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Live Reporting

Natasha Booty and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back next week

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for 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: The child of the crab walks sideways like his mother." from A Sotho proverb sent by Moeketsi John, Maseru, Lesotho
    A Sotho proverb sent by Moeketsi John, Maseru, Lesotho

    But, before we go, here's one of our favourite pictures tof the last week. Taken at the funeral of anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, it shows the moment when opposition politician Julius Malema was briefly moved to tears during his speech, causing his sign language interpreter to pause:

    EFF leader Julius Malema stands a podium blotting his tears with a tissue while the sign language interpreter pauses to look at him with her hands aloft.
  2. 'I survived the Mugabe and Wenger eras'

    Many Africans have long compared Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign as the coach of Arsenal to an African president clinging to power.

    So it's no surprise that Mr Wenger's announcement today that he will leave the club at the end of the season has sparked yet more comments and jokes on social media about African leaders.

    One woman shared this photo on Twitter calling herself a survivor of both Wenger and Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe, who was forced from power after 37 years:

    View more on twitter

    Another person rebooted a popular hashtag from last week - #MalemaChallenge.

    The hashtag was inspired by the speech firebrand South African politician Julius Malema gave at the funeral of anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, during which he asked the deceased icon to give him "a signal" instructing him how to treat his enemies.

    View more on twitter

    With Mugabe being forced from office and Wenger resigning, another person wondered if Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni was next in line.

    The 73-year-old leader has been in power for 31 years and recently signed a law allowing him to run for president again in 2021.

    View more on twitter
  3. Amnesty calls for prosecution of Liberia war crimes

    A sketch of "Jungle Jabbah", whose conviction has been lauded as a milestone for global justice
    Image caption: A sketch of "Jungle Jabbah", whose conviction has been lauded as a milestone for global justice

    Rights group Amnesty International has welcomed the sentencing of the Liberian warlord known as "Jungle Jabbah" to 30 years in prison in the US for lying about his role in his country's civil war.

    “While Mohammed Jabateh was not convicted of the crimes he is allegedly responsible for under international law, this is nevertheless the first case to provide some justice for victims of Liberia’s civil war," said Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher Sabrina Mahtani.

    Mohammed Jabbateh was found guilty of immigration fraud for falsely telling US authorities in the 1990s that he had never belonged to an armed group.

    Amnesty said that the jailing of the brutal warlord should not distract from the fact that Liberia has not established a criminal court in the country to try those who committed war crimes.

    The organisation said that it had written to President George Weah calling on him to help bring justice to victims of the 14-year armed conflict which killed 250,000 people.

  4. Africa's newest airline partnership

    Ethiopian Airlines has recently signed a deal with Zambia to rebuild its national airline, after 20 years without one.

    From the Zambian capital, Lusaka, the BBC's Kennedy Gondwe has more.

    Video content

    Video caption: New partner to help Zambia's airline get off the ground
  5. Farmers could win $100,000 prize

    Someone holding a maize cob in Tanzania
    Image caption: The closing date for nominations for the $100,000 prize is 15 May

    Nominations are open for the Africa Food Prize, with four weeks left to submit entries for those who have changed farming on the continent from a “struggle to survive to a business that thrives”.

    The organisers say the $100,000 (£71,000) prize aims to highlight “bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent”.

    The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) is one of the sponsors of the award – and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo will chair the panel that chooses the winner.

    So if you know a farmer or project that should be up for consideration – head to the African Food Prize website.

  6. Congo's football boss released after corruption questions

    Constant Omari
    Image caption: Constant Omari is president of the DR Congo Football Association and a member of the Fifa Council

    The president of the DR Congo Football Federation (Fecofa) Constant Omari has been released from detention but ordered not to leave the country.

    He was taken into custody with three others on Tuesday as part of a probe into embezzlement.

    The investigation will continue into the misuse of public funds in the organisation of matches in African competitions involving national sides as well as clubs.

    "My sincere thanks to the real justice authorities who have finally realised that you cannot simply accuse officials based on lies, hatred and jealousy," Omari posted on Twitter.

    Omari, who is also on the Fifa Council and a vice-president with the Confederation of African Football, was questioned along with sports ministry secretary-general Barthelemy Okito and two Fecofa vice-presidents, Roger Bondembe and Theobad Binamungu.

    The lawyer for the four men, Alain Makengo, told AFP they were being questioned over what happened to US $1m (800,000 euros) earmarked for four matches.

  7. Sacked Zimbabwe nurses get public support

    Hundreds of people have come out to support Zimbabwe's sacked nurses who have been holding a public clinic to demonstrate their lack of resources.

    The nurses' union had urged its striking members to take part in the events in the capital Harare and the southwestern city of Bulawayo.

    An activist tweeted this picture of the gathering in the capital:

    View more on twitter

    One of the nurses at the event said that hospital working conditions had made it difficult for them to do their jobs:

    View more on twitter

    The government sacked 15,000 nurses on Wednesday after they refused to call off their strike and has begun the process of replacing them by recruiting unemployed and retired nurses.

  8. Is East Africa ready for kitenge Fridays?

    You may have heard of dress-down Fridays, but have you heard of kitenge Fridays?

    The East African Community recently recommended people in its six member countries - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda - wear the colourful cotton fabric on Fridays:

    Video content

    Video caption: Is East Africa ready for kitenge Fridays?

    Video journalist: Michael Onyiego

  9. Wenger resigns: Your views

    Our colleagues at Focus on Africa radio have been compiling comments that listeners have been sending in about the planned resignation of Arsenal's coach Arsene Wenger.

    The Frenchman's 22-year tenure has earned him both fans and foes but today's announcement has been met with an outpouring of admiration for the man nicknamed "the professor".

    Listen here:

    View more on twitter
  10. Will Africa's open skies project take off?

    Connecting flights in Africa can be so difficult that sometimes it's easier to fly via Europe to get to another African city.

    But in January the African Union agreed that all African airlines can fly to any destination on the continent.

    The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza looks at the challenges of implementing this change:

    Video content

    Video caption: Will Africa's open skies project take off?
  11. Algerian woman denied French citizenship over handshake

    President Emmanuel Macron stands a lectern as he delivers a speeh at a citizenship ceremony in Orleans in 2017
    Image caption: President Emmanuel Macron during a citizenship ceremony in Orleans in 2017

    A French appeals court has upheld a ruling denying an Algerian woman citizenship after she refused to shake the hand of a senior official.

    The woman, who has not been named, said her "religious beliefs" prevented her from shaking the hand of the male official in the citizenship ceremony.

    A government ruling said it showed she was "not assimilated into the French community" and denied her citizenship.

    She appealed, but France's highest administrative court upheld the ruling.

    The Algerian woman has been married to a French man since 2010.

  12. Former militia leader appointed Burundi foreign minister

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    The national flag of Burundi
    Image caption: The national flag of Burundi

    A former militia commander has been named as Burundi's new foreign minister.

    Ezekiel Nibigira was the leader of Imbonerakure – the ruling party’s youth wing – a group the UN and campaign groups have accused of torture, killings and rape.

    Mr Nibigira has however denied the role of the Imbonerakure in any killings.

    His appointment is part of a cabinet reshuffle announced by President Pierre Nkurunziza which comes just a month before a referendum which could see him staying in office beyond his current controversial third term.

    Burundi is under European Union sanctions and has frosty relations with some of its neighbours.

    The East African nation also pulled out of the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the International Criminal Court.

  13. Commonwealth summit: The countries where it is illegal to be gay

    Gay activists

    Fourteen African countries in the Commonwealth have laws that criminalise or ban gay sex.

    They are:

    • Botswana
    • Cameroon
    • Gambia
    • Ghana
    • Kenya
    • Malawi
    • Mauritius
    • Namibia
    • Nigeria
    • Sierra Leone
    • Swaziland
    • Uganda
    • Tanzania
    • Zambia

    Gay rights activists from Commonwealth countries are now demanding that laws banning homosexuality should be overturned.

    Campaigner Peter Tatchell has said people face violence and imprisonment just because they are gay.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) that she "deeply regrets" the UK's colonial anti-gay laws and called for their repeal.

    There are 53 countries in the Commonwealth and most of them are former British colonies.

    Out of those, 37 have laws that criminalise homosexuality.

  14. UK wants Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth

    Queen Elizabeth II
    Image caption: Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Commonwealth

    The UK has said it would "strongly support Zimbabwe's re-entry to the Commonwealth," 15 years after then-President Robert Mugabe withdrew his nation's membership.

    Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003, after the international body criticised disputed elections and land seizures from white farmers.

    Speaking today, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also praised what he called "impressive progress" made by Mr Mugabe's successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

    He however said that July's election will be a bellweather for the direction of a new Zimbabwe.

    "The Zimbabwe government must deliver the free and fair elections the people of Zimbabwe deserve and which it has promised," he said.

    Mr Mnangagwa's government has said it will invite Western powers to monitor the polls.

    David Coltart, a former education minister and MP from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said he was "appalled" by the Commonwealth's change in tone towards Zimbabwe given the country's media restrictions and the recent sacking of thousands of nurses.

    View more on twitter
  15. Snapshots from Nigeria's drumming festival

    Drumming boys

    Our colleagues at BBC News Yoruba have shared these photos from the annual African Drum Festival in Nigeria's south-western city of Abeokuta.

    Drummers from 20 African countries have been invited to the event, Nigeria's Guardian newspaper reports. Local media say Nobel-Prize winning author Wole Soyinka will feature in the event.

    Scroll through the photos on Instagram by clicking right:

    View more on instagram
  16. Analysis: Wenger loves African football

    Stanley Kwenda

    BBC Africa

    Gervinho and Arsene Wenger
    Image caption: Ivorian striker Gervinho is one of the many African players who Arsene Wenger brought to Arsenal

    In my three seasons of covering the English Premier League I have found Arsene Wenger to be a rare gentleman in the game.

    His planned departure is certainly an end of an era not just at Arsenal but in English football in general. He's a rare breed.

    It will be impossible for the world of football to witness someone with his staying power.

    I have been fortunate to work with him up close and interview him a couple of times.

    He always had a glow whenever I asked him about African players who had played under him.

    He said he found them to be passionate, creative, powerful, and possessing the agility that's key in the modern game.

    If there's something that he's proud of is the help he gave to many African players who he coached.

    He told me recently how he remembered with great fondness his visit to Liberia, during the civil war, with George Weah, who now president of the West African country.

    His love for African football was also quite telling in the number of players from the continent he brought to the club.

    I hope now that he's leaving Arsenal he will have time to visit Africa again to meet his adoring fans and help in the development of the game on the continent.

  17. What is so serious about South Africa's protests?


    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has cut short his attendance at the Commonwealth summit in London to deal with violent protests at home.

    Police have been firing rubber bullets at crowds of protesters in the small town of Mahikeng in the North West province.

    Residents want the provincial head Supra Mahumapelo to be removed from office for misuse of state funds - accusations he denies.

    Protesters have been looting shops, barricading roads and setting vehicles set alight.

    The tense situation has resulted in schools and some businesses being closed for the day.

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa protests in Mahikeng after Ramaphosa return

    These protests are no more serious than we've had here in the past. But President Ramaphosa needs to be seen as hearing out people's grievances.

    Some see the protests as a cry for help to the president - he has promised clean governance and many see Mr Mahumapelo as a compromised man.

    Some of the main problems in the North West province are a hangover from former President Jacob Zuma's administration: a lack of service delivery, government contract irregularities and problems in the province's public institutions including the near collapse of healthcare.

    Mr Ramaphosa has a tough day ahead, meeting provincial ANC leaders in an attempt to restore calm.

    Nationally, the ANC has been plagued by divisions, factionalism and allegations of corruption.

    Mr Ramaphosa who has only been party president since December, is also hoping use the meeting to bring unity within the ANC in the North West province ahead of elections next year.

  18. Mugabe summoned over stolen mining revenue claims

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Robert Mugabe

    Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe is to appear before a parliamentary committee next month over his 2016 claim that millions of dollars in revenue from diamond mining were stolen.

    The former leader is expected to appear before the mines committee on 9 May but it's not clear if the 94-year-old leader will obey the summon.

    The committee’s chairman Temba Mliswa has told state media that the committee aims to establish the extent of diamond plundering in the Marange fields.

    In 2016 he claimed that $15bn (£10bn) worth of gems had been stolen. He has since said that figure was a metaphor.

    Several companies, including the army police and a Chinese state company, were given vast tracts of concessions to mine diamonds.

    Rights groups have described diamond mining operations in that area as opaque.

  19. Who will win the men's London Marathon?

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Greatest' distance runner showdown at London Marathon

    The world's top male distance runners will fight it out for a podium place at the 2018 London Marathon.

    Three of the competitors Kenenisa Bekele, Sir Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge have a combined total of eight Olympic gold medals and twelve World Championship golds between them.

    Daniel Wanjiru from Kenya won the race last year and is hoping to again prove he's just as good as the more well-known athletes.

    Race organisers have said the showdown is between "the greatest runners of their generation".

  20. Trevor Noah and Emmerson Mnangagwa 'most influential'

    Trevor Noah on set at The Daily Show
    Image caption: Noah is hailed as "a fantastic storyteller" by Time magazine

    Time Magazine has named South African comedian Trevor Noah and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnagagwa among the "100 most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of 2018".

    Each person in the list is profiled by another famous name.

    Noah, the presenter of The Daily Show in the US, is hailed as "a fantastic storyteller" and "a defier of rules" by actress Lupita Nyong'o who will star as his mother in an upcoming biopic.

    But President Mnangagwa receives a less glowing profile from Zimbabwean protest leader Evan Mawarire, who calls him "careful" and "patient", adding: "The undeniable paradox of Zimbabwe’s moment of healing is that the doctor was once the butcher."

    Other Africans recognised by Time include Ghanaian-American Virgil Abloh who has been appointed as Louis Vuitton's menswear director and South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk.

    Kenyan campaigner Nice Nailantei Leng'ete is also named in Time's "most influential" list. Her fight against FGM began in her childhood, when she persuaded village elders to drop the practice.

    Time says she has since saved an estimated 15,000 girls across Kenya from being cut, thanks to her work with Amref Health Africa and Safe Hands for Girls.

    Painter Kehinde Wiley, whose father is Nigerian, also makes the list. He recently painted former US President Barack Obama official portrait which hangs in Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

    Actress and producer Issa Rae, who has described her upbringing with a Senegalese father as "halfrican", was also recognised.

    Issa Rae
    Image caption: Issa Rae is the creator of TV series Insecure