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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for the week's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    BBC Africa Live

    Dickens Olewe

    That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. You can 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 Friday's proverb:

    Quote Message: The person who buys a basket knows that it does not hold water." from A Hausa proverb sent by Muneer Danjuma, Jos, Nigeria
    A Hausa proverb sent by Muneer Danjuma, Jos, Nigeria

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture of altar boys craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi before a memorial service for his father, Etienne Tshisekedi, in Kinshasa. It is from our selection of the best pictures from this week.

    altar boys craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi before a memorial service for his father, Etienne Tshisekedi, in Kinshasa
  2. Major Zimbabwe goldmine firm suspends operations

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: Gold is Zimbabwe's second largest export by value.

    Zimbabwe's second biggest gold-mining firm, RioZim, says it has suspended production for the second time in four months because the central bank has failed to pay it in dollars for part of its gold deliveries.

    The acute shortage of US dollars, the currency Zimbabwe adopted ten years ago to combat hyperinflation, has driven up the price of basic goods, and contributed to the protests that rocked the country three weeks ago.

    RioZim has said it will suspend production indefinitely if there is no progress in negotiations with the authorities.

    Gold is Zimbabwe's second largest export by value.

    Gold-mining firms are required to sell their output to a subsidiary of the central bank, for which they are paid just over half in dollars and the remainder in bond notes, the widely mistrusted currency printed by the bank.

    The Zimbabwean government said on Monday that the central bank governor would soon introduce a monetary policy tool to alleviate the foreign currency shortages.

  3. Ivory Coast speaker resigns

    BBC World Service

    Guillaume Soro
    Image caption: Mr Soro is a former rebel leader

    The speaker of the National Assembly in Ivory Coast has resigned in a move that could signal his intention to run for president next year.

    The former Prime Minister and rebel leader Guillaume Soro said he would not sacrifice the fragile peace in the country just to hold on to his job.

    Next year's presidential vote is likely to be keenly contested if the incumbent, Alessane Ouattara, keeps his word and stands down.

    But there are fears that a contested election could result in a resurgence of the civil war that flared after the 2010 election, when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to acknowledge that he had been beaten by Mr Ouattara.

    Mr Gbagbo was last month acquitted by the International Criminal Court of committing crimes against humanity in the post-election violence.

  4. Pay protests disrupt SA mine rescue

    Miners helmet

    Operations to rescue 20 people trapped in an abandoned coal mine east of South Africa's capital, Pretoria, have been stopped because of disruption from workers who had not been paid, news agency AFP reports.

    At least five people were killed after a gas explosion in the abandoned Gloria coal mine in Middelburg.

    "We have been prevented from continuing with the recovery operations by a disgruntled group of people who have not been paid their salaries," Mike Elliot, who represents the administrators of the mine, told local media about the halted rescue operations.

    "They refuse to allow us to continue with the recovery operations and that includes repairing the power to the mine, restoring the power to the fans so that we can put fresh air underground," he added.

    Those trapped went underground between Sunday and Wednesday to allegedly steal copper cables in the mine, which had been closed for several months, police say.

  5. Fighting stalls Libya oil operations

    BBC World Service

    The head of Libya's national oil company has called for an end to the conflict over the country's biggest oil field.

    Mustafa Sanalla said that normal operations at the Sharara oil field would not be restored until the safety of workers there could be assured.

    The oil field in southern Libya has suspended operations since December after it was taken over by protesters and local tribesmen.

    On Wednesday, the powerful leader in eastern Libya, Khalifa Hafta, said his forces - known as the Libyan National Army - had seized control of the oil field.

    But the situation remains unclear, with clashes reported in which at least five people were killed.

  6. Lassa fever kills dozens in Nigeria

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Lassa fever virus

    At least 57 people have died from Lassa fever across Nigeria in the last month, health authorities say.

    The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 275 cases have been confirmed out of nearly 800 reported in 19 states.

    Southern Edo and Ondo states have been the worst hit in the last two weeks with over 40 cases reported.

    At least nine healthcare workers have also been affected in four states.

    Since the onset of the latest outbreak, the fatality rate has continued to rise, according to the NCDC.

    The acute and often fatal viral disease is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

    It is endemic in parts of West Africa and has an incubation period of between two and 21 days.

    The World Health Organization says the onset of the disease is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, and after a few days, headache, vomiting and diarrhoea may follow alongside coughing, abdominal pain and nausea.

    Read more about Lassa Fever:The killer disease with no vaccine

  7. Mkapa ends role in Burundi talks

    Benjamin Mkapa
    Image caption: President Mkapa's spokesman denied that he had resigned from the role

    The role of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa as the facilitator of talks to resolve the political crisis in Burundi has ended, his spokesman has told BBC Kirundi.

    The crisis was sparked in 2015 after President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a controversial third term.

    "The facilitation phase has ended,’’ Makocha Tembele said.

    He denied reports that President Mkapa had resigned.

    "It is the end of his mandate," he said, adding that Mr Mkapa had presented his final report during the last regional heads of state summit held earlier this month.

    Mr Tembele said it was now up to Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni to carry on with the next phase of mediation before the next elections due in 2020.

    The 2015 crisis created deep divisions resulting in violent clashes between government forces and the opposition.

    At least 1,000 people were killed following an attempted coup in the same year.

    The talks are largely seen to have failed as the government repeatedly refused to send delegations to the meetings.

    President Nkurunziza said last year he would not run for office again but the political crisis remains unresolved.

  8. Sauti za Busara Zanzibar festival under way

    Munira Noor

    BBC Swahili


    Thousands of people from around the world have descended on Zanzibar's historical Fort Jesus compound in Stone Town for the 2019 edition of the Sauti za Busara festival.

    More than 100 musicians from across Africa are expected to perform at the annual event, whose name means "Voices of Wisdom" in Swahili.

    Artists from Algeria, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Reunion, South Africa and Sudan are among those who will take stage during the four-day event which started on Thursday.

    This year's theme is eliminating corruption in Africa through music.

    "This is not a festival for Zanzibari people, this is for Africa and the world at large. We are just hosting, Zanzibar people are hosting," festival founder Yusuph Mohamoud told me.

    Local businessmen like Shafii Hassan, who runs a taxi service, says the festival is a boon for the islanders.

    "A time like this is gold to us, there are many foreigners who come for the festival and we earn a lot cash through hosting them," he tells me.

  9. Mixed-race in the UK: 'It was like I was bad for having big hair'

    Tillie is a 15-year-old girl from Leeds - who also happens to be half-Ghanaian and half-English.

    She has always found it difficult to understand what it means to be mixed-race.

    But when she travelled to her grandfather's hometown of Jamestown, Accra, she instantly felt welcomed.

    Video content

    Video caption: Mixed-race in the UK: 'It was like I was bad for having big hair'
  10. Ramaphosa's speech well received


    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Cape Town

    South Africans have largely welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second State of the Nation Address delivered last night here in the legislative capital of Cape Town.

    In a speech lasting nearly two hours, the president kept his focus mainly on the economy and the fight against corruption.

    One opposition leader reacted by telling me that "he is a wordsmith," when I asked whether he agreed with the speech made in a joint sitting of parliament.

    The president's office has been sharing some of the highlights from the speech:

    View more on twitter

    There was also a sigh of relief that the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) did not disrupt parliamentary proceedings, which had become their signature performance during Jacob Zuma's time in office.

    This is a huge boost for the president ahead of the 8 May election – especially following the governing party’s never-ending litany of corruption allegations.

    Ordinary South Africans want to see politicians who have been accused of taking bribes in various corruption inquiries prosecuted and those found guilty put behind bars.

  11. Uganda police release BBC journalists

    Police in Uganda have released a team of BBC journalists following their arrest in the capital, Kampala.

    The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital tweets that the team was released on police bond.

    Authorities had been aware of their investigation into illegal sale of drugs, she adds.

    View more on twitter

    The Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo had on Thursday demanded the immediate release of the team, according to Reuters news agency.

    "I am yet to find out the logic why police arrested these journalists, who in my view were helping government to unearth the rot which is in the system... they should be released unconditionally," Mr Opondo said.

    A Ugandan journalist who was working with the BBC team is however still missing, according to his employer - privately-owned NBS TV station.

  12. 'Tanzania male MPs should be circumcised'

    Man undergoing circumcision
    Image caption: Male circumcision reduces the spread of HIV

    A female member of parliament in Tanzania has proposed that an inspection be carried out to determine if her male colleagues are circumcised, in order to help reduce the spread of HIV, news site Mwanachi reports (in Kiwashili).

    Jackline Ngonyani said in parliament on Thursday that any MPs found not to have undergone the procedure be circumcised.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says that circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual men getting HIV by approximately 60%.

    Ms Ngonyani was backed by MP Joseph Selasini, who said that neighbouring Kenya had introduced a similar proposal and those MPs found to be uncircumcised underwent the practice which involves cutting the penis' foreskin.

    His claim is not true - there was no inspection of MPs in Kenya.

    However, in 2008 some top politicians did willingly undertake circumcision as a way of encouraging men from their communities to undergo the procedure.

    Tanzania MP Joseph Kasheku opposed Ms Ngonyani's proposal saying that it was uncouth and invasive.

    "Women who are circumcised also spread HIV... so if we are going to check men who are circumcised then we should also inspect female members to see if they have undergone FGM," he said.

    Female genital mutilation, or FGM for short, is the deliberate cutting or removal of a female's external genitalia.

    WHO describes it as "any procedure that injures the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".

    FGM can cause physical and mental health problems.

    Read more: What is FGM, where does it happen and why?

  13. The barriers women face in Nigerian politics

    Next week, tens of millions of people are to choose their members of parliament, state governors and president in Nigeria.

    Almost half of the voters are women, but the overwhelming majority of the candidates are men.

    The BBC's Newsday presenter, James Copnall, spoke to Ireti Bakare-Yusuf, a Nigerian radio personality and an activist, about whether women are fairly represented the country's politics.


    Video content

    Video caption: Nigerian women still struggle to make their voices heard
  14. Kenyan 'convicted for selling plastic bags'

    A court in Kenya's central county of Nyeri has convicted a trader for selling banned plastic bags, the country's Daily Nation reports.

    Nancy Wangari Roberts can pay a fine of $500 (£386) or spend six months in prison.

    She is among several traders who have reportedly been found to have flouted the 2017 law.

    View more on twitter

    The ban on plastic carrier bags means that anyone found selling, manufacturing or carrying them could face fines of up to $38,000 or prison sentences of up to four years.

    The government says the ban will help protect the environment.

    But manufacturers of the bags have argued that thousands of jobs could be lost.

    Several other African countries have outlawed plastic carrier bags, including Rwanda, Mauritania and Eritrea.

    Kenya's ban is seen as one of the toughest in the world.

    Watch the video below for more:

    Video content

    Video caption: Kenya has the world's toughest ban on single-use plastic bags but is it working?
  15. Sierra Leone declares rape a national emergency

    BBC World Service

    A rape survivor relates at a safe house

    Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio has declared the prevalence of rape and sexual violence a national emergency.

    He said those convicted of sexual offences against minors would face life in prison.

    The move follows a national outcry over the rape of a five-year old by a relative a year ago.

    The victim was left partly paralysed by the attack.

    Police say the number of recorded cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Sierra Leone almost doubled last year to more than 8,500, from 4,750.

    President Bio told reporter Umaru Fofana that every means within the law would be used to stop the offence.


    Video content

    Video caption: Sierra Leone's president declares rape a national emergency
  16. Wise words

    Today's African proverb:

    Quote Message: The person who buys a basket knows that it does not hold water." from A Hausa proverb sent by Muneer Danjuma, Jos, Nigeria
    A Hausa proverb sent by Muneer Danjuma, Jos, Nigeria

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

  17. Good morning

    Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.

  18. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We’ll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now.

    Find out the latest reactions to the South African president's State of the Nation speech by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: It’s better to stumble with your toe than with your tongue. from A Swahili proverb sent by Swaleh Atrash, Vancouver, Canada.
    A Swahili proverb sent by Swaleh Atrash, Vancouver, Canada.

    And we leave you with this picture from the Namibe province of Angola:

    View more on instagram
  19. Fighting corruption set as key SA goal

    Tweeters listening to the South African president's State of the Nation Address have been gleaning the key points - prime among them is fighting corruption.

    Lots of tweeters are posting the five goals Cyril Ramaphosa has laid out.

    Corruption and so-called state capture comes in at number four:

    View more on twitter

    He said that South Africa was acting to "restore the credibility" of state institutions following the state capture corruption scandal:

    View more on twitter

    And on the theme of corruption, one tweeter reads between the lines of what Mr Ramaphosa meant by "watch this space":

    View more on twitter

    For more tweets, follow the hashtag #SONA2019.

  20. Moroccan break dancers 'blocked from competition'

    A refusal by the Netherlands to allow in three Moroccan breakdancers to take part in a competition has stirred accusations of racism, reports AFP news agency.

    Omar Bourich, Hamza el-Karmoudi and Ahmed Iggar, members of a dance group called "The Lions Crew", landed in the Netherlands on 10 January for a competition the next week.

    But, Mr Iggar is quote by AFP as saying that they were held for up to a week at a detention centre in Rotterdam before being sent back to Marrakesh.

    Mr Iggar told AFP that they had Schengen visas, which cover the Netherlands, and return tickets to Morocco.

    He accused the officials of being "racist and unjust".

    A Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP that the border police are authorised to make their own decisions "based on available information".

    You can sample some of their moves here:

    View more on instagram