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Summary

  1. More than 100 migrants die in boat accident off Libya coast
  2. Kenya opposition to resume weekly protests
  3. Northern Nigerian woman killed over 'blasphemy'
  4. Angola president's daughter heads state oil firm
  5. Turkish president opens new embassy in Mogadishu
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 3 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer, Uwa Nnachi and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page 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:

The ear cannot hold as much water as it does news."

A Somali proverb sent by Ibrahim M Garon, Ifo, Dadaab, Kenya.

Click here to send in your proverb.

And we leave you with an image from our week in pictures.

It shows a supporter of Kenya's Orange Democratic Movement, which is part of the opposition Cord alliance, attending a rally in the capital, Nairobi:

Man with a ring of oranges around his head
EPA

Funding boost for Rwanda's medicinal herb gardens

Unidentified medicinal
BBC
Roots are used in traditional medicine in Rwanda

The European Union (EU) has donated around $270,000 (£190,000) to help save the country’s medicinal plants, reports the BBC's Jean Claude Mwambutsa.

Traditional healers use the plants to make medicines but Rwandan forests are coming under increasing pressure due to population growth, putting the plants under threat.

So the EU is donating the money to be used to create medicinal plant gardens instead. 

The Rwandan government estimates there are more than 14,000  traditional healers in the country but only 2,400 of them are officially recognised.

Woman holding bag of seeds
BBC

Kenya police forbid opposition demonstration on Monday

Kenya police have tweeted a statement refusing to allow the opposition Cord alliance to resume its weekly demonstrations on Monday.

The opposition has been protesting against what it sees as bias within the electoral commission (IEBC).

But the police say a court order has banned demonstrations against the IEBC.

View more on twitter

Last month, the police broke up opposition protests using tear gas, batons and live rounds.

Relief for South Africans after dodging credit downgrade

South Africans can now exhale after holding their breath today, waiting to find out if the ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) was going to downgrade its debt to junk status.

S&P didn't take that step, which could have had a damaging effect on the economy.

Many South Africans have been reacting to the news on Twitter:

View more on twitter

And some are praising the finance minister:      

View more on twitter

Mr Gordhan has just been on the radio reacting to the news and said the rating showed that the country was resilient, Reuters news agency reports.

But South Africa is by no means out of the woods. 

S&P says the outlook remains negative for the country:

View more on twitter

Beach rubbish blocks Guinea's fishermen

The BBC's Tamasin Ford has been in Guinea's capital, Conakry, for a story on illegal fishing. 

She sent these photos of the beaches down at the city's Bonfe port, which are covered with a layer of rubbish more than a metre-deep in places. 

Boats at the port with rubbish strewn all around
BBC

Initially, she says she couldn't figure out how the fishing boats could even get out of the harbour. 

But after a few minutes, she saw fishermen wading through the rubbish using their arms and legs to push off other boats, and then starting their engines only once they got further out to sea.

fishing nets and boats on the beach with rubbish all around
BBC

When she asked for a bin to put her used water sachet in, one of the fishermen laughed, took it from her hand and said "This is Africa!", before throwing it onto the ground. 

Three killed in 'football match for peace' in South Sudan

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says three people have been killed in South Sudan in clashes that broke out during a football match organised to promote peaceful co-existence. 

One refugee from neighbouring Sudan and two South Sudanese died in the fighting, in Maban county, near the Sudanese border. 

Tensions have been growing between refugees and locals for weeks over the alleged theft of pigs and goats. 

The UN says that the deaths provoked further inter-communal violence, in which scores of people were injured and several houses were burnt to the ground. 

South Africa avoids junk status

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has not downgraded its assessment of South Africa's sovereign debt.

There was some speculation that it would give it junk status, which would have created a problem for potential investors.

S&P left their rating at BBB - with a negative outlook – just one notch above junk status.

In response, the rand has been rallying on the currency markets.

What's changed in Accra since last year's deadly fire and flood?

Ghanaians have been remembering the more than 150 people who died in a fire at a petrol station in the capital, Accra, a year ago today.

The fire was caused after petrol spilt into flood waters and was then ignited.

At the time, the flooding was blamed on poor drainage, exacerbated by some drainage channels and rivers being blocked.

The big question a year on is whether anything's changed.

Accra's mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije told BBC Focus on Africa radio that the authorities are working to improve things.

But the BBC's Thomas Naadi says that a few weeks ago flooding affected the same area of the city as last year, suggesting that the problem has not been solved.

He adds that there is still no proper drainage in the city, and residents continue to dump rubbish in drains.

Burnt out car
EPA
The fire completed gutted the petrol station and some neighbouring buildings

What's Up Africa: Tanzania's disappearing elephants

Since it's Friday, we thought you might like a second helping of our satirical series What's Up Africa (see earlier post on Why Ghanaians are ideal Guantanamo hosts).

This time Ikenna Azuike investigates how come the Selous reserve in Tanzania has lost 90% of its elephants.

View more on twitter

Hundreds of migrants rescued from boat off Crete

About 340 migrants have been rescued and four bodies have been pulled from the sea after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, Greek officials say.

Others are thought to be missing from the boat which was found in international waters, 140km (86 miles) south of the Greek island of Crete.

Ships, helicopters and planes are engaged in the rescue operation.

Officials have said they believe the boat "left from Africa" though it is still not clear from where.    

In a separate incident, 117 bodies were recovered off the coast of Libya (see earlier entry).

Stat pic
Getty Images

Read the full BBC News story

France to fund motorway linking Uganda to the east

The French government has said it will commit $200m (£140m) towards building a motorway between the Ugandan capital Kampala and the commercial eastern hub of Jinja, local Daily Monitor newspaper reports.

The funding, which will constitute about 90% of the total needed to complete the project, will come through France's overseas development agency (AFD), the paper adds.  

Ugandan officials say the planned toll road would have at least four lanes, going up to eight lanes in certain sections. 

Currently there is no dual carriageway. 

The road between Jinja and Kampala is one the busiest and most congested roads in the region, serving as the main eastern export route for Uganda as well as landlocked Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Construction is due to start in early 2017, though it has been delayed already. 

a tarmacked dual carriageway road
Daily Monitor

Tunisia beat Djibouti in Nations Cup qualifier

Tunisia have beaten hosts Djibouti 3-0 with Naim Sliti impressing on his competitive debut.  

The win means that Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will only be settled with the final round of ties in September.

Later today, Cameroon can qualify for the finals in Gabon with a win in Mauritania.

The other game on Friday sees Libya playing Morocco.

Twenty more matches over the weekend complete the penultimate round of qualifiers.

Read more from BBC Sport.

Naim Sliti
Getty Images
Naim Sliti made his competetive debut for Tunisia

Turkey's new embassy in Mogadishu

Somalis on Twitter have been using the hashtag #ErdoganWelcomeToSomalia to mark the visit of the Turkish president's to the capital, Mogadishu.

The president was only in the country for a few hours, so one user has also been using the hashtag to wish him farewell.

View more on twitter

As we reported earlier, while in Mogadishu President Erdogan opened Turkey's new embassy, which is near the beach in the Old Port area of the city.

The BBC's Ibrahim Aden has taken some pictures of the front and back of the grand-looking building:

Turkish embassy
BBC
Fountains at the back of the building
BBC

Malawian passengers who were living on a broken down bus

Thirty-eight Malawians travelling back home from South Africa were left stranded for weeks by the road side when their bus broke down close to Johannesburg.

It is not clear whey no-one was able to repair it.

Passengers told the BBC’s Christian Parkinson that local residents and community leaders had helped them with food and water.

One passenger gave birth to premature twins according to Eyewitness News and was later taken to a nearby hospital. 

  Soul was one of those stuck:  

A passenger on broken down bus travelling to Malawi
BBC

It was a tough place to stay. We were sleeping on our chairs which were too small. It's winter so it was very cold."

The passengers told our reporter that they had left their personal belongings by the side of the road to make more living space on the bus.

Passengers left their belongings by the roadside
BBC

Hilda and her son Desire were also travelling on the bus:

It was a difficult journey, we didn't have much food and we were cold."

Hilda
Passenger stranded when bus to Malawi broke down.
BBC

South African media report that the passengers were eventually provided with temporary accommodation and the bus company owner confirmed a new bus had been sent to take them to Malawi.

Row in Senegal over possible release of ex-president's son

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique

The announcement by Senegal's President Macky Sall that imprisoned former minister Karim Wade could be released from jail before the end of the year has generated a lot of reaction.

Wade, who is the son of the former President Abdoulaye Wade and was nicknamed "the minister of the earth and the sky" while in office, was sentenced for six years for corruption in March last year.

Opposition leader Idrissa Seck said he suspected a deal had been struck between President Sall and his predecessor. 

Two prominent civil rights organisations, Forum Civil and Y'en a Marre (trans: "we're fed up)" say if Wade is released for political reasons, it would be a blow to the fight against corruption.

Karim Wade
AFP
Karim Wade was an influential figure in his father's government

Red Crescent reports 117 bodies washed up in Libya

The Red Crescent in Libya have told the BBC that the number of bodies that have now been recovered on a beach in western Libya has risen to 117.

The dead are believed to have been migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who drowned while attempting to reach Europe, but it's not clear exactly when they died. 

They were washed up on a beach near the city of Zuwara, from which many unseaworthy boats are believed to have set out for Italy packed with migrants.   

Life jacket washed up
EPA

Wreaths laid in Ghana where more than 150 died

#RememberJune3 is still trending in Ghana (see earlier entry) as people reflect on the deaths of more than 150 people killed in a fire at a petrol station a year ago today.

The fire started after petrol that had spilt into flood waters during heavy rain was ignited accidentally.

President John Mahama laid a wreath at the site of the fire.

People have been tweeting pictures from the ceremony:

View more on twitter

Another tweet reminds us of the destruction that was caused by the fire:

View more on twitter

Turkey opens new embassy in Somalia

The Twitter account for the office of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tweeted pictures from the official opening of his country's embassy in Somalia's capital:

View more on twitter

One journalist has been tweeting about how much the embassy reportedly cost:

View more on twitter

African refugee athletes picked for Rio Olympics

Popole Misenga
AFP
Popole Misenga will take part in the Judo competition in Rio

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has named a 10-member team of refugee athletes to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the first-ever refugee Olympic team. 

Five are from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from the Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia. 

Some will compete in swimming, others in judo, and the majority in track and field. 

The team will march behind the Olympic flag, and if any of the athletes wins a medal the Olympic anthem will be played at the medal ceremony. 

The IOC has said it set up the team to send a message of hope to refugees all around the world.  

It has produced a brief promotional video.

Why Ghanaians are ideal Guantanamo hosts

Satirist Ikenna Azuike from What's Up Africa explains how Ghana is helping ease of one of President Barack Obama's biggest policy headaches, by hosting two former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

With the help of a melting ice cream, Ikenna carries out his own social experiment to prove the US president made the right choice.

Will South Africa be given "junk" credit rating?

rand
Getty Images
South Africa sells debt, called bonds, to investors and pays interest rate on the debt

Later today the credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's will announce the status of South African debt - and some are speculating that it might be rated as "junk".

Junk status means that the ratings agency thinks the government may default on paying back the loan. 

This has profound implications as investors, such as pension funds, are prevented from buying bonds with a junk status.

BBC Africa Business Report's Matthew Davis says what South Africa needs is political cohesion - and that seems in short supply at the moment.    

He points to rumours from a fortnight ago that the finance minister was under threat of arrest over the creation of an alleged spy unit in the tax collection service which he headed up.

Read: What are bonds?

Watch: What do bonds tell us about politics

Over 100 bodies retrieved after boat capsizes off Libya

At least 104 bodies of migrants have been retrieved from the Mediterranean after a smuggling boat capsized off Libya's shores, Libya's navy spokesman told AP news agency. 

He said the Libyan coast guards found the empty boat on Thursday and that it's possible the boat capsized a day earlier on Wednesday. 

He blamed Europe for "doing nothing but counting bodies" to stop the massive illegal migration from Libya.

Read More about the migrant crisis on the BBC News website.

Mahama: Government continues work to make sure disaster never happens again

Ghana's president has tweeted a message as the country remembers to more than 150 people who died in a fire and flooding a year ago today (see our previous entry):

View more on twitter

Kenya's controversial protests to resume

Kenya's opposition has said that its controversial weekly protests over the make up of the electoral commission will resume on Monday, after the failure of mediation.

Last month, demonstrations by Cord opposition supporters in the capital, Nairobi, and in other cities, ended in violence as police tried to break them up.

Police used tear gas, water cannon and batons to disperse the demonstrations.

In some places, police fired live rounds which led to at least three deaths.

The opposition said the protests will be peaceful.

The protests were called to demand that the electoral commission be dissolved, and that a new one be appointed.

Cord says that the commission is biased.  

Protesters running from tear gas
Reuters
Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Nairobi last month

#RememberJune3 trending in Ghana

The hashtag #RememberJune3 is trending in Ghana as people mark a year since the deadly fire caused by flooding in the capital, Accra.

View more on twitter

At least 150 people were killed when a petrol station they were sheltering in exploded.

The fire service said at the time that diesel, which had mixed with the flood waters, was ignited when it reached a stove in a nearby house.    

Fuel from the petrol station was spread by flood waters - and then ignited
EPA

The authorities said the floods were caused by clogged drains and sewers which prevented the water from flowing out to the ocean.  

So some tweeters have been putting forward solutions to blocked drains:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

DR Congo bans same-sex couples adopting children

The Democratic Republic of Congo's senate has passed a bill which bans same-sex couples from adopting children.

It specifically relates to international adoptions, reports Radio Okapi.

Since 2013, the government has blocked the departure of adopted children to investigate the well-being of children who have been taken abroad.

Mali: UN Chief calls for 2,500 more peacekeepers

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is seeking 2,500 more troops to reinforce the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. 

Twelve of the mission's members were killed in a series of attacks in May alone, making Mali one of the world's most dangerous peacekeeping operations. 

The reinforcements would include a rapid reaction force, aircraft and specialists in high security convoys, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The Security Council will consider Mr Ban's request when it votes on whether to extend the mission's mandate at the end of the month.

UN Peacekeeper in Mali
Getty Images
The UN mission in Mali, Minusma, was set up in 2013

Africa's getting richer, but are you feeling it?

The rise in the income of African countries is now a familiar story, but at the same time people complain that they're not benefiting.

One problem is that the continent's population is also increasing meaning that income per person is not increasing so rapidly.

There is also the issue of how the new-found wealth is being used.

Research by the London-based Legatum Institute and reported by the Financial Times suggests that what it terms "prosperity" has not improved in many countries.

It measures this by looking at a host of variables measuring things like entrepreneurship, health and education.

Some countries like Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Mozambique and Cameroon do appear to be doing well.

But Nigeria, Angola and Sudan - among others - are under-performing.

View more on twitter

Nigerian mob kills woman for blasphemy

Nigerian police have made arrests after a woman was killed by a mob who accused her of blasphemy.

The attack happened in a market in Kano, northern Nigeria's main city.

Witnesses told the Nigerian news site The Cable that the woman was involved in an argument over the Prophet Muhammad and some youths with weapons attacked her.

Residents of a northern Tanzanian village flee after violence

Tulanana Bohela

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Residents of Kibatini village in the Tanga region, northern Tanzania, have been left in shock and fear after eight people were beheaded. 

The motive behind the killings is unclear and police are still searching for the perpetrators who are thought to be hiding in a nearby forest. 

They have also called for residents to exercise patience as they continue their investigation but many families have left the village following the attack.

Abushiri who lives in Kibatini and lost his brother during the attack says the government needs to do more to protect residents:

Our village has only 30 households and yet there is still no peace, there will only be peace once the attackers are caught, tried and locked up."

Security forces have been deployed to the area.

South Africa's Semenya remains on top in 800m

South African athlete Caster Semenya has continued her dominant form this season with another Diamond League victory in the 800m in Rome on Thursday.

Caster Semenya
EPA

It was her third win in the series this season.

In 2009, she was forced to take a gender test as people questioned her world championship victory in Berlin.

She later said that she felt humiliated by the experience.

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana was also impressive in Rome, winning the 5000m in near-world record time.

Turkish president welcomed to Mogadishu

Ibrahim Aden

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as part of an official visit to the Horn of Africa.

Mr Erdogan was welcomed by President Hassan Sheik Mohamud, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, and Turkey’s ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar.

A Somali journalist has been tweeting pictures of Mogadishu getting ready for the visit.  

View more on twitter

Later, the Turkish president will open a new building housing his country's embassy in Mogadishu.

In recent years Turkey has enjoyed close relations with Somalia.

Read more: The unlikely love affair between two countries.

Will Adebayor move to Chinese football team?

A BBC sport journalist is speculating about where Togolese player Emmanuel Adebayor will go next:

View more on twitter

Last season he played for English Premier League team Crystal Palace.

Kenyan deputy president suggests compulsory praying

During Kenya's national prayer breakfast this morning Kenya's deputy president made this suggestion:

View more on twitter

The prayer breakfast was attended by the president as well, who tweeted about it:

View more on twitter

The hashtag #NationalPrayerBreakfast has been trending in Kenya, with some criticism of the event:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Africa's music archive remixed for the first time

For the first time ever, permission has been given for an archive of original African music to be remixed.

The archive was created by ethno-musicologist Hugh Tracey, who made 35,000 recordings across Africa between the 1920s and 1970s.

The songs have been remixed into the album Beating Heart Malawi, with profits going back to the Malawian communities that created the original sounds.  

Chris Pedley, one of the founders of Beating Heart and Piers Agget, from the UK music group Rudimental, told BBC Newsday's Lawrence Pollard that hearing the songs was an amazing experience.

It was like an underground rave meeting Malawian music of the 1950s."

For more listen here:

Militants attack pipeline in Niger Delta

In the latest in a series of attacks in Nigeria's oil producing region, the Niger Delta Avengers militant group have said it targeted the Forcados pipeline owned by the Shell oil company.

This comes a day after the government launched a project to clean up the area damaged by regular oil spills.

The Avengers have pledged to stop the production of oil in the region. It is believed that the group wants a more equitable distribution of oil wealth for the Niger Delta.

In another development the army says that militants killed six people in Warri in the Niger Delta.

But the Avengers said that it was not responsible for this attack.

The current spate of attacks in the Niger Delta has led to a dip in Nigeria's oil production.

Militant with machine gun
AFP
An amnesty programme dealt with the militant activity that was prevalent nearly a decade ago

Angolan president appoints billionaire daughter as oil boss

Isabel dos Santos
BBC

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has appointed his daughter Isabel as head of state oil firm Sonangol, Angola National State Radio (RNA) reports.

The radio report adds that this came after the president fired the entire Sonangol board and appointed a new one.

Angola is currently Africa's largest oil producer as militant attacks have reduced Nigeria's output, according to Reuters news agency.

Critics accuse Mr dos Santos of mismanaging Angola's oil wealth and making an elite, mainly his family and political allies, vastly rich. 

Isabel dos Santos is Africa's richest woman, according to Forbes.

Forbes points out in their profile of her that she already owns a 7% stake in a Portuguese oil and gas firm Galp Energia.

Wise words

Today’s African proverb:

The ear cannot hold as much water as it does news."

A Somali proverb sent by Ibrahim M Garon, Ifo, Dadaab, Kenya
Woman listening to the radio
AFP

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.