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Live Reporting

Natasha Booty, Flora Drury and Mirren Gidda

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back next week

    That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. 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: A poor man does not get tired." from A Teso proverb sent by Gladys Ato in Uganda
    A Teso proverb sent by Gladys Ato in Uganda

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

    And we leave you with this photo taken at last week's Timket - or Epiphany - festival in Ethiopia, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. It's one of our favourite shots from our gallery of the week.

    Young clergy girls also attend the Timket, or Epiphany, festival.
  2. Is Ghana really that dirty?

    A debate has been sparked in Ghana after Australia's ambassador tweeted about the capital's dirty streets.

    View more on twitter

    But just how bad is the problem? Sanitation activist Elizabeth Olympio tells BBC Focus on Africa radio that open drains are "choked" by food, plastic and even fecal waste:

    Video content

    Video caption: A debate has been sparked in Ghana after a diplomat tweeted about Accra's dirty streets
  3. Lightning kills five family members in Namibia

    View more on youtube

    A lightning strike has led to the deaths of five people in Namibia, the country's public broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation has reported.

    The victims were a 45-year-old man, his 37-year-old wife, and three of their children, aged six, four and one.

    All were at home when the lightning struck, setting their hut ablaze.

    Five elder children were at school when the disaster happened.

  4. 'At least 30 migrants drown off the coast of Yemen'

    An undated picture shows Yemeni coast guards checking a small boat with refugees arriving from Somalia to the Yemeni port city Aden
    Image caption: Somali migrants arrive in Yemen, a destination point for many migrants from the Horn of Africa

    At least 30 African migrants have drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Yemen, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) has reported.

    The vessel was carrying at least 152 Somalis and Ethiopians, and left the Yemeni port of Aden on Tuesday.

    It is believed that the boat was heading to Djibouti and being crewed by people smugglers.

    But the craft turned back to Yemen and “capsized amid reports of gunfire being used against the passengers,” a joint statement from UN migration agencies said.

    Despite Yemen being one of the world's most dangerous places, migrants continue to arrive in the country, a spokesperson for the UN said.

    Often they come from the Horn of Africa and are seeking work in wealthier Arab countries.

    Earlier this year, eight migrants drowned off the coast of Libya in an attempt to reach Europe.

    In 2017, it emerged that a number of migrants hoping to reach Yemen had been deliberately drowned.

  5. No political uncertainty in Congo - Kabila

    The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose mandate ran out over a year ago, has said there is no political uncertainty in the country and shrugged off the need to stick to an election "calendar" as relatively unimportant.

    President Joseph Kabila said it was what happened afterwards which mattered.

    He had, however, said earlier elections would be held as scheduled.

    Mr Kabila made the comments in his first press conference in five years, amid a looming humanitarian crisis in the central Kasai province, thousands in the country's east fleeing into Burundi, and widespread anger at the ongoing postponement of elections which were due in November 2016.

    He said:

    Quote Message: You can organise elections whenever you want... what's more important is what happens after an election. Do you have chaos or relative stability? We're gearing towards... perfect elections... and long term stability in our country."
    View more on twitter

    Asked if he would stand down after an election, he replied: "Why not?"

  6. Kenya president bows to pressure, appoints women

    Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Chawahir Mohamed addresses the 72nd Session of the United Nations General assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22, 2017.
    Image caption: Amina Mohamed is one of the women named to President Kenyatta's cabinet

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally announced his new cabinet, electing seven women to ministerial posts.

    Two weeks ago the president angered many when he failed to nominate a single woman in his cabinet shakeup, which saw him drop all five serving female ministers.

    On Monday, hundreds of women marched through the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, calling on President Kenyatta to uphold the constitution.

    Under Kenyan law, one-third of government positions must be filled by women.

    This is yet to happen in practice, though Mr Kenyatta's cabinet does now meet the requirement.

    Read more: One third of Kenyan MPs must be women

  7. Niger prosecutors seek 20 years for 'coup plotters'

    Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou is pictured during a meeting on April 10, 2012 with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum
    Image caption: Ten men have been accused of attempting to overthrow President Mahamadou Issoufou

    Public prosecutors in Niger have called for prison sentences of up to 20 years for a group of men who allegedly tried to overthrow the president.

    According to the charge sheet, the group - which is made up of nine soldiers and a civilian - planned to seize President Mahamadou Issoufou on 18 December 2015, along with the head of his presidential guard.

    Should the pair have resisted, the 10 men allegedly planned to execute them.

    The day before the attempted attack, Mr Issofou said the coup had been stopped.

    More than 20 people were arrested over the plot, with the opposition suggesting it was a fabrication. In March, some of these people were released.

    Prosecutors are seeking the highest sentence, 20 years, for General Souleymane Salou, the president's former chief of staff who aided him in a coup against his predecessor in 2010.

    Read more: Niger coup plot foiled

  8. Thousands more refugees arrive in Burundi

    Prime Ndikumagenge

    BBC Africa, Bujumbura

    A map showing the location of South Kivu in DR Congo and Burundi

    Local authorities in Burundi say at least 6,000 people have fled across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past few days.

    The official number has been rising throughout the day as more people arrive in Burundi.

    They are escaping fighting in South Kivu province between government forces and a rebel militia.

    Most of them have travelled by boat across Lake Tanganyika with their possessions.

  9. Son of former Ivorian president jailed for 'fake news'

    Ivory coast former president Laurent Gbagbo's son Michel Gbagbo waves from a car as he arrives on August 6, 2013 at his father's party FPI headquarters in Abidjan, a day after being released on bail along with 13 aides of Gbagbo, after being detained in the aftermath of Ivory Coast's deadly 2011 crisis.
    Image caption: Michel Gbagbo, pictured here in 2013, is the son of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo

    Michel Gbagbo, the son of Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, has been sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay a fine of $950 (£668) for "complicity in disclosing false news", his lawyer said.

    It relates to comments Mr Gbagbo made to a news website in May 2016. At the time he claimed "250 people are still in prison" following the country's political crisis in 2010-11 when his father refused to step down from power and concede defeat by his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

    Michel Gbagbo also said at the time that 300 other people "charged and placed under arrest since 2011" were missing.

    But these claims were today ruled false by the criminal court in Abidjan, his lawyer Rodrigue Dadje confirmed.

    Laurent Despas, the French director of the website which published the interview, was fined $18,950 (£13,339) for spreading false news, the lawyer added.

    Michel Gbagbo's lawyer has said he will appeal against the sentences.

    Laurent Gbagbo is on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, accused of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 2010-11 political crisis.

  10. Bitterness in Ethiopia at sugar shortage

    Video content

    Video caption: Sugar shortage: 'Rations are 5kg a month'

    Ethiopia is facing a chronic sugar shortage which has led to violent protests.

    Bad weather has led to a scarcity of the product, while the government has said it will import sugar from Algeria and Thailand to help deal with the situation.

    At present, households are allowed to buy 5kg of sugar once a month from certain shops, although Ethiopians say it is still hard to come by.

  11. Extreme cold threatens Morocco's mountain communities

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent

    A man skis at the Oukaimeden ski resort, in the Atlas Mountains, 30 kilometres from the popular tourist resort of Marrakesh, on February 17, 2015.
    Image caption: Temperatures could drop to -10C this weekend in the Atlas mountains

    Thousands of people are at risk of freezing and disease in Morocco’s High and Middle Atlas regions, a humanitarian group has warned.

    Volunteers working for the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been sent to assist at-risk families in the country's mountainous north-western area.

    Temperatures are normally spring-like at this time of year in the region, and residents there are not accustomed to severe temperature drops, which have reached as low as -5 degrees Celsius this month.

    Some 700,000 people are at risk from the cold snap, the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns.

    That's because of a lack of insulated homes and warm clothes. Food prices have also reportedly surged because of the loss of livestock.

    The Geneva-based humanitarian groups says it has now released emergency funds to support the Moroccan government’s assistance programme, which includes the distribution of blankets, and food supplies.

  12. Mugabe business faces legal action over land

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    A map showing the location of Harare in Zimbabwe

    A company belonging to Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe has been ordered to vacate prime urban land belonging to a private school, or face legal action.

    The Mugabe-owned Gushungo Holdings is alleged to have taken over a 23-hectare property in an upmarket suburb in Harare.

    The Reformed Church says the land belongs to its Eaglesvale Group of Schools.

    The schools’ lawyer Rodney Makausi told the BBC that in 2016 the government had sought compulsory seizure of the land.

    The government later withdrew its claim on the land, after the matter went to court.

    But Schools Board Chairman Enos Chomutiri says maize was planted on the land late last year, and the school's billboard was torn down.

    He says people who say they are employed by Gushungo Holdings are on the property.

    Lawyers have demanded the company vacate the property by the end of the month or face legal action.

    It’s not the first time the Mugabes have been accused of taking over property. Previously, the Mugabes have had legal wrangles with poor farmers over gold-rich land, and they have also been accused of seizing part of an international citrus producer’s farm in the same area.

  13. Former BBC editor charged with corruption

    Tido Mhando, a former BBC Swahili editor, has been charged with corruption by a court in Tanzania.

    Mr Mhando is accused of defrauding the state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation of $400,000 (£281,000) during his tenure as its managing director.

    Appearing before the court, Mr Mhando pled not guilty to the charges and was released on bail.

    The trial is due to begin next month.

    Mr Mhando began his journalism career at Voice of Kenya and Radio Tanzania Dar es Salam before moving to the BBC where he worked for many years.

    He is currently head of the private media organisation Azam Media, which is based in Tanzania.

    Tido Mhando
    Image caption: Mr Mhando has pled not guilty to the charges
  14. ANC premier responds as Hawks raid office

    As we reported earlier, South Africa's elite Hawks police unit are searching the office of Free State Premier Ace Magashule in connection with a wider investigation.

    The investigation relates to the Estina dairy farm near Vrede, from which the controversial Gupta family - who are close to president Jacob Zuma - are alleged to have pocketed millions of dollars from a scheme originally meant for poor black farmers.

    Mr Magashule - who was elected Secretary-General of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in December - tweeted his office's press statement:

    View more on twitter

    You can read all about the search and the investigation in our earlier post here.

  15. Modern humans left Africa 185,000 years ago

    A close shot of the fossilised teeth at the heart of the discovery
    Image caption: These fossilised teeth are in the upper size range of what's seen in modern humans

    Researchers have identified the remains of the earliest known modern humans to have left Africa.

    New dating of fossils from Israel indicates that our species (Homo sapiens) lived outside Africa around 185,000 years ago, some 80,000 years earlier than the previous evidence.

    Details appear in the journal Science.

    The co-lead researcher, Prof Israel Hershkovitz, told BBC News that the discovery would fundamentally alter ideas of recent human evolution.

    Read the full article here.

  16. 'Why I'm boycotting Trump's speech'

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa's Bonang Mohale on boycotting Trump speech

    The room was packed as Donald Trump gave his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos this afternoon - but there is one man who refused to be there.

    South African businessman Bonang Mohale sent an open letter to the US president earlier this week, explaining his disgust after the politician reportedly said African countries were "shitholes".

    Mr Trump has denied he ever used the word.

    As a result, Mr Mohale - the head of the organisation Business Leadership South Africa - said he would be boycotting the speech.

  17. Ethiopia pardons 2,300 prisoners

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A map showing the location of Oromia in Ethiopia

    The authorities in Ethiopia's region of Oromia have pardoned more than 2,300 prisoners.

    No further details have been given.

    Earlier this month, Ethiopia announced it was freeing 500 politicians and activists.

    More than 100 have already been released, including the head of the Oromo Federalist Congress, Merera Gudina.

    The Ethiopian government is trying to end nearly three years of opposition protests during which thousands of people have been arrested and hundreds killed.

  18. King Ramses II statue's 'delicate' move to museum

    A 3,200 year old statue of Egyptian King Ramses II has been moved in Cairo to its new home in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

    The 83-tonne monument was carefully transported by specialist army engineers and contractors on a 400m (1,300ft) journey from a storage area, costing an estimated 13.6m Egyptian pounds ($770,000; £540,000).

    It is hoped the statue will help boost Egypt's tourism sector, which has suffered in recent years because of political violence.

    Video content

    Video caption: King Ramses II statue moved to Grand Egyptian Museum
  19. 'Thousands flee DR Congo into Burundi' in two days

    Refugees from South Kivu in Burundi

    Close to 3,500 people have fled fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) into neighbouring Burundi in the last two days, AFP news agency reports Burundi's police force as saying.

    Residents of DR Congo's South Kivu province are fleeing clashes between the Congolese army and rebels, the news agency adds.

    Many reportedly crossed Lake Tanganyika on makeshift boats, taking mattresses, suitcases solar panels, chairs and plastic buckets with them.

    In a live-streamed press conference earlier today, DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila commented on violence in the country, reportedly blaming it on "terrorists", but saying the situation in Kivu was almost under control.

    View more on twitter
  20. DR Congo's Kabila gives first press conference in years

    emocratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila addresses the nation at Palais du Peuple in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo April 5, 2017.
    Image caption: Joseph Kabila has not given a press conference in years

    Joseph Kabila, the under-fire president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), has given his first press conference in at least five years.

    The unexpected statement came after protesters took to the streets to demand he step aside to allow for a presidential election.

    It is not entirely clear what exactly he planned to address, but it was live-streamed so you can see it for yourself by clicking this link.

    Congolese news portal Actualité said ahead of the event: "Joseph Kabila will respond to journalist questions on the current prevailing political situation in the country, notably the effective implementation of the Saint Sylvestre agreement, elections, but also the protests called by the Catholic Church."

    We will be reporting back on this story as more information emerges.