A reminder of today's proverb:
The truth passes through fire and does not burn."
We leave you with this photo of a man performing at a voodoo Festival in Ouidah in Benin:
A reminder of today's proverb:
The truth passes through fire and does not burn."
We leave you with this photo of a man performing at a voodoo Festival in Ouidah in Benin:
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has postponed his visit to The Gambia to Friday at the request of Yahya Jammeh, who is refusing to step down despite losing elections, Mr Buhari's spokesman has said.
Mr Buhari was due to have visited on Wednesday as part of a regional mediation effort to persuade Mr Jammeh to hand the presidency to property developer Adama Barrow when his term expires on 19 January.
Mr Buhari was committed to resolving the crisis through "inclusive dialogue with respect to the constitution and the will of the people of The Gambia", his spokesman Garba Shehu said.
The objective would be accomplished, despite the delay, he said.
Mr Buhari would be accompanied to The Gambia by Ghana's former President John Mahama.
The two have been appointed by the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, to mediate an end to the crisis.
Journalist and political analyst Remi Adekoya has a piece in Foreign Policy in which he argues that Nigeria's young and fast-growing population has been mischaracterised as an economic opportunity or asset and is instead a ticking time bomb.
"The latest population figures must serve as a clarion call for the Nigerian government and its international partners to come up with policies, programs, and campaigns aimed at slowing down the birth rate while also providing better opportunities for those already born," he says.
For more, follow the link below.
Kenya is to put 109 elite athletes under the supervision of selected doctors in an attempt to stop doping, AFP news agency has reported.
The East African country was put on the IAAF doping watchlist in 2016 after being ruled non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) following a series of drug scandals.
Last October, Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo had her two-year ban doubled after an IAAF appeal was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
She became Kenya's first high-profile athlete to fail a test when she tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug EPO in 2014.
Kenya has been in the spotlight for the past three years after a German television programme claimed many of the country's athletes were doping.
A 56-year-old man who lives in the UK and once worked for a soft drinks company in Uganda has been named Rwanda's king-in-exile.
Prince Emmanuel Bushayija succeeds his uncle, King Kigeli V, who died in the US in October aged 80.
In a statement, the Royal House said the new monarch grew up in exile in Uganda, and later worked for Pepsi Cola in the capital, Kampala.
"He then went on to work in the tourism industry in Kenya, before returning to Rwanda between 1994 and 2000. Since then, His Majesty has lived in the United Kingdom, where he is married with two children," it added.
A second mosque in the Cape Town area has been attacked in the past three days, South Africa's Daily Voice has reported.
It said the Masjidul-Jamiah in Kalk Bay was splattered with blood, including on the pulpit, and framed scriptures were torn down from the walls.
Two days earlier in nearby Simon’s Town, part of a pig’s head was left on the gate of Noorul Islam mosque.
Read more via the link below.
BBC North Africa correspondent
As Italy moves to reopen its embassy in Libya, the Italian ambassador, Guissepe Perrone, has now presented his credentials to officials in the capital, Tripoli, and moved into his residence.
Rome's foreign ministry described it as a demonstration of faith in Libya's stabilisation process.
The announcement of the reopening followed a visit by Italy's interior minister to Tripoli on Monday.
Like other European missions, the Italians pulled out of the country following widespread rival militia clashes that began in the Libyan capital in 2014.
The battle split the country into regional power hubs with rival administrations based in eastern and western Libya.
The mayhem allowed traffickers to flourish and many thousands of migrants have used boats to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
The political and military scene in Libya remains fractured today, despite a UN-brokered agreement that formed a unity administration based in Tripoli.
Both Libyan and Italian officials hope the reopening of the embassy will help with moves to control migration.
According to Libya's foreign minister, the embassy will be able to issue visas for Libyans and Italy intends to fund a number of projects in the country.
Rome wants to work with the Tripoli authorities to increase border control in the south of the country, which is the first entry point of most migrants and refugees.
But this could be the first stumbling block for the Italians - as no political administration in Libya has control over forces in the country that could decisively help achieve that.
Somalia's militant Islamist group al-Shabab has shot dead two men it accused of being gay, the BBC Somali service is reporting.
The public killings took place in Buale town in the Middle Juba region.
A third person was shot dead after being accused of being a spy for Ethiopia, a staunch enemy of al-Shabab.
BBC Africa, Accra
The presidential villa in Ghana is a grand stool-shaped building known as Flagstaff House.
Former President John Mahama did not live there, preferring to remain in the home of the vice-president - a post he held before his elevation to the presidency in 2012.
So, Flagstaff House remained vacant during his rule. Now, it is expected to be occupied by his successor, Nana Akufo-Addo, who won elections last month.
The question is: Where should the new vice-president live?
As far as Mr Mahama is concerned it is not in the house he is occupying (see earlier post).
The new government seems to disagree. Will it send the removal trucks? Watch this space.
US wheelchair basketball coach Jess Markt is in South Sudan to coach players there, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has confirmed.
Markt, who began playing wheelchair basketball at the age of 19 after suffering a spinal cord injury, has previously trained teams in Afghanistan, India, the Palestinian territories, Cambodia and in his home state of Colorado, Africa News reports.
Satire alert: US journalist Matt Yglesias, a prominent liberal commentator, had this comment on our report about Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni promoting his son.
It comes a day after US President-elect Donald Trump named his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a top adviser.
Ghana's ex-President John Mahama has not been given permission to continue living in the house he occupied while in office, an official close to his successor Nana Akufo-Addo's transitional team has said.
Mr Mahama's failure to vacate the house when his term ended on Saturday has caused huge controversy in Ghana, with critics accusing him of holding on to it unlawfully, reports the BBC's Thomas Naadi from the capital, Accra.
The Daily Guide newspaper quotes the head of Mr Akufo-Addo's transitional team, Yaw Osafo Maafo, as saying:
We have not approved of his request, and I want to repeat we have received the request and the requests are two – for him to be given his ex-gratia where he lives and also be given another property as his office.”
In a statement on Monday, Mr Mahama's office said agreement had been reached last month with Mr Akufo-Addo's team that he would continue living in the house.
The last parliament had also resolved, before its dissolution, that a home and office should be be given to Mr Mahama "in line with convention and existing precedent", the statement added.
Local media reported that the house had been earmarked for new Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia who was now "stranded".
Mr Mahama's office described the report as "mischievous", and its statement added:
The vice-president is expected to take up residence in the house known as Australia House, which was previously occupied by former Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur."
Mr Mahama was widely credited for accepting defeat in elections last month, rather than challenging the result.
He is among regional mediators trying to persuade The Gambia's long-serving ruler Yahya Jammeh to step down after he lost elections to property develop Adama Barrow.
The manager of France's national football team, Didier Deschamps, had been scouting Kalidou Koulibaly, not knowing that the target of his interest was already playing international football for Senegal, BBC Sport's Oluwashina Okeleji reports.
BBC World Service
* The US Senate is beginning its confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's cabinet. First to be questioned will be his controversial choice for attorney general - Jeff Sessions.
* There's been a double bomb attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul, leaving many dead.
* The former Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been buried next to the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini.
* Fifa has approved plans to expand the football World Cup to 48 teams.
BBC Africa, Maputo
Mozambique’s main opposition group, the rebel Renamo movement, says the two-month truce declared by its leader Afonso Dhlakama after a phone conversation with President Filipe Nyusi earlier this month is being threatened by "provocations" by the government's defence and security forces.
Speaking to journalists in Maputo, Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga alleged that a Renamo member in the Zobue region of Tete province, near the border with Malawi, had been killed by the country’s defence and security forces. He also alleged that Renamo members had been harassed in Manica, Sofala and Tete provinces, without giving further details.
We are extremely worried with the situation. We want to denounce and repudiate these acts and appeal to the authorities to use the power which the constitution and the laws confer on them to bring order to the defence and security forces."
Mr Muchanga said that although such incidents could undermine the truce, Renamo had no intention of resuming its war.
The government and the governing Frelimo party have made no immediate comment following the allegations.
The Guardian has published a photo essay about how the remote mountain town of Numbi in Democratic Republic of Congo is benefiting from a solar-powered mobile phone tower.
Follow the link below for the full story.
Members of Uganda's parliament will donate a percentage of their January salary to help the team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
"We agreed that we will contribute about $150 each and I will be going to Gabon with the cheque," said the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
The total amount to be collected from parliament will be $58,451.
Uganda's government has given $540,716 - well short of the $2m the Federation of Uganda Football Associations wanted.
"It is good news that the parliament of Uganda will support the national team. It is a good gesture," Fufa's chief executive officer Edgar Watson told BBC Sport.
Follow the link below to read more.
BBC Focus On Africa television and radio, along with the BBC Swahili TV programme, Dira ya Dunia, will hit the road together in January to broadcast live from Uganda for a week from 23 to 27 January.
This will be the first time the programmes have come together to broadcast from the continent, and will feature special guests and studio audiences on TV, radio and online.
Read more by following the link below.
Wanyama wa Chebusiri
As many as 40 people are feared dead after a boat they were travelling in from the Tanzanian port city of Tanga to Pemba islands capsized on Monday night.
The police commander for the north-eastern region, Benedict Wakulyamba, told the BBC that the boat was carrying about 50 people. The police chief said nine survivors had been rescued and 12 bodies recovered. The cause of the capsizing has not been confirmed but the police commander said strong winds may have knocked the boat off balance.
As Barack Obama, the first US president of African descent, prepares to give his last speech as head of state, we revisit five of his most memorable lines about the continent.
1. Addressing the Ghanaian parliament on 11 July 2009 on his first official trip to Africa, Mr Obama took a swipe at Africa's tradition of coups and rule of the strong man, saying:
History is on the side of these brave Africans, not with those who use coups or change constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions."
2. Mr Obama in paying tribute to Nelson Mandela in December 2013:
Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa: Ubuntu; a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us."
3. Mr Obama, in July 2015, defending gay rights on a visit to Kenya where homosexuality is a crime:
A law-abiding citizen who is going about their business, and working at a job and obeying the traffic signs and not harming anybody, the idea they will be treated differently or abused because of who they love is wrong, full stop."
4. On 28 July 2015, in a speech to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Mr Obama denounced African leaders who cling to power, urging them to learn the art of stepping down:
Nobody should be president for life. Your country is better off if you have new blood and new ideas. I'm still a pretty young man, but I know that somebody with new energy and new insights will be good for my country. It will be good for yours, too, in some cases."
5. Mr Obama waxing optimistic about the economic prospects of Africa on 21 September 2016 at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington.
Thanks to many of you, Africa is on the move, home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and a middle class projected to grow to more than a billion customers. An Africa of telecom companies and clean-tech startups and Silicon savannahs, all powered by the youngest population anywhere on the planet."
The Gambian Supreme Court will not be able to hear a petition before May from President Yahya Jammeh, who's refusing to accept defeat in December's election and wants the poll to be rerun, the BBC's Claude Foly reports.
The Nigerian judge, Onogeme Uduma, who was to act as president of the court is currently unavailable.
Our correspondent says the plaintiffs have agreed with the new date and will maintain their petition.
Regional bloc Ecowas is among those demanding that Mr Jammeh steps down. It is sending a delegation to The Gambia on Wednesday.
Gambian journalist and blogger Sanna Camara tweeted these pictures from outside the courtroom.
See earlier post for more details
A Ugandan man was buried with $5,700 (£4,700) which he wanted to offer God as an "offertory" to forgive his sins and save him from hell fire, the privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper has reported.
Charles Obong, a former government employee who died at the age of 52, made the request in his will, his family was quoted as saying.
However, the grave was dug up and the money removed from his coffin after community elders and clerics became aware of it, the Daily Monitor reported.
It quoted the Anglican Church's Rev Joel Agel Awio as saying that no amount of money could buy eternal life, and God would not accept such a "golden handshake".
Reuters has an interview with the Youth League President of South Africa's governing ANC, Collen Maine. He says his party's next leader - to be chosen at a party conference in December - should launch a "second revolution", redistributing wealth.
He says his organisation will endorse a candidate who will send "shock waves" through the ANC, suggesting it will not support either of the presumed frontrunners, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the head of the African Union and President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
A diplomat from Sudan was arrested in the US for allegedly "grinding on a woman" in a subway train in Manhattan, but he was released and the charges were dropped because he had diplomatic immunity, US media quote police sources as saying.
The 49-year-old diplomat, named in reports as Mohammad Abdalla Ali, allegedly rubbed a 38-year-old woman from behind on a commuter train, police sources said.
He was charged with sexual assault and forcible touching, but was released after proving he was a diplomat, the unnamed sources were quoted by New York's Daily News as saying.
The New York Police Department had contacted the State Department, and it was up to officials there to lodge an official protest with Sudan's government, the Daily News reports on its website.
There has been no comment by the diplomat or the Sudanese government.
Journalist and football writer Osasu Obayiuwana has tweeted this picture of the enthusiastic send-off for Guinea-Bissau's footballers heading to the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. The team are making their maiden appearance in the competition.
Coach Baciro Cande has picked a squad entirely made up of players based in Europe. They will play in the tournament's opening match against the hosts in Libreville on 14 January.
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara has appointed his former prime minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan, to be the country's first vice-president.
Mr Duncan resigned as PM on Monday following the parliamentary elections won by the governing RHDP coalition.
The position of vice-president was created under the new constitution adopted through a referendum last October.
Mr Duncan is an economist who previously served at the West African central bank and as Ivory Coast's finance minister.
Up to half of Tunisia's bumper orange harvest may have to be destroyed if enough buyers cannot be found, AFP news agency has quoted experts as saying.
This year's crop stands at 550,000 tonnes so far, compared with a previous high of 400,000 tonnes in recent years.
Experts attributed the record harvest to dry weather and "physiological conditions" which meant the orange blossoms and the fruit held on to the trees.
Tunisian sellers are expected to find international buyers for only about 10% of the harvest, with marketing efforts focusing on France and Russia.
However, analysts said Tunisia would face heavy competition from Egyptian and Turkish oranges in those markets.
Strong agricultural exports have previously helped the Tunisian economy "avoid the worst" after jihadist attacks damaged the country's tourism industry, the finance ministry has said.
The governing body of world football, Fifa, has decided to expand its flagship tournament, the World Cup finals, into a 48-team competition from its current 32.
The announcement was made on Twitter:
It is understood that expanding the World Cup was one of the promises of Fifa's president, Gianni Infantino, when he took over from Sepp Blatter last February.
The decision means that more African teams than the current number of five will start in the tournament at the group stage.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has appointed his eldest son - a major-general in the army - as his special adviser, renewing speculation that he is grooming him as his successor.
Maj-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba rose rapidly through the ranks of the military, and was the commander of the Special Forces, with responsibility over his father's security.
Last year, the president appointed his wife Janet as Minister of Education and Sports.
Her appointment came after Mr Museveni won a fifth term in elections rejected by the opposition as rigged.
Meanwhile, Mr Museveni has also promoted Brigadier Peter Elwelu, who commanded the forces which mounted an attack on King Charles Mumbere's palace in the Rwenzururu region in November, to the post of chief of land forces.
The brigadier's promotion is seen as reward for the operation, which led to the deaths of some 60 people.
The king is accused of leading a secessionist movement, and is in detention.
Defence Force chief Gen Katumba Wamala has lost his post and been given a junior ministerial post in the government.
He held the highest military office in Uganda, and the new appointment is seen as a demotion.
The army spokesman said the changes were normal and good for institutional growth.
The former rebel leader and ex-prime minister of Ivory Coast, Guillaume Soro, has been re-elected speaker of the National Assembly with a majority of 95%, BBC Afrique reports.
Mr Soro was confirmed in his position shortly after President Alassane Ouattara sacked the heads of security in the country following the mutiny that rocked barracks late last week.
He stood for election as an independent MP against Evariste Meambly, a contender from the ruling RHDP coalition.
Mr Soro then announced that the first parliamentary session he will preside over today will see the attendance of President Ouattara, who is expected to announce his pick for the vice-presidency under the new constitution.
The speaker is seen as a potential successor of President Ouattara when he steps down in 2020 at the end of his second and last term.
Actor Tom Hiddleston has apologised for his speech at the Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood in which he referred to humanitarian workers in South Sudan watching him on screen, and dedicated his award to those "fixing the world in the places where it is broken". Some interpreted the actor's words as being self-centred or self-indulgent, although others praised them.
Hiddleston won best performance by an actor in a mini-series or TV movie for his role in The Night Manager.
The Gambia's Information Minister Sheriff Bojang has fled to neighbouring Senegal, in a sign that President Yahya Jammeh is facing resistance from within his cabinet over his refusal to hand over power when his term expires on 19 January.
In a statement, Mr Bojang said Mr Jammeh's decision to challenge his defeat in the 1 December election was "an attempt to subvert the express will of the Gambian electorate".
He called on others to join him in resigning from the long-serving ruler's government.
Mr Bojang confirmed the authenticity of the statement via telephone from Senegal, Reuters news agency reports.
The pro-opposition Freedom newspaper reports that he arrived in Senegal's capital, Dakar, a few days ago and had no intention of returning to The Gambia.
Mr Bojang was seen as Mr Jammeh's chief propagandist, often appearing on state media to read out controversial government statements.
Foreign Minister Neneh Macdouall Gaye resigned last month, though her decision attracted little publicity.
Opposition leader Adama Barrow, who defeated Mr Jammeh in the poll, said he would inaugurate himself as president on 19 January.
The Supreme Court is due to hear today a petition by Mr Jammeh's party challenging the result.
However, it is unclear whether the case will go ahead as judges from Nigeria and Sierra Leone have not arrived in The Gambia.
The tiny West African state often appoints foreign judges because of a shortage of local judges.
Zimbabwe has been hit by an outbreak of army worms which has destroyed maize crops in a country suffering from a food shortage because of drought.
The state-owned Herald newspaper reports that the government has sent pesticides to the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces in an effort to curb the outbreak.
"If not controlled properly, there can be re-infestation and the fall army worms may go on to attack the cob. The pest should be sprayed when it is young," entomologist Godfrey Chikwenhere is quoted as saying.
"Farmers should not irrigate immediately after spraying and also should not spray when they expect rains as the chemical will be washed away," he added.
Last month, Zambia used military planes to fly pesticides to farming areas hit by army worms.
The pests are called army worms because they eat most vegetation in their way and can destroy entire fields.
They were devouring crops in six of the southern African state's 10 provinces.
Maize is a staple diet in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent.