb

    And we leave you with this picture of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mauritius:

    View more on instagram
  2. 'Little HIV treatment' in West Africa

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A medical charity says three quarters of adults infected with HIV in West and Central Africa do not have access to treatment. 

    Medecins Sans Frontieres said 90% of infected children in the region face the same problem. 

    It blamed the situation on conflict, weak health systems and a lack of political will. 

    The number of people with HIV in West and Central Africa is relatively low compared with some southern African countries, where about 20% of the population is infected. 

    But in those countries, about half of those infected have access to treatment.

    Cameroon's residents wave to the convoy of Pope Benedict XVI under a sign reading 'aids', from Yaounde airport to downtown Yaounde on March 17, 2009.
  3. Zambians were killed in Lusaka riots

    The two people who were burned to death on Monday during the xenophobic violence in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, have been identified as Zambians, police spokeswoman Charity Munganga Chanda has said.  

    Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila told parliament that the two had died "in the confusion" as riots erupted in the city's poor neighbourhoods, AFP news agency reports.  

  4. Baboons form orderly queues for food

    A study on baboons in Namibia has found something surprising - they queue for food:

    Video content

    Video caption: Baboons form orderly queues, researchers say

    The order in which the animals queue is probably based on their position in the social hierarchy, according to lead researcher Dr Alecia Carter from the University of Cambridge.    

  5. Interpol 'intercepts' Rwandan leaving Uganda

    A Rwandan refugee has been handed over to Rwanda’s embassy in Uganda by officers representing global police body Interpol, a Ugandan official has told the BBC.

    David Kazungu, Uganda’s commissioner for refugees, said a female refugee was intercepted by Interpol at the international airport in Entebbe as she was trying to go to the US with her child.

    She is wanted in Rwanda over allegations that she had kidnapped her child from the child’s father, who is still in Rwanda and is apparently a soldier, Mr Kazungu said.

    Uganda believes this was a custody case which should be dealt with in the Ugandan courts, he told the BBC.

  6. Niger 'jails civil servants for corruption'

    Mahamadou Issoufou preparing to cast his ballot at the city hall in Niamey
    Image caption: The president has promised to intensify the campaign against corruption

    Eight senior civil servants have been jailed for corruption and fraud in Niger after more than 1,800 workers in the health sector were hired without proper qualifications, a state prosecutor has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

    "The facts are extremely serious especially because they concern the health sector. Imagine 1,831 people entering the sector who have zero qualifications," Samna Chaibou is quoted as saying. 

    President Mahamadou Issoufou pledged to step up the fight against corruption when he was inaugurated for a second term on 2 April after winning disputed elections. 

  7. Tanzania 'dumped' Ethiopians in Kenya

    Kenya has accused Tanzania of "dumping" Ethiopian nationals on its side of the border on Tuesday rather than deporting them to their home country, Kenya's Standard newspaper reports

    The Ethiopians had been freed from prison after serving sentences for various crimes in Tanzania. 

    “Police and immigration officers have been directed not to allow the foreigners to enter the country. They will be taken back to Tanzania where they came from. The incident is unacceptable and not allowed in law,” Kenyan official Henry Wafula is quoted as saying.

  8. Burundi needs 'inclusive talks'

    The US special envoy for the Great Lakes region says that people from across the political spectrum in Burundi told him they hope peace talks will start soon. 

    Thomas Perriello was talking to the BBC's Sammy Awami after visiting the capital Bujumbura. 

    But he also pointed to reports of a spike in torture and extra-judicial killings.

    "There are some hardliners in the government who still believe they can use violence and repression to solve this problem" Mr Perriello said.

    He added that Burundi was experienced  a "manufactured crisis" caused by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision last year to extend his decade-long rule.

    Burundi street
    Image caption: Violence erupted in Burundi in April last year
  9. Zimbabweans affected by riots in Zambia

    Zimbabweans are among foreign nationals who have taken refuge at police stations in Zambia's capital, Lusaka after xenophobic violence hit the city on Monday and Tuesday, Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper reports. 

    They had also made distress calls to relatives back home when unrest broke out in poor neighbourhoods of Lusaka, it adds. 

    Zambian Police patrol near the Chawama Compound where residents have attacked broken and looted foreign-run shops in Lusaka on April 19, 2016
    Image caption: Police have stepped up patrols to prevent further unrest
  10. People queue for fuel in oil-rich South Sudan

    The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has taken these photos of people queuing for fuel in South Sudan's capital, Juba:

    fuel queue
    Fuel queue

    Simona Foltyn wrote in the UK's Guardian newspaper earlier this month that queues for fuel are a regular occurance.  

    That's despite the country being rich in oil.

    "With the shutdown of most oil fields in conflict areas, production has dropped by about 40% since 2013 to 160,000 barrels per day," she explained.   

  11. Mandarin in SA schools

    Mandarin explained

    Fifteen schools in South Africa are currently offering Mandarin classes, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said, in reply to a question in parliament. 

    "In the next five years, it is envisaged that 500 schools will offer Mandarin as a second additional language," the minister added.

    South Africa is among several countries in Africa pushing for people to learn Mandarin in a bid to boost cultural and trade ties with China. 

    Watch: Mandarin explained

  12. Immigrants in Zambia seek shelter in church

    Around 100 immigrants have sought refuge in a church building after xenophobic attacks in Zambia's capital Lusaka. 

    We reported In our 11:57 post that two people have been burned to death in Lusaka after allegations that immigrants were behind ritual killings sparked two days of riots.

    The BBC's Meluse Kapatamoyo has been to the church where some immigrants from various countries have gathered for protection:


    One woman told her she just saw people get into her house and take all household goods. 

    She said she had lost everything.

     Another said her she had no idea what she will do next.  

  13. The artists locked up in Egypt

    If Egypt's cultural elite had hoped that the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 would usher in an era of creativity and freedom of expression, they must be deeply disappointed.

    Ghada Tantawi and Mariam Rizk from BBC Monitoring give a few examples of artists who have been jailed over the past two years:

    The novelist

    Ahmed Naji

    In February, author Ahmed Naji was sentenced to two years in prison for "violating public decency" after "sexually explicit" excerpts from his novel, The Use Of Life, were published in a state-run literary magazine, Akhbar al-Adab.

    The poet

    Fatma Naout

    In January, Fatma Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison for contempt of religion, after she described the Muslim tradition of slaughtering sheep on Eid al-Adha as a "massacre". 

    The dancer

    Shakira in El Kamoun

    In 2015, two Egyptian belly dancers, known as Bardis and Shakira, were sentenced to three months in jail - reduced from an original six months' sentence - for "inciting debauchery" and "broadcasting obscenities". 

    Read more on the BBC News website.  

  14. 'Do not go to Sudan'

    Somalia has told its citizens they are not allowed to travel to Sudan, a popular transit point for undocumented migrants travelling to Europe. 

    The immigration chief, Abdullahi Gafow, said the only Somalis allowed to go to Sudan were those on diplomatic missions. 

    Mr Gafow said he wanted to stop young Somalis making the treacherous journey to Europe.

    Hundreds of migrants, many of them Somalis, are reported to have drowned last week when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean.

    Sub-Saharan African migrants are rescued by the Libyan coastguard after their inflatable boat started to sink off the coastal town of Guarabouli, 60 kilometres east of the capital Tripoli on November 20, 2014
    Image caption: Many Africans make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe
  15. Video game celebrates Cameroon culture

    The first video game to have been developed in Cameroon has been launched.

    Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, produced by Kiro'o Games, is rooted in Cameroonian traditions and culture.

    Video gaming is becoming increasingly popular across Africa, and Cameroonian developers hope to catch up with the rest of the continent.

    Catherine Moukouri, from the BBC’s partner station in Cameroon Canal 2 International, reports from the capital, Yaounde:

    Video content

    Video caption: Cameroon launches first video game
  16. SA banks under pressure over Guptas

    South African president and African National Congress (ANC)"s president Jacob Zuma (C) waves at supporters as he arrives for the Party official launch of the Municipal Elections manifesto on April 16, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
    Image caption: President Jacob Zuma is said to be close to the Guptas

    South Africa's four biggest banks have come under pressure to reverse their decision to refuse to do business with a firm linked to the controversial Gupta family.

    Representatives of workers at Oakbay Investments said in an open letter to the banks that "if you do not open Oakbay’s bank accounts we cannot be paid and Oakbay cannot pay its bills".  

    This will force the closure of the company, and "thousands of us will be without a job".

    The four banks -  Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank - refused to do business with Oakbay Investments after the Gupta family was accused by senior officials of the governing African National Congress (ANC) of "state capture", and trying to influence cabinet appointments made by President Jacob Zuma. 

    The family strongly denied the allegation, while Mr Zuma's political adviser Vuso Shabalala said the banks were involved in a political stunt which had nothing to do with protecting their reputations

    Mr Zuma has been under pressure from the opposition and some factions of the ANC to resign after South Africa's top court ruled that he had breached the constitution by failing to repay government money used to upgrade his private residence. 

    Read: Who are the Guptas?

  17. Tusks piled on Kenya's massive ivory bonfire

    Kenya is planning to burn its entire stockpile of ivory at the end of this month.

    The BBC's Abdinoor Aden has been down to the site of the planned fire and found that preparations are already under way:


    Kenya is expected to set fire to 120 tonnes of ivory on 30 April.

    Back in January AFP news agency reported that Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman will be at the burning ceremony.

    Photoshoots of burning Ivory have become a bit of a trend. 

    When the BBC's Damian Zane investigated if these stunts actually destroy the ivory he found that it would take a week to burn an average male tusk.

    Read more: Does setting fire to ivory destroy it?

    ivory ornaments
    Image caption: Ivory ornaments are being added to the fire
  18. Protest against DR Congo's leader

    Mr Kabila first won elections in 2006
    Image caption: Mr Kabila first won elections in 2006

    Police have fired tear gas to break up a protest by about 5,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo's mining city of Lubumbashi, in the latest unrest triggered by fears that President Joseph Kabila plans to extend his rule into a third term, AFP news agency reports. 

    "Kabila must go", "come kill us, we've had enough", shouted some of the protesters, who hurled stones at police, AFP reports. 

    Mr Kabila's second and final term ends in November. The opposition fears that he will delay the election so that he can remain in office. 

    He has not yet commented on his plans. 

     Read: Will Kabila go?

  19. Why Nigeria's women out-kick the men

    Super falcons

    It's a hard life being a fan of Nigeria's national men's football team, the Super Eagles, these days.

    Three weeks ago they failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.  

    Meanwhile their female counterparts, the Super Falcons, have an excellent record - winning the African title nine times for Nigeria. 

    Writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani finds their relative success is not reflected in their pay.

    This question about whether the women's team should get better sponsorship and bonuses has left people commenting on our Facebook post divided. 

    De Joe Osas from Orlu in Nigeria doesn't think so:

    Quote Message: It's all about who gather much fans, who generate more money, besides since I was born I never for once watched their match, I can't even name one of their player, but no matter how many title they won it can't be in level with men's football, that's it."

    Ajao Babatunde in Lagos, Nigeria thinks the female players should get a pay rise: 

    Quote Message: I agreed with you. Our Falcons deserved better and even same packages as Eagles too but this isn't Nigeria issue alone other countries are facing the same problem example is American ladies."
  20. Two people torched in Zambia

    Meluse Kapatamoyo

    BBC Africa, Lusaka, Zambia

    Two people were burnt to death during the xenophobic violence which hit Zambia's capital, Lusaka, police spokeswoman Charity Munganga has said. 

    The two were burnt to death on Monday after being accused of being involved in ritual killings, she added, without giving the nationality of the victims. 

    Allegations that immigrants, especially Rwandans, were behind ritual killings sparked two days of riots in Lusaka. 

    At least seven people have been murdered in recent weeks and their body parts removed.

    Zambian Police apprehend an alleged looter in the Zingalume Compound where residents have attacked broken and looted foreign-run shops in Lusaka on April 19, 2016
    Image caption: More than 250 people have been arrested over the riots

    Police were doing everything possible to protect lives and property, and have been deployed in all neighbourhoods hit by the riots, Ms Munganga added. 

    She urged people to stop spreading false rumours about the ritual killings. 

    "So far, no nurse has been arrested. No baby or human body parts were found in any fridge belonging to any foreign national. 

    "These statements are coming from people with criminal minds to create alarm among the members of the public and justify their criminality," Ms Munganga added.