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  1. Malawians boycott South African chain stores
  2. Niger begins mass meningitis vaccination campaign
  3. Three UN workers kidnapped in DR Congo
  4. Togo world's unhappiest country, says study

Live Reporting

By Lucy Fleming and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight - we'll be back next week

That concludes our Africa Live coverage for this week. Download the

Africa Today podcast and visit for the latest news on the continent.

And we leave you with this photo from

our week in pictures of muddy schoolgirls in Zimbabwe performing during independence celebrations at the national sports stadium in the capital, Harare.

Girls with muddy uniforms marching in the rain at Harare's national sports stadium, Zimbabwe - Saturday 18 April 2015

'Fruitful discussions'

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says he has held "fruitful discussions with representatives of foreign nationals" over the xenophobic violence.

He has just released a statement saying that he "reaffirmed the South African government position that the overwhelming majority of South Africans are not xenophobic".

Hackathon winners


BBC News Labs

tweets the winners from their hackathon in the South African city of Cape Town. They were tasked with coming up with apps ideas that use BBC content:

"Winning an award for best incorporation of BBC content in a daily routine: @eNCAnews #bbcconnected"

Hay days in South Sudan

This photo comes from Leer in South Sudan, where the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza has returned a year after he found the entire place almost destroyed by aerial bombardments.

People carrying hay

Listen to his report on Focus on Africa

on BBC World Service now.

Mohamed Moalimu

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

Al-Shabab has publicly executed a man this afternoon in Somalia for insulting Prophet Muhammad, the first time the Islamist militant group has done so.

Witnesses said hundreds of people watched the execution by a firing squad, whose faces were covered, in Jamame town in Lower Juba region, near Kismayo. The al-Shabab judge said the man had pleaded guilty at his trial.


Tourism minister arrested

Janet Onyango

BBC Monitoring

Romaric Vomitiade, the Central African Republic's minister for tourism, has been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo on charges of raping a 16-year-old,

reports UN-backed Radio Okapi.

He was released briefly from police custody in CAR to seek medical treatment and had fled to DR Congo crossing the Ubangi River, the Congolese justice minister said.

Ubangi River
Getty Images
The Ubangi River acts as a natural border between DR Congo and the CAR

Operation Mummy’s Curse

This 2,300-year-old sarcophagus is one of the 123 artefacts which have arrived in Egypt's capital, Cairo, today. They had been smuggled into the US.

Greco-Roman sarcophagus that bears the hieroglyphic inscription "Lady of the House" during a press conference at the airport in Cairo, Egypt, 24 April 2015

US immigration seized the artefacts as part of "Operation Mummy's Curse", a five-year investigation targeting an international criminal network.

The Cairo Post reports Egypt's political turmoil since January 2011 has left the country's cultural heritage vulnerable to looting.

'Failing Libya'

UK opposition leader Ed Miliband has accused Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders of failing to stand by Libya, contributing in part to the crisis in the Mediterranean.

He said the UK had repeated the same mistakes "in post-conflict planning" for Libya as were made in Iraq and the current refugee situation should have been anticipated. Mr Cameron called the remarks "ill-judged".

An Italian forensic police officer holds a numbered tag as he identifies a man who disembarked from the Italian Coast Guard ship Fiorilloat the Catania harbor, Sicily, southern Italy, Friday 24 April 2015
Italian police register a migrant arriving today in Sicily

Betting tips?

Ed Harry

BBC Sport

For this weekend's London Marathon, everyone will be focused on the showdown between two Kenyans: world record holder Dennis Kimetto and the man whose record he took, Wilson Kipsang.

But I think Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge could be the man to watch - he's been a revelation since stepping up from the track to the marathon distance.

Eliud Kipchoge
Getty Images
Could Eliud Kipchoge take the men's title?

In the women's race, three of the Kenyans taking part have won London before, but the one who hasn't could surprise her compatriots. Florence Kiplagat has recently set a new world record for the half marathon and this Sunday could be her's for the taking.

Florence Kiplagat
Getty Images
And could Florence Kiplagat surprise her compatriots?

Style it out

BBC Africa's week in pictures features an event of African fashion designers in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

Designs from Xuly Bet from Mali (l), Jamil Walji from Kenya (c) and Cameroonian Imane Ayissi (r) were all being modelled.

Models wearing designs from Mali's Xuly Bet (l), Kenya's Jamil Walji (c) and of Cameroon's Imane Ayissi (r) in Sao Paulo, Friday 17 April 2015

Tripoli police arresting migrants

A Ghanaian man in Tripoli contacted BBC's Outside Source on WhatsApp to describe the situation facing African migrants in the Libyan capital.

He says earlier this week the authorities there started arresting them on the streets.

Members of the Libyan police forces inspect some 250 detained migrants at the Abu Salim detention centre in Gasr GarabullLibya, 21 April 2015

Some had been standing under bridges waiting to be picked up for casual work.

But the Ghanaian, whose name is being withheld because of safety concerns, says the migrant camps are full and a friend of his managed to escape.

War crimes court

A move to set up a special criminal court to deal with war crimes since 2003 in the Central Africa Republic has been welcomed by rights groups.

The transitional MPs showed when they passed the law earlier this week "that 'enough is enough' with impunity and showed that they firmly stand on the side of justice for the victims who lost their lives or suffered atrocities", the 23 groups said in a statement.

Peacekeepers in Bangui in December 2014
Peacekeepers had to be deployed last year to halt violence between Christians and Muslims communities in CAR

'We are Africa' app

A anti-xenophobia mobile app has been developed to allow people to report violence or incitement without revealing the user's identity,

reports the South African government's news agency.

It is called We Are Africa and will automatically capture the geographic location of the user.

Demonstrators carry placards during a march against xenophobia in downtown Johannesburg, 23 April 2015
Thousands demonstrated against xenophobic violence in Johannesburg on Thursday

Place of exile

More pictures of the Ashanti king's entourage in Seychelles sitting and relaxing in a hotel lobby. The Ghanaian monarch is in the Indian Ocean archipelago as a special guest for this weekend's carnival.

Ashanti entourage in Seychelles
Ashanti entourage in a Seychelles hotel

The BBC's Jason Boswell, who took this shots, says 120 years ago the Ashanti royal family was exiled to the island nation by the British.

Images of Ebola

Pictures of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia by US photographer John Moore have been selected from more than 180,000 entries to win this year's L'Iris D'Or Sony World Photography Award.

Mr Moore spent four weeks taking pictures the outbreak which included this picture of a burial team praying before collecting a body.

Burial team
Getty Images

In pictures: Sony World Photography Awards 2015

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Leer, South Sudan

Warring parties in South Sudan should allow food to get to nearly 3.5 million people who are facing starvation, aid agencies say.

The European Commission's Christos Stylianides is in Leer and says leaders are not doing enough to end 16 months of conflict; fighting has flared up again in some areas.

A woman separates grain from soil after collecting seeds spilt from bags that burst open during an aerial food-drop over a field at a village in Nyal, an administrative hub of Panyijar county in Unity state, South Sudan - February 2015
Many people in South Sudan are now dependent on food aid because of the crisis

Thousands of people have been displaced in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state, after ethnic clashes erupted between two factions of the government forces.

The UN says control of the town is now divided.

'My failed attempt to stay in Spain'

Twenty-seven-year-old Saer Tambedou from Senegal attempted the journey to Spain by boat in 2008.

Saer Tambedou

"You see dead bodies on high seas. That's when I started crying. I told myself that if I had known better I would have never come," he told

Focus on Africa on BBC World service, which is on air now.

He was deported by cargo plane 18 days after his arrival in Spain. He is now a street vendor in Dakar.

Saer Tambedou

Mass meningitis vaccine campaign


has begun a mass vaccination campaign as it struggles to control a meningitis outbreak that has now killed 129 people.

People queuing for the vaccination
It was a shortage of vaccines to treat the current strain that caused the outbreak to spread

Health Minister Mano Aghali announced on public radio that the death toll had risen from 85 in less than a week.

Militant amnesty extended

Odhiambo Joseph

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya has extended for a further 14 days the amnesty period for those who have joined the Somali-based Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

A 10-day amnesty was offered earlier this month following the deadly attack on Garissa University College.

Relatives hold portraits of those killed at Garissa University College, as they wait to retrieve their bodies in Nairobi, 9 April 2015
Of the 148 people who died in the Garissa attack earlier this month, 142 were students

Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said those surrendering should report to government offices in Nairobi, Mombasa and Garissa.

But his statement does not say if there are any who have so far given themselves up.

Letter from inside an Ethiopian jail

A letter smuggled out of an Addis Ababa prison from Ethiopian blogger Natnael Feleke, has been published by the

the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Addressing US Secretary of State John Kerry, who he met in 2013: "I told you that I was risking a lot merely by expressing my thoughts freely. At that time, my arrest was only an abstract possibility."

Mr Natnael is among a group of six bloggers and three journalists, known as the Zone 9 bloggers, who have been in prison for a year. They were charged with terrorism offences in July.

Will Yaya stay or will he go?

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure is happy at English Premier League club Manchester City despite reports he is seeking "new challenges",

according to manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure
Getty Images
Toure has played over 150 games for Manchester City since joining from Barcelona in 2010

Toure, 31, has two years left on his contract but prompted speculation about his future by describing Paris St-Germain as "a great club" in an interview with a website in France.

Shut up shops

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani has sent in photos of South African stores that are closed for business today in Malawi because of a boycott against South African products by activists angered by the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Security is tight, in case of trouble:

Security outside a South African supermarket in Blantyre, Malawi

And those behind the campaign went around Blantyre in a truck protesting:

Boycott activists in Blantyre, Malawi
Boycott activists in Blantyre, Malawi

Thriving trade

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

It may be "Black Friday" in Malawi, but here in Zimbabwe South African supermarkets are not suffering from a boycott call over the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Pick n Pay in Harare

A manager at Pick n Pay in Harare added that business was generally good "despite the cash crunch in the market".

Pick n Pay in Harare

Unhappy in Togo?

Togo is the world's least happy country, while Switzerland tops the poll, a study has found.

Burundi, Benin and Rwanda are also amongst the least joyous nations in the world, according to the World Happiness index, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative under the United Nations.

Do you agree? Join the debate using the hashtag #BBCAfrica

Traditional dancers in Togo
These traditional dancers at a rally for Togo's election happening on Saturday don't appear to be unhappy

Rapid malaria test

South African biotechnologist Ashley Uys has developed a rapid malaria test.

He told

BBC Africa Business Report that it usually costs under a dollar and it doesn't take an expert to do. He's exported close to three million tests in two years.

Ashley Uys

Next he wants to develop an app for parents to test their children's eyes for drug use.

Seychelles carnival


While in the Seychelles, Africa Business Report's Lerato Mbele has chanced upon a party, which will continue all weekend. She


"Also attending Carnaval in Seychelles is a large Ghanaian delegation accompanying the Ashante King, guest of honour".

Lerato Mbele with Ghanian delegation

Toxic gas deaths

Sammy Darko

BBC Africa, Accra

Three people have been killed in a mining accident in Gbani, a town in Ghana's Upper East region.

The miners died after inhaling toxic gases from explosives used in prospecting.

Accra radio station Joy FM reports that several others have been injured and rushed to the hospital.

'Air of anarchy'

The xenophobic attacks in South Africa have had unintended consequences.

Deputy Trade Minister Mzwandile Masina says it has negatively affected foreign direct investment.

One reason behind this is suggested by Moeletsi Mbeki, deputy chair of the SA Institute of International Affairs. He says investors perceive an "air of anarchy".

For more

watch Africa Business Report from the richest square mile in Africa.

Peacekeepers honoured

Alex Duval Smith

BBC Africa, Bamako

Two Chadian peacekeepers who were killed in Mali have been honoured for their sacrifice at a ceremony on the forecourt of the UN headquarters in Bamako.

Forecourt of the Minusma HQ at Hotel Amitie in Bamako
Gen Michael Lollesgaard saluting one of the coffins

Private Pismo Mankred and Private Nouradine Mahamat received the UN Medal posthumously.

Fifty-one peacekeepers have lost their lives in Mali since the UN took over peacekeeping operations in July 2013, mainly in land mine and suicide bombing attacks in the north of the country.

Black Friday in Malawi

Raphael Tenthani

BBC Africa, Blantyre

There is an eerie atmosphere in Malawi's major cities as South African-owned chain shops are closed because of a boycott of South African goods, dubbed "Black Friday" by activists protesting about the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

"We want to send a symbolic message to South Africa that there must be a symbiotic relationship among countries in Africa," activist John Kapito said.

Protesters in Lilongwe, Malawi on 21 April 2015
Malawi News Agency
Malawians showed their anger at a demonstration in Lilongwe earlier this week

There is tight security around the stores. A shop attendant at Shoprite in Blantyre said: "We were asked to wear our uniforms and report for duties but the bosses said we're not opening."

'Al-Shabab' kills Kenyan chief

Suspected al-Shabab militants have abducted and killed a traditional chief in northern Kenya after a ransom was not paid,

a local elder has told the BBC.

The Somalia-based al-Shabab group, which was behind the attack earlier this month on Garissa University College, has not yet commented on the attack.

Worst-dressed footballer?

Cameroonian West Ham player Alex Song has been crowned the worst dressed footballer of 2015 by

the UK's Mirror newspaper.

Sam Allardyce (L), Manager of West Ham United celebrates victory with Alex Song (c) of West Ham United during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Bristol City and West Ham United at Ashton Gate on January 25, 2015 in Bristol, England
Getty Images
Song's manager Sam Allardyce teases him after a victory in January

That's after a shot of him in an extra large hat and extra small sleeves was

posted on Instagram.

The UK's Independent paper says the photo was quickly deleted after some one commented: "U look hideous bro."

SA MPs to tackle xenophobia

South Africa's parliament will be suspended from next week so that MPs can return to their constituencies to spread the anti-xenophobia message.

"We can't carry on at parliament like it is business as usual," the AFP news agency quotes parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete as saying.

Anti-xenophobia march in Johannesburg - 23 April 2015
Thousands of people marched against the xenophobic violence on Thursday

Casket warning

BBC Monitoring

Residents of Umuahia in Nigeria's south-eastern Abia State woke up to see caskets lying in some major streets of the city,

reports the Vanguard newspaper.

Signs on the coffins said that those who did not vote in Saturday's delayed governorship election for the PDP candidate, from the Ngwa ethnic group, would be killed. The PDP has condemned it, the paper says.

Irregularities meant that some areas of Abia failed to vote earlier this month.

What IS link means for Nigeria's Boko Haram fight

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

Islamic State (IS) has released a video signalling closer ties with Boko Haram. Unlike most previous pictures, the young Boko Haram fighters are not masked and their faces are clearly visible.

Men claimed to be Boko Haram fighters
It is not known how many fighters Boko Haram has

The insurgents have now retreated to the vast Sambisa forest. But if IS gets more involved, the group's tactics could change.

Read more about what this could mean for the Nigerian army's fight against Boko Haram

in my blog.

'Gift from China'

China will finance the construction of a 60,000-seat stadium in Ivory Coast in time for the country's hosting of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations,

BBC Africa sport reports.

Ivory Coast celebrate winning the 2015 Nations Cup
Getty Images
The Elephants won the Nations Cup in February

An Ivorian sports ministry spokesman said it was "a gift from China".

Graduating after 4,000km walk

South Africa's Times newspaper tells the story of a man who says he walked more than 4,000km (2,500 miles) to go to university in South Africa.

It took Yibrah Ghebreyohannes six months to get to South Africa from Eritrea. On the journey, he says he was kidnapped for ransom twice - once in Sudan and once in Zimbabwe.

He graduated with his masters in geography this week.

Capsized boat captain in court

The man accused of captaining a boat that capsized off Libya with the loss of more than 700 lives

has appeared in an Italian court.

Prosecutors want to charge Mohammed Ali Malek, a 27-year-old Tunisian, with homicide and people-trafficking.

Mohammed Ali Malek in Catania court, Italy, on 24 April 2015
Mohammed Ali Malek, the suspected captain of the capsized boat, appears in court

His lawyers say his client was a passenger on the vessel, not a smuggler, and denies the charges.

UN contractors kidnapped in DR Congo

Maud Jullien

BBC DR Congo correspondent

Three members of a UN demining team in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been kidnapped.

The UN mission said they were taken captive on Thursday afternoon near the eastern town of Kibumba, by the border with Rwanda.

Locals say their vehicle was found abandoned with the engine still on. A Kibumba resident told the BBC there has been a security vacuum in that area for several weeks.

A picture taken on 23 April 2015 shows the UN base near the village of Kibumba, North Kivu
The UN has a base near Kibumba in the volatile east of DR Congo

'Education for Liberation'

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani snapped a photo this morning of schoolchildren in South Africa walking pass a mural with the words "Education for Liberation" in central Johannesburg.

Schoolchildren in Johannesburg