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Live Reporting

Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Mali protest: 'We don't want this regime anymore'

    Crowds of people

    Demonstrators have turned out in large numbers in the Malian capital, Bamako, calling for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the AFP news agency reports.

    This is the third protest against corruption and cronyism, weak public services and national leadership, electoral malpractice and the government's inability to bring an end to inter-communal and jihadist violence have fuelled popular frustration.

    People holding a placard

    The protests are being organised by a new coalition and led by imam Mahmoud Dicko.

    "We don't want this regime any more," one protester is quoted by AFP as saying.

  2. Ethiopian embassy in UK to restore bust of emperor

    Ameyu Etana

    BBC Afaan Oromo

    Composite picutre of Haile Selassie and the broken bust
    Image caption: Haile Selassie, Ethiopia's last emperor, lived in exile in the UK from 1936 to 1941

    The Ethiopian embassy in London says together with members of the Ethiopian community it will restore the bust of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia's last emperor, which was toppled by Oromo protesters last week in London.

    View more on twitter

    The demonstrators were angered by the murder of prominent singer Hachalu Hundessa, who was gunned down last week in the capital, Addis Ababa.

    In the aftermath of his death his supporters marched in Addis Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia to show their discontent, in some areas clashing with police.

    The protests spread to the UK, where a group of youths targeted the bust in a park in south London.

    The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident.

  3. African medics 'need better protection'

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC News, Nairobi

    People doing exercises
    Image caption: Medics are on the coronavirus front line

    The first reported death from coronavirus of a doctor in Kenya has thrown a spotlight on the dangers that medics are facing.

    Dr Doreen Lugaliki's death follows that of a Kenyan nurse a fortnight ago.

    In all, there are now almost 300 healthcare workers who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Kenya

    They are on the front line in the fight against Covid-19 and there are questions over what kind of protection they are getting, not just in Kenya.

    Union officials representing healthcare works across the continent say the rise in new infections among their members is as a result of lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper infection prevention control measures in hospitals.

    In Zimbabwe, 21 health workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, after they came into contact with confirmed coronavirus cases and had been in isolation.

  4. 'The world needs beautiful music in the pandemic'

    This is Africa speaks to C4 Pedro

    DJ Edu

    This Is Africa

    C4 Pedro

    Lockdown in Angola's capital, Luanda, has been amazingly productive for one of Angola’s biggest stars.

    C4 Pedro has produced two full albums of seven songs each in just two months. They were released on Tuesday, which also happened to be C4 Pedro’s 37th birthday:

    Quote Message: With the tours that we all have sometimes, it’s impossible for us to create this way, so I’m thankful because I was able to create two albums by myself, because I’m also a producer. I’ve never done something like that before, it’s incredible, I’m like: 'Woah, I did something special'.”

    The two albums are very different.

    The darker one, Dragon, is C4 Pedro’s first hip-hop album. He used to rap before kizomba took over his professional life, and he uses those skills to settle a few scores:

    Quote Message: My rap name is Dragon. This Dragon comes to protect myself and my name. Not everybody loves to see someone succeed, you have people hating you just because you are too good.
    Quote Message: Now with this pandemic I was home thinking about everything that I heard about me, and I say, OK, maybe this is just time to clarify some little things!”

    But not all of the songs in the first album are addressed to C4 Pedro’s haters:

    Quote Message: Seven songs for haters? No, I don’t believe they deserve it, that’s too much. No, no, no, there’s more important things in life than doing songs for your haters. With this hip-hop album people will understand that I am a human person who has feelings.”

    The second album is more typical and designed to be reassuring for C4 Pedro’s many fans:

    Quote Message: I don’t want them thinking what is wrong with him? I’m good, this is the same C4. Lagrimas (meaning Tears) is an album full of love, with titles like Felicidade (Happiness), Pele Negra (Black Skin), and Africa Esta Viva (Africa Is Alive).”

    Judging by the acapella taster C4 Pedro gave me, this second album is achingly beautiful.

    “This is what I believe the world needs but the hip-hop album is what I need now,” he chuckles.

    You can listen to DJ Edu’s full interview with C4 Pedro on This Is Africa once it's uploaded on Saturday at 12:00 GMT.

  5. 'Dr Doreen's death brings the risks closer to home'

    Kenyan doctors reflect on the life of a colleague

    BBC OS

    Doctors in Kenya are today remembering a colleague who died after contracting Covid-19 - the first doctor in the country to die with the virus.

    Dr Doreen Lugaliki was a gynaecologist, and has been described as a "young doctor with so much to offer".

    BBC OS on World Service radio has been hearing reaction to her death from Kenyan doctors.

    Dr Nelly Bosire is also a gynaecologist, working in the capital Nairobi. She studied with Dr Doreen.

    “Dr Doreen was an extremely dedicated, hard-working gynaecologist who took care of her patients with so much passion. It brings the realities so close to home how much at risk we all are in the profession.”

    Dr Robert Tabu and Cynthia Waliaula are a married couple also in Nairobi.

    “It’s really sad, especially as the numbers are going up and the economy is opening up,” says Dr Waliaula. “It’s one person from the frontline who has been removed.”

    Dr Tabu works at the Covid ward at a private hospital in Nairobi. He says doctors are concerned about contracting the virus themselves.

    “It’s a bit scary seeing as we are at risk of getting the infection. I guess that PPE [personal protective equipment] has been provided and adequate training given.

    "That helps to keep us calmer. So as much as in the back of our minds we are worried, these provisions help us to see patients as effectively as we can.”

    People have also been tweeting their condolences:

    View more on twitter
  6. Uganda central bank threatens to cap interest rates

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    Vendors take physical distance from one another at the Nakasero market in Kampala, Uganda, on April 7, 2020
    Image caption: The high cost of bank loans is prohibitive for Ugandan entrepreneurs

    Uganda's central bank is threatening to put a cap on interest rates charged by commercial banks.

    This comes amid frustration that the cost of getting a loan for businesses, or consumers, remains high - deterring entrepreneurs from borrowing money to invest in expanding a business to create more jobs.

    In April, the Bank of Uganda cut its benchmark rate to 8% and then to 7% in June, hoping banks would take advantage of access to cheaper funds to lend more to businesses at lower rates.

    However between April and June the average interest rate charged by banks on loans has ranged between 17% and almost 19%, significantly above the central bank's benchmark.

    It is a sign that banks want to protect profits from lending.

    The central bank has warned the financial industry that it is ready to take advantage of legislation that allows it to set minimum and maximum interest rates.

    The Bank of Uganda has previously resisted demands to intervene, to set rates, saying the government should not control bank profit margins.

    The financial sector insists the interest rates reflect high operating costs and the risk of defaults on repayments.

  7. French-speaking bloc lifts Burundi sanctions

    The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) - an organisation of French-speaking countries - has lifted sanctions imposed on Burundi four years ago "in light of recent political developments", the organisation said in a statement on its website.

    The announcement was also made on Twitter by OIF secretary general Louise Mushikiwabo:

    "A very good session of the permanent council of the Francophonie. At the heart of the debate: a strengthened and humane multilateralism, attentive to the needs of our populations, plus the lifting of the 2016 sanctions against Burundi, in accordance with procedures," she said.

    View more on twitter

    The sanctions were put in place after late President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office in 2015 sparked violence.

    The OIF is made up of 57 member states whose main language is French.

  8. Libya resumes oil exports after six months

    BBC World Service

    map of Libya

    Libya's national oil company says it has resumed its vitally important exports after a halt of nearly six months, caused by conflict and political upheaval.

    The first tanker has begun loading in the eastern port of Es-Sider.

    The company's production facilities in the region had been blockaded by forces loyal to the renegade Gen Khalifa Haftar.

    Oil exports are the backbone of Libya's economy, and the revenue lost during the halt in output has been estimated at more than $6bn (£4.75bn).

  9. Nigeria anti-corruption boss suspended amid theft allegation

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the head of the country’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who is himself being investigated for alleged corruption.

    A statement from Nigeria’s Justice Minister says the suspension of Ibrahim Magu is to allow for "unhindered inquiry" into his conduct.

    This is the first official confirmation of the suspension after days of rumours.

    The Nigerian government has not given details of the allegations against Mr Magu but reports suggest he is being investigated for allegedly embezzling funds and assets recovered from corrupt officials.

    The Nigerian authorities on Monday denied reports that he had been arrested, saying he was only invited to appear before a presidential investigative panel for questioning.

    The EFCC director of operations, Mohammed Umar, has been asked to take charge of the commission pending the outcome of the investigation.

    Mr Magu became the acting EFCC head in 2015 when President Buhari came to power on a promise to tackle endemic corruption in the country.

    Under his leadership of the anti-graft agency, a number of senior politicians, including several former powerful state governors, have been jailed but there have been questions about the way his commission managed funds recovered from corrupt officials.

    Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo earlier this week denied reports that he also illegally benefited from the recovered wealth.

  10. Two men arrested for murder of Ethiopian protest singer

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News, Addis Ababa

    Hachalu Hundessa
    Image caption: Hachalu Hundessa's murder sparked days of protests and violence

    The authorities in Ethiopia have detained two suspects who are accused of being involved in the shooting dead of the popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa as investigations continue.

    His death last week sparked widespread protests and violence in the country’s most populous state, Oromia, and the capital, Addis Ababa, in which more than 170 people were killed.

    According to the federal attorney general, Adanech Abeibe, the suspects have confessed to their crimes.

    Neither man has made any public comment about the accusations.

    The authorities say that they were given instructions to murder the musician by a group called Shane, which broke away from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

    The OLF is a political party that at one time led an armed movement calling for self-rule for Oromia.

    The suspects held three meetings with Shane as they planned the murder, the attorney general added.

    A third suspect is said to be still at large.

    The unrest that was sparked by Hachalu’s murder has left scores dead with some ethnic and religious minorities targeted.

    More than 4,500 people have been arrested, suspected of involvement in the trouble, including opposition figures and local government officials.

    Read more:

  11. Twenty-one health workers in Bulawayo test positive for virus

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC News, Harare

    A Zimbabwean health worker in Bulawayo
    Image caption: Zimbabwean health workers have decried lack of protective gear

    Twenty-one health workers in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, according to the latest Ministry of Health update.

    The workers had come into contact with confirmed coronavirus cases and had been in isolation.

    It comes days after nurses unions called a strike over poor pay and a shortage of personal protective gear.

    This week has seen a dramatic spike in confirmed cases. Ninety-eight were recorded on Wednesday, 51 of them from Bulawayo.

    On Thursday, 41 people from across the country tested positive for the virus. In all, Zimbabwe has recorded 926 cases.

    A partial lockdown remains in place amid warnings the figures could still rise during the current winter season.

  12. Gauteng premier tests positive for Covid-19

    Gauteng Premier David Makhura inspects an ambulance
    Image caption: Gauteng province currently has the highest number of infections in South Africa

    The premier of Gauteng, the South African province that has become the epicentre of the country's coronavirus outbreak, has tested positive for Covid-19.

    David Makhura said he had been tested for coronavirus after showing symptoms.

    Mr Makhura will now self-isolate and work from home for 14 days while monitoring his health as his symptoms are still mild.

    He tweeted a full statement urging people to wear masks, wash hands and social distance:

    View more on twitter

    On Friday, South Africa recorded its highest-ever single-day increase in Covid-19 cases.

  13. Rwanda arrests four escapees from Covid centre

    Rwandan police have arrested four people who escaped from a Covid-19 treatment centre at a school in the eastern region.

    The four escaped at about 19:30 local time on Wednesday and were arrested the following day.

    “Following information that four detainees had escaped, security organs and local leaders worked together to locate their whereabouts,” a police spokesperson for the eastern region said.

    “On Thursday, following the release of their particulars and identities, people, who saw them, were quick to call the police," he added.

    View more on twitter

    Security and health officers are tracing people who they may have come into contact with the escapees to help stop the spread of the virus.

    Rwanda has recorded 1,210 coronavirus cases so far, including two deaths.

  14. Malawi's president promises to sack bad ministers

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera has responded to criticisms of nepotism by saying that he had good reasons to select the cabinet that he did.

    He has included a husband and wife duo as well as people who are related to each other. There are also cabinet posts for some prominent business people which has raised questions of conflicts of interest.

    The president's former running mate in the 2019 elections, Sidik Mia, has been appointed minister for transport and his wife Abida Mia is the deputy minister for lands.

    Critics “may have a point [but]… both of them are accomplished politicians” in their own right, Mr Chakwera told BBC Focus on Africa radio.

    Kenny Kandodo is the new labour minister and his sister Khumbize Kandodo is the health minister.

    The president has also appointed the son of one his allies and predecessors, Joyce Banda.

    But Mr Chakwera said the test would not be who the ministers were but whether they were delivering.

    Quote Message: This is going to be reviewed, because you have to deliver, you have to work so that you are contributing this process of rebuilding and if you don’t you are out.”

    And as to the question of whether it’s appropriate to have a media owner as information minister, as well as other business people in key posts, he said:

    Quote Message: If there is any inappropriate action... Then they are gone… We will be on top of such and everything has to be declared right from the start.”

    Listen to the full interview:

    Video content

    Video caption: President Lazarus Chakwera's new cabinet includes members with family ties
  15. South Africa records highest rise in virus cases

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Graves for Covid-19 victims at the Honingnestkrans cemetery in Pretoria
    Image caption: The country has recorded 3,720 deaths

    South Africa has recorded its highest-ever single-day increase in Covid-19 cases.

    The health ministry said there were 13,674 infections in the past 24 hours from the highest number of tests done in a single day in the country.

    Nearly half of the new Covid-19 cases in South Africa, 6,531, were recorded in the economic hub Gauteng, which has become the epicentre of the virus.

    So far 3,720 people have died and that number is expected to rise as the country heads towards the infection peak in the next few months.

    While the disease is beginning to spread quickly here – the recovery rate is still around 47%, experts say.

    Prof Salim Abdool Karim, who chairs the government’s Covid-19 advisory committee, says South Africans will need to get used to living with the virus – and keep taking the necessary precautions until a treatment has been found.

    He said there are currently 130 different vaccines trials globally, including one that started in South Africa two weeks ago.

    The country has been under lock down for more than three months – but some industries have reopened in the last few weeks, in a bid to protect jobs and the economy.

  16. US applauds Somaliland-Taiwan ties

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The US has applauded Taiwan for establishing diplomatic ties with the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

    A tweet from the US National Security Council described Taiwan as a great partner.

    View more on twitter

    Both China and the Somali government in Mogadishu have condemned the move which was announced at the beginning of the month.

    China has in recent years been urging African nations to cut ties with Taiwan. Only Eswatini - the country formerly known as Swaziland - has retained full ties.

    After years of lingering tensions, the Somali government has recently tried to improve its relationship with Somaliland which declared independence in 1991 but has not been recognised by the international community.

  17. Kenya loses first doctor to Covid-19

    In Kenya, doctors are mourning a colleague who died after contracting coronavirus, the country's main medics' union is saying.

    A colleague described the medic as a "young doctor with so much to offer".

    She was a gynaecologist who was hailed by many of her patients for her professionalism.

    The health ministry said at the beginning of the month that 186 health workers had tested positive for coronavirus and that no doctor had died from the virus.

    Some Kenyan doctors tweeted their tributes:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  18. Criticism over Dubai job ad barring Nigerians

    Nigerians on social media have expressed anger over an online job vacancy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that excludes Nigerians from applying.

    The advertisement by Shirley Recruitment Consultants on the website Joblinks indicates that it is looking for merchandisers in Dubai with at least one to three years experience.

    It specifies that those applying should be "male or female African candidates except Nigerians".

    Screen grab of job advert

    A Twitter user criticised the advertisement: "For a country to only exclude Nigerians from applying for a job is not only discriminatory but unlawful under international laws."

    View more on twitter

    Some of the Nigerians online have suggested that the recent arrest of alleged Nigerian online scammers in the US may have have contributed to the decision to exclude Nigerians.

    You may want to read:

  19. Mali opposition rejects reform offer ahead of protests

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Opposition groups in Mali have called for protests on Friday to demand the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a day after he promised some reforms.

    The 5 June Movement-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) said a promise by President Keita to reform the constitutional court and an earlier offer to form a coalition government that includes opposition politicians were not enough.

    Musician Salif Keita has asked Malians to join the protests that are led by the prominent Muslim cleric Mahmoud Dicko.

    In a speech to the nation late on Wednesday, President Keita offered to appoint new judges to the constitutional court, which has been at the centre of controversy following the contested March legislative elections.

    The M5-RFP movement has been demanding the dissolution of parliament, the formation of a transitional government and the replacement of judges at the constitutional court.

    Protesters in June demanded the resignation of President Keita for failing to end an Islamist insurgency in central and northern Mali.

    The protests threaten to further destabilise Mali, which is supported by thousands of foreign forces in its efforts to end jihadist violence.

    Read more: