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  1. Rihanna praised for gwara gwara dance
  2. Sierra Leoneans bring court action against mining firm in London
  3. Zambia to regulate internet use
  4. Kenya blaze kills four and leaves thousands homeless
  5. Kenya's tourism minister criticises shisha ban
  6. China dismisses allegations that it spied on AU as "preposterous"
  7. Lone presidential challenger for Sisi in Egypt
  8. BBC launches radio services for Ethiopia and Eritrea
  9. Uganda's Red Pepper tabloid back on sale

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Monday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: Demands are for what you bought, but you cannot demand more of something that has been given to you." from Sent by Khuliso Makhavhu in Mudimeli, South Africa
    Sent by Khuliso Makhavhu in Mudimeli, South Africa

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And we leave you with this picture of a woman posing in Zanzibar:

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  2. Lost history of African dinosaurs revealed

    Lost history of African dinosaurs revealed
    Image caption: Reconstruction of the new dinosaur on a coastline in what is now the Western Desert of Egypt

    A new species of dinosaur found in the Egyptian desert is shedding light on Africa's missing history of dinosaurs.

    Few fossils have been unearthed from the last days of the dinosaurs, between 100 and 66 million years ago, on the continent.

    Scientists say the dinosaur, which lived about 80 million years ago, is an "incredible discovery".

    The giant plant-eater was the length of a school bus and weighed about the same as an elephant.

    It had a long neck and bony plates embedded in its skin.

    The dinosaur's fossilised remains were unearthed during an expedition by palaeontologists from Mansoura University in Egypt.

    Read full story on the BBC website

  3. Kagame: Everybody spies

    The African Union (AU) chairman, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, has said that he is not concerned about reports that China had allegedly bugged the organisation's headquarters in Ethiopia, a Rwandan journalist has tweeted.

    He quotes Mr Kagame as saying that "everybody spies", and he wished that the AU, rather than China, built the headquarters:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    China has denied that it spied on the AU, describing the allegation as "sensational" and "preposterous".

    Read our earlier post.

  4. 'How River Gods are ruining my education'

    A ban apparently imposed by a local River God stopping menstruating schoolgirls in Ghana from crossing a river has outraged children's activists.

    Video content

    Video caption: Ghana schoolgirl: 'River Gods' period ban is ruining my education'
  5. Case against mining firm opens in UK

    Umaru Fofana

    BBC Africa, Freetown

    A case opened in a court in London today involving a group of small scale farmers in Sierra Leone and mining company Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd.

    More than 140 farmers and residents allege they were brutalised when the company won a licence to start operating in their region more than six years ago.

    The group alleges Tonkolili was "complicit in the activities by the police of false imprisonment, assault and rape during two incidents in 2010 and 2012", their lawyers said in a statement.

    Sierra Leone’s Human Rights Commission investigated and catalogued a list of the alleged abuses but their recommendations were generally ignored.

    Tonkolili, formerly a UK-based company which is now a subsidiary of China-based Shandong Iron and Steel Group, denies liability for the incidents, AFP news agency reports.

  6. CHAN 2018: Looming transfers could hit Moroccan chances

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    Ashraf Bencharki
    Image caption: Ashraf Bencharki helped Wydad Casablanca win the 2017 African Champions League.

    Hosts Morocco will be without key players Achraf Bencharki and Jawad El Yamiq if they reach the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final on Sunday.

    The duo are set to leave their Moroccan clubs by Wednesday to play overseas, which contradicts competition rules.

    The CHAN is a tournament for African players based in their own domestic leagues.

    Bencharki has agreed to join Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal Riyadh, while El Yamiq is heading to Genoa in Italy.

    Read the full BBC story here

  7. West Brom: Ali Gabr joins on loan from Zamalek

    Ali Gabr
    Image caption: Ali Gabr will wear the number 16 shirt at West Brom

    West Brom have signed Egypt defender Ali Gabr on loan from Zamalek until the end of the season.

    The 29-year-old, who has won 18 caps for Egypt, scored four goals in 130 appearances in three and a half years at Zamalek.

    The Baggies will have the option to sign Gabr for £1.1m at the end of his loan deal.

    "Ali is strong, dominant in the air and he's got good pace as well," said West Brom technical director Nick Hammond.

    Read the full BBC story here

  8. Meet South Africa's 'king of tombstone bling'

    Lebohang W Khitsane designs tombstones and is known as South Africa's "king of tombstone bling".

    He creates unique tombstones for his clients, which include celebrities and public figures

    Video content

    Video caption: Meet South Africa's 'king of tombstone bling'
  9. Fighting corruption in Africa

    African leaders have been meeting in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, for the annual African Union summit where the theme this year is about fighting corruption.

    Africa loses billions of dollars to corruption annually. It's also a headache for business people across Africa.

    South African entrepreneur Tebogo Khaas told the BBC's Newsday programme about his experience doing business with the government:

    Video content

    Video caption: African leaders take up the task of fighting corruption across the continent
  10. Chimamanda sparks conversation about Nigerian literature

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Image caption: Adichie's Purple Hibiscus was nominated for both the Orange Prize and Booker Prize in 2004

    Last Thursday acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sparked an intense conversation on social media during an interview with a French journalists, where she was asked if there were bookshops in Nigeria.

    She told the journalist that her question reflected poorly on French people.

    Our colleagues at BBC Trending have been looking at the social media reaction to the interview.

    They report that the interview, which was broadcast on Twitter and Facebook, has been viewed nearly 38,000 times.

    The conversation has also moved on from the initial angst over what many considered to be an ignorant question to one assessing the state of literature in Nigeria.

    Read full story on the BBC website.

  11. Sisi to face one presidential challenger

    BBC World Service

    Moussa Mostafa Moussa (C) leaves after submitting his presidential candidacy papers in front of the National Election Authority, in Cairo, Egypt, 29 January 2018.
    Image caption: Moussa Mostafa Moussa had previously backed the president

    The deadline for candidacy in Egypt's presidential election has passed with one last-minute challenger to President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who first took power in a coup.

    The leader of the liberal al-Ghad, or Tomorrow, party, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, has confirmed that he will run against Mr Sisi, who is seeking a second four-year-term in elections due in March.

    Mr Moussa endorsed Mr Sisi's bid last December.

    His last-minute registration follows the withdrawal of human rights lawyer Khalid Ali and former Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq, and the arrest of former chief of staff of the armed forces, General Sami Anan.

  12. Zambia to regulate internet use

    Kennedy Gondwe


    A picture taken on December 28, 2016 in Vertou, western France, shows logos of US online social media and social networking service Facebook.
    Image caption: Facebook is extremely popular in Zambia

    The Zambian government says it will press ahead with plans to introduce laws to regulate the internet.

    Communications Minister Brian Mushimba said the government wanted to protect internet users, but denied reports that social platforms like Facebook will be banned.

    In an interview with me, he said:

    Quote Message: As we encourage and promote the use of internet and internet services such as social media, there has to be consumer protection. Just like on the roads, the government puts speed limits. Just like in supermarkets, they put expiry dates on food and products."

    The minister said the government would enact various laws this year, including those related to cyber-crime and e-commerce, ensure the internet does not "run wild".

    He added:

    Quote Message: These bills are speaking to creating a legal environment so that consumers of internet and internet services are well protected.
    Quote Message: We are a government that believes in the rights of our citizens. We protect those rights and we would not consider banning social media platforms and the internet."
  13. Kenya fire: 'It was like fighting in hell'

    David Wafula

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Residents pour water as they attempt to extinguish a fire that broke out at the Kijiji slum in Southlands estate of Nairobi, Kenya January 28, 2018.

    Survivors have been recalling the horror of the fire which swept through an informal settlement in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, killing at least four people and leaving thousands destitute.

    Titus Mutua told me:

    Quote Message: I don't think I can live here anymore. I have lived here for 17 years and I have never seen anything like this. I don’t know where my children are. My wife says she took them to her friends. I have nowhere to sleep. I am just sleeping under a tree.''
    A resident attempts to extinguish a fire that broke out at the Kijiji slums in the Southlands estate of Nairobi, Kenya, January 28, 2018.

    Maryam Mohamed said she lost everything in the inferno:

    Quote Message: It was like fighting in hell. It was like hell. This is the toughest day of my life but I put my God first, who will provide for me."
    A resident attempts to extinguish a fire that broke out at the Kijiji slums in Southlands estate of Nairobi, Kenya January 28, 2018.

    See earlier post for more details

  14. BBC to launch radio for Ethiopia and Eritrea

    BBC Broadcasting House
    Image caption: The World Service has been called the jewel in the BBC crown

    At 1730 GMT, the BBC is starting radio programmes for three new language services in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    The launch is part of the BBC World Service's biggest expansion since the 1940s.

    The new radio programmes are in the Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya languages and will be available via short wave, satellite and online.

    The programmes will be a rich mix of local and international news and will also feature sport, culture and business as well as English language learning.

    The media is restricted in Ethiopia and Eritrea and so the new BBC radio programmes aim to provide a much needed source of independent news and analysis.

    In September, the Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya services launched websites and Facebook pages.

    However, internet penetration is extremely low in both countries. So radio plays a vital role and is for now the best means of reaching the potential audience of over 100 million as well as the sizeable population in the diaspora.

    This is all part of a the BBC World Service's expansion drive and includes content in Pidgin, Yoruba and Igbo for Nigeria, a Korean service and four languages in India.

    The initial shortwave broadcast to go out at 17:30 GMT will be on three transmitters providing coverage across Ethiopia and Eritrea:

    • 7.595MHz
    • 11.720MHz
    • 12.065MHz

    Repeat to follow at 18:30 GMT

    • ·9.855MHz
    • 15.490MHz


    Radio content will go out on the following channels:

    • Arabsat (BADR4) - 11.966GHz, Horizontal
    • NIlesat 201 -11.843GHz, Horizontal
    • Hotbird 13D – 12.597GHz, Vertical

    The evening satellite broadcast will go out at 17:30 GMT and will be repeated until 21:30 GMT.

  15. Uganda's Red Pepper back on sale

    Copies of Uganda's Red Pepper newspaper hit the streets today, two months after it was ordered to shut down for publishing a story alleging a plot by Uganda to topple Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

    President Yoweri Museveni last week pardoned the paper's editors and directors, who had been facing treason and defamation charges.

    The presidency said that the publication's management promised " to become more professional".

    Arinaitwe Rugyendo, a co-founder of the paper, told AFP:

    "We are going to polish our style but we will not self-censor." He insisted the paper would continue to be "bolder than the rest".

    The publication has been known to publish salacious and gossip stories but it has also been known to cover stories of state corruption.

    Peter Mwesige, executive director of the Kampala-based African Centre for Media Excellence, said that the publication divided opinion, adding: "There are very many people who don't appreciate its style."

    The paper led with its own story of being brought back from the dead.

    View more on twitter
  16. State to help Kenya fire victims

    Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto has said that the government will spend $490,000 (£347,000) to help victims of the fire that gutted proprieties in a slum in the capital, Nairobi.

    View more on twitter

    Media reports say about four people were killed in the Sunday fire that has also left at least 6,000 people homeless.

    Meanwhile, the governor of Nairobi has sent on leave two officials in charge of the fire department, a local news site has tweeted:

    View more on twitter
  17. Fitness app exposes military details

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    The movements of soldiers within Bagram air base - the largest US military facility in Afghanistan
    Image caption: The movements of soldiers within Bagram air base - the largest US military facility in Afghanistan

    News that online fitness tracker Strava has published a "heatmap" showing the paths its users log as they run or cycle has revealed some interesting information.

    It appears to show the structure of foreign military bases in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan, as soldiers move around.

    This information can also be deduced in African countries.

    It is ironic that after all the measures taken to keep military activity as covert as possible, the individual personnel have lifted the lid on some of their activities, though local communities have always been aware of their difference.

    By studying the maps, you can have an idea of the numbers of people, where they live or work, and some patterns of their life.

    Most of this information is confined to bases that are already out of bounds. It will be more worrying if soldiers keep them on all the time, revealing things like patrol routes.

    It is up to the enemy (or potential enemy) to decide how to use this information.

    However with satellite images more current than Google Maps, we can see and study what is around these areas of activity, such as vehicles, aircraft, and buildings.

    There is still so much else to uncover, since you pretty much have to scour through every bit of the map to study and find information.

    However, it is important to note that just because a lot of military people use it, doesn't mean that every remote place where the "heatmaps" show up will automatically reveal military activity.

    It could simply imply the presence of engineers, exploration staff or even non-governmental organisation workers.

    Read the BBC story here

  18. Nairobi fire department 'failed terribly'

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Nairobi fire
    Image caption: Thousands of people have reportedly been left homeless after fire swept through a Kenyan slum

    Just three months ago in Kenya, the picture of a beaming President Uhuru Kenyatta, testing the hose-pipe of a new fire engine, and flanked by Nairobi Governor Mike "Sonko" Mbuvi, was re-shared widely on Twitter as people discussed the country's preapred to cope with disasters.

    The governor shared the picture in October, when he said the newly-elected Nairobi County government had acquired 24 new fire engines.

    This equipment will go a long way in curbing fire situations that have been witnessed in the recent past," Mr Mbuvi said at the time.

    But in Nairobi's first major fire since then, the fire department failed terribly. Why? That's the question the governor will have to answer.

    See our earlier post for more details

  19. China denies spying on AU

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa

    China has denied reports by French newspaper Le Monde that it has been spying on the African Union (AU) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

    The article claimed that over the last five years, data from the AU building, which was constructed by the Chinese, was transferred to Shanghai at odd hours.

    The Chinese Ambassador to the AU, Kuang Weili, called the report "sensational" and "preposterous".

    He also questioned the timing of the report, which was published just a day before African leaders began their annual summit at the AU headquarters.

    The 20-storey building cost $200m ( £140m) and has housed the headquarters of the continental body since 2012.

  20. Gwara gwara vs stanky leg

    Rihanna's performance at last night's Grammy awards ceremony involved a certain dance move that has sparked debate on Twitter.

    A US magazine called the dance the stanky leg.

    View more on twitter

    But African culture news site Okay Africa tweeted back to say the dance was South Africa's gwara gwara.

    It even shared a video of a dance instructor showing how to pull off the jig:

    View more on twitter

    South Africans also tweeted back at the US magazine to set the record straight:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    See our earlier post: The man who 'created' gwara gwara