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  1. Ethiopian runner will not be sanctioned over protest
  2. Zimbabwe opposition groups pledge to go ahead with Friday protest
  3. Somalia central bank employee steals $0.5m
  4. Kenya government disbands Olympic committee
  5. Kenyan Olympian complains over Team Kenya's treatment in Rio
  6. 'Urgent food assistance' required in South Sudan
  7. Archbishop Tutu returns to hospital
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  9. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 25 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page 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:

The person who is afflicted with illness has a hundred advisers."

A Somali proverb sent by Abdulkadir Shire, London, UK, and Ibrahim A Issack, Nairobi, Kenya

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.  

We leave you with this Instagram post from everydayafrica showing three women in rural Liberia shot by Ricci Shryock.

View more on instagram

Wife of Olympic protester: 'Scared but not surprised by protest'

The family of the Ethiopian runner who is planning to seek asylum in the US after staging a protest at the Olympic Games in Rio has been speaking to the Reuters news agency from their home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Feyisa Lelisa's wife and daughter sit on a sofa at their home

Feyisa Lelisa's wife Iftu Mulisa spoke about how she felt when her husband crossed his arms at the finish line in solidarity with protesters from the Oromo ethnic group:

I was very scared at the time but I wasn't surprised because I know him. He was burning inside when he sees on social media all these dead bodies... people being beaten and people being arrested. So I was not surprised because I know he had a lot of anger inside."

SOKO FEYISA speaks to the camera from inside the family home

His daughter Soko Feyisa had a brief message for her father, currently in Rio while lawyers prepare his US asylum request:

Baba I miss you, where are you?"

Soko Feyisa, daughter
Biritu Fulasa

And his mother Biritu Fulasa cast doubt on the government's assertion that her son would be treated as a hero if he returned to Ethiopia: 

Do you really believe what the government is saying? I don't believe so. He should stay there. I would have liked him to come but what can I do? I was crying too much the other day but now I am feeling better. I want him to stay there."

What is behind Ethiopia's wave of protests?

Kenyan Olympic marathon runner finally returning from Rio

Kenyan Olympic marathon runner Wesley Korir has been very vocal on Twitter about the way Kenyan administrators have treated the athletes in Rio.

But now he is on his way home:

View more on twitter

Earlier he criticised the accommodation that had been arranged for the athletes once they left the Olympic village in Rio, sharing photos of the shanty town in which the team was staying.

He said the athletes had experienced hell and he would demand action when he returned home. 

It is not known whether he is travelling with the rest of the Kenyan team. 

Kenya's Sports Minister Hassan Wario said the government was disbanding the country's Olympic committee over the poor management of the team in Rio.

Senegal domestic worker tells of 'Saudi nightmare'

As a Senegalese worker, Mbayang Diop, faces the death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the alleged murder of her employer, BBC Afrique has been speaking to a woman who has just returned from working there.

Anta Cisse says she was lured by the promise of a better life and stable income, but her three-month stint turned into a nightmare.

Ms Cisse had her passport taken by her employer and she says she was woken up in the middle of the night:

They want you to work throughout the day without taking a break. And when you start arguing, then it’s the beginning of your problems. My employer wanted me to go in the kitchen and wash dishes. But I couldn’t do that, at night I was very tired and wanted to sleep, but she didn’t like that."

Anta Cisse

She says she was unable to get in touch with her family, but in the end managed to persuade her employer to let her go.

Ms Cisse says she is happy to be back in Senegal even though she does not have a job at the moment.

Tunisians wade into 'burkini' debate

Amel chooses to wear a full-body swimsuit, or "burkini", when visiting the beach in Tunis

After photos of French police appearing to enforce a "burkini ban" on a woman in the southern town of Nice were published on Wednesday, our reporter Rana Jawad in Tunisia, a former French colony, has been down to the beach to find out what women there think about the whole debate. Listen below:

Why do some people find the burkini offensive?

Tanzania bans political parties from holding meetings

The Tanzanian authorities have banned political parties from holding meetings, saying they breed hatred and incite violence against the security forces.

The ban comes the day after four police officers were killed in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. 

The police described the attack as politically motivated. 

Opposition parties say the government is trying to stifle democracy. 

In June, political rallies were banned. The authorities have also clamped down on the media. 

Algerian Bentaleb on loan to Schalke

Algeria international Nabil Bentaleb has joined German side Schalke 04 on a season-long loan from English Premier League side Tottenham.

Bentaleb played only 13 times for Spurs last season because of injuries.

The 21-year-old midfielder has not trained with the Tottenham first-team since July after being told he was not in manager Mauricio Pochettino's plans.

"He is 100% fit but we must give him time to integrate into the team," Schalke director Christian Heidel said.

Read the full BBC Sport story

Nabil Bentaleb
Getty Images
Nabil Bentaleb has played 19 times for Algeria

Sauti Sol live in the Focus on Africa studio

Kenyan music stars Sauti Sol are with the BBC's Akwasi Sarpong  in our London studio right now.

You can watch here on Facebook Live.

Sauti Sol performing

Ethiopia protest Olympian 'overwhelmed by support'

The Ethiopian Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa who made an anti-government gesture when he crossed the line on Sunday has told the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza that he is overwhelmed by the worldwide support he has received.

He made the gesture in support of the Oromo protesters.

Lilesa was talking on the phone from Rio de Janeiro and told Emmanuel that he will stay there while his lawyer continues working on an asylum request to the US. 

He did not fly back home with the rest of the team earlier this week, insisting that he faces arrest or death if he goes to Ethiopia. 

Lilesa however did say he has been in touch with his wife and children who are safe in the capital, Addis Ababa.  

Feyisa Lilesa

Ethiopia protest Olympian 'will not lose medal'

Ethiopia's Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa will not lose his silver medal despite making a political protest as he finished the race on Sunday.

Feyisa Lilesa
Getty Images

He crossed his arms above his head in solidarity with protesters from his Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia.

There were concerns that he could be sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as rule 50 of the Olympic charter bans political displays or protests.

In an email to the BBC, an IOC spokesperson said: "We spoke to the athlete and reminded him of the Olympic charter."

The spokesperson added that no further action would be taken.

Speaking after the race in Rio, Lilesa explained his protest by saying: "The Ethiopian government are killing the Oromo people and taking their land and resources so the Oromo people are protesting and I support the protest as I am Oromo."

He is now said to be seeking political asylum.

'The shepherd' of South Africa's economy

South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has garnered a lot of sympathy following his refusal to answer a summons from the country's elite police unit, the Hawks.

They want to talk to him about allegations that he set up a rogue spy unit when he was in charge of the country's revenue service, which he denies.

Some in South Africa suspect that there are political motives behind the accusation.

The privately owned eNCA news has shared a cartoon of an encircled Mr Gordhan trying to protect the economy:

View more on twitter

'I'm a person in my own right'

Uganda's Winnie Byanyima is currently head of Oxfam International after a long career in government and opposition politics at home.

She's also the wife of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

And Kenya's Citizen TV focused on her marital status to promote one of its shows.

View more on twitter

And Ms Byanyima was not happy:

What's going on here? I'm myself, not a wife to someone famous! #AWLS…

And she's got a lot of support on Twitter:

@Winnie_Byanyima: #WomenArePeople . Define them in their own right,not as wives and/or daughters.U don't with men @citizentvkenya @Mawathe

@Winnie_Byanyima @citizentvkenya @Mawathe Winnie is the CEO of Oxfam. That's adequate. She is her own merit

Kenya Olympic committee 'is not budging'

Kenya's Olympic committee has said it's not going anywhere despite a government order disbanding it, the BBC's Wanyama Chebusiri reports.

We've reported that Sports Minster Hassan Wario wanted to break up the committee over accommodation, travel and equipment problems at the Rio Olympics.

But the secretary general of the Olympic committee, Francis Paul, has responded saying that  the minister had no powers to disband the body.

He said the committee was an autonomous body free from what he described as “government interference”.

Kenya won 13 medals in Rio, including six golds - the highest placed African country.

David Rudisha
David Rudisha won one of Kenya's six gold medals in the 800m

Gabon voters receive freezers and mobile phones 'to vote for Bongo'

Gabon president ali bongo meets supporters on the campaign trail
President Ali Bongo (pictured in grey shirt) on the campaign trail last week

The party of Gabon's President Ali Bongo is feeling generous, two days ahead of the country's presidential elections. 

The Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) has been giving out mobile phones, freezers, washing machines and other domestic appliances to people in the capital, Libreville, according to the BBC Afrique reporter on the ground. 

The gifts were distributed at a rally attended by thousands of activists and supporters of the PDG party.

One woman, Naelle, told the BBC:

"I didn't have anything to do, so I went. There was a long queue. When our turn came, they gave us a prize, but on the condition that we identified ourselves. Then they gave us a stamp on our hands. I received an Ipad and my neighbour got a freezer."

So what did people think lay behind this generosity? 

"I suppose it was so we vote for Ali Bongo", another woman at the rally, Gwenaelle, told our reporter.  

Crowds of supporters cheer the president at a rally
Getty Images

The leading opposition candidate in Saturday's poll is Jean Ping, a former head of the African Union Commission.

Gabon is a major oil producer, but a third of its population live in poverty, according to the World Bank.    

Read more about Gabon

Anti-Mugabe march to go ahead in Harare

A coalition of Zimbabwean opposition parties and civil society groups, including the #ThisFlag movement, have said that they are determined to go ahead with a planned anti-government march tomorrow in the capital, Harare, the BBC's Brian Hungwe reports.

The police had written to the organisers asking them to call it off.

The people behind the demonstration are calling for comprehensive political reforms ahead of the 2018 elections. 

Didymus Mutasa of Zimbabwe People First told journalists:

We are calling upon all the people of Zimbabwe to come out in their numbers so that we make a loud national expression."

There have been a series of demonstrations against the government in recent months.

Protesters fleeing from police
An anti-government demonstration on Wednesday ended with clashes with police

Photographers out in force for tiger at Johannesburg airport

It looked like the paparazzi were out in force at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport this morning:


But the star in question wasn't a human celebrity, but rather a tiger who had arrived after a four-day journey from a zoo in Gaza, the AP news agency reports.


The Bengal tiger, known as Laziz, had been transported in a wooden base, but his handlers say the animal was in a good condition, AP adds.

Laziz was one of the few animals left in Khan Younis Zoo in South Gaza, dubbed the "world's worst zoo".

Kenya 'could lose Olympic funding' after sacking national committee

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

David Rudisha wrapped in the Kenyan flag
Kenya's David Rudisha defended his Olympic title in the 800m at Rio

The move by the Kenyan government to disband the National Olympic Committee (see previous entries) could lead to the country being suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which does not allow government interference in the running of the body. 

Kuwait is currently suspended by the IOC for government interference and their athletes had to compete as part of a team of Independent Olympic Athletes at the recent games in Rio.

In a statement dealing with Kuwait's situation, the IOC it would "withhold all financial assistance" from the country as a result of the suspension. 

Kenya could face similar sanctions if the IOC takes issue with its decision.

Half a million dollars stolen in Somali Central Bank theft

The Somali government's official Twitter profile has confirmed reports of a robbery at the country's central bank:

View more on twitter

A journalist for Voice of America has been tweeting updates from the capital, Mogadishu, about the theft of the $530,000 (£401,000):

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

This is what the building itself looks like:

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Kenyans react after Olympic committee disbanded

Many Kenyans have been expressing their frustration online over the organisational failures of their own sports administrators the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

There are those who are not convinced that Sports Minister Hassan Wario's decision to disband the country's Olympic committee will address the problems (see entries below):

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Kenya's Olympic committee 'damaged reputation' of Games

Picture showing Africa's medal tally from Rio 2016 - 45 compared to London 2013 - 34 and Beijing 2008
Kenya's successful Olympics was marred by organisational failures

We've been getting more details of what Kenya's Sports Minister Hassan Wario said when he disbanded the national Olympic committee.

Speaking to journalists in the capital, Nairobi, he first praised the performance of the athletes and the way country overcame suspicions about doping.

He then turned his fire on the administrators:

You are all aware of the troubles... that have dampened the spirits and the pride of the people of Kenya."

He then described a string of problems over accommodation and travel, to the provision of sports kits "that never reached the athletes as required".

These allegations... pose an immediate threat that will adversely affect the stability and reputation of the Olympic Games in this country."

Mr Wario then announced that he has set up an investigation into what went wrong.

The news comes as one of the athletes, Wesley Korir, has been complaining about Kenyan Olympians being put up in accommodation in a shanty town following the closure of the Olympic village. 

Leading US guitar manufacturer moves to protect African ebony

African ebony is one of the most valuable woods in the world, used to make musical instruments and high-end furniture.

Much of it comes from the Congo Basin Rainforest, which stretches into Cameroon.

Bob Taylor, who founded the leading acoustic guitar manufacturing company in the US, wants to ensure he can continue using the precious wood for his guitars. 

He says that ebony makes the perfect sound for his guitars.

He's invested in a sustainable ebony forest and a manufacturing plant in Cameroon. The BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah caught up with him on a recent visit to the country:

African ebony wood guitars are in high demand in North America

Nigerian international cargo service launched by Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopia's national airline has started an international cargo service in Nigeria's south-eastern city of Enugu.

According to this tweet it's a first:

View more on twitter

The BBC's Abuja editor Naziru Mikailu cannot confirm that it's the first ever, but says that this is an important development for an area well known for its international business connections.

BreakingKenya's Olympic committee disbanded

Kenya's Sports Minister has disbanded the country's Olympic committee in the wake of organisational problems at the Rio 2016 Games.

Ethiopia-Somali tea man 'fascinates customers'

Roadside tea-making is ubiquitous in Somali areas of Ethiopia. People love to drink the spiced sweet milky tea.

The vendors are mostly women, so when a man does the job it attracts a lot of interest.

In Jigjiga, the capital of Ethiopia's Somali region, a local man selling tea on the city's main street has fascinated many, reports the BBC's Abdullahi Abdi.

People have started calling Mohammed Abdulahi the tea man.

Abdullahi shot the short film of Mohamed in action:

Ethiopia-Somali tea man

#IfAfricaWasASchool trends across continent

Nearly 70,000 people have used the hashtag #IfAfricaWasASchool over the past 24 hours, with many poking fun at cultural stereotypes or rivalries between different African countries:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

...Or to imagine how traditional high-school leaving parties in the US might benefit from African fashion style:

View more on twitter

Boko Haram crisis: Nigerian ghost town stuck in time

The largest town that Boko Haram ever controlled still lies in ruins, frozen in time nearly 18 months after Nigeria's military recaptured it from the Islamist militants.

Bama's streets are deserted and those people who are still in the area are camped out in the grounds of a hospital guarded by the army and in dire need of humanitarian aid.

Martin Patience went to see the situation for himself:

Bama now appears like a ghost town

Read more from Martin Pateince.

Zuma has 'full confidence' in finance minister

There has been speculation in South Africa that the summons by the country's elite police unit for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was politically motivated (see earlier entry).

But President Jacob Zuma has said in a statement that Mr Gordhan has his "full support":

View more on twitter

The president has also said that he has no powers to intervene unconstitutionally despite the hit the rand has taken over the story.

He added "the strength of our state institutions and the effectiveness of our courts in upholding and protecting rights is our guarantee of justice and fairness".  

'Mr Bean' bumbles into Zimbabwean capital Harare

Well, not quite...

It wasn't actually the famous English comedy character, but Mr Bean impersonator Asif Muhammad, who was spotted at the Harare Agricultural Show.

We're pretty impressed by his resemblance to the real one, as played by British actor Rowan Atkinson:

View more on twitter
Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean

African children 'could make up half the world's poor by 2030'

A UK-based think-tank says African children will make up nearly half the world's poorest people by 2030 unless current trends are reversed. 

They now make up about a quarter of the total global figure. 

In a new report, the Overseas Development Institute says the main challenges include high fertility rates and economic inequality. 

Although the total number of poor children in Africa will decrease, improved conditions elsewhere in the world mean the proportion of those living in poverty in Africa, when compared to the rest of the world, will increase.

Uganda's singing policeman: Public happy with us

Uganda's Afanda OJ, also known as police inspector Samuel Ojobira, has become quite a celebrity recently after the release of several songs, and two music videos about how great the police force is. 

His lyrics include the lines "Uganda police today are not like the past - transformed from colonial to professional, we are not national, we are international". 

That is an image at odds with recent reports of police brutality.

Mr Ojobira told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that he is part of the police's music, dance and drama department and insisted that the public is "overwhelmingly happy" with the force.

Listen to the interview: 

And here's a reminder of his music video "Physically Fit"

View more on youtube

SA finance minister probe has 'echoes of apartheid'

All eyes in South Africa are on the headquarters of the elite police unit, the Hawks, which has summoned Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to appear for questioning.

Mr Gordhan has said he will not go.

It's believed that the Hawks want to talk to him about an alleged rogue spy unit that was set up at the country's tax collection agency when he headed it up between 1999 and 2009.

Mr Gordhan says the allegations are wholly unfounded.  

Some have said that the finance minister is being pursued for political reasons.

This morning a small group of activists held a protest outside the Hawks' office in the capital Pretoria.

Respected lawyer George Bizos addressed journalists alongside former Constitutional Court Judge Johan Kriegler:

We are concerned that people are being unjustly involved in criminal prosecutions which we know, are not valid. We are concerned about the future of justice and law in South Africa.

Judge Kriegler and I... have fought for apartheid for many years. We are concerned that the events of the past are being repeated now."

George Bizos in Pretoria
George Bizos was Nelson Mandela's lawyer

Burundians 'want presidential term limits abolished'

A commission set up by Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has said that most people in the country want term limits to be abolished, the Reuters news agency is reporting.

Last year, the country was plunged into a political crisis after the president announced that he was running for a third term.

Street demonstrations were followed by a failed coup attempt.

The constitution limits a president to two elected terms, but Mr Nkurunziza's lawyers successfully argued in the constitutional court that his first term did not count as he was appointed by MPs.

Reuters reports that the chairman of the presidential commission Justin Nzoyisaba said the majority of the people commissioners spoke to "want the president... to exercise more than two terms".

President Pierre Nkurunziza
President Pierre Nkurunziza won last July's election

Hard-hitting warning over Nigeria's economy

Former governor of Nigeria's central Bank Muhammadu Sanusi has issued a strong warning to President Muhammadu Buhari over the state of the economy, Nigeria's Premium Times reports.

Mr Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano, said:

If this government continues to behave the way the last government behaved, we will end up where [the last President Jonathan] ended... You may not like it but that is the truth. You have to listen."

He wants the government to focus on diversifying the economy and encouraging proper investment:

You don’t have to be an economist to know that any system that allows you to sit in your garden, and with a telephone call, make one billion naira without investing a kobo, that system is wrong. It is unsustainable."

Nigeria's economy is contracting at the moment because of the fall in the oil price.

Oil output is also down due to a rise in militant activity in the country's oil producing area.

President Buhari has spoken about the need to diversify the economy away from its reliance on oil.

Muhammadu Sanusi, now Emir of Kano, was a well-respected governor of the central bank

Kenyan Olympian complains over treatment

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

The closure of the Olympic village in Rio has seen Kenyan athletes moved to new accommodation which the team is less than satisfied with.

Marathon runner Wesley Korir, who is also an MP, has posted images of the dilapidated hotel on Twitter:

The best team in africa and the second best all over the world in athletics and this is how they treat us…

View more on twitter

He has also been answering questions about who is still in Brazil:

View more on twitter

When asked why the team are still in Rio, Korir speculated that the cheapest flights were probably available today.

Kenyan MPs have called for an investigation into the management of Team Kenya during the Games after a series of mishaps, including the failure to book an air ticket for world champion Javelin thrower Julius Yego.

Tutu admitted to hospital

The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu waits to receive the 2013 Templeton Prize at the Guildhall in central London on May 21, 2013.
Archbishop Tutu gained international prominence for his role in opposing minority rule

South Africa's Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 84, has been admitted to hospital for a recurring infection. 

In a statement, his foundation said: 

He is expected to remain in hospital for a week or two. The Archbishop underwent similar treatment last year."

 It is unclear what infection the veteran anti-apartheid campaigner is suffering from but his family has said it is not related to the prostate cancer he has been living with for nearly 20 years.

South Sudan food warning issued

Humanitarian aid is urgently needed in South Sudan in order to "save lives", a monitoring group has warned.

FewsNet, which tracks food prices and harvests, has said that last month's conflict in and around the capital, Juba, "severely disrupted" food supplies, leading to prices rising to 10 times their average.

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It added that the price rise comes as households enter a lean period ahead of harvests next month, which may be lower than expected because of the renewed displacement of people that the fighting caused.

FewsNet said:

Given these extremely high food prices, it is likely that food security is deteriorating even more than previously anticipated. Immediate humanitarian assistance and improved access for commercial trade are required to save lives."

Wise words

Today’s African proverb:

The person who is afflicted with illness has a hundred advisers."

A Somali proverb sent by Abdulkadir Shire, London, UK, and Ibrahim A Issack, Nairobi, Kenya

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

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