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Summary

  1. Cameroon tortures Boko Haram suspects, Amnesty says
  2. Cameroon government responds with accusations against Amnesty
  3. Uganda police arrest 56 opposition activists over 'illegal gatherings'
  4. China's top e-commerce businessman Jack Ma arrives in Kenya
  5. Cecil the lion's son killed by hunter in Zimbabwe
  6. Six Burundi teenagers in the US for a robotics competition are reported missing
  7. Nigeria court seizes Alison-Madueke's luxury apartment block
  8. Burundi's president leaves country for first time in two years

Live Reporting

By Paul Bakibinga and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  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: The child who knows how to wash their hands will eat with the elders." from An Akan proverb sent by Edgar Yaw Opoku-Mensah in Budd Lake, New Jersey, United States
    An Akan proverb sent by Edgar Yaw Opoku-Mensah in Budd Lake, New Jersey, United States

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

    And we leave you with this photo by Nana Kofi Acquah of a woman in Ghana looking for a buyer for her water melons:

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  2. Dozens of opposition activists arrested in Uganda

    Police in Uganda have announced the arrest of 56 people on charges of holding unlawful meetings. They have not disclosed details of those arrested:

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    The AFP news agency reports that the arrests have come following speculation that there are plans to amend the constitution so that President Yoweri Museveni can stand for re-election.

    The constitution, currently prohibits citizens over the age of 75 from running for president.

    Mr Museveni, who has been in power for 31 years, will be 77 when elections are next held in 2021.

    Ingrid Turinawe a senior organiser for Uganda's main opposition Forum for Democratic Change told AFP that he believes the arrests of the 56 party members was linked to the speculation.

    Quote Message: The government gets suspicious that whoever is meeting is discussing the age limit. These activists weren't discussing the age limit, but even if it was true what's wrong with that?"
  3. 'Come home', Burundi’s president tells refugees

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC Africa, Arusha

    Thousands of Burundian refugees living in Tanzania have been urged to go back home and improve life there.

    Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza made the call today on a visit to Tanzania, his first foreign trip since surviving a failed coup attempt in 2015.

    Addressing a public rally in the north-western Kagera region, alongside his Tanzanian counterpart President John Magafuli, Mr Nkrunziza said:

    Quote Message: Today, Burundi is a peaceful country. We invite our citizens, our brothers and sisters who fled here in Tanzania to return... and start rebuilding their country."

    Nearly 240,000 Burundians have fled into Tanzania since April 2015, when tensions flared up after it was announced that President Nkurunziza would run for a controversial third term.

    He survived an attempted coup the following month.

    Burundian refugees gather along the shoreline of the Tanganyika lake in the fishing village of Kagunga, in May 2015. At the time, UNHCR was transporting approximately 2,000 refugees per day to a transit camp at the stadium in Kigoma.
    Image caption: Tanzania is home to thousands of Burundian refugees
  4. Burundi teens missing in US 'safe'

    Two of six teenage members of the Burundi robotics team who went missing from Washington DC in the United States this week have crossed into Canada and are safe, reports the Washington Post quoting a police spokeswoman.

    The four others are also said to be in safe hands, though the authorities refused to give more details. It is believed that the teenagers may have left the United States voluntarily on their own, the paper adds.

    The teenagers now in Canada have been identified by the police as Don Charu Ingabire, 16, and Audrey Mwamikazi, 17.

    The teenagers, four boys and two girls, disappeared during the FIRST Global Challenge robotics tournament in Washington.

  5. Zimbabwe in large budget overspend

    BBC World Service

    Zimbabwe's finance minister says the government has overspent its budget by nearly $1bn (£770m).

    Patrick Chinamasa said most of the money was spent on food imports and subsidies to farmers due to a severe drought.

    He said agriculture would rebound and projected economic growth of nearly 4% this year.

    Zimbabwe has a 90% unemployment rate.

    Man holding bond notes
    Image caption: Last year, special bond notes were introduced because of serious cash shortages.
  6. Ethiopia tax protest 'hitting capital'

    The protest over a hike in taxes paid by small businesses in Ethiopia has reached the capital, Addis Ababa, the Addis Standard newspaper is reporting.

    It has tweeted pictures of closed shop fronts in what it says is the normally busy commercial area of Kolfe, Atena Tera.

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    Over the past week, businesses in parts of the wider Oromia region, which surrounds Addis Ababa, closed their doors as part of a demonstration against the new tax which business people say they cannot afford.

    The government says there has been a misunderstanding about the tax rates.

  7. Africa Cup of Nations expands to 24 teams from 2019 event in Cameroon

    The Africa Cup of Nations will be contested by 24 teams when the next tournament takes place in 2019, says the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

    Caf's executive committee rubber-stamped the proposal on Thursday at a meeting in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

    Africa's flagship sporting event has featured 16 teams since 1996.

    A decision on whether the finals will be moved from January and February to June and July is still awaited.

    People holding trophy
    Image caption: The Africa Cup of Nations will feature 24 teams from 2019 onwards

    The expansion of the tournament could create problems for Cameroon, which will host the next finals, with the Central African nation's sports minister having to deny reports that preparations were behind schedule this week.

    The move follows a two-day symposium organised by Caf president Ahmad to discuss the state of African football.

  8. IMF urges Mozambique to address debt concerns

    The International Monetary Fund says Mozambique must provide more information about secret government loans worth more than $2bn (£1.5 bn). The scandal led to a currency collapse and debt default.

    Speaking after a 10-day visit to the country, IMF officials said they were dissatisfied with the continuing uncertainty about the unapproved loans.

    The loans were taken out because the government anticipated an economic boom from newly discovered natural gas deposits that are yet to materialise, AFP new agency reports

    Last month, an independent audit found that a quarter of the money, which was earmarked for the maritime sector, remained unaccounted for.

    Several foreign donors including the IMF and World Bank have suspended aid as a result.

    A Mozambican woman walks in Palma, on February 16, 2017. The small, palm-fringed fishing town of Palma was meant to become a symbol of Mozambique's glittering future, transformed by one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas projects, but it is now under threat from construction delays, fallen gas prices and a huge government debt scandal
    Image caption: Mozambique's Palma town that expected transformation after discovery of large deposits of liquefied natural gas
  9. Treason charges dropped against Ghana separatists

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    A court in Ghana has dropped charges against members of a separatist group who had been accused of treason.

    The three men are part of a secessionist movement called Homeland Study Group Foundation, which wants to create a breakaway state in eastern Ghana.

    They were arrested in March for declaring the Volta region and parts of northern Ghana as Western Togoland.

    The region did not fall within the administrative borders of the Gold Coast, which became known as Ghana at independence 60 years ago.

    What was then Trans Volta Togoland territory was then incorporated into Ghana.

    On their release today, the separatists were instructed to sign a bond of peace and told to channel their grievances to the United Nations.

    A man holds Ghanaian flags up in the air
    Image caption: Ghana marked 60 years of independence in March
  10. South Africa sports chief suspended over sexual harassment allegations

    BBC World Service

    Tubby Reddy, the chief executive of South Africa's sports confederation and Olympic committee, has been suspended following allegations of sexual harassment.

    Mr Reddy denies he sent pornographic material to a female colleague and has described the accusations as unfair.

    The board of South Africa's sports body says there will be a one-month independent investigation into the allegations.

    SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy attends the Team South Africa press conference at Copthorne Tara Hotel on July 27, 2012 in London, England.
    Image caption: Tubby Reddy denies the allegations
  11. Cecil the lion's son 'shot by hunter' in Zimbabwe

    In Zimbabwe, the eldest cub of the lion called Cecil who was killed by a hunter two years ago, has himself been shot dead as part of a trophy hunt, a local conservation group has posted on its Facebook page.

    Cecil's death in 2015 caused an outcry as he was a major tourist attraction at Zimbabwe's famous Hwange National Park.

    Lions of Hwange National Park says that Xanda was six years old when he was killed.

    "When will the lions... be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should?" the group asks.

    Xanda's death was discovered as he was wearing a tracking collar used by researchers, the Daily Telegraph reports.

    A pamphlet showing an image of Cecil the lion, is held at a vigil in central London
    Image caption: Cecil's death was marked around the world
  12. Cameroon denies death of Nigerians in Bakassi

    Randy Joe Sa'ah

    BBC Africa, Bamenda

    The government of Cameroon has for the first time reacted to Nigerian press reports that up to 97 of its nationals were killed in Bakassi.

    The reports last week said that the deaths occured earlier in July when a Cameroonian paramilitary unit was enforcing a $300 (£230) fishing levy.

    Nigeria's Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau accused Cameroon of breaching an agreement to protect its citizens.

    However, Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary has said in a press release that the media reports are fake and that nobody died.

    He however blamed Nigerians in Bakassi for failing to pay taxes when they were required to do so.

    Bakass
    Image caption: Nigeria ceded the Bakassi peninsular to Cameroon in 2008

    Ownership of the Bakassi Penisula was disputed between Nigeria and Cameroon until the International Court of Justice ruled in Cameroon's favour in 2002.

  13. Burundi's 'teen robotics team goes missing in US'

    A team of six teenagers who represented Burundi at a robotics contest in Washington DC have gone missing, the local police say.

    The police say that the last time the six were seen was at the closing ceremony of the FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition on Tuesday evening.

    The competition organisers said in a statement that they have been unable to find the six students, the Washington Post reports.

    The police quote the team's mentor as saying they were travelling on one-year visas.

    Burundi team page from FIRST Global Challenge
    Image caption: The Burundi team were featured on the FIRST Global Challenge's website

    The robotics competition made the news when participants from Afghanistan and The Gambia were initially refused visas from the US authorities.

  14. Cameroon says Amnesty is Boko Haram propaganda tool

    Cameroon's information minister has reacted angrily to an Amnesty International report saying that its security forces had "brutally tortured" Boko Haram suspects.

    The rights group said that suspects were beaten, water-boarded and forced into stress positions. And a number died as a result.

    Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary told the BBC that Cameroon "rejects these allegations".

    He said that the security forces were "fighting to protect the physical integrity" of Cameroon and there was "no need for our army to kill innocent civilians".

    He added that in making the allegations Amnesty International has become a "tool of [Boko Haram] propaganda".

    "Why don't Amnesty International ask [Boko Haram leader] Mr Shekau to leave us alone?" he asked.

    The Islamist group, based in neighbouring Nigeria, has killed more than 1,500 civilians in Cameroon since 2014, and abducted many others.

    This photo taken on June 17, 2014 in Dabanga, northern Cameroon, shows a convoy of Cameroon's army soldiers
    Image caption: Cameroonian soldiers are part of a multi-national force fighting Boko Haram
  15. Tobacco firms 'hamper anti-smoking push'

    Tulip Mazumdar

    Global Health Correspondent

    The tobacco industry is hampering efforts to introduce life-saving interventions in low and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, according to a report by the World Health Organization.

    Tobacco companies say they are not opposed to "reasonable" regulation.

    The proportion of smokers and those using other tobacco products around the world is falling - but it is happening slowly.

    Cigarette stubbed out

    One in five people over the age of 15 now use tobacco, compared to one in four in 2007, according to the WHO report on the "global tobacco epidemic".

    "There has been progress, but there's more to do," said Dr Vinayak Prasad, head of WHO's tobacco control unit in Geneva.

    "Most of tobacco usage is now happening in the Middle East, in Asian economies and (tobacco use ) in Africa is also adding up"

    He said that tobacco companies are now increasingly setting their sights on "easier, less regulated markets", and putting pressure on their governments.

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  16. Djibouti FA is dissolved

    The Djibouti Football Federation (FDF) has dissolved the national football team in a bid to "stop poor results".

    The FDF announced in a statement that the squad and coaching staff have been disbanded as the focus shifts to promising youngsters.

    The move comes after Djibouti lost 5-1 at home to Ethiopia in the first leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier on Saturday.

    The FDF said there was no timeframe for when the team would be reconstituted.

    For more read: Djibouti FA dissolves national team to 'stop poor results'

    Djibouti Football Federation president Souleiman Hassan Waberi
    Image caption: Djibouti's Football Federation is run by Souleiman Hassan Waberi, a Confederation of African Football Executive Committee member
  17. Nigeria seizes $37m property of ex-minister

    A court in Nigeria has ordered the temporary seizure of property worth $37.5m (£29m) belonging to former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke on the suspicion that it was bought with ill-gotten money, the AFP news agency reports.

    The seizure is part of a series of cases brought by the country's anti-graft agency, it adds.

    AFP says that the property is an apartment block on the upmarket Banana Island in Lagos.

    Ms Alison-Madueke is currently on bail in London where she was arrested on corruption allegations.

    She was oil minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 to 2015.

    Nigeria's Diezani Alison-Madueke
    Image caption: Diezani Alison-Madueke has previously denied any wrongdoing
  18. Nigeria's sports minister defends 'no show' at Para-Athletics Championships

    Nigeria's Sports Minister Solomon Dalung has been defending his government's failure to facilitate his country's para-athletes to pre-qualification competitions that would have enabled them attend the ongoing world championships, in London.

    It is day seven at the World Para Athletics Championships and one African sporting powerhouse conspicuous by its absence is Africa's most populous nation -Nigeria.

    The country has several world record holders and champions who have missed the opportunity to defend their medals.

    Mr Dalung also responded to criticism levelled at the government by Paralympic champion and world record holder Lauritta Onye who told the BBC, earlier this the week, that the government had abandoned the athletes.

    In an interview with the BBC Hausa service Minister Dalung said that matters of qualification or pre-qualification were handled by the various local sports federations and their international counterparts.

    He said that it was only when matters of qualification were resolved was the government approached for funding. However he said that sometimes the federations approached the government late and the processing of funds was "cumbersome".

    He speculated that Ms Onye may have been to blame for her own non-attendance.

    Lauritta Onye of Nigeria poses after breaking the world record in the Women's Shotput Final on day 4 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Image caption: Olympic champion Lauritta Onye says Nigerian government "abandoned" para-athletes
    Quote Message: If she got the invitation did she inform her federation? Did the federation inform the government on time?
    Quote Message: If this information was not before the government, there is no way the government could bring out the money."

    On being asked for his reaction to sentiments that the government was not serious about para-athletics Solomon Dalung replied

    Quote Message: [Those statements] are unfounded, they are maliciously conceived to malign the government."
  19. Secret to e-commerce success

    People are sharing clips of Chinese businessman Jack Ma speaking to young entrepreneurs in Kenya.

    Mr Ma made his fortune - he is Asia's richest man - through e-commerce company Alibaba, which is reported to account for 11% of all Chinese retail sales.

    On his first visit to the continent, he told his audience the key to a successful business - you need to make sure your customers are successful.

    By "empowering others, you are empowering yourself and you are empowering your platform," he said.

    View more on twitter
  20. South Africa's Gupta scandal

    In South Africa, allegations of high-level corruption are being fuelled by a huge leak of confidential emails.

    Mixed up in the scandal is a British PR company, Bell Pottinger, which has been accused of fuelling racial tensions in order to distract attention from a powerful family with links to President Zuma.

    Andrew Harding reports for BBC Newsnight.

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa's Gupta scandal