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.


  1. Police and students clash in South Africa
  2. Niger bans donkey exports
  3. French PM suggests Gabon vote recount
  4. 'Stateless child' wins court case in South Africa
  5. Somali ban on Khat flights from Kenya begins
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 6 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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 our wise words:  

Little by little the bird builds its nest."

A Bambara proverb from Mali sent by Laia Dosta, Teia, Catalonia, Spain

And we leave you with this photo from Reuters photographer Joe Penney, taken in the town of Agadez, Niger, known as the gateway to the Sahara:

View more on instagram

Somali khat ban 'could stop me feeding my children'

Ahmed Adan

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Before the ban imposed by the Somali government, more than 15 cargo flights full of khat arrivde in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, every day from Kenya. 

According to Somali anti-khat campaigner Abukar Awale, they brought in about 12,000 bags of khat a day, which had a total retail value of $400,000 (£298,000).

Mr Awale, a former khat addict, argues that the stimulant contributes to domestic violence and other abuse.

As we've reported, the normally bustling Beerta khat market in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has been practically deserted because of the suspension.

One khat seller, Fartun Mohamed, told the BBC that her family's livelihood has been put in jeopardy because of the suspension as this was the only way she managed to feed her 10 children.

Deserted market

Sierra Leone's abandoned Ebola orphans

In Sierra Leone, the Ebola outbreak may have ended nearly a year ago, but for the thousands of children orphaned by the virus, life will never be the same again.

The BBC's Umaru Fofana has been to meet a group of abandoned children in Makeni in the north of the country. 

Listen to his report:

Sierra Leone's abandoned Ebola orphans

Read more: Is Sierra Leone ready for the next epidemic?

Why is Uganda's Afcon qualification such a big deal?

Photo of Idi Amin, who

Quite a lot has changed since Uganda last graced Africa's most prestigious football tournament (see picture above).  

But after a 38-year drought for fans and players alike, the rains finally came for the Ugandan national football team on Sunday, as the team booked their place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Gabon.   

With one of the youngest populations in the world, with an average age of 15, most Ugandans had not even been born the last time their country appeared in the tournament finals.

Read more about Uganda's joy and the other African beating the odds

EU reports 'anomalies' in Gabon election results

Woman with eyes closed shouts with her mouth open outside courts
Families calling for the release of those being held have staged protests outside the law courts

The European Union mission that was observing Gabon's election says there was a "clear anomaly" in results from President Ali Bongo's home province, Reuters news agency reports.

Official results from Haut-Ogooue showed a turnout of 99.93%, with 95% of votes cast for the president.    

Opposition leader Jean Ping, who lost the election by less than 6,000 votes, has pointed to the results in the province as evidence of electoral fraud. 

There have been violent clashes and mass arrests since the election result was announced. 

Read Elizabeth Blunt's piece on how to spot signs of possible election rigging

South Africa GDP figures provide a boon for the rand

South Africa's currency, which has been under pressure in recent weeks, gained in value against the US dollar today after a recovery in the country's GDP figures.

They showed that the economy grew in the second quarter if the year at an annualised rate of 3.3%.

By the middle of the afternoon the rand had gained 2.5% against the US dollar, making a dollar worth 14.02 rand, the Reuters news agency is reporting.

Pravin Gordhan
The rand has been under pressure in recent weeks following news of an alleged police investigation into Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Fears over Madagascar pork contaminated by hormones

Raissa Ioussouf

BBC Afrique, Antananarivo

tiny little piglet
Farmers have been trying to fatten up their pigs by feeding them hormones

Is it dangerous to eat pork? That’s what people here in Madagascar are wondering after a controversy over the presence of potentially harmful hormones in pork products.

Some farmers have been using the medication called Confiance, normally a hormone injection offered to women for contraception, to fatten their pigs. 

Last month, the government banned over-the counter-sales of the hormone, after an investigation revealed that 87% of pork on the market contained remnants of the product.  

Authorities in Madagascar have told me they are launching an investigation into the public health risks posed by the practice, which has been going on since 2010.

When used as a medical treatment, the hormone injection can cause side effects such as weight gain, low mood, fatigue and brittle bones, but it is not known whether eating food products contaminated with the contraceptive carries any of the same risks. 

WHO strengthens Zika safe sex guidance

Men and women returning from any area where the Zika virus is circulating should practice safe sex for at least six months to avoid the risk of spreading the disease, says the World Health Organization.

In Africa, it has been found in Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.

The advice applies even if a person has no symptoms.

It comes a few weeks after doctors discovered the virus in the sperm of an Italian man six months after he first had Zika symptoms.

Zika is spread in bodily fluids.

The main risk of catching the disease is from infected mosquitoes via bites.

Previously, WHO had said people without symptoms only needed to use condoms or abstain from sex for eight weeks as a precaution against spreading Zika.

Read more from BBC News Online.

Researcher looking at mosquitoes
Getty Images
Zika is spread by is spread by Aedes mosquitoes

Quiet khat markets in Mogadishu after flight ban

The impact of the Somali government ban on flights carrying khat from Kenya to Somalia is already having an effect. 

The ban on the narcotic leaf was announced on Monday, but the government has not given a reason for it.

The BBC's Ibrahim Aden has been to the main khat market in the capital, Mogadishu, and found that the usually bustling place was very quiet.

Quiet khat market in Mogadishu

Choreographer hopes South African talents will get noticed

As calling cards go South African choreographer Rudi Smit has been especially creative.

He wanted to let the world know about what his country can do and so with 27 dancers from his dance company he created a video for a song by US artist Meghan Trainor.

View more on youtube

"Please help us get this concept & idea to Meghan Trainor so that she can see what talent we have here in SA," Smit wrote on his Facebook page.

It's been viewed nearly 200,000 times on Facebook in a little over 36 hours.

Police and students clash at South African university

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

In South Africa, the police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse protesting students at a campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The protests, over the cost of university fees, have been bubbling under for some days but intensified this week when police and security were called in to disperse crowds of students.

Earlier, six cars were torched and a building was damaged by fire at the university's Westville campus. 

"Security and police fired at us in the quad. We weren't doing anything wrong," said a student quoted by News24.

#FeesMustFall protests at the end of last year at several universities in South Africa eventually led to the suspension of a planned hike in the cost of tuition.

#UKZN has been trending on Twitter as people share videos of what happened and comment on the events:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Court says 'stateless' child in South Africa can get citizenship

Karen Allen

BBC southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

A court in South Africa has cleared the way for children who find themselves without a nationality because they were born in the country where their parents are foreign nationals, to acquire South African citizenship. 

It follows a two-year battle to highlight the plight of so called "stateless children", who are in legal limbo and are denied access to state-funded health, education and other welfare services. 

The test case, involving an eight-year-old girl born to Cuban parents who emigrated to South Africa, has confirmed that the child can become a citizen in the country of her birth. 

The Supreme Court of Appeal also ordered that the home affairs department puts in place measures to help other youngsters who find themselves stateless, acquire citizenship. 

The case potentially affects hundreds possibly thousands of children including those who have been put up for adoption.

Mozambique's national carrier cancels plane purchases

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has suspended the purchase of new aircraft and will not open any more routes because of the company’s difficult financial situation.

Back in 2014, then-chief executive Marlene Manave announced that LAM, a mostly state-owned company, would buy three new Boeing 737s, but now the deal has been stopped.

The current LAM boss Pinto de Abreu told journalists in Maputo that with no new aircraft, plans for the airline to fly to the capitals of all member states of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have also been put on ice.

Indeed, one of LAM’s existing regional routes - Angola's capital, Luanda - has already been shelved, as it was losing money.

Mr De Abreu said that six months ago LAM had debts of $160m (£120m). He said he had brought that figure down to $139m. 

LAM logo

Helping the church through technology

Long gone are the days when churches just use the pulpit to communicate with congregants.

Now they are harnessing the power of social media tools and other mobile phone applications to keep in touch with the worshippers.

The applications can help churches monitor and collect digital donations and tithes and send tailored content to individual members of the church.  

In Ghana, the chief executive Asoriba, which has developed phone software for churches, told the BBC the aim is to deal with inefficient attendance monitoring and financial tracking, poor communication and engagement with church members, and difficulties in promoting events. 

Read more about how technology is being used by African churches.

Church worshipper
Getty Images

World set to miss its target of universal primary education, again

The target set by world leaders for all children to have at least a primary education by 2030 is likely to be missed on current trends, warns a report from Unesco.

The UN agency says at the current rate of progress it will take until 2042.

Niger, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Mali and Chad are among the nations in which children are likely to spend the least time in education, according to the research.  

Separate figures published last week by Unicef saw African countries dominate the list of countries where the highest proportion of children missing out on primary education.

Statpic about children's education

Read the full BBC story

Kenya's child stars hit the high notes

Two children from one of Nairobi's poorest communities are hoping to start a career in the music industry after some help from their father.

Instruments and lessons are expensive, but after seeing their talent, their father decided to teach them himself.  

Kenya's child stars hit the high notes

Ivory Coast 'lucky' to qualify for Africa Nations Cup

Sierra Leone captain Umaru Bangura feels his side could have eliminated Ivory Coast from the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and has questioned their chances of defending their title.

The Leone Stars drew 1-1 with Ivory Coast on Saturday and would have reached the Gabon finals with a win.

"We could have knocked them out in Bouake, they were so lucky to qualify," Bangura told BBC Sport.

The Elephants, who beat Ghana on penalties to win the trophy in 2015, finished top of Group I but only managed to take six points from four games, narrowly defeating Sudan 1-0 in their sole win along with three draws.  

Sierra Leone's Umaru Bangura (left) battles with Ivory Coast's Jonathan Kodjia
Getty Images

Read the full BBC Sport story 

Sacking of SA police watchdog head 'political gangsterism'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of Robert McBride, the head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, saying his suspension in March last year by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was “unconstitutional and unlawful”.

The police minister accused him of a cover up in the involvement of the police's elite unit, the Hawks, in the unlawful rendition of four Zimbabweans accused of murder.

Mr McBride argued that the minister could not suspend him without first going to parliament.

After the judgement, he said he felt vindicated but blamed political interference for his suspension. 

“It’s political gangsterism that’s taking place and it must be resisted at all costs,” he said.

Robert McBride
Robert McBride successfully argued that his suspension was unlawful

How much does a donkey cost?

Niger has banned the export of donkeys as the government feared that the donkey population was being rapidly depleted (see previous entry).

The animal is a vital part of the rural economy used for transporting goods.

The demand for donkeys for export has meant that their price has increased three fold in recent months, the BBC's Baro Arzika reports from Niger.

One animal can now fetch up to $150 (£110).

Donkey transporting straw

More racism charges levelled at South Africa 'racist rant' video

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

Three more charges have been added against estate agent Vicki Momberg for racist utterances she allegedly made against black police officers. 

Ms Momberg trended on social media in South Africa in recent months after a video emerged of her hurling insults at officers trying to assist her after a smash-and-grab robbery. 

In the video, she complains about the “calibre of blacks in Johannesburg compared to black people in Durban" – where she was based. 

Ms Momberg has denied that she is racist. 

On Tuesday, the Randburg Magistrates Court heard that prior to the face-to-face altercation with the police, she allegedly insulted three separate officers who answered her emergency phone call.

Her lawyer has told the court that she intends to negotiate a plea. 

The matter has been postponed to 18 October.

Screengrab from video

Gabon: Arrested dual nationals cannot hide behind French citizenship

crowds wait outside the law courts in libreville
Relatives of some of the 800 detained protesters have been gathering outside the law courts in Libreville

Gabon's foreign ministry has responded to the French government's concern for 15 French-Gabonese dual citizens, who France says have been missing since post-election unrest broke out (see earlier entry): 

France has said that it... 'had no news about a number of its citizens'. After the post-election protests, the Gabonese authorities are aware that citizens with dual nationality were detained by security forces.

The Ministry of Justice has made itself available to answer questions from the families [of those detained]. The Gabonese authorities would like it to be noted that citizens with dual nationality, who are based in the country, cannot hide behind another nationality and therefore are subject to Gabonese laws and regulations."

Niger bans donkey exports

Mohammed Kabir Mohammed

BBC Africa, Abuja

The Niger authorities have banned the export of donkeys. 

The government says the country's donkey population is being rapidly depleted as the number of the animals exported - especially to Asia - is increasing.

In Niger, donkeys are used for transportation.

Figures show that in 2015 27,000 donkeys were exported and so far this year, 80,000 have been exported. 

China is a big importer of donkey skins using them to make traditional medicines.  

Recently, Burkina Faso banned the export of donkey carcasses.

Donkey carrying wood

Ethiopia opposition group wants to know fate of imprisoned leaders

Ethiopian opposition activists are wondering what's happened to their leaders who they believe were being held at the Qilinto prison, Reuters news agency is reporting.

The Ethiopian authorities have not revealed many details of exactly what happened in Saturday's fire at the prison, where some opposition political figures are being held on remand ahead of court appearances.

The government has said that 23 inmates died - 21 suffocated in a stampede while two others were killed as they tried to escape.

The opposition Oromo Federalist Congress has said that it has no information about what has happened to six of its imprisoned leaders, Reuters reports.

Smoke rising from burning prison
A TV station based outside Ethiopia broadcast footage of the fire

Gabon election photographer surprised by 'immediate explosion of rage'

The importance of being there. @mlongari on #gabon and telling African stories. @AFPblogs
The importance of being there. @mlongari on #gabon and telling African stories. @AFPblogs
The importance of being there. @mlongari on #gabon and telling African stories. @AFPblogs

The importance of being there. @mlongari on #gabon and telling African stories. @AFPblogs

Dogged by allegations of fraud and marred by violence after the results, Gabon's elections have presented a formidable challenge for journalists trying to cover the story.

There were very few international media outlets with reporters actually on the ground (the BBC was one of them) and in a position to independently examine the claims and counter-claims of rival political parties. 

Marco Longari, chief Africa photographer for AFP news agency, found himself in the unusual position of being the only photographer working for a major global news agency sent to cover the elections:

He's written a piece about the importance of being on the ground to bear witness to events as they unfold and how many of his assumptions about the country were challenged: 

What surprised me in Gabon was the level of access that I was granted by the security forces. How much you’re allowed to cover is usually a good barometer of where the country is on a democratic scale. Since I was alone, it would have been very easy to restrain me.

I was taken aback... by the immediate explosion of anger when the results were announced. It wasn’t something that trickled down and slowly brewed until it reached a boiling point. It was an immediate explosion of rage."

Read the full article here 

South Africa avoids recession

South Africa's economy has bounced back from a negative growth rate in the first quarter of this year.

Comparing the figures with the second quarter of 2015 the economy grew by 0.6%. 

Statistics South Africa has just tweeted the figures:

View more on twitter

The BBC's Africa business editor Matthew Davies says the figures were slightly better than analysts were expecting.

If the country had experienced two consecutive quarters of negative growth then it would have officially been in recession.

Nigeria's Scrabble world champion 'will do better next time'

Plaintive (nine letters, 14 points on a single word score) might be the best word to describe a startlingly honest Facebook post by Nigeria's world Scrabble champion Wellington Jighere.

We featured the wordsmith on the Africa Live page a fortnight ago when he was initially refused a visa to take part in a Scrabble contest in France. 

The authorities changed their minds and Jighere got to the competition shortly before it began. But he didn't do very well, coming a "dismal" 23rd - as he explained:

While it would be convenient to blame external factors for my failure to perform, I'd like to categorically state that my failure was due mainly to inadequate preparations.

Our performance may have been affected by the numerous hassles that culminated in us arriving [in] Lille just a few minutes before the commencement of the games but I believe that being a World Champion should come with the ability to surmount such obstacles.

Thanks all for the support and I look forward to doing you proud when next I'm presented with the opportunity."

Wellington Jighere
Wellington Jighere

Zambia's battle of the biblical quotations

Zambia is constitutionally described as a Christian nation and politicians are fond of quoting the Bible to support their positions.

On Monday, when a court threw out an opposition challenge to the re-election of President Edgar Lungu, the president took to Facebook to praise God, sharing a biblical passage about how those who remain faithful will be rewarded.

This morning, defeated opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema - who called the dismissal of the election challenge "a miscarriage of justice" - gave his Facebook followers a different quote form the Bible:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

Hakainde Hichilema
Hakainde Hichilema narrowly lost August's election to President Edgar Lungu

How Botswana became a sparkling success

A diamond the size of a tennis ball is diplayed in a glass case
Getty Images
The world's largest rough diamond to be unearthed in a century was discovered in Botswana

Botswana is blessed by two great pieces of fortune - huge diamond deposits and vast pristine areas of wilderness where big cats roam free and which are home to more elephants than anywhere else in the world. Both have helped the country's per capita wealth jump more than 100-fold in 50 years."

Journalist Hamilton Wende reports from Botswana's capital, Gabarone, examining how the southern African country has managed to benefit from its natural resources in a way so rarely replicated elsewhere on the continent.

Read the full story 

Fancy safari lodge with round wooden seating area and a footbridge
Getty Images
Botswana has catered for the upmarket safari tourist to reap rewards

Puntland to defy khat flight ban

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The semi-autonomous Somali region of Puntland says it will defy a temporary ban by the government of Somalia on flights importing khat from neighbouring Kenya. 

A spokesman for the Garowe-based regional administration told local media that the ban "does not concern the Puntland state" .

The ban on the flights carrying the narcotic leaf was announced on Monday, but no reason was given.

Khat leaves

Read more: Why do some countries ban Khat?

French PM suggests Gabon vote recount

gabonese protesters in paris, one with a national flag, demonstrate
There were protests against President Bongo's victory in the French capital

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has told a French radio station that a recount should be held of the votes in Gabon's disputed presidential election.. 

There have been violent protests since President Ali Bongo, whose family has been in power for nearly 50 years, was declared winner of the poll.

"There are arguments and some doubts. European observers in the country have already made criticisms on the basis of objectives. It would be wise to do a recount," Mr Valls told French radio station RTL. 

Former colonial power France has already joined the European Union and the US in calling for full breakdowns of results to be published. 

The opposition has alleged electoral fraud.   

France has enjoyed a close economic and political relationship with Gabon since independence.

President Bongo in the national assembly damaged by fire
President Bongo visited the National Assembly to survey the damage after protesters set fire to it.

Read more: Six signs of possible vote-rigging

'Stateless child' goes to court in South Africa

Karen Allen

BBC southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

In South Africa, child welfare lawyers are going to the Supreme Court of Appeal to try to reverse an eight-year-old girl's status as a stateless child which prevents her from being issued with a birth certificate, going to school or receiving state healthcare. 

They accuse the country's Home Affairs Ministry of violating South Africa's own constitution and say potentially thousands of children are being denied citizenship because their parents are either from another country or the children themselves are being put up for adoption. 

The girl at the centre of the case was born in South Africa to Cuban parents. 

As her parents have been out of their home country for some time, she is not considered Cuban but neither is she being granted South African citizenship despite being born here.

The government is appealing an earlier court order to put in place measures to allow such children to get South African birth certificates, bringing it in line with many other countries around the world. 

It worries that it will open the floodgates to migrants. 

Somali ban on flights carrying khat from Kenya begins

A Somali government ban on flights from Kenya carrying the narcotic leaf khat comes into effect today.

Somalia's Aviation Minister Ali Ahmed Jangali announced a temporary suspension on Monday but was not specific about the reasons behind it.

It is "due to some situations," he told the BBC.

Khat is hugely popular in Somalia, where it is chewed for hours and serves as a stimulant.

It is not grown in Somali, but is imported from neighbours Ethiopia and Kenya.

Kenyan khat farmers have been hit hard by a European ban on khat imports.

Khat market
Khat is very popular in Somalia

Good morning

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