Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Oldest Mandela TV interview discovered
  2. Satellite aimed at boosting African internet explodes on the ground
  3. Gabon opposition leader Ping 'in hiding' after clashes
  4. Facebook founder Zuckerberg in Kenya
  5. Annular eclipse visible across swathe of central Africa
  6. Free drug treatment available for all HIV positive South Africans
  7. Unicef says millions missing out on primary education
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  9. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Thursday 1 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

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 this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website

A reminder of today's wise words:

A fox does not escort a chicken."

An Acholi proverb sent by Maryano Otto, Kampala, Uganda

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of Nigerian cocoa farmer Oluranti Adeboye showing off his crop:

Nigerian farmer with his crops
AFP

Gabon opposition leader: They have been cheating everywhere

Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping has been speaking to BBC Focus on Africa following his defeat in the presidential election, which he disputes. 

He explained why he is calling for a vote recount in the stronghold of President Ali Bongo, which saw a near-100% turnout according to official results:

Facebook 'disappointed' by satellite explosion

As we've been reporting, a rocket carrying a satellite that was part of a Facebook project to extend internet access in Africa has exploded on the launch pad.

"We are disappointed by the loss but remain committed to our mission of connecting people to the Internet around the world," a Facebook spokesperson told tech website The Verge.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is currently in Kenya where he has been speaking about improving access to the internet.

Plume of smoke above launch pad
Reuters
The rocket exploded on the launch pad in Florida

Zimbabwe police ban demonstrations for two weeks

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

Police in Zimbabwe have today issued an order banning all public demonstrations in the central business district of the capital, Harare for the next two weeks. 

Central Harare has been the scene of violent demonstrations over the last few weeks by restive civic and political groups. 

Opposition political parties had planned another demonstration on Friday to press the electoral commission to make reforms ahead of the 2018 general election but have now cancelled the demonstration following this order. 

The opposition parties are planning to challenge the measure but have also indicated that they will now look to stage future demonstrations in the country's second city of Bulawayo.

Demonstrations in Zimbabwe
AFP
There were violent demonstrations in Harare last week

Cattle railway line opens in Nigeria

Nigeria has opened a railway line to transport cattle from the north to the south of the country. 

An initial livestock consignment of around 500 cows has begun the 750km journey from the city of Gusau to the commercial capital, Lagos. 

It should take two days. 

Trucks need an average of seven days to make the same journey by road, and many animals die in transit. 

The government estimates that the cattle trade between the north and south of Nigeria is worth nearly $300m (£225m) annually, but the poor road network is hampering the business. 

Cattle in Nigeria
AFP

Mandela's oldest TV interview discovered

What is thought to be the first TV interview with the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has been discovered, the Nelson Mandela Foundation says.

The clip lasts just 24 seconds and the Foundation says it was filmed by a Dutch broadcaster during a break in Mr Mandela's treason trial.

That began in 1956 and ended in March 1961, when he was acquitted along with 27 others.

The interview was broadcast in January 1961 as part of a programme about apartheid.

View more on youtube

In the clip he says:

From the very beginning, the African National Congress set itself the task of fighting against white supremacy.

We have always regarded as wrong for one racial group to dominate another racial group.

And from the very beginning the African National Congress has fought, without hesitation, against all forms of racial discrimination and we shall continue to do so until freedom is achieved."

BBC special coverage on Nelson Mandela

Lagos cafe owners given 10 minutes' notice before demolition

Stephanie Hegarty

BBC Africa, Lagos

At about 09:15 local time, Lagos State Government officials and police came to the strip mall of small businesses on Rumens Road, Ikoyi with bulldozers and cranes and told business owners they were going to demolish the strip. 

View more on twitter

The mall had two cafes, a small convenience store, a vegetable shop, a pharmacy, a bar and a dance studio. 

The owner of Nuli Juice, a juice and health food company said staff were running around in the rain trying to pull fittings from the walls and throwing furniture out of the door. 

Demolished building
BBC

They said the demolition team told them they had a directive from the Lagos state governor to destroy the premises and that the landlord had been given notice of the demolition in March. 

But business owner Ada Osakwe who opened Nuli six weeks ago, only started doing up her shop in May. 

None of the business owners have succeeded in contacting the landlord yet. And Lagos State government has yet to comment.

Satellite for Africa internet 'blown up in space rocket explosion'

There has been an explosion on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida, where the aerospace company SpaceX was readying an unmanned rocket for launch.

The company has tweeted that both the vehicle and its payload was lost.

And it's the payload that was of interest to Africa.

The Florida newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, reported on Tuesday that the satellite on board was part of Facebook's effort to extend internet access across the continent.

The intention was to deliver internet from space, it adds.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is on a trip to Africa where he has been speaking about his company's plans for the continent.

Smoke rising from launch site
NASA

President Bongo: We will take steps to guarantee security

President Bongo at the lectern with Gabon flag behind him
AFP

President Ali Bongo has been posting excerpts from his address on Twitter (in French):

View more on twitter

My love for Gabon and the relationship that binds me to it have led me to propose a double project for the country."

He continues in subsequent tweets: 

This project can be summed up in two words: 'democracy and progress. The two are linked, because progress is a collective project. This project, which is close to my heart, has led me to scrupulously follow the electoral code and never to interfere with it."

He goes on to discuss the violence that has broken out since his victory was announced:

I would like to express my sadness at the death of some of our fellow citizens. We need to put progress back on track in all our towns and villages.

All the decisions needed to guarantee our country's security are being taken and will be taken. We're talking about the future of Gabon. We are going to write it together."

Smoke billows from the national assembly
AFP
Protesters set fire to Gabon's partliament overnight

Gabon makes '1,000 arrests' following election unrest

Around 1,000 people have been arrested in Gabon , AFP news agency reports, quoting the interior minister. 

"In [the capital] Libreville, between 600 and 800 people have been detained, with 200 to 300 in the rest of the country," Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya said at a press conference shortly after President Ali Bongo's TV address, AFP adds. 

President Bongo makes address

Gabon's President Ali Bongo has addressed a press conference as unrest continues across the country following his disputed election victory: 

Democracy doesn't sit well with self-proclaimed victory, with groups formed to cause destruction. Democracy is not compatible with an attack on [the building of] national TV and on parliament."

Different ways of viewing the eclipse

This morning's annular eclipse passed over Mbeya in southern Tanzania.

The BBC's Leonard Mubali said hundreds turned out to watch including school children and some tourists.

Children looking at the eclipse
BBC

Looking directly at the eclipse is potentially damaging to your eyesight.

One photographer in Tanzania's main city of Dar es Salaam saw people using a puddle to view the phenomenon.

Looking at the eclipse in a puddle
AFP

Prison beauty queen 'will strive to be a role model'

Ruth Kamande has been crowned Miss Lang'ata Prison after a beauty contest in the prison, which is in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

Beuty contest winner
BBC

She told the BBC's John Nene that she "didn't expect to win because there was stiff competition".

My victory has boosted my morale despite the tough life inside here but I have learnt a lot. I will strive to be a role model to my colleagues here on remand."

John met her today when she was back in her remand clothes.

He took a picture of her (centre) with the first runner-up Tina Martin (left) and the second runner-up Susan Wairimu (right):

Beauty contest winners
BBC

Ms Kamande is waiting for her trial for allegedly murdering her boyfriend.

The Star newspaper reports that she is accused of stabbing him 22 times.

Gabon president due to address the nation

President Ali Bongo is due to make a speech shortly, according to this tweet from his official account: 

View more on twitter

Kenyans enjoying Zuckerberg's food choice

Like any good Facebook user, the founder of the company Mark Zuckerberg is updating everyone on his travels and what he's having to eat.

He's posted a picture of himself tucking into some local cuisine:

Mark Zuckerberg's post
Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

He writes that he enjoyed his meal with Kenya's Information Minister Joseph Mucheru and they discussed internet access.

And he then writes:

We ate at MAMA Oliech Restaurant. -- a local place everyone recommended. One of my favorite parts of traveling to a new country is trying the food. I enjoyed ugali and a whole fried tilapia for the first time and loved them both!"

Kenyans are discussing his choice of restaurant and food on social media.

One person jokingly suggests that Mr Zuckerberg has started a trend for Kenyans to eat local food at roadside food kiosks, known as vibandas.

View more on twitter

How reliable are Gabon's election results?

woman lies injured on a hospital bed with tube in her nose
AFP
Injured protesters are being treated at hospitals in the capital Libreville

Amid the unrest in Gabon, there have been calls for a complete breakdown of results by polling station.

Opposition allegations of fraud centre on results from the province of Haut-Ogooue, a stronghold of President Ali Bongo. 

An opposition representative on the country's electoral commission (Cenap) reportedly described them as a "shameful lie" to journalists shortly before Mr Bongo was declared the election winner. 

Several other opposition-supporting Cenap members abstained from the final vote to validate the poll results. 

Mr Bongo took more than 95% of the vote in Haut-Ogooue (see tweet from the interior ministry below).

But the figure which has provoked the most debate is the turnout of 99.93% (in small font at the bottom), which one EU election monitor called "not a very common result". 

View more on twitter

Gabon's national electoral commission has the worst levels of public trust of any African country, according to this survey from humanitarian news agency Irin:

View more on twitter

Tourist hot air balloon flights grounded in Egypt

The governor of the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor has grounded all hot air balloon flights indefinitely. 

The decision comes hours after a group of 22 Chinese tourists were injured when their hot air balloon crash-landed after a gust of wind blew it off course. 

A review of safety measures and equipment has been launched. 

Flights only recently resumed after a balloon caught fire in 2013 killing all 19 tourists on board.

Hot air balloon in Egypt
AP
Hot air balloon flights are popular over Luxor's Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens

Didier Drobga charity probe nearly finished

A report into the "serious regulatory concerns" surrounding a charity run by Didier Drogba is due to be released by the Charity Commission within a month.

In April, the Daily Mail claimed that just £14,115 out of £1.7m donated to the Didier Drogba Foundation had gone to help causes in Africa.

The Charity Commission launched an investigation into the case, and says that is now "coming to a close".

Ex-Chelsea striker Drogba threatened legal action over the claims.

Didier Drobga
AP

The 38-year-old called the Mail's story "false and defamatory", and said in a statement: "There is no fraud, no corruption, no mismanagement and no lies."

The Mail said it "stands by every word of this important story" and had not alleged corruption or fraud.

The Didier Drogba Foundation was launched in the UK in 2009 when the former Ivory Coast captain was playing for Chelsea.

The African charity is run in the Ivory Coast but is also registered in the UK.

Read more from BBC Sport.

Presidential guards 'used helicopter to bomb opposition HQ'

Abdourahmane Dia

BBC Afrique, Dakar

Police with guns and truncheons on patrol
AFP
Police, some in plain clothes, have been patrolling the capital

Gabon's opposition leader Jean Ping has told the BBC a presidential guard helicopter bombed his headquarters and killed two people overnight.

He also told the BBC that other security elements ransacked his home. He is now in hiding with members of his family. 

He wants the UN to supervise a detailed recount of votes, echoing calls from the US and the European Union. 

President Bongo's spokesperson Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze declared that the opposition has exaggerated the scope of the violence, while confirming that one person was killed during the raid on the opposition HQ. 

He also rejected accusations of fraud, saying that he did not see anything wrong with the president winning by a wide margin in his political stronghold. 

Several analysts have contested the official results from the region of Haut-Ogooue, where the turnout reached nearly 100% and President Ali Bongo took 95% of the vote.

Overall turnout was 59%. 

Read the full story 

Bongo spokesman: Opposition should raise concerns in court

Gabon's presidential spokesman has said that those who are unhappy with election results, which gave Ali Bongo a narrow victory, should go through the country's legal system.

Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze spoke to Radio France Internationale earlier this morning:

"It's in all our interest for things to calm down, because Gabon is not a dictatorship. It is a democracy with laws. If someone wants to contest the election results, they can launch a dispute at the Constitutional Court. For those who want a vote recount, they can go through the courts to do it."

Read the latest BBC News story on Gabon

Zuckerberg in Nairobi: I'm here to learn from Kenyans

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is continuing his African tour and has now arrived in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, after being in Nigeria since Tuesday.

He's already posted about the trip on his Facebook page:

I'm here to meet with entrepreneurs and developers, and to learn about mobile money - where Kenya is the world leader.

I'm starting at a place called iHub, where entrepreneurs can build and prototype their ideas."

He also met two people who "designed a system to help people use mobile payments to buy small amounts of cooking gas".

Mark Zuckerbeg meeting entrepreneurs at iHub
Mark Zuckerberg

Somali refugees who want to return home stranded in Kenya

The recent decision by the Jubaland administration in Somalia not to accept any more refugees returning home from Kenya has left many people stranded.

At the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northern Kenya, there are more than 2,000 Somali refugees who have packed up their belongings are are now just waiting.

The BBC's Ahmed Adan has been taking pictures of some of them:

People with belongings
BBC
Stranded refugees
BBC

On Tuesday Jubaland’s interior minister Mohamed Warsame Darwish told the BBC Somali Service that the refugees face more risks after coming home as they do not get the help that they have been promised.

He blamed the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, for not following the procedures and just dumping the refugees in the territory that the administration controls.

The Kenyan authorities are hoping to close the camp complex, which hosts half a million mainly Somali refugees, by the end of the year.

Gabon arrests '200 looters'

Gabon's police chief says that 200 people have been arrested for looting as unrest continues following official election results on Wednesday, the AFP news agency reports. 

More to follow... 

Internet 'cut off' in Gabon amid unrest

People in Gabon have been unable to access social media and internet access has been cut off, a BBC reporter in the capital says. 

Sarah Crozier from the European Union election observer mission, told the BBC it was hampering their communications as well:

It’s a little bit difficult for us to get information as well because the internet has been cut off.”

According to this graph from an Internet tracking site, internet access has been severely disrupted since Thursday evening, when protests broke out after the announcement of Ali Bongo's presidential election victory. 

graph showing massive drop in Internet between Wednesday night and Thursday morning
RIPE NCC

How African governments block social media

Eclipse moves over East Africa

We're tracking the annular solar eclipse as it makes it way across Africa. 

Africa's Indian Ocean islands were the last place to witness the eclipse at around 10:00 GMT.

This picture from Madagascar intrigued us. We're not sure how the effect was made, but in the shadows you can see the crescent shape the moon made as it passed in front of the sun.

View more on instagram

And this is how the sky looked in Mauritius:

View more on instagram

Violent protests across Gabon after disputed poll

Smoke rises above the Libreville skyline
AFP
Smoke could be seen billowing across the skyline of the capital on Wednesday

There have been violent protests in several parts of Gabon this morning, reports the BBC Afrique correspondent Charles Mavoungou from the capital, Libreville. 

Demonstrators set up barricades on roads in the city's so-called coconut tree zone, in the 2nd arrondissement. 

Offices belonging to the governing PDG party of President Ali Bongo were set on fire in the southern town of Mouila and Oyem in the north. 

More on Gabon's elections

Gabon opposition leader: I could be arrested at any moment

Opposition leader Jean Ping
AFP
Jean Ping had declared his victory before official results were announced

Gabon's defeated presidential candidate, Jean Ping, has told French media that he fears for his safety and could be arrested at any moment.

Mr Ping told private French radio station RMC that he had effectively gone into hiding following the violent storming of his party headquarters overnight:

I am not leaving the place where I am. I believe they thought I was at the party headquarters with the other leading opposition figures.

I could be arrested at any moment. They're probably trying to find me so they can arrest me... Half an hour from now, my safety could be undermined, or I could perhaps risk physical harm."

He also called for international support, singling out former colonial power France, which appeared to back his candidacy:

We are calling for the intervention of the entire international community, the European Union, the United States, but especially France due to its historical links to Gabon... Otherwise, it will look like a failure to help a people in danger."

Man kneels on the road with hand outstretched amid protests
AFP

Free treatment to any South African who is HIV positive

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

From today anyone in South Africa who is HIV Positive will have access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment from the state before they get ill.  

This is good news for the nearly four million people living with the virus here but who are not on medication.

A World Health Organization (WHO) study found that treating anyone who is HIV positive as early as possible helps improve their health and prolongs their life.

Until this new measure was announced only HIV Positive people with a CD4 count - a measure of the strength of the immune system - below 500 were qualified to receive treatment from the government.

Ministry of Health Joe Maila spokesperson told me:

This is going to increase life expectancy to at least 70 by 2030."

The current life expectancy in South Africa is 63 years.  

South Africa has the largest free HIV treatment programme in the world and is the country with the highest number of people who live with HIV.

Campaigner holding placard calling for treatment for all
AFP
There has been a long campaign to widen ARV access in South Africa

Government workers sent home from work in Madagascar for eclipse

As people across the continent are hoping to catch a glimpse of the annular solar eclipse, government workers and school children in Madagascar were told to take the morning off and stay indoors, journalist Tim Healy reports from the capital, Antananarivo.

He says the advice was an attempt to dissuade people from looking directly at the sun, which could be dangerous.

Not everyone in Madagascar took the advice, but some did take precautions:

View more on twitter

Meanwhile, people are continuing to share images from elsewhere.

This one's from Tanzania:

View more on twitter

And here's someone in Malawi who's viewing the eclipse indirectly:

View more on twitter

Taking care watching the eclipse

The annular eclipse is still making its way across the continent.

It should be visible in southern Tanzania at the moment. 

Just a little to the north, in the capital, Dodoma, the BBC's Abubakar Famau snapped these sky gazers hoping to get a partial view of the eclipse: 

Watching in Tanzania
BBC
Eclipse watchers
BBC

It can also be seen in Mozambique:

View more on twitter

And this is how the sky looked earlier in south-east Nigeria:

View more on twitter

Eclipse coming into view

People are beginning to share photos of how the annular eclipse looks where they are.

It's passing directly over a swathe of central Africa, but it can be partially viewed elsewhere.

This is the view from the Congolese capital Kinshasa:

View more on twitter

This is the view from a very cloudy Abuja:

View more on twitter

If you're trying to view the eclipse, do not look at the Sun directly as you will damage your eyes and it could cause blindness.  

For more advice on viewing the eclipse see here.

The website space.com is hosting a live discussion as the eclipse makes its way across the continent.

Gabon opposition camp demand vote recount

Crowd of Jean Ping supporters gesture towards security forces blocking them from marching
AFP

In Gabon, the spokesman for Jean Ping, the opposition candidate who narrowly lost the disputed presidential poll to Ali Bongo, has said a full recount of the votes was needed:

Jean Gaspard spoke to the BBC's Newsday programme about irregularities in the results:

What we demand is a full recount of the votes because the results that have been announced do not match the results that have been declared in each individual polling station...

He also appealed directly to the president following the violence overnight in the capital, Libreville:

I would like to say to Ali Bongo that he is just starting to see what happens in a country where people are denied democracy.

He went on:

One cannot accept this state of things forever. It has been like that for 50 years. Now they have burnt the parliament so he must ask himself the question: What will be the next stage?"

Liberia tops table of children missing out on primary school

Liberia tops a UN list of places where the highest proportion of children miss out on primary school education.

The UN's children's fund, Unicef, says in the top 10 countries on the list, nine of which are in Africa, 18 million children are out of school.

Unicef's list of the top 10 countries with the highest proportion of children missing out on education is as follows:

  • Liberia 62%
  • South Sudan 59% 
  • Eritrea 59%
  •  Afghanistan 46%
  • Sudan 45%
  • Djibouti 43% 
  • Equatorial Guinea 42%
  • Niger 38%
  • Mali 36%
  • Nigeria 34%

School in Monrovia
Gett
Liberian schools have been hit hard by the civil war, and most recently the Ebola crisis

Annular eclipse visible across central Africa

An annular solar eclipse - where the moon moves in front of the sun, but the edge of the sun is still visible - will be seen across a swathe of central Africa this morning.

Nasa has published a map of the path it will take:

Eclipse path across Africa
NASA

It is due to first pass over Gabon before making its way across Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Mozambique.

In other parts of the continent people will get a partial view.

The Astronomical Society Southern Africa is streaming the view from South Africa:

View more on youtube

Violence in Gabon after election result

smoke and flames visible across Libreville
Smoke and flames poured from the national assembly building in Libreville

Gabonese security forces have stormed the headquarters of the defeated presidential candidate, Jean Ping, as unrest continues after Saturday's disputed election.

A government spokesman said the operation in the capital, Libreville, was aimed at rooting out "criminals".

Mr Ping said two people had been killed in the assault on his headquarters.

Read the full BBC News story

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news stories on the continent.