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Live Reporting

Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Tanzanian miner makes new multi-million dollar sale

    Saniniu Laizer with stones
    Image caption: Saniniu Laizer, seen here in June, with his original find, will spend the money on a new school and clinic

    A Tanzanian miner who made headlines in June for discovering two rough Tanzanite stones valued at $3.4m sold another one for $2m on Monday morning.

    The third discovery by Saniniu Laizer, who is a small-scale miner, weighed 6.3kg.

    There was a lot of excitement from members of his community in the build up to the sale and hundreds were waiting from early morning to witness it, the BBC's Aboubakar Famau reports from the capital, Dodoma.

    Many other small-scale miners were shocked by Mr Laizer's luck but also acknowledged that perseverance may have something to do with it, our correspondent adds.

    Mr Laizer has promised to use the money from the finds to build a school and a health centre.

    Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania and is used to make ornaments.

    It is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, and one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.

    The precious stone's appeal lies in its variety of hues, including green, red, purple and blue.

  2. Teddy Afro: How do we negotiate over the Nile?

    Christine Yohannes

    BBC Amharic

    Ethiopia's most famous popular musician Teddy Afro has released a song backing his country in its row with Egypt over the controversial dam on the Blue Nile.

    Ethiopia sees the dam, known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd), as vital for the development of the country. When it's fully operational it's set to provide 65 million Ethiopians with electricity.

    Egypt is nervous that the dam will reduce the amount of water flowing downstream into the Nile which supplies almost all of the country's water needs.

    Following seasonal rains, the Gerd is now holding back some 4.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) of water - and more water will be added in the following years.

    The average total annual flow of the Blue Nile is 49bcm.

    The two countries are expected to continue diplomatic talks over how to move forward.

    But Teddy Afro, in his new song, asks: "How do we negotiate over the Nile?"

    View more on youtube

    He then sings:

    Quote Message: Love had made [The Nile] patient but you don't want to anger it because it could be like fire."

    Referring to the river as a horse, Teddy Afro says:

    Quote Message: The generous Nile rode into Egypt and irrigated [the country] and now it decided to look back to its own land. And they are angered. Why?"

    The chorus then says that patience is running thin and the river feels the pain of its people.

    Read more:

  3. Why Shoprite has struggled in Nigeria


    Nduka Orjinmo

    BBC News, Abuja

    Shoprite signage

    Shoprite's failure in Nigeria is not surprising, the shiny shopping malls with escalators where its outlets are located are more popular for taking pictures than actual shopping.

    Though it is regarded as a working-class supermarket in South Africa, most here consider it as catering to the upper classes.

    Tens of millions of Nigerians are poor or unemployed - and the minority who have the spending power to shop at Shoprite have seen their finances take a battering because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    These are hard times for businesses, but the slow growth at Shoprite Nigeria predates the pandemic.

    Consumers here want quality services, but they want it on the cheap.

    Read more:

  4. Two killed in Somalia restaurant bomb attack

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    In Somalia two security guards have been killed after stopping a suicide bomber from entering a busy restaurant in the capital, Mogadiushu.

    The bomber detonated the device after being confronted by the guards.

    Several customers were injured during the blast in the city's Hamar Jajab district.

    No group has said it was behind the attack but the Islamist militant group al-Shabab frequently carries out bomb attacks on civilian and military targets.

  5. Floods destroy thousands of homes in Sudan

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A map showing Sudan's Blue Nile state in relation to the capital, Khartoum.

    The Sudanese authorities say at least five people have been killed and thousands of homes damaged by heavy floods over the weekend.

    Interior Minister Eltrafi Elsdik said nearly 3,500 houses were either completely or partially destroyed.

    Last week heavy downpours led to a dam wall collapsing in Blue Nile state which destroyed more than 600 homes.

    Torrential rains often hit Sudan between June and October, resulting in significant flooding.

    The UN says flooding killed more than 70 people last year during those months.

  6. Rare white rhino gives birth at Ugandan sanctuary

    A white rhino has given birth to a female calf at Uganda's Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the Rhino Fund Uganda has said, bringing their total number at the reserve to 31.

    White rhinos were wiped out of the country in the early 1980s but their numbers have increased since the introduction of a breeding programme in 2006, local media report.

    Rhino Fund Uganda confirmed the birth in a tweet on Monday:

    View more on twitter

    Unlike the northern white rhino, the southern white rhinos are not endangered - although their numbers have dwindled due to poaching.

  7. Belgian king's bust vandalised in Brusssels

    Vandalised bust of King Leopold

    A bust of former Belgian King Leopold II near the capital, Brussels, has been vandalised for a third time by anti-racist protesters, AFP news agency reports.

    The sculpture has been targeted as he governed over what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 19th Century during a time when people were brutally treated.

    BLM – standing for Black Lives Matter – was daubed in red paint at the foot of the bust, which is outside the country’s Africa museum.

    Museum director Guido Gryseels is quoted by AFP as saying that he planned to add a plaque to the bust to add historical context but admitted that whether the piece should be there at all is now up for debate.

  8. Zimbabwe author took a risk to defend civil rights

    Tsitsi Dangarembga
    Image caption: Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested on Friday

    Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, who was arrested during a protest on Friday, has said she took a risk to defend what she saw as shrinking civil rights in the country.

    The government had described the protest that had been called by the opposition and civil society groups as an insurrection.

    Dangarembga, who was later released on bail, told the BBC that there was need for the civil society to defend the constitution.

    She said the government should respond to the protests by creating space for dialogue.

    Dangarembga and Fadzayi Mahere, spokesperson for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, were arrested in different locations.

    The two appeared in court on Saturday on charges of inciting public violence and unnecessary travel during the coronavirus lockdown.

    Many people had stayed home as government forces clamped down on solo protesters after warnings.

    The hashtag #ZimbabweanLivesMatter has been trending on Twitter in Zimbabwe and South Africa as people share stories of arrests and violence.

    Ms Mahere tweeted:

    Quote Message: We are tired of living lives without dignity, lives without rights, lives without food, lives without freedom. We are tired of Zimbabweans being abducted and killed like animals while the world turns a blind eye. It is time to take notice. #ZimbabweanLivesMatter."
  9. Loud explosion 'heard in Somalia's capital'

    There are reports of a loud explosion being heard in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

    One journalist there has tweeted that an attacker blew himself up near a restaurant killing two guards and wounding some diners.

    View more on twitter
  10. Ramaphosa warns 'hyenas' stealing Covid-19 funds

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned of harsh action on "hyenas" who are profiteering from public funds intended for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    His stinging remarks, contained in his weekly newsletter, are aimed at state officials who are accused of taking up government tenders, business people who are inflating prices of supplies of protective gear and local administrators who are stockpiling relief food.

    "Attempting to profit from a disaster that is claiming the lives of our people every day is the action of scavengers. It is like a pack of hyenas circling wounded prey," President Ramaphosa said.

    "We are witnessing theft by individuals and companies with no conscience."

    His own spokesperson took a leave of absence last week after her husband was adversely mentioned in connection to tenders in Gauteng's province health department. The couple deny any wrongdoing.

    The president vowed bold actions against those who will be found culpable of misappropriating Covid-19 funds.

    "Those found to have broken the law to enrich themselves through this crisis will not get to enjoy their spoils, regardless of who they are or with whom they may be connected," he said.

    South Africa is the hardest-hit on the continent by the pandemic and passed half a million mark of cases over the weekend.


  11. Tanzania bans organising protests online

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Activists in Tanzania say new rules that restrict online content are infringing on people’s freedom of expression.

    Under the new legislation, organising, planning or even supporting any form of demonstration online is now illegal.

    The new rules have also banned sharing of information about an infectious disease outbreak without government permission.

    The Tanzanian authorities have removed rules governing hate speech on the basis of sexuality and gender.

    Correspondents say the new rules also make it possible for people to be prosecuted for what they write on a shared instant messaging platform, such as a WhatsApp group.

    Human rights groups say since President John Magufuli came to power five years ago the Tanzanian authorities have cracked down on the media, civil society organisations and individuals critical of the government.

  12. SA's Shoprite retailer mulls quitting Nigeria

    Nduka Orjinmo

    BBC News, Abuja

    Shoprite branch in Lagos
    Image caption: Shoprite is popular with Nigeria's upper-middle class population whose spending power have been impacted by the coronavirus

    South African supermarket chain, Shoprite, says it is considering discontinuing its operations in Nigeria.

    The retail giant which entered the Nigerian market in 2005, said it will consider to "sell all, or a majority stake" of its retail operations in the West African country.

    In a statement released on Monday detailing its 2019 financial year that ended in June, the company said the decision was made “following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in Nigeria”.

    It added that "Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year."

    Shoprite said lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus had impacted its operations in 14 African countries were sales declined by 1.4%, but its South African operations witnessed “significant growth”.

    The retailer has also been battling currency-induced inflation surges especially in Nigeria were it was hit hardest.

    South African retailers have struggled in Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, and if it leaves, Shoprite will join clothing outlets - Mr Price and Woolworths who exited the West African country after failing to get a foothold.

    Last year, some branches of the supermarket in Nigeria were targeted as young people, allegedly motivated by a need for revenge, and fuelled by fake videos and photos of xenophobic attacks on social media, started looting and burning South African businesses.

  13. Video content

    Video caption: 'We're hoping that things will change for black women'

    Domestic violence cases, like Sistah's, have increased by 20% since the beginning of the lockdown.

  14. Namibia to suspend learning this week

    School attendance for most students is set to be suspended in Namibia again on Tuesday as coronavirus cases increase in the country.

    The closure comes after parents and teachers had threatened to demonstrate if schools remained open despite the rising number of new infections.

    Learning in all classes, except for final year students, will be suspended for 28 days.

    President Hage Geingob on Friday tightened the rules prohibiting drinking in bars and taverns but drinking is allowed at home.

    The president relaxed the rules for tourists not to undergo 14 days mandatory quarantine if they present a negative Covid-19 test conducted within 72 hours before arrival.

    The country has so far recorded more than 2,200 cases of the virus.

  15. Zimbabwe patients 'dying in hospital car park'

    BBC World Service

    Doctors in Zimbabwe say the country is facing a crisis from a shortage of healthcare workers as the number of Covid- 19 infections begins to rise.

    Dr Rashida Ferrand, an epidemiologist at the main public hospital in the capital Harare told the BBC there are too few doctors and nurses because of a health workers' strike, which began before the pandemic, and a shortage of protective equipment.

    She told the BBC's Newsday programme:

    Quote Message: As a result of that, many wards, including the Covid centre, do not have enough staff. So whilst we have the capacity, we're currently relying on two volunteer doctors and a small group of nurses per shift. Even though we have extremely sick patients we are taking in only a maximum of 30 patients."

    The hospital is having to turn patients away:

    Quote Message: The reality is that if there are patients who are about to die and are at home I ask relatives and doctors to make them comfortable.
    Quote Message: We've had patients dying in the car park and unfortunately as soon as [we reach] the limit of 30 beds which I can cope with, given the staff I have, I have to say 'no' [to their admission to the hospital].
    Quote Message: And that is a very very gut wrenchingly difficult decision we've had to make over the last couple of weeks."

    Zimbabwe has had nearly 4,000 confirmed virus cases, with 70 deaths officially registered, but doctors say the actual numbers are higher.

  16. Drogba submits candidacy for Ivorian FA top job

    Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has formally submitted his candidacy to become the next president of the Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF).

    Drogba drew thousands of supporters outside the federation's offices where he went to hand in his papers on Sunday. The elections are due to be held next month.

    He is among four candidates seeking the position. They will all go through a nomination process before the final candidates are unveiled.

    “Football is everyone’s sport, football brings people together, football unites. We can see it today with all these people gathered in front of the headquarters of the Ivorian football federation,” he was quoted as saying by local media.

    An upbeat Drogba thanked all his supporters in a tweet that had photos of the crowd of supporters:

    View more on twitter

    The Ivory Coast's national side has struggled for success since winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.


  17. South Africa final year students resume classes

    A teacher offers sanitiser to a student in South Africa
    Image caption: Schools had been closed because of rising coronavirus cases

    Final year students in secondary schools in South Africa have resumed classes after a one-week break.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa closed all schools last week to limit the spread of coronavirus after a surge in cases among learners, but said they will be gradually reopened over a three-week period.

    Final year students in secondary schools, which is Grade 12, will be first to resume classes on Monday, followed by final year students in primary schools, Grade Seven, on 10 August.

    Other learners will resume classes on 24 August

    An education department spokesperson told local TV channel eNCA that the break had enabled the authorities to tighten measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in schools:

    View more on twitter

    The country has passed the half a million mark of infections and has more than half of the total infections in Africa.

  18. Kenyan nurse dies of Covid-19 after giving birth

    A Kenyan nurse has died from Covid-19 days shortly after giving birth for the first time while undergoing treatment for the disease in hospital.

    Local media report that the nurse, identified as Marian Awuor Adumbo, was admitted to a hospital west of the capital, Nairobi, and had initially tested negative for Covid-19.

    Her condition worsened and she was admitted to another health facility where she tested positive.

    She delivered her baby and went into the intensive care unit where she later died.

    Doctors and nurses have been tweeting about Ms Adumbo:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter