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Summary

  1. Guinea ban foreign fishing trawlers from its waters
  2. South Africa releases 'costly' anti-racism song
  3. Doctor charged with manslaughter of Cameroonian footballer
  4. Lagos State shuts down 70 churches and 20 mosques
  5. Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cisse wooed by Oscars organisers
  6. Kenya's Nation Media Group closes several radio and TV stations
  7. Nigerian Concubine author Elechi Amadi dies
  8. Mogadishu roadside bomb hits minibus
  9. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Thursday 30 June 2016
  11. Find Africa Live everyday at www.bbc.com/africalive

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

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 old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth."

An Akan proverb from Ghana and Ivory Coast sent by Jacob Dior Macueng in Rumbek, South Sudan

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with Kenya athletes taking part in the men's 3,000m steeplechase Olympic trials today in Eldoret.

Kenyan athletes jumping over hurdles in Eldoret
Reuters

US embassy in Ivory Coast removes gay men photos

We reported yesterday that gay men in Ivory Coast had been attacked after the US embassy in Abidjan shared photos of them signing a condolence book for the victims of the recent attack on a US night club in Orlando. 

The embassy has now removed the photos from its website and from social media, expressing "deep regret" that the six photographed men were abused and forced to flee their homes, the Reuters news agency reports.

The photo had been captioned: "LGBTI community signing the condolence book".

Man holding banner
Getty Images

Get Involved: Are Lagos churches and mosques too noisy?

News that Nigeria's Lagos State has shut 70 churches and 20 mosques in an attempt to reduce high noise levels has had a mixed reaction on the BBC Africa Facebook page.

God bless Lagos state government... this is a major move... and other states should follow... and I believe they should pass a law that all religious organisations must pay their tax like every other organisation cause these churches are making a lot of money."

Maxwell Stephen

Have you ever been in a neighbourhood where churches had to keep you awake all night because of a vigil - and when you thought you'll get a little sleep, mosques just pop up them speakers 🔊 too for morning call to prayer?

Happiness Olumide Oluwadusi

Noise-making is Nigeria's second national sport, that's after corruption."

Patrick Nwokolo

Let the people sing and pray! this is nice side of life. you will be noise free when you die."

Melita Abena

Noisy how? Are they not praying? Is people's noise more harmful than that of a generators, vehicles or industries? Nothing like that and I condemn it in a strongest term possible!! Barbaric act."

Ohitai J Mario Schweinsteiger

When will Nigerian government or Lagos state governor shut down our generators because they know we are living in darkness though to their inability to provide Nigerians with electricity."

Mark Mbakaogu

And some Zambians said they would welcome such a move:

Even in Livingstone - too much noise from churches. Whoever brought noise in churches in the guise of praise. Eish! I wouldn't want to worship a God who entertains noise as a form of praise."

Mbindo Alex

I would be happy if that was done here in Zambia... It seems they cannot pray without sound systems..."

Festone Mambepa

Guinea bans illegal foreign fishing vessels

Alhassan Sillah

BBC Africa, Conakry

Guinea has banned all international fishing activities in its waters.

It comes a day after leading think-tank the Overseas Development Institute recommended such a ban, saying West African countries could create more than 300,000 jobs by awarding more fishing and exporting rights to national fleets.  

The rule will come into effect at midnight. 

Maritime Minister Andre Loua said that illegal fishing by foreign ships denied the nation of vital foreign exchange earnings and reduced fish stocks. 

However, corruption in the fishing industry here is also a big problem.

Fishermen I have spoken to fear only the big fishing establishments will benefit from the ban.

West African fishermen
AFP
It is estimated that West Africa loses at least $1.3bn (£906m) a year from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Zambian men rally against sexual violence after viral video

Meluse Kapatamoyo

BBC Africa, Lusaka, Zambia

A Facebook page called JusticeforNagaad has been created days after a video of a Zambian woman being brutally assaulted emerged on social media – with men in particular posting photos holding the sign “#Stop Violence Against Women”.

Miyoba Sumaili with the sign: “#Stop Violence Against Women”.
Miyoba Sumaili

The video shows a woman being kicked, punched and then sexually assaulted as several men watch. The abuse continues when she passes out.

This morning, police confirmed that the woman who was filmed has been found.

Police deputy spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said that officers were also looking for the perpetrators.

Kenyan students remember Nigerian author Elechi Amadi

A literature class at the University of Nairobi
BBC

BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has just been to a literature class at the University of Nairobi where students have been discussing the works of Nigerian author Elechi Amadi, who died yesterday at the age of 82.

As an author Elechi Amadi has helped to uplift African culture and expose it to the world."

Kenyan student Beatrice Ekesa

Our reporter says Amadi's first novel, The Concubine - which was published in 1966 - has often been on Kenya's curriculum, particularly in the 1970s and 1990s.

Woman reading
BBC
Beatrice Ekesa, who is already writing a collection of short stories, says she hopes to emulate Amadi

UN peacekeepers prepare to leave Liberia

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

The UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia is preparing to hand back responsibility for security to the country's army and police tomorrow.

The mission was first deployed in 2003, after two civil wars in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed.

For more than a decade, the blue helmets have been a familiar sight in the capital, Monrovia, and elsewhere.

By and large, the UN troops have provided stability - at a time when few Liberians trusted their own security forces.

From now on, though, the Liberian military and police will be in charge.

Some in Liberia are nervous - the memories of those civil wars are still very fresh.

In the last few days the head of the armed forces has tried to reassure the people, saying his troops would defend Liberians, and insisting the army was peace-loving and law-abiding.

And although they are handing over responsibility for security, the UN peacekeepers will not disappear entirely.

A small force will stay on, at least in the short term - perhaps until after next year's elections, though this has not been decided yet.

One senior UN official described the remaining peacekeepers as an insurance policy.

UN troops and Liberian riot police take positions in Monrovia, Liberia - November 2011
AFP
More than 3,700 uniformed UN personnel are in Liberia

Anger over Malawi's mice-eating 'joke'

BBC Monitoring

Malawi's president has sparked anger by saying people should eat mice to cope with a nationwide food crisis - but one minister says he wasn't being serious. 

Peter Mutharika told a rally that the government was doing everything it could to solve the problem of food shortages, the UK-based Nyasa Times reports. 

He's then quoted as saying:

But why should Malawians die with hunger when we have different things to eat? You should be eating mice, grasshoppers as well as cassava

Human rights activist Billy Mayaya, who leads the Right to Food Network, described the remarks as "disgraceful", and other social media users accused the president of being out of touch. 

A spoof version of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's logo has also gone viral, replacing the usual three maize cobs with a picture of a mouse and a grasshopper.

For more read: Malawi president under fire for mice-eating 'joke'

Kenyan county bans long distance travel

Bashkas Jugsooday

BBC Africa, Garissa

Mandera has banned people who are not resident in the north-eastern Kenyan county from using long-distance buses.

The ban will remain in place in the mainly Muslim area until after Ramadan, the county’s security committee has said.

Over the last two years, al-Shabab Islamist militants have ambushed several buses in Mandera travelling to and from the capital, Nairobi.

The insurgents tend to separate out non-Muslims and kill them.

The officials in Mandera, which borders Somalia where al-Shabab is based, say the directive is to safeguard such people as there are fears of increased attacks during the Muslim holy month.

But it is not clear how the ruling will be implemented.

A bus targeted by militants in Mandera, Kenya, in November 2014
AFP
This bus was targeted in November 2014 and 28 passengers were killed

Read: Kenya bus survivor: 'I played dead'

Why DR Congo miners fear first family

The Democratic Republic of Congo may be one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral wealth but eight out of 10 Congolese people live in extreme poverty.

Fighting over huge mineral deposits in the eastern region have led to ongoing conflict in the area, perpetrated by both Congolese and foreign militia.

The BBC's Maud Jullien went to the south-eastern province of Katanga, where artisanal miners are complaining of forced expulsions at the hands of the presidential guards. Watch her video report:

Why Congo miners fear President Kabila's family

Analysis: Elechi Amadi, a literary giant

Isa Sanusi

BBC Africa, Abuja

Elechi Amadi hails from the first generation of Nigerian writers, in the league of Chinua Achebe, JP Clark, Cyprian Ekwensi and Christopher Okigbo.

Many of them attended the prestigious College Umuahia or University of Ibadan, which shaped their literary prowess. 

Amadi is best known for his first novel The Concubine - which focuses on love in a southern village and how it came into conflict with traditional life.

He will best be remembered for the way he portrayed life in rural Nigeria and for the multiple narratives and convoluted plots. 

Amadi was an officer in the Nigerian military at a turbulent time, the 1967-1970 civil war, when the military put down an attempt to create an independent state in the east.

It spawned Amadi's only non-fiction work, Sunset at Biafra, which detailed his experiences during the war. Though many books have been written on the conflict, his work stands out for its accuracy, neutrality and conciseness.

Book cover for Sunset in Biafra
Heinemann

His other works of fiction include, The Great Ponds and The Slave.

The writer also made headlines in 2009 when he was kidnapped by gunmen in his hometown in southern Nigeria, being rescued 23 hours later.

Cameroon footballer's doctor charged with manslaughter

A Romanian doctor has been charged with manslaughter for making no attempt to resuscitate Cameroonian footballer Patrick Ekeng, who died of heart failure last month. 

Footballers
Getty Images

Ekeng, 26, collapsed shortly after coming on as a substitute for Dinamo Bucharest in a league game and died after hospital staff were unable to resuscitate him.

The Bucharest prosecutor's office quoted forensic scientists as saying 95% of people with similar heart problems survive cardiac arrest if defibrillation is administered within 60 seconds. 

Even if among Patrick Ekeng's causes of death were the cardiac problems he suffered from, by her unjustified inaction Elena Duta removed any chance of survival."

Bucharest prosecutor

Read the BBC Sport story for more. 

Kenya's Safaricom to compensate for dropped calls

Kenya's mobile phone company Safaricom says it will compensate its subscribers for dropped calls, the private Daily Nation newspaper reports.

Callers whose conversations are cut off prematurely will get a text notification and thereafter receive airtime compensation worth one minute, though this will be limited to Safaricom-to-Safaricom calls.

The Communications Authority of Kenya, the body that regulates the mobile industry, says all three of the country's phone operators - Airtel, Safaricom and Telkom - have all fallen short of providing a quality service to their customers.

Mobile phone
Reuters

Ethiopia to push for permanent African seats at UN

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia foreign minister
BBC
Ethiopia's foreign minister minister addressed journalists at the airport this morning

Ethiopia says it will push for Africa to have permanent seats with veto powers at the UN Security Council following its election to serve in the top UN organ from next year.

Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, who arrived back from New York this morning, says the council as currently constituted does not adequately address the concerns of the continent. 

Africa currently has only three non-permanent positions on the Security Council. 

The foreign minister said the priority would also be to tackle global terrorism and the migration crisis. 

Earlier this week, four African presidents, including Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, called for the implementation of a 2005 continental agreement that seeks to have an overhaul of the entire UN system with the continent getting two permanent seats on the UN Security Council.

Kenyan cartoonist mocks the firing of president's press team

Kenyan cartoonist Gathara has reacted to conflicting news about the fate of President Uhuru Kenyatta's communication team, which has reportedly been disbanded.          

My cartoon for @TheStarKenya #PSCUDisbanded

My cartoon for @TheStarKenya #PSCUDisbanded

Initial reports suggested that the team had been fired but there have been indications that the team would actually be integrated into other government operations. 

Some on social media have suggested the team would lead the president's re-election campaign next year. 

The Star newspaper in Kenya reports that the team was sent packing because the president was unhappy with their unilateral and conflicting statements on every matter touching on the government.

The latest incident was a verbose and badly written statement in reaction to a New York Times article that they thought had maligned President Kenyatta.

 The article was about the president's past case at the International Criminal Court. Read the article here:The Prosecutor and the President.

Three senior South African journalists suspended

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

South Africa's national broadcaster has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately.

Today three senior South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) employees have been suspended.

They follow hot on the heels of three employees who were sacked for questioning the decisions of SABC's chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Those suspended today had sent a letter to Mr Motsoeneng expressing concern about recent editorial policy changes.

Mr Motsoeneng has been accused of  censorship after he banned the broadcast of footage showing violent protests and clamped down on negative coverage of President Jacob Zuma.

Mr Hlaudi insists the changes are in line with "nation-building".

Read: Is South Africa's public broadcaster using apartheid tactics?

Pictures from the aftermath of Somalia attack

Pictures of the aftermath of a bomb attack that killed 18 people in the outskirts of Somalia capital, Mogadishu (see earlier post) are coming in. 

Mangled car
AFP

Eyewitnesses say the bus was being escorted by a military vehicle, which escaped undamaged.

It is unclear whether the government car was the target of the blast.

Mangled car
AFP
Mangled car
AFP

So far no-one has said they were behind the attack.  

Coptic priest 'shot dead in Egypt's Sinai'

An Egyptian Coptic priest has been shot dead in the North Sinai city of  El-Arish, the AFP news agency reports.

Raphael Moussa, 46, was killed instantly when a man shot him in the head while he was standing next to his car, a church spokesman is quoted as saying.

Security officials said more than one gunman was involved in the shooting and they had followed the priest, who had attended a church service earlier, and opened fire when he emerged from his car, AFP reports.

It is not clear who carried out the attack.

Militants active in Egypt's Sinai peninsula have pledge allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group.  

South Africa's anti-racism song 'too expensive'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South Africa’s Arts and Culture Department has released an anti-racism song called No Love, No Life to unite the country.

It is composed by Mzwakhe Mbuli, who has been dubbed “The People’s Poet” and known for his recitation of anti-apartheid poetry in the 1980s.

He says nobody is born a racist:

There is no DNA for racism, there are no genes, love has no colour and love transcends all boundaries.”

Other artists featured in the song include Mbongeni Ngema, and Thokozani Langa.

The late Miriam Makeba’s voice was also digitally used in backing vocals.

View more on youtube

But some have taken to social media to condemn the project.

Most of the complaints have been directed at the cost of the project, which is reported to be about 800,000 rand ($54,200; £40,300).

Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has defended the expense:

We cannot physically see people who directly perpetuate racism, we should, through the arts, influence the abstract being."

There has been an increase in incidents of racism in the country recently.

Last year an estate agent took to Facebook calling black people “monkeys”.

More recently a guest house owner in Sodwana Bay said he would not accept black people as guests.

Migrants die as dinghy sinks off Libya

At least 10 people drowned and more than 100 others were rescued when an inflatable boat carrying migrants capsized 32km (20 miles) off Libya.

Those who died were all women, Italian reports said.

The latest migrant tragedy came as the Italian navy raised to the surface a boat that sank with the loss of more than 700 lives:

The wreck of a boat that capsized in April 2015 was pulled to the surface by a pulley system
Italian navy
The wreck of a boat that capsized in April 2015 was pulled to the surface by a pulley system

The April 2015 sinking was the worst loss of human life since the influx of migrants began in 2013.

More than 64,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy since the start of this year, according to UN figures, including more than 16,000 in June alone. Most of the arrivals have come from African countries.

Read the BBC News story for more

Nigeria 'signs $80bn oil deals with China'

Nigeria has signed oil and gas infrastructure agreements worth $80bn (£60m) with Chinese companies, the Reuters news agency quotes the country's state oil company as saying.

The West African country is one of Africa’s largest oil producers and oil is its main export earner.

But it imports 80% of its fuel and its four refineries have never reached full production because of poor maintenance.

Reuters say Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has been in China since Sunday.

President Muhammadu Buhari came to power just over a year ago promising to crack down on the massive corruption within the oil industry.

The sector has also been hit by a resurgence of attacks by militants demanding a greater share of the oil wealth.

Read more: Buhari's battle to clean up Nigeria's oil industry and The Niger Delta Avengers

Nigerian fuel attendant
AFP
Nigeria imports most of its fuel

Kenyan journalists barred from offices

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Staff at the radio stations and TV channel that Kenya's Nation Media Group has said it is closing (see earlier post) have been barred from their offices.

They were not allowed in when they arrived at work this morning in the capital, Nairobi.

The affected stations are Nairobi-based QTV, QFM and Nation FM as well as KFM, which is based in Rwanda.

QTV, its Swahili TV channel, has already gone off air and has been replaced with NTV, which broadcasts in English.

African fans pay tribute to 'feminist' Elechi Amadi

People have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late Nigerian author Elechi Amadi, praising his seminal work, The Concubine, and celebrating his feminism.

His name is not just trending on Twitter in Nigeria, but in Kenya and Tanzania too.

BBC Focus on Africa TV presenter, Sophie Ikenye, from Kenya, is among those remembering the 82-year-old writer:

RIP Nigerian author and playwright Elechi Amadi. One of Africa's finest. I'll never forget "The concubine" among other fantastic books.

A GREAT MAN IS GONE! Nigerian writer ELECHI AMADI, one of Africa’s best novelists, died today 29 June. Aged 82.

A GREAT MAN IS GONE! Nigerian writer ELECHI AMADI, one of Africa’s best novelists, died today 29 June. Aged 82.

The concubine is such a feminist novel. Elechi Amadi gave me hope that Nigerian men can be redeemable. Rest in Peace twitter.com/CassavaRepubli…

RIP Elechi Amadi. (1934-2016). Thank you for blessing us with the classic novel - The Concubine.

RIP Elechi Amadi. (1934-2016). Thank you for blessing us with the classic novel - The Concubine.

Lagos cracks down on noise

Authorities in Nigeria's Lagos State have shut 70 churches and 20 mosques in an attempt to reduce high noise levels.

About 10 hotels, pubs and club houses were also closed.

Lagos has a population of around 20 million, with correspondents saying noise - from the beep of car horns, to the Muslim call to prayer and the singing in churches - being its soundtrack.

In August, the authorities closed 22 premises after residents complained about the noise emanating from them.  

People singing at a church service in Lagos, Nigeria
AFP
Some people complain about loud church singing

Ivory Coast's 'baby hero' professor

This Ivorian professor, pictured with a baby on this back, has mothers across Africa in awe - as it's not image you often see on the continent:

Honore Kahi with a baby on his back
@FierIvo01

The photo has been widely shared on social media, with many praising him as a hero.

Honore Kahi offered to take the baby as he was crying and preventing the mother from sitting in class.

He said his students were surprised, began to laugh and then took pictures:

Honore Kahi with a baby on his back
@FierIvo01

But the professor who teaches at Bouake University, told the BBC that being a mother should not stop women getting an education, adding that women should not be discouraged by people's perceptions of what they should be able to do.

What prevails here is... male chauvinism."

Prof Honore Kahi

Read the BBC News story for more

Kenya 'alarm' over missing lawyer

Mohammud Ali Mohamed

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Willie Kimani
IJM
Willie Kimani works for a legal charity

The Law Society of Kenya has asked the government to produce a missing lawyer alive or dead. 

Willie Kimani has been missing for a week now.

He was last seen in a taxi on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi, shortly after he had left the court with a client last Thursday.

The taxi driver and client are also missing. 

The police have not yet commented on the disappearances.

Isaac Okero, president of the Law Society of Kenya, told the BBC that lawyers are in shock:

"We are very alarmed about this development because it means that lawyers are becoming a target because of their work... [it] is an indication that the rule of law is beginning to crumble."

Mr Okero added that they suspect there could be a link between the lawyer’s disappearance and the case he was working on. 

Mr Kimani - who worked for the International Justice Mission, a US-based legal charity - was representing a client who had lodged an official complaint about a police officer. 

Disappearances have become common in Kenya.

South Africa approves beer buyout

Beer cans
Ge
Mixing drinks: SAB's Miller High Life and AB InBev's Budweiser

South Africa's Competition Tribunal has approved the buyout of beer giant SABMiller by the world's top brewer AB InBev. 

However, it set a range of conditions, including the sale of SABMiller's stake in Distell Group, and a guarantee that mo jobs would be lost in the first five years.

Belgium-based AB InBev's acquisition of SABMiller was valued at $121bn (£90bn) when it was announced in November, but it is now worth less because the value of the pound has plummeted following the UK's vote to leave the European Union. 

Current exchange rates put the value of the acquisition at around $106.5bn, Reuters news agency says.   

Read: What would takeover mean for drinkers? 

Malian director invited to join Oscars film academy

Director Souleymane Cisse
AFP
The 76-year-old is an award-winning filmmaker

Renowned Malian film director Souleymane Cisse has been invited to vote in next year's Oscars awards.

He is among nearly 700 people, with a focus on ethnic minorities and women, invited to join the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Science.

British-Nigerian actor John Boyega, recently in Star Wars, is also on the list.

For the second year in a row, all the acting nominees at February’s Oscars were white, sparking an outcry.

The protests led to an unprecedented debate about racial equality in the film industry - characterised on social media by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite - and caused several Hollywood stars to boycott the awards ceremony.

But BBC Entertainment says should all of those invited do agree to join, the demographic of the membership would only slightly change from being mostly white, male and over 60.

Male membership would slip from 75% to 73% - white membership from 92% to 89%.

There are currently more than 6,000 members of the academy.

Deadly suicide blast near Cameroon mosque

A suicide bomber has killed at least 10 people near a mosque in northern Cameroon, military and local officials have said. 

The bomber blew himself up as Muslims gathered under a tent in Djakana town after breaking their fast yesterday evening, Reuters news agency agency quotes an offcial, as saying.

A Cameroonian army officer said the bomber was a young boy, Reuters adds.   

No group has said it carried out the attack but Nigeria-based militant Islamist movement Boko Haram often carries out cross-border raids. 

Read: Huge rise in suicide bombers

Abubakar Shekau and other militants
AFP
Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency since 2009

Kenya's Olympic trials held over doping cloud

The BBC's Abdinoor Aden is in Eldoret, the Kenyan town famous for producing long-distance runners, taking photos at the long-awaited Olympics trials.

Runners
BBC

The event is being held under a cloud caused by the doping scandal which has rocked world athletics. At one stage it had looked as if the country would be banned from Rio until tough anti-doping legislation hastily passed last month.

Officials from Kenya's anti-doping agency and the regional anti-doping organisation, Rado, are part of the team conducting the doping tests.

Some of the events taking place today include the 10,000m finals for women.

Female Kenyan athlete
BBC

Africa Express makes music with Syrians

BBC Africa's Manuel Toledo has been in Denmark for the Roskilde Festival where last night he filmed and photographed the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians in a concert with Africa Express, a collective of musicians from around the world set up by British Britpop singer Damon Albarn:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Kenya radio and TV stations to close

Nation Media Group Q radio presenters in Nairobi, Kenya - 2015
AFP
The closures are likely to lead to job cuts

The Nation Media Group (NMG), the largest media company in East Africa, has announced it will be closing some flagship stations.

Its English radio station Nation FM and its Swahili TV channel QTV  in Kenya and KFM radio station in Rwanda are being shut.

In a statement, the company gave these reasons for the decision:

We are reorganising ourselves with the objective of transforming the group into a modern 21st Century digital content company embracing a digital/ mobile first business model"

Massive job losses are expected. 

The NMG publishes The Nation, Kenya’s largest independent newspaper, and The East African, which is distributed in the region.

The company was founded in 1959 by the Aga Khan, a spiritual leader and wealthy businessman who grew up in Kenya.

Here's the full statement:

Statement
NMG
Nation Media Group statement

Giant Botswana diamond fails to sell

The world's largest uncut diamond failed to sell at a London auction last night after bids did not reach the minimum reserve price.

The Lesedi la Rona, almost the size of a tennis ball, was unearthed in Botswana in November.

The rough diamond is 1,109 carats and believed to be more than 2.5 billion years old.

It had been expected to sell for more than £52m ($70m) but the highest bid was about £45m ($61m).

The auction at Sotheby's was the first time a rough diamond of such a size has gone on public sale.

Why have so many huge diamonds been found recently?

Diamond
Donald Bowers

Nigerians mourn Concubine author Elechi Amadi

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

The Concubine (Heinemann African Writers Series)
Heinemann
The Concubine was part of the Heinemann African Writers Series

Nigerians are mourning Elechi Amadi, a popular author who has died at the age of 82.

Known for his famous book The Concubine, he died on Wednesday after a short illness. 

It pictured the culture of marriage and forbidden traditions and was originally published in 1966.

It has remained a recommended text, which is widely read in schools across Africa. 

His other books include Sunset in Biafra, Peppersoup, The Slave and The Road to Ibadan. 

A physics and mathematics graduate of the University of Ibadan, he joined the Nigerian army and continued serving in it during the civil war, despite coming from the Niger Delta, which was part of the breakaway state of Biafra.

When retired as a captain, he also worked as a teacher and held several political appointments in his native Rivers State.

Remote-controlled bomb hits Somali minibus

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa

At least 18 people have been killed in a roadside bomb on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

They were travelling past Lafole in a minibus when a remote-controlled bomb went off, killing everyone on board. 

Eyewitnesses say they were being escorted by a military vehicle, which escaped undamaged.

It is unclear whether the government car was the target of the blast. 

It is not clear who is behind the attack.

But al-Shabab militants have repeatedly targeted both government officials and the public in Somalia. 

There have used several tactics including drive-by shootings, grenade attacks and beheadings.

The group wants to overthrow the UN-backed government and to establish a Muslim Caliphate.

Wise words

Today's African proverb is:

The old woman looks after the child to grow its teeth and the young one in turn looks after the old woman when she loses her teeth."

An Akan proverb from Ghana and Ivory Coast sent by Jacob Dior Macueng in Rumbek, South Sudan
A Somali grandmother and her grandchild
AFP

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news and trends today across the continent.