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Live Reporting

Mirren Gidda and Farouk Chothia

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 BBC Africa Live 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: A liar lacks memory." from Sent by Tiani Iddris Kokohaare in Cape Coast, Ghana
    Sent by Tiani Iddris Kokohaare in Cape Coast, Ghana

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

    And we leave you with this photo of a golden woman:

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  2. New York City to honour Ghanian-born soldier

    New York City has announced plans to name a street after Emmanuel Mensah, a heroic soldier who died rescuing four people from a burning building.

    Mr Mensah, a US army private, was home for the holidays when the fire broke out on 28 December in an apartment building in New York City's Bronx neighbourhood.

    He ran in and out of the building several times before he died on the fourth floor.

    In total, the fire claimed 13 lives, making it New York City's deadliest fire in 25 years.

    "It means a lot,” said Mensah’s father, Kwabena Mensah, about the decision to name a street after his son. “[This] will keep him here forever.”

    Mr Mensah will also receive a Soldier's Medal from the army, the highest honour for bravery outside armed conflict.

    His story has been covered by media in both the US and Ghana:

  3. Unicef warns of new famine for South Sudan

    A malnourished child in South Sudan
    Image caption: Unicef has warned of an impending famine in South Sudan

    A quarter of a million South Sudanese children are at risk of dying if urgent food aid is not delivered to them, the UN children’s agency, Unicef, has warned.

    The organisation's new director, Henrietta Fore, has warned that there is a threat of famine, following her visit to the troubled country.

    Tens of thousands of people have been killed since fighting broke out in South Sudan in 2013, and a peace deal signed two years later has been violated repeatedly.

    "One in every ten children in Juba is malnourished," one doctor told the BBC's Anne Soy. "The situation is worse outside the capital."

    The doctor added that the hospital treats 80 to 100 cases of malnutrition each month.

    South Sudan is one of the world's most expensive aid operations, with more aid workers being killed in the country than anywhere else in the world.

    One in three South Sudanese people are displaced, with many farms lying empty.

    Read more: One million child refugees in South Sudan

  4. Buhari thanks Obasanjo for 'admonition'

    Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Federal Republic of Nigeria speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2017 in New York City.
    Image caption: Olusegun Obasanjo backed President Buhari in the 2015 election

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's government takes the "admonition" by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in "good faith", Information Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said.

    The government thanks him "most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement", Mr Mohammed added.

    Earlier, Mr Obasanjo called on Mr Buhari, 74, to retire at the end of his term next year because of his age and poor health.

    Mr Obasanjo added that he was disappointed with Mr Buhari, particularly because of what he called his poor handling of Nigeria's economy, the largest in Africa.

    In his response, Mr Mohammed said:

    Quote Message: It is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return. However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time.
    Quote Message: This is because Mr President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his administration by successive past administrations.
    Quote Message: He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that's where we are right now!"
    President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari arrives to speak at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum at the Plaza Hotel, September 21, 2016 in New York City.
    Image caption: President Buhari received lengthy treatment in the UK last year for an undisclosed illness

    Mr Mohammed added that the government was making "steady progress" in its efforts to improve the economy, and the former president may not have been fully aware of this because of his "very busy schedule".

    Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40bn (£28bn), the highest level in about four years, and headline inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% in December, the minister said, adding:

    Quote Message: Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up."

    See earlier post for more details

  5. Nigeria to vaccinate 25 million people

    Yellow fever vaccination
    Image caption: Nigeria is about to embark on its biggest ever vaccination drive

    On Thursday, Nigeria will begin a yellow fever vaccination campaign to inoculate 25 million people.

    The Nigerian government, along with the World Health Organization and Unicef, plan to carry out the mass campaign during 2018, making it the country's largest ever vaccination drive.

    It's part of a wider global effort to eradicate yellow fever outbreaks by 2026 and will begin in Nigeria in Kogi, Kwara and Zamfara states.

    Nigeria is currently battling an outbreak of yellow fever, which began in the west in September 2017.

    In late 2017, it vaccinated more than three million people, but this didn't stop the spread of the disease.

    At the start of this year, 45 people had died from yellow fever.

    Read more: Brazil declares yellow fever emergency

  6. Bill Gates tells Trump not to abandon Africa

    Bill Gates
    Image caption: Bill Gates said President Trump's "America First" policy is affecting US influence in Africa

    Bill Gates has warned that Donald Trump's "America First" position could damage the US' relationship with Africa.

    "[In] the balance of hard power versus soft power, the US uniquely has a ratio emphasising hard power and I’d hate to see it go even further,” Mr Gates said during the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland. “You don’t want to give up your soft power tools.”

    Mr Gates added that the US could lose its influence in Africa to countries like China that are continuing to invest in the continent.

    Mr Gates' own charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is heavily involved in providing healthcare support to parts of Africa.

    But President Trump has suggested he will cut the US' global health budget by around $2.2 billion (£1.55 billion).

    He also angered some African leaders recently when he allegedly called African nations "shitholes."

    Read more: Zimbabwe president gives Davos interview

  7. Mozambique: Two arrested for 'child cannibalism'

    Saucepans in Nigeria
    Image caption: The body parts of a child were found in a saucepan

    Police in Mozambique have arrested two men on suspicion of cannibalism.

    The suspects were apprehended in the western city of Tete, after police found two saucepans containing the cooked body parts of an exhumed child, including ribs, legs and arms.

    One of the men is a gravedigger, and the pair are believe to have taken the child from a nearby cemetery.

    "We have concluded these detained men used to violate graves," said police spokesperson Lurdes Ferreira. "They used to remove dead bodies, particularly of male children.”

    Ms Ferreira added that the men would answer for their crimes in court, frustrating a local crowd who had attempted to lynch them.

    Read more: Shock and fear in South Africa cannibal case

  8. Libya arrests Sudanese migrant kidnappers

    BBC World Service

    Sudanese migrants in Libya
    Image caption: Sudanese migrants are pictured in Libya, security forces says they have rescued other migrants who were being tortured.

    A Libyan security force says it has arrested kidnappers suspected of torturing a group of Sudanese migrants near the city of Sirte.

    The gang had been trying to secure ransom payments from the families of their captives.

    Video circulated on social media showed the migrants being whipped as they lay on the floor.

    One man had burning liquid dropped on his naked body.

    The Sudanese government has demanded that the Libyan authorities take action.

    The security team that made the arrests said all the captives have been rescued.

  9. YouTuber: My disability is my motivation

    Abdi Omar, who has cerebral palsy, moved to the UK from Somalia when he was just four years old.

    Technology has made it possible for him to become a motivational speaker and YouTuber.

    Video journalists: Yasmin Ahmed and Rupert Waring

    Video content

    Video caption: Cerebral palsy is my motivation, says Somali YouTuber Abdi Omar
  10. Pope Francis: End the violence in DR Congo

    Pope Francis
    Image caption: Pope Francis has again called for an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Pope Francis has called for an end to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    On Sunday, government security forces fired on demonstrators who were protesting against President Joseph Kabila, killing six people.

    The protests had been organised by the local Catholic Church.

    "Worrying news continues to arrive from the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Pope Francis told his congregation in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City.

    “I therefore renew my appeal that everyone make all efforts to avoid any form of violence. From its side, the Church wants nothing other than to contribute to peace and to the common good of society,” he added.

    President Kabila has been in power since 2001, and was supposed to step down after his second and final term came to an end in 2016.

    Under a deal reached more than a year ago, this was extended to 2017, but he remains in power.

    Instead, the election to replace him has been delayed until December 2018.

    The country's powerful Catholic Church has been a powerful voice of opposition to Mr Kabila.

    It also called for the demonstrations in late December, which led to at least seven deaths, according to UN peacekeepers.

    Read more: DR Congo protests: Why have they erupted?

  11. Guantanamo Bay detainees 'to remain in Ghana'

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    The Guantanamo Bay facility is used to detain what the US government calls "enemy combatants"
    Image caption: The Guantanamo Bay facility is used to detain what the US calls "enemy combatants"

    Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees will continue to stay in Ghana, Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has said.

    Her comment clears up confusion about their future, following reports that the right of the Yemeni nationals to remain in the country had expired on 6 January.

    Khalid al-Dhuby and Mahmoud Omar Bin Atef were deported to the West African state about two years ago following a deal between the then governments of Ghana and the US.

    The decision caused huge controversy at the time, with many Ghanaians saying their presence threatened national security.

    The influential Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference called the Yemenis "time bombs" who should be "sent back to wherever they came from".

    The foreign minister told parliament the government had found records showing that the two were granted refugee status in 2016.

    This means the previous government agreed to keep them in the country after their two-year stay.

  12. Zimbabwe president: I will abide by poll result

    Emmerson Mnangagwa
    Image caption: Emmerson Mnangagwa thinks he'll call elections before July 2018.

    Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to abide by the results of elections, saying "if we lose the election, that's it".

    He added that which ever party wins the election, "takes the reigns of power"

    "This time around Zimbabwe is open and transparent, we want to have free and fair elections," he told the BBC's Mishal Husain.

    When asked if that meant allowing international observers to monitor the elections he joked that that's what transparent means.

    In addition to allowing foreign observers to check elections, Mr Mnangagwa said he is committed to a non-violent election.

    Mr Mnangagwa has not yet set an election date, but suggested that it would be before July.

    Mr Mnangagwa was accused of masterminding the violence and intimidation which marred previous elections, helping the ruling Zanu-PF party defeat the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

    Addressing his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, Mr Mnangwa said he had not been given "any immunity" but that he would "do everything to make sure [his] family lives in peace, undisturbed."

  13. Mnangagwa refuses to apologise for massacre

    Emerson Mnangagwa

    Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has refused to offer an apology for the massacres in Matabeleland that occurred in the 1980s while he was minister for national security.

    An estimated 20,000 people died during the security crackdown.

    "Wherever wrong is committed, the government of the day must apologise," he told the BBC's Mishal Husain during an interview at the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland.

    But no apology was forthcoming.

    Instead, Mr Mnangagwa said he had signed a national healing and reconciliation bill into law so that "the communities that were affected can air their grievances."

    "We have put up a commission, that should not stop us from having a better future," he added.

    Pressed by Husain, the president said that if asked to appear before the commission, he would.

    He also said reports that 20,000 people had been killed were incorrect.

  14. Zimbabwe's president: We are open for business

    Emmerson Mnangagwa

    Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that Zimbabwe is open for business.

    Mr Mnangagwa said that foreigners will no longer need to give up 51% of their business to black Zimbabweans, as they previously had to under the country's Indigenisation and Empowerment Act.

    The law is now "limited to two minerals, diamond and platinum," Mr Mnangagwa told the BBC's Mishal Husain during an interview at the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland.

    For other businesses, he added, foreigners "can negotiate" how much of the business they own.

    Mr Mnangagwa also said he hoped Zimbabwe was heading towards a new and better relationship with the UK, saying that British Prime Minister Theresa May called him within an hour of his inauguration.

    Sticking to a positive note, Mr Mnangagwa suggested that Zimbabwe's food crisis might be over, adding that Spain, Brazil, Belarus have all helped Zimbabwe with irrigation technology.

    Stay with us. We'll bring more details from the interview shortly.

  15. Kenyan school closes after student brawl

    A school in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, has been shut after an overnight brawl between pupils.

    Local media reported that 35 Jamhuri High School students were injured in the fighting with seven receiving stab wounds.

    The cause of the fighting is unclear, but unconfirmed reports say the fighting was sparked by some Muslim pupils feeling they were being discriminated against.

    Jamhuri High operates as a boarding and day school and has 1,400 students, the privately owned Standard news site reports.

    Police are currently holding a meeting with the school administrators and have not commented on the incident.

    The Standard reports that the school has been closed until Monday but another news site, The Nation, reports that it has been shut indefinitely.

    View more on twitter
  16. South Africa bank governor 'corruption will end'

    Governor of South Africa' Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago
    Image caption: Lesetja Kganyago is confident South Africa's economy will improve.

    South Africa's attempts to end corruption should save the country from another economic downgrade, central bank chief Lesetja Kganyago has told Bloomberg TV.

    “Without pre-empting what the ratings agencies would say, South Africa is in a much better space now than where it was when previous ratings actions took place,” he added during the interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We have got a good case to make.”

    In November, global ratings agency S&P downgraded South Africa's currency debt to "junk" status, causing the rand to fall in value.

    But there is hope in South Africa that the economy could redeem itself.

    The rand is at its highest level since 2015 following the election of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as leader of the governing African National Congress.

    His appointment has led commentators to suggest that South African President Jacob Zuma might be preparing to stand aside.

    The president is currently engulfed in a corruption scandal that has hit South Africa's economy hard and pushed the country into recession

    “Corruption and misrule will soon be history,” Mr Kganyago told Bloomberg. “You’ve actually seen a reassertion by the parliament of the Republic of South Africa to hold the executive to account, to hold the public servants to account. Parliament is finally playing the role that it’s supposed to be playing."

    Read more: Ramaphosa vows to fight South Africa corruption

  17. Katy Perry: I'm coming to South Africa

    Katy Perry performs in concert
    Image caption: Katy Perry has announced two South African tour dates.

    Pop superstar Katy Perry has tweeted that she'll be performing in South Africa for the first time ever.

    On 18 and 20 July, Ms Perry will bring her Witness tour to the country, with performances at Johannesburg's Ticketpro Dome.

    The singer released Witness, her fifth album in June last year and is on a worldwide tour to promote it.

    Read more: Katy Perry - I'm a victim of social media pressure

  18. Tanzania detains 'drinking and kissing pastor'

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    Police in Tanzania have detained a controversial self-proclaimed prophet after a video of him emerged dancing with bottles of beer and declaring that the Bible allows drinking and fornication.

    A medical check-up showed that 44-year old Onesmo Machibya, commonly known as Prophet Tito, was mentally ill, said Gilles Muroto, the police commander in the capital, Dodoma.

    Mr Machibya or his representatives have not yet commented.

    The viral footage also shows the self-styled prophet dancing and kissing his wife and a maid, saying it is OK to sleep with maids.

    Police accuse him of handing out leaflets in various entertainment venues and bars in Dodoma, and promoting beliefs that contradict Tanzanian culture and ethics.

    You can watch some of the footage here:

    View more on youtube
  19. Famara Diedhiou: Bristol City can make Premier League

    Stanley Kwenda

    BBC Africa, Kutama

    Famara Diedhiou
    Image caption: Famara Diedhiou is confident his side can make it to England's top football league.

    Senegal and Bristol City striker Famara Diedhiou says the experience of playing against Premier League sides in England's Carabao Cup bodes well for Bristol City’s quest for promotion into the top league.

    “The most important thing for every player is to play at the top level and that’s what we will try to do,” said Mr Diedhiou, after his side was knocked out of the tournament by Manchester City on Tuesday night ending a stellar run in the competition.

    “We are out of the Carabao Cup and we will now be fighting for promotion,” Mr Diedhiou added.

    Bristol City beat four Premier League sides, Watford, Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Manchester United on its way to the semi-final.

    “We played very [well] against Manchester City, a very good team with quality players," Mr Diedhiou said. "We lost but it’s good for us because every time we play against big teams we learn."

    The Senegalese player has just returned from a three-month lay off with a knee injury, which has affected his progress at the Championship side. Mr Diedhiou signed for Bristol City for $7.5m (£5.3m) from the French top-flight club Angers last summer.

    He has so far scored five goals in 11 appearances.

  20. Zambian musician 'flees after death threats'

    Zambian musician Chama Fumba, also known as Pilato (2015 photo)
    Image caption: Fumba Chama (centre) is a strong critic of the government

    Popular Zambian musician and activist Fumba Chama has fled the country after receiving death threats over his song, Koswe Mumpoto (Rat in the Pot), which has been interpreted as being critical of President Edgar Lungu and his ministers, rights group Amnesty International has said.

    “The brazen determination by some in Zambia to silence dissenting views can only spell doom for the culture of robust engagement that the country has been known for,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty's deputy director for southern Africa.

    Chama, known to his fans as Pilato, sings that the "ruling elite are behaving like rats that steal food and eat, including things that they do not need," according to Amnesty.

    He fled Zambia on 5 January after receiving a video message in December recorded by cadres of the governing Patriotic Front (PF), who threatened to beat him for releasing the song, which has been a huge hit since it came out in December, Amnesty added.

    The chairperson of the PF for Central Province had ordered Chama to stop singing the song on 11 December. Radio and TV stations were also ordered to stop playing it by the authorities, Amnesty said.

    Chama is a very big name in Zambia, and a controversial social commentator through his music, which is a fusion of rap and hop, the BBC's Kennedy Gondwe in the capital, Lusaka, reports.

    Chama's whereabouts are unclear. Three days ago, he tweeted:

    View more on twitter