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Summary

  1. Nigeria's police spokesperson issues warning over Saturday's poll
  2. Nigerian election commission says presidential vote will go ahead
  3. Zimbabwe starts trading 'new currency'
  4. One killed in Mozambique as oil firm targeted
  5. Botswana government report recommends elephant hunting should be reintroduced
  6. Kenya court delays gay sex ruling
  7. Algerians protest against Bouteflika's fifth-term plan

Live Reporting

By Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for this week's stories

    We'll be back on Saturday with a special Nigeria election live page

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website where we'll be running a live page on Saturday with all the news from Nigeria's elections.

    A reminder of our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: The big game often appears when the hunter has given up the hunt for the day." from An Igbo proverb sent by Emeka Obia, Lagos, Nigeria
    An Igbo proverb sent by Emeka Obia, Lagos, Nigeria

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

    And we leave you with this image from our selection of some of the best pictures of the week:

    Boy praying in a mosque
  2. Zimbabwean journalist arrested over 'camouflage umbrella'

    A Zimbabwean journalist has been detained over having a camouflage umbrella.

    Edmund Kudzayi was driving a car when he was stopped by soldiers who wanted to search his car, his lawyer has told the BBC.

    Obiy Shaza said that his client believes the soldiers wanted a bribe and when Mr Kudzayi refused to pay a $100 (£76) fine for having the umbrella, he was arrested.

    Zimbabwean criminal law prohibits the "unlawful possession of any camouflage uniform", Mr Shaza added.

    The charge sheet says Mr Kudzayi was "found in possession on a camouflage umbrella with a pouch".

    He is being held at a police station in the capital, Harare. He is set to appear in court on Saturday.

  3. 'What's the point of demonstrating?'

    A satirical view

    Our satirical President Olushambles has trouble understanding why people all over the world take to the streets in protest.

    He's convinced he's safe in his own country.

    So what's the point of demonstrating? It seems that Olushambles is having trouble in his own backyard.

    Take a listen:

    Video content

    Video caption: The satirical presidents debate whether public demonstrations are pointless
  4. UN concern over Egypt executions

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa

    The UN's Human Rights office says it is “concerned" by reports that Egypt has executed 15 people so far this month.

    Reports say some of the men were executed after being convicted of the assassination of the country’s former public prosecutor Hisham Barakat, who died in a car bomb explosion in 2015.

    “We are very concerned by the news from Egypt that a total of 15 people have been executed so far in the month of February alone and we are not through the month yet.

    "This includes nine people who were executed on Wednesday and six others who were subjected to the death penalty earlier in the month," UN Human Rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville said.

    Human rights groups in Egypt say the men were tortured to force their confessions that led to their conviction.

  5. Mozambique attack: One worker killed as oil company targeted

    BBC World Service

    We've been reporting on an attack in northern Mozambique when gunmen attacked a convoy of vehicles belonging to an American oil and gas company (see earlier entry).

    It has now emerged that one worker was killed in the first such attack in an area where an Islamist militant group is active.

    There are reports that the man who was killed was beheaded.

  6. SA gold and platinum mining to be hit by strikes

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    A miner's hands
    Image caption: Sibanye-Stillwater announced plans to cut nearly 6,000 jobs

    Workers in the South African gold and platinum mining industries are set to go on strike next week, to support employees at Sibanye-Stillwater, who are taking industrial action over wages and job cuts.

    The strike is led by members of Amcu, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

    AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Anglo American Platinum Lonmin, Village Main Reef and DRDGold have received notices of the strikes, which are expected to last a week starting on Thursday.

    Last week, Sibanye-Stillwater announced plans to cut nearly 6,000 jobs, at its gold mines, where Amcu members have been on strike since November.

    The union reached wage agreements with AngloGold, Harmony Gold and Village Main Reef last year.

    The strikes come as Sibanye is in the process of acquiring Lonmin, which has been crippled by soaring costs and weak prices for platinum.

    South Africa supplies about 90% of the world's platinum and disruption by strikes could affect global supplies of the metal, which is used to make computers as well as car exhaust systems.

  7. Zimbabwe starts trading 'new currency'

    BBC World Service

    Zimbabwe bond notes
    Image caption: The bond notes were introduced in 2016

    Zimbabwe's banks have started trading what is effectively a new local currency after the central bank ended its policy of tying the country's own money to the US dollar.

    The bond notes and electronic money have just been devalued by around 60% as the government seeks to lower inflation and stop US dollars being traded on the black market.

    Bond notes were introduced in 2016 to make up for a US dollar cash shortage. Zimbabwe has been using US dollars after it abandoned its own currency in 2009 following a bout of hyper-inflation.

    The bond notes were supposed to have the same value as the US dollar - but they have been trading on the black market at a much lower rate.

    In theory, from Monday Zimbabweans will be able to go to banks to exchange their bond notes and electronic money for US dollars.

    However with a serious shortage of dollars it is not clear how many will be available.

    A recent fuel price increase led to protests which were broken up violently by the security forces.

  8. Israel opens embassy in Rwanda

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Rwandan President Paul Kagame whilst Israeli President Reuven Rivlin stands next to them
    Image caption: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) welcomed Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to Jerusalem in 2017

    Israel has opened its first embassy in Rwanda.

    It will offer support to Rwanda in areas such as health, agriculture and cyber-security, AFP new agency reports.

    The two countries already have close ties.

    Rwanda was one of the countries that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited in 2016 on the the first trip to Africa by an Israeli premier in nearly three decades.

    Earlier this year, Israel and Rwanda signed a deal to open direct flights between the countries.

    Israel has been expanding its diplomatic presence in the continent in recent years. In January, Mr Netanyahu visited Chad, renewing diplomatic ties with the Mulsim-majority nation.

  9. 'Thugs arrested' ahead of Nigeria poll

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    The spokesperson for Nigeria's police, Frank Mba, has warned that local vigilante groups should steer clear of polling stations as the country votes for a president and federal legislators on Saturday.

    Nigeria Police Spokesman Frank Mba

    He told BBC Focus on Africa's Bola Mosuro that intelligence officers had been deployed in the run up to the poll to root out people intent on illegal activities.

    He said about 1,000 "suspected thugs" had been detained following raids in different parts of the country.

  10. Algerians protest against Bouteflika's fifth-term plan

    Man protesting in Algeia

    A group of several hundred protesters has taken to the streets of the Algerian capital, Algiers, to protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's plan to run for a fifth term in office, AFP news agency reports.

    The 81-year-old president announced the decision to run just under a fortnight ago.

    He has been in office for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since he had a stroke in 2013.

    In what was a rare protest in Algeris, the demonstrators shouted "no fifth mandate" as they marched through the city, AFP says.

    Woman demonstrating
  11. #DearNigerians trends on eve of poll

    Nigerians are sharing advice on Twitter using the hashtag #DearNigerians after President Muhammadu Buhari used the phrase in his address to the nation in the morning where he called for calm ahead of Saturday's presidential election.

    Most follow in the footsteps of the president and call for people to come out and vote:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The election, which sees the president running against 72 others including main rival Atiku Abubaka, was postponed for a week last Saturday just five hours before polls were due to open.

    There have been concerns that turnout could be low following the postponement as many may not be able to make the journey to the places where they're registered to vote for a second time.

  12. Chelsea transfer ban: Club to appeal against Fifa decision

    Bertrand Traore

    Chelsea have been banned from signing players in the next two transfer windows for breaching rules in relation to youth players, Fifa has announced.

    The ban, until the end of January 2020, does not prevent the release of players and will not apply to their women's and futsal teams.

    The Premier League club have said they will appeal against the decision.

    Chelsea have also been fined £460,000, while the Football Association (FA) has been fined £390,000.

    It comes following a Fifa investigation into Chelsea's signing of foreign under-18 players, including former striker Bertrand Traore, who is from Burkina Faso.

    The world governing body says it found breaches in 29 cases out of 92 investigated.

    Read more on BBC Sport

  13. Mozambique gunmen target oil company

    Map of affected area

    Gunmen in northern Mozambique have attacked a convoy of vehicles belonging to an American oil and gas company - the first such attack in an area where an Islamist militant group is active.

    At least four people from the firm Anadarko were injured when more than a dozen unidentified gunmen ambushed the convoy in Cabo Delgado province.

    Anadarko is expected to spend more than $20bn (£15bn) on the gas project close to the Tanzania border.

    A jihadist group, known locally as al-Shabab but has no known links to the Somali jihadist group of the same name, has carried out frequent attacks on isolated villages since 2017.

    Correspondents say if the same group was behind this attack it could mark a significant shift in their tactics and threaten Mozambique's fledgling gas industry.

  14. Stocking up ahead of Nigeria poll

    People in the market

    Ekeoka market in Awka, the main city of Nigeria's Anambra state, has been busy as people stock up ahead of Saturday's elections.

    Everything will be closed and there will be no transport. People are expected to either stay at home or go and vote.

    The BBC's Chioma Obianinwa has been taking pictures of the activity at the market, including the woman selling cow skin or ponmo:

    Woman selling cow skin
  15. Activist 'heartbroken' over gay sex ruling delay

    Kenyan activist

    Kenyan activist Jabari Tirop has told the BBC she is "heartbroken" that a decision by the country's high court over whether a law against gay sex should be overturned has been delayed (see earlier entry).

    But she hasn't lost hope and added that "the judge said that the reason why this is being done is because this is a huge case and they need time, [and] if that is the case, then yes I’m happy".

    Kenyan activist

    Fellow gay rights activist Kevin Mwachiro told the BBC that he feels "deflated".

    But he can wait until the issue is back in court in May.

    "There was a slight gasp in court when the judge announced [the postponement] and his apology was accepted. C'est la vie."

  16. Nigeria voting materials 'left on wet ground'

    We've reported that Nigeria's electoral commission (Inec) has reassured Nigerians that everything is ready for successful presidential and legislative elections on Saturday, with all the election materials in place.

    In one local government area in Edo state, in the south of the country, our reporter Onyinye Chime has spotted that boxes full of result collation sheets and ballot papers were left on damp ground after heavy rains.

    Boxes under metal sheeting

    She says that the boxes at the bottom are damp, but the local election authorities insist that everything is fine as there is a roof over the boxes.

  17. 'Caster Semenya has our support'

    South African sports star defends athlete

    Former South African rugby player Bryan Habana has given his backing to his compatriot athlete Caster Semenya

    The Olympic 800m champion is appealing against a regulation restricting testosterone levels in female runners.

    She is seeking to overturn the regulation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

    Habana told the BBC South Africans were behind her fight for equality and added that the case was disappointing given her status as a symbol of hope in South Africa.

    Watch the interview here:

    View more on twitter
  18. Is Africa going backwards on democracy?

    The eve of the weekend when the continent sees two presidential elections - in Nigeria and Senegal - take place is a good time to assess the state of democracy on the continent.

    The BBC's Dickens Olewe has been looking at people's views of the political process.

    He found that while at least 68% of Africans prefer to live in open and freer societies, according to a recent poll conducted by Afrobarometer in 34 countries, there is a growing expectation of what democracy should be delivering.

    There is also a sense from some that other forms of leadership are more preferable.

    While support for democracy remains high, this is not guaranteed unless Africans start enjoying the dividends of living in free and open societies, our colleague concludes.

    Read more from Dickens:

    Map showing the status of democracy in Africa
  19. Disappointment after delay in Kenya gay sex ruling

    People in court

    There was a lot of expectation at Kenya's high court on Friday morning as activists waited for a ruling on whether a law criminalising gay sex was unconstitutional.

    The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi was in the packed court room when a judge, Chacha Mwita, announced a postponement.

    "The files are above my height... we are still working," AFP reports him as saying.

    Our reporter said the activists were not happy:

    View more on twitter

    Another journalist tweeted that the activists were determined to fight on:

    View more on twitter

    #Repeal162 (referring to the relevant clause in the penal code) has been trending on Twitter in Kenya.

    Some are upset about the postponement, but many are also using the news as an opportunity to say that they believe gay sex should remain illegal.

  20. 'Elephant meat could be used for pet food'

    Botswana advised to lift hunting ban

    Alastair Leithead

    BBC News

    Face of an elephant
    Image caption: Some say there are too many elephants

    A committee of cabinet ministers in Botswana has recommended that the country lifts a four-year ban on hunting, and introduces the culling of elephants and the canning of their meat for pet food.

    Botswana is home to a third of Africa’s elephants.

    After months of consultation, government ministers have recommended that the president re-introduce hunting to help tackle the conflict between wildlife and people, and as a conservation tool.

    Shortly after coming into office last year President Mokgweetsi Masisi asked ministers to review the hunting ban, which came into force in 2014.

    Public meetings were held and organisations, communities and individuals were asked to comment.

    The report’s findings recommend:

    • that the hunting ban should be lifted, that some wildlife migration routes be closed
    • the introduction of “regular but limited elephant culling” and
    • the establishment of “elephant meat canning” for the production of pet food.

    Botswana is estimated to have 130,000 elephants, and until recently had largely escaped the poaching epidemic which kills tens of thousands of African elephants every year.

    Some argue their numbers are increasing, and there is evidence they are wandering further outside conservation areas creating conflict with communities.

    Crops are destroyed, people have been killed and there’s public support for re-introducing hunting in some rural areas.

    Read the government statement on Facebook:

    View more on facebook