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Summary

  1. Campaign to round up symbols of Sudan's previous regime
  2. Fossils of giant mammal found in Kenya
  3. Boeing update software after Ethiopia crash
  4. Migrants evacuated from violence-hit Libya
  5. Zimbabwe marks independence amid economic crisis
  6. Mo Salah makes the cover of Time

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

  1. Downpour at Zimbabwe celebrations

    The heavens have opened as Zimbabwe celebrates 39 years of independence from the UK.

    The BBC's Shingai Nyoka is among the crowds at the stadium in the capital, Harare, watching the pomp and she snapped this image:

    Raining as people march in the stadium

    These celebrations comes amid warnings of the first recession in a decade, our reporter says.

    Speaking beforehand, President Emmerson Mnangagwa - who became head of state eight months ago after long-time leader Robert Mugabe was ousted and then went on to win disputed elections last July - called for unity.

    View more on twitter
  2. 'More than 200 dead in Tripoli battle' says WHO

    BBC World Service

    Fighter running with a machine gun
    Image caption: A photo shred on Gen Haftar's Facebook page showed a fighter running with a machine gun

    The World Health Organization says the number of people killed in two weeks of clashes in the Libyan capital, Tripoli has risen to more than 200.

    Most of the dead were fighters, but 18 civilians have also died.

    Thousands have been forced to flee their homes in areas close to the front lines in the southern suburbs.

    The fighting began when forces loyal to the military strongman Gen Khalifa Haftar launched an attempt to capture the city.

    It's being defended by militias loosely aligned with the UN-backed government, which is based in Tripoli.

  3. Officials 'accused of stealing food' meant for Cyclone Idai victims

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Displaced persons' camp
    Image caption: The food is said to have been meant for people in a displaced persons' camp

    The trial of three Beira city local council workers arrested for allegedly diverting food aid which was destined for the victims of Cyclone Idai has begun, reports Mozambican newspaper O País.

    The three are accused of taking humanitarian assistance supposed to be for people staying in a camp in Beira, central Mozambique.

    They were arrested after large quantities of food were found in their houses.

    The three say that the food was in their houses due to the poor storage facilities and that the authorities knew about it.

    The trial resumes on 24 April.

  4. Sisi critic fears Egypt could turn into 'single president' state

    Egyptian MPs attend a Parliament session to view the report of the parliament's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee regarding the constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi to stay in power beyond 2022, when his current and final term ends.
    Image caption: Egypt will hold a public referendum on constitutional amendments to keep President Sisi in office until 2030

    Egypt could turn into a one-man state after this weekend's referendum, an opposition leader has told the BBC.

    Khaled Dawood, former head of the liberal party Dostour, told the BBC's Sally Nabil:

    "We're rebuilding through the so-called constitutional amendments, a state of a single president, and not only that, we're even ending the hope of millions of Egyptians who came out on January 2011 that one day we're going to have exchange of power. We're entitled to tell the people why we want to vote no," said Mr Dawood.

    The referendum is a vote on a set of constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to stay in office until 2030.

    Mr Sisi is currently due to leave office in 2022 when his second four-year term ends. The current constitution says he can't run for president again.

    Supporters of the change argue that Mr Sisi should stay in office to continue his economic reforms.

    The opposition says its protests have been silenced and opposition figures have been arrested.

  5. Boeing update ill-fated 737 Max plane model

    BBC World Service

    Boeing says it is making "steady progress" towards certifying a software update to its 737 Max planes which were grounded around the world after a crash in Ethiopia.

    In a video posted on Twitter, the Chief Executive of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg, said the final test flight with the updated software had taken place on Wednesday.

    View more on twitter

    Earlier this month, Boeing admitted for the first time that a failure in the plane's anti-stall system was a factor in the accident in Ethiopia in March.

    All 157 people on board the 737 Max plane were killed.

  6. Cholera outbreak in Kenya private hospital

    A private hospital in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is battling to contain a cholera outbreak as the number of staff infected rises to 52, local newspaper Daily Nation reports.

    The paper says the epidemic hit the Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday, claiming the life of one staff member, while several other people were admitted.

    The paper quotes sources at the hospital as saying at least 23 cases of the waterborne disease had been treated at the facility in April alone and that the cafeteria was shut down indefinitely.

    On Wednesday, the hospital sacked its chief executive officer who had initially been suspended.

    The Daily Nation says on 22 March Nairobi county health officials asked all referral hospitals within the city to reactivate their cholera treatment units after confirmation of the outbreak in the capital city.

    View more on twitter
  7. What Bashir's fall means for peace in South Sudan

    People in South Sudan are anxiously following developments in neigbouring Sudan following the overthrow of long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir.

    South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but two years later a devastating civil war broke out.

    President Salva Kiir and his main opponent Riek Machar recently signed a peace deal to end the five year conflict. Mr Bashir's government helped broker the deal, the formation of a South Sudanese unity government is proving difficult.

    So, where does the change of regime in Sudan leave the fragile peace process in South Sudan?

    Sarah Nyanath,a member of South Sudan's Civil Society Forum, has been speaking to BBC Newsday's James Copnall:

    Video content

    Video caption: The former president has now been moved to prison
  8. ANC tells voters: Let's grow South Africa togher

    South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) had some egg on its face this week after it put up election billboards around the coastal city of Port Elizabeth with the message: "Let's grow South Africa togher."

    It blamed the spelling mistake on "human error". Well, a cartoonist feels it's time to change the ANC's campaign slogan for the 8 May general election to: "Let's grow South Africa's education system together."

    View more on facebook
  9. Fossils of giant mammal found in Kenya

    This handout reconstruction image released on April 18, 2019 by Ohio university in Athens, Ohio, shows a Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, a gigantic mammalian carnivore that lived 22 million years ago in Africa and was larger than a polar bear
    Image caption: An artist's impression of what researchers say was one of the biggest ever meat-eating mammals

    A giant mammal with huge fangs roamed around what is now Kenya about 22 million years ago, researchers say.

    It has been dubbed "Simbakubwa kutoka Afrika" - Swahili for "big African lion".

    But it was probably bigger than a polar bear and is - according to National Geographic magazine - the "oldest known member in a group of extinct mammals called hyaenodonts, so named due to their dental resemblance to hyenas, even though the groups are also unrelated".

    The lower jaw, teeth and other bones of the animal were found in a museum in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

    "Based on its massive teeth, Simbakubwa was a specialised hyper-carnivore that was significantly larger than the modern lion and possibly larger than a polar bear," US-based Duke University co-researcher Matthew Borths told AFP news agency.

    He co-led the research with colleagues at Ohio University, and their findings have been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  10. More than 2,000 health workers deregistered in Kenya

    A health crisis looms in Kenya after the medical regulator deregistered more than 2,000 doctors and dentists for failing to comply with the law, local media reports say.

    Privately-owned newspaper Daily Nation says 2,063 doctors and 212 dentists have been struck off by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) for failing to renew their registration.

    The newspaper says the move is likely to affect the health sector, quoting the health minister as saying that Kenya has an acute shortage of doctors and dentists.

    Medical workers are required by KMPDB to pay an annual retention fee of $40 (£30) or attend enough training courses to continue working, local daily The Star reports.

    The paper also quotes the medical board as saying that some health workers had complied with all legal requirements but did not update their details on an online portal.

  11. Zimbabwe celebrates independence amid economic crisis

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses a crowd in an area hit days earlier by Cyclone Idai, on March 20, 2019 in Chipinge, Zimbabwe.
    Image caption: President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government is battling to turn the economy around

    Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are expected to turn out for celebrations to mark 39 years of independence from minority rule.

    Long-time former leader Robert Mugabe will not attend the celebrations, as he is receiving medical treatment in Singapore.

    While there will be military parades and cultural performances, celebrations will be dampened by an economic downturn. The price of bread doubled this week, amid warnings of the first recession in a decade.

    On the eve of the celebrations, President Emmerson Mnangagwa assured the nation that change will come, but not overnight.

    Just 18 months into his presidency, he is struggling to meet the huge expectations of a restless nation.

    Read: The 'crocodile' who snapped back

  12. UN evacuates 180 migrants from Libya

    Migrants in Libya
    Image caption: Libya is a major transit point for people trying to reach Europe

    The UN refugee agency says it has evacuated nearly 180 migrants from a detention centre close to the area of fighting in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

    The agency said the operation was carried out amid crossfire.

    People relocated from the Abu Salim centre were among its most vulnerable detainees - including women and children. There's grave concern for those still in the facility.

    The fighting is between forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar and militia groups loosely aligned with the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

    Read: Who is Khalifa Haftar?

  13. Brothers of Sudan's ousted president 'detained'

    BBC World Service

    Protesters in Sudan
    Image caption: Demonstrators have vowed to remain on the streets until civilian rule is established

    Sudan's military government has said two brothers of ousted President Omar al-Bashir have been arrested.

    A military spokesman said this was part of a campaign to round up "symbols of the previous regime".

    He added that irregular militias linked to the former ruling party had been brought under police or military control.

    Earlier, the BBC was told by military sources and relatives of Mr Bashir that the former president was himself in prison in the capital, Khartoum - six days after being overthrown.

    Protesters say they will stay on the streets until the military generals now in charge hand over to a civilian-led administration.

    Read: Why Bashir was overthrown?

  14. Thursday's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch. If one says no to the other, let his wing break." from An Igbo proverb from Nigeria sent by Kachi, Phoenix, US.
    An Igbo proverb from Nigeria sent by Kachi, Phoenix, US.
    Illustration

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  15. Good morning

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

  16. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    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.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: A person who praises himself is like a she-goat that drinks its own milk." from A Somali proverb sent by Dennis Ochieng, Garissa, Kenya.
    A Somali proverb sent by Dennis Ochieng, Garissa, Kenya.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo by Nader Saadallah from Kafr el-Dawar in the Egyptian countryside:

    View more on instagram
  17. 'Protesters won't move until they get real change'

    The BBC's Alastair Leithead has witnessed the protests in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, almost a week after Omar al-Bashir was ousted.

    Demonstrations are continuing as people demand that a civilian administration leads the transition period.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Sudan protesters won't move until they get real change'
  18. Uganda has a new musical instrument

    Feeling limited by the adungu, a musical instrument traditionally played in Uganda, musician James Ssewakiryanga, commonly known as Ssewa Ssewa, decided he wanted something different.

    Improving on the original wasn't enough so he set off building a new string instrument from scratch.

    The janzi was born. It sounds a bit like a guitar, but it offers much richer tones, thanks to its 22 strings.

    It requires more dexterity to play, and according to its inventor, the janzi can do all that a piano can do. The BBC's Dear Jeanne reports.

    Video content

    Video caption: The Janzi is a string instrument invented by Ugandan musician Ssewa Ssewa
  19. 'Alarming malnutrition rates' in southern Ethiopia

    Medical charity MSF has raised the alarm over malnutrition rates amongst tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in southern Ethiopia.

    In March, in one local government area, MSF teams saw rates of malnutrition amongst children to be "well above the emergency threshold". They also saw a high number of malnourished pregnant women.

    “The camps are overcrowded and in extremely poor conditions. The people living there are at risk from outbreaks of epidemics. Their health is very vulnerable after being forced to move so many times,” said Markus Boening, MSF field coordinator in the area.

    Up to a million people were forced from their homes by ethnic clashes last year. Some of those have returned, but many still live in IDP camps.

    MSF is now working with local authorities focusing on improving nutrition.

  20. Bashir faces 'rudimentary conditions' in prison

    We've been reporting that Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir has been moved to Kobar maximum security prison, but what is the prison actually like?

    Sudan analyst Alex de Waal has visited Kobar and has been telling BBC Focus on Africa radio what conditions are like in this colonial-era building, which has become the main place for political prisoners.

    The infrastructure has not been updated since it was built, Mr de Waal said.

    "The cells are very rudimentary, it is a very basic form of accommodation, there is no air conditioning or running water."

    Nevertheless, the prison has a reputation for treating the inmates well and not subjecting them to random violence, he added.

    Demonstrators
    Image caption: Omar al-Bashir was ousted last week after weeks of demonstrations