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Summary

  1. UN's human rights office wants to send investigators to Ethiopia protest areas
  2. An ExxonMobil-led oil consortium is fined $75bn for not paying royalties in Chad
  3. Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks out in favour of assisted dying
  4. Burundi's government says it wants to leave International Criminal Court
  5. ANC party stalwarts call on South Africa's president to step down
  6. Militants attack refugee camp in Niger
  7. Moroccans vote in parliamentary election
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  9. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 7 October 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

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.  

And here's a reminder of today's wide words:

The bush fowl saw the chicken being carved up and laughed. The chicken reminded him that he could suffer the same fate."

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

We leave you with picture, from our top shots this week, of Ethiopian railway stewardesses at the opening of the Ethiopia-Djibouti electric line in Addis Ababa:

Stewardesses stand in line during the inauguration of the new train line linking Addis Ababa to the Red Sea state of Djibouti, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Wednesday 5 October 2016
Reuters

US embassy in Addis wants to listen to the people of Ethiopia

The Facebook page of the US Embassy in Addis Ababa has become something of a sounding board for opinions of the recent events in Ethiopia.

We mentioned a US post on yesterday's Africa Live page that called for constructive comments. But a lot of people leaving their thoughts were being critical of the US government.

Some were wondering why the US is not speaking out more against the Ethiopian government in light of the recent anti-government protests.

Well today it's made another effort to get people to engage:

Screen grab of Facebook page
US Embassy Addis Ababa

It says:

Over the weekend, we want to open this space for a conversation about your vision of the prosperous and peaceful future we want for all Ethiopians, and your thoughts on how we get there."

But the critics of the Ethiopian government and the lack of US response are still getting their say:

I am 100% sure you know well that there is no justice and democracy in Ethiopia. But you kept silent giving priority to your interests rather than for human rights. There is no 100% independent organisation which stands for truth and human rights."

My question is what is the US embassy's position on the recent incidents?"

Readers denounce Tutu's assisted death comment

Tutu
AFP

On our Facebook page lots of people have been denouncing Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s declaration that he wants to have the option of an assisted death.

Leroi Nanthambwe is one of many who have said they are not happy with this point of view:

Oh don't worry, God is going to assist you in due time. Don't make someone "sin" by killing you."

It isn’t unanimous though. Alan Millar is a rare commentor on the page who supports the archbishop:

Bravo to the Arch for always following his great conscience no matter how unpopular it is with those in his faith."

Tweeters tease Chris Brown for saying he is going to "Africa"

This tweet from the US singer Chris Brown has raised a few eyebrows:

View more on twitter

People are angered that he hasn't been more specific:

View more on twitter

Some have been having a bit of fun with this:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Chris Brown doesn't respond to the tweeters' pleas.

But, thanks to Kenya's Standard Newspaper, we're not left guessing where he is off to.

He is on his way to Mombasa in Kenya where he will perform tomorrow alongside Nigerian singer-songwriter Wizkid at the Mombasa Rocks Festival.

What does the Zimbabwean mbira sound like?

Zimbabwean musician Anna Mudeka uses the traditional Zimbabwean instrument mbira in all of her compositions. 

She's been speaking about why she thinks it's important to bring the music of her ancestors to new audiences around the world.

She told the BBC's Weekend programme: "You have to put your soul into it... you don't choose to play the mbira, the mbira chooses you."

Listen to more from Anna Mudeka:

Zimbabwean musician Anna Mudeka brings traditional mbira instrument to the world

Sudan doctors' strike into second day

Mohanad Hashim

BBC Africa

In Sudan, a nationwide doctors’ strike for better working conditions has entered its second day with media suggesting that it appears to be taking place across the country. 

According to the central committee behind the strike, medical staff in 56 public hospitals around the country have stopped work.  

The strike follows a recent spate of attacks against doctors and other medical staff. They are calling for a better working environment and more basic equipment.

On social media, some people are sharing pictures of medical equipment and medicines being distributed from government stores. 

Many are ridiculing the response suggesting that these things have always been available and yet the government has held them back.

This tweet says: "Oh my God, look at this. Suddenly the earth opens and things appear."

View more on twitter

'I wake up at 01:00 in the morning to do chores'

Washing clothes
Getty images

Earlier today we were looking at how much time girls spend doing household chores. 

One Ghanaian 13-year-old girl, Sandra Agyeiwaa, has told the BBC that she wakes up at 01:00 in the morning to start cleaning. 

Here's her typical day:

When I get up, I will get ready to wash my bowls, sweep the compound. Sundays I wash my younger sibling’s clothes and after that I will go inside and clean, after that I will wash bowls."

Sandra doesn't go to school, instead she sells water sachets in Ghana's capital Accra.

Unicef has released a report saying girls spend 40% more time performing unpaid household chores than boys.

"Girls sacrifice important opportunities to learn, grow and just enjoy their childhood," Unicef's Anju Malhotra said.    

Canadian court allowed to hear case about Eritrean human rights abuses

Three Eritreans have been allowed to have their case against the mining firm Nevsun Resources Ltd heard in a Canadian court.

The three are saying that they were forced to work in the Bisha mine in Eritrea, which Nevsun partly owns.

Nevsun, which is based in Vancouver, tried to get the case dismissed saying that it should be heard in Eritrea, the Reuters news agency reports.

Joe Fiorante, one of the lawyers representing the Eritreans, told the AP news agency that this was the first time a case would go to court in Canada over alleged human rights abuses in another country.

Reuters reports that Nevsun describes its mine as a model development and no-one is forced to work there.

It is considering an appeal against the Canadian court's decision.

Eritrean demonstrators in Addis Ababa
AFP
Eritrea has been criticised by rights groups about its human rights record.

Read more: Could pariah state Eritrea come in from the cold?

Ngozi Adichie: Beyonce's feminism isn't my feminism

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has told a Dutch news site that, despite Beyonce getting her to a wider audience, she doesn't fully agree with the singer's version of feminism:

Her type of feminism is not mine, as it is the kind that, at the same time, gives quite a lot of space to the necessity of men. I think men are lovely, but I don't think that women should relate everything they do to men: did he hurt me, do I forgive him, did he put a ring on my finger? We women are so conditioned to relate everything to men."

She added that she felt resentful about the media reaction to Beyonce's 2014 song ***Flawless that used some of a speech the author made about feminism.

"Another thing I hated was that I read everywhere: now people finally know her, thanks to Beyonce," she said.

So she refrained from talking about Beyonce until now.

It is the first time the writer has spoken out about Beyonce's use of her work, according to De Volkskrant.  

Here's the speech in its entirety:     

View more on youtube

Children fascinated by agricultural innovations on show in Nairobi

The Agriculture Show of Kenya is drawing to a close this weekend.

It's a chance for farmers to get hold of the newest products on agriculture.

Here are pictures of the latest innovations in tea leaves and a mechanical way of milking a cow:

grass
BBC
machine
BBC

But, as these photos from the BBC's Anthony Irungu suggest the show has proved quite a draw for children too.

Children at the show
BBC

Ghana and Uganda getting ready for kick off

The first match in the group stages of Africa's World Cup qualifiers will be kicking off in just under an hour's time.

And a Ugandan journalist who has travelled with the Cranes for their match against the Black Stars in Tamale, northern Ghana, has shared some pictures of the two teams.

View more on twitter

Other matches in this round of games will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Forgery charges dropped against Nigeria's senate leader

A court in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, has dropped charges against the leader of Nigeria's senate, Bukola Saraki, relating to forging rules that enabled to get elected, the Reuters news agency reports.

He was charged in June along with his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, who is also no longer facing charges.

They both pleaded not guilty at the time.

President Muhammadu Buhari has been at loggerheads with Mr Saraki as his party did not want him as senate leader.  

Mr Saraki is still involved in another court case in which he is accused of false asset declaration, a charge he denies.

Bukola Saraki
AFP
Bukola Saraki was elected senate leader in 2015

The seed planter helping sesame farmers in Tanzania

Ranked third in the world, Tanzania is Africa's largest exporter of sesame seeds. 

The traditional way of planting these seeds is slow and arduous work, but one man is changing that. 

Entrepreneur Martin Constantine has invented a hand-pushed planting machine, making the job much easier. 

The BBC's Sammy Awami has been to meet him for Africa Business Report. 

UN wants access to Ethiopia's protest-hit areas

The UN's human rights high commissioner (OHCHR) has repeated a demand that the Ethiopian government allow his office access to the protest-hit areas of the country.

This comes after a week of protests sparked by the deaths at a religious festival in a town in Oromia on Sunday.

In a statement, the OHCHR says that "independent observers" should be allowed to go to "the Oromia and Amhara regions to speak to all sides and assess the facts".

It adds that "the protests have apparently been fuelled in part by a lack of trust in the authorities’ account of events", but it calls on all sides to remain calm.

The OHCHR says it is also concerned about the arrest of two bloggers, Seyoum Teshoume and Natnael Feleke, earlier this week.

"We urge the government to release those detained for exercising their rights to free expression and opinion. Silencing criticism will only deepen tensions," it says.

Map showing where the protests have happened
BBC

Weekend of World Cup football

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

The group phase of African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia starts this afternoon with Ghana playing host to Uganda in the northern town of Tamale in Group E.

There are five groups of four nations in this final round of qualification with only the pool winners advancing to the finals.

Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana have been Africa’s five qualifiers for the last two editions in 2010 and 2014, but that will change this time around as Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria are all in the same group along with Zambia (who have never qualified for the World Cup finals).

The other fixtures will take place across the weekend, including Ivory Coast v Mali on Saturday and Zambia v Nigeria on Sunday. 

France's midfielder Paul Pogba (R) and Nigeria's defender Joseph Yobo vie for the ball during a Round of 16 football match between France and Nigeria
AFP
Nigeria lost 2-0 to France in the second round of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. No African country progressed any further.

Ethiopian magazine leads on 'massacre'

Ethiopia's English-language magazine Addis Standard is not pulling any punches on the front cover its latest edition out next week.

View more on twitter

Last Sunday at least 55 people died when security forces intervened during the annual celebrations marking Ireecha - an Oromo festival.

The festival had in part turned into an anti-government protest. Activists from the Oromo ethnic group blame security forces for causing panic which led to a stampede and the deaths.

They have described what happened as a massacre - the term the Addis Standard is using.

But the government has blamed "anti-peace forces" among the protesters for being behind the panic.

Rights groups have criticised Ethiopia's government for its harassment and imprisonment of journalists.

Earlier this year the magazine had another stark cover on the protests and the government reaction to them.

View more on twitter

Read more: Are Ethiopian protests a game changer?

Assisted death divides South Africa

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Desmond Tutu
AFP

The news that Desmond Tutu supports “assisted death” will come as no surprise here in South Africa. 

The issue of euthanasia or assisted death has divided the nation for a period of time. 

Last year the High Court in the capital Pretoria ruled in favour of terminally ill cancer patient Robin Strasham-Ford who had applied for assisted death. 

He had only two weeks left and wanted the law to be amended so that he would have assisted death without the prospect of prosecution. 

The law used to be very clear - any doctors who help patients die could face prison time of up to 14 years.

The country has no legislation for euthanasia, while the constitution protects the right to life.

Read more on the BBC News website

Sizing up Exxon Mobil's record-breaking fine from Chad

The financial news sites have been analysing the extent of Chad's huge fine on an oil consortium led by Exxon Mobil. 

On Wednesday Chad's High Court ordered them to pay a record $74bn (£60bn) fine for underpaying royalties, reports Bloomberg.

Business Insider has put some of those numbers into context:

  • The fine is 27 times the size of that government budget  
  • It is 6.8 times the overall size of the country's overall economy.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times adds that the fine is far greater than the cost to BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. That reached about $62bn.

But, Bloomberg quotes an international law expert who predicts Chad is unlikely to collect most of this fine. 

And on Thursday, the oil company's spokesman told Reuters news agency that they disagree with the court ruling and "are evaluating next steps". 

Policemen in front of flare in Chad 2003
Getty Images
An oil pipeline was opened in Chad in 2003

Analysis: What difference will Morocco's election make?

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Moroccans are going to the polls today to elect a new parliament, the second time they've voted since the 2011 constitutional reforms (see earlier entry).

Results are due on Sunday and the biggest party in the new parliament is expected to be either the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) or its main secular rival, the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM). 

Woman voting in Morocco
Reuters

Most executive power was vested in the king of Morocco until 2011, when Mohammed VI agreed to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy in a bid to fend off Arab Spring-style protests. 

Though the king relinquished some of his powers as part of the constitutional reform, he is still the most powerful person in the country. 

The PJD, led by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, has led a broad coalition since emerging as the biggest party in the 2011 election. 

However, the government is kept on a tight leash by the king, who is clearly uneasy at having to share any authority with Islamists - even moderate ones.

What difference will Morocco's election make?

Kenya's deputy president to sue over 'malicious' tweet

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto is suing the well-known political activist Boniface Mwangi over a message on Twitter suggesting that he was responsible for the murder earlier this year of businessman Jacob Juma, the Daily Nation reports.

The post is described as false and malicious and Mr Ruto wants the tweet removed and Mr Mwangi to apologise.

Earlier this week, Mr Mwangi defended the tweet and said the attempt to sue him amounted to harassment.

Nairobi turns purple in jacaranda propaganda season

The rhyming hashtag #JacarandaPropaganda is trending on Twitter in Kenya as people post their best pictures of the glorious splash of purple the Jacaranda tree is showing off at the moment:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

But some have been questioning whether Nairobi really is the best place to spot jacaranda trees in full bloom. 

Here's a contender from a tweeter who says he is in Pretoria:

View more on twitter

Voters choose new parliament in Morocco

Pictures are now coming though of Moroccans voting today in parliamentary elections.

This is the second vote since King Mohammed VI reformed the constitution in the wake of protests in the region.

Woman voting in Morocco
AP
Person voting in election
Reuters

More powers were given to the parliament, but the king is still the pivotal figure in the constitution.

The Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD) is hoping to be re-elected to government.

It faces opposition from the Authenticity and Modernity Party, which wants to roll back what it calls the "Islamisation" of Moroccan society.  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he wants the option of assisted death

Desmond Tutu
Getty Images
He is celebrating his 85th birthday today

South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said in a birthday message in the Washington Post that he wants the option of assisted death.

In the op-ed he says:

I have prepared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive at all costs. I hope I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s journey in the manner of my choice.

Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. I believe that, alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists, their choices should include a dignified assisted death."

He announced the reversal of his lifelong opposition to assisted dying in 2014.

Debate over venue of Ghana World Cup qualifier

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa

There's a heated discussion in Ghana over the decision for the national football team, the Black Stars, to play today's World Cup qualifier against Uganda in the northern city of Tamale.

The Black Stars have played in Tamale before, but traditionally they play in either the capital, Accra, or the second city, Kumasi.

Some commentators have suggested that the move to the north is about the lukewarm support the team is getting in the big urban areas like Accra and Kumasi.

This all goes back to Ghana's appearance at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

At that time the government was compelled to fly out $3m (£2.4m) in cash to pay the players to avoid a strike.

Some fans now believe that the players are selfish and unpatriotic and has affected their level of support.

Despite this, the team has got a warm reception in Tamale according to the coach, Avram Grant.

He said: “The welcome from the fans was very good and the players like to be here. The atmosphere and we are happy.”

Ghana and Portuguese players in the World Cup
AFP
Ghana's off field comments during Brazil 2014 disillusioned some Ghanaian fans

Somali girls spent longest on chores

Somalia has hit the top of a list of countries where girls spend longest on household chores. 

In Somalia, girls between 10 and 14 years old spend on average 26 hours a week on these jobs according to data released by Unicef.

Looking at the data for girls aged between five and 14, the three countries at the top of the chore list are:

  • Somalia, where 64% of girls spend at least 14 hours on chores a week. 
  • Ethiopia the figure is 56% 
  • And in Rwanda it's 48% 

Read more on the BBC News website

Somali young girl cooks food outside their makeshift home inside a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.
Reuters

Cape Verde 'a model of democracy'

The US has praised Cape Verde as "a model of democratic values and processes in Africa" after last Sunday's presidential election.

Incumbent President Jorge Carlos Fonseca won a second term with nearly 75% of the vote in a peaceful poll.

In a statement, a US State Department spokerperson said "I applaud the people of Cape Verde for their enthusiastic and peaceful participation" in the vote.

This week, the Mo Ibrahim index on governance put Cape Verde third overall in Africa behind Mauritius and Botswana.

President Jorge Carlos Fonseca
EPA
President Jorge Carlos Fonseca was re-elected after Sunday's vote

Analysis: Call for Zuma to step down

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

We've reported on the call from some stalwarts of South Africa's governing African National Congress for President Jacob Zuma to step down. But how significant is this move? 

The ANC is deeply divided, and if there is one thing President Zuma has done a great job of it's keeping those loyal to him close through key government positions. 

While this group of "dissidents" is respected in society they are unlikely to stir the president into action. 

Calls for Mr Zuma to step down are not new and have taken many forms including marches through South Africa's major cities. Not a single one of them has been successful, or remotely close to it.

Mr Zuma will leave when his own people turn on him. 

So this remains the president's show.

ANC rally
AFP
Jacob Zuma has his strong supporters as well as his detractors

Is the world's best-dressed street vendor in Zimbabwe?

Farai Mushayademo is one of more than 100,000 vendors operating on the streets of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, but he has found a way to stand out from his rivals.

When he sells water and other beverages to motorists, he dresses immaculately in suits he has tailored himself.

Video Journalist: Tendai Msiyazviriyo

Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe after state opening of parliament

Patrick Kihara

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe yesterday afternoon left the capital, Harare, for Malaysia on a working visit, the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reports.

He was accompanied by First Lady Grace Mugabe, Transport Minister Jorum Gumbo and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa among other senior government officials.

Another website ZimNews, however, says that while his office says he left on a working visit, unnamed sources in the government told its reporters that "Mr Mugabe and his wife are due for their regular medical check ups in the Far East". 

The website adds that "from Malaysia, the Mugabe family will reroute to Singapore for scheduled medical treatment leaving the rest of the travelling team in Malaysia".

Robert Mugabe
AP
The trip to Malaysia began a few hours after Mr Mugabe opened a new session of the country's parliament

Read more Mugabe: Zimbabwe to soften controversial foreign company law

ANC veterans call for Zuma to step down

Stalwarts from South Africa's governing African National Congress have called on President Jacob Zuma to step down, the Fin24 website reports.

It quotes an emailed statement from a pressure group called Save South Africa, made up of some highly-respected veteran ANC members.

They include the former finance minister Trevor Manuel.

The statement said they have "deep concern" about the state of the country.

Fin24 adds that the group wants to meet with President Zuma to talk about “the leadership that is required to chart a way to stability, economic growth and the rights and promises contained in the constitution".

Jacob Zuma
AFP

Moroccans vote in parliamentary elections

The people of Morocco are voting today in parliamentary elections.

These are the second elections since the country adopted constitutional reforms in 2011 designed to calm protests during the Arab Spring uprisings. 

The Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD) is hoping to be re-elected to government. 

It says a second term would allow it to press ahead with its economic and social reforms.

PJD supporters
Getty Images
PJD's logo is a light...

It faces opposition from the Authenticity and Modernity Party, which wants to roll back what it calls the "Islamisation" of Moroccan society.

PJD's supporter
Getty Images
While PJD's logo is a tractor

Burundi says it wants to quit the ICC

Burundi's government says it wants to pull out of the International Criminal Court.

The cabinet made the decision last night, the Reuters news agency reports.

It is six months after the ICC prosecutor said her office would investigate last year's violence in which hundreds of people died.

Political turmoil followed the announcement in April 2015 that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term.

The country's parliament will have to pass a bill to legalise the withdrawal.

Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo said his government was not worried that the decision would lead to international isolation. 

He added that Burundi is ready to face any consequences of its decision:

You know we may be isolated, but it's fine with us if it is the case at least we will be enjoying our freedom. How many countries did not ratify this convention? Are they isolated? The United States, Russia, China, and many others and even some neighbouring countries that did not!"

Withdrawal from the ICC has been discussed by the African Union and heads of state supported a Kenyan proposal earlier this year to look at ways to do this.

They said that the court unfairly targets African countries.

Pierre Nkurunziza
AFP
President Pierre Nkurunziza was elected for a third term in July last year

Militants attack refugee camp in Niger

At least 20 soldiers have been killed in Niger in an attack on a camp for Malian refugees, officials say.

The attack took place in the western Tahoua region, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini told state TV.

Map
BBC

Assailants targeted a military post near the camp, a local official told the Associated Press.

Three soldiers were also injured in the attack, the local official said, and Prime Minister Rafini said the death toll could rise.  

Northern and central Mali remain unstable nearly four years after France led a military intervention to drive out jihadists.

Read more on the BBC News website

Good morning

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