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.


  1. South Africa wants 500 schools to teach Mandarin
  2. Ethiopia mourns killing of 208
  3. Kenya's Chase Bank to reopen after cash crisis
  4. Somalis ordered not to travel to Sudan
  5. Immigrants in Zambia flee to church after attacks
  6. Arrests in South Africa after anti-rape protest
  7. South Sudan peace deal at 'risk'
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  9. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 20 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

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:

A rat which has two holes lives long."

An Oromo proverb sent by Samuel Fekadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Click here to send us your proverb

And we leave you with this picture of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mauritius:

View more on instagram

'Little HIV treatment' in West Africa

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

A medical charity says three quarters of adults infected with HIV in West and Central Africa do not have access to treatment. 

Medecins Sans Frontieres said 90% of infected children in the region face the same problem. 

It blamed the situation on conflict, weak health systems and a lack of political will. 

The number of people with HIV in West and Central Africa is relatively low compared with some southern African countries, where about 20% of the population is infected. 

But in those countries, about half of those infected have access to treatment.

Cameroon's residents wave to the convoy of Pope Benedict XVI under a sign reading 'aids', from Yaounde airport to downtown Yaounde on March 17, 2009.
Getty Images

Zambians were killed in Lusaka riots

The two people who were burned to death on Monday during the xenophobic violence in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, have been identified as Zambians, police spokeswoman Charity Munganga Chanda has said.  

Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila told parliament that the two had died "in the confusion" as riots erupted in the city's poor neighbourhoods, AFP news agency reports.  

Baboons form orderly queues for food

A study on baboons in Namibia has found something surprising - they queue for food:

Baboons form orderly queues, researchers say

The order in which the animals queue is probably based on their position in the social hierarchy, according to lead researcher Dr Alecia Carter from the University of Cambridge.    

Interpol 'intercepts' Rwandan leaving Uganda

A Rwandan refugee has been handed over to Rwanda’s embassy in Uganda by officers representing global police body Interpol, a Ugandan official has told the BBC.

David Kazungu, Uganda’s commissioner for refugees, said a female refugee was intercepted by Interpol at the international airport in Entebbe as she was trying to go to the US with her child.

She is wanted in Rwanda over allegations that she had kidnapped her child from the child’s father, who is still in Rwanda and is apparently a soldier, Mr Kazungu said.

Uganda believes this was a custody case which should be dealt with in the Ugandan courts, he told the BBC.

Niger 'jails civil servants for corruption'

Mahamadou Issoufou preparing to cast his ballot at the city hall in Niamey
The president has promised to intensify the campaign against corruption

Eight senior civil servants have been jailed for corruption and fraud in Niger after more than 1,800 workers in the health sector were hired without proper qualifications, a state prosecutor has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

"The facts are extremely serious especially because they concern the health sector. Imagine 1,831 people entering the sector who have zero qualifications," Samna Chaibou is quoted as saying. 

President Mahamadou Issoufou pledged to step up the fight against corruption when he was inaugurated for a second term on 2 April after winning disputed elections. 

Tanzania 'dumped' Ethiopians in Kenya

Kenya has accused Tanzania of "dumping" Ethiopian nationals on its side of the border on Tuesday rather than deporting them to their home country, Kenya's Standard newspaper reports

The Ethiopians had been freed from prison after serving sentences for various crimes in Tanzania. 

“Police and immigration officers have been directed not to allow the foreigners to enter the country. They will be taken back to Tanzania where they came from. The incident is unacceptable and not allowed in law,” Kenyan official Henry Wafula is quoted as saying.

Burundi needs 'inclusive talks'

The US special envoy for the Great Lakes region says that people from across the political spectrum in Burundi told him they hope peace talks will start soon. 

Thomas Perriello was talking to the BBC's Sammy Awami after visiting the capital Bujumbura. 

But he also pointed to reports of a spike in torture and extra-judicial killings.

"There are some hardliners in the government who still believe they can use violence and repression to solve this problem" Mr Perriello said.

He added that Burundi was experienced  a "manufactured crisis" caused by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision last year to extend his decade-long rule.

Burundi street
Getty Images
Violence erupted in Burundi in April last year

Zimbabweans affected by riots in Zambia

Zimbabweans are among foreign nationals who have taken refuge at police stations in Zambia's capital, Lusaka after xenophobic violence hit the city on Monday and Tuesday, Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper reports. 

They had also made distress calls to relatives back home when unrest broke out in poor neighbourhoods of Lusaka, it adds. 

Zambian Police patrol near the Chawama Compound where residents have attacked broken and looted foreign-run shops in Lusaka on April 19, 2016
Police have stepped up patrols to prevent further unrest

People queue for fuel in oil-rich South Sudan

The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has taken these photos of people queuing for fuel in South Sudan's capital, Juba:

fuel queue
Fuel queue

Simona Foltyn wrote in the UK's Guardian newspaper earlier this month that queues for fuel are a regular occurance.  

That's despite the country being rich in oil.

"With the shutdown of most oil fields in conflict areas, production has dropped by about 40% since 2013 to 160,000 barrels per day," she explained.   

Mandarin in SA schools

Mandarin explained

Fifteen schools in South Africa are currently offering Mandarin classes, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said, in reply to a question in parliament. 

"In the next five years, it is envisaged that 500 schools will offer Mandarin as a second additional language," the minister added.

South Africa is among several countries in Africa pushing for people to learn Mandarin in a bid to boost cultural and trade ties with China. 

Watch: Mandarin explained

Immigrants in Zambia seek shelter in church

Around 100 immigrants have sought refuge in a church building after xenophobic attacks in Zambia's capital Lusaka. 

We reported In our 11:57 post that two people have been burned to death in Lusaka after allegations that immigrants were behind ritual killings sparked two days of riots.

The BBC's Meluse Kapatamoyo has been to the church where some immigrants from various countries have gathered for protection:


One woman told her she just saw people get into her house and take all household goods. 

She said she had lost everything.

 Another said her she had no idea what she will do next.  

The artists locked up in Egypt

If Egypt's cultural elite had hoped that the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 would usher in an era of creativity and freedom of expression, they must be deeply disappointed.

Ghada Tantawi and Mariam Rizk from BBC Monitoring give a few examples of artists who have been jailed over the past two years:

The novelist

Ahmed Naji

In February, author Ahmed Naji was sentenced to two years in prison for "violating public decency" after "sexually explicit" excerpts from his novel, The Use Of Life, were published in a state-run literary magazine, Akhbar al-Adab.

The poet

Fatma Naout
Fatma Naout

In January, Fatma Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison for contempt of religion, after she described the Muslim tradition of slaughtering sheep on Eid al-Adha as a "massacre". 

The dancer

Shakira in El Kamoun

In 2015, two Egyptian belly dancers, known as Bardis and Shakira, were sentenced to three months in jail - reduced from an original six months' sentence - for "inciting debauchery" and "broadcasting obscenities". 

Read more on the BBC News website.  

'Do not go to Sudan'

Somalia has told its citizens they are not allowed to travel to Sudan, a popular transit point for undocumented migrants travelling to Europe. 

The immigration chief, Abdullahi Gafow, said the only Somalis allowed to go to Sudan were those on diplomatic missions. 

Mr Gafow said he wanted to stop young Somalis making the treacherous journey to Europe.

Hundreds of migrants, many of them Somalis, are reported to have drowned last week when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean.

Sub-Saharan African migrants are rescued by the Libyan coastguard after their inflatable boat started to sink off the coastal town of Guarabouli, 60 kilometres east of the capital Tripoli on November 20, 2014
Many Africans make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe

Video game celebrates Cameroon culture

The first video game to have been developed in Cameroon has been launched.

Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, produced by Kiro'o Games, is rooted in Cameroonian traditions and culture.

Video gaming is becoming increasingly popular across Africa, and Cameroonian developers hope to catch up with the rest of the continent.

Catherine Moukouri, from the BBC’s partner station in Cameroon Canal 2 International, reports from the capital, Yaounde:

Cameroon launches first video game

SA banks under pressure over Guptas

South African president and African National Congress (ANC)"s president Jacob Zuma (C) waves at supporters as he arrives for the Party official launch of the Municipal Elections manifesto on April 16, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
President Jacob Zuma is said to be close to the Guptas

South Africa's four biggest banks have come under pressure to reverse their decision to refuse to do business with a firm linked to the controversial Gupta family.

Representatives of workers at Oakbay Investments said in an open letter to the banks that "if you do not open Oakbay’s bank accounts we cannot be paid and Oakbay cannot pay its bills".  

This will force the closure of the company, and "thousands of us will be without a job".

The four banks -  Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank - refused to do business with Oakbay Investments after the Gupta family was accused by senior officials of the governing African National Congress (ANC) of "state capture", and trying to influence cabinet appointments made by President Jacob Zuma. 

The family strongly denied the allegation, while Mr Zuma's political adviser Vuso Shabalala said the banks were involved in a political stunt which had nothing to do with protecting their reputations

Mr Zuma has been under pressure from the opposition and some factions of the ANC to resign after South Africa's top court ruled that he had breached the constitution by failing to repay government money used to upgrade his private residence. 

Read: Who are the Guptas?

Tusks piled on Kenya's massive ivory bonfire

Kenya is planning to burn its entire stockpile of ivory at the end of this month.

The BBC's Abdinoor Aden has been down to the site of the planned fire and found that preparations are already under way:


Kenya is expected to set fire to 120 tonnes of ivory on 30 April.

Back in January AFP news agency reported 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 the BBC's Damian Zane investigated if these stunts actually destroy the ivory he found that it would take a week to burn an average male tusk.

Read more: Does setting fire to ivory destroy it?

ivory ornaments
Ivory ornaments are being added to the fire

Protest against DR Congo's leader

Mr Kabila first won elections in 2006
Mr Kabila first won elections in 2006

Police have fired tear gas to break up a protest by about 5,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo's mining city of Lubumbashi, in the latest unrest triggered by fears that President Joseph Kabila plans to extend his rule into a third term, AFP news agency reports. 

"Kabila must go", "come kill us, we've had enough", shouted some of the protesters, who hurled stones at police, AFP reports. 

Mr Kabila's second and final term ends in November. The opposition fears that he will delay the election so that he can remain in office. 

He has not yet commented on his plans. 

 Read: Will Kabila go?

Why Nigeria's women out-kick the men

Super falcons

It's a hard life being a fan of Nigeria's national men's football team, the Super Eagles, these days.

Three weeks ago they failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.  

Meanwhile their female counterparts, the Super Falcons, have an excellent record - winning the African title nine times for Nigeria. 

Writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani finds their relative success is not reflected in their pay.

This question about whether the women's team should get better sponsorship and bonuses has left people commenting on our Facebook post divided. 

De Joe Osas from Orlu in Nigeria doesn't think so:

It's all about who gather much fans, who generate more money, besides since I was born I never for once watched their match, I can't even name one of their player, but no matter how many title they won it can't be in level with men's football, that's it."

Ajao Babatunde in Lagos, Nigeria thinks the female players should get a pay rise: 

I agreed with you. Our Falcons deserved better and even same packages as Eagles too but this isn't Nigeria issue alone other countries are facing the same problem example is American ladies."

Two people torched in Zambia

Meluse Kapatamoyo

BBC Africa, Lusaka, Zambia

Two people were burnt to death during the xenophobic violence which hit Zambia's capital, Lusaka, police spokeswoman Charity Munganga has said. 

The two were burnt to death on Monday after being accused of being involved in ritual killings, she added, without giving the nationality of the victims. 

Allegations that immigrants, especially Rwandans, were behind ritual killings sparked two days of riots in Lusaka. 

At least seven people have been murdered in recent weeks and their body parts removed.

Zambian Police apprehend an alleged looter in the Zingalume Compound where residents have attacked broken and looted foreign-run shops in Lusaka on April 19, 2016
More than 250 people have been arrested over the riots

Police were doing everything possible to protect lives and property, and have been deployed in all neighbourhoods hit by the riots, Ms Munganga added. 

She urged people to stop spreading false rumours about the ritual killings. 

"So far, no nurse has been arrested. No baby or human body parts were found in any fridge belonging to any foreign national. 

"These statements are coming from people with criminal minds to create alarm among the members of the public and justify their criminality," Ms Munganga added. 

Tunisia praised for press freedom

Tunisia is the only country in the Middle East and North Africa that experienced significant progress in press freedoms in 2015, Reporters Without Borders says. 

The campaign group's research released today says "many challenges remain in Tunisia but a successful transition to democracy has facilitated media reform initiatives in the past five years". 

fingers after voting 2014
Tunisia's 2014 election was the first time some had ever voted

The report added that, in contrast, the "media landscape darkened" in Algeria where TV stations were forced to close.  

Video of SA student getting 'panic attack'

South Africa's Eyewitness News has uploaded a dramatic video on You Tube of a student apparently a suffering a panic attack at the back of a police van following clashes at Rhodes University in Grahamstown: 

View more on youtube

The university has suspended all lectures in an attempt to diffuse the crisis which started yesterday when students - many of them topless - marched to protest against rapes on campus.

US sanctions on Libyan politician

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

The US has imposed a travel ban and an asset freeze on Khalifa Ghuweil, the prime minister of the Tripoli-based government which is not recognised by the international community. 

The ban also means that no American national can do business with him. 

It is the latest move by the US to support the new UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj and his deputies as they try to gain control of Tripoli. They moved to the capital last month, and have since been operating from a naval base. 

Some armed groups in Tripoli have pledged loyalty to Mr Sarraj's government, but others still refuse to do so.  

Libyan men inspect the wreckage of a car in front of the General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli on March 3, 2014 after dozens of protesters stormed the parliament and wounded two of its members
Libya has been in chaos since Col Muammar Gaddafi's overthrow in 2011

African news channel set up in Congo-Brazzaville

A new news channel for Africa is launching today:

View more on twitter

During a press conference this morning the CEO Michael Peters was asked why he chose to base the channel in Congo-Brazzaville.

Here's his answer:

View more on twitter
Michael Peters is the CEO of Euronews and Africanews

Africanews describes itself on Facebook as "the first Pan-African multilingual media – produced in Africa, by and for Africans."

It has been set up by Euronews, a news channel based in France.

Kenya's Chase Bank to reopen

Anthony Irungu

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The Central Bank of Kenya has announced that all 62 branches of Chase Bank will  be reopened by Wednesday 27 April.  

Patrick Njoroge
Patrick Njoroge, the governor of Kenya's Central Bank, made the announcement

Chase has been closed for two weeks after it was put into receivership on 7 April.

An audit had shown the bank had loaned its directors $80m (£55m) , and its bad debts had skyrocketed to $100m.

The day before Chase closed, the central bank said “inaccurate” rumours on social media had led customers to do panic withdrawals and had caused a run on the bank.

Kenya Commercial bank will hold the largest stake in Chase and will spearhead the restructuring of the bank.

Customers will be allowed to withdraw up to one million Kenyan shillings ($10,000; £7,000) when the bank reopens.

Ethiopia mourns raid victims

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia has begun two days of national mourning for more than 200 people who were killed in a deadly cross-border attack in the western region of Gambella at the weekend. 

Flags across the country and at Ethiopia’s embassies abroad are flying at half-mast. 

Flags in Addis Ababa
Hassan Lali

Messages of condolences have also been streaming in from different countries and international organisations which have criticized the killings and the abduction of more than 108 children during the attack carried out by heavily armed men from the Murle tribe in neighbouring South Sudan. 


The Ethiopian army has said it is still pursuing the attackers with the aim of rescuing the children. 

In an address to the nation, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said 60 of the attackers had been killed in the ongoing rescue mission and that his government was coordinating the military operation with the South Sudanese government.

South Africa students clash with police

Police have clashed with students at South Africa's Rhodes University as protests against alleged rape continue today, photos on Twitter show:

Students knocked by bakkie.Police opened fire, stun grenades & rubber bullets@ South st barricade.#rureferencdelist

Students knocked by bakkie.Police opened fire, stun grenades & rubber bullets@ South st barricade.#rureferencdelist

Pepper sprayed student being helped by fellow students. #RUReferenceList

Pepper sprayed student being helped by fellow students. #RUReferenceList

Total of arrested students as far as I know: 7 #RUReferenceList

Warning over South Sudan peace deal

The peace deal in South Sudan is at risk after the failure of rebel leader Riek Machar to return to the capital, Juba, the monitors who brokered the agreement have warned.

He had been due on Monday to take up the post of first vice-president in a new unity government.

This is a key part of the deal aimed at ending more than two years of conflict.

The US said it was disappointed by Mr Machar's "willful decision" not to abide by his own commitments.

His team said the delay was caused by logistical and administrative issues and that he planned to return on Wednesday.

People walk among rubble in an United Nations base in the northeastern town of Malakal on February 18, 2016, where gunmen opened fire on civilians sheltering inside killing at least five people
South Sudan has been hit by conflict since independence in 2011

A statement from the government on Tuesday had said Mr Machar's return was delayed as "he wanted to come with an arsenal of arms... anti-tanks, laser guided missiles and heavy machine guns".

Chairman of the regional monitors, Botswana's former President Festus Mogae, urged both sides to "ensure that the spirit of reconciliation, compromise and dialogue embodied by the agreement" be protected.

Read: Men of dishonour

Rwanda praises Zambia police after riots

A Rwandan diplomat has praised Zambia's police for their efforts in ending xenophobic attacks on its nationals in the capital, Lusaka, the Lusaka Times newspaper reports.

“We are happy with the quick Police response to the attacks apparently targeted at our nationals and their properties by the Police", Abel Buhungu, the charge d’affaires at Rwanda's High Commission in Zambia, is quoted as saying

"We are also satisfied that there has been increased deployment of police presence even in areas not affected yesterday,” he added.

Police arrest suspected looter in Lusaka
The riots have shocked many Zambians

Police said they had arrested more than 250 people after at least 62 Rwandan-owned shops were looted yesterday and on Monday in what Zambians have described as the worst xenophobic violence seen in the country. 

The situation appears to be calm today in the nine neighbourhoods of Lusaka which were hit by the unrest,  reports the BBC's Meluse Kapatamoyo from the city.  

The riots were sparked by allegations that Rwandans were behind the ritual killings of seven Zambian in recent weeks.

Police say they are investigating the killings.

Rwandans say they are living peacefully in Zambia, and are not behind the killings.   

South Africa 'arrests' after topless protest

Several students are reported to have been arrested at a South African university following a topless protest yesterday against rape on campus, says the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in the main city Johannesburg. 

The demonstration at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in Eastern Cape province came after a list of 11 students accused of sexual assault was published on social media on Sunday.

“We demand that Rhodes University immediately take steps to address the rape culture on campus, specifically the ways in which the policies and systems in place are complicit in perpetuating it,” said a statement issued earlier this week by protesting students. 

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day: 

A rat which has two holes lives long."

An Oromo proverb sent by Samuel Fekadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we will bring you up-to-date news from around the continent.