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  1. Kenya gives $10m to the country's khat farmers
  2. Ugandan university suspends academic who stripped naked in a protest
  3. Mali arrests Radisson hotel attack 'mastermind'
  4. Nigeria's army accused of killing cover-up
  5. Kenya's president signs anti-doping bill into law
  6. Three kidnapped Red Cross workers freed in Mali
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Friday 22 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 it from us this week. 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:

Don't set sail using someone else's star."

Sent by Tiondi Christopher Buni, Juba, South Sudan

Click here to send in your proverb.

And we leave you with this picture from Kenya which is in our collection of the best pictures from across the continent this week.

mobile phone

Nigerian 'slapped' MP speaks out

Nigeria's prison chief has been summoned before parliament after his aide was accused of slapping a female MP.

Onyemaechi Mrakpor says she was assaulted by one of Peter Ekpendu's bodyguards, calling the experience "humiliating".

"I wondered, if that could happen to me, what the other helpless Nigerians will be going through," she said.

Mrs Mrakpor says the incident took place when she had tried to overtake Mr Ekpendu's motor convoy.

She spoke to the BBC's Chris Ewokor:

View more on Soundcloud

Obama says 'no plans' for ground troops in Libya

US President Barack Obama has said at a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron that there are no plans to send ground troops into Libya to help stabilise the country.

He added that it would be a challenge to support the nascent UN-backed government.

There are still rival administrations in the country and the so-called Islamic State group holds territory there too.

Obama and Cameron at press conference

Nigerian employers overwhelmed with applicants

Isa Sanusi

BBC Africa, Abuja

Recently Nigerian police launched a recruitment campaign and they received 705,352 applications for 10,000 jobs.

Typically applicants far overwhelm available vacancies. 

Official statistics say unemployment stands at 9% but many believe it is much higher.

In 2014 about 20 job seekers died in a stampede at a job screening for immigration officers.

Roadside job adverts like these can attract a lot of attention.

job advert

Ivorian Kolo Toure still part of Jurgen Klopp's plans

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure is still part of his plans, but needs to talk to him about his future.

The 35-year-old will be out of contract at the end of this season but is yet to discuss a new deal.

"Kolo is a very, very important player for us, even when he doesn't play," said the former Borussia Dortmund boss.

"He's one of the most impressive people I have met, but now is not the right time to speak about Kolo's future."

Read more on BBC Sport

Jurgen Klopp and Kolo Toure

Manu Dibango pays tribute to Prince

People around the world have been mourning the death of US music star Prince.

Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango paid his own tribute when he came into the BBC today.

He said that Prince will be one of the few who will be remembered forever.

Ugandan university suspends academic after nude protest

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Uganda's Makerere University appointments board has ruled to suspend academic Stella Nyanzi pending investigations into issues that led to her nude protest.

She stripped to her underwear earlier this week to demonstrate against being evicted from her office at Makerere University. 

The incident caused a big storm on social media in Uganda as people debated whether it was an appropriate way to register her feelings.  

Stella Nyanzi
Stella Nyanzi

Arrested Mali hotel attack mastermind 'was planning new attack'

Mali authorities say that the man arrested over allegedly plotting November's deadly attack on the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in the capital, Bamako, is Mauritanian Fawaz Ould Ahmeida.

A security source in Mali has told the BBC that Mr Ahmeida is alleged to be the operations chief of al-Murabitoune - the Islamist militant group behind the attack.

And he was allegedly planning an attack today on a place known to be frequented by westerners in the Malian capital.

Fawaz Ould Ahmeida
The Mali authorities released this picture of Fawaz Ould Ahmeida to the AFP news agency

What does it mean to be African-British?

In the US African-American is a term that describes a connection with a broad heritage, but in the UK African-British is a term many are unfamiliar with. 

So we asked people with roots in both Africa and Britain this question: 

"What does it mean to be African-British?"


East Africa's oil pipeline controversy

BBC Monitoring

Ugandan, Kenyan and Tanzanian ministers are discussing the proposed route of a pipeline that's set to carry oil from landlocked Uganda to the East African coast. Tanzania and Kenya are vying to have the pipeline to go through their countries.

The issue has been a source of tension between the three states.

Why does it matter?

The pipeline, and resultant oil revenues, have been touted as key drivers in the transformation of the region's economies - and therefore could give an economic boost to whichever country it runs through.

What's at stake?

Kenya and Tanzania are in competition to convince Uganda over the route to transport the oil, but multinational oil firms are also involved in the race. The UK's Tullow Oil and Japanese Toyota Tsusho back the Kenyan routes, while France's Total is rooting for Tanzania.

What is Uganda saying?

Uganda has expressed concerns over the high land prices of the two proposed Kenyan routes, and the fact that construction of the Lamu port will only start in 2022. Uganda says the Tanzanian route will allow it to start exports in 2020.

Exploration well on Lake Albert
It's estimated that Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels of oil to pump out

Kenyatta gives $10m to support khat farmers

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is giving $10m (£7m) to the country's farmers of the narcotic crop known as miraa or khat.

It is widely used by Somalis and has been an important money earner for some growers.

But, in a statement from Mr Kenyatta's office, the president says that a European import ban has presented "challenges" to the farmers.

Mr Kenyatta announced the money as he signed into law a bill that recognises miraa as a cash crop, obliging the government "to establish mechanisms for promotion, production, distribution and marketing" of the narcotic.

Chewing khat
Getty Images

Mali hotel attack mastermind 'arrested'

The mastermind behind last November's attack on the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako, has been arrested, the AFP news agency reports, quoting anonymous security sources.

Twenty-two people died in the siege, including the two attackers.  

AFP says that the Mauritanian man was picked up in Bamako.

It adds that he also took part in an attack on a bar in the city in March 2015 and planned the August attack on the Byblos hotei in central Mali.

Soldiers outside hotel
The attackers were killed after the army stormed the hotel

Standing up against #TeamNatural

Nigerian natural hair blogger Natural Nimi has hit out against the so-called natural hair community on Nigerian lifestyle site Bella Naija:

Dear #TeamNatural, if I wear a straight weave or wig, I am not betraying anybody. Is it not on my own head? I don’t know why you want to carry my pot of beans on your head. It is not ‘our hair.’ What I choose to do is entirely my choice. Respect my choices, and keep your opinion to yourself. Thank you."

Some argue that letting your hair grow naturally is a way to get in touch with your culture.

See ore here: Being African: What does hair have to do with it?

Last year we wrote about the growing trend on social media to document every step of the journey of relaxing your hair, as shown here by photographer Fify Loewen:  

Fify Loewen
Fify Loewen

Read more about the politics of hair:

In pictures: My natural hair journey

The women saying no, 'afropuff' hair is not unruly

Who are the morality police?

News that Iran has deployed thousands of undercover agents to enforce rules on dress has cast the spotlight on an institution that is a major feature of daily life in Sudan as well - the morality police.

Officially, they are known as the Public Order Police.

They were set up in 1993 to enforce Sharia enshrined in law for Muslims in Sudan by President Omar al-Bashir.

The force is known for shutting down private mixed-sex events, admonishing women for immodest dress and raiding businesses seen as being in breach of Islamic law.

It drew international condemnation when female journalist Lubna al-Hussein was arrested and jailed after being caught wearing loose-fitting trousers in public in 2008.

Sudanese journalist Lubna al-Hussein (l) talks to the press outside the court in Khartoum on 4 August 2009
Sudanese journalist Lubna al-Hussein (L) was prosecuted for wearing trousers

Read more on morality police around the world from BBC Monitoring.

What does our African proverb mean?

We start off everyday with some words of wisdom sent in by a reader. 

But some days the proverbs can be confusing.

So we turn to commenters on the Facebook page to explain what it means. 

Today Gilson da Silva from Angola's capital Luanda explains that "don't set sail using someone else's star" means "don't pretend to be something you're not".   

We also like these two interpretations:

Don't set out on a journey using someone else's donkey.

Sent by Carlanjah John Joyce

Don't charge your iPhone using a Nokia charger.

sent by Patrick Nwokolo from Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Naziru Mikailu
We can confirm the same applies for Samsung

Athletes and dignitaries turn out for Kenya bill signing

The spokesman for Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has tweeted a picture of the signing into law of a new anti-doping measure.

It was witnessed by a large crowd including some prominent athletes:

View more on twitter

Three Red Cross workers kidnapped in Mali are released

The International Committee of the Red Cross says that its three employees who were kidnapped in northern Mali nearly a week ago have been freed.

Its director of operations tweeted the news:

View more on twitter

The president of the ICRC welcomed the news:

View more on twitter

The AP news agency reports that the three were originally kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Ansar Dine.

Daladala strike in Tanzania's Morogoro town

We love hearing about the news where you are and Tanzanian reader Michael Mwanbanga has told us that in his town of Morogoro drivers of minibuses, called daladalas, are striking for a second day in a row.  

It's caused a lot of inconvenience and commuters have had to take pick up trucks instead.

Michael took this picture:

Pick up trucks
Michael Mwanbanga

EATV reports that the drivers are complaining about what they call unreasonable fines levied by the authorities. 

Do send us your stories and pictures to +447341070844.

Ethiopian Jews prepare for Passover in Gondar

Tonight sees the start of the Jewish festival of Passover which marks the biblical story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt and the journey to the Holy Land.

And, like Jews around the world, the community of around 9,000 Falashmura - Ethiopian Jews - in Gondar, northern Ethiopia, are getting ready.

Festivities begin with a meal - or seder - where the unleavened bread, matzah, is eaten.

The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza snapped the Jews in Gondar sorting through the matzah:

Men sorting out food

It's also traditional to eat a hard-boiled egg in salt water, symbolising, according to some interpretations, sadness over the slavery the Jews had to endure, and rebirth:

Woman with two large buckets of eggs

And a paste made up of nuts, ginger and bananas - called haroset - is also eaten. That represents the mortar used to build the pyramids in Egypt.

Women pounding flour

The Falashmura are soon hoping to emigrate to Israel, in a modern day recreation of the Passover story.

Mauritania blogger death sentence upheld

An appeal court in Mauritania has upheld the death sentence of a blogger accused of blasphemy. 

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed was arrested two years ago after uploading an article onto the internet criticising people for using religion as a means of discrimination. 

There were public celebrations in Mauritania when he was sentenced to death. 

The case has now been referred to the Supreme Court because the blogger apologised. 

The court can repeal the sentence.

Kenyans 'can win fairly'

When signing Kenya's new anti-doping bill into law President Uhuru Kenyatta said:

Kenyans are more than able to win fairly."

He said the new law is part of the government's efforts against "cheating and corruption".

The law now complies with the rules of the World Anti-Doping Association (Wada) and will mean that Kenyan athletes will be able to go to the Rio Olympics.

Kenya had already missed two Wada deadlines to show it was tackling cheating in sport.  

Since 2011, more than 40 Kenyan athletes have failed drugs tests and the country's Athletics Federation general manager Isaac Mwangi was suspended for six months at the end of February.  

Two-time world cross-country world champion Emily Chebet
Two-time world cross-country world champion Emily Chebet is among the Kenyan athletes to have been banned for doping offences

Nigerian lawmaker says she was slapped by prison boss's aide

A member of the convoy for Nigeria's prisons boss has been accused of slapping a lawmaker in the National Assembly complex, reports the Vanguard.

The newspaper goes on to say that when lawmaker Onyemaechi Mrakpor overtook the prison boss Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu's convoy she was flagged down.

She then wound down her window and was allegedly slapped by Mr Ekpendu's aide while he was in his car watching.

The House of Representatives summoned Mr Ekpendu to appear before its Committee on Interior to discuss the issue. 

Nigerian army says Amnesty should 'search its conscience'

Rights group Amnesty International says it has evidence that the Nigerian army carried out a massacre of more than 300 members of a Nigerian Shia group in Zaria (see 09:06 entry).

It has published satellite images, including one of what it says is a mass grave.

Photo showing what Amnesty says is a mass grave
Digital Globe / Google Earth

The Nigerian army has responded saying it is a hastily written report:

The NGO should understand that Nigeria is a sovereign nation and it should be respected. Already, a judicial inquiry is in place in addition to investigation by the National Human Roghts Commission."

They must allow the Judicial Commission of inquiry and all other relevant agencies complete and submit their reports before jumping to conclusion. Let the NGO search its conscience please."

South Sudanese 'teenage' basketball star could be 29

Someone holding a basketball
Getty Images

A South Sudanese college basketball player tipped to make the NBA could turn out to be 29 years old and not 17. 

Reports in Canada suggest Jonathon Nicola, who is 6ft 9in tall and wears size 16 shoes, has been arrested for allegedly contravening immigration rules. 

Nicola arrived in Canada six months ago and enrolled as a 17-year-old grade 11 student.

He moved in with his school's head coach who said he had a chance at the NBA.

But when he applied for a US Visa his fingerprint matched a previous application that the immigration services received. 

The problem was that on that application the date of birth given was 1986, says Canada Border Services Agency.

Read more on BBC Sport

Kenyatta signs anti-doping bill into law

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed an anti-doping bill into law which paves the way for country to participate in this year's Rio Olympics.

The World Anti-doping Association had said that the country's old measures did not meet its standards.

There have been a number of Kenyan athletes who have been banned over drug taking.

The Reuters news agency is reporting that a video from the president's office shows the signing and it was also witnessed by Kenya's javelin world champion Julius Yego who put the news on his Facebook page.

Just witness the signing of the anti doping bill by the president,it's now official Kenya has complied with the Wada rule!!thank you his excellency for the support
Julius Yego

Ultra-violet light cuts malaria transmission

Blood transfusions in sub-Saharan Africa can result in a patient catching malaria from the donor's blood.

But a new method could cut this down.

Professor Jean-Pierre Allain's study in the Lancet found adding vitamin B2 and then exposing the blood to ultra-violet light for 45 minutes cut down the risk of transmission from 35% to 10%.

Listen to the interview that was broadcast on the BBC's Newsday programme:

Waiting, still waiting in South Sudan

The week was supposed to begin on an optimistic note in South Sudan with the return to the capital, Juba, of rebel leader Riek Machar.

His arrival was going to herald the start of a new unity government that would bring an end to the civil war.

But he didn't come on Monday - or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday.

First, Mr Machar's spokesperson blamed logistical problems, then it emerged there was a dispute about the weapons and soldiers that he wanted to bring to Juba.

Meanwhile, the BBC's Ferdinand Omondi in Juba found that South Sudanese have been enjoying a wrestling tournament as they wait.


It was dubbed "wrestling for peace" as different communities came together.

Ferdinand was told that if neighbours fight in a wrestling match they become friends in real life.


Nigerian soldiers accused of destroying massacre evidence

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

Rights group Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian military of covering up the killing of hundreds of members of a Shia group last year. 

It's alleged by human rights groups and one government official that more than 300 members of the Islamic movement of Nigeria were killed by the army in the northern city of Zaria last December. 

The Nigerian military claims the group tried to assassinate the head of the army who was visiting the city, an accusation the Shia organisation denies. 

The Amnesty report says an eyewitness saw people being burnt alive by Nigerian soldiers. 

Then, as part of an alleged cover-up, a medical source says the army sealed off the morgue at Zaria's university to remove bodies. 

The human rights group also alleges that soldiers washed blood off the city's streets, cleared away bullet casings, and then bulldozed buildings where killings took place in order to destroy evidence. 

A spokesman from the Nigerian army criticized the report saying it "lacked objectivity". 

He said that only an ongoing government inquiry could establish the truth.

Protesters in Zaria
Ahmed Musa
Protests broke out in five Nigerian cities after the military crackdown in December

Idriss Deby wins fifth term as Chad's president

Photo shows a man resting under a campaign poster of Chad's president Idriss Deby Itno in N'djamena on April 12, 2016 two days after Chad's presidential elections.

The Chadian president, Idriss Deby, has secured a fifth term in office after winning more than 60% of the votes in the first round of presidential polls. 

He's been in power since 1990, when he orchestrated a military coup. 

The opposition leader, Saleh Kebzabo finished a distant second with just under 13%. 

The opposition has expressed doubts about the credibility of the vote. 

Chad provides a base for a five-nation regional force charged with combating the Nigerian jihadi group, Boko Haram. 

Wise words

Today’s African proverb:

Don't set sail using someone else's star."

Sent by Tiondi Christopher Buni, Juba, South Sudan
Dhow sailing at sunset

Click here to send in 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.