Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Clare Spencer 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 us this week.  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: No matter how hot the water from your well, it will not cook your rice." from Sent by Charles Geoffrion, Tucson, Arizona, US
    Sent by Charles Geoffrion, Tucson, Arizona, US

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

    And we leave you with this photo of models backstage in Lagos from this week's top shots.

    Models backstage at an event in Lagos, Nigeria - Wednesday 26 October 2016
  2. 'Will people worship us after we're gone?'

    Our resident presidents Olushambles and Kibarkingmad have turned their satirical eye to the way the King of Thailand was celebrated following his recent death.

    They ponder if their own citizens are as adoring as they could be.

    Video content

    Video caption: Olushambles and Kibarkingmad wonder if their own citizens are as adoring as in Thailand
  3. Unicef 'frees 876 children held by Nigeria's army'

    troops in Nigeria
    Image caption: The army has retaken territory in the north-east from Boko Haram

    The UN has negotiated the release of 876 children detained by Nigeria's army and security forces after they have retook land from Boko Haram militants, a senior official has told Reuters. 

    The children had been held in the barracks in the city of Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria Unicef's Manuel Fontaine told AFP.

    The army routinely detains civilians who have been living in areas that had been ruled by the Islamist militants on suspicion that they too might be linked to militant activities. 

    However, rights groups complain there is no proper legal process since they do not get formally charged.  

    Some end up rehabilitation centres, which the groups say are like prisons.

  4. Drug trafficking former navy chief asks president for his job back

    Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto

    A former Guinea-Bissau navy chief who was convicted in the US of drug trafficking has asked the president if he can resume his military career, reports the AFP news agency. 

    "I have returned from a trip which took me away from the country for three years. It's normal that on my return that I come and see the armed forces' commander in chief," Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto told reporters. 

    He was captured off the West African coast by US agents in 2013. 

    The indictment against him said he and two others were middlemen in a huge drug-smuggling operation which transported cocaine by vessel from South America to Guinea-Bissau, and then to store the cocaine in Guinea-Bissau before its shipment to other locations, including the United States.

    Na Tchuto pleaded guilty at his trial in May 2014 and was detained in the US until his sentencing on 4 October. 

    He was sentenced to four years in jail by a New York federal court this month but was released for time already served and has returned home, the agency adds.

  5. Kenya 'investigating $50m' health scam

    Idris Situma

    BBC Swahili, Nairobi

    The Kenyan authorities have confirmed that they are investigating allegations that $50m (£40.6m) has been stolen from the health ministry budget.

    News of the potential fraud was leaked in Kenya's Business Daily newspaper earlier this week.

    It reported that money had been spent on non-existent projects.

    Speaking today, Health Minister Cleopa Mailu was annoyed that information about the probe got out before it was completed. 

    The minister said the report was leaked before accounting officers at the ministry could respond to queries raised by the investigation.

    He said the final report will be published next week.

    Uhuru Kenyatta
    Image caption: President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed his frustration at the levels of alleged corruption
  6. Brazil scandal affects Mozambique's commuters

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Maputo roads
    Image caption: The new bus system was supposed to go across Maputo

    Funding from Brazil for a rapid bus transport scheme in Mozambique's capital, Maputo, is in doubt after the country was involved in a massive corruption scandal.

    Preliminary work on identifying which buildings will be demolished and who will need to be rehoused has already been done.

    Construction should have begun but nothing has started.

    Maputo City Councillor Joao Mcaringue said the Mozambican authorities have not been formally notified by Brazil that they are suspending funding. 

    However, Brazil announced that is was halting $4.7bn (£3.8bn) of funding for 25 projects in seven different countries by companies being investigated in the corruption case.

    The investigation is into allegations that Brazil's biggest construction firms overcharged state-oil company Petrobras for building contracts. 

  7. Gulen school reopens in Guinea with new name and teachers

    Boubacar Diallo

    BBC Afrique, Conakry

    A private school in Guinea's capital, Conakry, run by an organisation belonging to the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen has been reopened under a new name and personnel sent by the Turkish government. 

    The school had been shut down by the local authorities after a request from Ankara.

    Mr Gulen - who lives in the US - has been accused of fomenting revolt in Turkey.

    Former teachers and administrators had left Guinea and are now in neighbouring Senegal. 

    They have been replaced by new personnel sent by the Turkish government and a new NGO is running the school.

    Parents who had been worried about their children's education were happy that the school had reopened.

    Since last July's failed coup in Turkey, many African countries have reportedly been under pressure from Ankara to close schools linked to Mr Gulen.

    Fethullah Gulen
    Image caption: Mr Gulen was accused of masterminding the attempted putsch - he has denied this.
  8. Barred Ghana presidential candidate allowed to resubmit forms

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Image caption: Supporters of the Progressive People's Party were in a jubilant mood after the result.

    Ghana's High Court has ordered the electoral commission to allow a disqualified presidential candidate to resubmit his nomination papers after he was barred from taking part because of a problem with the forms.

    The ruling is the first case of the multiple law suits against the electoral commission to go in favour of a candidate who had been barred from running.

    Ghana's electoral commission disqualified Papa Kwesi Nduom and 11 other presidential candidates over problems with their nomination papers.

    The Accra High Court ruled that the electoral commission was wrong in failing to give an opportunity to Mr Nduom, the candidate for the Progressive People's Party, to correct the mistakes. 

    He was disqualified because one voter endorsed his nomination forms twice.

    Three more presidential candidates have sued the electoral commission challenging their disqualification. 

    Ghana goes to the polls on 7 December.

  9. Zimbabwe's biggest dam 'only 9% full'

    Zimbabwe's drought has left the country's largest dam - Kariba - at just 9% of its capacity according to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, quoted by the Reuters news agency.

    Mr Mnangagwa said that overall the country's dams are at 42% of their capacity, Reuters adds.

    He was speaking as he launched a drought alleviation programme.

    The lack of rainfall earlier this year, caused by the El Nino weather pattern, left millions short of food and President Robert Mugabe declared an emergency in parts of the country.

    A photo taken on February 7, 2016 shows the fast drying catchment area of the Umzingwani dam in Matabeleland
    Image caption: Zimbabwe's drought has left people short of water and food
  10. 'For sale' signs for sale

    If you've ever needed a hand-painted sign but didn't have time - or skill - to do it yourself then one Kenyan stall holder has the answer:

    Stall selling hand painted signs

    The BBC's Tomi Oladipo snapped this on the Ngong road in the capital, Nairobi.

    You can buy 

    • Plot For Sale
    • Reserved Parking

    And the classic

    • We give credit to those over 80 years accompanied by both parents
  11. Cameroon train crash: 'I am seeing it all over again'

    A week after a train derailment which killed nearly 80 people in Esseka in central Cameroon, people living in the area are still in shock but are trying to reclaim their lives.

    A religious ceremony in honour of those who died has been held near where the accident happened.

    Woman praying

    The packed train was travelling between the port city Douala and the capital Yaounde when it came off the rails.

    Many in the area where the accident happened are reluctant to talk to the media due to fears of reprisals from the authorities but the BBC's Richard Onanena managed to speak to some of the residents:

    Quote Message: If the police see me talking to you, I can get in trouble. The truth is that there are so many dead, and they are hiding so many things regarding these deaths."
    Quote Message: Even when you are asleep, you still have that image in your head and I am not comfortable. I say even today, there are bodies that are still there because there is a smell coming from that place."
    Quote Message: It's like I am seeing it all over again, it cannot disappear from my head, it cannot. I have never seen a train accident like that since I was born."
    Carriage on its side
    Image caption: More carriages had been added to the train to ease overcrowding
  12. Top Kenyan civil servant apologises to journalists

    The civil servant who runs Kenya's health ministry, Nicholas Muraguri, has said he's sorry for threatening a journalist who was investigating government corruption.

    On Wednesday, the Business Daily newspaper revealed that $50m (£40.6m) had gone missing from the health ministry's budget according to a leaked internal audit.

    For example, $7.9m was supposed to be spent on mobile health clinics which had not been delivered.

    In his response Mr Muraguri told the journalist that the government had spies at Nation media which publishes Business Daily. 

    Quote Message: You don’t know government. We can get what you write even before you publish it, including getting... screenshots of the story... If there is a need to hack Nation’s system we can. We can even confirm how much money is in your account now."

    The civil servant then came under fire for his comments and he has now said sorry.

    In a brief statement he said:

    Quote Message: My comments were unfortunate, and regrettable, and do not represent my philosophy or stand as a public servant."
    Copy of the letter

    He made no comment on the allegations.

  13. Suez: The MI6 secretary with a ringside seat

    Jennifer Boyle

    Jennifer Boyle is thought to be the last surviving person to have worked in the British embassy in Cairo during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

    The crisis occurred after the UK and France backed Israel in its invasion of Egypt after Egypt's government nationalised the Suez canal.

    Recalling events 60 years on, she told the BBC's Luke Jones of her last moments in Egypt.

    They were put on the last flight out of Cairo. The aircraft had four seats too few for those wanting to fly and Jennifer said she moved to the back of the queue in the hope of staying.

    However "that was foiled," she said.

    As they took off - quickly and "straight up" - an elderly American gentleman turned to her and said "ooh gee, I hope he doesn't rush it".

    "I looked out of the window and there, each side of the runway, were the Egyptian tanks."

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  14. Nigeria to spend $10bn to end oil war

    Niger Delta
    Image caption: There have been many catastrophic oil spills in the Niger Delta over the years

    Nigeria will invest $10bn (£8bn) in its oil-rich south to end an insurgency by militants, the oil minister has said.

    "Our target is to ensure zero militancy in the area," Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said.

    The money would be used to build infrastructure, including roads and railways,Mr Kachikwu said.  

    Militant attacks have severely disrupted oil production and the groups have been demanding that the government spends more of its oil wealth on tackling widespread poverty in the Niger Delta region.

    Read more on the BBC News website

  15. Giving land to refugees 'contributes to economy'

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    A man carrying a bag of produce in Uganda
    Image caption: The study found refugees would work on land and buy extra food locally

    When the Ugandan government gave plots of land to refugees, up to $220 (£181) was generated annually per plot for the local economy, a study by the World Food Programme and the University of California, Davis, has found.

    Money went back to Ugandan households when refugees bought food and other items from them, said the lead researcher Prof Edward Taylor.   

    In comparison, Each household that received cash added $1,100 to the local economy annually and food aid recipients added $850.

    Uganda is currently host to close to 800,000 refugees from neighbouring countries. About 50% are South Sudanese and 33% are from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

    Some 1503 households and 385 businesses were surveyed. 

  16. Fears that Mozambique could be sued over debts

    There are fears that Mozambique could be vulnerable to being sued in the courts in London over money that it owes to so-called vulture funds, the Guardian newspaper reports.

    These kinds of funds specialise in buying up loans where there is a high risk of default. 

    Earlier this week, Mozambique admitted that its debt levels were unsustainable and it had to restructure its repayments to get more help from the International Monetary Fund.

    But some of the debts are owned by vulture funds which have the right to go to court to get the money that they are owed.

    The Guardian reports that some think that Mozambique could be the first of many countries to face this issue.

    The recent drop in commodity prices has put many African economies into difficulty and has affected their ability to repay loans.

    Maputo skyline
    Image caption: Mozambique's economy has been booming in recent years off the back of large offshore gas discoveries
  17. Gabon league players call for strike

    Remy Ebanega
    Image caption: "Stop the slavery of footballers" demands the president of the Gabonese footballers' association

    Local footballers in Gabon, the host nation of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, have threatened to strike in a row over non-payment of salaries.

    Chief among four main demands is the back payment of salaries dating from the present day back to 2013.

    "If our concerns are not met, we will tell the players not to start the championship [next month]," Remy Ebanega, president of the Gabonese footballers' association (ANFPG), told BBC Sport.

    The Gabonese league has yet to respond to ANFPG's request.

    Read more on the BBC Sport website.

  18. 'Melaniin Goddess' challenges beauty standards

    The mainstream media are giving 19-year-old Senegalese model Khoudia Diop a lot of love this week. 

    "Khoudia Diop used to get bullied for her dark skin. Now she's going viral for it," says today's Cosmopolitan article.  

    She's been an Instagram star for a while under the name Melaniin Goddess:

    View more on instagram
    View more on instagram

    The Daily Mail says she moved to France from Senegal when she was 15 and became a model when she was 17. 

    It says she was teased growing up and still gets negative comments online for her dark skin colour. 

    She told the Huffington Post that it did not happen in Senegal:

    Quote Message: “I was picked on by other kids, when I was a bit younger because [of the darkness] of my skin tone. But this is something that is actually quite normal in Senegal."

    While Teen Vogue uses her as inspiration to push for change in society. 

    "There are so many things telling black girls that having a lighter skin tone is ideal. That's not true, though, it's just one of so many silly ideas society pushes," it says to its teen audience.

    View more on instagram
  19. ANC should 'reclaim moral high ground'

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    A group of 101 senior African National Congress stalwarts are calling for their party to start a corrective process to “reclaim the trust of society and moral high ground”.

    In a strongly worded statement the former anti-apartheid veterans also came out in support of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who is facing fraud charges.

    The group which includes former speaker of parliament Frene Ginwala, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, and Ahmed Kathrada who spent decades in prison together with Nelson Mandela said that they held a meeting on Tuesday following unsuccessful attempts to reach President Jacob Zuma through individual letters.

    "Communities that have looked to the ANC for leadership and who we should serve, increasingly see self-enrichment, corruption, nepotism and the abuse of power – the moral high ground that the ANC enjoyed being lost," they wrote in a statement.

    President Zuma is under pressure from some in the party to step down following the ANC's poor performance in August’s municipal elections.

    Trevor Manuel (left) Nelson Mandela (right)
    Image caption: Trevor Manuel (left) was the finance minister in President Nelson Mandela's government
  20. South African families of dead psychiatric patients demand justice

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    The families of 37 psychiatric patients who died while in the care of the Gauteng provincial health service want the minister responsible to be held criminally liable and jailed for the deaths of their loved ones. 

    The patients died after being transferred from a private health facility, Life Healthcare Esidimeni, to what the families describe as "unfit” facilities.

    They were moved because the provincial health department terminated its contract with Esidimeni.

    They marched to the minister Qedani Mahlangu’s office with a memorandum of demands calling for a speedy completion an investigation on the circumstances around the deaths.

    The government has explained the practice of transferring hundreds of patients to different treatment centres, including the ones involved in this current case, has been going on for more than 10 years and nothing had happened to them.