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  1. Burundi's government bans top human rights group
  2. Ethiopian court sentences 20 Muslims convicted of terror-related offences
  3. The Gambia's election boss 'goes into hiding'
  4. Nigeria's government gives grants to poor amid recession
  5. Senegal's parliament votes to reserve seats for diaspora
  6. Ivory Coast given extra financial support for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations
  7. Top South African mayor under fire over Taiwan visit
  8. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 3 January 2017

Live Reporting

By Adelaide Arthur, Lamine Konkobo and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Tuesday'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: The ram that moves backwards does so to bring more power." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Emmanuel Adeyemi, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Emmanuel Adeyemi, Ogbomoso, Nigeria

    Click here to send us your proverbs

    And while we're all back at work after the festive break, our colleague Clare Spencer is still on holiday in Tanzania, from where she posted a picture of a boxing match on a beach in Dar es Salaam: 

    View more on instagram
  2. SA police: Nigerian died after 'swallowing heroin'

    South African police have denied being responsible for the death of a Nigerian man in the coastal city of Cape Town last week, AFP news agency says. 

    Yesterday, Nigeria's government condemned what it described as the "extra-judicial killing" of Victor Tochukwu Nnadi, who was allegedly choked to death by police in the centre of Cape Town on Thursday. 

    Police said Mr Nnadi resisted arrest on suspicion of drug dealing and died after swallowing a dose of heroin that he was trying to sell, AFP reports.

    A demonstrator holds a banner through in Johannesburg on April 23, 2015 during a march gathering several thousands of people to protest against the recent wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
    Image caption: Xenophobia is seen as a major problem in South Africa
  3. Senegal to create electoral regions abroad

    Senegal will create eight new electoral regions to represent the diaspora in the next parliament, AFP news agency reports. 

    This follows a historic decision by Senegal's parliament yesterday to give people in the diaspora the right to elect 15 lawmakers, or 9% of seats in the legislature. 

    "It's a step forward for democracy," Moustapha Diakhate, an MP with the country's ruling coalition of parties, told AFP. 

    See earlier post for more details

    Senegal's President Macky Sall delivers a speech from a car's roof during a rally in Thies on March 16, 2016 on the last days of the the political campaign on constitutional reforms including the reduction of the presidential mandate, a referenda looking more like a vote in favour or not of President Macky Sall
    Image caption: Senegal's President Macky Sall pushed for people in the diaspora to be given parliamentary seats

    See earlier post for more details  

  4. Afcon 2017: Zimbabwe in chaos ahead of tournament

    Zimbabwe fans
    Image caption: Zimbabwe fans hope they will have something to celebrate in Gabon

    Zimbabwe's preparations ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon have been thrown into chaos by a row over accommodation and financial issues.

    BBC Sport has learned the team refused to stay at the Zifa Village training facility, saying it is sub-standard, and have been booked at a Harare Inn hotel by Footballers Union of Zimbabwe.

    The team were also unable to use the national sports stadium for training because a $60 fee had not been paid.

    They had to use a high school instead.

    It is unclear why the fee was not paid, given a mobile network provider announced a $250,000 sponsorship for the Warriors two weeks ago to cover all of the team's needs for their Nations Cup campaign.

    Zimbabwe's first match of the 14 January to 5 February tournament is against Algeria on 15 January. They will also face Tunisia and Senegal in Group B.

  5. Ethiopians 'to appeal' sentencing

    The 20 Ethiopian Muslims jailed by a court in the capital, Addis Ababa, after being found guilty of inciting violence and trying to establish a state ruled by Islamic law, will appeal against their sentence, their lawyer has said, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

    Mustafa Safi said they did not receive a fair trial and were not able to pray in detention.   

    All but one received a prison sentence of five years and six months. 

    Those jailed included two journalists working for a Muslim radio station in Ethiopia.

    Muslims have long felt marginalised in Ethiopia and have carried out a number of protests since 2011.

    See earlier post for more details   

  6. The Nigerian hymn that has caused a stir

    Martin Patience

    BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

    Olusegun Obasanjo speaking at a podium.
    Image caption: Olusegun Obasanjo was a former military ruler and elected president of Nigeria

    It’s likely to go down as one of the strangest song recordings in Nigeria’s storied musical history. 

    Some of the West African state's former leaders and top politicians bandied together to sing a hymn, Oh God Our Help in Ages Past, calling for unity and peace in the country in 2017. 

    The singing was at times strained but the video production skills were relatively slick. 

    It appeared to be unusual attempt to try capitalise on the country’s deep religious devotion.

    But the recording got a rather mixed review on social media. One user described it as “groundbreaking” while another said the recital had almost moved her to tears. 

    But others were less forgiving. One described it as a "disgusting sight to behold", while another said that those singing were "evil men who deceived Nigerians and are now trying to deceive god".

    Among those in the chior were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and ex-leaders Olusegun Obasanjo, Yakubu Gowon and Ernest Shonekan.

    You can watch the video here: 

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  7. Gambian election chief 'in hiding'

    BBC World Service

    Alieu Momar Njai speaking to journalists
    Image caption: Alieu Momar Njai declared the election free and fair

    The family of the chairman of the electoral commission in The Gambia has told the BBC that he has gone into hiding. 

    There are reports that Alieu Momar Njai has fled the country because he received threats after declaring President Yahya Jammeh had lost the election. 

    Mr Jammeh initially admitted that he had lost the poll last month to his rival Adama Barrow, but then refused to step down. 

    Security forces took over the headquarters of the electoral commission shortly afterwards.  

    Three marble containers used for Gambia elections
    Image caption: Mr Jammeh says he wants a new poll organised by a "God-fearing" commission
  8. A jacket that detects pneumonia

    Detecting pneumonia

    Pneumonia kills 27,000 Ugandan children under the age of five every year. Most of these cases are due to pneumonia being misdiagnosed as malaria.

    Ugandan engineer Brian Turyabagye has designed a biomedical "smart jacket" to quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia. 

    Read about this and other African inventions here

  9. Jailed Ethiopians 'wanted Islamic state'

    A federal court in Ethiopia sentenced 20 Muslims to up to five years and six months in prison for trying to establish an Islamic sate in the country, the state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) news site reports.

    The group attempted to incite violence by distributing pamphlets in mosques in the capital, Addis Ababa, and other towns, the report alleges.

    The 20 were also accused of planning a "criminal strike" and trying to free jailed activists of the "Let our voices be heard" movement.  

    Rights activists have repeatedly accused the Ethiopian government of being repressive and crushing legitimate dissent. 

    See earlier post for more details

  10. Burundi 'bans' prominent rights group

    Burundi's oldest human rights organisation has been banned, AFP news agency reports. 

    A ministerial order accuses the Iteka League of "continuing to tarnish the image of the country and sowing hatred and division among the population", it adds. 

    Formed in 1991, the group continued exposing alleged human rights abuses despite being suspended when unrest broke out two years ago over President Nkurunziza's decision to seek re-election and extend his decade-long rule.

    It took part in an investigation with the International Federation for Human Rights, resulting in the release of a report in November documenting alleged state-sponsored violence and warning of the risk of genocide.

    Women walk past a burning barricade set up by protestors in the Nyakabiga neighborhood of Bujumbura on July 21, 2015.
    Image caption: Protests broke out after the president decided to run for a third term in 2015
  11. International headlines

    BBC World Service

    Pictures of victims of the New Year's Day attack on an Istanbul nightclub lie on Turkish national flags and flowers in front of the Reina nightclub on January 3, 2017 in Istanbul.
    Image caption: The attack in Istanbul left 39 people dead

    * Turkish police are continuing their hunt for the gunman who carried out the Istanbul nightclub massacre.  A Kyrgyz man identified by local media as a suspect is reported to have been released without charge. 

    * The German government has outlined plans for more centralised control of the security services following the Berlin lorry attack. 

    * Dozens of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are reported to have been sentenced to jail or flogging after protesting over unpaid wages. 

  12. Afcon 2017: Ivory Coast given financial boost

    Ivory Coast with the trophy in 2015
    Image caption: Ivory Coast with the trophy in 2015

    Defending champions Ivory Coast have been given extra financial support for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

    The Ivorian government has approved a near €6 million euros (($6.3m; £5.1m) budget for the team's campaign in Gabon.

    It is an increase of €600,000 euros from the last finals in Equatorial Guinea two years ago.

    Ivory Coast kick off their tournament against Togo on 16 January, before facing DR Congo and Morocco in the group stage.

    Read the full BBC story here

  13. Mass weddings for Algeria's poor

    The sponsored mass wedding is a practical solution to the high cost of nuptials in Algeria
    Image caption: A wedding in Algeria costs thousands of dollars

    The Algerian city of Aïn-Salah, some 1,500km (932 miles) south of the capital Algiers, is at the heart of the country's rich gas fields but poverty there is so widespread that certain couples who wish to celebrate a wedding cannot afford it, AFP news agency reports. 

    Getting married is highly valued tradition, but the high cost of nuptials in Algeria appears to be deterring some from tying the knot, it reports. 

    So, a local charity, SOS 3e-age El-Ihsane, recently brought together 30 brides and grooms for a mass wedding ceremony. 

    Commenting on the initiative, its leader Souad Chikni told AFP:

    Quote Message: In these back country areas, people are poor and need help."

    Mohammed, one of the grooms who took part in the mass wedding, was thankful: 

    Quote Message: "The initiative to finance and help young people is good. When I heard about this association, like other young people I wanted to take part in this marriage. This association helps those who are in need a lot."

    Without the charity's help, few would have been able to afford an individual ceremony, which can cost at least 1.2 million dinars ($10,000; £8,141), AFP says

  14. Is Afrophobia a major problem in South Africa?

    Nigeria's government has condemned an attack on one of its nationals by police in South Africa. 

    The man, Victor Tochukwu Nnadi, was allegedly choked to death by police in the centre of Cape Town on Thursday, after he was arrested on suspicion of selling drugs. 

    A special adviser to the Nigerian president, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described it as a barbarous and unacceptable crime. 

    She added that 20 Nigerians had been killed in South Africa in 2016. 

    South African political commentator and author Eusebius McKaiser told BBC Newsday that the latest incident is another example of Afrophobia in South Africa:

    Video content

    Video caption: Concern over violence against migrants
  15. Ceasefire announced in Mozambique

    BBC World Service

    Opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama waving
    Image caption: Afonso Dhlakama lives in a mountainous region

    The head of the rebel movement in Mozambique, Afonso Dhlakama, has announced a two month ceasefire, extending a seven day truce which ran over the Christmas period. 

    The movement, Renamo, which is also an elected opposition party, fought against the Frelimo government during the Mozambican civil war, which ended in 1992. 

    However tensions have resurfaced and there were clashes and assassinations of local politicians last year. Mr Dhlakama now lives in hiding in a mountainous central region. 

  16. Ghanaian innovator exhibits his latest cars

    Front view of a car

    A Ghanaian innovator has showcased what he says are his latest creations, including cars, at a technology fair in the capital, Accra.

    Kwadwo Sarfo,  the founder of Kantanka Technology Center for Excellence and a religious leader, exhibited V8 cars, 3-wheel motorbikes, robotic welding machines, smoke detectors, and even a tower weapon for warfare, Joy News reports.  

    President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo, who attended the fair, said his government would focus on science and technology education to speed up Ghana's development, according to Joy News.  

    Mr Sarfo shakes hands with Ghana's president-elect.
    Image caption: Ghana's president-elect Nana Akufo-Addo greets innovator Kwadjo Sarfo

    Mr Sarfo, who is the father of an MP, said his creations were to demonstrate the capabilities of the "black man in the area of technological research and innovation".     

    He built his first car in 1998 and since then his Kantanka brand has released several other models, including four-wheel drives and an SUV. 

    According to his website, Mr Sarfo began his trade by making electrical drums, loud speakers, professional mixing consoles and amplifiers, and went on to build flat screen sensor TVs, powered with the wave of a hand.    

    In 2015, his son, who manages the enterprise, told New Africa Magazine that the company had been given the clearance for commercial production.

    But there have been concerns about the lack of government support for the Kantanka projects. 

    Below are some pictures from the exhibition.

    Cars on exhibition
    Interior of a car.
    A three-wheel motorcycle on display.
    Some mini cranes on display.
  17. Senegal parliament gives seats to nationals abroad

    Men vote at a polling station in Dakar on July 1, 2012, during legislative elections.
    Image caption: The government wants to give people in the diaspora the vote for the first time

    In a historic move, Senegal's lawmakers have approved legislation which reserves 15 parliamentary seats for nationals living abroad. 

    But the opposition is opposed to the plan, saying it will mount a court challenge to try and scrap the law. 

    It says the plan is financially costly and will increase the size of parliament from 150 to 165. 

    "This measure is absurd," Amar Sarr, an MP from the main opposition PDS party, told the BBC.

    Under the plan championed by the governing party, nationals living abroad will elect 15 lawmakers in the 2017 poll to represent them in parliament.

     An estimated 160,000 Senegalese nationals live abroad, and governing party lawmakers say they deserve representation in parliament because of the financial help they give to families back home

  18. Nigeria rolls out grants to poor

    Naziru Mikailu

    BBC Abuja editor

    Nigeria's government has commenced the payment of 5,000 naira ($16; £13) a month to one million people classified as the "most vulnerable". 

    The scheme is part of the governing party’s election campaign pledge to create a safety net for the poorest section of society. 

    The government says payments started last week in nine out of 36 Nigeria's states. 

    There have been concerns that the authorities may find it  to select beneficiaries as there is no proper database in the country.

    Nigeria is in the grip of a recession, making it more difficult for people to come out financially. 

    A street vendor looks on as he sells his wares on a road of Lagos on July 12, 2016.
    Image caption: Many Nigerians work in the informal sector to earn a living

    Read: Africa's 'limping giant'

  19. Ethiopian journalists jailed

    A leading Ethiopian publication is tweeting that two journalists are among the 20 Muslims sentenced to prison today after being convicted of terror-related charges:

    View more on twitter

    See earlier post for more details

  20. Row over South African mayor's Taiwan visit

    Solly Msimanga, Mayor of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality poses for a protait for AFP during a Mayors C40 Summit 2016 in Mexico city on December 1, 2016
    Image caption: Mr Msimanga caused a major upset by winning the city on the ticket of the Democratic Alliance

    South Africa's government has accused the mayor of Tshwane, which includes the capital Pretoria, of breaching its "One China" policy by visiting Taiwan last month.

    Solly Msimanga, the first opposition member to be elected Tshwane mayor, has defended the visit, saying it was aimed at drumming up investor support. 

    Foreign affairs department spokesman Clayson Monyela said that South Africa and the UN do not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign state and South Africa's liaison office in Taipei is only meant for people-to-people contact.

    ''It has no political mandate and therefore interaction between political office bearers is not allowed,'' he added. 

    The governing African National Congress (ANC) lost control of Tshwane in local government elections last year. 

    It was its first defeat in the city since it took power at the end of apartheid in 1994.