1. German chancellor begins three-nation Africa tour

    BBC World Service

    The Newsroom

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
    Image caption: Olaf Scholz became chancellor of Germany in December

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is on a three-day tour of Senegal, Niger and South Africa - his first trip to Africa since his election.

    Germany is hoping to reduce its reliance on Russian energy, following the invasion of Ukraine.

    Senegal is expected to become a major gas producer in the region.

    Mr Scholz will also visit a solar power plant there.

    Germany has invited Senegal, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the African Union, and South Africa to attend the G7 summit it is hosting in June.

    Mr Scholz will visit German troops in Niger and discuss the lengthy battle against jihadists.

    Niger has taken on a bigger role hosting European special forces since European relations with the military junta ruling neighbouring Mali deteriorated.

  2. Idrissa Gueye trends globally amid homophobia row

    Idriss Gueye
    Image caption: Idriss Gueye has not yet commented on the fall out

    #WeareallIdrissa is a top global trend after people online have been tweeting in support of Senegalese Paris St Germain football player, Idrissa Gana Gueye, after he refused to play for this team wearing a shirt with numbers displayed in Pride colours BBC Sports understands.

    On Tuesday French clubs had been invited to mark 17 May's International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

    Many of the tweets highlight the 32-year-old's Muslim faith and comment on the legality in the West to criticise Islam or the Quran but what they view as the perceived lack of freedom to oppose homosexuality.

    However, the hashtag is also being used to spread homophobic content. Many online are angry about Gueye's reported actions and are calling it insulting and homophobic.

    Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal and punishable by prison sentences of up to five years.

    The French Football Federation (FFF) has reportedly written to Gueye to clarify why he was absent from PSG's Saturday match against Montpellier, according to the AFP news agency.

    They want him to issue and apology, or say the rumours as to why he missed Saturday's game are unfounded.

    The letter reportedly adds if he did refuse to play he would be "validating discriminatory behaviour".

    Meanwhile PSG said that they were "very proud" to wear Pride shirts.

    Initially PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said only that Gueye missed the game for "personal reasons".

    BBC Sport has approached Gueye's representatives for comment.

    Read more: Idrissa Gueye refuses to wear PSG shirt featuring rainbow symbol

  3. Senegal leader backs PSG's Gueye in rainbow jersey row

    Idrissa Gueye of PSG celebrates victory
    Image caption: Idrissa Gueye was in Senegal's squad that won the Africa Cup of Nation in February 2022

    Senegalese President Macky Sall has expressed support for Paris Saint-Germain and Senegalese player Idrissa Gueye amid reports the footballer refused to wear a rainbow-coloured number on the back of his jersey.

    Last weekend, players in France wore them to show support for the LGBTQ movement, French state-owned broadcaster France 24 reports.

    It quotes PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino as citing “personal reasons" for the player's absence from the field.

    The reports have sparked criticism about Gueye, who is a devout Muslim. He has not reacted to the reports.

    The case has seen Valerie Pecresse, a candidate at the French presidential election last month, call for sanctions against the player.

    "A refusal by Idrissa Gana Gueye to join the fight against homophobia could not remain without sanction!" she tweeted.

    But in a tweet, President Sall said the player's "religious convictions must be respected".

    View more on twitter

    Many Senegalese people are deeply religious, and those in same-sex relationships are often forced to hide their sexuality.

    Homosexual acts are banned in the West African country. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $2,500 (£1,500).

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Sales of male grooming products surge in Africa

    African men are investing more and more money in their appearance.

  5. Senegal's president wants to regulate social media

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Macky Sall
    Image caption: The president said social media was the "real cancer of modern societies"

    Senegal's President Macky Sall has said he plans to regulate social media in the West African nation, describing it as a "a real cancer of modern societies".

    “No organised society can accept what is happening here today. We are going to put an end to it, one way or another,” local media quoted him as saying.

    Political tensions during local elections in January led to fears of widespread violence via online mobilisation.

    This followed the case last year of main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who was accused of rape. His arrest led to rare mass anti-government protests in which at least 13 people killed and several others injured.

    Protesters demonstrate against the arrest of Barthelemy Diaz, Ousmane Sonko and Malick Gakou in Dakar - 10 November 2021
    Image caption: The protests over Ousmane Sonko reflected broader economic discontent amongst the young

    Journalists also spoke out about receiving online and physical abuse for reporting the rape allegations.

    There are fears that legal measures could be used to crack down on youths using social media to mobilise demonstrations against Mr Sall's administration.

  6. Senegal begins new offensive in Casamance

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Senegalese soldiers
    Image caption: Separatists have been fighting for an independent Casamance for 40 years

    Senegal has launched an offensive against separatist rebels in the southern region of Casamance.

    The military is bombarding the bases of Salif Sadio, who leads an MFDC faction.

    Local media say civilians are fleeing the area. Four Senegalese soldiers were killed and seven captured during fighting with the MFDC in January near the border with The Gambia. The seven hostages were later released.

    There has been a low-level separatist conflict in Casamance for the past 40 years.

  7. Senegal says post on Ukraine war volunteers illegal

    Ukrainian soldiers in Kyiv, Ukraine
    Image caption: Fighting between Ukraine and Russian forces has entered its ninth day

    Senegal's foreign ministry has said a Facebook post by Ukraine's embassy that called on Senegalese volunteers to enlist in the fight against Russia was illegal.

    In a statement, the ministry said recruitment of volunteers, mercenaries and other foreign fighters was illegal in the country and punishable by law.

    Ukrainian ambassador Yurii Pyvovarov was summoned to the ministry to explain Thursday's post. After verifying its legitimacy, he was asked to take it down, the statement said.

    It did not mention if further action would be taken.

    The Dakar Actu news website quoted the Ukrainian ambassador as saying that 36 Senegalese had applied to be enlisted following the publication of the post .

    Senegal was among 17 African countries that abstained from voting at the UN General Assembly on a resolution deploring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling for the immediate withdrawal of its forces.

  8. Six African nations to get mRNA vaccine technology

    BBC World Service

    A healthcare worker prepares to administer a Covid-19 vaccine.

    The World Health Organization has announced that six African countries will be given the revolutionary mRNA technology to set up their own vaccine production centres - helping the continent acquire self-reliance against the Covid pandemic.

    Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia will get the technology used in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs developed in Europe.

    The Senegalese president said the aim was to have 60% of vaccines administered in Africa produced in Africa as well.

    In the future, the new African vaccine hub might also produce jabs for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

    A ceremony marking the mRNA technology transfer will be held later in Brussels at a summit between the European Union and the African Union.

  9. Senegalese separatists release captured soldiers

    Nicolas Negoce

    BBC News

    A separatist belonging to the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) looks on during the release of seven captured Senegalese soldiers at an abandoned settlement, Baipal in Gambia
    Image caption: The separatist rebels released the Senegalese soldiers on Monday

    Separatist rebels in Senegal’s southern Casamance region have released seven soldiers who they captured last month.

    The soldiers were captured on 24 January during a clash with the MFDC separatists, in which four other soldiers were killed.

    They were handed over to a representative of the West African regional bloc Ecowas in The Gambia on Monday, according to a statement by the Senegalese army.

    The Senegalese army said that the soldiers appeared to be in good health.

    The troops had been part of Ecowas peacekeeping mission deployed in The Gambia for the past five years.

    The Senegalese army said they had been captured in The Gambia - denying allegations that they were seized by the rebels after crossing to Casamance to pursue the separatists.

    The Casamance region, which has a distinct culture and language, has been at the centre of a long-running conflict.

    It is is separated geographically from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia River.

    Illustration of Casamance
  10. EU pledges $170bn investment for Africa

    BBC World Service

    The European Union has pledged a $170bn (£125bn) investment programme for Africa.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told her Senegalese hosts in Dakar that it was the first regional plan under the EU’s new Global Gateway initiative to support public and private sector infrastructure in developing countries.

    It is seen as a counterpoise to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

  11. Senegal's football team get land and cash prizes

    Senegal's president also praised the national football coach, Aliou Cissé, for his efforts
    Image caption: Senegal president praised the national football coach, Aliou Cissé

    Senegal has rewarded each member of the national football team with cash prizes and plots of land following their win at the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Each team member received more than $87,000 (£64,000) and plots in the capital, Dakar, and in the neighbouring Diamniadio city during a ceremony at the presidential palace.

    President Macky Sall also appointed the team to the Senegal’s prestigious Order of the Lion, with fans cheering outside the gates.

    The president had earlier thanked the team for reaching the “summit of Africa” and for bringing “pride and honour that marks great people”.

    He also praised the team's coach, Aliou Cissé.

    Senegal defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalties, becoming the tournament champions for the first time in their history.

    Read more:

  12. Senegal's president eulogises the Teranga Lions

    Senegal President Macky Sall (C) holds the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) trophy flanked by Senegal coach Aliou Cisse (L) and Sengal Captain Kalidou Koubaly upon arrival in Dakar on February 7, 2022.
    Image caption: The president has been paying tribute to Senegal's footballers and coach

    Overjoyed fans in Senegal continue to celebrate the national football team after they brought home the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) trophy for the first time.

    Earlier on Tuesday President Macky Sall told players they had reached the "summit of Africa", saying:

    Quote Message: Here you are, on top of Africa. Thanks to your fighting spirit, your talent and your commitment, you have brought back to us the pride and honour that marks great people."

    Senegal's president also praised the national football coach, Aliou Cissé, for his efforts:

    Quote Message: Thank you to coach Aliou 'El Tactico'. As I said, he doesn't talk much, he doesn't make noise, but he is efficient, and he brought us the Africa Cup with his valiant team. Thank you, from all those who were with you. Through quiet strength and imperturbable serenity, you have shown your qualities as a leader of men."

    Read more:

  13. Video content

    Video caption: Afcon 2021: A hero's welcome for the Senegal team

    Ecstatic revellers in Dakar celebrated the team winning the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.