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  1. Zimbabwe's President Mugabe admonishes AU leaders over Morocco
  2. 'Recently freed' prisoner sworn into Gambian cabinet
  3. Zimbabwean pastor behind the #ThisFlag campaign arrested on return to Harare
  4. Free pads for schoolgirls with periods in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal
  5. Ghana's parliament roof ripped off in storm
  6. SA psychiatric patients 'died of dehydration and starvation'
  7. Nigerian quadruplets mother faces huge UK bill
  8. Blocking internet in English-speaking Cameroon 'damaging businesses'
  9. Zimbabwe's ruling party wants 150 cows to celebrate President Mugabe's birthday
  10. Africa gets new body to deal with health emergencies
  11. African leaders back plan for withdrawal from International Criminal Court
  12. Nigerian footballer Odion Ighalo transfers to Chinese side for £20m ($25m)
  13. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 1 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Wednesday'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:

When your in-laws are lizards you should be ready for occasional emergencies."

An Igbo proverb sent by Matyk in Sterling, Virginia, US

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this photo of Egyptian cyclist's tricky balancing act from the @somewhereincairo Instagram account

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Freed Nigerian ex-governor Ibori 'to go home within days'

Convicted fraudster and former Nigerian state governor James Ibori has told the BBC he plans to go home to Nigeria within days and is going to appeal his conviction, even though he pleaded guilty: 

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Ibori was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50m in April 2012.  

He evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police but was arrested in Dubai in 2010 and extradited to the UK - where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police.  

It was revealed in December that the government did not want to deport Ibori when he was due to be released from jail after serving half of his 13-year sentence until he handed over £89m of "proceeds of crime".

But a High Court judge ruled that such attempts to detain him were "quite extraordinary" and he was freed.

Recriminations to follow Gauteng health scandal

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

There are bound to be further recriminations over one of the biggest health scandals in South Africa since the African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994.

The country's health ombudsman revealed today that nearly 100 mentally ill patients died of starvation, dehydration and diarrhoea at care centres in the Gauteng province last year (see earlier entry).

The ANC's youth wing has threatened to lay murder charges against Qedani Mahlangu, a fellow ANC member.

She has resigned as Gauteng health minister, in a rare case of a South African politician taking responsibility for what happened under their watch.

Families of the deceased are hoping for some sort of closure and getting financial reparations. 

Will the government agree? And will there be prosecutions?

A lot will still be heard about this dark episode which took place under a government that had promised a better life for its citizens when it took office at the end of minority rule.

Voter registration begins ahead of crucial Liberia poll

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

A photo about voter registration in Liberia

Voter registration has started today in Liberia ahead of crucial elections in October.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who came to power in 2006 as Africa’s first democratically elected female president, will be stepping down.

Her deputy Joseph Boakai and ex-footballer-turned politician George Weah are two of the main contenders.

More than two dozen political parties have registered for the poll.

The acting director of communications at the electoral commission, Joseph Nyesuah, told the BBC that 2.5 million of the country’s 4 million people have been targeted to register for the poll.

Eager to be among the first to obtain their cards, people started showing up at some of the 2,080 centres in the early hours of the day whilst election workers were still setting up.

This will be the first vote conducted with only Liberians in charge since the end of the civil war in 2003.

Last July, the UN peacekeeping mission also handed over national security responsibilities to the government.

Zimbabwe pastor charged with subversion

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire, who was arrested earlier today after arriving back to the country (see earlier entries), has been charged with subverting a constitutional government. 

The charge stems from his calls last year for anti-government demonstrations.  

Mr Mawarire is still in police custody. 

His lawyers are not sure whether he will appear in court tomorrow but the constitution says he has to appear within 48 hours.  

A video posted online shows him in handcuffs alongside his lawyer. He says that he has not done anything wrong. 

View more on twitter

Petition opposes export of South African lion skeletons

A petition has been launched to oppose a plan by South Africa's government to impose an export quota to Asia of 800 lion skeletons a year.

According to the Bloomberg agency, lion bones can be used as a substitute for tiger bones in Asian medicinal remedies said to treat a wide range of ailments from insomnia to osteoporosis.

The quota relates to farm-bred lions, it reports.

The petition, which closes tomorrow, seeks to collect signatures to ask the environment ministry to drop the plan, which it says will feed lion trophy hunting. 

Organisers ask supporters to say in their submission that they believe that the move will negatively impact the already declining wild lion population. 

According to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), lions are not part of endangered species but are placed in a category that cautions they could be endangered without strict trade controls. 

The quota relates to farm-bred lions

Ex-prisoner sworn into Gambian cabinet

Yahya Jammeh
Yahya Jammeh only agreed to go into exile after West African leaders sent in troops

A newly released prisoner has just been made The Gambia’s finance minister.

Just 72 hours ago Amadou Sanneh was still in jail for being an opponent of former President Yahya Jammeh, who went into exile about 10 days ago, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Among other the cabinet members sworn in today was a long-time opponent of Mr Jammeh’s Ousainou Darboe, who has also spent time in jail as a political prisoner.

According to the AFP news agency, he has been made foreign minister.

Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1994, lost elections in December to Adama Barrow, who was backed by a coalition of opposition parties.

At first he accepted defeat, but then tried to get the results annulled.

West African leaders sent troops into The Gambia on the day Mr Jammeh was officially supposed to hand over power – and mediated his exit to Equatorial Guinea.

Read more: West African leaders stand up for democracy

Zimbabwean pastor 'plans to join politics'

Pastor Evans Mawarire
Evan Mawarire says he plans run for political office in 2018

Zimbabwean Pastor Evans Mawarire told South Africa's Daily Maverick newspaper that he was nervous about returning home - and his fears were justified as he was arrested as soon as he landed at the Harare International airport this afternoon.

But before he got on the plane to Zimbabwe, he told the paper he had resolved to leave his MC job and join active politics. 

He said he would run as an independent in next year's election, without specifying for what office.

He also spoke about why he left Zimbabwe last July, saying he was anxious and worried about his safety especially after President Robert Mugabe referred to him as a regime change agent and said publicly that he was not welcomed back: 

The president of Zimbabwe made comments to the effect that I was not welcome in Zimbabwe, but he doesn’t get to make that decision for me. I have not committed a crime, I’m not a fugitive, I’m a citizen, and an upstanding citizen for that matter

You can never be 100% safe. But I think the amount of work that’s been done over the last couple of months, the different recognition from different platforms and the galvanising of many Zimbabweans that has taken place, for me is a very important constituent for safety.”

He said that he was attracted to active politics because there was only so much one would achieve campaigning for causes on the sidelines:

The more I think about the options, the steps going forward, I realise you can only shout about potholes for so long. You start to realise where change comes from. So at some point we have to start saying that for those that have the ability, the passion, or the buy-in from the people, it may be time to throw your hat in.”

Egypt's goalie could set 10-hour goal-free record

Essam El Hadary, Egypt's 44-year-old goalkeeper, could be about to set a new record tonight if Burkina Faso fail to score in first 20 minutes of the semi-final, tweets a BBC reporter at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon: 

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Piers has also been making friends with some fans of the Stallions, who hope their team Burkina Faso will beat the Pharaohs to progress to the finals.   

Read the full match preview here

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Legacy of Black Hawk Down battle

The sight of dead US soldiers being dragged through the streets of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, was a turning point in one of the US' most high-profile interventions in Africa. The images, broadcast around the world, outraged many.

In October 1993, elite US troops launched the disastrous raid - their aim was to capture key allies of the powerful Somali warlord, Gen Mohamed Farah Aideed. 

But US forces met fierce resistance from Aideed's militia. Two US Black Hawk helicopters were shot down. In the ensuing battle, hundreds of Somalis were estimated to have died. Some 18 Americans and two UN soldiers were killed.

At the time, the US was leading a UN mission to end the civil war and famine in Somalia. Within six months, the US had withdrawn its forces from Somalia. The perceived failure of the Somali mission made the US wary of intervening in African crises.

Abdulaziz Ali Ibrahim, who was working with the UN in Somalia at the time and lived in a house 700 yards away from the site of the first helicopter crash, told BBC Witness about the battle:

In 1993, elite US forces launched a disastrous raid in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Meet the best mascot at Africa Cup of Nations

Mamadou Sore, of Burkina Faso, has been chosen by officials at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) as the tournament's top mascot. 

His elaborate outfit even extends to a motorbike done up as a stallion, reflecting the team's nickname The Stallions. 

Burkina Faso have made the semi-finals and face Egypt tonight at 19:00 GMT.  

Meet the best mascot at Africa Cup of Nations

#ThisFlag Zimbabwe pastor escorted by police

Evan Mawarire
Pastor Evan Mawarire has been out of the country since July last year

The BBC’s Shingai Nyoka in Zimbabwe says Evan Mawarire, the pastor detained at Harare airport this afternoon, is being escorted into town in the company of the police.

The Zimbabwean preacher has been at the heart of a social media campaign known by the hashtag #ThisFlag that has denounced the government's management of the economy.

He backed a stay-at-home strike in July, one of the largest anti-government protests in years.

Later that month a court ordered he be freed from custody after he was accused of attempting to overthrow the government.

His lawyers successfully argued that the charge of subversion, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 year, had been added at the last minute, denying him a fair trial.

Mr Mawarire was first charged with inciting public violence despite the fact that he has called on Zimbabweans to take a peaceful stand against unemployment and corruption and avoided directly criticising the president.

He left Zimbabwe, first for South African then the US, after the case, and this is his first trip back since then.

Read more: From preacher to 'Captain Zimbabwe'

Nigeria impounds smuggled rifles

Nigeria Customs Authority

Nigeria's authorities are still looking for two senior custom officials suspected of being involved in importing a cache of arms that was seized in a truck at Lagos's port on Monday. 

Custom officers arrested three people when the truck was intercepted. 

Hameed Ibrahim Ali, the chief custom's officer, said 49 boxes containing 661 pieces of pump action rifles had been concealed in the truck.

He said in a statement that the type of rifles seized are illegal in Nigeria. 

"Such deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country," he said. 

Customs officials
Nigeria Customs Authority
Nigeria Customs Authority

BreakingZimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire arrested

Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire, who left the country in fear for his life after criticising the country's leadership, has been detained at Harare International Airport.

A lawyer confirmed to the BBC that Mr Mawarire, who arrived today, is still detained at the airport.

Afcon semi-finals preview: Egypt v Burkina Faso

The first of the semi-final matches of the African Cup of Nations kicks off in a few hours. 

Burkina Faso and Egypt go head-to-head with unbeaten records and a place in the Africa Cup of Nations final at stake.

Neither team have tasted defeat in Gabon - and seven-time champions Egypt have yet to concede a goal.

Having played their semi-final 24 hours earlier than Egypt, the Burkinabe team may benefit from extra rest and preparation time.

"It is not an ideal situation, but we have no choice but to adapt," said Egypt coach Hector Cuper.

"The players will be given time to rehabilitate and hopefully they will be ready come Wednesday night."

Read full story

Burkina Faso players
Gabriel Bouys

Neighbouring nations 'interfering in Somali polls'

Farhan Jimale

BBC Somali service

Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke
Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke fears foreign interference

Somalia’s outgoing Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, has accused the neighbouring countries of intervening in the country’s presidential elections.

MPs are due to elect the president later next week.

Mr Sharmarke, who’s also standing as a candidate, said at a press conference in the capital, Mogadishu, that Somalis “should be left to decide their own destiny independently”.

When asked by the BBC, he refused to name which countries he was talking about.

But analysts say that he is worried about Ethiopia’s political influence and military presence in the country and its support for incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Ethiopia contributes soldiers to the 22,000-strong African Union force (Amisom) in the country. Uganda, Djibouti and Kenya are among other contributors.

Mr Sharmarke, who is said to have support from Kenya in his political efforts, said the Somali parliament did not need any help when it came to choosing its leaders.

It’s a fact that Somalia is dependent on Amisom in terms of security and I hope we will soon have our own national army, but it’s unfair that they take advantage of the security support they are giving us with a political agenda and supporting a particular candidate."

Somali politics is also the deeply divided along clan lines – with President Mohamud representing the Hawiye clan and Mr Sharmarke the Darod clan.

So the PM may also be unhappy about a warning from an Ethiopian think tank last month that said Somalia was likely to be destabilised further if a non-Hawiye took over the presidency.

It is not something Somalia’s five clans agree about.

Mugabe: 'African leaders lack revolutionary experience'

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Robert Mugabe in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - January 2017
Robert Mugabe was a key figure in the fight against white minority-rule in the 1970s

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says the vote to readmit Morocco to the African Union (AU) shows a lack of ideology by some African leaders.

Speaking to state media on his return home from the AU Summit in Ethiopia, Mr Mugabe said the lure of Morocco’s money had won over principle:

Morocco has been working for quite a long time, building mosques here, giving money at times."

According to state-run Herald newspaper, he said the decision was “quite a blow” for some AU members.

Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Algeria believe that Morocco should have only been readmitted to the AU on condition it gives up its claim to the disputed Western Sahara territory. 

President Mugabe said southern Africa would continue to fight to ensure full independence for a territory the UN has referred to as “Africa’s last colony”.

We believe in rules, in the principles and we have wanted to see Morocco declare at least, that yes, we have given up the claim of occupation.

I think its lack of ideology. They [the African leaders who backed Morocco] have not had the same revolutionary experience as all of us and there is too much reliance on their erstwhile colonisers."

Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor, more than 30 years ago - in protest over the decision to grant full rights membership to the Polisario Front, which is demanding independence for Western Sahara.

Free pads for SA schoolgirls with periods

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, South Africa

Sanitary pads to be distributed by South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Education Department
KwaZulu-Natal Education Department

Girls in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province are going to get free sanitary pads when they get their periods in an effort to reduce school dropout rates.

Research has found that millions of South African girls, especially from poor backgrounds, miss school because they are not able to afford pads.

The KwaZulu-Natal Education Department say it will provide the pads to pupils in close to 3,000 schools in the province.

They will be distributed either by the school principal or an official at the school every month and the girls will be required to sign for them.

The department’s Kwazi Mthethwa said:

We don’t want aunties and other women to use these sanitary pads because they are there to help our female learners and to ensure that they don’t have to miss classes because they cannot afford these pads."

It is estimated that some girls aged between 13 and 19 in South Africa miss one week of school every month while menstruating because of not being able to afford sanitary pads.  

Job advert in Kenya with a twist

Kenyans are sharing a screengrab on social media of a job advert in one of the newspapers that has an interesting requirement for applicants. 

The company has listed that applicants for the 50 security officers positions should have at least a D+ grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), which is issued to school leavers who  sit a minimum of eight subjects. But the advert stipulates that the D+ grade refers to "Matiangi's".

This refers to Kenya's Education Minister, Fred Matiang'i, who has been credited with overseeing last year's national examinations, which surprisingly recorded no incident of cheating for the first time. 

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Read more: What school cheating tells us about trust in Kenya

SA psychiatric patients 'died of dehydration and starvation'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Qedani Mahlangu, a regional health minister in South Africa, has resigned following a scathing report on the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients in Gauteng province last year.

The report by the country’s health ombudsman says most of the patients, whose care is paid for by the Gauteng province, died of diarrhoea, dehydration and starvation.

In his report Malegapuru Makgoba said the deaths occurred between March and December last year when 1,900 patients were transferred by the health department from a licensed mental institution, Life Esidimeni, to 27 non-governmental organisations which had “invalid licences” to look after mentally ill people.

Dr Makgoba said that Gauteng’s health department was negligent and reckless when it hurriedly moved patients with the intention of saving money:

Therefore the patients died unlawfully."

The Gauteng health department has always maintained the number of those who died was 36.

Dr Makgoba said when Ms Mahlangu publicly announced the figure of 36 in the Gauteng legislature last September, 77 patients had already died.

The report - 94 Silent Deaths and Counting - said only one person died from mental illness.

The report recommended that law enforcement agencies investigate further.

The ombudsman’s probe was prompted by complaints from families who were desperately searching for their loved ones.

Dr Makgoba was visibly angry when he delivered the findings of his report live on television today.

Quoting from Indian independence campaigner Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy that the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable, he said:

We would fail that test of Mahatma Gandhi in the way we treated our most vulnerable."

Rainstorm rips off Ghana's parliament roof

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

Parliament building
Wind ripped off the roof which was thrown to the ground outside

Repair works are ongoing at Ghana's parliament after a severe rainstorm ripped off part of the building's roof on Tuesday evening.

It brought proceedings to an abrupt end as the chamber was left exposed to rain, which interfered with the installed electronic gadgets. 

Staff tried to save some of the exposed areas by using buckets to collect the dripping water:

Parliament building
The rain disrupted proceedings in parliament

The building in the capital, Accra, was renovated two years ago:  

Ghana parliament

Analysis: Why is Morocco's king visiting South Sudan?

Richard Hamilton

BBC World Service Africa editor

The king of Morocco, Mohammed VI
King Mohammed VI is still on a charm offensive in Africa

A few weeks ago Moroccan military planes landed in South Sudan's capital, Juba, equipped with much-needed medical supplies. Today King Mohammed is expected to open mobile health clinics run by Moroccans. 

The trip caps a charm offensive by the king in which he has visited several African nations in order to cement relations with them and gather their support for rejoining the African Union (AU). 

But the interchange with South Sudan is also an example of a poorer African country reaching out to a richer one for support, trade and investment. 

Interest in the north African kingdom's economy - the fifth largest on the continent and worth more than one $100bn (£80bn) - has grown in recent years. 

For Morocco, readmission to the AU smooths its access to fast-growing African economies to the south and helps reduce its reliance on increasingly stagnant European markets to the north.

Since the year 2000, King Mohammed has paid 46 visits to 25 African countries, and has signed nearly 1,000 trade agreements. 

Morocco is investing heavily in African infrastructure. In December, for example, he travelled to Nigeria where he signed a deal for a huge gas pipeline project aimed at linking Nigeria with Europe.

Morocco has also been at the forefront of alternative energy - with solar power projects on its soil as well as plans to reform agriculture on the continent. The latest global summit on the environment - COP22 - was held in Marrakech in December. 

Thousands of Africans go to Morocco to study and are offered scholarships. In fact although the authorities in Rabat would not appreciate the comparison, there are similarities between what the Moroccan monarch is doing now and the actions of the former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi who won friends and influenced people via a massive programme of investment across Africa.

Nigerian quadruplets mother faces huge UK bill

A Nigerian woman who gave birth to quadruplets is the focus of two UK newspaper stories today after it was revealed that she has racked up a UK hospital bill of $630,000 (£500,000). 

The woman, named Priscilla, was on her way home from the US when she went into premature labour and gave birth on a plane that landed at London's Heathrow airport.

One of the babies did not survive the birth, but Priscilla and the other babies were taken to an intensive care unit in London. A second baby later died.

It is not clear from the reports in The Sun and The Daily Mail when she gave birth, but she and her babies are still in hospital.

As the woman is not a British resident, she must pay for the care that she and her babies are now receiving. 

Their emergency treatment has been provided free of charge but non-UK residents have to pay for subsequent care. 

It is estimated that some $364m (£289m) was charged to all overseas patients in 2015/16 but only half that amount was recovered, the Press Association reports.

Her case will feature on a BBC Two documentary Hospital later today in the UK.  

The SUN front page

Cameroon in 'costly internet shutdown'

The ongoing internet shutdown in English-speaking regions of Cameroon, the North West and South West, has so far led to massive economic losses to small businesses and entrepreneurs, according to a report by freedom of expression campaign group Internet Sans Frontieres. 

It estimates that blocking access to the internet for the past 15 days has cost businesses up to $723,000 (£570,000). 

Buea, the capital of the South West region, is known as "Silicon Mountain" because many small businesses have developed there thanks to the internet.

They have contributed greatly to the development of a digital economy and are the companies that have mostly been affected.

The Anglophone regions have experienced violent clashes in recent months following what residents see as a government plan to impose the use of French language in schools and courts. 

Internet Sans Frontieres together with other open-internet campaign groups, Access Now and The World Wide Foundation, are calling on President Paul Biya to re-establish the internet connection throughout Cameroon.

Several African governments have used internet shutdowns to deal with perceived dissent. 

Read more: How African governments block social media

Map of Camneroon

Cow donation call for Mugabe's 93rd birthday

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Robert Mugabe during his birthday celebrations in 2008
Robert Mugabe, born on 21 February 1924, has led Zimbabwe since 1980

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has started fundraising for President Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday celebrations later this month.

The birthday organisers say they want to 150 head of cattle to feed revellers.

The state-run Herald newspaper quotes MP Never Khanye as saying donations are voluntary but that large-scale farmers in Matabeleland South, where the celebrations will be held, must donate a cow to show appreciation of the long-time leader:

"We have set a target to raise 150 cattle for the event.

We are appealing to well-wishers to do so willingly and not to come again tomorrow and say we were forced.

All A2 farmers who got offer letters must donate a beast each for this event and those that will fail we will take it that they don't appreciate what the president has done for them."

A2 farmers are people who received large farms from the government following the takeover of white-owned farms in the country’s controversial land reform programme.

Zanu-PF says it expects 100,000 people to attend the celebrations.

They will be held in Matobos, just outside the second largest city of Bulawayo.  

Read more: Nine things you may not know about Robert Mugabe

ACDC - a new body to deal with Africa's health emergencies

The African Union has established a body to detect, manage and to better respond to public health emergencies like the Ebola virus.   

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The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) will monitor health threats and manage responses. 

The body will collaborate with international health institutions to share information and improve surveillance of public health threats.  

The ACDC will set up several regional centres: 

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Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the head of the World Health Organization in Africa, told the BBC's Newsday programme this morning that the initiative would help the continent better respond to public health emergencies. 

But she warned that African countries would still have to invest in their health care system to ensure they were better prepared to stop communicable diseases from spreading.

Botswana warning to register drones

Botswana’s government has launched a campaign to get people to register their drones:

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It doesn’t cost much - about $25 (£20) - but the  Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) warns failure to apply will results in a maximum fine of $4,800 (£3,700) and possible confiscation of the drone.

It says that drones are increasingly being used “for private and professional activities such as photography and videography, agricultural observations, climate studies and other uses".

But it says they pose a threat to privacy, security and the safety of citizens if unlicensed.

Uganda denies not backing Kenya for AU post

Uganda has denied accusations that it did not back Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed in her bid to become chairperson of the African Union Commission. 

Ms Mohammed, who was seen as a front runner,  accused neighbouring countries in her concession speech, of being "deceptive" and called for an investigation. 

Kenyan media reports said that Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti did not vote for Ms Mohammed in the final round clearing the path for Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chad's foreign minister. 

Mr Mahamat secured a two-thirds majority, 36 votes, to be declared winner.  

Kenya's government reportedly spent $3m (£2m) in its campaign rallying support for Ms Mohammed. 

By tradition, the post rotates between Anglophone and Francophone countries. Outgoing head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, from English-speaking South Africa, succeeded French-speaking Jean Ping in 2012.  

Uganda said in a statement that its support for Ms Mohammed was unequivocal before and during the election:

View more on twitter

Nigeria's Ighalo moves to China

Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo
Ighalo (L) scored 15 goals last season

The January football transfer window closed several hours ago with several players changing clubs. 

Nigeria's striker Odion Ighalo missed Watford's match against Arsenal last night to seal a deal to Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai for £20m. 

He becomes the latest English Premier League player to join the Chinese league. 

Ighalo, 27, joined the Hornets in 2014 from Italian side Udinese and helped Watford win promotion to the Premier League in the 2014-15 campaign.

He scored 15 top-flight goals in 2015-16, but has only one Premier League goal this season and has gone 15 games without scoring in all competitions.

Watford's 2-1 away win last night moves them to 13th in the Premier League, 11 points above the relegation zone.

During his time with the Hornets, Ighalo played 100 times in all competitions and scored 39 goals.

In the calendar year of 2015, he scored 30 goals in 38 games. He has netted six times since.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page or visit our Premier League tracker here.

African Union backs plan for ICC withdrawal

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

The African Union has backed a plan to push for a collective withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which many countries on the continent believe unfairly targets them.

But the decision, taken by African leaders during a closed door session at the recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia, is not legally binding.

The continent has 34 signatories to the Rome Statute, the treaty which set up the court.

The debate on the ICC was hugely divisive on the question of whether this should be individual or collective withdrawal.

Burundi, South Africa and The Gambia have already announced plans to leave the court - although the new Gambian leader has said he will reverse that decision.

Several countries, led by Nigeria and Senegal, strongly supported the court and argued for African countries to remain as members of the court.

They argued it was not possible for a mass withdrawal, as countries had signed up individually, so it will be left to individual countries to implement the withdrawal plan.

And the resolution also called for African members of the ICC to hold a meeting with the UN Security Council to discuss reforms of the global court.   

It also pushed for the strengthening of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to enable it deal with war crimes and cases of genocide.

African leaders say the court has strayed off course by targeting presidents like Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, accused of atrocities in Darfur and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya for inciting post-election violence in 2007 – though his case was dropped in 2014.

Both men denied the allegations.

A demonstration of Sudanese women in Khartoum against the ICC in 2009
Sudan's president is accused by ICC prosecutors of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict

Wise words

Today's African proverb:

When your in-laws are lizards you should be ready for occasional emergencies."

An Igbo proverb sent by Matyk in Sterling, Virginia, US

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date on news and trends across the continent.