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Live Reporting

Emmanuel Onyango and Evelyne Musambi

All times stated are UK

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  1. African countries to begin coronavirus antibody testing

    Coronaviruses viewed under a microscope
    Image caption: A positive antibody test shows that a person has had coronavirus

    Seven African countries will begin administering coronavirus antibody tests next week, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has said.

    The testing is part of an effort to understand how widespread the infection is on the continent.

    "Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of countries that committed to it," head of Africa CDC John Nkengasong said in a weekly briefing on Thursday.

    He said the continent had conducted 9.4 million coronavirus tests so far, closing in on the 10 million target set in collaboration with member states.

    Dr Nkengasong said Africa was making good progress for vaccine development.

    He said a continental strategy was being developed to set up a consortium of clinical trials and then begin the procurement and financing of vaccines.

    The continent has so far recorded 1,084,904 coronavirus cases, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.


  2. 'Conflict risk' over Ethiopia's regional polls dispute

    BBC World Service

    Members of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)
    Image caption: The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has vowed to proceed with regional elections

    The International Crisis Group has warned of the increasing risk of armed conflict developing as a result of an election dispute between the Ethiopian government and the authorities in the northern region of Tigray.

    In a new briefing paper, the think- tank urges both parties to reconsider their positions.

    Tigrayan officials have defied the federal government by vowing to press ahead with regional elections next month.

    Ethiopia’s national elections were due to have been held this month but have been indefinitely postponed, owing to the coronavirus and political unrest sparked by the killing of a popular musician from the Oromia region.

  3. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now - there will be an automated service until Friday morning.

    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 our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: Not all dwelling places are safe." from A proverb sent by Iddris Kokohaare in Cape Coast, Ghana.
    A proverb sent by Iddris Kokohaare in Cape Coast, Ghana.

    And we leave you with this photo of Cameroonian travel blogger Lee Litumbe on a beach in Senegal:

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  4. Covid-19 causes 'huge job losses' in Nigeria

    Beneficiaries show their meal tickets after collecting their palliatives by the Lagos Food Bnak at Ikotun Egbe, in Alimosho Community area of Lagos State on June 7, 2020
    Image caption: Many Nigerians have been forced to rely on food aid

    A total of 42% people surveyed in Nigeria have reported losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, while 79% reported a loss in income, the World Bank has said.

    In Ethiopia, 45% of urban households and 55% of rural households contacted through a phone survey reported income losses because of the outbreak, it added.

    Nigeria has the biggest population in Africa (about 190 million) and Ethiopia the second-biggest (about 102 million).

    "The shocks caused by the pandemic might send between 13 and 50 million people into extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," the World Bank warned.

  5. Cameroon halts logging plans

    Killian Ngala

    BBC News, Yaoundé

    A forest elephant
    Image caption: Ebo forest is home to elephants and a species of rare gorilla (file photo)

    Plans to allow industrial logging in one of central Africa's last intact forests have been halted, in a move welcomed by environmental campaigners.

    Ebo forest in south-western Cameroon is home to 40 Banen communities and numerous endangered wildlife species - including western gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants, grey parrots and large frogs.

    Experts say forests also play a critical role in the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    On Tuesday Cameroon's government formally announced it was cancelling a previous decree that would have allowed timber extraction across nearly half of the 150,000-hectare forest.

    Greenpeace responded on Thursday, saying the suspension of logging operations must be the first step towards protecting the lives of Ebo's residents. It has vowed to keep campaigning, along with its partner Rainforest Rescue.

    But a government official told the BBC that the forest will eventually be reclassified either as a logging concession or as a protected forest.

    "The present statement will not last long," said Cameroon's Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife Communications Director Jean Robert Onana.

    "Classification is a normal procedure and a legal procedure. If we don’t classify this forest, it is subject to poaching or illegal logging."

    He added that Cameroon is conscious of the need for environmental conservation, pointing to the fact that 30% of the national territory is under conservation.

  6. Foreign-owned retail shops shut in Ghana's capital

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    A total of 46 foreign-owned retail shops have been shut in Ghana’s capital, Accra, because they were trading illegally, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has said.

    Ghanaian law bars foreigners from engaging in retail business and the authorities have come under pressure to enforce it.

    Last year, traders believed to be members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (Guta) forcibly locked up foreign-owned shops belonging to Nigerians and Chinese residents in parts of the country.

    The Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana says about 80% of Nigerian-owned businesses in the country are licensed.

    Ghanaian law allows foreigners to engage in non-retail business.

  7. Call for abused women to be repatriated from Lebanon

    Azeezat Olaoluwa

    Women’s Affairs Journalist, BBC News, Lagos

    An organisation that helps women trafficked to Lebanon to work as domestic workers has asked African governments to repatriate them.

    The organisation, This is Lebanon, said women had complained of being abused and were extremely traumatised.

    It wants African governments to apply pressure on Lebanese authorities to release the women from abusive employers.

    The high demand for domestic workers in the Middle East is thought to be a significant draw for poor women in Africa.

    A representative of the organisation said 94% of Lebanon’s migrant domestic workers are not in possession of their passports.

    A Sierra Leonean domestic worker in Lebanon narrated her experience to the BBC:

    Quote Message: My madam gave me only bread, cheese and water once a day. I would start work at 6am and won’t be allowed to rest until 2am. There was a time I fell ill because of the stress and I told my employer that I was too weak to work.
    Quote Message: She gave me panadol and pulled a knife on me, that I must work or else she would kill me. I worked for eight months with that family and was not paid.’’
  8. Kenyan journalist gets Covid-19 in Ethiopia prison

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News, Addis Ababa

    Kenyan journalist Yassin Juma, who has been in detention in Ethiopia since last month, has contracted Covid-19, his lawyer Kedir Bullo has told me.

    Mr Juma was due to appear in court in the capital, Addis Ababa, but failed to do so because of his illness, Mr Bullo added.

    A federal court ordered his release on bail last week, but Addis Ababa police said they were still investigating charges against him and kept him in detention.

    He was arrested with two Ethiopian journalists. They have been accused of inciting ethnic violence and plotting to kill senior Ethiopian officials.

    All three deny the allegations.

  9. Protest hits Ivory Coast over leader's third-term bid

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Demonstrators react to tear gas fired by police during a protest against president Alassane Ouattara"s decision to stand for a third term, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 13, 2020
    Image caption: The protest was held in defiance of a ban

    Police in Ivory Coast have fired tear gas at opposition supporters protesting against President Alassane Ouattara's decision to run for a third term in office.

    Demonstrators defied a ban on protests, erecting barricades and burning tyres in the commercial capital Abidjan and elsewhere.

    At least two people are reported to have been killed during clashes on Wednesday between the opposition and supporters of the governing party.

    Mr Ouattara decided to run again after his party's nominated successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died unexpectedly last month.

  10. TV-watching children die in Burundi hair salon blast

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    A hand grenade attack has killed three children who were watching television at a hair salon near Burundi's economic capital Bujumbura, security officials say.

    Eight other children were wounded in the blast on Thursday morning in the residential area of Gahahe on the outskirts of Bujumbura, a police spokesperson said.

    Images of injured children and crying mothers at the scene have been posted on social media.

    Three people have been arrested in connection with the attack, police say.

    It is unclear clear if the children, aged between six and 12 years, were the target.

    Schoolchildren are currently on holiday in Burundi.

    Children from poor homes that do not have television sets normally stand outside salons to watch programmes through the windows.

  11. Egypt Muslim Brotherhood official dies in prison

    Essam al-Erian gestures behind bars during the trial of Brotherhood members at a courtroom on December 11, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt
    Image caption: Essam al-Erian was jailed for life

    A leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement has died in prison after suffering a heart attack, media reports say.

    Essam al-Erian, 66, was arrested in 2013 following the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi's government by the military.

    He was serving several life sentences at the Tora Prison in southern Cairo when he died, the reports say.

    There has been no official announcement of his death, but it was reported by both pro-government and pro-Brotherhood websites.

    Mr Erian's lawyer confirmed his death to AFP news agency, saying: "The authorities notified me of his death, and I informed his family to arrange for receiving his body [for burial]. It was a natural death."

    Mr Morsi died in custody in June 2019, after collapsing in a courtroom.

  12. Tanzania earthquake: 'My seat move sideways in Nairobi'

    Tanzanians and Kenyans have been tweeting about their experiences when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit tTanzania's commercial city of Dar es Salaam.

    The seismic waves were felt in the coastal parts of Kenya and the capital Nairobi on Wednesday evening.

    No damage was reported.

    People tweeted their experience:

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  13. Sudan imposes curfew in port city after ethnic clashes

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A map of Sudan

    A curfew has been imposed in Sudan's main seaport, Port Sudan, following ethnic fighting which left more than 30 people dead.

    About 100 people were wounded, including members of the security forces.

    There have been several days of clashes between the Nuba and Beni Amer tribes, which have a long history of violence.

    The two groups signed a peace deal last September after fierce fighting.

    Sudan's transitional government faces many challenges, including an economic crisis and insecurity in several regions.

  14. Rwanda doubts Burundi wants to normalise ties

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    President Evariste Ndayishimiye
    Image caption: Évariste Ndayishimiye became Burundi's president in June

    Rwanda's foreign minister has expressed doubts on the willingness of neighbouring Burundi to normalise diplomatic ties.

    This comes after last week's remarks by Burundi's new President Évariste Ndayishimiye that his country “will never have relations with a country that uses irony” in its relations.

    Mr Ndayishimiye accused Rwanda of “holding hostage” nearly 72,000 Burundian refugees.

    Rwanda's Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta on Wednesday denied the accusations.

    The refugees fled to Rwanda in 2015 during Burundi's political crisis following a declaration by former President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would vie for a controversial third term.

    The repatriation of the refugees has been a sticking point between the neighbours.

    The two countries also accuse each other of harbouring their respective enemies.

    Mr Biruta told journalists in the capital, Kigali, that Rwanda wants good relations with its neighbours - especially Burundi - but expressed “doubts" on the country's willingness to normalise relations.

  15. Netflix sends filming equipment to Nigerian group

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    Nigeria’s fast rising comedy group, Ikorodu Bois, has received filming equipment from streaming company - Netflix.

    The Ikorodu Bois have become known for remaking scenes from famous music videos and Hollywood films.

    In a video shared on Twitter, the elated boys thanked Netflix for the production equipment:

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    The Ikorodu Bois group is composed of three brothers and a cousin, all aged between 10 and 23.

    Babatunde Sanni, the eldest, edits their videos and manages the group.

    In June, Hollywood producers, Russo Brothers, invited the group to attend the premiere of the movie Extraction 2 after they re-enacted the trailer of the movie and posted it on social media platforms.


  16. Ugandan teenager joins presidential race

    A 19-year-old Ugandan has picked nomination papers to vie for the presidency in the upcoming general elections.

    Hillary Humphrey Kaweesa said he had always been a leader and was qualified to lead the country.

    He said he would fund-raise for the 20m Ugandan shillings ($5,400;£4,100) nomination fees.

    Mr Kaweesa is also required to collect 100 signatures in every district for his nomination. The country has more than 100 districts.

    The constitution allows any Ugandan citizen who is above 18 years to vie for the presidency.

    The teenager joins legislator Robert Kyagulanyi - popularly known as Bobi Wine - and former army general Henry Tumukunde who have declared interest to run against the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.

    A Ugandan radio station tweeted a photo of Kaweesa:

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