Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Protesters killed in Burundi in new anti-third term demonstrations
  2. AU chief says Burundi environment 'not conducive for elections'
  3. 'Pirate treasure' handed over in Madagascar
  4. Bill Gates launches plan to prevent epidemics such as Ebola
  5. African players react to Adebayor's Facebook outburst
  6. Send us comments and story suggestions using hashtag #BBCAfrica

Live Reporting

By Lucy Fleming and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  • Send a text to +44 7756205075
  • Twitter: Use the hashtag
  • Facebook:

Scroll down for today's news

More updates tomorrow

That's it from us today. Listen to the

Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with stories from across the continent on the
BBC News website.

We leave you with this photo of students in Soweto joking around on their way home from school. They are on a street in the South African township littered with stones after a protest over unaffordable electricity prices and new pre-paid metres.

Boys joke as they walk from school on a street filled with stones left behind by protesters who were dispersed by police in Soweto, South Africa - 7 May 2015
Reuters

Skin lightening ban welcomed

The Ivorian ban on skin-lightening products has been widely welcomed on the

BBC Africa's Facebook page:

Botlhe Kamerun Segokgo says black people who bleach their skins are "mentally enslaved".

Ibrahim Abolaji agrees: "This decision is long overdue. I wonder why African governments have waited so long to stop this behaviour. I hope other African countries would move to save African women."

A skin-lightening product advert in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
AFP
Billboards advertising skin-lightening products can be seen in Abidjan

Ngwenya Hlazo adds: "Free at last! Our women are beautiful in our natural skin, those that bleach their skin turn us off."

Ifeanyi Orji Perfect says: "Apart from health concerns we should be the way our creator made us.

Caleb Danny Peterson tells African women to be proud: "Who deceived you that being light skinned is beautiful? I love dark girls honestly."

Gbagbo trial date

Ivory Coast's former President Laurent Gbagbo will go on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 11 November 2015.

At his initial hearing in The Hague in December 2011, he became the first former head of state to appear at the ICC.

The case follows an ICC investigation into the four months of conflict that began in Ivory Coast when Mr Gbagbo refused to hand power to his long-time rival Mr Ouattara, who was declared winner of the 2010 presidential election.

Ivory Coast"s Laurent Gbagbo (L) and his wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf in Abidjan, after they were arrested, in this April 11
Reuters
Laurent Ggagbo was arrested in Abidjan with his wife in April 2011

Burundi's court 'wrong'

@DlaminiZuma

African Union chief Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma has reiterated her comments on

CCTV about Burundi in a series of
tweets.

She says that the environment there "is not conducive for elections".

She also questions the decision by Burundi's constitutional court that the president's third-term bid is legal: "Other than the #Burundi Court, all interpretations of the constitution & #Arusha Agreements are clear that there shouldn't be a third term."

People on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania
BBC
Hundreds of people arrived in Tanzania from Burundi today fleeing political tensions
People leaving the MV Liemba in Tanzania
BBC
The MV Liemba, which crosses Lake Tanganyika between the two nations, takes 600 passengers

Overwhelmed in Dar

Heavy rains are not unusual in Tanzania's main city of Dar es Salaam, but the recent heavy downpours have overwhelmed the infrastructure, reports the BBC's Hassan Mhelela.

Car driving through flood in Dar es Salaam
Michuzi

The damage is still being assessed but police say two people have been killed and many hundreds have been made homeless.

Some of the major roads into the city have been closed because water levels were rising rapidly and bridges have been submerged.

Policeman at a main road
Michuzi

'Chinese textile smugglers' arrested

Yusuf Ibrahim Yakasai

BBC Hausa, Kano

Nigerian customs officials have arrested four Chinese nationals accused of smuggling textiles into the country.

Bales of material worth millions of dollars have also been confiscated after 26 warehouses were raided in Kano, the commercial centre of northern Nigeria.

Officials looking at confiscated material in Kano, Nigeria
BBC

In the last decade, more than 20 textile factories have closed in the city, unable to compete with cheaper foreign imports. There is only one factory still in operation.

Bales of material in a warehouse in Kano, Nigeria
BBC

Jailed over motorway scandal

A court in Algeria has jailed 14 people and fined seven foreign companies over a massive fraud case.

There were allegations of money laundering and embezzlement of public funds over the construction of a motorway, the AFP news agency reports

Started in 2006, it was due to be completed four years later at a total cost of $6bn (£3.9bn); but it is has yet to be finished and costs have risen to more than double that figure, it says.

'Pirate treasure' map

A map showing the spot where a silver ingot - believed to be treasure of Scottish pirate William Kidd - was found in Madagascar.

Map
Google/BBC

Fleeing Burundi

Three thousand refugees from Burundi have arrived in Tanzania over the past few weeks, according to the UN refugee agency.

The BBC's Tulanana Bohela has been to Kagunga, where new arrivals are crammed onto the shore of Lake Tanganyika.

Burundians on the shore of Lake Tanganyika
BBC

They are fleeing the political tension in Burundi created by President Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid.

Image showing belongings
BBC

Economic impact

Fears are growing that the crisis in Burundi could undermine the development of neighbouring East African nations,

the BBC's Russell Padmore reports.

"We are expecting if the situation in Burundi gets worse there could some economic effect on Uganda," Nebert Rugadya, a business commentator in Kampala, told the BBC.

Demonstrators duck and run from soldiers firing into the air to disperse a crowd of demonstrators who had cornered a suspected member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth wing in a sewer in the Cibitoke district of Bujumbura, Burundi, Thursday 7 May 2015
AP
Protesters duck as soldiers try to disperse a crowd during clashes in Bujumbura today

Propaganda wars

The footage showing Boko Haram fighters on trucks and motorcycles fleeing the air force indicates that Nigeria's military is willing to get involved in the propaganda war, the BBC's Africa security correspondent Tomi Oladipo says

in his latest piece.

Screen grab of militants fleeing in Nigeria
Nigerian military
Footage showing alleged Nigerian militants fleeing military bombardments

Bat manure

The BBC Africa Business Report team is pictured today filming in a cave two hours from Toliara in the south of Madagascar where a local company extracts bat droppings - known as guano - used to make fertiliser:

Filming in a cave in Madagascar
BBC

Who was Captain Kidd?

Treasure thought to have belonged to notorious Scottish pirate William Kidd has been discovered off Madagascar.

Capt Kidd was executed in 1701 for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean.

He was actually appointed by the Crown to tackle piracy and capture enemy French ships. To find out more about him,

click here.

Drawing of Scottish-born American privateer and pirate William 'Captain' Kidd standing on the deck of a ship, brandishing a sword, circa 1690
AFP
There have been numerous searches for William Kidd's loot

Deal maker

Does the name Jean-Yves Ollivier ring any bells? He's the man behind some of the continent's oil deals and is now coming out of the shadows.

The Frenchman says his career has been built on trading favours. At first he helps someone but does not ask anything in return.

But "the gain comes afterwards and for a mutually beneficial project", he tells

Bloomberg in a profile piece.

Jean-Yves Ollivier
Monica Schipper

Bushmeat is back

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

Bushmeat is a popular delicacy here in Nigeria, but with the advent of Ebola people have been less keen to eat it. The handling of wild animal meat is believed to spread the virus to humans.

Now that the Ebola scare is dying down, animals killed by hunters are again being seen for sale along major highways.

Here are some rabbits and a snake on display along the Abuja-Kubwa expressway.

A snake and dead rabbits for sale in Nigeria
BBC
A snake and dead rabbits for sale in Nigeria
BBC

Burundi police criticised

The US embassy in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, has criticised the police action that broke up a demonstration outside the embassy on Tuesday.

In a

Facebook post it says that those protesting against the president's third-term bid were not violent nor was police protection requested, but the demonstration was dispersed with tear gas and warning shots in the air.

The embassy says that "protesters should be able to communicate their message without being met with violence and reprisal".

Police march past burning barricades down the main road in the Cibitoke neighbourhood of Bujumbura, on May 7
AFP
Protests against the third-term bid are now in their 12th day

Burundians in Mali complain

Alex Duval Smith

Bamako, Mali

Despite his attempts to steer clear of it, the African Union's representative in the Sahel, former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya, could be drawn into his country's electoral row.

Burundian residents in Mali - who say they number about 50 - were hoping today to hold a protest over President Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid and then hand a letter to Mr Buyoya's office.

The protest was not allowed to go ahead, but the Burundians here say they will hand the letter over tomorrow.

No visas for central African nations

Herve Yonkeu

BBC Africa

From today, residents of Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac), do not need visas to travel within the six-nation union.

Visas were supposed to have been abolished last year, but Gabon and Equatorial Guinea had not complied.

But following Wednesday's Cemac heads of state meeting in Gabon, they agreed to waive visas for all who carry biometric passports or biometric ID.

French inquiry into CAR abuse

A full French investigation has been launched into the child sex abuse allegations made against French peacekeepers in Central African Republic. Details of a United Nations inquiry into allegations that 14 soldiers were involved in the abuse was leaked last week.

French President Francois Hollande said that "if some soldiers have behaved badly, I will show no mercy".

Four killed in Burundi clashes

The BBC's Maud Jullien in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, has been talking to the family of a 28-year-old who was killed this morning by a grenade that exploded in front of his house.

Seen here mourning his body, the family believe a supporter of the ruling party threw it:

Family by the covered body of a man who died in a grenade attack in Burundi
BBC

Another person was killed in Cibitoke district, where protests against the president's third-term bid continue, by police who reportedly fired in the air.

In what looks like a revenge attack, a member of the ruling party's youth wing, Imbonerakure, was burnt and killed by protesters in Nyakabiga district.

A man pleads with soldiers in Burundi
AP
A suspected member of Imbonerakure pleads with soldiers to protect him from a mob of demonstrators

The BBC's Great Lakes service says that outside Bujumbura, in the rural area of Gisozi, a protester was also killed after police fired at a demonstration against President Nkurunziza.

For and against Adebayor

The BBC has been getting more responses to the Facebook post by footballer Emmanuel Abebayor where he revealed the difficulties he is having with his family.

Samuel in Ghana says: "This dependency attitude of African families on their fortunate relatives abroad must be checked."

But Joshua in Luxembourg says: "His family must have helped him along the way up. He shouldn't be disgracing his family in public."

The BBC World Service programme World Have Your Say will be discussing the issue at 14:00 GMT.

Adebayor picture
Reuters

Nigerians 'love UK poll'

Google searches reveal that people in Nigeria are more interested in the UK general election than those living in the UK,

the website Mashable reports.

News Lab at Google found that the UK was in third place behind Nigeria when measuring search data, it said.

Polling station in Ellon, UK
PA

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Manchester say four million people born outside the UK are eligible to vote in today's poll,

business news site Quartz reports.

It lists the UK's African-born voters as:

  • 182,000 Nigerians
  • 168,000 South Africans
  • 111,000 Kenyans
  • 69,000 Somalis
  • 57,000 Zimbabweans

Telecel reprieve

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe's High Court has ordered that the phone company Telecel can continue operating pending an appeal over the cancellation of its licence by the government.

Last week, the communications minister gave the firm 30 days to windup operations and allow subscribers to migrate to other local mobile networks.

Supa Mandiwanzira said that the law states that at least 51% of a company should be owned by Zimbabweans and that was not the case with the country's third largest mobile network.

Avendor, holding US dollar notes, sells phone cards outside a market in Harare, Zimbabwe - April 2010
AFP
Telecel has called the cancellation of its licence "unfair and unwarranted"

#TwitpicYourSquad

@MbalulaFikile

Two pictures posted by South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula of the country's cabinet having a giggle have been attracting a lot of attention on

Twitter.

President Zuma talking to his cabinet
SA government

President Jacob Zuma appears to be sharing a joke as the politicians take their places for a group photo.

SA cabinet picture
SA government

Mr Mbalula does not reveal what the joke was about.

Total gridlock in Lagos

Umar Shehu Elleman

BBC Hausa, Lagos

I have been stuck here in a traffic jam for more than three hours trying to get to my office, which is only about 10km (six miles) from my home.

Lagos has not seen gridlock like this for nearly 10 years. The administration of outgoing Governor Babatunde Fashola has made huge strides in upgrading the road system.

Traffic jam in Lagos- Thursday 7 May 2015
BBC

But this morning it appears that the tankers trying to get into the port, where fuel has recently arrived, have blocked some major roads.

There has been a severe fuel shortage here in recent weeks.

X marks the spot...

@martinvogl

The BBC's Martin Vogl is

tweeting about the 17th Century silver bar handed over to Madagascar's president: "Team believe silver bar came from wreckage of pirate Captain Kidd's ship - one the most famous pirates who operated out of Madagascar."

He also tweeted this picture of the place where it was found:

Photo of waters
BBC

Our reporter says it was discovered just off the coast in shallow water.

Skin lightening cream banned

Ivory Coast has banned skin lightening creams because of health concerns.

Creams that de-pigment the skin have been popular for years among African women - and some men - who believe they make them more beautiful.

But medical experts say they may cause cancer and other diseases.

Someone applying a skin lightening cream
AFP
Skin lightening creams are popular in many parts of Africa

Adebayor: 'I am stronger'

The Tottenham Hotspur and Togo striker has posted a new comment on Facebook following on from his revelations about his family issues.

He says that "every struggle has shaped me into the man I am today. I am thankful, even for the hard times. They only made me stronger".

Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor in action with Manchester City"s Martin Demichelis
Reuters
Emmanuel Adebayor's comments have struck a chord with other African international footballers

Adebayor's 'common experience'

Former Cameroon international Patrick Suffo has told the BBC's Newsday programme that most African footballers working abroad have experienced similar issues to Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Tottenham Hotspur and Togo striker

revealed financial issues that he is having with his family in a long
Facebook post.

Suffo said that Adebayor must have gone through some "very hard times" before making his family troubles public.

Patrick Suffo
AFP
Patrick Suffo thinks that "90% of African players" have been through similar issues to Adebayor

'Pleading for life' in Burundi

Protesters in Burundi have been shouting at army officers this morning after a demonstrator was shot dead in the Kinama district of the capital, Bujumbura:

Protesters opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office shout at the army after a demonstrator was shot dead in the Kinama district of Bujumbura, Burundi - Thursday 7 May 2015
AP

The army fired warning shots in the air in another neighbourhood to disperse protesters who were chasing down people suspected to be members of pro-government militia, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Here AP says a suspected member of the militia pleads for his life as he is surrounded by those protesting against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office:

A suspected member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth militia pleads for his life as he is surrounded at his house by demonstrators protesting President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office in Bujumbura, Burundi, Thursday 7 May 2015
AP

'No poll observers to Burundi'

The head the African Union commission has

told CCTV that the environment in Burundi "is not conducive for elections" and the AU would not be sending observers to June's presidential poll.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also referred to the constitutional court decision allowing President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term.

"Sometimes legal issues like this need to be looked [at] more broadly... what is important is for Burundi to be in peace not the legalities," she said.

China-Africa direct

China is launching its first direct air routes to Africa,

Xinhua, the country's state news agency reports.

Southern Airlines has announced that from August it will fly from Guangzhou to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

In August, Air China is also reported to be opening a route from Beijing to Johannesburg in South Africa and in October to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

A Southern Airlines flight lands at the airport in Guangzhou in China - 2013
AFP
There will be three flights a week from Guangzhou to Nairobi

Last year, some African airlines also launched direct routes to China, Xinhua says.

'Pirate treasure' handed over

@martinvogl

The BBC's Martin Vogl is at a ceremony in Madagascar where a 17th Century silver bar is being handed over to the president.

He

tweets: "Divers just pulled this 50 kg silver bar out off Sainte Marie island Madagascar. Say it could be pirate treasure."

Silver bar
BBC

He also tweeted this picture of soldiers guarding the "pirate treasure".

Soldiers guarding treasure
BBC

Silver treasure

The office of Madagascar's president has been

tweeting photos this morning about the discovery of a 55kg (121lb) silver bar off the island of Sainte Marie.

The silver bar found in the waters off Sainte Marie
Malagasy presidency

It is thought it might be part of the treasure of notorious Scottish pirate Captain William Kidd.

Silver ingott
Malagasy presidency

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina is in Sainte Marie, off Madagascar's north coast, to receive the bar at a ceremony.

Zimbabwe's phone dispute

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Front page of Herald
BBC

The phone company Telecel has taken Zimbabwe's government to court over the cancellation of its licence, reports the state-owned Herald newspaper.

The government says the firm was more than 50% foreign-owned, which is against the law. But Telecel, Zimbabwe's third largest phone network, disputes this.

Burundi's 'stubborn' president

The US envoy who was in Burundi last week has told the BBC's Newsday programme that there are people within President Pierre Nkurunziza's party who are opposed to his third-term bid.

But Tom Malinowski said that the president remains "quite stubborn" in his interpretation of the Arusha accords, which ended the country's civil war, believing they allow him to run again in June.

Burundi's constitutional court ruled on Tuesday that Mr Nkurunziza could have a third term as he was first appointed by parliament and not directly elected in 2005.

Demonstrators shout as police dismantle a barricade in the Kanyosha district of Bujumbura, Burundi, Wednesday May 6
AP
Protests in Burundi against the third-term bid are now in their 12th day

Soweto anger

South Africa's Eyewitness News is reporting that there are protests again this morning in Soweto, by people

angered about the installation of electricity metres.

Hundreds of residents of the Orlando West section of the Johannesburg township have blocked roads and are pelting passing cars with stones, it says.

Policemen's funny 'excuses'

Front page of Kenyan Standard
Standard

The Kenyan Standard leads this morning on the "ridiculous excuses" that policemen gave to a vetting committee for why they had a lot of money in their bank accounts.

Committee members smiled when one policeman said that he worked as a DJ in his spare time, another said that he was saving money for a dowry.

Burundi protester killed

At least one person has been killed in fresh clashes in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.

According to the AFP news agency, a small group of protesters fought with government supporters, thought to be members of the ruling party's militia, in the Kinama district. Witnesses said the police opened fire on the demonstrators.

Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay

tweeted from Kinama, saying a person was lying in a "pool of blood shot in the head".

Burundian protester wearing a gas mask and holding a sign that reads "Stop the third mandate" in the Mugasa neighbourhood of Bujumbura on 6 May 2015
AFP
Protests against a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza have been going on for over a week

Red Cross spokesman Alexis Manirakiza told Reuters that nine others were also been wounded this morning.

Kenya mobile money

The Kenyan mobile phone company Safaricom has announced annual profits of $335m (£220m). This is a 38% increase on last year reports the

Standard newspaper, mainly driven by its money transfer business, M-Pesa.