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Live Reporting

Dickens Olewe and Hugo Williams

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Monday'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: You stand on a crooked branch to cut a straight one. " from An Akan proverb sent by Kwame Effa, San Marcos, Texas, US
    An Akan proverb sent by Kwame Effa, San Marcos, Texas, US

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

    And we leave you with this picture of models at a fashion show over the weekend in Ghana's capital, Accra.

  2. Isabel dos Santos: I face prejudice because of who I am

    Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angola's president and one of the richest women in Africa, says that people are prejudiced against her because of her background. 

    She has been speaking to the BBC's Paul Bakibinga: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Isabel dos Santos: I face prejudice because of who I am
  3. What does junk credit rating mean for South Africa?

    Matthew Davies

    Editor, BBC Africa Business Report, Johannesburg

    Standard and Poors lowered South Africa's sovereign credit rating to double B plus, taking it below investment grade and setting the country on a path to higher borrowing costs. 

    S&P also lower its long-term foreign currency rating cut to so-called junk status, citing concerns over political uncertainty in the country. 

    The ratings agency said its move was directly related to the firing of the well-respected finance minister, Pravin Gordhan. 

    Analysts fear replacing Mr Gordhan with Malusi Gigaba will lead to budgetary slippage - with the risk that government spending will escalate now the fiscal prudent Gordhan is no longer at the Treasury. 

    If another ratings agency follows suit, many international investment funds - under their owns rules - will be unable to buy South African government debt. 

    The rand lost some ground on the news, which has fuelled fears of inflation.

    At the same time, borrowing costs are predicted to rise for ordinary South Africans as well.

    The leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has made his feelings clear on the downgrade:

    View more on twitter
  4. Trump hails Egypt's Sisi for 'fantastic job'

    Trump and Sisi in the Oval office

    US President Donald Trump welcomed Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House, the first such visit from an Egyptian president in almost a decade. 

    "I just want to let everybody know that we are very much behind President al-Sisi, he has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation," Mr Trump said as the pair met in the Oval Office.

    Sisi looking at Trump with a smile

    Egypt has long been a staunch US ally, but ties were strained by Mr Sisi's decision to launch a crackdown on his Islamist and secular opponents.

    The Obama administration froze military aid for 18 months in response.

    Sisi and Trump at entrance to the White House
    Trump and Sisi shake hands in the oval office

    President Donald Trump now wants to "reboot" the two countries' bilateral relationship, US officials say.

    Read more: Paying the price for seeking freedom in Egypt

  5. EU naval force locates hijacked Indian ship

    Map showing Hobyo up the coast from Mogadishu

    An Indian cargo ship seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia on Saturday (see earlier entries) has been located by the European anti-piracy force in the region.

    The vessel is now in the vicinity of Hobyo, a port town in the semi-autonomous region of Galmudug, the EU Naval Force said, giving a location for the vessel for the first time.

    Hobyo used to be a major meeting point for pirates at the height of their strength in 2011, Reuters news agency reports

    "An EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft has confirmed the exact location of the dhow [boat] and has attempted to establish radio communications but without success," it said in a statement on its website. 

    "Investigations and operations are ongoing." 

    Read the full statement below:

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  6. South Africa downgraded to junk status

    South Africa has been downgraded to junk status after a review by ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P), the AFP news agency reports.  

    The rand has been under pressure after rumours began swirling that President Jacob Zuma was planning to fire the widely respected Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. 

    The rand lost 5% of its value once the president went ahead with the controversial plan at midnight on Thursday, in a cabinet reshuffle dubbed the "midnight massacre".

    The currency is currently down by 1.9% against the US dollar in today's trading.

    S&P says the overall economic outlook for the economy is "negative," which reflects its views that political risks will remain elevated this year, and that the country might see policy shifts that would "undermine fiscal and economic growth outcomes more than S&P currently projects."

    The situation means that the government would be spending more to offset its external debt and would have less cash to fund its internal projects. 

    Pensioners will also see the values of their savings go down. 

    The new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has promised to broadly stick to his predecessor's fiscally disciplined policies, but it seems this has done little to reassure the currency markets. 

  7. Ghana electoral chief nominated for prize after successful polls

    Charlotte Osei
    Image caption: Ms Osei speaking live to BBC Africa Facebook before elections in December

    Ghana's electoral commission chief Charlotte Osei has been nominated for the annual Chatham House Prize, given by the London-based think tank.

    Ms Osei, who was appointed to the role in 2015, is the first woman to hold the position.

    She oversaw the hotly contested 2016 elections which saw incumbent John Mahama lose to opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo. 

    The prize is awarded to the person, persons or organization deemed to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.  

    Other nominees are: 

    • Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia: nominated for formally ratifying a peace agreement with the FARC rebel group and bringing an end to the war in Colombia.
    • Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO: nominated for steering NATO through one of the most complicated periods in its recent history.

    The winner will be announced later this year, and an award ceremony will take place in the autumn, a statement from Chatham House says. 

    Watch her BBC Africa Facebook live interview from November 2016

  8. Anti-Guptas protest in South Africa

    A small group of protesters gathered at the upmarket estate of Saxonwold in South Africa's main city Johannesburg to protest against the controversial Gupta family, who are accused of wielding undue influence over President Jacob Zuma. 

    Allegations of such influence over policy, referred to in South Africa as "state capture", are strenuously denied by the Gupta family.

    The BBC's Milton Nkosi has snapped these pictures of the group holding up banners condemning Indian-born family, one of the country's wealthiest:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Read:The Guptas and their links to South Africa's Jacob Zuma

  9. Tanzania's 'psychological portrait' artist

    Sammy Awami

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    Artist Ibrahim Kejo contemporary art

    A two-week exhibition of contemporary art has opened in Dar es Salaam displaying a range of thought-provoking paintings by one of the few Tanzanian contemporary artists. 

    Artist Ibrahim Kejo’s work introduces what he terms as psychological portraits titled “An Accidental Coronation”. 

    Artist Ibrahim Kejo contemporary art

    In a country where paintings of culture and nature, collectively referred to as Tinga Tinga paintings, dominate the art industry, Kejo's work is not familiar to many. 

    The theme of the exhibition, the artist says, represents a wide range of human experience coupled with touches of dark humour and irony. 

    Artist Ibrahim Kejo contemporary art

    “I call this 'psychological portraits', as they are depictions of the various psychological landscapes that people go through in their experience,” Kejo says.

    I snapped these displays at the exhibition:

    Artist Ibrahim Kejo contemporary art
  10. New pyramid discovery in Egypt

          An undated handout photo made available on 03 April 2017 by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities showing a general view for the remains of a 13th dynasty pyramid, north of King Senefru"s bent pyramids in Dahshur necropolis, 40km south of Cairo, Egypt

    The remains of a pyramid built around 3,700 years ago have been discovered near the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

    The antiquities ministry says the new find is close to the bent pyramid of King Sneferu in the Dahshuhr's royal necropolis, 30km (18 miles) from the capital.

    It includes an alabaster block engraved with ten vertical hieroglyphic lines and blocks showing the interior design.   

          An undated handout photo made available on 03 April 2017 by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities showing an alabaster block engraved with ten vertical hieroglyphic lines,

    The ministry said all the discovered parts were in good condition.   

          An undated handout photo made available on 03 April 2017 by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities showing a general view for the remains of a 13th dynasty pyramid,
  11. Kinshasa turns into 'ghost town' after opposition strike call

          A picture taken on April 3, 2017 shows few cars on the Lumumba boulevard in Kinshasa during a general strike called by the opposition.

    The usually busy streets of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, are deserted as the result of a general strike.

    The opposition platform called for the strike in protest against President Joseph's Kabila's failure to implement a power-sharing deal. 

    "We've followed the call... because we are suffering greatly. Let him quit power, he has finished his mandate, we want no more of him," Mamie Biamba, a resident of the capital, Kinshasa, told AFP news agency. 

    The strike is aimed at pressurising President Joseph Kabila to back a political deal which fell apart week.

          People walk near a train in Kinshasa on April 3, 2017 during a general strike called by the opposition

    The deal outlined the creation of a new government paving the way for a general election.

    Mr Kabila was supposed to step down last year but the vote to replace him was not held.

          People walk in an empty street in Kinshasa on April 3, 2017 during a general strike called by the opposition
    Image caption: Kinshasa streets which are usually busy are deserted as a result of the strike

    Security forces have been deployed to protect business owners who have chosen to ignore the strike.  

  12. African envoys: India attacks on Nigerians 'racial'

    Envoys from African nations in the Indian capital, Delhi, have condemned the handling of recent attacks on Nigerian students in the city.

    In a statement, the African Heads of Mission said the attacks were "xenophobic and racial".

    Indian authorities had failed to "sufficiently condemn" the attacks or take "visible deterring measures", the envoys added.

    The students were attacked last month in Greater Noida, close to Delhi.

    Five Nigerian students were attacked by crowds, while another was beaten by a mob inside a shopping mall.

    Read full story

    African students
    Image caption: Last month's violence happened in Greater Noida, close to the Indian capita
  13. Nigerian state to debate monogamy law

    The speaker of Nigeria's northern state of Kano has said that the public will be consulted on a bill that aims to ban poor men from marrying more than one wife. 

    Alhassan Rurum told BBC Hausa that Muslim religious leaders and scholars will also be consulted on defining who can be considered to be poor. 

    The controversial proposal was made by Muhammad Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, to ensure that men have families that they are able to take care of. 

    Muhammad Sanusi II
    Image caption: Since taking office in 2014 Emir Muhammad Sanusi II has made several progressive proposals upending traditional views
  14. Haile Selassie: Statesman or dictator?

    Emperor Haile Selassie was the last in the line of Ethiopia’s ancient monarchy. 

    During his long rule he was revered as an international statesman and reformer, demonised as a dictator, and even worshipped as a God incarnate by the Rastafarians of Jamaica. 

    He was without doubt a controversial figure, but achieved a status in the global arena previously unheard of for an African ruler.

    Bridget Kendall the presenter of the BBC's Forum discusses Haile Selassie’s life and legacy.

    Video content

    This content is currently not available

    Taking part in the discussion were  Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate, political analyst and author and also the great-nephew of Haile Selassie; Gerard Prunier, is a former director of the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa; and Laura Hammond, an anthropologist specialising in Ethiopia at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.  

  15. South Sudan drops plan for $10,000 work permit fee

    President Salva Kiir
    Image caption: South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar

    South Sudan's government has dropped plans to charge foreign workers a $10,000 (£8,000) work permit fee, the Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau announced, the Reuters news agency reports. 

    The 100-fold hike in the fee for foreign professionals announced early last month was criticised on grounds that that it would create a huge expense for aid organisations.

    "The Ministry of Finance acknowledges these significant issues... and steps are being taken to formulate the best way forward," Mr Dhieu Dau told a news conference. 

    "The implementing agencies will continue with old rates charged," he said, adding that parliament was expected to repeal the legislation that approved the fee hike. 

    The previous rate was $100 per foreign worker. 

    South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, sparking a conflict that has increasingly split the country along ethnic lines. 

    In February, the United Nations declared that parts of the country were experiencing famine. 

    Nearly half the population, or about 5.5 million people, is expected to lack a reliable supply of food by July. The fighting has uprooted more than 3 million people. 

  16. BBC Minute in Uganda to celebrate 2nd birthday

    View more on twitter

    BBC Minute is marking its second birthday with a special 24 hours from Uganda.

    The team in the capital Kampala has joined forces with local partner station XFM in the capital Kampala (see above), as well as students from the prestigious Makerere university.

    It's just as well they're getting some help, as they'll be producing 48 editions of the 60-second shareable news programme in just one day! 

    View more on twitter

    The team even got a dedicated hip-hop welcome from some of the university students:

    View more on twitter

    Listen to BBC Minute here

  17. Pirates have not demanded ransom - Indian official

    Pirate looks out from the shore
    Image caption: Piracy off the coast of Somalia has fallen sharply in recent years

    More details are emerging about the hijacking of an Indian cargo ship off the coast of Somalia ( see earlier entry ).

    The director of India's Ministry of Shipping has told local media that the pirates have not demanded a ransom and are instead interested in the ship's cargo, which has not been disclosed.

    "There is a possibility of the vessel being released without the cargo once it reaches the shore this evening," Malini Shankar  told  the Press Trust of India.

    The Indian-flagged ship was sailing from Dubai to Yemen when it was hijacked, with 11 crew Indian nationals on board, she added.

    But there are conflicting reports about the ship's course.

    The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates shipping in the Gulf of Aden, says that the ship was en route from Dubai to Bosasso in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Reuters news agency reports. 

    "This confirms that the pirates still have the ability to go to sea and take vessels, and the international shipping industry need to take additional precautions," John Steed of the aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy, told Reuters.  

  18. Dancing in the slums: Kenya's rising ballet star

    Joel Kioko grew up in a poor area of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and is now seen as the country’s most promising ballet dancer. 

    He has been training in the US but wants to teach young Kenyans about the beauty of ballet.

    Video content

    Video caption: Kenya's rising ballet star Joel Kioko
  19. SA deputy president calls for 'renewal' amid Zuma backlash

    Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
    Image caption: Ramaphosa says the moment to renew the country had arrived

    South Africa's  Eye Witness News  has shared an audio recording of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa calling for a renewal of the country and criticising "greedy and corrupt people."

    In the two-minute clip Mr Ramaphosa calls on South Africans to "be in support of those who will be leading that charge because a moment of great renewal is upon us, so let's act together in unity."

    He says: 

    Quote Message: What you are required to do as citizens of this country is to support the efforts that are going to be made by those who want to make sure that our country lives up to the values of Nelson Mandela. The values of Oliver Thambo. Be in support of those who will be leading that charge because the moment of the great renewal is upon us. "

    It appears the clip is from a speech he delivered in KwaZulu-Natal this weekend, EWN reports. 

    His comments come at a time when President Jacob Zuma is facing widesperad criticism over his sacking last week of widely respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, a decision Mr Ramaphosa described as "totally unacceptable". 

    He calls on South Africans to unite to make the country great and corruption free: 

    In other excerpts from the speech, he says:

    Quote Message: Let us remain hopeful as South Africans. The events that are unfolding now are not events that should make us scared. They are not events that should make us afraid of the future that beckons.
    Quote Message: Our people are yes yearning, for yes, leadership. They are also yearning for a government that is going to serve the interest of the people.
    Quote Message: What is happening now is a process that is going to trigger that renewal. That renewal that we all need.
    Quote Message: He says that the moment to renew the country has arrived and that South Africans must not let it pass."

    The comments may be seen as Mr Ramaphosa positioning himself to take over from Mr Zuma when he steps down as the leader of the ruling African National Congress later this year, or before then, should opposition plans to oust or impeach Mr Zuma prove successful.

    You can listen to the recording below, which has also been shared by local news channel eNCA:

    View more on youtube
  20. Rand falls as finance minister promises 'tough and unpopular choices'

    View more on twitter

    The big drop you can see in the graph above is what happened this morning to the value of the South African rand, as markets continued to digest the sacking on Friday of widely respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

    The rand fell as far as 1.5% against the US dollar on Monday.

    In his first major speech since replacing Mr Gordhan, new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Saturday promised " radical economic transformation ", while agreeing to broadly stick to his predecessor's fiscally disciplined policies.

    This morning, he spoke of making "tough and unpopular choices" to oversee economic growth and a redistribution of wealth to the country's black majority and help grow a flagging economy, Reuters news agency reports. 

    Despite the fall in the rand, foreign purchases of South African bonds are still up, as this journalist for Bloomberg news reports:

    View more on twitter

    Read more: Fallout from South Africa's ministerial 'massacre'