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Summary

  1. South Sudan's president 'prays for forgiveness'
  2. Mauritania MPs 'vote for flag to show colonial fight'
  3. Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is back after seven weeks abroad
  4. Buhari: 'I've never been so ill'
  5. Appeal to find hijacked South African baby
  6. Africa gets its own web address with launch of .africa
  7. SA man and fiancee on unlawful sex charge released in UAE
  8. Mozambique discovers illegal Chinese prawn exporters
  9. Japan to withdraw troops from South Sudan
  10. Cholera cases in Somalia soar
  11. SA pellet-shooting farmer 'denies mistaking worker for monkey'
  12. Somaliland calls for US travel ban exemption
  13. SA opposition demonstrate over welfare payments
  14. Madagascar 'dam bursts' after Cyclone Enawo
  15. SA man crosses Atlantic on paddle board
  16. Rebels in DR Congo 'sentenced to death'
  17. South Africa taxi drivers protest over Uber
  18. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 10 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    That's all from the  BBC Africa Live  page this week. 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 African proverb of the day: 

    Quote Message: A turtle knows how to bite a turtle." from A Sudanese proverb sent by Abuelgasim Elsir, Khartoum, Sudan
    A Sudanese proverb sent by Abuelgasim Elsir, Khartoum, Sudan

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And we leave you with one of our   top shots from across the continent this week  this picture of a fruit vendor in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. 

    Fruit vendor
  2. Help find hijacked SA baby

    #HelpFindDurbanBaby is trending in South Africa, with people sharing the photo of a one-month-old baby who was in a car that was hijacked in the port city of Durban earlier today:

    View more on twitter

    The baby's mother and an eight-year-old child were booted out of the car by the hijackers, who then drove off.

    A police spokesman says they have officers searching for the baby, including a dog unit.

  3. Cholera 'spreads in South Sudan'

    An outbreak of cholera in South Sudan has reached the country's second-largest city of Malakal, which has been ravaged by the three-year civil war, the Associated Press agency reports. 

    The number of cases are reported nationwide to have risen to 5,500. 

    Cholera now has been confirmed in 14 counties, with at least 137 deaths since June.

    An ongoing civil war and drought in the country has complicated the aid response especially in the northern county of Mayendit where local authorities told aid workers late last month to leave the area because of fighting, Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the UN chief, is said to have told reporters on Friday. 

    Cases of cholera have also been reported in Somalia, which is also facing a hunger crisis, with at least 200 fatalities reported so far this year (see earlier report).

    Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious infection that can spread in areas without clean drinking water and with poor sanitation.

  4. Mozambique discovers illegal Chinese prawn exporters

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Mozambican prawns
    Image caption: Mozambique is famous for its prawns

    An illegal Chinese company has been discovered exporting prawns from Mozambique.

    The fisheries authorities in the central province of Sofala say they have seized almost a tonne of top quality tiger and queen prawns from the firm.

    Also seized 80kg of processed crabs from Nova Praia in the port city of Beira.

    The produce was being packaged in freezers for export by Chinese nationals, Carlos Sindela, the provincial director of fisheries, said.

    They refused to talk to the media, saying the owner of the business was away in China.

    The illegal firm was using the site of a former fisheries firm that went bankrupt.

    In the last decade, fishing companies have been hit first by the collapse in the price of prawns and also by the increase in fuel prices.

    In addition, the government has restricted the amount companies can catch because prawn fishing was reaching it exploitation limits.

    About 11 companies have gone bust in recent times.

    According to Mr Sindela, the Chinese firm was not registered, which meant it was not paying tax:

    Quote Message: The owners of the fake Chinese company had no documentation, at all."

    He added that the alleged criminals would be duly penalised, which is likely to involve a heavy fine.

  5. Africa gets its own web address with launch of .africa

    Africa now has the unique web address .africa, equivalent to the more familiar .com, following its official launch by the African Union.

    AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma hailed its creation as the moment when Africa "got [its] own digital identity".

    The AU says the .africa domain name will "bring the continent together as an internet community".

    Addresses can now reflect a company's interest in the whole of Africa.

    For example, a mobile phone company could create mobile.africa to show its Africa-wide presence, or a travel company could set up travel.africa.

    Read the BBC News story for more

    People on laptops
    Image caption: The African Union hopes .africa will create a unique online identity for the continent
  6. SA opposition demonstrate over welfare payments

    Supporters of South Africa's opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) have today held a demonstration in support of state welfare payments which have been mired in uncertainty.

    The government has failed to appoint a new company to distribute the funds next month. The current distributor's contract ends on 31 March.

    View more on twitter

    DA party leader Mmusi Maimane, who led the protest outside the offices of South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the capital, Pretoria, said millions stand to lose their benefits:  

    Quote Message: "In less than three weeks' time, millions of South Africans stand to lose their social grants if an urgent solution to the grant payment crisis is not found."

    Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini told reporters on Sunday that payments would continue, despite ongoing confusion over how they would be made.  

    Sassa pays out around 140bn rand ($10.7bn; £8.7bn) a year in grants to vulnerable people including pensioners, unemployed mothers and disabled people.

    "No-one will go unpaid. We are sure about that," she said.

    In 2014, the constitutional court found that the contract awarded to private company CPS was not lawful.  

    Sassa is responsible for distributing social grants to 17 million South Africans.

  7. South Sudan's president 'prays for forgiveness'

    Ibrahim Haithar

    BBC Monitoring

    Salvar Kiir

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has prayed for forgiveness for what he described as sins he may have committed while exercising his duty as the head of state, reports the privately owned Eye Rdio FM website .

    Today was declared a national holiday in the country so that a national day of prayer could be held.

    The prayers were held at a gathering in the capital, Juba, at the mausoleum for John Garang, the man considered the father of South Sudan:

    A woman praying in South Sudan - Friday 10 March 2017

    President Kiir also called for redemption of the people of South Sudan from the many troubles bestowed on the country:  

    Quote Message: I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan.
    Quote Message: Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do."

    South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, but two years after independence the world's newest country descended into civil war.

    Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have fled their homes and ethnic violence continues despite a regional peace initiative.

    Last month, famine was declared in some parts of the country.

  8. Madagascar 'dam bursts' after Cyclone Enawo

    A broadcaster in Tarmacadam has tweeted videos and images of a dam that has burst flooding a village near the capital, Antananarivo, following Cyclone Enawo that hit the Indian Ocean island this week.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Five are known to have died when Enawo dumped 12 inches of rain across north-east Madagascar in 12 hours on Tuesday, with winds reaching up to 300km/h (185mph).

  9. 'We are happy to see Buhari back'

    Watch Nigerians in Lagos react to the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from extended sick leave:

    Video content

    Video caption: Nigerians welcome the return of president from sick leave
  10. Rebels in DR Congo 'sentenced to death'

    A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo region of Beni has sentenced nine rebels to death for the killing of 1,000 civilians since October 2014 in the eastern region, the AP news agency is reporting.

    Presiding judge Jean-Paulin Esosa Basema reportedly said that they had been prosecuted for crimes against humanity, terrorism and participation in a rebellion

    Two others on trial were acquitted and another transferred to a court for minors.

    They are members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that was founded in neighboring Uganda but is now based in DR Congo.   

    The ADF rebels are among scores of armed groups vying for control in mineral-rich eastern DR Congo.   

  11. Poison on the minds of the Resident Presidents

    This week the Resident Presidents are musing about using VX nerve agent, that was used to kill Kim Jong-nam the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, at a Malaysian airport in February. 

    Listen to Presidents Olushambles and Kibarkingmad's satirical take on what they would do if they could get their hands on the lethal chemical weapon:

    Video content

    Video caption: Presidents Olushambles and Kibarkingmad's take on global events
  12. South Africa's tech-savvy domestic workers

    Sweep South, a South African startup, has tapped into the country's domestic work industry - by pairing registered domestic workers with cleaning opportunities. 

    BBC Africa Business Report presenter Lerato Mbele looks at how the technology is changing domestic work scene:

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa's tech savvy domestic workers
  13. Cholera cases in Somalia soar

    Child being treated
    Image caption: Fifteen-month old girl suffering from malnutrition and related complications

    Aid agency Save the Children is warning that an outbreak of cholera in Somalia has reached crisis levels and is calling for international support to deal with the crisis.

    It says that at least 200 deaths have been recorded from the 8,400 cases that have been confirmed this year.

    Somalia is currently experiencing severe drought which has made the situation worse. 

    Cases of pneumonia among children and adults have also been registered in 72 clinics in the Puntland region. 

    Officials at the aid agency say that the scale of the suffering is even greater than at the equivalent stage in 2011, before a famine was eventually declared. 

    At least 6.2 million people, around half of the population, are in urgent need of support, the agency says.

    It has made an appeal for $824m (£677m) to stop, "the drought becoming a full blown disaster".

    Carcass
    Image caption: Drought conditions have led many pastoralists to abandon their land in search of pasture for the their livestock
    Children being treated
    Image caption: Two-year-old Mayda Mohammed brought to a mobile health clinic set up in the dry arid landscape of the area East of Qardho in the Puntland
    Woman holds child
    Image caption: Three-month old twins Abshir for by her grandmother at the stabilisation unit at Garowe General Hospital in Puntland.
  14. Zimbabwe designer: 'No need for his and hers'

    Zimbabwe's Tanya Mushayi describes herself as an accidental designer. She began by making her own dresses and posting the pictures online.

    Those that liked her designs began asking her to make them similar outfits and that is how her fashion label Tanya Nefertari began.

    Zimbabweans in the diaspora are particularly good customers, as the BBC's  Africa Business Report  reports:

    Video content

    Video caption: Tanya Mushayi: 'I want to make gender fluid clothing'
  15. SA farmer 'denies mistaking worker for monkey'

    A farmer in South Africa in court this morning for shooting and wounding one of his workers with a pellet gun has denied mistaking the man for a monkey, a journalist for the public broadcaster SABC reports.

    On Thursday, police said the farmer in Letsitele, in Limpopo province, had shot at Mathanene Ismael when he was returning from a storeroom on a bicycle, claiming he had thought he was a monkey.

    The police reportedly said today they not believe the case was racially motivated:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The SABC journalist says the farmer was granted bail of 5,000 rand ($378, £311).

    According to News24, in KwaZulu-Natal, an 87-year-old man appeared in court on Monday for allegedly shooting and killing a 12-year-old boy he apparently mistook for a monkey.

    The boy had reportedly climbed a guava tree on the man's property in Braemar on Sunday. 

  16. Egypt statue 'a colossus of a king'

    Archaeologists have said a figure found submerged in water in a Cairo neighbourhood may depict Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

    Video content

    Video caption: Egyptian pharoah statue of Ramses II is 'big discovery'
  17. Unlawful sex charges dropped - SA confirmation

    Iryna Nohai and Emlyn Culverwell
    Image caption: The couple were arrested when Iryna Nohai was found to be pregnant

    South Africa's foreign ministry has confirmed that the charges against a South African man and his Ukrainian fiancee, detained in the United Arab Emirates for having unlawful sex as they were not married, have been dropped, News24 reports .

    Quote Message: All charges against the couple have been dropped and they have been released. The family will arrange when they would return to South Africa." from Clayson Monyela Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman
    Clayson Monyela Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman

    Emlyn Culverwell‚ 29, and Iryna Nohai, 27, were arrested in January when Ms Nohai was taken to hospital with stomach cramps and was found to be pregnant. 

  18. Somaliland calls for US travel ban exemption

    The self-declared republic of Somaliland has called on the United States to recognise its independence and to exclude its citizens from the recent travel ban that excludes citizens of six mainly Muslim countries, including Somalia, from travelling to the US for 90 days. 

    Saad Ali Shire, the breakaway region's foreign minister, said in a statement:

    Quote Message: Somaliland and the United States seek to advance shared security and economic interests, immigration policies directed at Somalia must not be applied to citizens of our country.
    Quote Message: Somaliland will also reaffirm our desire for strengthened bilateral relations and official US recognition of Somaliland’s independent sovereign status.”

    Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 when the overthrow of military ruler Siad Barre plunged the country into civil war.

    US President Donald Trump signed the executive order on Monday - and it comes into force on 16 March.

    His previous travel ban order, signed in January, was blocked in federal courts and sparked mass protests as well as confusion at airports.

    Read more: Somaliland - making a success of independence

  19. Mauritania MPs 'vote for flag to show colonial fight'

    MPs in Mauritania’s lower house of parliament have voted to change the country flag’s to include two red bands to represent the blood shed during the fight to end colonial rule from France, the AFP news agency is reporting.

    Planned new Mauritanian flag

    The current green flag has a crescent and star symbolising the importance of Islam to the country:

    Old Mauritanian flag

    The lawmakers also decided to get rid of the Senate, which must now vote on these constitutional amendments.

    The ruling party has a majority in both the lower and upper chamber, AFP reports.

  20. Buhari to 'resume work on Monday'

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari will return to work on Monday according to a tweet by an adviser. 

    View more on twitter

    Mr Buhari who returned from UK after a seven week medical leave joked that he had returned deliberately on Friday so that Vice-President  Yemi Osinbajo could be in charge over the weekend.