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Summary

  1. Drogba charity defends record
  2. Kenyan activist tries to get gay sex decriminalised
  3. Mali photographer Malick Sidibe dies at 80
  4. Ghana security memo warns of possible terror attack
  5. Zambia 'has best performing currency in 2016'
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 15 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back next week

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:    

He who has not travelled has no understanding."

A Somali proverb sent by Hussein Mohamud, Nashville, US

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

And we leave you with one of the most stunning pictures from this week - a mural painted on the walls of houses in Egypt's capital, Cairo, by French-Tunisian artist El Seed:

Mural on buildings in Cairo
Reuters

Ethiopian editor lives in a 'perpetual twilight zone'

It's not easy being a journalist in Ethiopia according to the lobby group Reporters Without Borders - which placed the country 142nd out of 180 on its press freedom index.

But some journalists there have been trying to cover the recent anti-government protests in the country's Oromia region.

The English-language Addis Standard magazine published this stark cover in January:

View more on twitter

So what motivates the team behind the magazine?

Its Editor-in-Chief Tsedale Lemma says she lives in a "perpetual twilight zone of taking chances".

The BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza in Addis Ababa asked her how she managed to cover the protests.  

Were Zambia's prayers answered?

Lots of people have been commenting on our Facebook post about the Zambian currency, the kwacha, being the world's best-performing currency of 2016 so far.

Ivan Sang Che Aiyabei from Nairobi in Kenya was among many commenters to suggest one thing might have influenced the change:

The Zambian government declared days of prayer when the Kwacha plunged low in 2015. Faith in God changes situations.

President Edgar Lungu asked for a day of forgiveness and reconciliation to be observed to help combat the economic problems facing the country last year on Sunday 18 October.

Zambia's domestic football fixtures were postponed, bar owners had been asked to close their businesses and thousands gathered in the capital, Lusaka, to pray - in part in an effort to help change the economic situation.

Praying in Lusaka
Getty Images

Two weeks later BBC Business reported that an approach more familiar to economists was taken: 

The central bank has pushed interest rates up to 15.5% to try and curb soaring inflation.

The kwacha rose around 0.6% against the dollar following the announcement.  

Rwandan man jailed for preaching genocide leaves court for prison

Leon Mugesera has been pictured leaving the courtroom after being jailed for life for preaching genocide in Rwanda's in 1994:

Pink pyjamas are Rwandan prison uniform
BBC

We wrote in our 15:05 post that the former politician who described Tutsis as "cockroaches" and called for their extermination has been jailed for life in Rwanda over the 1994 genocide.

In 1992, then an official in Rwanda's ruling Hutu party, Mugesera told more than 1,000 party members that they should kill Tutsis and dump their bodies in the river. 

Read the full story on the  BBC News website.

Sudan university denies planning to sell historical building

Mohanad Hashim

BBC Africa

Following a week of student protests at the University of Khartoum the Sudanese government has denied any plan to sell the university’s historical buildings in the centre of the city. 

The student protests were triggered following a statement made by the minister of tourism where he suggested that there were plans to sell the university’s iconic building to foreign investors to boost tourism. 

Universoty of Khartoum campus 2012
Getty
Khartoum University is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest universities.

Originally founded in 1902 by the British colonial administration as the Gordon Memorial College, it came to hold a special place in the Sudanese public imagination as a bastion of patriotism and nationalism. 

Most of Sudan’s leading politicians and elite studied there, and the university’s student union was influential in launching the October 1964 uprising that ousted the government of General Abboud, and the 1985 April uprising that ended the 16-year reign of Marshall Numairi. 

Hallway of University of Khartoum in 1955
Getty Images
Pictured here in 1955, it has been a hot bed of opposition at times during the rule of President Bashir

Free speech Friday in Nairobi

The BBC's Michael Kaloki was just passing Kenya's national theatre in the capital, Nairobi, and snapped some young artists taking part in a regular Friday afternoon performance called the Abakisimba Percussion Discussion

Performers in Nairobi
BBC

Michael spoke to the manager - who goes by the stage name Baby Elephant - who told him that performers are invited to sing, talk and rap about issues that people can go back home and think about.  

Abakisimba Percussion Discussion.
BBC

Former coup leader Assoumani elected Comoros president

Former coup leader Azali Assoumani has been narrowly elected president of the Comoros islands in the second round of voting, according to official results, AFP news agency reports.

It was an extremely close race.

Mr Assoumani won 40.98% of the vote ahead of his rival Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi who got 39.87%.

Azali Assoumani
AP
Mr Assoumani first came to power in 1999 after ousting acting president Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde in a coup

Why are prices still high in Zambia after the kwacha's success?

Zambian Market
BBC
What's the currency rise got to do with the price of eggs?

A lot of Zambians have been asking on our Facebook page why prices are still high when the kwacha is the best performing currency of 2016.

The assumption behind this question is that when you get more kwacha for your dollar it makes imports cheaper.

But why hasn't this happened?  

Well one explanation is that although the kwacha has risen against the dollar, it started from a very low position.

According to xe.com one kwacha is equal to 11 US cents today.

That's quite a jump from November when one kwacha was equal to just seven US cents.

But that was an all time low.

Go back a year to last April and one kwacha was equal to 13 US cents. 

And then it was even on a downward trend.

Go back to January 2013 and one kwacha would get you 19 US cents.

Kenya activist hopes to end ban on gay sex

A case has been filed with Kenya's High Court to decriminalise gay sex, the Reuters news agency is reporting.

It says that Eric Gitari, from the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, argues that the ban on gay sex violates the constitutional rights to equality, dignity and privacy. 

His petition said: "Those laws degrade the inherent dignity of affected individuals by outlawing their most private and intimate means of self-expression."

A gay sex conviction carries a 14 year jail sentence.

Anti-gay rally
AFP
Lat year, a call for gay rights in Kenya was met by protests from a religiously-inspired group

What Drogba's charity is saying about the allegations in UK newspaper

The charitable foundation set up by Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba has come under fire following a report in a UK newspaper that is has misspent donations.

The BBC's Tamasin Ford explained in the 12:14 post that people at the Drogba Foundation in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan said they were angry about not being consulted before the story was published.

Watch her report here inside the foundation here:

Warning to West against military intervention in Libya

Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi has warned against any foreign military intervention in neighbouring Libya. 

In a BBC interview, Mr Essebsi said such an operation would risk dividing the country. 

His remarks come against a background of concern in the West at the extent to which the Islamic State group has managed to establish itself in Libya amid the chaos of the civil war there. 

The Nato military alliance has reportedly been drawing up plans to deploy several thousand troops if invited to do so by a new, UN-backed Libyan government. 

Spanish ambassador Jose Antonio Bordallo, France"s Antoine Sivan and Peter Millet of Britain
AFP
Ambassadors from Spain, France and the UK were in Libya this week to support the new government

Some Uganda cancer patients to be sent to Kenya

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Uganda's permanent secretary at the health ministry, Asuman Lukwago, said that an arrangement has been reached with the Aga Khan Hospital in Kenya, so that an estimated 400 cancer patients - out of 17,000 - can be sent for radiotherapy treatment, at the government's expense.

This comes after the country's main radiotherapy machine is now broken beyond repair, and the cancer unit in the capital, Kampala, has to upgrade the building before a new machine can be installed.

He said the patients will be assessed according to their need, and whether other treatments have been exhausted.

Radiotherapy machine
UCI
Uganda's main radiotherapy machine was donated in 1995

You can read more on BBC News Online about the impact that the failure of the machine is having

Rwandan genocide suspect sentenced to life over inflammatory speech

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

Rwandan genocide suspect Leon Mugesera has been sentenced to life in jail, Rwandan newspaper New Times is reporting in a series of tweets.

View more on twitter

Mugesera made the inflammatory anti-Tutsi speech in 1992 while he was member of MRND, the then ruling party. twitter.com/NewTimesRwanda…

Mugesera fled to Canada after the 1994 genocide but was deported in 2012 after a long legal battle to face charges in Rwanda of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from an incendiary anti-Tutsi speech he gave in 1992.

Leon Mugesera
AFP
Leon Mugesera's trial began in 2013

'Gabon wants to join Opec'

Gabon wants to rejoin the the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) according to The Africa Report magazine.

The site says it got the information from two Opec officials but that Gabonese officials refused to comment.

Gabon joined Opec in 1975 and left in 1995 over the group's refusal to grant its request for reduced annual contributions in line with the country's small production, 

If it returns, Gabon would be the smallest producer in Opec.

What's in a name?

In Zimbabwe you can meet Laughter, Welcome, Bigboy, Earnmore, Lovemore Kissmore and Tellmore - people there love giving their children descriptive names.

But what's behind the names?

As part of the BBC's Identity season Steve Vickers talks to some Zimbabweans about what they're called:

Remembering Malick Sidibe's work

We wrote in our 11:17 post that people are paying tribute to the Malian photographer Malick Sidibe yesterday.

We've been looking through his back catalogue.

Here are some photographs we'd like to share:

Malick Sidibe photo
Malick Sidibe/courtesy Magnin-A

Mr Sidibe became famous around the world after holding his first exhibition in France.

Malick Sidibe photo
Malick Sidibe/courtesy Magnin-A

In many of his portraits people showed off their prized processions.

Malick Sidibe photo
Malick Sidibe/courtesy Magnin-A

Ex-Israeli diplomat's Swahili singing career

The BBC's Peter Njoroge in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, has alerted us to the most surprising career change we have heard of for a while.

Gilad Millo is a former Israel diplomat who worked in Kenya and Los Angeles before leaving Israel’s Foreign Ministry in 2008.

He settled in Nairobi and our reporter says he is now a household name in Kenya as a singer.

If that is not surprising enough, add the fact that he sings in Swahili. 

Here are two of his songs: The first, Unajua, means "you know" and the second, Sema Milele, means "say forever".

View more on youtube
View more on youtube

Tear gas at Egypt protests over Saudi island gift

Egyptian police have fired tear gas at dozens of protesters in the capital, Cairo, who rallied against a controversial deal to hand two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia.

Outside the Journalists' Syndicate in central Cairo, about 200 protesters chanted "down with military rule", the signature slogan of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. 

The deal to hand over two islands in the Straits of Tiran, signed during a visit by Saudi Arabia's King Salman to Cairo last week, has provoked a storm of criticism against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.   

Map
BBC
Activists shout slogans against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a protest against the decision to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia outside the Press Syndicate building, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, April 13, 2016.
AP
Protests started two days ago

Sub-Saharan migrants crossing from Libya 'on the rise'

A huge recent surge in migrants arriving in Italy by sea is set to continue, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has warned.

Nearly 6,000 have arrived since Tuesday alone, it says.

In the week to 13 April, arrivals in Italy were 173% higher than the previous week, while arrivals in Greece were 76% lower.

Officials in Libya say they fear the closure of the migrant route through Greece is leading to the surge.

Migrants who spoke to IOM staff in Italy all said they had crossed from Libya.

"Many of them were from sub-Saharan Africa, and we have noticed an increase in numbers from the Horn of Africa, particularly Eritreans," the IOM's Federico Soda said in the statement.  

Migrants arriving in Italy
Reuters
The IOM says the number of migrants coming from sub-Saharan Africa is increasing

Read more from BBC News Online.

Mozambican refugees 'to be moved in Malawi'

The UN's refugee agency is going to move 10,000 Mozambicans who have fled over the border to Malawi, Reuters news agency reports quoting a UN statement.

They've been trying to escape renewed violence between Renamo rebels and government forces - but the government has denied that it is involved in the fighting.

The UNHCR says the refugees will be taken to better facilities in Malawi.

Woman in Malawian refugee camp
Reuters
Some of the refugees have been living in Kapise camp in Malawi's Mwanza region

Mahama tells Ghanaians not to panic

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

Ghana's President John Mahama has condemned the mishandling of sensitive security information on a possible terror attack in Ghana (see 09:07 entry).

The president has assured the nation that the security forces are prepared for any eventuality. 

He urged the public to report any suspicious activity to the security agencies. 

The document was issued to security agencies in Ghana following the confessions of a suspected Malian terrorist being interrogated in Ivory Coast.  

The suspected terrorist is reported to have said that Ghana and Togo were next to be attacked.  

The report indicated Ghana was cited because the terrorists want to dispel the notion that it is only Francophone countries that are being targeted.

Read more on the BBC News Online story.

John Mahama
AFP
President Mahama was reacting to a memo warning of a possible terror attack in Ghana

China parades Taiwanese deported from Kenya on state TV

China's state media has shown the Taiwanese people who were deported from Kenya to mainland China "confessing" to fraud while under police detention.

It's the latest controversy in the case of 45 Taiwanese people accused of telecoms fraud who were flown to China this week.

Taiwan said it had filed suit against officials in Kenya for ignoring a court decision which cleared some of the suspects and "illegally cooperating with mainland personnel to deport them to China".

People escorted off a plane
PA
Part of the group arrived in Beijing two days ago

Drogba charity defends record

The Drogba Foundation, based in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan, has been defending its record in the face of a report in a UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, that donations have been misused.

The BBC's Tamasin Ford visited the foundation's offices this morning and met staff members angry that they had not been contacted by the newspaper.

The charity's coordinator Alfred Zebi said they never had a chance to give their side of the story.

Tamasin was shown the charity's accounts and photographs of its projects. 

Drogba Foundation work
BBC

The charity was criticised for a lack of progress in constructing a hospital.

Mr Zebi said the foundation's hospital is not yet open because they are waiting for authorisation from the government. 

The ministry of health visited last month but the charity needs to make some changes before the official opening.

Tusks arrive for massive Ivory bonfire

Truckloads of Ivory have arrived in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, from across the country.

Ivory
AFP
Soldiers move confiscated ivory to secure containers from ivory stockpiles from around Kenya at the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) headquarters in Nairobi on April 15, 2016
AFP
Soldiers move confiscated ivory to secure containers from ivory stockpiles from around Kenya at the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) headquarters in Nairobi on April 15, 2016
AFP

Almost the whole of Kenya's ivory stockpile - 105 tonnes - is going to be burned in a massive bonfire on 30 April, reports AFP news agency.

Back in January AFP said that Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman will be at the burning ceremony.

Photoshoots of burning Ivory have become a bit of a trend. 

When we investigated if these stunts actually destroy the ivory we found that it would take a week to burn an average male tusk.

Paying tribute to Malian photographer Malick Sidibe

people dancing
Malick Sidibe

People are paying tribute to the Malian photographer Malick Sidibe who died yesterday, aged 80 years old. 

His photos taken in Mali in the 1960s captured the spirit of the freedom of the time.

This tweeter says his impact was far reaching:

View more on twitter

While another tweeter says his overwhelming talent impacted his life in a very personal way:

View more on twitter

And perhaps a fitting tribute was of his studio - still intact, but empty - this January:

View more on instagram

$2bn deficit in funding for drought assistance, UN warns

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

A new UN report says half of the 60 million people worldwide require urgent assistance due to the on-going El Nino weather pattern. 

The UN's humanitarian affairs office, Ocha, says half of those affected are in Southern Africa - that is witnessing the worst drought in decades. 

But when it comes to individual countries, Ethiopia is the worst affected - with more than 10 million people in urgent need of food assistance there.

The assessment says the El Nino pattern, which is the strongest ever recorded, has affected rains in countries like Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia and Lesotho, while in Malawi, the effects have been both drought and flooding. 

The report says while governments and international agencies have scaled up assistance, relief efforts are still facing a $2bn deficit.  

It further warns that the situation for many people will get worse in the second half of 2016, unless urgent aid is provided.

Cow's carcass
Reuters
The drought in South Africa has killed some of the country's cattle

South Africans reflect on reconcilliation

It's 20 years since the beginning of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was aimed at bringing the country together after the end of apartheid.

But has it worked?

Among the victims who testified was Mavis Phungula. She was injured in a bombing that occurred at a Supermarket in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, killing 10 people instantly.

She revisited the site of the bombing with the BBC's Karen Allen:  

Adoption is not necessarily permanent in South Africa

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

Child law experts in South Africa say they are disappointed with a ruling which may make it possible for adoptive parents to “return” adopted children long after the permitted 2-year window. 

This precedent was set after the Constitutional Court dismissed an application by the registrar of adoptions for permission to appeal a decision by the Johannesburg High Court which allowed a stepfather to cancel his adoption order. 

The registrar argued that the case negates the intended permanence of adoption. 

In 2007 a Johannesburg man adopted his then wife's two children but the couple divorced the following year. 

After six years as legal guardian, the man approached the courts to have the adoption nullified. 

But social development officials, worried about the implications of the ruling on future cases challenged the matter and lost. 

'Hold tight!'

We're always keen to hear about the many and varied ways to get to and from work. 

The BBC's Ayo Bello took this picture of traders commuting this morning in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

Commute
BBC

Send your pictures of your commute to our WhatsApp:+447341070844

Addis skaters excited about first skatepark

Skateboarding may be a relatively new sport in Ethiopia but it's growing in popularity and now the capital, Addis Ababa, is getting its first concrete skate park. 

Local youngsters and keen skaters from around the world have come together to build the park.

They say that people are really excited about the possibility of skating in a safer place away from the traffic and police.

Yared Eyastu is a keen skater and one of the volunteers and Sean Stromsoe is one of Ethiopia Skate's organisers.  

They spoke to the BBC's Newsday programme:

Local youth have been helping construct their country's first concrete skate park

Ethiopiaskate have been posting pictures of the construction on their Instagram account:

View more on instagram
View more on instagram

Ivory Coast shuts down over student protests

Tamasin Ford

BBC Africa, Abidjan

All classes have been postponed at Ivory Coast's biggest university, the Felix Houphouet Boigny in the main city, Abidjan, after student protests and allegations of police brutality. 

"Yesterday night it wasn't good there," said 25 year old student Maxime Gozo who's studying English there. 

"Police came into the different dorms beating the students, stealing their phones and laptops," he added. 

Students began striking on Monday against the decision to evacuate the dormitories for renovation for next year's Francophonie Games. 

"It's just not normal. Some students have no where else to live," said Mr Gozo.

The university has not yet responded to a request for a comment.

South Sudan welcomed into East African bloc

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Salv
BBC
Salva Kiir, in the black hat, waved on his arrival

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has arrived in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, where he is scheduled to sign an accession treaty into the East African Community (EAC). 

Early last month the EAC heads of state approved the admission of the new country, which is trying to recover from a civil war. 

His Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli, who doubles up as the bloc chairman will host him. 

South Sudan becomes the sixth member of the East African Community that was originally formed by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. 

A couple of years later Rwanda and Burundi were welcomed 

After joining today, South Sudan is expected to open up its borders for trade. 

Trumpet
BBC
Salva Kiir is given a loud welcome to Tanzania
performer
BBC

Ghana government memo warns of possible militant attack

Ghana and Togo are the next targets for Islamist militants following high-profile attacks this year in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, according to a memo from Ghana's Immigration Service, says Reuters news agency.

The memo says the National Security Council Secretariat has evidence from the interrogation of a man suspected of orchestrating March's attack on a beach resort in neighbouring Ivory Coast where 16 people were killed.

"The choice of Ghana according to the report is to take away the perception that only Francophone countries are the target," said the memo, dated 9 April and published by Ghanaian media. 

beach
AFP
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said it lwas behind the attack on an Ivory Coast beach

Zambia's kwacha 'world's best-performing currency of 2016'

Zambia's currency, the kwacha, is the world's best-performing currency of 2016, the Bloomberg news agency reports.

It says that its value against the US dollar has risen 19.9% since the beginning of January.

That rise outstrips the increase in the price of gold.

This comes off the back of the kwacha being labelled one of the worst-performing currencies of last year.

That was precipitated by a fall in the copper price, one of the country's main exports, as well as a power shortage.

Bloomberg quotes an analyst suggesting that the kwacha will continue to rise as the copper price recovers.

Wise words

Today’s African proverb:

He who has not travelled has no understanding."

A Somali proverb sent by Hussein Mohamud, Nashville, US

Click here to send us your proverb.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news developments on the continent.