Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. South African DJ Black coffee gets gig on Apple's radio station
  2. Brainy Benin boy blitzes Baccalaureate
  3. Suspected Boko Haram militants 'abduct' geological researchers
  4. Four children are among the dead in South African fire
  5. Gabonese police 'injure 10' at rally for return of Jean Ping

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

We’ll be back tomorrow

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

A reminder of today's wise words:

Send a wise person not one with long legs. "

Akan proverb sent by Nicholas Nyirenda in Zambia and Nana Adutwum Barimah in Ghana

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

And we leave you with this picture from the streets of the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

View more on instagram

Saudi Arabia 'extends amnesty' for illegal workers again

Construction site
Getty images
Migrant labourers from around the world work in areas like construction

Saudi Arabia has extended the amnesty for illegal foreign workers for the second time, reports Ethiopian government-affiliated Fana website.

The amnesty, which Fana says has been extended by one month, means the Saudi government will not jail illegal immigrants who want to leave the country.

Tens of thousands of illegal workers in Saudi Arabia face forcible deportation after the amnesty.

Ethiopians make up one of the largest group of illegal labourers there - the authorities believe there are about 400,000 of them.

But Ethiopia says that only a fraction of its citizens working illegally in Saudi Arabia have returned home since the amnesty started in March. Only 60,000 have so far come back home despite the government paying for part of their airfare.

SA's Chad Le Clos wins men's 200m butterfly world title

South Africa swimmer Chad Le Clos has won the 200m butterfly race at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Chad Le Clos competes in Budapest
Getty Images

The 25-year-old won the 200m butterfly at London 2012 but was bitterly disappointed to finish fourth at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Watch the action live on BBC Sport.

Five graves exhumed for bald men's skeletons

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

The head of a bald man seen from behind
Getty Images
Some people believe that the heads of bald men contain gold

Residents in the central Mozambican district of Milange say the bodies of five bald men have been exhumed over the past three months for superstitious motives.

"The belief is that the head of a bald man contains gold," a local police commander named Afonso Dias told the BBC in June, after a spate of killings targeting bald men.

Milange's residents are calling on the government to intervene.

To this end, residents, practitioners of traditional medicine and former freedom fighters have all met an official from Mozambique’s National Institute of Heritage and Judicial Assistance (IPAJ).

IPAJ representative Antonio Gussi promised to channel their concerns to the relevant authorities, but also challenged the community members to reject any such "unacceptable" behaviour in future.

DR Congo 'warlord' hands himself in

BBC World Service

Mai-Mai fighter
AFP
The Mai Mai describe themselves as "self defence" groups.

One of the most notorious "warlords" in the Democratic Republic of Congo has surrendered to UN peacekeepers.

The UN mission in the DRC said Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, who leads a militia known as the Mai-Mai Sheka, gave himself up near his stronghold in eastern DR Congo.

He will be handed over to the government which six years ago issued an arrest warrant against him for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The UN and human rights groups have accused the militia and other armed groups of crimes including mass rape and hacking civilians to death.

Black Coffee becomes first African host on Beats 1 radio

DJ Black Coffee performs onstage during day 1 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Club on April 15, 2016 in Indio, California.
Getty Images

South African DJ Black Coffee is set to become the first African act to host a Beats 1 radio show.

When his show launches on Friday, the Durban-born house DJ and record producer will be following in the footsteps of Pharrell Williams and Dr Dre.

Apple-owned Beats 1 radio is a worldwide, online music streaming platform.

Speaking to South African news site IOL, he says he'll bring a distinctly African flavour to the station:

The first thing you think is that you’re going to only hear house music or South African music on my show, but what we’re trying to do is to really expose people to me. As in, what do I love as this is my show? What inspires me musically? So it’s different sides and genres.”

Black Coffee - whose real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo - is currently playing to thousands of house fans on a summer residency on the Spanish island of Ibiza.

UK travel advice for Tunisia relaxed

Sousse
Getty Images

The UK government has revised its travel advice for Tunisia where 31 Britons were killed in a terror attack at a resort in Sousse in 2015.

On 26 June 2015, student Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on holidaymakers in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, killing 38 people in total.

For two years, travellers were told to stay away from the country for all but essential travel.

The Foreign Office has now lifted the advice for the capital Tunis and major tourist resorts.

Britons are still being warned to avoid parts of the south and interior, and the Algerian and Libyan borders.

The US, France, Italy and Germany had already relaxed their travel advice before the British government's announcement.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Violence 'forces aid agencies to stop work' in CAR

BBC World Service

The United Nations office in the Central African Republic (CAR) says escalating violence has forced international aid agencies to suspend operations in three towns - Bangassou, Kaga Bandoro, and Zemio.

Aid groups say the withdrawal of their services has left tens of thousands of people with too little to eat and no health provision.

A recent surge in violence, much of it sectarian, has pitted militia groups against each other.

They've also attacked humanitarian workers: three Moroccan UN peacekeepers have been killed in two separate attacks since Sunday.

People on back of pick up truck in Central African Republic
AFP
Some 100,000 people have been uprooted from their homes since April

Politicians vote to weaken the power of Nigerian presidency

BBC World Service

President Buhari
Getty Images
Nigeria's current president is 32 years above the current lower age limit

We reported earlier that the Nigerian senate has voted to reduce the lower age limit of the president.

This is part of a series of amendments to the country's constitution.

Nigeria's upper house of parliament has voted to weaken the power of the presidency and strengthen the legislature.

Members of the Senate approved a series of amendments to the country's constitution - including imposing time limits on key presidential decisions such as nominating ministers and proposing federal budgets.

If approved by the lower house and signed by President Mohammadu Buhari, it would be only the second time the 1999 constitution has been changed.

The lower house is set to vote on the amendments later this week.

Will India copy Zambia's menstrual leave law?

A company in India gives its employees a day off when they are on their periods and has been calling on the government to make it law.

Zambia already has a law in place which gives women a day off when they are on their period.

So can India learn anything from Zambia?

BBC Minute heard mixed reviews of the law from women in Zambia's capital Lusaka:

A law allows women a day off work a month

Ghanaian pallbearers dance with coffin on their shoulders

Pallbearers are lifting the mood at funerals in Ghana with flamboyant coffin-carrying dances:

Families are increasingly paying for their services to send their loved ones off in style.

Why were kidnapped oil workers in Lake Chad?

We reported earlier that researchers for Nigeria's state oil company(NNPC) have been kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants in the Lake Chad region.

Now the NNPC says one of a group of 10 people has been found alive. It gave no further details.

But this leads to the question, what were they doing in the region?

Jimeh Saleh from BBC Hausa explains to BBC Minute that they went on an expedition to look for oil in Lake Chad.

He adds that Nigerian oil exploration is mainly in the south of the county but the goverenment think there are huge reserves in the north.

Listen to him summing up the situation wtihin exactly a minute:

BBC Minute: On kidnapped oil workers in Nigeria

Nigerian senate votes to lower president age limit to 35

The Nigerian senate has voted to reduce the lower age limit to run for president from 40 to 35.

A tweet from the Senate's official account confirms the vote:

View more on twitter

Some tweeters are sceptical of the result;

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The news site the Cable points out, before the bill can become law it needs the endorsement of 24 state assemblies and presidential assent.

Zuma critic charged with ill-discipline

Nomsa Maseko

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Makhosi Khoza
Getty Images

An outspoken member of South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, has been charged with ill-discipline for speaking out against President Jacob Zuma.

Makhosi Khoza has repeatedly called for Mr Zuma to resign and has been an vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma and of corruption within the ANC.

In a statement released last week, the ANC said it believed Ms Khoza had crossed the line and must immediately face disciplinary action for speaking out against the president.

The party added that her comments were a “blatant betrayal of the core values of the ANC”.

Her comments have led to death threats being made against her and her family.

She received threatening text messages warning her to stop pushing for a secret ballot in next month's no confidence vote in Mr Zuma. One of the text messages said “do what is best for yourself and your family, you have 21 days to live”.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that Ms Khoza would receive protection from the state.

Benin’s brainy 11-year-old passes school-leaver exams

Peace Delaly Nicoué
Bob Quenum/BBC

Peace Delaly Nicoue, the youngest person to sit the Baccalaureate exam in Benin this year, has passed with top grades.

The shy 11-year-old told BBC Afrique he was “happy and relieved” to achieve 17 out of 20 in Maths because he plans to study economics at university.

While most students sit the Baccalaureate exams at the age of 18, Peace was given special permission by the government to take the assessment seven years early.

His schoolteacher father, Parfait Afoutou Nicoue, says Peace showed early signs of promise:

When he was four years old he could write in perfect French and English without making mistakes.”

Peace’s next goal is to continue his studies in an English-speaking country.

EU court upholds decision to freeze funds of 'conflict diamond traders'

A diamond sits on its polishing instructions October 31, 2002 in Antwerp, Belgium.
Getty Images
Belgian authorities seized two diamond parcels sent to Kadiam's offices in Antwerp back in 2014

An EU court has upheld a 2015 decision by the European Council to freeze the funds of two companies accused of purchasing and selling "conflict diamonds" originating in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Bureau d'achat de Diamant en Centrafrique (Badica) and its Belgian sister company Kardiam had challenged the decision.

International trade sanctions were first applied to CAR in 2013 when it was suspended from the Kimberly Process, an international certification scheme which works to prevent the sale of so-called conflict diamonds by armed groups.

In a statement today, the General Court of the European Union listed the grounds on which the European Council based its 2015 decision.

Both sides in CAR's civil conflict, the Seleka and anti-Balaka, profited from support given to them by Badica and Kadiam, it says.

Former Seleka forces "imposed taxes on aircraft transporting diamonds and received security payments from diamond collectors", according to the European Council.

It also says that traders involved in the trafficking of diamonds from CAR to foreign markets were operating on behalf of Badica in neighbouring Cameroon.

Kidnapped oil researcher found alive

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

The Nigerian state oil company NNPC says one surveyor from the group of 10 geological researchers kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants has been found.

Spokesman for the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu confirmed to the BBC the surveyor Ibrahim Gildado was found alive but did not give further details.

Some of the security escorts who are local vigilantes were also found.

The geologists and surveyors of the University of Maidugiri were seized in an ambush near Jibi village in Borno state in the northeast of the country.

They were contracted to work on oil exploration in nearby Lake Chad.

The researchers were returning from Borno Yeso area of Magumeri along with their local vigilantes escorts when they ran into an ambush.

Lake Chad
Getty Images
The state oil company is looking into exploration in the Chad Basin

South Africans pay tribute to government spokesman

South Africans have been paying tribute to government spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa who died at the weekend after having a stroke.

He was 56-years-old.

Tweeters have been sharing their memories using the hashtag #RIPRonnie:

View more on twitter

The BBC's Milton Nkosi was at the memorial earlier today:

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

Eye Witness News reports that South African National Editors Forum's Sam Mkokeli used his speech at the memorial to urge other people who work in media not to use their positions to drive a racist wedge in their communities.

Nigerian who named pet dog Buhari freed

Muhammadu Buhari in New York, in September 2016
Reuters
The case of the dog named after the president sparked a furore at the time

Charges have been dropped against a 41-year-old Nigerian man who named his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari.

Joachim Iroko, a market trader also known as Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, was arrested in 2016 accused of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

A judge in south-west Ogun state found the prosecution had failed to substantiate the charges against him.

The arrest sparked nationwide outrage. Critics accused the police of stifling constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

Read this story in full.

Break-in at South African chief prosecutor's office

Nomsa Maseko

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South African police have confirmed that there has been a break-in at the office of the chief public prosecutor in Pretoria.

This comes just two weeks after computers were stolen from the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Police say it is still unclear what was stolen but say the break-in occurred at Chief Prosecutor Matric Luphondo’s office in the Pretoria Magistrates Court where files on police investigations are kept.

The intruders gained access to the building by using a fire escape and climbing through a window which leads to a women’s bathroom.

Officials are calling this a serious attack on the state but did not say what the prosecutor had been investigating.

Earlier this month, the Pretoria office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was broken into and laptops were stolen.

Meanwhile police are yet to make arrests following a break in at Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office where 15 computers in the human resources department were stolen in March.

They contained important information about South African judges.

Police cannot confirm if the incidents are linked but concerns have been raised around security of particularly high profile cases.

Kenya's Asians now recognised as country's 44th tribe

Kenya's Asian community has been officially recognised as the nation's 44th tribe.

Last week's government announcement followed numerous petitions from Kenyan Asians, but will it make any difference to their lives?

Riaz Gilani is a 39-year-old butcher who says his family has been in Kenya for a century:

Gone are the days when we had integration at an early age. My government school was fairly mixed but now we are seeing more of a segregated system... This is now causing problems, and people increasingly ask me if I'm Kenyan!"

Pritpal Chana, a 20-year-old student from Nairobi, sees things differently:

I've never felt any sort of disconnect from being Kenyan, so being recognised as tribe doesn't make much of a difference to me. I've never had any kind of segregation just because I'm a Kenyan Indian."

What Kenyan Asians think about the fact they've been made a tribe

Listen to more highlights from Newsday.

Freed Boko Haram 'wife' return to captors

Aisha with her baby
ADAOBI TRICIA NWAUBANI
Aisha was showered with expensive gifts by the militant who took her as his wife

A 25-year-old who was kidnapped by Boko Haram has returned to Boko Haram, her family has told the BBC.

Aisha Yerima spoke to Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani before she returned, saying:

I now see that all the things Boko Haram told us were lies. Now, when I listen to them on the radio, I laugh."

She made those comments shortly after completing a de-radicalisation programme, yet less than five months later she fled her family home and returned to the militants.

While in captivity previously, she she had married a commander who showered her with romance, expensive gifts and Arabic love songs.

Psychologist Fatima Akila, who has worked with hundreds of women who were rescued from captivity, says they sometimes have a surprising amount of power:

These were women who for the most part had never worked, had no power, no voice in the communities, and all of a sudden they were in charge of between 30 to 100 women who were now completely under their control and at their beck and call."

Read Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's Letter from Africa in full

Authorities intervene in SA school's braid ban

Education authorities have intervened in a row over braids being banned in a South African school, reports News 24.

Earlier this week Siyabonga Ngwenya complained that her niece was among around 11 girls being sent home for having braids from a school in the economic heartland of Gauteng.

Ms Ngwenya said in a Facebook post that she was "at a loss" that "black girls' hair is still being policed in schools".

News 24 says the school has been given three months by the education authorities to "come up with an inclusive code of conduct".

It adds that the education authorities would offer social workers to "help guide the girls to come up with a policy along with the school".

School rules about black girls' hair have proved controversial before - last year, black female students at the Pretoria Girls High protested at being told to straighten their hair.

Hair
Other

'Seven killed in Cape Town fires'

Seven people have been killed by fires in two separate incidents in the early hours of this morning in Cape Town, South Africa, reports News 24.

The news site quoted a fire and rescue spokesperson as saying one man was killed after five buildings were destroyed in an informal settlement, at about 05:00 local time (03:00 GMT).

The cause of the fire was thought to be an electrical short circuit, News 24 adds.

In a later incident in another informal settlement, four children, a man and a woman died, but it is still not known what started the fire, says News 24.

Informal settlement in Cape Town
Getty Images
Both fires broke out in informal settlements

Kaduna residents celebrate two years of uninterrupted electricity

Mini grid
Getty Images
Mini-grids are becoming an alternative to the national grid all over Africa

People in remote villages in Kaduna, north-western Nigeria, are celebrating a rare two years of uninterrupted electricity, reports Punch newspaper.

The newspaper adds that two remote villages managed this by going off-grid, using solar power mini-grids.

"The villages were far from the reach of the national power grid," Punch explains.

So the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing set up the renewable power project instead.

The customers pay for the electricity through their mobile phones.

Tunisian woman tells BBC 'why I joined IS'

"We saw IS videos with all the Islamic songs," Iman tells the BBC. "We saw them apply Shariah law and wanted to live there."

The young Tunisian mother is one of the so-called Islamic State (IS) wives who moved to the islamists' Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

She and others have since fled, and are now being held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who are making ground against so-called IS.

Iman tells BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil that reality dawned on her when she began "feeling terrified" for her husband and children.

IS wife: Why I joined the 'caliphate'

Ten opposition demonstrators 'injured in Gabon'

Ten people have been injured at a rally attended by thousands in the Gabonese capital Libreville as they celebrated the return of opposition leader Jean Ping from Europe, AFP news agency reports.

Mr Ping was narrowly defeated by incumbent Ali Bongo in last year’s presidential elections, and is still contesting the results despite a Constitutional Court ruling confirming the outcome.

Gabon’s interior ministry told AFP that there were "no deaths and no injuries" during Tuesday’s demonstration.

However the AFP journalist witnessed ten injuries and a volunteer doctor at the scene told AFP that two people “suffered deep wounds” requiring “emergency treatment”.

Jean Ping
AFP
Jean Ping is a career diplomat and Gabon's former foreign minister

'Ten kidnapped' from Nigerian state oil company

BBC World Service

Cattle walk through the dried up Ngadda riverbed that flows towards Lake Chad during the rainy season in Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria on December 6, 2016.
Getty Images
The Islamist militants operate around Lake Chad

The Nigerian state oil company NNPC says ten geological researchers have been kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants.

The geologists and surveyors of the University of Maidugiri were seized in an ambush near Jibi village in Borno state in the north-east of the country.

They were contracted to work on oil exploration in nearby Lake Chad. Other local reports say many are feared dead in the ambush, but this cannot be confirmed.

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

Send a wise person not one with long legs.

Akan proverb sent by Nicholas Nyirenda in Lusaka, Zambia and Nana Adutwum Barimah in Cape Coast, Ghana

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.