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Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday'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 cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday." from A Zimbabwean proverb sent by Coccin Maenzanise, Harare, Zimbabwe
    A Zimbabwean proverb sent by Coccin Maenzanise, Harare, Zimbabwe

    Click here to send your African proverbs  .  

    And we leave you with this image of men gathered in a meat roasting den in Senegal's capital,Dakar

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  2. Ivory Coast drops cocoa prices

    Tamasin Ford

    BBC Africa, Abidjan

    Man with cocoa (archive shot)
    Image caption: Cocoa is Ivory Coast's main foreign exchange earner

    Cocoa prices in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, have been cut by nearly 40%. 

    It’s the government’s attempt to shift the hundreds of thousands of tonnes blocked up at the ports and stacked in warehouses across the country. 

    It's all because of the falling international cocoa prices. They are almost the same as the local price in Ivory Coast, which means buyers faced massive losses if they honoured their contracts. 

    Up to 80% of them backed out, leaving farmers with no money and cocoa rotting up and down the country. 

    With cheaper prices, it's hoped buyers will be more interested in buying. 

    But farmers have been telling the BBC the new price won’t change anything. 

    “It’s not a new price,” says Moussa Kone, the President of the National Farmers Union of Ivory Coast. “Cocoa is already being bought at around 700 fcfa ($1.1),” he says. 

    The local price was 1100 fcfa/kg (1.8USD) and the government threatened arrests if it was sold for any less. 

    However, many desperate farmers who hadn't been paid since October had no choice but to sell illegally for less. 

    There’s a fear this new price will see cocoa being smuggled into countries like Ghana, where the price is higher but Mr Kone says this is already happening. 

    “Farmers have been selling across the borders to Guinea, Liberia and Ghana.  This new price won’t change anything,” he added.

  3. Ghana's record-breaking table

    A food seasoning manufacturer in Ghana has built a table which has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the longest in the world.

    The table can seat more than 3,000 guests.

    Video content

    Video caption: 3,600 guests at Ghana's record-breaking dinner table
  4. Extra slots for Africa at World Cup

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    The bureau of football’s world governing body, Fifa, has proposed that at least nine African nations can qualify for the World Cup when it expands from 32 teams to 48 in 2026. 

    It  has recommended that the continent’s allocation rises from five to nine direct qualifiers for the finals. 

    As well as the direct qualifiers, a 10th African nation will be one of six teams from around the globe that will play-off for two places at the finals. 

    The expansion of the World Cup is meant to be a way of redressing the balance of how the continental bodies are represented. 

    However, this allocation of places may cause controversy, with Africa essentially gaining just one more place than Europe despite having a similar number of members. 

    The slots also mean that more than half of the nations in The South American Football Confederation, Conmebol, will now play at the World Cup finals. 

    The allocation of places at the 2026 World Cup will be submitted for ratification by the Fifa Council when they meet in Bahrain on 9 May.

    Proposed allocation:

    •  Asia: 8 direct slots – increased from 4.5 (currently 46 members)
    •  Africa: 9 direct slots – increased from 5 (currently 54 members)
    • North and central America: 6 direct slots – increased from 3.5 (currently 34 members)
    • South America: 6 direct slots – increased from 4.5 (currently 10 members)
    • Oceania: 1 direct slot – increased from 0.5 (currently 11 members) and 
    • Europe: 16 direct slots – increased from 13 (currently 55 members)
    Fifa logo
    Image caption: Africa's allocation rises from five to nine direct qualifiers for the finals
  5. Mozambique university bans 'improper dressing'

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    A university in Mozambique's northern Nampula province has banned workers, students and teachers from coming to the campus "improperly dressed."

    In a notice stuck on walls at Unizambeze university, administrators prohibit women from wearing: 

    • Tight-fitting dresses 
    • Miniskirts 
    • Sleeveless tops 
    • Cleavage-showing tops
    • See-through cloths
    • Slippers 
    • Body tights 
    • Ripped jeans and 
    • Blouses showing bras. 

    It also bans men from wearing: 

    • Vests
    • Shorts 
    • Ripped jeans 
    • Low-waist trousers and 
    • Slippers and 
    • Plaiting their hair. 

    Reaction to the ban has been mixed, but most people  I spoke to said it was "appropriate for the African culture" and an "important rule to ensure decency in a learning institution."

    * The notice does not refer to dreadlocks, as we earlier reported. 

  6. Nigerian pilot makes history

    Sammy Maina

    BBC Monitoring

    A Nigerian pilot has become the first African to fly solo across the world, Nigeria's privately owned daily newspaper, The Punch, reports .

    Ademilola "Lola" Odujinrin, 38, a Boeing 737 pilot with Air Djibouti, spent just over eight months to complete the historic feat, flying a single-engine light aircraft across five continents with stopovers in more than 15 countries.

    Quote Message: Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of one day flying around the world. We have a responsibility to lead by example and follow our dreams. I want African children to think: ‘I can do this too'.'

    The father of two touched down Wednesday at Washington's Dulles Airport after visiting 20 countries on five continents in his record bid, which began at the same airport on 26 June 2016.

    The journey covered a 29,000 nautical miles across countries that included the US, Cameroon, Iceland, France, Egypt, Kenya, Bangladesh and Australia.

    BBC Focus on Afrca's Bola Mosuro spoke to Mr Odujinrin before he started his mission last year:  

    Video content

    Video caption: Nigerian pilot aims to circumnavigate the globe crossing Africa for part of his route.
  7. Trump 'declares parts of Somalia a war zone'

    US President Donald Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties in Somalia when counter-terrorism air strikes are carried out, laying the ground for an escalating campaign against militant Islamists in the country, The New York Times reports

    It quotes unnamed officials as saying that Mr Trump signed a directive on Wednesday declaring parts of Somalia an “area of active hostilities,” where war-zone targeting rules will apply for at least 180 days. 

    A journalist with the newspaper has tweeted the story:  

    View more on twitter
  8. Kenya's budget unveiled

    Peter Njoroge

    BBC Africa

    Security is tight around Kenya's parliament in the capital Nairobi as Treasury Minister Henry Rotich unveils a $25bn (£20bn) budget ahead of general elections on 8 August.  

     I snapped these police officers patrolling the usually busy road:

    Police on horseback

    The budget is being presented two months earlier than usual because of the elections.

     Kenya's financial year starts on 1 July.  

  9. Meet the Nigerian bobsleigh team

    Nigerian bobsleigh driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga made the bold decision to form the world's first all-African bobsleigh team in 2015.

    They are now on the verge of qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea.

    The team share their thoughts on making history, battling the cold and hurtling down ice for their country:

    Video content

    Video caption: "It's like rolling down a hill in a trash can": Q&A with the Nigerian bobsleigh team
  10. Al Masry return to home training 5 years on from deadly riot

          Al Masry players hold a moments silence ahead of their first training session at their home stadium in five years (photo courtesy Al Masry SC)
    Image caption: Al Masry players hold a moments silence ahead of their first training session at their home stadium in five years

    Egyptian club Al Masry have trained at their home stadium for the first time since a riot lead to the  death of more than 70 Al Ahly fans in February 2012.

    However Al Masry are still not allowed to host competitive matches.

    On Wednesday several thousand Masry fans watched their team train for their upcoming Confederation Cup play-off.

    That game against Uganda's KCCA will be played 85 km away in Ismailia where the Port Said-based team has been playing and training.

    Wednesday's training started with a moment of silence for the fans who died and as doves of peace were also released.

    Read more: Darker side of Egyptian football

  11. Nigeria rubbishes reports over Buhari's London medical trip

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Muhammadu Buhari signs
    Image caption: President Buhari has returned to work, but is not doing full days yet

    The spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has denied reports that the president had cancelled a planned medical visit to the UK. 

    The story, which started on the  Sahara Reporters  website, quoted unnamed presidential sources saying that an advance party had already left for London before Mr Buhari decided to call off the visit. It added that the president's doctors would travel instead to Nigeria to administer treatment there. 

    Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu told the BBC: 

    Quote Message: "It is false news. We are not aware of the reported advance movements. The last time the president spoke about this, he said he would return to his doctors after some time. We are not aware that this has changed."

    Mr Buhari returned from London on 10 March, after taking seven weeks of medical leave in the UK for an undisclosed illness. 

    Read more: Buhari - I have never been so sick

  12. Zuma threatened with no-confidence vote

          South Africa's main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane (C) reacts after leaving following the South African president speech for the 2017's State Of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Parliament in Cape Town on February 9, 2017.
    Image caption: Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane says the president is "reckless" with the economy

    South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will bring a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in parliament for playing "Russian roulette" with the economy. 

    The DA's announcement came after the South African Communist Party (SACP), whose senior leaders serve in the government, confirmed that Mr Zuma had informed them that he planned to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. 

    DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement :

    Quote Message: At a time when nine million South Africans are without work and our fragile economy requires leadership and clear policy direction, President Zuma continues to play "Russian roulette" with our economy and the future of our country."
    Quote Message: Parliament hired Jacob Zuma and parliament must now fire Jacob Zuma."

    The second biggest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, said it planned to take court action to force the parliamentary speaker to institute impeachment proceedings against Mr Zuma, who has been mired in a series of corruption scandals. 

    See earlier post for more details  

  13. The curious case of Kenya's missing education ceritificate

    There is a whirl of activity online at the moment as Kenyans make callouts to their old school mates to stand by them in case they are required to prove that they attended school and sat national examinations.

    They are poking fun at the hot water in which the Governor of Mombasa, Ali Hassan Joho, finds himself at the moment. 

    Police are investigating whether Mr Joho forged his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), as alleged by the Kenya National Examinations Council.

    He denies any wrongdoing but if these allegations are proven, Mr Joho could be in danger of criminal charges and could be stripped of the degrees he subsequently obtained at university.  

    Read full story

    Ali Hassan Joho
    Image caption: Mr Joho is seeking reelection as governor of the coastal city of Mombasa
  14. Famine-hit South Sudan needs 'humanitarian corridors'

    BBC World Service

          In this photo taken on Monday, March 20, 2017, mothers wait with their children to receive therapeutic milk to help combat the malnutrition their children are suffering from, at Al Sabbah Children"s Hospital in Juba, South Sudan.
    Image caption: Children have been affected by malnutrition in South Sudan

    The main South Sudanese rebel group, SPLM-In Opposition, is calling for humanitarian corridors to allow aid to get through to areas it controls. 

    Famine was declared in part of the country last month. The rebels and the United Nations have accused the government of restricting humanitarian access to rebel-controlled areas, a charge the authorities have denied. 

    The rebel group wants an intervention similar to Operation Lifeline Sudan, a huge cross-border aid programme that helped southern Sudanese during the war that led to independence from Sudan. 

    Read more: Why are there still famines?

  15. Zimbabwean 'thief caught in chimney'

    A man accused of attempting a robbery was stuck in a chimney at a youth centre in Zimbabwe for two days, before being rescued by a fire brigade crew and taken away by police, the state-owned Chronicle newspaper reports. 

    Andrea Zunga, 33, looked like a zombie from a South African soapie when he emerged from the chimney, it says. 

    Mr Zunga has not yet commented on the accusations against him. 

    The newspaper - as well as other outlets - have been tweeting photos of him:   

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  16. Malema calls for Zuma's impeachment

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

          South African opposition radical party Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is pictured during the EFF official local election manifesto launch at Soweto's Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on April 30, 2016.
    Image caption: Julius Malema styles himself as a revolutionary

    South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is to file an application at the Constitutional Court to order the speaker of parliament to institute impeachment proceedings against President Jacob Zuma.

    Mr Malema said the bid to impeach Mr Zuma revolved around the so-called Nkandla scandal, when the court ruled last year that the president had violated the constitution and had failed to uphold his oath of office by failing to repay government money used to upgrade his rural home.  

    In a statement, Mr Malema said: 

    Quote Message: We approach the Constitutional Court as a last resort based on the belief that Zuma’s conduct around the Nkandla matter both inside and outside parliament, renders him unfit to hold the high office of President of the Republic of South Africa.”
    Quote Message: If the application is successful, Baleka Mbete [the speaker of the National Assembly] will have no option but to put Zuma on trial so that he can answer directly to the people of South Africa.”

    Mr Zuma repaid about $540,000 (£430,000) to comply with the court order. 

    Public funds were used to build a swimming pool, amphitheatre, visitor centre, cattle enclosure and chicken run at his home in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province.

          A composite image showing South African President Jacob Zuma and his Nkandla residence
    Image caption: The Nkandla residence has turned into a major political headache for President Zuma

    Read: The colourful and controversial Zuma

  17. Nigerian author celebrates lucrative deal

    Young Nigerian author  Tomi Adeyemi  has been sharing some good news about her debut novel on Twitter:  

    View more on twitter

    The 23-year-old is behind the West African-set fantasy novel Children of Blood and Bone, which has received good reviews, Okay Africa reports

    The book has been described as “Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Black Lives Matter" and there are plans to adapt it into a full-length film,  Shadow and Act  reports.  

    Reports say that the deal with Fox 2000 is a seven-figure deal. 

    Okay Africa reports that Adeyemi is a literary whiz. She’s a creative writing coach based in San Diego, California, and a graduate of Harvard University. 

    She’s also the recipient of a fellowship to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. 

    She offers expertise and free writing tips to aspiring authors via her website .

  18. Zuma plans to 'oust finance minister'

    BBC World Service

    The South African Communist Party (SACP) says that President Jacob Zuma told them he intended to replace his finance minister Pravin Gordhan, as well as his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. 

    The SACP, a key ally of the governing African National Congress (ANC), said it was against the proposed reshuffle. 

    South African media have reported that many senior ANC figures are also opposed to the president's apparent plan to replace Mr Gordhan -- who is widely respected internationally.

    The South African currency, the rand, has fluctuated based on speculation about the fate of Mr Gordhan.

          Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance of South Africa, discusses poverty during a seminar discussion at World Bank Headquarters during the annual World Bank - International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Washington, DC, October 9, 2013.
    Image caption: Mr Gordhan has been trying to keep a tight rein on government spending

    Read: How Gordhan battled corruption charges

  19. Mozambique university 'bans dreadlocks'

    A university in northern Mozambique has banned students from wearing dreadlocks, sandals, shorts and tight dress according to a university statement, in Portuguese, shared on Twitter by a former BBC producer from the southern African state: 

    View more on twitter

    Reaction to the ban among other Twitter users has been mixed:

    View more on twitter

    Others are more critical:   

    View more on twitter
  20. SA authorities 'seize smuggled Ferrari'

    South African custom officials have impounded a Ferrari that was being smuggled into the country for the second time, online publication Fin24 reports. 

    Quoting a statement from the tax agency, the South African Revenue Service, it reports that the $1m ( £857,000) car was first seized in 2014 and kept in a bonded warehouse.

    The car was released to the owner in February after a request to export it to the Democratic Republic of Congo, but it was impounded a day later when an attempt was made to bring it back to South Africa via the Beitbridge border with Zimbabwe, the report says.

    View more on twitter