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  1. Nigeria's Soyinka 'cuts up green card over Trump'
  2. Renowned Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow dies aged 81
  3. UN warns ethnic cleansing is under way in South Sudan
  4. Ethiopia arrests Oromo opposition leader Merara Gudina
  5. Pro-Biafra leader denied bail in Nigeria
  6. Gambia bans internet and international phone calls during polls
  7. Confusion for 200,000 Nigerian graduates reporting for new government jobs
  8. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 1 December 2016

Live Reporting

By Lucy Fleming, Lamine Konkobo and Hugo Williams

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. 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:

    Quote Message: A goat eats cabbage-tree leaves by imitating its parents." from A Shona proverb sent by Mupiwa Gorowa in Johannesburg, South Africa
    A Shona proverb sent by Mupiwa Gorowa in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Click here to send your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo of someone in Kenya's Kibera slum in the capital, Nairobi, painting a message for World Aids Day to raise awareness about the stigma those living with HIV face:

    Man painting "stop stigma" on a wall in Kenya's capital, Nairobi - 1 December 2016
  2. Tributes paid to Senegal's great sculptor

    Ousmane Sow in 2013
    Image caption: Ousmane Sow was himself a giant, standing at 6ft 4in tall

    Tributes are being paid to Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow, led by the country’s President Macky Sall, who calls him "a great Senegalese artist".

    He’s tweeted a film of Sow talking (in French) about his work and the importance of his sculptures having an African sensibility:

    View more on twitter

    Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour has also expressed what a great loss Sow is to Africa on the world stage:

    View more on twitter

    Sow began his series of striking bronzes of muscular African men with the Nuba wrestlers in the late 1980s. He went on to create other acclaimed collections: The Maasai, The Zulus, The Fulani and The Egyptians.

    A man walks past some of the sculptures by Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow exhibited on the famous Ponts des Arts 18 March 1999 in Paris
    Image caption: His 1999 retrospective on the Pont des Arts next to the Louvre museum in Paris attracted an estimated three million visitors
    A sculpture by Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow is shown during an exhibition at Christies auction house in Paris before going under the hammer on 8 December 2009
    Image caption: Some of his sculptures were sold at auction at Christies

    He also did a sculpture of the famous French writer Victor Hugo: 

    Ousmane Sow standing next to his sculpture of the author Victor Hugo
    Image caption: This statue of Victor Hugo stands 7ft 5in high and weighs about 370kg (more than 52 stone)

    Standing 6ft 4in tall (1.9m), Dakar-born Sow was as strong and handsome as his sculptures, once proudly saying that he "never had a boss" in his life, the AFP news agency reports.

    But he knew hardship and hunger after arriving in France aged 22 working at several jobs before training as a nurse and later a physiotherapist, AFP says.

    At the age of 50 when he was living back in Senegal, he devoted himself fully to sculpture.

  3. Ghana Electoral Commission reassures frustrated early voters

    After reports of early voters in Ghana having problems casting their ballots today (see previous entry), the electoral commission has issued a statement saying that it is on top of the situation:

    Quote Message: The Electoral Commission wishes to assure members of the security agencies and the general public that we are fully aware of the challenges some of them are facing at the various polling stations with the Special Voters List.
    Quote Message: The Commission is working with the hierarchy of the security agencies to resolve the challenge as soon as possible. We urge the security personnel affected to remain calm. Appropriate arrangements will be made for them all to vote in this year’s elections."
    View more on twitter

    Members of the country's security forces, along with journalists and government workers, are among the more than 100,000 people eligible for early voting ahead of the 7 December elections. 

  4. Photos of Uganda palace show destruction after deadly raid

    Royal coat of arms painted on the gate of the palace

    The BBC has gained access to the palace of the king of Rwenzururu for the first time since more than 80 people were killed there over the weekend after government forces raided the compound. 

    Our reporter Patience Atuhaire sent us these pictures showing the aftermath of the fighting in the western Kasese district, where the kingdom is based. 

    Some of the structures inside the palace gates have been completely burned out: 

    Burned out remains of a building structure inside the Rwenzururu palace compound, Uganda

    Patience also saw evidence of the fierce gun battle which government officials said broke out between guards loyal to King Charles Mumbere, whom they accuse of attacking security forces in the area:

    Vehicle with bullet holes in the front windscreen

    Kingdom officials told our reporter that police are still searching for seven men and a woman who are reportedly hiding in a tunnel under one of the burned out huts.

    Uganda's NTV news channel has also posted footage showing the destruction inside the palace walls: 

    View more on twitter

    The king, who is accused of separatism by the government, was charged with murder on Tuesday over a separate incident.

    He denies the charges. 

  5. How did World Aids Day come about?

    Watch this video to see how World Aids Day, which is being marked today, came about.

    Video content

    Video caption: World Aids Day

    As part of events to raise awareness about the virus, technology giant Apple is supporting the RED charity, founded by U2 singer Bono, through a number of initiatives.

    Icons within its mobile game store have turned red today and the US tech firm is expanding its range of RED products, including phone cases.

    It's also donating $1 (£0.80) for each transaction made using Apple Pay in its physical and online stores, up to a total of $1m (£798,632).

    Read the BBC Newsbeat story for more

  6. 'No communication' about Nigeria job scheme

    Sahazali Sani (R)
    Image caption: Sahazali Sani (R) is confident his teaching job will materialise

    Sahazali Sani is one of 200,000 graduates in Nigeria who managed to secure a place in the new government job scheme and was meant to be starting work today.

    But Mr Sani, who is based in the northern city of Kano, told the BBC Hausa service that he is none the wiser about where to report for duty to start his teaching post.

    Quote Message: They said we will start working from 1 December 2016, but until now we have not heard anything tangible from the government, we've been left stranded.
    Quote Message: Local government officials have not received any information from the federal government on how to distribute the teachers.
    Quote Message: The secretary of the Kano state government told us to exercise patience for some time, promising to contact us if everything is ready."

    However, the graduate is confident that his job, for which he will be paid about $100 (£80) a month, will materialise:

    Quote Message: We are 100% sure that the government will not disappointment us, and when everything is ready they will contact us."

    In total, the government plans to recruit  500,000 graduates in a bid to tackle high levels of unemployment.

  7. Mozambique ban on exporting timber

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Mozambique’s parliament has unanimously passed the second and final reading of a bill that will ban the export of unprocessed logs in an attempt to halt the devastation of the southern African country’s hardwood forests.

    The main importer of wood from Mozambique is China – and there have been incidents of Chinese nationals participating in logging without a licence.

    Under the new law, which will come into effect on 1 January 2017, semi-processed timber (such as beams, planks and parquet) may be exported, but will be subject to an export tax.

    There is no tax on the export of finished wooden goods, such as furniture.

  8. Senegal's Pape Souare: My career could be over

    Crystal Palace and Senegal defender Pape Souare says he's not sure if he will be able to return to football following a car crash in September.

    He's currently recovering from a broken jaw and thigh bone. Listen to his BBC interview below: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare says car crash may have ended his career
  9. One African player makes Fifa's top 55 shortlist

    View more on twitter

    The shortlist of 55 players that will be whittled down to make Fifa's World XI for 2016 has been released. 

    The bad news is that there's only one African (PSG and Ivory Coast's Serge Aurier) on the entire list.

    By contrast, Real Madrid have 11 players on it and Italian champions Juventus have five.   

    Strange when you consider that it is voted for by players. 

    Fifa comes up with the shortlist by asking 25,000 professional footballers from more than 75 different countries to each select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.  

    So are African players being underestimated by their fellow professionals? 

    Our BBC Africa sport reporter has also noticed that Algerian Riyad Mahrez, one of the architects of Leicester's shock Premiership title last season, is also missing from the shortlist, despite being up for other Fifa honours: 

    View more on twitter
  10. UN warns ethnic cleansing under way in South Sudan

    Civilians flee fighting in Malakal
    Image caption: Civilians in South Sudan have borne the brunt of more than three years of fighting

    A UN commission on human rights in South Sudan says a process of ethnic cleansing is under way in several parts of the country, with gang rape so prevalent that it has become the norm. 

    The three-member commission has spent 10 days travelling around South Sudan.

    It noted forced starvation, the burning of villages and numerous accounts of corpses being found along main roads. 

    The commission's chair, Yasmin Sooka, said the international community needed to act quickly to prevent a repeat of the Rwandan genocide. 

    South Sudan has been torn apart by conflict since 2013, two years after it gained independence from Sudan.  

    Quote Message: The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it." from Yasmin Sooka Head of the UN commission of human rights for South Sudan
    Yasmin SookaHead of the UN commission of human rights for South Sudan

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, currently on a visit to South Africa, denied the accusations in comments made to Reuters news agency:

    Quote Message: There's no such thing in South Sudan. There's no ethnic cleansing."

    Watch the video below to find out key moments in South Sudan's history:

    Video content

    Video caption: Key moments in South Sudan's history
  11. Nigeria's Soyinka 'cuts up US green card over Trump'

    Wole Soyinka
    Image caption: Wole Soyinka said he was now back in Nigeria

    Nigeria's Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka has kept to his word and thrown away his green card, the AFP news agency reports. 

    Last month the novelist, playwright and police said he would cut up the card, which is a permanent residence permit for the US, if Donald Trump won the American election

    He told AFP on the sidelines of an education conference at the University of Johannesburg that now that the Republican candidate had been victorious, he had kept his promise: 

    Quote Message: I have already done it, I have disengaged [from the United States]. I have done what I said I would do.
    Quote Message: I had a horror of what is to come with Trump... I threw away the [green] card, and I have relocated, and I'm back to where I have always been."

    However, Mr Soyinka is not inviting others to follow suit:

    Quote Message: It's useful in many ways; I wouldn't for one single moment discourage any Nigerians or anybody from acquiring a green card... ... but I have had enough of it."

    According to AFP, he has been reported to have recently completed a term as scholar-in-residence at New York University's Institute of African American Affairs.

  12. 'High turnout' for Gambia poll with results expected by midnight

    Umaru Fofana

    BBC Africa, The Gambia

    President Yahya Jammeh, dressed in white robes, looks at his marble before voting
    Image caption: President Jammeh examines his marble, the unique voting method used in The Gambia

    It seems there has been a very high turnout in elections in The Gambia if early indications are anything to go by. 

    I have been at a voting station, half an hour outside of the capital, Banjul, where the voting queue was extremely long. 

    In the run-up to today all three candidates in this presidential election urged their supporters to turn out and vote. 

    President Yahya Jammeh told me after casting his vote in Banjul that he was confident of victory, predicting "the biggest landslide in the history [of The Gambia]". 

    The deputy head of the electoral commission, Malleh Sallah, told me he was pleased with the process and there had only been "minor hitches" reported so far:

    Quote Message: "We are happy Gambians are taking this vote seriously... they're out to vote in numbers. We started on time and the voting is going smoothly.
    Quote Message: "We are counting on the spot, so results will come out earlier than last time. Let's predict somewhere around midnight [tonight]... We are trying to get the results out as soon as possible. It's not a race, we will take our time and we will do it right."

    President Jammeh, who has been in power for more than 20 years and is seeking his fifth term in office, is facing his stiffest electoral challenge yet from a coalition of opposition parties led by Adama Barrow. 

    Polls close at 17:00 local time, which is the same time as GMT, and counting will start immediately at every individual polling station.

    Last night the government banned both international phone calls and access to the internet as well as demonstrations to prevent - they say - unrest. 

    Ahead of today's vote, human rights groups expressed concern over the potential for violence. 

  13. Congo's Aids drug shortage creates alarm

    Samples of blood fluids
    Image caption: Congo-Brazzaville has also run out of chemicals for testing samples for the HIV

    Aids patients in Congo-Brazzaville who have been on free anti-retroviral medication since 2007 are at risk of dying because the country has run out of medicine. 

    As BBC Afrique reports, officials in the country have stopped the distribution of anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs to patients for the last six months. 

    A national charity, RenaPC, which has pushed for universal free access to ARVs is alrmed by the situation and demands urgent action from the government. 

    Experts say that Aids can become more aggressive following the interruption of ARV treatment, which in turn leads to a higher risk of death. One man who is affected by the situation told the BBC: 

    Quote Message: It has been six months since I last took my ARVs. I feel fatigue."

    38,500 people in Congo-Brazzaville are estimated to be living with the Aids virus.

  14. Five ways to fix Ghana's economy

    Next week Ghana will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections and the economy is a key issue.

    The country is suffering with a large deficit, high inflation, high interest rates and a struggling currency.

    Could any of these five ideas help the country's struggling economy? 

    Video content

    Video caption: Five ways to fix Ghana's economy
  15. Can cocoa-farming Ivory Coast cash in on Brexit?

    Ivory Coast exports more of its cocoa yield to the EU
    Image caption: Ivory Coast exports most of its cocoa yield to the EU

    If you like chocolate, Brexit and future trade negotiations with Ivory Coast should matter to you. 

    This is because Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans - and it currently does most of its business with the European Union, where the beans are processed to make chocolate and cocoa powder. 

    The UK is a nation of chocolate lovers. At the moment it imports the bulk of its chocolate products from the EU, and relatively little from Ivory Coast directly. 

    Many cocoa bean exporters in Ivory Coast are worried about the impact of Brexit, as prices are set in pound sterling, which has fallen sharply since the vote to leave the EU, so the value of Ivory Coast's cocoa sales has dropped. 

    But trade experts think the UK's exit from Europe may in the long run be an opportunity for the West African nation. 

    Ivory Coast could restructure and improve its trade deals and that could lead to more cash generated from exporting its cocoa products. 

    Read the full story from BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winner Didi Akinyelure.

  16. Married women 'should give their pay to Algeria's treasury'

    Mounia Meslem, Algeria's women affairs minister
    Image caption: Mounia Meslem's suggestion has left many speechless

    Algerian cabinet minister Mounia Meslem has sparked controversy after suggesting that married working women should give their pay to the national treasury, arguing that they have husbands to take care of them, the Jeune Afrique news site reports

    The family and women's affairs minister was offering her solution to the government's cash problem as the North African country has been hit by falling oil and gas prices. 

    Ms Meslem told local El Bilad TV:

    Quote Message: We [women] could help our country, which made sure we had an education and which gave us an opportunity of having a career, [by] transferring our full pay to [the treasury] - it is the least we could do."

    It has caused quite a reaction on social media, with one tweeter wishing such "shameful" views were a spoof.  

  17. Gambia's communication blackout 'shatters freedom illusion'

    The communication blackout in The Gambia (see earlier posts) shatters the illusion of freedom during today’s election, rights group Amnesty International says.

    Samira Daoud, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for West and Central Africa, said the move was an “unjustified and crude attack on freedom of expression”: 

    Quote Message: Shutting down these communication networks shatters the illusion of freedom that had emerged during the two weeks period of the electoral campaign, when restrictions appeared to have been eased.
    Quote Message: This alarming move suggests a return to repression and censorship that has been the hallmark of President Jammeh’s 22-year rule.

    Mr Jammeh has already cast his marble - which is how Gambians vote - at a polling station in the capital, Banjul. Afterwards he had his finger marked:

    Incumbent Gambian president Yahya Jammeh (C) has his finger inked before casting his marble in a polling station in a presidential poll, in Banjul on 1 December 2016

    Some 800,000 people are eligible to vote in the election in which estate agent Adama Barrow is Mr Jammeh's strongest challenger:

    Voters in The Gambia
  18. Cameroon union concerned by players' contract problems

    Piers Edwards

    BBC Africa Sport

    Geremi wants to ensure players are treated fairly in Cameroon
    Image caption: Geremi wants to ensure players are treated fairly in Cameroon

    The fact that two-thirds of Cameroon's local footballers do not have a copy of their contract is a primary concern, says the head of the country's players' union.

    In Cameroon 65% of players lack such a contract, the worst figure out of 54 nations surveyed by global union FIFPro.

    "When you sign a contract, you need to get a copy of your contract - otherwise, you have no rights," said Geremi Njitap.

    The former Cameroon international, who was elected president of the players' union in November, fears the issue could aid match-fixing and player trafficking.

    "It is not fair that footballers sign contracts but don't have [a copy of] their contracts," said the former Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder.

    "They have no legal protection. This is one of the major problems for these players.

    "This is one of my priorities - to solve this problem."

    Close behind Cameroon when it comes to the number of players lacking a contract copy are Ivory Coast, home to the reigning African champions, and Gabon - with 60% of players in both countries saying they suffer in this way.

    Read the full article 

  19. Pro-Biafra treason case: Bid for witnesses to wear masks

    Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Nnamdi Kanu
    Image caption: Nnamdi Kanu is facing treason charges and was arrested when he arrived in Lagos in October 2015

    A crowd of pro-Biafra supporters were at the court in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, for the hearing where Nnamdi Kanu and several other activists campaigning for a breakaway state were denied bail (see earlier entry).

    They were chanting: “No Biafra, no economy” and “No Biafra, no Nigeria.”

    As Mr Kanu has been in detention for more than a year, the court did promise to speed up the case.

    During today’s hearing prosecutors filed an application seeking to allow their witnesses to wear masks when giving evidence, saying this was necessary for security reasons.

    But defence lawyers argued that the state wanted to pay people to give false evidence as it was not able to prove its case against Mr Kanu.

    The case has been adjourned until 13 December, when the judge will rule on the matter of the masks.

  20. SA goalkeeper scores bicycle kick equaliser in injury time

    Yes, you read that headline correctly. 

    Surely one of the most remarkable goals in recent football history?

    Watch it below: 

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