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Summary

  1. Pope Francis seeks forgiveness over Rwanda genocide
  2. South Sudan passenger plane crashes
  3. Fifa bans Ghana referee over match fixing
  4. Eight of bottom 10 countries in happiness survey in Africa
  5. Tanzania announces investigation after official stormed TV station
  6. Ancient cave paintings in Chad vandalised
  7. South Africa robbery 'attack on the judiciary'
  8. Ghanaians mourn waterfall dead
  9. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Monday 20 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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We'll be back tomorrow

Scroll down for today's stories

That's all from the  BBC Africa Live page today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the  Africa Today podcast  or checking the  BBC News website

A reminder of today's wise words:

A speech without a proverb is like soup without salt."

An Oromo proverb from Ethiopia sent by Asladdin Muktar from Cairo, Egypt

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

We leave you with this picture from Upile Chisala's Instagram feed of different cloth she spotted in a market in Blantyre, Malawi.

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Senegal music legends reform with singer's son

Senegal's legendary group Orchestre Baobab has reformed for a new album, with former singer Ndiouga Ndieng, who died last year, replaced by his son, Alpha.

The new album, which will be released at the end of this month, is a tribute to Ndieng. A world tour follows.

Nigeria imposes new immigration rules

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

The Nigerian government has unveiled a new immigration policy which it says will help to prevent jihadists entering the country. 

Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau said the new approach to immigration would enhance security and make doing business easier. Under the policy, foreign visitors will be fully registered. 

Herdsmen entering Nigeria from neighbouring countries will also be monitored.  

SA pastor banned from using Doom on congregation

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

A South African judge has issued a banning order to prevent a controversial pastor from using Doom insect repellent for "religious healing".

Judge George Phatudi of the Limpopo High Court ruled that pastor Lethebo Rabalago must stop spraying Doom on members of his congregation.

Last November, Mr Rabalago told the BBC that he used the insecticide for "healing" members of his congregation.

Many South Africans expressed outrage or ridiculed the pastor.

The pastor's lawyer, Edmond Lubisi, argued in court that no-one in the congregation of Mount Zion had died as a result of the pastor's actions.

Judge Phatudi reprimanded the pastor, telling him he was neither a scientist nor a chemical expert.

Pastor spraying something on someone's face
Mount Zion General Assembly

Does Kenya really spend half its tax take on civil servants?

The BBC's fact checking service, Reality Check , has been looking into a claim by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta that 50% of the government's tax revenue is paid to just 2% of the population, through wages to civil servants.

He said that Kenya's 700,000 public servants were paid 627bn Kenyan shillings ($6bn; £4.9bn) in 2015/16, a figure also cited by the Salary and Remuneration Commission, which oversees public sector pay.  

Kenya's tax revenue for that year was Ksh1.3tn ($12bn, £10bn) according to Kenya's Treasury department which provides Kenyatta with his 50% figure, (although the accurate figure is 48%).  

Reality Check says the average proportion of tax revenue spent on public sector wages in sub-Saharan Africa was 29% in 2012, according to a World Bank analysis. That is nearly twice that paid by OECD countries where the average is 15%.

President Kenyatta
Reuters

Viral footballer denies having girlfriend

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News

A footballer, who has gone viral on social media after thanking his wife and his girlfriend in a recent post-match interview, has denied having a girlfriend. 

A clip of the interview with Ghanaian Mohammed Anas got a lot of attention at the weekend:

View more on twitter

Anas, who plays for South Africa’s Free State Stars, told the BBC that he was in fact referring to his daughter. 

"My family knows that I call my daughter my girlfriend. That’s what I was talking about. I don’t have a girlfriend," he said.

Anas says he is not bothered by the publicity the video has generated saying: "I’m famous now, even people around the world know me."

He added that he has been together with his wife, who is South African, for seven years.

"I love her so much, she’s given me two beautiful children. She is fine. She knows what kind of man I am so I am not worried."

'No deaths' following South Sudan crash

Figures from the South Sudan plane crash are still unclear.

Earlier, a plane, on its way from the capital, Juba, with at least 40 people on board crashed as it was landing in Wau, in the north-west of the country. 

Director of Wau airport Stephen Kejo told BBC Africa Live that there were no deaths but seven passengers were taken to hospital, with three in a critical condition.

There were earlier reports that 25 people were in hospital.

'Sex enhancement aids' worth $1.6m seized by SA customs

OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg
AFP

South African customs officers seized 1.8 tonnes of "male sexual enhancement tablets" worth 20.6m rand ($1.6m; £1.3m) at Johannesburg airport yesterday, the South African Revenue Service has said .

The shipment contained 80,000 tablets and 126,000 oral jellies wrapped in brown sacks. The products had been sent from the Indian city of Mumbai and were destined for Swaziland, Sars said. 

"These tablets are restricted and controlled substances and must have permits when being imported," the agency said. 

"The shipment has been handed over to the Medical Council of South Africa for further investigation."

Ghana-born medical student achieves milestone at top US university

A lot of Ghanaians are sharing on social media the news that Ghana-born medical student Nancy Abu-Bonsrah is to become the first black woman to be trained as a neurosurgeon at the prestigious Johns Hopkins medical school in the US.

She was awarded the accolade at the end of last week when medical students found out in the matching process where they were going to be sent:

View more on twitter

Some have suggested that she is the first black female neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, but that is slightly jumping the gun.

The university told BBC Africa Live that she will be a neurosurgical resident adding that "she will not officially be a neurosurgeon until she completes her residency in a few years".     

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah moved to the US from Ghana with her parents when she was 15.

Senegal 'happy' over Ghana referee ban

Joseph Lamptey
Backpagepix

Senegal has said it is "happy" about Fifa's decision to hand a life ban to Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for match fixing. See earlier posts .

The vice-president of Senegal's football federation, Abdoulaye Sow, said: "Today there are many reasons to be happy about this decision - a decision that will be remembered as being significant but will also warn everybody that they are being watched."

He added that this shows that:

All cheating and stealing will be punished according to its gravity."

South Sudan plane crash casualty figures unclear

There are various figures being reported for the number of people injured in the crash of a passenger plane in South Sudan.

The plane, on its way from the capital, Juba, crashed as it was landing in Wau, in the north-west of the country.

There were at least 40 people on board.

AFP news agency quotes a local government minister as saying that 14 people were taken to hospital for treatment and are in a "stable condition".

A journalist in Wau told the BBC that 25 people had been injured and were in hospital.

There has been no confirmation of any deaths.

People are continuing to share pictures of the crash scene on social media:

View more on twitter

Ghana waterfall accident clear-up operation

Ghana's fire service workers have been clearing up the site of the freak waterfall accident in which at least 18 people died.

The victims were playing in the pool at the base of a popular waterfall spot in Kintampo when a tree fell on them.

The Ghana National Fire Service made this short video showing people cutting up the tree and carrying the logs away.

South Africans pay tribute to actor Joe Mafela

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South Africans have taken to social media to pay tribute to actor Joe Mafela, who died in a car crash at the weekend in Johannesburg. The tag #RipJoemafela has been trending since news of his death broke.

Mr Mafela was a popular figure on some of the country’s favourite television sitcoms since the 1980s.

The veteran actor, who starred in the popular TV comedy Sgudi Snaysi ("It's Good, It's Nice") was travelling in a vehicle which collided with a pick-up truck (known colloquially as a bakkie) on Saturday night.

Police have opened an inquest docket to investigate the cause of death.

According to Johannesburg police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane, Mr Mafela died at the scene.

"The Ford Figo that Mr Mafela was driving collided with an Isuzu bakkie and when paramedics arrived on scene, Mr Mafela was then declared [dead]."

President of the Creative and Cultural Industries Federation of South Africa Tony Kgoroge told the BBC that Mr Mafela had produced "great work after great body of work".

"We hope that young people can emulate him as they learn his craft and that he will be our ancestor until we meet on the other side," he said.

A local news organisation tweeted its own tribute this morning.

View more on twitter

'New chapter' in Rwanda-Vatican relations

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has tweeted that his meeting with Pope Francis earlier was a "great moment" and a "new chapter in relations" between his country and the Vatican.

The pontiff asked for God's forgiveness over the role in the Rwandan genocide of people connected with the Roman Catholic Church.

See earlier post .

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

World Bank in $57bn financing deal for Africa

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

The World Bank has announced a three-year financing package for sub-Saharan Africa worth $57bn (£46bn). World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says the financing will help African countries grow, create opportunities and guard against external shocks and crises. 

The bulk of the money being made available - $45bn worth - will be channelled through the International Development Association, the part of the World Bank that concentrates on the world's least developed countries. 

The financing will support more than 400 projects already under way in sub-Saharan Africa - ranging from infrastructure development and education to water sanitation and basic health services. The idea is to create the conditions to boost economic growth. 

The support will come through a combination of financing tools: grants, interest-free loans and low-interest loans. 

The commodity slump of recent years hit the region's finances hard, but a modest rebound is expected this year. Analysts say this "shot in the arm" from the World Bank could significantly help the sustainability of that recovery.  


          A workers opens an irrigation tap at the rice research center in Bouake, center of Ivory Coast.
AFP

Causes of South Sudan plane crash unclear

There are conflicting reports about the causes of the plane crash at Wau airport in the north of South Sudan.

The South Supreme Airlines was coming into land after flying from the capital, Juba.

State governor Andrea Mayar Achor told BBC Focus on Africa radio that there were visibility problems.

But a journalist for Eye Radio said that "the plane was blowing smoke from the tail before it crashed".

The number of casualties is also not clear. There were at least 40 people on board, but some are said to have survived.

Eye Radio quotes the Director of Wau Teaching Hospital, Dr Edmond Sebit, as saying that several of the injured have been taken to the hospital.

South Supreme Airlines are not reporting any deaths at this stage, a local journalist told the BBC.

People are tweeting pictures from the scene.

View more on twitter

The penalty that led to the Ghana referee ban


          South Africa's Andile Jali (L) passes Senegal's Saliou Ciss (R) during the 2018 World Cup qualifying football match between South Africa and Senegal on November 12, 2016
AFP
South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 - a result which included a contentious penalty for South Africa

Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey has been banned for life by football's world governing body, Fifa, after questions were raised about his officiating at a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal last November.

The match ended 2-1 to South Africa, but Senegal launched a formal protest to Fifa.

They said that Lamptey awarded a penalty despite his assistant referee, who the Senegalese said was "better placed", flagging for a corner.

Many other observers also questioned the penalty at the time, including BBC Sport which reported that South Africa took the lead "after a contentious penalty was awarded for handball".

The BBC's Piers Edwards tried to get comment from Lamptey.

View more on twitter

World Bank boss visits Tanzania

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is in Tanzania where he has attended a ceremony with President John Magufuli to lay the foundation stone for a road project in the country's main city, Dar es Salaam.

The World Bank is providing loan finance for the Ubungo interchange project, which is aimed at reducing traffic congestion on key routes in the city.

View more on twitter

BreakingPassenger plane crashes in South Sudan

A passenger plane has crashed as it was coming in to land at the airport in Wau, in northern South Sudan, reports say.

There were at least 30 people on board, according to a local official.

He told the BBC that the plane was coming from the capital, Juba.

It is not clear if anyone has died.

A radio station in Juba is reporting that some people have been pulled out alive.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ghanaian football referee banned for life

Ghanaian referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey has been banned for life by football's world governing body Fifa for "unlawfully influencing" the result of a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal last November. 

In a statement, Fifia says it  "follows a zero-tolerance policy on match manipulation and is committed to protecting the integrity of football".

More details via the link below.

View more on twitter

Pope begs for forgiveness over Rwandan genocide

The Pope and Paul Kagame
AFP

Pope Francis has begged for God's forgiveness "for the sins and failings of the Church and its members... who succumbed to hatred and violence" in the Rwandan genocide.

He was speaking during a meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Vatican. The plea for forgiveness followed a request by Rwanda in November for the Vatican to apologise over the role some Catholic priests and religious figures played in the 1994 massacres.

In comments reported by Vatican Radio , the Pope also "expressed the desire that this humble recognition of the failings of that period, which, unfortunately, disfigured the face of the Church, may contribute to a 'purification of memory' and may promote, in hope and renewed trust, a future of peace".

During the 100-day genocide, more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists. Several massacres were carried out in churches where people had sought sanctuary.

Read more about the Rwanda genocide:

Ghana accident site is 'top tourist destination'

Welcome sign to Kintampo Waterfalls
Sammy Darko

Journalist Sammy Darko has visited the waterfall in Ghana where at least 18 people died in a freak accident.

It was only two weeks ago that I was bathing in the same spot where the tree fell and crushed those students.

I saw dozens of students playing in the water at the base of the waterfall for hours until the sun went down.

Many of them were taking selfies and photos of each other.

The site at Kintampo is one of the country's top tourist destinations, drawing large numbers of local and foreign visitors.

It's especially busy at the weekend and most popular among students, who come from the five surrounding regions on school trips to the site, which is right in the centre of the country.

Hundreds visit every weekend to see the triple-step flow of the falls, which are surrounded by lush vegetation and large overhanging trees.

This area has been hit by tragedy before.

Almost exactly a year ago I was here after at least 60 people were killed in a horrific car accident, one minute down the road.

Tourists at waterfall
Sammy Darko

Richard Hammond 'fine' after Mozambique crash

British TV presenter Richard Hammond has reassured fans that he is "fine" after falling off a motorbike while filming for The Grand Tour.

Ex-Top Gear presenter Hammond had been in Mozambique shooting the Amazon Prime show when he had the accident.

His co-star Jeremy Clarkson told The Sun newspaper that Hammond "hurt himself quite badly".

But Hammond said on Monday: "Yes, I fell off, but yes I'm fine, sorry."

Read more here.

Richard Hammond
Drivetube

Why Zimbabweans want Mugabe to run again for president

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is 93 years old and has been endorsed by his Zanu-PF party as the presidential candidate for elections next year.

But there has been speculation about his health after he travelled to Singapore for medical checks recently.

He has the backing of his Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi, who says the president is "of sound mental state and completely in charge of his faculties".

He told the BBC's Hardtalk  programme:

There's a long list of people asking him to carry on."

See more of the interview here:

Eight of world's 10 least happy countries 'are in Africa'


          A woman waits in the village of Loboro in Turkana in Kenya's extreme north at a makeshift livestock slaughtering point. Nomads in Turkana have been reduced to sacrificing their animals to survive a bruising drought.
AFP

A UN-commissioned report into world happiness has concluded that eight of the 10 least happy countries in the world are in Africa.

The researchers' ranking of 155 countries had Central African Republic as the least happy country in the world, followed by Burundi and Tanzania. Other African countries propping up the happiness rankings were Rwanda, Togo, Guinea, Liberia and South Sudan.

The highest ranked African countries were Algeria, Mauritius, Libya and Morocco.  

The report mainly relies on asking a simple, subjective question of more than 1,000 people every year in each country.

"Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top," the question asks.

"The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?"

The report also tries to analyse statistics to explain why one country is happier than another. It looks at factors including economic strength (measured by GDP per capita), social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity, and perceived corruption.

The section of the report focusing on Africa  says only two African countries - Sierra Leone and Cameroon - have made gains in happiness over the past decade. 

It says people in many African countries are disappointed with standards of governance and "still waiting for changes to improve their lives". 

"While there has been significant improvement in meeting basic needs according to the Afrobarometer index of 'lived poverty', population pressure may have stymied infrastructure and youth development," it says.

Despite this, the report ends on an optimistic note, saying that African people demonstrate "ingenuity" and "remarkable resilience" in the face of inadequate infrastructure.

Break-in at judge's office is 'attack on judiciary'

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News

South African police are investigating a break-in at the private office of the country's top judge, Mogoeng Mogoeng. 

At the weekend, the thieves made off with 15 computers with information about Constitutional Court judges. 

The police have said they view the burglary as "an attack on the judiciary". 

The Constitutional Court is respected in South Africa for its impartiality. 

Mr Mogoeng won praise from many when he, along with other judges on the panel, found that President Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution over his handling of upgrades to his private home in Nkandla. 

The court ruled last year, after a drawn-out battle, that he should pay back some of the money used on non-security work done at his home. 

This was the first time that the president had been found to have violated his oath of office. 

It is unclear if the burglary was politically motivated but police say they are investigating all possibilities.  

Mogoeng Mogoeng
AFP
Mogoeng Mogoeng is a highly respected judge in South Africa

Ghanaians mourn dead from freak waterfall accident

Sammy Darko

BBC Africa, Accra

Map of Ghana
BBC

Kintampo in Ghana is in a quiet, sorrowful state as people mourn those who died in the freak waterfall accident at the weekend. 

At least 18 people, mainly high school students, were killed when a large tree fell on them at a popular waterfall spot. 

The students were swimming during a storm when the accident happened, local police chief Owusu Boampong told the BBC. 

Twenty-two others were injured and are being treated at local hospitals. 

Some local people are blaming the authorities, saying that the tree that fell had shown signs of weakness and should have been cleared long ago.


          This photo, taken two weeks ago, shows large crowds at the waterfall
Sammy Darko
This photo, taken two weeks ago, shows large crowds at the waterfall

SA police breakthrough in airport heist case

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

A source close to the investigation into a daring heist nearly two weeks ago at South Africa's main airport has told the BBC that police arrested five people over the weekend.

Local media reports say one of the suspects was held after he posted a picture of himself on social media posing next to his newly acquired sports car.

View more on twitter

The men are expected to appear at a magistrates' court on Monday.

It is believed that the man who bragged about his sports car on social media was also found with huge amounts of cash in his luxury estate home, north of Johannesburg.

Police have refused to give any details, saying that police chief Gen Khomotso Phahlane will give an update at a news conference later today.

Last week a group of men driving in bogus police vehicles dressed in police uniforms entered a security zone at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and held up guards who were protecting a container full of millions of dollars in cash in various currencies.

Many people on Twitter are laughing at what appears to be the ineptitude of one of the alleged robbers:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Kenyan health minister meets doctors after strike ends

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenyan health minister meeting doctor and patient
BBC

Kenya Health Minister Cleopha Mailu has visited patients and staff at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, days after doctors called off their three-month-long strike.

Medical workers have been returning to work over the past few days and hundreds of patients have been seen.

Mr Mailu denied claims that foreign doctors were favoured over Kenyans in new hiring. He said Kenyan doctors who had not been employed by the government hospitals had chosen not to be hired. He said more medical personnel were expected from neighbouring countries.

Tanzania on Saturday agreed to send 500 doctors to Kenya. 

About 5,000 doctors at Kenya's public hospitals halted work in December to demand better pay and conditions. The strike ended last Tuesday. 

There has been no word on when the Tanzanian doctors will arrive in Kenya or how long they will stay. But Tanzania's Health Minister Umy Mwalimu has said the doctors will go to Kenya "as soon as possible". 

Kenyan health minister meeting patient
BBC

Two Jo'burg police officers face corruption charges

Two South African police officers will appear at Johannesburg magistrates' court later to face corruption charges. 

The city councillor responsible for safety, Michael Sun, said in a statement he had seen video footage of two unknown men emptying their pockets and handing the contents to the officers, who were sitting inside their patrol vehicle. He said the incident is believed to have taken place on Saturday morning near Albertina Sisulu Street in Bez Valley. 

The video has been circulating on social media. The BBC has not confirmed its authenticity.

The two officers, who have not been named, have been detained at Jeppe Police Station. Mr Sun said they would be dismissed if found guilty.

Men emptying pockets to police officers
Unknown, from Whatsapp

Ethiopian world record breaker - in spraying water

When it comes to world records, Ethiopians are best known for their exploits on the track, but currently Ethiopians have been sharing the news that one of their compatriots has broken the world record for the longest time for spraying water from the mouth.

You may not have realised that this is something in which it is possible to break a record but Guinness World Records has video evidence:

View more on youtube

According to Guinness , 20-year-old Kirubel Yilma "guzzled down numerous bottles of water" and then sprayed it out again for 56.36 seconds. 

"I am a second-year medical student at Addis Ababa University so I have the knowledge of how to use my muscles effectively so as to break the record,” he said.

And who did he take the record from?

Ghanaian Dickson Oppong - who's also known as Waterman.

View more on youtube

Tanzania probe into official 'storming TV station'

Tanzania's Information Minister Nape Nnauye has announced an investigation into an alleged raid of a TV station by a government official.

CCTV footage shows Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda (in the cap), escorted by armed police officers, entering the studios of Clouds Media Group (CMG) on Friday night. 

Still from CCTV footage
CMG

Reacting on social media, people have been calling for the commissioner to be disciplined.

Reports say that Mr Makonda was unhappy that the TV station had failed to run a story that would have portrayed a local cleric in a bad light.

Mr Makonda and the religious leader have had a public disagreement over an alleged drugs scandal. 

Chad cave paintings defaced

BBC World Service

Chad's culture minister says that ancient cave paintings at a world heritage site have been defaced. 

Mahamat Saleh Haroun told the AFP news agency that unknown vandals had scrawled over the 4000-year-old depictions of animals and people that decorate the sandstone caves of the Ennedi Plateau in the north-east of the country. 

When Mr Haroun became culture minister in February, he said one of his aims was to promote the country's tourist sites. 

The natural and cultural landscape of the Ennedi Massif was declared a world heritage site last year by UN cultural agency Unesco.

Good morning

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