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  1. Huge number of Nigerian women seek mass wedding
  2. SABC dismisses journalists opposed to censorship
  3. Mugabe accuses preacher of being 'foreign-sponsored'
  4. Freed detainees in Nigeria compensated with $10
  5. AU summit approves troop deployment for South Sudan
  6. BBC announces winner of Komla Dumor Award
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 19 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Tuesday'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:

If you treat your child as a king you will be the first one to pay tax."

A Mandinka proverb sent by Modou Ceesay, Banjul, The Gambia and Mustapha Minteh in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Click here to send your African proverbs of the day.

And we leave you with this unique perspective from the top of the minaret at The Uganda National Mosque in Kampala, Uganda.

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US Aids funding 'would continue under Trump'

The US is the world's biggest donor to Aids programmes, but there are concerns about future funding if the Republican Party candidate Donald Trump becomes president.

Campaigners at the UN Aids Conference in the South African city of Durban worry that the social conservative policies of the Republican nominee and his running mate, Mike Pence, might alienate minorities, including the gay community.

But Deborah Birx, global Aids co-ordinator at US Department of State, has soothed fears that a Trump presidency would dramatically slash global Aids funding. 

She acknowledged there was already a $7bn (£5.3bn) funding gap, but told the BBC's Karen Allen how it could be addressed:

US Aids funding 'would continue under Trump'

How Mugabe spells 'God'

Robert Mugabe addresses mourners gathered for the burial of National Hero Charles Utete at the Heroes Acre in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 19, 2016

We've just heard the audio of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's speech attacking Pastor Evan Mawarie and his followers for campaigning for him to resign, amid a deepening economic crisis. 

Mr Mugabe accused the pastor of being unable to spell God, but just see how the president spells it:   

Well, we spell God G.G.O.D. They spell God in reverse."

Read earlier posts for more details

What makes gospel music African?

Gospel music came from the US but has been interpreted in many ways across the world.

South African gospel singer Mahalia Buchanan was inspired by the American singers Mary Mary. But she says language makes a massive difference between US gospel music and her songs:

Meanwhile Ghanaian gospel singer Sir Tim explains that he makes his music distinctively Ghanaian by using Ghanaian rhythms:

Listen to the whole show on BBC Global beats.

Clashes at Ivory Coast university

Enoh N'Dri

BBC Africa, Dakar, Senegal

Tension is high at  Ivory Coast main university,  hours after police clashed with a group of students on the campus in Abidjan city.

Reports say at least 40 students were arrested and a dozen wounded, including three police officers, at Felix Houphouet Boigny University.

In a statement on state TV, a police spokesperson said several vehicles were burnt down as they "intervened to stop a violent protest" organised by the Federation of Ivory Coast's Students.

The students have been protesting for seven days to demand better learning conditions and have promised to continue protesting.

Tweeters demand South Sudan editor's release

Ibrahim Haithar

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

Twitter users are calling for the release of Alfred Taban, the editor-in-chief of South Sudan's Juba Monitor newspaper. 

Mr Taban, a former BBC correspondent,was arrested last week over an article he published on the conflict in South Sudan. 

Here is a flavour of some of the tweets:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Back in 2014, Jason Patinkin wrote in Christian Science Monitor wrote about Mr Taban's career as a journalist.

Mugabe hits out amid a 'mood of despair'

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare


A day after after arriving from the African Union summit in Rwanda, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was in his usual no-nonsense mood when he addressed thousands of mourners at the funeral of Charles Utete, the country's first black cabinet secretary  

The 92-year-old attacked his new-found nemesis, Pastor Evan Mawarie, accusing him of not being a genuine pastor and telling him to relocate to a country which is "sponsoring" him. 

But Mr Mawarire, who is currently in South Africa, has struck a chord with many Zimbabweans through the #ThisFlag campaign he has organised via Twitter and WhatsApp to press Mr Mugabe to step down after 36 years in power. 

That is not surprising because the mood in the country is one of despair, anger and anxiety over corruption in government, the shortage of money - and the heavy police presence on streets. 

See earlier post for more details

Mali attack 'leaves 12 dead'

At least 12 soldiers have died in an attack on a military base in central Mali, a local official has told Reuters news agency. 

The assailants also wounded at least 27 people as they took control of the base in Nampala town, near the Mauritanian border, the agency quotes Ousmane Diallo, the deputy mayor of a nearby town, as saying. 

It adds that casualties have been confirmed by a security source as well.

See earlier post for more details 

Meintjes tipped to be best African performer

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Louis Meintjes

It is a rest day in the Tour de France bicycle race but South Africa’s Louis Meintjes could become the highest overall finisher from the continent.

He is currently twelfth overall, five minutes 48 seconds behind leader Chris Froome. 

He is also second in the standings for the White Jersey for the best young rider in the race – he is three minutes and three seconds behind Britain’s Adam Yates, who is third overall. 

Thousands register for mass wedding in Nigeria

Isa Sanusi

BBC Africa, Abuja

More than 10,000 Muslim women have registered their desire to be married at a mass ceremony in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, religious official Abba Sufi has told me.

The Hizba board, the main Islamic authority in the predominantly Muslim state, arranges the ceremony in a bid to reduce the number of single women.

It introduces the women to possible husbands and leaves them to make the final decision. 

Some of the women told me they had searched but couldn't find a suitable partner. They had, therefore, turned to the Hizba for help. 

Others said they had turned down marriage proposals because they couldn't afford the cost of a wedding and have now decided to marry at the Hiza-organised ceremony. 

Mr Sufi, who is a senior Hiza member, told me he expected the number of women seeking to marry to rise by the time the next ceremony takes place. 

No date for it has still been set.       

A total of 5,000 men and women have been married since mass weddings were introduced in Kano in 2012.

brides waiting 2012
Getty Images
A ceremony in 2012 at the emir of Kano's palace was put on to marry off divorcees and widows

AU's headaches in South Sudan

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

AU troops
AU troops will have a more robust mandate than the 12,000-strong UN force

South Sudan's President Kiir will be hoping that the African Union (AU) shelves its plan to deploy troops to his country, as it did in the case of Burundi. 

So far, the continental body has only sent forces in at the request of the state in need. Theoretically it can intervene against a nation's wishes, which is part of the remit of the new rapid-response African Standby Force.

The AU has a history of talking tough but has been unable to rein in African leaders causing problems. 

It is also struggling to fund its operations so sending troops to South Sudan will only add to its challenges.

The AU wants to model this new force after the Force Intervention Brigade sent to eastern DR Congo to battle rebel groups. 

That was a collaboration involving the AU, the UN and the Southern African Development Community and ended up defeating the M23 rebels after some 800,000 people had fled their homes during their insurgency.

Mr Kiir's troops make up the majority in and around the capital, Juba, contrary to the terms of the peace agreement with the opposition.  

So, it would be a huge challenge for the AU force to call them to order, but it would provide a buffer to the outnumbered troops on Mr Machar's side. 

His whereabouts, following the recent fighting, remain unclear.

See earlier posts for more on South Sudan

How do you move an elephant?

Elephant being lifted by a crane

Here's how you move an elephant:

Step one: You fire it with a tranquiliser dart from a helicopter.


Step Two: When it is knocked unconscious you flip its big ears over its eyes to block the light and prop open the tip of its trunk with twigs to make sure it doesn't stop breathing.

Step Three: Then you put straps on its ankles and pull it up with a crane onto a trunk.


A total of 500 elephants are being moved like this over the next two months in Malawi, AP news agency reports.

They will be relocated from the overcrowded Liwonde and Majete parks to the more spacious Nkhotakota park, AP adds.

It says the reason Nkhotakota is more spacious is because poachers have virtually wiped out its elephant population.  

It is unclear how the elephants will be protected from poachers in the new park.

Has Nigeria's military insulted freed detainees?

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigerian soldiers
The military is involved in a fierce struggle with Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria

Many would regard receiving $10 (£7) from the military for being detained without charge as an insult. 

But that's the amount given to each of the 249 men, women and children who were freed by Nigeria's military after being cleared of having links with militant Islamist group Boko Haram. 

It is not clear for how long the 249 were detained or where they are now. 

With inflation in double digits as the economy worsens, it is doubtful that $10 will cover the transport fares of all those trying to get back home from northern Nigeria -  one of the released suspects came from Lagos city, some 1,200km (745 miles) away in the south-west, while another two from across the border in Cameroon.

While it is unclear under what conditions the 249 were held, human rights groups have repeatedly accused the military of keeping suspects in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. 

In May, Amnesty International called for the closure of a military detention facility in the main city in the north-east, Maiduguri, after nearly 150 people, including children, allegedly died in custody.

Nigeria's economic woes worsen

Naira notes

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its growth forecast for Nigeria's economy, saying a lack of investor confidence and falling oil prices will push it into recession, the AFP news agency reports. 

 The IMF said it expected Africa's largest economy to contract by 1.8%, after having forecast in April a 2.3% expansion. 

'Free' South South Sudan journalist

A media pressure group has called on the authorities in South Sudan to release prominent journalist Alfred Taban. 

He has been held without charge since Saturday. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists said the newspaper run by Mr Taban, Juba Monitor, has been shut down. 

Staff at the paper say the authorities were angered by a column written by Mr Taban, a former BBC Africa correspondent, about the recent outbreak of violence in the capital Juba. 

A number of journalists have been arrested and beaten in South Sudan in recent months.

Mugabe condemns #ThisFlag pastor

Pastor Evan Mawarire
Pastor Evan Mawarire says he wants to reclaim the flag from the government

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has blasted the pastor at the heart of a social media campaign against the government, saying he was not a "true preacher" who served God as he spelt God backwards [ie dog], the state-owned Herald newspaper reports

It quoted Mr Mugabe as saying that if people like Evan Mawarire "don't want to live with us they should go to those countries that are sponsoring them".    

Mr Mawarire, who launched the #ThisFlag campaign, is currently in neighbouring South Africa. 

A court ordered his release last week after throwing out charges of subversion against him.

He was detained after calling for a stay away against the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe, where the government has battled to pay the salaries of civil servants. 

Speaking at the funeral of his political comrade Charles Utete in the capital, Harare, Mr Mugabe said:  

The Mwarires, I don't even know him... I don't know if he's a man of religion. A man of religion will speak the biblical truth.

First Corinthiuans, what does its say? Love one another. So beware these men of God - not all of them are true preachers of the Bible.

I don't know whether they are serving God. Well, we spell God G.O.D. They spell God in reverse."

Read: Zimbabwe's pastor 'hero'

Military base attacked in Mali

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Officials in Mali say heavily-armed men have attacked a military base in the central town of Nampala, near the border with Mauritania. 

Eyewitnesses say they took control of the base, parts of which have been set on fire. 

A number of people are said to have been killed. It is not yet clear who the attackers are.

 Jihadist groups are active in Mali, especially the north. In 2012, Islamist and separatist groups seized control of more than half of the country. 

They were beaten back by French and African troops, but continue to stage attacks.

An image grab made on June 25, 2016 from a video released by head of Islamist group Ansar Dine, Iyad Ag Ghaly,
Iyad Ag Ghaly is a one of the leaders of Mali's militant Islamists

How to resign gracefully

Prime Minister David Cameron hugs his wife Samantha Cameron and children Nancy Cameron, Arthur Cameron and Florence Cameron as he leaves Downing Street for the last time on July 13, 2016 in London
Getty Images

The UK Prime Minister didn't even wait until the end of his term to step down.

For our regular columnist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, there is a lesson in this for some African leaders - that there is no need for "melodramatic performances when it comes to leaving office".

It is even possible to go out on a jaunty note, as Mr Cameron did, whistling to the tune of D'Banj's Olorun Maje.

We are yet to confirm that was indeed the song he was caught whistling but we are not ruling it out. 

The spate of speedy political resignations is just one lesson that can be taken from Brexit, our columnist writes in her Letter from Africa.   

‘My husband doesn’t know I have HIV’


Thousands of women across South Africa are taking drugs to combat Aids in secret.

Julia – not her real name – told the BBC’s Karen Allen she is one of them.

She didn’t realise she had HIV until she had a test when she was pregnant with her third child.

She had been infect by a previous partner. 

She has decided not to tell her husband as she says he would divorce her if he knew.

Instead she tells him that she goes to the clinic because she has high blood pressure and she even decants her drugs into a different bottle to disguise them.

She believes she is going to keep the secret until she dies.

Watch Julia’s story.

SABC sacks eight journalists

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Protester in chained hands and a gas mask atop his head rallies with others outside the offices of South Africa"s public broadcaster on July 1, 2016 in Johannesburg
Camapaigners fear that the SABC is turning into a state broadcaster

South Africa's public broadcaster has confirmed to me that it has sacked all eight journalists accused of questioning its decision not to broadcast violent protests.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) spokesman Kaizer Kganyago told me those who were full-time employees had been served with letters of dismissal last night while those who were freelancers had their contracts terminated.  

When I asked Mr Kganyago to explain the decision, he replied: 

In each and every organization there are rules and regulations and if you do not go according to the rules you will be fired.”

Sam Mkokeli of the South African National Editors Forum condemned the decision. 

He said the SABC's controversial Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be removed from his post: 

He is not a legitimate COO. He doesn’t have the qualifications. He shouldn’t be there."

The SABC has been ordered by South Africa's media regulator to reverse the ban, imposed last month.

It has so far refused, saying it will challenge the order in court.

The SABC argues that showing footage of violent protests incites people to carry out more attacks. 

South Africa has a history of violent demonstrations, going back to the days when people protested against white minority rule.

Local media reports that five of the eight journalists have decided to challenge their dismissals in the Labour Court. 

Read: Is SABC using apartheid tactics?

Melania trends in Africa

The name Melania is trending across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa after US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's wife, Melania, was accused of plagiarising a portion of her speech at the Republican National Convention from Michelle Obama.

Here's a snapshot of the reaction in  Africa:

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter

MTN's shares 'slump'

MTN billboard in NIgeria
Nigeria is MTN's biggest market in Africa

MTN shares have fallen sharply in trading at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange after the mobile phone firm said it expected to report a loss for the first half of this year as it pays a record fine imposed by Nigeria for failing to to disconnect unregistered Sim cards, Bloomberg news agency reports.

The shares of Africa's biggest mobile phone company dropped 2.5% at 11:25 local time, after earlier slumping by as much as 3.8%, the most in three weeks on a closing basis, it reports.

Last month, South African-owned MTN said it would pay Nigeria $1.7bn (£1.1bn), dropping legal action against  the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). 

It was originally fined $5.2bn by the NCC but the two sides settled on a lower amount.

Western Sahara leader sets condition for Morocco's AU bid


The new president of the disputed territory of Western Sahara Brahim Ghali has said Morocco should be allowed to rejoin the African Union (AU) only if it recognises the territory's independence. 

He was speaking to the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza at the AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda. 

Morocco annexed two-thirds of Western Sahara in 1975.

The AU currently recognises Western Sahara as an independent state and Morocco left the AU in protest.

But this week Morocco announced it wishes to rejoin the body.

Le Guen 'may reject' Nigerian job

Cameroon's coach Paul Le Guen gestures after Denmark scored during their Group E first round 2010 World Cup football match on June 19, 2010 at Loftus Verfeld stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria.

Frenchman Paul Le Guen may turn down his appointment as technical adviser of NIgeria's football team as it tries to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, French sports newspaper L’Equipe is reporting

The Nigeria Football Federation announced his appointment yesterday, along with that of Nigerian Salisu Yusuf as chief coach. 

The 52-year-old Le Guen led Cameroon to the 2010 World Cup and has coached top French clubs Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain. 

Kenya arson attacks: Education minister demands action

The only way to stop people burning down schools in Kenya is through successful prosecutions, Education Minister Fred Matiangi has said.

His comments came a day after four schools were torched in Muranga county in central Kenya.   

Mr Matiangi said that arson cases have been reported at 317 schools since 2007. 

"Out of all those cases we have not seen even 20 successful prosecutions" he added. 

Sixty-eight secondary schools have been affected this year alone.  

Mr Matiangi was speaking at a meeting of the Senate education committee this morning.  

He accused headteachers of colluding with students to destroy vital documents when they were under investigation. 

Teachers in 15 schools are being investigated by the Teachers Service Commission, he added.

burning box
Daily Nation
One boarding school was burned down after students weren't allowed to watch football

Some analysts have suggested that people are burning down schools because of opposition to new policies introduced by the minister, changing term dates for secondary schools. 

But Mr Matiangi said 90 schools had been torched prior to the introduction of new term dates.  

Read more: Why are so many schools being burned down in Keyna?

Nigerian wins Komla Dumor Award

Business journalist and presenter Didi Akinyelure has been awarded this year's BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, which aims to celebrate African journalism and reward exceptional talent. 

Ms Akinyelure comes from Nigeria and has been working for CNBC Africa in Lagos since 2013. She will join BBC news teams in September for a three-month placement. 

Here’s the moment the BBC broke the news to her.  

Didi Akinyelure has been working for CNBC Africa in Lagos since 2013.

Nigeria 'frees Boko Haram suspects'

Nigeria's military says it has freed 249 detainees - including children - after finding no evidence to link them to militant Islamist group Boko Haram, the local Vanguard newspaper reports.

The 249 would be given a "token" of 3,000 naira ($10; £7) each for being held by the military, spokesman Sani Usmani is quoted as saying. 

The military is often accused of unlawfully detaining people during operations aimed at flushing out Boko Haram from its strongholds in the north-east. 

The group included 69 men, 46 women and 34 children, the Vanguard reports.

Two of them were nationals of neighboring Cameroon, it adds. 

It is unclear for how long the 249 were detained. 

A Nigerian soldier walks near a damaged army vehicle at Bosso military camp on June 17, 2016 following attacks by Boko Haram fighters in the region.
The conflict has destroyed many villages in north-east Nigeria

AU approves peace force for South Sudan

In this photo taken Thursday, July 14, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UN peacekeeper soldiers hold a baby as South Sudanese people seek protection at the UN camp in Juba, South Sudan.
The UN has battled to end conflict in South Sudan

African Union leaders have approved plans to deploy a regional protection force to South Sudan which will have a more robust mandate than the UN peace force currently there, AFP news agency reports. 

"African troops are ready to engage in very difficult situations," the AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui said at a summit in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, AFP reports.

He added:

The UN doesn't have the mandate to impose peace."

A 12,000-strong UN force has failed to stem violence between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar. 

At least 300 people were killed and tens of thousands left homeless in the latest fights which broke out earlier this month. 

Today's wise words

 Our African proverb of the day:

If you treat your child as a king you will be the first one to pay tax.

A Mandinka proverb sent by Modou Ceesay, Banjul, The Gambia and Mustapha Minteh in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Click here to send your African proverbs of the day.

Good morning

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