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Summary

  1. Medical association calls it a gross misrepresentation
  2. US won't lift Sudan sanctions until military transfers power
  3. Mozambique braces for Cyclone Kenneth
  4. China 'cancels interest on Ethiopian loans'
  5. DR Congo gunmen say health workers 'brought Ebola'
  6. Canadians sentenced to lashings 'freed'
  7. Egyptian voters back constitutional changes
  8. US dilutes UN rape-in-war resolution

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We’ll be back on Thursday

    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: Above the head there is nothing to stroke." from A Somali proverb sent by Mohamed Muhumed Hassan, Nairobi, Kenya.
    A Somali proverb sent by Mohamed Muhumed Hassan, Nairobi, Kenya.

    And we leave you with this birds-eye view from southern Angola:

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  2. British man guilty on bomb charge in Kenya

    Jermaine Grant

    A British man accused of helping to plan terrorist attacks in Kenya has been found guilty of possession of bomb-making materials.

    The magistrate in Mombasa acquitted him of conspiracy to commit a felony.

    Jermaine Grant, from east London, was arrested in 2011 and is already serving a nine-year sentence for forging documents in an attempt to obtain Kenyan citizenship.

    Prosecutors argued that he had planned a bombing campaign against hotels popular with foreign tourists.

    Prosecutors had previously said that a British woman, Samantha Lewthwaite, was also wanted in connection with the same plot.

    Known as "the white widow" she has not been arrested.

    Jermaine Grant will be sentenced next month.

  3. South Africa floods: Father loses entire family

    Thamsanqa Dlamini

    A South African man told the BBC he lost his entire family in the floods in KwaZulu-Natal province.

    Thamsanqa Dlamini told BBC Focus on Africa that he lost eight family members when a mudslide swallowed their home.

    He said that he heard a loud bang first before water came "gushing" into their house through the wall.

    "I heard my children screaming from the bedroom," he recalled.

    "I tried to rush to help them but the strong water current forcefully pushed me into another room and I was under the collapsed wall.

    "I remember hearing the screams of the children, neighbours tried to get us out but we couldn't save the children."

    Read more: Death toll after Durban rains rises to 60

  4. Kargbo among those handed Fifa life bans

    Ibrahim Kargbo
    Image caption: Former national captain Ibrahim Kargbo represented Sierra Leone between 2000 and 2013

    Former Sierra Leone captain Ibrahim Kargbo is one of four Africans to have been banned from football for life for match manipulation by Fifa.

    Joining Kargbo are former internationals Seidath Tchomogo from Benin (2003-13) and Hellings Mwakasungula of Malawi (2004-2011).

    A 10-year ban was also given to former Kenya international George Owino Audi.

    Football's world governing body said the bans related to attempted match manipulation of international games.

    However, Fifa refused to give the details of the matches in question as it also issued a fourth life ban to a players' agent from Zimbabwe, Kudzanai Shaba.

    Read more on the BBC African football website.

  5. Why is chocolate not produced in cocoa’s heartland?

    Louise Dewast

    Cocoa pod
    Image caption: This cocoa grew in Ivory coast. So why aren't chocolate bars made in the country?

    Ivory Coast and Ghana grow more than half of the world’s cocoa beans but they barely get a look in on the chocolate industry.

    The global chocolate industry is worth aproximately $100bn but African producers make only around 8% of that, according to the International Cocoa Organisation.

    Two entrepreneurs who are trying to make chocolate in the countries where the beans are grown gave me an insight into the barriers they face.

    Axel Emmanuel makes 12 tonnes of chocolate a year in his factory in Ivory Coast, but wants to expand to make 100 tonnes a year.

    He told me that the bank just didn’t consider chocolate something worth investing in.

    “We had an email from [the British Supermaket] Tesco - they also want it! But I showed it to the bank, but the bank don’t believe in the project. They say there isn’t a market for chocolate. They are not ready to invest.”

    Another challenge is that the demand for chocolate in the places that cocoa grows, is still quite low.

    Sisters Kim and Priscilla Addison started their own production line in Ghana because they couldn’t understand why chocolate was being imported:

    “Chocolate is imported, dog food is imported, tomatoes are imported, things that we can even grow here are imported and we couldn’t understand why being such a fertile country, rich in resources, rich in potential, we were relying heavily on imports, relying on other countries to feed us,” Kim told me.

    But once they started making the chocolate, they found that the majority of their customers were outside of the country.

    “We get a lot of orders from the United States we get a lot of orders from Europe from places like the UK and Germany, we got orders from Japan, one of our most unique orders was actually from Syria.”

  6. Egyptian voters back constitutional changes

    Sisi poster in crowd

    Egyptians have overwhelmingly approved in a referendum constitutional changes that could allow President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.

    The National Election Authority said 88.8% of those who took part endorsed the proposals. The turnout was 44.3%.

    Mr Sisi's second term has been extended from four to six years, and he will be allowed to seek one more term in 2024.

    The changes also expand the military's power to intervene in politics and give Mr Sisi more power over the judiciary.

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  7. Boeing reports 20% fall in profits after Ethiopia crash

    Crashed plane in Ethiopia
    Image caption: Some 157 people died when the Boeing plane went down six minutes after take off from Ethiopia

    The US plane maker Boeing has reported a 20% fall in profits for the first quarter of the year because of lower deliveries of its 737-Max.

    It's also withdrawn its profits forecast for 2019, as it scrambles to get the model back in the air following two deadly accidents.

    The company said it would be issuing a new forecast when it has more clarity around the issues surrounding the plane involved in crashes in Ethiopia in March and in Indonesia last October.

    Some 157 people died last month when the Boeing 737-Max 8 went down six minutes after take off on a flight from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

    The model has been grounded while Boeing tries to correct the automated flight control system blamed for the crashes.

  8. Billions of dollars of gold ‘smuggled to UAE’

    Gold
    Image caption: There are fears artisanal miners have given way to large-scale criminal syndicates

    Billions of dollars' worth of gold is being smuggled out of Africa every year through the United Arab Emirates, an investigations by Reuters news agency has found.

    Reuters uses customs data which it is says shows that the UAE imported much more gold from some African countries than those countries said they had exported – to a sum of 67 tonnes in 2016.

    Industrial mining firms in Africa told Reuters they did not send their gold to the UAE - indicating that its gold imports from Africa come from informal sources.

    Informal sources are now "large-scale and dangerous" operations run by foreign-controlled criminal syndicates, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo is quoted as telling a mining conference in February.

    The UAE foreign ministry and the federal customs authority did not respond to Reuters.

    The news agency points out that some of the discrepancies can be legitimately explained - as a result of shipping costs and taxes being declared differently, a time-lag between a cargo leaving and arriving, or simply mistakes. And some could be recycled gold.

  9. Ghana launches medicine drones

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Drone

    Ghana has launched a drone delivery service to deliver medicine to remote parts of the country that are hard to reach by road.

    President Nana Akufo-Addo described the initiative as a major step towards giving every Ghanaian access to life-saving medicine.

    nurse
    Image caption: A nurse carried a vaccine delivery to the new drone service

    A US-based company, Zipline, is behind the project and is due to be paid $12m (£9m) for running the service for the next four years.

    Some opposition politicians have opposed the project, arguing that the money would be better spent on clinics and ambulances.

    The company is already running a similar service in Rwanda.

  10. Death toll rises in Durban floods

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    At least 60 people have been confirmed dead following heavy rains and flooding in South Africa’s coastal town of Durban and surrounding areas.

    Homes and schools were flooded during torrential rains which began over the Easter weekend.

    A number of bodies were discovered under the rubble when rescue operations got under way on Tuesday night.

    The death toll is expected to rise as several people remain unaccounted for.

    The raging floods damaged at least two universities, businesses and homes - while hundreds of people have been displaced.

    Meanwhile, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has been visiting families who lost their loved ones.

    He also laid at wreath at a place where eight family members died due to mudslides:

    View more on twitter

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  11. Labour minister says Nigeria has enough doctors

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Nigeria’s labour minister says he’s not concerned by doctors moving abroad in search of work because the country has enough medical personnel.

    Speaking of the problem of the so-called brain drain, the minister argued that Nigeria had too many doctors, and could afford to export their talents.

    Dr Chris Ngige’s comments have caused controversy in Nigeria - and he was one of the top trending topics on social media on Wednesday.

    Speaking on Channels TV, the labour minister said it was normal for a country with a surplus of any of goods and services, to export them.

    He compared the practice to his Indian science teachers in school, who he claimed moved to Nigeria because their country had a surplus of teachers.

    But the medical association says this is a gross misrepresentation of the situation on the ground.

    A representative for the organisation told the BBC that the country had a severe shortage of doctors in its health system.

    A recent report by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation found that on average, an African country spends between $21,000 (£16,000) and $59,000 training a medical doctor.

    Nigeria was one of nine countries listed in the report that have lost more than $2bn since 2010 from training doctors who then migrated.

    The foundation estimates that Africa loses around $2bn each year through brain drain in the health sector alone.

  12. US won't lift Sudan sanctions until military transfers power

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan
    Image caption: Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan promised the army wouldn't be violent against protesters

    The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of African Affairs has called on the Sudanese military to transfer power to a civilian administration as soon as possible.

    Makila James said addressing the issue of removing Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism could only begin once the military had handed over power.

    Ms James was speaking to the BBC after meeting the head of Sudan's transitional military council, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan.

    She described the general as very sincere and responsive to the people's demand for a civilian government.

    On Tuesday Lt-Gen Burhan said the army would not use force against protesters.

  13. Mozambique braces for Cyclone Kenneth

    Little more than a month after Cyclone Idai, Kenneth threatens Mozambique though landfall will be much further north. BBC weatherman Matt Taylor reports on the latest forecast:

    Video content

    Video caption: Cyclone Kenneth due to make landfall in Mozambique but further north than Idai
  14. Sudanese protesters 'call for a million to march'

    Sudanese protesters sit during a protest outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum on April 22, 2019
    Image caption: Protesters have been outside the military HQ since 6 April

    Sudanese protest leaders are calling for a million people to march on Thursday to demand the military council hand power over to a civilian administration, reports AFP news agency.

    This has been the central demand of protesters since the army ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

    A mass sit-in outside the military headquarters has been taking place since 6 April.

    Five days later Mr Bashir was overthrown and replaced by a military council that promised it would relinquish power to civilians within two years.

    The proposal was rejected by protesters who accuse the military of being "remnants" of the ousted long-time ruler.

    Leaders of the protest movement, led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, have suspended transition talks and co-operation with the military because they doubt its sincerity to hand over power.

  15. China 'cancels interest on Ethiopian loans'

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Train in Ethiopia
    Image caption: Ethiopia borrowed money to build a railway

    The Ethiopian authorities say China has cancelled the interest on all loans that were taken out before the end of last year.

    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office made the announcement following a meeting with President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

    Researchers estimate that since 2000 Ethiopia has borrowed more than $12bn (£9bn) from China - including £4bn for a railway linking the land locked country with Djibouti.

    The fact that the amount of interest owed has not been made public is a key concern of anti-debt campaigners.

    They are calling for loans to be transparent as many African countries have been burdened with unsustainable debts.

  16. DR Congo gunmen say health workers 'brought Ebola'

    Medical stuff and an Ebola survivor treat Ebola patient Ibrahim Mupalalo inside the Biosecure Emergency Care Unit (CUBE) at the ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) Ebola treatment centre in Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, March 31, 2019. Picture taken March 31, 2019.
    Image caption: More than 1,000 people have contracted Ebola in the current outbreak

    A senior official with the World Health Organization (WHO) has described how gunmen stormed a hospital in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, accusing health workers of bringing Ebola to the country, and shooting dead a Cameroon doctor.

    Dr Michel Yao, WHO's Ebola response coordinator in DR Congo, said epidemiologist Richard Kiboung was chairing a meeting when two men entered a room at Butembo University Hospital, ordering health workers to lie on the floor and robbing them of their belongings.

    Dr Yao said the gunmen then shot dead Dr Kiboung.

    He quoted a colleague who was in the same room with the epidemiologist as saying the gunmen "were complaining about how we brought Ebola".

    Dr Kiboung had been sent there by WHO in response to the Ebola epidemic and he leaves behind four young children and his wife.

    The WHO official said Dr Kiboung was a great leader who was very committed to serving his patients.

    Several health workers at treatment centres in DR Congo have been attacked since the current outbreak started in August.

    A survey in Ebola-hit areas of DR Congo has shown more than a quarter of people do not believe the disease exists.

    A journalist tweeted a picture of Dr Kiboung on Monday:

    View more on twitter

    Read: UK doctor tells of fighting Ebola in DR Congo

  17. More than 200 rescued from human traffickers

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Children's feet
    Image caption: Most of the victims were children

    Almost 220 victims of human trafficking have been rescued by police in Benin and Nigeria, in an operation coordinated by the International police agency Interpol.

    Those affected include 157 children aged between 11 and 16 and the victims were from Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo.

    Many of the rescued minors were moved across the border between Nigeria and Benin as "merchandise" and made to work in markets, or as housemaids, according to Interpol.

    Some were the victims of sexual exploitation.

    The police found a boy who had been forced to carry bags of rice weighing up to 40kg (88lb) across the border between Nigeria and Benin.

    The victims were rescued in the first half of April.

    About 100 officers carried out raids and identity checks at markets, air and sea ports, as well as in settlements at the border between Nigeria and Benin.

    Some 47 people have been arrested, and their possessions seized.

    The operation was part of an Interpol Global Task force, set up to increase international cooperation in combating human trafficking.

  18. Comoros closes airports ahead of Cyclone Kenneth

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    A Comoran woman walks by the Harbour on March 25, 2019 in Moroni, Comoros.
    Image caption: Schools and airports are shut as Comoros islanders anticipate Cyclone Kenneth

    Comoran authorities have closed their airports for at least 24 hours as a precautionary measure against the expected arrival of a cyclone, reports privately owned Comores Infos news website.

    Schools have also also been closed, it adds.

    The Comoros islands have been on a cyclone alert since Tuesday. The north of Grand Comore island is on the path of the severe tropical storm, which is expected to turn into a cyclone later today.

    We reported on Tuesday that AccuWeather said the storm - which will be named Kenneth - could also hit Mozambique and Tanzania.

    People in parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe are still reeling from the after-effects of Cyclone Idai which, according to the Disasters Emergency Committee, killed at least 960 people and left some three million in need of humanitarian assistance.

  19. Sisi's win sends 'I am your God' message

    Poster with Egypt's leader
    Image caption: Abdul Fattah al-Sisi took power in a coup in 2013

    Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has sent the message that "I am your God" after the election commission announced on Wednesday that 88% of voters had approved changes to the constitution that could allow him to stay in power until 2030, Cairo University political analyst Hassan Nafaa has told AFP news agency.

    The amendments would also give the president new powers over the judiciary.

    Mr Nafaa said:

    Quote Message: "What is coming is extremely bad.
    Quote Message: It gives the message that I am your God and no-one will come near the throne as long as I'm in power.
    Quote Message: How can a constitution be changed to tailor-fit one person?"

    Read: Paying the price for seeking freedom in Egypt

  20. Sudan protests: The women driving change

    Student Alaa Salah became a protest icon after a video of her leading chants against former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir went viral.

    The 22-year-old, dressed in white, earned the nickname "The Nubian Queen".

    She talked to the BBC about her unexpected fame after she went to demonstrate against the country’s former leader.

    And long-time Sudanese activist Balghis Badri tells of her surprise at the wider role of women in shaping those protests.

    Video content

    Video caption: Sudan protests: The women driving change