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Live Reporting

Tom Spender and Patricia Whitehorne

All times stated are UK

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  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 our proverb of the day:  

    Quote Message: A palm nut that wants to become palm oil will have a taste of fire. from A Yoruba proverb sent by Jamiu, Kano, Nigeria
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Jamiu, Kano, Nigeria

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And we'll leave you with picture of sunset on the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

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  2. Kenya's censor-in-chief

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    Video caption: What's Up Africa: Kenya's censor-in-chief Ezekiel Mutua

    A satirical look at the work of Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya's final arbiter on what people are allowed to see and hear.

  3. Can a nude selfie be a feminist statement?

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    Video caption: Ghanian blogger and feminist Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah put a semi nude selfie on Instagram
  4. Kenyans dump rubbish on official cars

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    Officials in Kenya's Migori County had a nasty surprise when residents stopped and forced them to take rubbish from the area away in the back of their pick-up trucks.

    The locals were protesting over poor collection services and seized their opportunity while the officials were on an inspection tour.

    County environment official Elijah Odhiambo was forced to flee the irate residents in another vehicle, the Star newspaper reported.

  5. Battle at the top of African football

    Piers Edwards

    BBC Africa Sport

    Issa Hayatou
    Image caption: Hayatou's longevity is driving those who believe that Ahmad should be the next president

    The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has only ever had five presidents in its 60-year history and the last time a new leader was appointed was way back in 1988.

    Thursday's election in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, could herald a change, but long-time incumbent, Cameroon's Issa Hayatou, is not giving up without a fight.

    Hayatou, in charge for nearly three decades, has often been re-elected unopposed. On the two occasions when he did face a challenge, he won with landslides amongst the electorate of presidents of Africa's football associations.

    In 2000, he beat Angola's Armando Machado by 47-4 votes and four years later he defeated Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana by 46-6 votes.

    As he seeks an eighth term on Thursday, taking on Madagascar FA head Ahmad Ahmad, Hayatou knows that victory this time around will not come nearly as easily.

    Read the full story here

  6. Edem - making music via the web

    Edem is a celebrated rapper in Ghana - and he is using the internet to allow collaborations with other artists in Africa. 

    He's been talking about his music, and how the web is a vital tool, to Newsday's Julian Keane  

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    Video caption: Ghanaian rapper uses the internet for collaborations
  7. Burundi-born transgender candidate in Dutch elections

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    A transgender candidate born in Burundi is standing as a candidate in the Dutch general elections. 

    Olave Basabose fled Burundi as a young child but her family and friends are still there. 

    She says she still has deep and strong ties with Burundi and has kept in touch with LGBT activists there, she told a Burundian online publication in an interview.

    She said:

    Quote Message: The situation in Burundi fills me with anger, sometimes, pain, often, and hope, always. The emergence of a young, politically conscious and ethnically united movement for progress, democracy and development gives me hope.
    Quote Message: I think that Burundi has real hopes, as long as we think in a unified way, as long as we are in solidarity, as long as we fight for democracy, as long as we aim for progress, as long as we hope together.

    Olave trained as a corporate lawyer in the Netherlands and has been working there to protect the rights of sexual minorities. 

    She says her experience as a black transgender person in the Netherlands has been problematic and is part of the reason why political activism has become important to her. 

    She is standing for the newly formed Artikel 1 party, which was set up to defend equality, emancipation and social justice for all residents of the Netherlands.

  8. Ethiopia landslide: Death toll rises to 113

          Rescue teams are using excavators to dig through piles of rubbish
    Image caption: Rescue teams are using excavators to dig through piles of rubbish

    The death toll from Saturday's landslide at a vast dump in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, has now risen to 113 people, local officials say.

    A search operation at the Koshe landfill will continue overnight. As many as 150 people are believed to have been at the site during the landslide.

    Meanwhile, the funerals of some of the victims have taken place.

    The dump, which has served the city of four million for more than five decades, provided shelter for some.

    The country is currently observing three days of mourning for those who died.

    Hundreds of people attempt to make a living by scavenging at the landfill site, sifting through the rubbish for items they can sell. Some resided at the rubbish dump permanently.

    More than 350 residents have now been moved from the site, the officials say.

    Read the full story here

  9. African design chosen for London park pavilion


    Diebedo Francis Kere, an award-winning architect from Burkino Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion that will stand in London's Kensington Gardens park over the summer.

    He is the first African architect to design the pavilion, which is built by a different architect every year.

    The Serpentine Galleries said Mr Kere had responded to the brief with a "bold, innovative structure that brings his characteristic sense of light and life to the lawns".

    The design is inspired by a tree that serves as a "central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando" and "seeks to connect its visitors to nature and each other". 

    Mr Kere said :

    Quote Message: My experience of growing up in a remote desert village has instilled a strong awareness of the social, sustainable, and cultural implications of design.
    Quote Message: In Burkina Faso, the tree is a place where people gather together, where everyday activities play out under the shade of its branches.

    Mr Kere is the 17th architect to accept the Serpentine Galleries' commission. Previous invitees have included some of the biggest names in world architecture such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Oscar Niemayer.

    Image caption: Mr Kere is one of few African architects to have a global profile
  10. Kenyatta speech: Nation's wage bill is a threat


    President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the nation's wage bill is one of the country's biggest challenges.

    In his last State of the Nation Address before a general election in August, the president said: 

    Quote Message: Our wage bill threatens to destroy our development agenda as a nation. Fifty percent of all the money collected as revenue from the Kenyan taxpayer goes into the pockets of less than two percent of the country's population."

    The president also conceded that the nation is facing significant problems including insecurity, corruption and unemployment.

    The occasion was also an opportunity for President Kenyatta to list what he says are the successes of his administration and set out what he will do if he is re-elected. 

    His speech speech cited infrastructure developments, wider access to electricity and improved healthcare facilities as achievements over the last four years.

    The president ended his speech with a direct appeal to voters to deliver another term for his government.  

    The speech has received a mixed reaction on social media.

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  11. Cameroon 'frees 5,000 from Boko Haram'

    Image caption: Cameroon has been raiding Boko Haram bases in the Mandara mountains

    More than 5,000 people, including women and children, have been freed from extremist captivity and at least 60 Boko Haram fighters have been killed by Cameroon and Nigerian soldiers in operations since the end of January, a government spokesman says.

    They have been transported to a camp for internally displaced people in the Nigerian town of Banki, AP news agency quoted Issa Tchiroma Bakary as saying.

    Thousands of Cameroonian soldiers, supported by Nigerian troops, have been launching raids on Boko Haram strongholds in the Mandara mountains that straddle the two countries since 26 January he said:

    Quote Message: At least 60 terrorists were killed, 21 suspects were arrested and are helping Cameroon and Nigerian military in their investigations. A refuge center for the insurgents is entirely destroyed on the Mandara highlands, a petroleum depot destroyed and an explosive factory destroyed."

    Soldiers have also destroyed the residence of a Boko Haram leader which also served as a hideout for the extremists, along with a huge consignment of weapons, vehicles and motorcycles, he said. 

    No soldiers had been killed, he said.

  12. Halima Aden: 'My hijab is my crown'

    Halima Aden was born in a refugee camp in Kenya but moved to the US aged six and is now being described as fashion's face of 2017. 

    She talks to the BBC about identity and President Donald Trump's travel ban, which affects citizens from countries including her native Somalia.

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    Video caption: US-Somali model Halima Aden: 'My hijab is my crown'
  13. Somali pirates: 'We thought tanker was fishing vessel'

    aris 13
    Image caption: The ARIS-13 is being held near the port of Alula

    Naval forces from Puntland in Somalia have surrounded an oil tanker that has been hijacked by pirates. 

    One of the pirates has told the BBC they were fishermen whose stocks had been depleted by illegal fishing. 

    He said they thought the ship was a fishing vessel until they boarded it and found it was carrying oil. He also denied reports that they were demanding a ransom. 

    They are reported to be holding the eight Sri Lankan crew members hostage.  

    BBC Somali’s Mowlid Haji has been talking to the ringleader, who gave his name as Said.

    Said : Of late, we have been fishing in the coastal areas here, we earn our daily bread from fishing. We have seen instances where huge fishing vessels cut our fishing nets, and some of them fire at us. We have been patient for a long period. Lately, they have even started to destroy our small boats and equipment, and the day we have seized this ship, is the day we decided to counter this kind of acts. We were after a particular ship that destroyed some of our equipment, when we came across this one, about eight miles from the coast. It came across to as initially as a fishing vessel, and later on, when we want inside, we discovered that it is a cargo ship, transporting oil. We had to hold it, because we have nothing to lose any way, our resources are being depleted.

    Q: Said, you may be having your own problems, as you say, but this is a cargo ship.

    Said: Brother, as of now, there is no difference between a cargo ship, a nuclear disposal one or fishing one that cuts my nets and competes with me on my fishing rights. This particular ship was  passing eight miles to the coastal area, and we consider the area of over 10 miles from the coast as an exclusive fishing area for us.

    Q: You are explaining your own problem, but don’t you think the people you are holding are unarmed civilians, is this not against humanity and morals, given the fact that there are international laws in regards to that?

    Said: Why is international law not respected when it comes to my issues; the plight of a poor civilian, who is going out there to fish, in search of daily bread, and  these fishing or business ships destroy my equipment. Why is the issue gaining significance when we retaliate? So why give this incident a human face, while is my issues are completely ignored?

    Q: So do you create a problem to solve another, it seems that the people you are holding are just like you, did you consider that they were pursuing their daily bread?

    Said: For me, I cannot differentiate between the ones who killed my brothers when they collided and run over our small boats at Somali coasts. So only God know if they are not the same people who did that, as I am not police and I have no capability to investigate. This is not using a problem to solve another. This is a response to a major problem. The saying goes that if you are patient for quite too long, you may explode at one time. That is what is happening now.

    Q: There is Puntland administration in your area, and we have a federal government, so who has given you the authority to take this action?

    Said: No one, circumstances dictated it to us, and the Puntland administration is one that issued permits to all these fishing vessels that are collecting our maritime resources,

    Q; Said, we do not have any independent confirmation of those allegations, but I would like to ask you what you achieve out of this? Is it ransom?

    Said: Whatever we want is something we have been discussing with the owners of the ship, and talks are progressing well, we are now doing the final touches, and God willing, it will end peacefully. Sorry, I cannot give any more details.

    Q: If you are not pirates, why are you negotiating with the owners?

    You cannot be sure of what we are up to, we may be looking for evidence of whether these guys are the same ones who run over our boats. You cannot be sure whether we are asking for ransom, we are negotiating in a humanely way, and we will conclude it soon, God willing

    Q: We have information from NATO that you have asked for ransom…

    Said: We have not asked for money, or any kind of ransom…

  14. Tobacco sales to ease Zimbabwe cash woes

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare


    Zimbabwe tobacco selling season officially began today and authorities are expecting 205m kg of tobacco to go under the hammer this year.

    The country’s reserve bank governor says the sales are expected to ease the money shortage that has plagued the country for over a year.

    Tobacco is one of the country’s biggest exports and foreign currency earners and production is expected to grow this season, following good rains and a surge in new farmers registering to grow the crop.

    Anxious growers gathered with their produce outside the three main auction floors on Wednesday for the official opening.  

    Zimbabwe exports its tobacco to China, the Middle East and Europe. 

    Merchants from these regions have set aside $700m (£575m) to purchase this years crop. 

    The central bank says the money will increase the availability of cash within the economy.

    Last year tobacco brought $900m into country. 

  15. Burundi female referee makes history

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    Video caption: The female football referee from Burundi making history

    Suavis Iratunga is a female football referee from Burundi who made history last year.

  16. Tripoli militia clashes continue

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis


    Fighting between rival militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli has continued, bringing most of the city to a standstill.  

    Eyewitnesses told the BBC that most of the main roads that lead into residential districts, and the highway were blocked using shipping containers, sand-piles, and burning tires.  

    Shops are closed and some schools in affected areas have suspended classes. Overnight, the Alnabaa TV station, often accused of being sympathetic to one of the rival alliances, was set ablaze.  

    One floor of the Alkhadra hospital was hit by a stray rocket.  

    One resident uploaded this video of the fighting.

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    The violence first erupted on Monday night in West Tripoli's residential district of Gergaresh, but it has since spread to other areas and has been characterised as turf warfare between the various groups involved. 

    They used heavy weaponry including anti-aircraft guns, and tanks.  

    The opposing sides are also nominally allied to Tripoli’s UN-backed administration and a rival defunct government that has been trying to resurrect itself.

  17. The township women learning tech

    In a township in Cape Town, a new scheme is helping women develop web literacy.

    Far more men than women access the internet in the developing world, and the UN and the Mozilla Foundaton are trying to redress the balance.

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    Video caption: The South Africa township women learning tech
  18. Ethiopia lifts some state of emergency restrictions

    Angry crowd protesting
    Image caption: People in the Ethiopia's Oromo and Amhara regions say they have been marginalised

    The Ethiopian government has lifted some restrictions imposed during a state of emergency declared last year. 

    Powers granted to security services to stop and search suspects and to search homes without court authorisation have been revoked. 

    Siraj Fegessa, the minister who chairs the government's body overseeing the state of emergency, has also ended a dusk-to-dawn curfew on access to economic installations, and other buildings and factories for unauthorised people.

    The lifting of the restrictions has happened earlier than anticipated. 

    The state of state of emergency was declared in October last year following months of anti-government protests that killed around 500 people. 

    Ethiopia faced its biggest anti-government unrest in a decade, from the majority Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, who feel marginalised by a minority-led government.  

    They complain power is held by a tiny Tigrean elite.  

    Some restrictions are still in place. Engaging opposition groups branded as "terrorist movements" is still forbidden. Ethiopia has designated five groups, including two armed secessionist groups, as terrorist organisations. 

    Another directive, barring the "preparation, distribution and exhibition of material that could incite chaos", also remains. 

    Read more:What is behind Ethiopia's wave of protests?

  19. Cosafa chief Phillip Chiyangwa to face Caf disciplinary case


    The Confederation of African Football (Caf) is to go ahead with a disciplinary case against Phillip Chiyangwa, the head of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa.)

    Chiyangwa is an outspoken critic of Issa Hayatou and describes himself as the campaign manager for Madagascar FA president Ahmad, who is running against Hayatou in Thursday's Caf presidential election.

    Caf said Chiyangwa's recent actions and statements appear to  ``attack the honour of the Caf, its president and the members of the executive committee.'' 

    Caf decided to proceed with the case against Chiyangwa - the Zimbabwe FA president - at its executive committee meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday - two days before the election.

    Earlier this month, Chiyangwa escalated his war of words with CAF when threatening legal action against both Hayatou and the organisation's Secretary General Hicham El Amrani.

    Read the full story here

  20. 'The internet is a blessing' - pastor

    There is no doubt that for those lucky enough to have it or access it, the internet can open up all sorts of possibilities. 

    As Newsday's Julian Keane found out in Accra, Ghana, that goes for many organisations including the church.  

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    Video caption: Rev Stephen Wengam believes the internet and social media has grown his congregation