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Summary

  1. Three African athletes get ready for sub-two-hour marathon attempt
  2. Fifa backs Muntari in racism row
  3. Nigeria's president seen in public for the first time in more than a week
  4. Three ex-South African presidents slam President Zuma
  5. US soldier shot dead in Somalia
  6. Somalia's auditor general sacked in connection with killing of young minister
  7. Zambia magistrate to decide whether to send Hichilema treason case to high court
  8. Algeria's governing party and allies win parliamentary election
  9. Nigerian officials jailed for selling aid meant for Boko Haram victims
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 5 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe 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.

A reminder of our African proverb of the day: 

No-one points to their father's house with their left hand."

An Akan proverb sent by Asante Joseph in Sefwi Oseikrom, Ghana.

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this picture of boys competing in a team dance battle in Goma, the main city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, from our collection of  top shots from across the continent this week

Boys dancing
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Call to Tunisia to stop harassing journalists

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

The advocacy group Amnesty international is calling on Tunisian authorities to stop harassing independent journalists.  

It comes after the lengthy interrogation of Sami Gharbia, the founder of Nawaat, a popular news website in the country, over a story it published based on governemnt leaks.

The story was about secret plans by the presidency to pass an amendment to a controversial bill that would grant a pardon to allegedly corrupt former officials who worked under the deposed President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, if they give back a sum of money to the state.

There have been increased complaints by local journalists in recent months about the state’s alleged attempts to meddle with their work. 

Amnesty International says Mr Gharbia was questioned and intimidated for six hours. 

His interrogators allegedly tried to uncover the source of the leaked report, as well as information on writers who contribute to the news site.

Tunisian demostrators shout slogans against president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in front the Interior ministry on the in Habib Bourguiba avenue of Tunis on January 14, 2011
AFP
President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown after popular demonstrations in 2011

US troops were hunting for al-Shabab leader

The US soldier who was killed during an operation in a village approximately 64 km (40 miles) west of the capital, Mogadishu was a Navy Seal, an elite military unit,  the Reuters news agency reports quoting an anonymous US military source. 

It is unclear if the other two soldiers who were wounded are from the same unit. 

A statement from US Africa Command said that the soldier was part of an unit advising the Somali National Army. 

Reuters reports that US troops, alongside Somali special forces were hunting for Abdirahman Mohamed Warsame, known as Mahad Karate, a top al-Shabab commander near the Shabelle river. 

"Warsame played a key role in the Amniyat, the wing of al-Shabab responsible for assassinations and the 2 April, 2015 attack on Garissa University that resulted in 150 deaths," according to the Rewards for Justice website, which is run by the US State Department.

An al-Shabab spokesman said their base had been attacked but the US forces retreated, claiming it had inflicted heavy causalities on them.

Residents of Darusalam village said the gunfire lasted for around 10 minutes. 

"Last night, helicopters hovered over us and we were scared. Then late at night, there was fighting," resident Mohamed Hassan told Reuters.  

ReadWho are Somalia's al-Shabab?

Al-Shabab militants
Image copyrightAFP
Al-Shabab fighters performing military drills at a village about 25km outside Mogadishu in 2011

Ethiopia marks victory over Italian fascists

People in Ethiopia have been celebrating Patriots' Day today, marking the return of Emperor Haile Selassie to the capital, Addis Ababa, and the defeat of the Italian occupying force.

The emperor went into exile in 1936 after the Italian invasion the year before.

The League of Nations - the forerunner to the United Nations - failed to support Ethiopia in the face of Italian aggression.

But in the fight to liberate Ethiopia, the patriots were backed by British and other allied forces.

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Zimbabwe comedians breaking boundaries

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Comedy has taken centre stage for the first time at Harare International Festival of Arts.

A new crop of funny men and women are using the art form to push boundaries in a way few can do outside of comedy without being arrested.

In one of the acts, Zimbabwean Doc Vilakazi - a young comedian - openly lampoons the President Robert Mugabe:

Botswana has its own currency because it has a dead president to put on it... That's why we don't have one."

Doc Vilakazi
BBC

Denigrating the president or the army can land a person in jail.

But top Zimbabwean comedian Carl Joshua told me there is more tolerance for political comedy now. 

Carl Joshua
BBC

He said that it took a long time to get to this point with shows being shut down before they even happened.

But now, he added, ministers are humorous in their response to being attacked.

Fifa backs Sulley Muntari in racism row

Football's world governing body Fifa has backed Ghanaian player Sulley Muntari who was booked by a referee in an Italian Serie A match after complaining about racist abuse from opposition fans.

It is not clear exactly why the referee made the decision, but Muntari then received a second booking for leaving the pitch and has been suspended for one match.

In a statement Fifa says it "would like to express full solidarity with Muntari

"Any form of racism on or outside the field is totally unacceptable and has no place in football."

Ghana's FA has also tweeted a reaction today to the weekend's incident:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Africa's top innovators

The online business magazine Quartz Africa has released its annual list of African Innovators:

View more on twitter

Quartz Africa editor Yinka Adegoke says "we’ve identified more than 30 Africans who aren’t waiting for help from the outside. The influence of their work goes well beyond their immediate community and will ultimately impact millions of lives".   

There are 33 names on the list including: 

  • Nicole Amarteifio, creator of the very popular online series An African City exploring the lives of five women who have returned from abroad to live in Ghana's capital, Accra.
  • Temie Giwa-Tubosun, creator of LifeBank which "helps hospitals and doctors find and order blood types through its marketplace app" 
  • Chid Liberty, who established fairtrade label Liberty & Justice which "provides work and education opportunities for Liberian women vulnerable to unemployment"   

Resident presidents take on the French election

French voters will on Sunday head to the polls to choose between centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen as their next president. 

Our resident presidents give their take on who will be best for France: 

Olushambles is brushing up on his French language skills

Pictures: Buhari's first appearance in a week

Nigeria's presidency has tweeted three pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari's first public appearance in more than a week. 

Mr Buhari attended Friday prayers at the mosque in state house grounds after he uncharacteristically missed the service last week. 

There has been a lot speculation about Mr Buhari's state of health since he returned from seven weeks of medical leave in the UK in March.

View more on twitter

Africans get ready for two-hour marathon attempt

Three African elite athletes will attempt to run the marathon (26 miles 385 yards, 42.195 km) in under two hours in a project being sponsored by sports giant Nike. 

Olympic marathon champion Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder, and Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, a two-times Boston Marathon winner – will be trying to do shortly before dawn on Saturday, the UK Guardian reports. 

Gold medallist Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge poses on the podium for the Men's marathon athletics event during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016
Getty Images
Could Eliud Kipchoge be the first human to run a marathon in under two hours?

Kenyan Dennis Kimetto's current world record, set in 2014, stands at 2:02:57.  

Sports scientists have been working with the team to see if a sub-two-hour marathon is humanly possible.

Nike says its Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoes, which use a special carbon-fibre plate in the soles make runners 4% more efficient than Nike’s previous fastest marathon shoe, boosting their running economy.  

Also, the event will be held on the Monza Formula One track in Italy, selected for optimal temperature and wind levels.

And everything has been worked out so that the athletes record the fastest time possible:

View more on twitter

The result will however not be registered under the rules International Association of Athletics Federations. 

The Guardian describes the attempt as  "one-third science experiment, two‑thirds PR masterstroke and shoe advert for Nike, which has ploughed millions into the exercise".

Reaction to Buhari's public appearance

There's been a lot of reaction on our Facebook page to a post about President Muhammadu Buhari's rare public appearance today (see earlier story).

Lawal Jidda was very pleased:

This video is worth more than a billion naira to me. Seeing Mr President walk to mosque today has really excited me. We were made to believe by the media that he's in a very serious condition... but here is he hale and hearty for the world to see."

Muktar Abdullah is praying for the president:

After every hardship there is relief. President Buhari we are pray for more recovery ahead."

But Ifeanyi Ekwealor is less impressed:

This man should immediately resign to help the country move forward. He is the worst president of Nigeria since independence."

And others are sceptical that the video shot by our reporter today is real.

Frankgentle Prince unleashes President Trump's favourite insult: 

Fake news."

'Racist abuse made me play better'

South African footballer Benni McCarthy says he had to overcome racist abuse while playing in Holland and Spain, but that fans in England would insult his mother, but not the colour of his skin.  

Buhari seen in public for the first time in more than a week

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has appeared in public for the first time in more than a week, according to a tweet from one of his aides.

View more on twitter

The short video shows him chatting with people after leaving Friday prayers in the mosque in state house.

There have been concerns over the president's health as he has barely been seen since returning from seven weeks of medical leave in the UK where he was being treated for an undisclosed illness.

He has also missed the last three cabinet meetings and did not appear for Friday prayers last week.

But his advisers have said that he was resting and working from home.

Did social media play a role in Algeria’s low turnout?

By Mohamed El-Asser

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Throughout the campaign, Algerian officials insisted on the importance of a high participation in the election as a key to national stability. In the event, only 38% of voters turned out.

But they were up against a social media movement which called on Algerians to boycott the vote.

It culminated in a viral video entitled Mansotich – “I will not vote” - which argued that the Algerian government does not work in the interests of ordinary Algerians. 

It was viewed over 3.5 million times on YouTube:

View more on youtube

Another video by Anes Tina, entitled a “message to MPs” carried a similar message:

View more on youtube

Mansotich has quickly become a political slogan and hashtag adopted by frustrated Algerians as a means of expressing their grievances.

Politicians initially accused the activists of being manipulated by “obscure powers”.

But when asked about voter turnout during the announcement of results, Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui said: “This demonstrates the strength of our youths and the solidity of our society, by guaranteeing their rights [to protest]”.

US death comes after boost to counter-terror effort

The death of the American soldier in Somalia comes just three days after the newly-appointed head of the US task force for the Horn of Africa Brig. Gen. David J. Furness visited Mogadishu.

At the time he said "we are committed to working with partner nations to help Somalia stand strong against this violent extremist organisation".

US team meeting Somali officials
US Government

In April, the US said it was sending dozens of troops to Somalia to train forces fighting Islamist group al-Shabab.

It was the first time regular US troops were deployed in Somalia since 1994, although some counter-terrorism advisers were already there.

In 1993, 18 US special forces personnel were killed in the incident dramatised in the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down.

The death of the soldier announced today is thought to be the first time the US has officially acknowledged the death of one of its service personnel in Somalia.

'Allowing players to wear hijab will change Arab sport'

Basketball's governing body Fiba has changed headgear rules to allow players to wear the hijab. 

Rachida Belaidi, the captain of Algeria's national women's team, tells BBC's Focus on Africa programme that the ruling is long overdue and will "help Arab sport": 

Qatar's women's team, pictured, pulled out of the 2014 Asian Games after being denied permission to wear the hijab.

US statement on death of soldier

Here is the complete statement from US Africa Command on the death of the US soldier in Somalia:

On 4 May, one US service member was killed during an operation against al-Shabab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.

US forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army.

Al-Shabab presents a threat to Americans and American interests. Al Shabaab's affiliate, al-Qaeda has murdered Americans; radicalises and recruits terrorists and fighters in the United States; and attempts to conduct and inspire attacks against Americans, our allies and our interests around the world, including here at home.

US forces are assisting partner forces to counter al-Shabab in Somalia to degrade the al-Qaeda affiliate's ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America.

We continue to support our Somali and regional partners to systematically dismantle this al-Qaeda affiliate, and help them to achieve stability and security throughout the region as part of the global counter-terrorism effort."

BreakingUS soldier killed in fight with al-Shabab in Somalia

A US soldier has been killed and two others injured in Barii town, 64 km (40 miles) west of the Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, a statement from US Africa Command says.

It adds that the soldiers were part of a unit advising the Somali National Army forces.

CNN quotes a US official saying they were part of the "airstrikes and ground missions against terror". 

In March, US President Donald Trump relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties in Somalia when counter-terrorism air strikes are carried out, laying the ground for an escalating campaign against militant Islamists in the country.   

Low turnout 'denies Algerian MPs strong mandate'

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

An election marked by voter apathy, driven by low confidence in politicians and struggling economies, is hardly a new trend in this region.  

Algeria’s ruling FLN, and its traditional allies, have retained their majority in parliament, and with that, the people’s distrust in their abilities to bring about change. 

It’s not just about the future leaders: It’s also about bread, jobs, and the ability of the state to deliver socio-economic reforms with minimum damage to the livelihoods of its people.  

Algerians have long lost confidence in their politicians to do that.  

Like other oil-based economies in Africa, the drop in oil prices in recent years had crippling effects.  

The country’s new legislators were hoping for a high voter turnout because they needed a strong mandate from their electorate for the inevitable spending cuts and reforms that are coming.  

Now they will have to work a lot harder on building bridges and trust.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Reuters
Algeria"s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika arrives to cast his ballot during the parliamentary election

Saving Ivory Coast's last rhino

Valerie Bony

Ivory Coast, BBC Afrique

Ivory Coast wildlife officials with the help of South African specialists have been moving a two-and-a-half tonne rhinoceros to a protected forest.

The rhino is a descendant of four white rhinos that were given to former President Felix Houphouet Boigny by South Africa.

In the Ivorian civil war, which broke out in 2002, their park was invaded by armed men, part of their enclosure was destroyed and they escaped. 

The four adults died but the baby rhino survived. 

For almost 15 years it lived between two villages, among the inhabitants, but last year it killed a village chief, kicking him by accident. 

So for its security and that of the villagers it is now being transferred, also the rhino’s horns were cut off so he would not be killed by poachers.

Getting help on Zimbabwe's friendship bench

Grandmothers in Zimbabwe are being trained to provide counselling on benches around the nation's capital, Harare. 

Founder of the project, Dixon Chibanda, tells BBC Minute why the friendship bench has been so successful. 

He said the grandmothers are respected and that they hold the "wisdom of society".

Tanzania's conjoined twins plan to become teachers

Tanzanian conjoined twins Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti are in their last year at secondary school and are looking forward to graduating after their final exams. 

The 19 year-olds are studying in Iringa Udzungwa in Tanzania's south-west region.

Their mother died after giving birth, their father has also passed away, and they were raised by a Catholic church charity, Maria Consolata, which adopted them and gave them their names. 

The BBC's Leonard Mubali travelled to meet them. 

He joined them for a class session and says they were getting on well with their classmates and taking an active part in the lessons. 

He says Consolata was more talkative and engaged than her sister. 

Maria and Consolata
BBC
Maria (L) and Consolata(R) have been active in class
Maria and Consolata
BBC

They told our reporter that they want to become teachers and hope to get married to one husband in the future.

Headmaster Edward Fue said he had been shocked when he met the young women last year saying he did not know how to help them because the school did not have special facilities.

The school, with the aid of the local government, have now built a special room for them to rest. They also hired a driver to take them to where they live. 

Our reporter says that the girls are against the idea of being surgically separated.

Algeria's governing party wins parliamentary poll

Results from Thursday's legislative elections in Algeria show that the governing National Liberation Front (FLN) and its allies have won a majority of the seats.

The Reuters news agency is reporting that the FLN has taken 164 seats and the pro-government RND party has taken 97 seats in the 462-seat parliament.

Algeria vote counting
EPA
The votes were counted overnight

Zambia opposition treason case adjourned to next week

A magistrate's court in Zambia will reconvene next week to make a decision about whether the treason charges facing opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema should go to the High Court.

Mr Hichilema's UPND party has been tweeting updates from the court in the capital, Lusaka.

View more on twitter

And activists have uploaded some video of Mr Hichilema leaving the court on his Facebook page saying that "armed state police and German shepherd dogs" surrounded the opposition leader as he left the court for prison:

View more on facebook

Mr Hichilema was arrested after his convoy allegedly refused to give way to the president's motorcade.

Durban's 'one stop shop' DJ

The city of Durban in South Africa has a thriving music and entertainment industry. 

Africa Business Report went along to meet DJ Tira - a record label owner who has created his own unique sound.  

Chinese arrested in DR Congo over illegal logging

The authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested 14 Chinese people over allegations that they were trying to illegally export protected timber, the AFP news agency reports.

The acting governor of the Haut-Katanga region Celestin Pande is quoted as saying that they were caught cutting the trees.

AFP also quotes a Chinese official saying that his country respects laws aimed at protecting the environment.

Mr Pande said that over the past four months 17,000 tonnes of ther protected timber had been illegally cut down.

Italian football 'damaged' by handling of Muntari racist abuse case

Italian football's reputation around the world has been damaged by the racist abuse Ghanaian player Sulley Muntari received and the reaction to it, the Italian Football Federation's anti-racism advisor says.

Fiona May said the decision to uphold the Pescara midfielder's punishment for protesting against racism while taking no action against fans had "sent a bad message".

Muntari was booked for complaining to the referee about abuse he received from some Cagliari fans and received a second yellow card for leaving the pitch without permission.  

May added she would strike in protest if she were a player.

"I'm frustrated and shocked," she said.

Ex-Tottenham player and BBC football pundit Garth Crooks - a trustee of anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out - has called for Italy's players to go on strike in protest at Muntari's treatment and the the lack of punishment for the fans responsible.

Read more from BBC Sport

Muntari shown the yellow card
Getty Images
The referee gave Muntari a yellow card after he complained about abuse from the fans

Kenya's to launch HIV self-testing kit

Kenya is set to introduce a cheap HIV self-testing kit in July, the Star newspaper reports. 

The kit targets an estimated 400,000 people who do not know their HIV status. 

Experts say the kit is 80% effective and will cost about $7 (£5) and will be available in pharmacies.  

HIV self-testing refers to a process in which a person collects his or her own specimen (oral fluid or blood) and then performs the test.

Martin Sirengo, head of Kenya's Aids programme Nascop, says that people should still go to health facilities to confirm the result. 

He further advises that the tests should be done in private and in the presence of a trusted person. 

Rudolf Eggers, World Heath Organization representative to Kenya, said, "the primary goal of the HIV self-testing is to complement other existing other HIV testing approaches," the Star reports. 

Close to 1.5 million people are living with HIV in Kenya out of which nearly one million are on anti-retroviral treatment.

View more on twitter

Somalia Auditor General refuses to step down

The Somali official whose bodyguards have been accused of accidentally shooting dead a minister has rejected a cabinet decision for him to be sacked.

Auditor General Nur Farah Jimale said his removal has to be ratified by parliament. 

Prime Minister Hassan Khayre on Thursday announced the sacking of Mr Jimale to allow for an investigation into the shooting of Public Works and Reconstruction Minister Abas Abdullahi Sheikh, Somalia's youngest minister, in the capital, Mogadishu. 

Security forces on patrol came across a vehicle blocking the road and, thinking it was being driven by militants, opened fire.

Mr Abas, who was a refugee in Kenya's Dadaab camp before relocating to Somalia,  was buried yesterday. 

Burial
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Abas Abdullahi Sheikh was given a state funeral

No pay for Ghana's 'ghost workers'

Ghana's Ministry of Finance has suspended the salaries of about 26,000 public sector workers. 

It is part of a drive to clean up government payrolls and fight corruption, but some real employees have also had their records and salaries wiped clean. 

So how do they feel and what difference will it make? 

The BBC's Newsday radio programme heard from some of those affected and our reporter Thomas Naadi.

SA president accused of 'subverting the will of the people'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

In an unprecedented move three of South Africa's former presidents, FW De Klerk, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, have come together in Johannesburg this morning to call for discussions to address what they see as the current threats to the country’s democracy.

The three men have united to form The National Foundations Dialogue Initiative.

View more on twitter

Mr De Klerk, the last president to be elected under white-minority rule, told the audience that President Jacob Zuma is not upholding the constitution.

While Mr Mbeki who took over from President Nelson Mandela said that anyone who is undermining the constitution is essentially subverting “the will of the people”.

He also emphasised that the aim of his role in the initiative “is to let the people speak”.

Mr Motlanthe, who was Mr Zuma's predecessor, said that South Africa needs to be “corruption free”.

Niger president's visit to Nigeria postponed

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari will not be welcoming his Nigerien counterpart to Abuja today as the visit has been postponed without a new date being announced, Mr Buhari's office says.

In a short statement, Mr Buhari's spokesperson Femi Adesina, says that Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou "has another domestic engagement".

But the postponement comes at a time of increasing concerns in Nigeria about President Buhari's health.

He has not been seen in public for more than a week and has missed the last three cabinet meetings.

Earlier this week, the president's wife Aisha Buhari said he was not as ill as people perceived him to be.

In March, Mr Buhari returned from seven weeks of medical leave in the UK where he was treated for an undisclosed illness.

President Buhari
Getty
President Buhari has mostly been in state house since his return from the UK

British journalist wins right to stay in Kenya

A British journalist has won a four-year battle against her deportation from Kenya, the Star newspaper reports. 

Lucy Hannan, who has lived in Kenya since 1988, had been challenging a refusal by the state in 2013 to renew her work permit, saying her presence in Kenya was against the national interest.

High Court Justice Isaac Lenaola criticised then Interior minister Joseph ole Lenku for declaring Ms Hannan a prohibited immigrant.

He directed the relevant government department to extend Ms Hannan's work permit for two more years, the Star reports. 

He said it is in the interest of justice that the journalist be given time to finalise her pending applications, including that for citizenship.

After leaving BBC, she set up Voxcom Ltd, a private media company in Nairobi that produces films for humanitarian organisations including the UN, EU and Oxfam.

Her video recordings were used as evidence by civil society groups in the Supreme Court in a case challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta's election in 2013.

View more on twitter

Votes counted in Algeria parliamentary elections

Votes are being counted in parliamentary elections in Algeria.

The ruling National Liberation Front (FNL) is expected to retain its majority despite deep economic problems and uncertainty over the health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The 80-year-old leader voted from a wheelchair in Algiers, in a rare public appearance since a 2013 stroke.

Observers say there is little sign of enthusiasm among voters. Official results are expected on Friday.

More than 23m people were eligible to vote for 11,334 candidates from 50 different political parties, including opposition Islamist alliances, in Thursday's elections.

Algerian lawmakers are elected for a five-year term in the 462-seat lower house.

Election workers count ballots at the end of voting for the parliamentary election in Algiers
Reuters

Uganda schools to receive Museveni's autobiography

Yoweri Museveni
Getty Images
The first edition of the book was based on a series of interviews with a British historian

Every Ugandan state secondary school has been gifted two copies of President Yoweri Museveni's autobiography, Sowing the Mustard Seed.

A statement from the ministry of education, which is headed by Mr Museveni’s wife, Janet, says that the book will “promote a proper understanding, appreciation and loyalty to Uganda’s national identity in a bid to foster peace and national cohesion for development".

It says the book should be kept in each school’s library and students should be encouraged to read it.

The book, the statement says, “details the causes of our troubled national history, subsequent liberation and path to national recovery”.

It was published in 1997 and it is largely based on a series of interviews Mr Museveni gave to British historian Kevin Shillington. 

Mr Museveni is currently serving his fifth term.

Nigerian officials jailed for selling food aid

Two Nigerian officials in the north-east of the country have been sentenced to two years in prison for selling food aid meant for people fleeing Islamist militant attacks and food shortages in the region, the Reuters news agency reports.

It adds that Umar Ibrahim and Ali Zangebe sold 300 bags of rice for 8,500 naira ($27, £21) each that had been donated by an international aid agency.

Millions of people have been displaced in the region by attacks carried out by Boko Haram as well as the fighting between the militants and the army. 

The region is also being affected by severe food shortages.

Reuters says the officials are the first people to be convicted over graft in relation to food aid in Nigeria.

Food aid bags
AFP
The UN's WFP estimates that 4.7 million people need food aid in the north-east of Nigeria

Good morning

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