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Summary

  1. Ex-Nigerian spy recalls ordeal in captivity
  2. UK foreign secretary mocks ex-Gambian ruler as 'Jammeh dodger'
  3. Cyclone hits Mozambique
  4. Nigeria's government declares air pollution emergency in Port Harcourt
  5. Ghana's striker Asamoah Gyan warned of 'unethical hair'
  6. Exiled Ethiopian runner in emotional reunion with wife and children
  7. Jailed Kenyan doctors freed
  8. Ivory Coast's farmers strike as cocoa rots
  9. BBC launches 2017 Komla Dumor Award
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 15 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. 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:   

    Quote Message: Sin makes someone plump at first and emaciated later." from An Oromo proverb sent by Samuel Fekadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    An Oromo proverb sent by Samuel Fekadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this conceptual shot of an African samurai, shared by Kenyan-born artist and photographer Isaiah Maghanga on his Instagram:

    View more on instagram
  2. How I survived Somalia bombing

    Camera
    Image caption: Mohamed's camera was caked in blood from the attack

    A Somali journalist wounded while covering last month's bomb attack on the Dayah hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, has been discharged from hospital in neighbouring Kenya.

    Mohamed Abdiwahab told BBC Somali about what happened: 

    Quote Message: I was taking photographs of the wounded in the first explosion, when another one hit the area. I fell down and could not lift one my legs. Thank God I was rescued by friends who took me to the hospital [in Mogadishu].”

    He was later flown to a better-equipped facility in Kenya where he underwent three operations during his 20-day admission: 

    Quote Message: I now feel better, though I cannot walk."

    He has vowed to return to Somalia:

    Quote Message: “After full recovery I am planning to return to Mogadishu, I am not giving up my job just because I was wounded.”
    Somali journalist
    Image caption: Mohamed Abdiwahab was injured in the blast

    More than 25 people died in the bombings carried out by militant Islamist group a-Shabab. 

    Eyewitnesses said the attackers used a vehicle laden with explosives to blast their way into the hotel on 25 January, where members of parliament were staying.

  3. Nambian prize-winner: ‘Science is good for ladies’

    Twenty-six-year-old Namibian student Josefina Hamutoko won the prestigious African Young Scientist of the Year award for her work on protecting ground water from pollution as well as improving overall access to safe drinking water.   

    The geology PhD student has been speaking to BBC Focus on Africa radio about her work and what it felt like to take home the $3,000 (£2,400) prize money. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Josefina Hamutoko is one of the African Young Scientist of the Year award recipients.
  4. Mozambique 'deports' Tanzanians

    Leonard Mubali

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    About 100 Tanzanian nationals have been forcibly repatriated from neighbouring Mozambique in the last three days, Tanzania's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Suzan Kolimbo has said at a press conference in the main city, Dar es Salaam. 

    The expulsions came after Mozambique launched a crackdown on people accused of living illegally in the country. 

    However, Tanzanian businessmen Anjelika John and Rashid Abdalla told BBC Swahili that they were deported despite the fact that they were staying legally in the Mozambican border town of Montepuez. 

    Some people even fled into the forest to avoid being deported, they added. 

    About 3,000 Tanzanians live and do business in Montepuez. 

    Ms Kolimbo said Tanzania was concerned about the expulsions, and had dispatched its ambassador in Mozambique's capital, Maputo, to Montepuez to assess the situation. 

    The Mozambican authorities have not yet commented on the move.

  5. Kenyan woman fails to hit hug target

    Njeri Muthaka stands on the pavement wearing a t-shirt with the message "free hugs" written inside a heart

    You might remember this picture from yesterday's live page about a Kenyan woman giving out free hugs on Valentine's day. 

    Njeri Muthaka's aim was to give out 1,000 hugs in a single day. According to an update on her Facebook profile, she didn't quite make it: 

    Quote Message: I made it to 877 free hugs by 6pm. Love is a free gift. Love will always win over hate. If we love each other, we will see past our differences and appreciate our diversity as a country."
  6. Arsenal and Nigeria star Oshoala heads for China

    Nigeria winger Asisat Oshoala has left Women's Super League One club Arsenal Ladies to join Chinese side Dalian Quanjian.

    The 22-year-old won the BBC's inaugural Women's Footballer of the Year Award in 2015.

    She helped the Gunners win the Women's FA Cup at Wembley in May 2016, as well as playing for her country at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada.

    Read the full BBC Sport story

    Asisat Oshoala (left) helped Nigeria win the Africa Women Cup of Nations in December 2016
    Image caption: Asisat Oshoala (left) helped Nigeria win the Africa Women Cup of Nations in December 2016

    China has set its sights on becoming a "world football superpower" by 2050, an ambition that includes developing a national team capable of winning the World Cup. 

    Oshoala's China move mirrors the recent high-profile signings in the men's game, including Brazilian star Oscar, who last month went from Chelsea to Chinese side Shanghai SIPG for an eye-watering £60m ($75m) fee.

    Read more: Will China's 2017 spending hit new heights?

  7. Niger Rift Valley Fever outbreak 'over'

    A veterinary officer labels a blood specimen taken from a sheep
    Image caption: The disease mostly affects animals

    Niger's government has declared the end to an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever, which killed 33 people, AFP news agency reports. 

    The disease was first reported in August in the western region of Tahoua, before spreading to two other regions - Tassara and Tchintabaradene. 

    Niger's Health Minister Idi Illiassou said the last case was reported on 25 October in Tahoua. 

    Read: What is Rift Valley Fever? 

  8. Footage shows Mozambique cyclone hitting coast

    View more on twitter

    A journalist for South Africa's national broadcaster (SABC) has been tweeting footage from the Mozambican coastal city of Inhambane, 470km (290 miles) north of the capital Maputo.

    See entry below for more on Tropical Cyclone Dineo.

    View more on twitter
  9. Mozambique braces for Tropical Cyclone Dineo

    View more on twitter

    Mozambicans should prepare for high winds, torrential rainfall and dangerous storm surges as Tropical Cyclone Dineo makes landfall in the next few hours, the World Meteorological Organization warns.

    Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) has advised people to prepare food and water supplies and for vulnerable communities to seek safe shelter. 

    It says it is also planning safe evacuation routes.

    The storm is expected to weaken as it heads westwards to Zimbabwe and South Africa by the end of the week. 

  10. Egypt mediates in Libyan conflict

    BBC World Service

    Smoke billows on January 28, 2017 in the area of Qanfudah, on the southern outskirts of Benghazi, after members of the Libyan National Army (LNA), also known as the forces loyal to Marshal Khalifa Haftar, retook it from Islamic State (IS) fighters.
    Image caption: Rival factions have been fighting for power since the fall of Col Gaddafi's government in 2011

     Egyptian negotiators trying to broker an end to the war in Libya say they have had some success in their efforts to bring together two key players. 

    The head of the UN-backed government, Fayez Serraj and his rival, the powerful military commander, Khalifa Haftar have agreed to form a joint committee. 

    It will aim to work out a power-sharing agreement that would be followed by elections within a year. 

    However, the two men never met face-to-face during the negotiations in Cairo. Analysts say that given the lack of trust between them it's unclear how successful the new joint committee will be. 

  11. New transparency law in Malawi

    Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has finally signed into law an access to information bill which will allow Malawians to obtain information from the government and other public bodies. 

    Campaigners had been pushing for the law for more than a decade. 

    The announcement was made by the minister of information during a recording of the BBC's Africa Debate programme. 

    Malawian journalists and media campaigners have welcomed the news, saying it will increase transparency in the country.  

    This month's Africa Debate, on the impact of fake news on journalism in Africa, will air at 19:00 GMT this Friday on BBC World Service radio.

  12. Kidnapped ex-Nigerian spy 'survived on cashew nuts'

    Raw cashew nuts (archive shot)

    A former senior official at Nigeria's intelligence agency, the State Security Service, has been recalling his ordeal after being abducted in central Kogi state by those whom he identified as being of the Fulani ethnic group. 

    Mike  Ejiofor, now the chairman of private security firm Apex Safety and Security Consultants, told Nigerian journalist Alkasim Abdulkadir that he survived on cashew nuts during his four days in captivity as his captors initially demanded a ransom of 30m naira (£95,000, £76,000) for his release. 

    The journalist tweeted what else the ex-spy told him:    

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  13. DR Congo yellow fever outbreak is over - WHO

    Mother holds child as she receives a yellow fever vaccination
    Image caption: An emergency vaccination programme in DR Congo reached millions

    The worst yellow fever outbreak in decades in the Democratic Republic of Congo is over, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

    The news comes two months after neighbouring Angola declared its epidemic to be over, following a massive vaccination campaign. 

    No new cases have been reported in either country in six months. 

    In total, more than 400 people died as in the outbreak, the WHO said. 

    The epidemic prompted a campaign to vaccinate 30 million people in the two countries with more than 41,000 volunteers and 56 charities carrying out the mass immunisation programme. 

    Nurse fills syringe with yellow fever vaccine
    Image caption: A full dose of the vaccine can protect against yellow fever for life

    "This unprecedented response exhausted the global stockpile of yellow fever vaccines several times," the WHO said in a statement.

    But it warned of the need for a co-ordinated approach to stop future outbreaks: 

    Quote Message: We need to implement a strong preventive approach to vaccinate the population at risk across the region."

    Yellow fever is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that spread the Zika and dengue viruses. The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.

    In pictures: Yellow fever vaccination in DR Congo's capital Kinshasa

  14. Gambian president 'appoints new chief justice'

    President Adama Barrow has appointed a Gambian lawyer and former UN prosecutor as chief justice of the country's supreme court, ending a series of controversial foreign appointments to the position by exiled former leader Yahya Jammeh, AFP news agency reports. 

    Hassan Bubacar Jallow has served in the appeals chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and as a prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.

    Mr Barrow's government has vowed to implement a "Gambianisation" of the justice system after Mr Jammeh named several chief justices from Pakistan and Nigeria, AFP says.

  15. How you can become a star of African journalism on the BBC

    Here's a quick video with some more info about the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, which opened for applications today.

    The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in London, gaining skills and experience.  

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC launches 2017 Komla Dumor award

    Click here to find out more about the award and if you are eligible to enter.   

  16. Record levels of insecurity in Libya six years after revolution

    A tank is seen on fire during clashes between soldiers from the Libyan National Army, and jihadist fighters.
    Image caption: A tank on fire during clashes between the Libyan National Army and jihadist fighters.

    Libyans are experiencing record levels of insecurity six years on since the start of the revolt in 2011 which ultimately toppled Muammar Gaddafi's regime, AFP reports. 

    According to the news agency, the insecurity across the country is made worse by a battered economy and bitter political rivalries. 

    The process that led to Gadafi's downfall started with a mass protest in Benghazi on 15 February 2011, before demonstrations and armed fighting spread to cities across Libya.

    One resident told AFP:

    Quote Message: We got rid of one dictator to end up seeing 10,000 others appearing to fill the void."
  17. Long-awaited day out for Kenya's 'miracle twins'

    View more on twitter

    There's a heart-warming story in the Kenyan media this morning about a pair of conjoined twins who were successfully separated in a landmark surgery in November. 

    The day trip the two sisters made to Nairobi's Animal Orphanage on Tuesday was the first time they had been out of Kenyatta National Hospital since being admitted more than two years ago.

    The pair, Blessing and Favor, were born joined at the spine. 

    From the photos that the hospital shared on its Facebook page, it looks like they had a lovely Valentine's Day:

    Twin sisters Blessing and Favor offer each other red roses inside the hospital

    To begin with, they seemed a tad nervous to make new friends...

    The two sisters look on with trepidation while a keeper presents them with a baby cheetah for them to pet

    ... but soon got the hang of it. 

    One of the girls pets a cheetah

    And their mum Caroline Mukiri (pictured in red) looks very happy to get them together for a family photo:

    Twins are held by two nurses with their mother standing in the middle
  18. Air pollution emergency in Nigerian city

    A man walks past smoke emitted from a dump in the city of Port Harcourt
    Image caption: Port Harcourt is suffering from high levels of pollution

    An air pollution emergency has been declared in Nigeria's southern city of Port Harcourt and an asphalt plant has been shut for "belching out thick smoke", the Ministry of Environment has said. 

    Residents protested on Tuesday, waving hands covered with soot stains.

    Businessman Charles Adolor said he and his wife have been wearing face masks to protect their health, adding:

    Quote Message: If I am having my bath, the colour of the water, the stains on the sink are always black. Before we can use already-washed plates we have to rewash them again."
    A Port Harcourt resident show a hand stained with soot from touching a car
    Image caption: A Port Harcourt resident show a hand stained with soot from touching a car

    The smog first appeared in November, and officials finally brought in experts last week to find out the cause, AFP news agency reports. 

  19. Kenya’s catchy pop hit that took the world by storm

    One evening in 1979 Teddy Kalanda Harrison, a young Kenyan musician, overheard a group of tourists trying to learn a few words in Swahili. 

    Their enthusiastic attempts sparked an idea for a song and a global hit was born. 

    Jambo Bwana, also known as Hakuna Matata, went platinum in Kenya and was covered by bands around the world, including Boney M. 

    Teddy and his brother Billy Sarro Harrison spoke to the BBC's Witness programme about their hit record. 

    Video content

    Video caption: The story of a 1980s Kenyan pop song which became an unlikely global hit.
  20. SA mental health scandal: Death toll rises

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Virginia Machpelah had been making progress before she died
    Image caption: Virginia Machpelah had been making progress before she died

    The number of mentally ill patients now known to have died of neglect in care homes in South Africa has risen from 94 to more than 100, the health ombudsman has said. 

    Addressing MPs of the parliamentary health committee, Malegapuru Makgoba said that more information was coming to light and "I am quite confident that the figure is now above 100 deaths as we speak". 

    In one of the biggest health scandals to hit the governing African National Congress, health officials in Gauteng province transferred patients last year from a reputable health facility to unlicensed care homes in what Dr Makgoba called a "reckless" attempt to save money. 

    Many families did not know that their loved ones had been transferred, and struggled to trace them - only to learn later that they had died of dehydration, uncontrolled seizures, pneumonia and other illnesses. 

    Mr Makgoba revealed that the deaths were recorded in a shambolic way, telling MPs: 

    Quote Message: In one instance, 22 patients were recorded as having two dates of death. Now, you can't die twice. And the data always came from the same department. Really, it was like a form of a scam, and you really would not be proud if you are a South African."

    On 1 February, Dr Makgoba said his investigation had revealed that 94 patients had died from March to December last year. 

    His findings forced Gauteng health minister Qedani Mahlangu to resign.  

    The latest update confirms what he had predicted at the time - that the death toll was likely to be higher.  

    Read: Why did my sister die in a care home?

    Christine Nxumalo