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  1. Zimbabwe's central bank chief moves to calm fears over currency crisis
  2. Spanish court gives asylum to gay Cameroonian
  3. 'Terror suspect' killed in Rwanda after gun battle
  4. South Sudan's former vice-president flees
  5. Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi drops retirement plan
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 18 August 2016

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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:

Those who love each other need only a small place."

A Luganda proverb sent by Emmanuel Ssebadduka, Kampala, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of Kenya's Boniface Mucheru Tumuti racing Jamaica's Annsert Whyte and the US's Kerron Clement. Tumuti took over Whyte to take silver behind Clement in the 400m hurdles at the Rio Olympics:

Boniface Mucheru Tumuti, Annsert Whyte and Kerron Clement 18 August 2016

The Koranic schools which send children to beg?


Four-year-old Ousseynou screams, struggles to breathe and uses all his strength to try to loosen the grip of the two plainclothes policemen who are part of a team cracking down on child beggars in Senegal.

They drag the small boy into a minibus - he is shoeless and wearing torn shorts and a dark blue shirt that is at least three sizes too large.

Ousseynou is one of an estimated 30,000 children who beg on the streets of the capital, Dakar.

It is common for Senegalese Koranic schools to send their students, known as "talibe", out to beg for food and money.  

To find out why they do it, read the full story by the BBC's Maud Jullien here

Liberian presidential hopeful in trouble with tax authorities

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

One of Liberia's richest  businessmen and presidential hopeful is in trouble with the tax authorities. 

Benoni Urey's radio and television stations have been shut down on the orders of a court  for allegedly failing to pay $50,000 (£38,000) in tax. 

He told me that he had tried to pay the tax:

We’ve been making all efforts to pay the government... But the government want to to have this hanging over us so that when you criticise the government they can close us down.”

Mr Urey was head of Liberia's lucrative marine programme when war criminal Charles Taylor was in power.  

Oscar Pistorius case: Appeal bid 'an insult'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Lawyers for South Africa's double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius say the prosecution's decision to appeal against his six-year murder sentence is an insult to trial Judge Thokozile Masipa. 

In court papers, they said "enough is enough" as they called on Judge Masipa not to give the prosecution permission to challenge her ruling in the Supreme Court of Appeal. 

Prosecutors say the sentence is "shockingly light", and are demanding that Pistorius be jailed for a minimum of 15 years for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his upmarket home on Valentines Day 2013. 

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius leaves court after appearing for the 2013 killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, June 14, 2016
Pistorius is a former Olympic and Paralympic track star

Zimbabwe's Mujuru 'ready to work with MDC'

BBC World Service

Former Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru addresses a rally of her Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party in Harare, June 25,2016
Ms Mujuru was an ally of the president until he accused her of plotting to oust him

Zimbabwe's former Vice-President Joice Mujuru says she would be happy to form a coalition with the main opposition parties to unseat veteran President Robert Mugabe. 

Mrs Mujuru told the BBC she was ready to work with the Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, and others for the good of the Zimbabwean people. 

She officially launched her own party earlier this year after being sacked as vice-president and expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party. 

President Mugabe, 92, says he intends to stand for another term in office at the next elections in two years' time. 

There have been a number of protests in recent weeks over worsening economic conditions in Zimbabwe.

See earlier post for more details

South African grabs triathlon bronze behind brothers

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Men"s Final - Fort Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 18/08/2016. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) of Britain, Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) of Russia, Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) of Britain, and Henri Schoeman (RSA) of South Africa compete

South Africa’s Henri Schoeman has claimed bronze in the men’s triathlon at the Olympics.

He has finished behind the Brownlee brothers from Great Britain.

Alistair won gold to defend the title he won in London with Jonathan claiming silver.

Senegalese woman who caught policeman demanding bribe is convicted

A court in Senegal has fined a woman about $250 (£190) for bribing a policeman, despite the fact that she secretly filmed him demanding a $10 bribe from her and a friend in the capital, Dakar.

View more on youtube

The policeman is seen, at the end of the video, eating a ticket. 

He was also fined about $250 and given a suspended prison sentence of two months. 

The woman was given a suspended prison sentence of one month. 

Her video was widely circulated on social media, and won her public sympathy. 

She was in the car, when the policeman took the bribe. 

He settled for about $5, half of what he initially demanded. 

Ebola nurse 'concealed temperature'

Pauline Cafferke
Ms Cafferkey contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone two years ago

Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey faces disciplinary action over claims she concealed her temperature at an Ebola screening on her return to the UK.

She was infected while working in Sierra Leone in 2014.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) alleges that she intended to conceal from health staff that she had a temperature higher than 38C at Heathrow Airport.

The NMC has the power to strike workers off the professional register.

Ms Cafferkey will face a disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh, Scotland, next month.

Read more on the BBC News website

Kenya gets silver medal for hurdles

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Kenya’s Boniface Mucheru Tumuti has won silver in the men’s 400m hurdles behind the USA’s Kerron Clement with Turkey’s Yasmani Copello taking the bronze.

Egypt arrests migrants trying to leave for Europe

Egypt's navy says it has thwarted an attempt by about 90 migrants to sail from its Mediterranean coast to southern Europe. 

A military spokesman said the vessel owner and migrants - from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Gambia - were arrested east of Alexandria city. 

Following a spat with Italy, Egypt said last month that it was reviewing co-operation in preventing sea crossings to Europe by migrants.

'Twin car bombs' kill Libyan troops

Suicide bombers have killed at least 10 soldiers in Libya's Sirte city, reports AP news agency. 

A spokesman for troops loyal to the UN-backed government told AP he believed the bombers were from the Islamic State (IS) group.

Ahmed Hadia added that the bombers rammed their cars into the troops' position at a checkpoint before detonating their explosives. 

After the attack, pro-government forces launched a raid into a residential neighborhood in the city, killing three IS fighters, he said. 

Most of Sirte, the hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, fell to IS earlier this year.

IS is one of a number of groups battling for control of Libya.

Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government fire a shell at Islamic State fighters" positions in Sirte, Libya August 15, 2016.
Getty Images
UN troops also targeted IS fighters on Tuesday

Kenyan silver medalists abandons race

Manangoi was injured in the heat on Tuesday

Kenyan newspaper The Citizen reports that runner E Manangoi has cancelled plans to compete in the 1,500m Olympic race this Friday because of a hamstring injury.

It adds that Manangoi finished second in the heat but he tore his hamstring. 

Do you need a visa to cross this road?

A lot of people on Facebook have been asking about this picture that we posted earlier of a market that sprawls over the border of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

What currency is used? Do you need a visa?

One side is in Uganda, the other in DR Congo, provoking a lot of questions which our reporter Patience Atuhaire, who took the picture, has answered.

She says they use Ugandan shillings in the market, you don't need a visa to cross the road and anyone can cross from one side to the other. 

Andrea Simango from Malawi says this isn't the only market that sprawls between two countries. 

He says there is a big agricultural market sits on the Malawi-Mozambique border.... there the currency in use is Malawi's kwacha.

Our own fast-footed dancer

The BBC Africa story about West Africa's breakdance champion has brought back memories...

Presenter Salim Kikeke couldn't resist signing off from BBC Focus on Africa with his own dance:

View more on twitter

Watch Cameroon's fast-footed breakdancing star or you can watch Salim's dance on repeat. 

Bringing back the Zimbabwe dollar through the back door?

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa Zimbabwe analyst

Zim dollar note
Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 after hyperinflation made it worthless

Many Zimbabweans see the plan to introduce bond notes as a covert attempt by the government to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar.  

So the comments by the central bank chief John Ganmudya, that people will not be forced to use the notes, are an attempt to allay those fears. 

He knows that people will prefer to keep their money under the pillow than to exchange it for bond notes. 

Most Zimbabweans have lost confidence in the banking sector since the introduction of similar notes, known as bearer cheques, in 2007. 

It led to hyper-inflation and wiped out many people's life savings overnight. 

As Zimbabweans still remember that traumatic period, Mr Ganumdya will have to do far more to convince them that the latest plan is a good one. 

See earlier post for more details

Watch: Will bond notes help Zimbabwe?

Rio Olympics: Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi drops retirement plan

Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto (R), Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi (L) and USA's Evan Jager (back) compete in the Men"s 3000m Steeplechase Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on 17 August 2016

Kenyan athlete Ezekiel Kemboi has gone back on his announcement that he is retiring in the hope of winning a medal at next year's World Championships in London. 

Kemboi changed his mind after being stripped of the bronze medal he won yesterday in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympics.   

In a Facebook post today, he said: 

I had opted to retire right after the Olympics only if i had come home with this medal... now I feel that I have to bring back this medal not by protesting again but right on track. Kemboi is not retired I will be coming to London 2017 to re-claim my medal from France. No limits."

Kemboi lost his medal for stepping off the track, promoting France's Mahiedine Mekhissi to bronze.

Mum of gold medalist missed race

Linah Chebasugul

The mother of Kenyan steeplechase gold medalist Conseslus Kipruto says she missed his winning performance yesterday.

Lina Kipruto told the BBC's John Nene that she was too nervous to watch:

During the race I was so tense I felt like my stomach was burning inside I rushed out... I couldn't watch the race but when I heard my people celebrating I knew my son had won."

Conseslus Kipruto set a new Olympic record when he won the 3000m steeplechase yesterday.

Conseslus Kipruto with his gold medal after the award ceremony for the men"s 3000-meter steeplechase during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.

Why internet schools attract criticism

Child on tablet
Getty Images

Quartz has been looking into the closure of 63 private schools and nurseries in Uganda.

The announcement last week said the schools had "poor hygiene and sanitation which put the life and safety of the school children in danger".

The element Quartz focuses on is the owners of the schools.

They are operated by Bridge International Academies (BIA), which Quartz describes as a "controversial for-profit school chain that offers standardized, internet-based education in developing countries".  

Critics say the scripted teaching plans require the least amount of interaction between students and teachers possible.   

But the academies have some powerful backers - Quartz notes Bill Gates and the World Bank among them.

And Liberia has a radical plan to hand the running of all primary and nursery schools over to BIA.

Read more: Liberia - the country that wants to privatise its primary schools

SA mine workers bodies not yet recovered

More than six months after three workers at a South African gold mine were trapped underground following a rock collapse, their remains have not yet been recovered. 

Today,  their colleagues took to the streets of the capital, Pretoria, to demand that more be done to find their bodies, as this journalist tweets: 

View more on twitter

 In June, the manager of the mine, near the north-eastern town of Barberton, was quoted by local media as saying that financial constraints were holding up recovery efforts. 


How Ethiopia's web traffic froze

A UK-based journalist tweets: 

View more on twitter

The security forces were accused of killing nearly 100 people during the protests in the Oromo and Amhara regions where people have been complaining about political and economic marginalisation. 

The government blamed  "nearby and distant foreign enemies and social media activists" for the protests. 

Read: What's the root cause of the protests?   

High security around Kenya's exam papers

Studying for an exam
Getty Images

Kenya's Standard newspaper has reported in intricate detail new security measures to prevent school exam questions from being leaked.

Here are just a few:

  • Only one set of the many examination questions produced for every paper was randomly picked  
  • The papers will only be flown into the country one week beforethe tests
  • The papers will be stored in protected stations
  • The exam papers will be shrink wrapped so they cannot be rewrapped  
  • Each page of the question paper to be used by the candidates will have specific watermark barcodes - meaning if people take a picture and that picture is found it can be traced back to the original paper

In March Kenya's schools exam board was dissolved over "irregularities" in the secondary school exams, which saw 5,000 results cancelled.

Rwandan police kill 'terror suspect'

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Police in Rwanda say they have shot dead a man they describe as a "terror suspect" in the capital, Kigali. 

They said the man barricaded himself inside a house and injured a policeman during a three hour gun battle. 

The authorities say they have been investigating since last year individuals suspected of being radicalised or linked to what they describe as foreign terrorist organisations. 

In January, a Muslim cleric suspected of recruiting for the Islamic State group was shot dead in Kigali. 

The market sprawling over two countries

One side of this road is in Uganda and the other side is in Democratic Republic of Congo:


Our reporter Patience Atuhaire is at the market in Okavu, north-western Uganda.

She says you can hear six languages being spoken at the market, sprawling over the border of two countries.


The market, which opens every Thursday, has been named Kampala-Kinshasa market, because Ugandans and Congolese people trade together.

She is told there is a tax of about US25c on goods bought from either side.

New Nelson Mandela Bay mayor elected

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Athol Trollip gestures during his parties election campaign in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, August 3, 2016
Mr Trollip led the campaign to defeat the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay

South Africa's Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan council has elected Athol Trollip as its mayor - the first opposition member to take the post since apartheid ended in 1994. 

The house erupted in celebration but councillors from the defeated African National Congress staged a walkout. 

Read: End of racial politics?

Historic meeting in Nelson Mandela Bay

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

History is being made in South Africa today, as the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) takes control of the politically significant Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan council after the crushing defeat of the once-dominant African National Congress (ANC) in the 3 August local government elections.  

Members of the DA are being sworn-in to serve on the council. Their ANC counterparts have been raising points of order to disrupt the proceedings but they have been dismissed by the new speaker. 

There's been huge applause for DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who is present for the historic swearing-in ceremony of his party members into power. 

This is the first time since the dawn of democracy that the ANC will be out of power in Nelson Mandela Bay, which is in Eastern Cape province - the home of many anti-apartheid stalwarts, including the first democratically elected president after whom it is named.

Democratic Alliance leader (D.A), Mmusi Maimane (L) and the mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip wave to their suppoters during their election campaign in Port Elizabeth, August 2,2016
Mr Maimane is the first black person to lead the DA

Gay Cameroonian given asylum in Spain

Spain’s Supreme Court has told the government to grant asylum to a gay Cameroonian man, overruling a decision to reject his claim. 

ABC news reports the man's account, that his boyfriend had been beaten to death, had originally been deemed implausible by the government.

But the Supreme Court overruled this decision.

The United Nations' refugee agency also got involved, submitting a report supporting the man, reports El Pais.

Homosexual acts are illegal in socially conservative Cameroon. 

Man who 'named dog Buhari freed'

Muhammadu Buhari
Getty Images
Mr Buhari was elected president last year by a comfortable margin

A Nigerian man who was arrested for naming his dog after President Muhammdu Buhari has been released without being charged, reports the Vanguard news site.

Joe Fortemose Chinakwe told the site that he had not intended to insult the president when he named his dog Buhari. 

He said it was, in fact, a compliment because he admired Mr Buhari's dogged determination:

I named my beloved pet dog Buhari, who is my hero. My admiration for Buhari started far back when he was a military head of state. It continued till date that he is a civilian president.

After reading his dogged fight against corruption, which is like a canker worm eating into the very existence of this country, I solely decided to rename my beloved dog which I called Buhari, after him. I did not know that I was committing an offence for admiring Buhari."

Read: Buhari in profile

South Sudan's Machar goes into exile

Riek Machar
Getty Images

South Sudan's former vice-president and rebel leader Riek Machar has "successfully relocated" to another country in East Africa, his aides have said. 

Mr Machar withdrew from the capital, Juba, after heavy fighting last month between his forces and those loyal to rival, President Salva Kiir. 

His spokesman Gatdek Dak said Mr Machar would now have "unhindered access to the rest of the world and the media". 

Mr Machar led a two-year rebellion against forces loyal to Mr Kiir before the two sides reached a peace deal in August 2015. Machar returned to Juba in April to resume his role as vice-president. 

But fighting flared up again last month, leaving hundreds dead and forcing about 100,000 people to flee to neighbouring states. 

Olympic highlights: Steeplechase and wrestling

Here's what you may have missed overnight in the Olympics:

After coming in third in the 3000m steeplechase, Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi was disqualified for stepping out of his lane. 

The double Olympic champion had announced his retirement after the race.

This picture appears to show silver medalist American Evan Jager consoling Kemboi:

Ezekiel Kemboi and Evan Jager
Getty Images

The bronze went instead to France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad.

The gold had gone to Kemboi's compatriot Conseslus Kipruto who set a new Olympic record.

The other African Olympic medal of the day was won by Tunisia's Marwa Amri. She won bronze in the women's freestyle 58 kg wrestling.

Zimbabweans told to use 'plastic money'

Zimbabweans hold placards during a protest against President Robert Mugabe government's handling of the economy in Harare, Zimbabwe,
Zimbabweans have been protesting against the proposed notes, fearing that it will be worthless

Zimbabwe's central bank chief has told people to use "plastic money" - or cash cards - if they are opposed to the introduction of "bond notes" to ease a severe currency shortage, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.   

John Ganmudya's comments came amid growing anxiety that the bond notes would be worthless and Zimbabwe would return to the era of hyper-inflation. 

The Herald reported that Mr Ganmudya, in a speech earlier in the week at a breakfast meeting, said: 

If you are getting a $400 salary, you will still get $400 in US dollars, bond notes, rand or euros. If you don't want them then use plastic money. We are not forcing anybody to use bond notes."

The specially-designed two, five, 10 and 20 dollar notes will have the same value as their US dollar equivalents and are expected to be introduced later this year.

Zimbabwe introduced the US dollar after ditching its own currency in 2009 following sustained hyperinflation.

Since then Zimbabweans have been using the dollar as well as a number of other foreign currencies including the South African rand.

Read: How bad is the situation in Zimbabwe? 

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

Those who love each other need only a small place."

A Luganda proverb sent by Emmanuel Ssebadduka, Kampala, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.