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Summary

  1. Google announces plans to roll-out technical training on the continent
  2. Tunisia's parliament changes the age of consent from 13 to 16
  3. Zimbabwe's first lady says President Mugabe should end squabbles over successor
  4. Nine Nigerian soldiers killed as they try to free people kidnapped by Boko Haram
  5. France announces an asylum processing centre in Libya
  6. Madonna and Malawi twins accept damages
  7. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela distances herself from a controversial book about Nelson Mandela
  8. Nigerian governors meet Nigeria's ailing President Buhari

Live Reporting

By Paul Bakibinga and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

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:

Calves don't fear the horns of their mothers."

A Wolayta proverb sent by Firehun Necha in Woodbridge, Virginia, United States

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

And we leave you with this picture of a trader in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, shot by photographer Daouda Corera:

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Funeral for Rotary International President-elect Sam Owori

In Uganda a state funeral has been held in Kampala for the President-elect of Rotary International Sam Owori,75.

He is only the second African to have been voted to that position. Mr Owori was due to take office in 2018 but died unexpectedly this month in Texas.

Rotary is a global networking and charity organisation for professionals. It has nearly 30,000 members across Africa. The association has played a key role in the global fight against Polio

Here is how the sad event was followed on Twitter

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View more on twitter

Go for a virtual tour of Lagos

In addition to announcing 10 million training opportunities in Africa (see earlier entry), Google has also officially launched a number of new projects today including its Street View of Nigeria's commercial hub, Lagos.

This allows you to see at street level what the city looks like and also go on a tour of the place without leaving your desk.

You can travel across the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge:

Image of the bridge
Google

Or visit one of the city's busy markets:

Market scene
Google

Google has also announced faster web search results for people with 2G connections and a lower bandwidth version of YouTube.

Funds to help southern Africa's landlocked countries

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

The African Development Bank (ADB) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have announced that they are ready to invest in the development of Beira, Nacala and Maputo transport corridors which give landlocked countries access to export markets.

The ADB's told a meeting in Beira that th bank was making $500m (£383m) available for the construction of the corridors in Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi.

general view of the Commercial port of Beira , Mozambique.
Getty Images
The links will be vital for country's to access Mozambique's ports

Luxury flight tour set for Kenya

If you happen to be in Kenya at the end of September you might spot one of the 86 elite Chinese travellers who are forking out $45,000 for a luxury air-cruise to the country, Quartz is reporting.

It says passengers on the Boeing 777, called Crystal Skye, will have butler service and top quality food.

Drawings of what the interior will look like show how luxurious the flight will be:

View more on twitter

Quartz says the passengers will stay in the same accommodation that President Barack Obama was thought to have used in 2015 and they will also go on safari.

This is all part of a growing interest amongst Chinese tourists of travelling on the continent.

Google 'to train' 10 million in Africa

Google is planning to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in a bid to make them more employable, its chief executive Sundar Pichai said today in Lagos, Reuters reports

A spokeswoman for the company is reported to have said the technology giant will also train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

In March, Google said, it had reached its initial goal of training one million people.

Mr Pichai stated that the company was "committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years".

According to a Google blog the training is done in several languages including Swahili, Hausa and Zulu and is aiming to ensure that at least 40% of people trained are women.

It did not say how much the programme cost, Reuters reports.

People have been sharing pictures and videos from the event in Lagos.

View more on twitter

Mining giant sets aside $100m for SA health claims

Mining group Anglo American has allocated $101m (£77m) in case of potential compensation claims from its former South African staff who have the lung disease silicosis, the AFP news agency reports.

Last year, former miners were told by a Johannesburg court that they could proceed with a class action against the firm over allegations that they fell ill because of their work.

AFP says that this opened the way for as many as half-a-million claims.

In a statement to the news agency, Anglo American said it was negotiating with the potential claimants and is waiting to "see where the negotiations land in the months ahead".

Man holding a letter
AFP
Thousands of former South African miners say they are suffering from silicosis

Senegal's Ismaila Sarr 'rejects Barcelona' for Rennes move

Footballer Ismailia Sarr
Getty Images
Ismailia Sarr made debut for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal international winger Ismaila Sarr says he has rejected a move to Spanish giants Barcelona to sign for French side Stade Rennes.

The 19-year-old Teranga Lion has secured a four-year contract in a deal worth $20m (£15.2m) as he switched from rivals Metz.

"I could have gone to Spain and joined the great Barcelona, but leaving Metz to join them was too early," he said.

"I saw Rennes as a club that will help me progress and reach great heights."

With just six caps for his country, Sarr has already been compared to former Rennes winger Ousmane Dembele, who now plays for Borussia Dortmund.

However the teenager is keen to create his own legacy.

Read more on this story

Grace Mugabe 'challenges' husband to name successor

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe has "challenged" her husband to name his successor so as to end the factional fighting in the governing Zanu-PF party, state broadcaster ZBC reports.

President Robert Mugabe, 93, is set to run again in next year's election thereby extending his 37-year rule. But discussions about who will come after him have threatened to split his party.

Mrs Mugabe was talking to members of Zanu-PF's women's league when she said that there was nothing wrong with the president naming a successor so that all members could rally around one candidate, ZBC reports in live updates of her speech.

In the past Mr Mugabe has refused to name anyone and has been critical of the factional in-fighting. He said the people should choose a leader.

Robert and Grace Mugabe
Reuters
Grace Mugabe, seen here with President Mugabe, is the head of Zanu-PF's women's league

Al-Shabab militants accused of burning Somali villages

The Somalia-based militant Islamist group al-Shabab is accused of burning numerous homes in attacks on villages in the country's Lower Shabelle region in May this year, rights group Human Rights Watch says in a report out today.

The report is based on interviews with eyewitnesses and satellite imagery analysis, which indicate that the militants abducted civilians, stole livestock and burnt down houses causing over 15,000 people to flee their homes.

The report further says that from 21 May 21 al-Shabab raided villages in the Merka and Afgooye districts of Lower Shabelle.

Map
HRW

Libya's Haftar 'not opposed to role for Saif Gaddafi'

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Reuters
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (pictured in 2011) was sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli in 2015

The commander of Libya's east-based army, Khalifa Haftar, has said that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the country's deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, could play a political role in the country if he wanted to, according to the London-based, Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Hayat.

Saifal-Islam was released on 10 June by the Abu-Bakr al-Siddiq Brigade, a Libyan militia that had kept him in captivity in the western city of Zintan for six years.

Asked if Saif al-Islam is currently living freely in areas held by the east-based Libyan National Army (LNA), Gen Haftar told Al-Hayat that "he is an ordinary Libyan citizen".

"I have not seen him but have followed his moves since his release; he is in a specific place. I have nothing against him; on the contrary, he is welcome."

Asked if Saif al-Islam could have a political role in Libya, Haftar said: "Why not? If he wants to play a political role, there is no problem".

Before the 2011 revolution, Saif was viewed as Gaddafi's heir apparent, and also a potential figure for democratic change in Libya.

In contrast, the public prosecutor of the UN-backed Government of National Accord said Saif was still wanted by the authorities.

Earlier this week, Gen Haftar (on the right in this picture) committed his soldiers to a conditional ceasefire with the leader of the rival administration:

Haftar shaking the hand of a rival
Reuters

British-Ghanaian musician nominated for major prize

British-Ghanaian grime musician Stormzy has been shortlisted for one of the UK's top music awards - the Mercury Prize.

The nomination for his Gang Signs & Prayer album comes a year after Nigerian-British musician Skepta won the same prize.

British artists of African origin have been at the forefront of the grime music scene in the UK.

Stormzy has been tweeting about today's nomination:

View more on twitter

Stormzy is up against 11 other artists, here's a rundown of all those up for the award:

'Don't exclude Machar in South Sudan peace process'

BBC World Service

Civil society activists in South Sudan say that moves to exclude the exiled rebel leader, Riek Machar, from a new regional peace process, will perpetuate the four-year civil war.

They said that if peace was to be revitalised, all parties to the conflict must be included.

Ministers from East African countries, meeting in South Sudan this week, said Mr Machar's representatives could be included, but he would not be invited.

Millions of people have fled their homes since war broke out in December 2013.

South Sudanese rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar addresses a meeting of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the Upper Nile state in South Sudan on April 15, 2014.
AFP
South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar is currently living in South Africa

Burundi's feared youth wing out in force

Thousands of members of Burundi's feared Imbonerakure youth wing party took to the streets of the capital, Bujumbura, last weekend to show support for President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The group has denied accusations that it has attacked and intimidated political opponents since a political crisis broke out two years ago.

Watch more about the Imbonerakure in this video:

Kargbo Jnr unsure about Sierra Leone commitment

Crystal Palace's Ibrahim Kargbo Junior admits match-fixing allegations against his father are making him doubt whether he would ever play for Sierra Leone.

Kargbo senior has always denied 2014 allegations of match-fixing made by the Sierra Leone Football Association.

The 17-year-old's father is a former Leone Stars captain and now plays for non-league English side Dulwich Hamlet.

"I really don't know if I'd play [for Sierra Leone] as what they've done to my dad is not nice," he told BBC Sport.

"You never know we'll see what God wants."

Kargbo Jnr could also play for Belgium after he moved to Europe at the age of eight to join his father who was playing professionally and secured citizenship.

Ibrahim Kargbo junior and his father
.
Ibrahim Kargbo Junior (left) is hoping to break into the Crystal Palace first team while his dad plays for Dulwich Hamlet

Age of sexual consent in Tunisia rises from 13 to 16

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

The Tunisian parliament has ratified a law that raises the age of girls' sexual consent from 13 to 16, privately-owned Shems FM has reported.

The new law also stipulates that rapists will be sentenced to 20 years in prison, Tunisia's Minister of Women, Family and Children Naziha Laabidi said during the parliamentary session held on 26 July.

According to the law, rapists will be sentenced to life if they use violence or drugs; if they rape minors (who are under 16); and if they commit incest.

The Islamist Ennahdha Party has said that it supports the change from 13 to 16.

In comparison to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Tunisian personal status law is widely seen as being more progressive.

However, in October 2016, this "progressiveness" was brought into question when a popular Tunisian presenter told a young female guest - who had been abused by different members of her family since the age of 14 - to marry the man she accused of raping her.

Rear view of two muslim women with child
imamember

Are Libyan coast guards playing a double game in the Med?

The European Union wants to seal off the central Mediterranean migration route.

It's strategy rests on two pillars. In Libya, it is funding and training the Libyan coastguard to stop the migrants before they cross into international waters, and send them back to Libya.

Outside Libyan waters, it has deployed military vessels to disrupt the smugglers' business, mainly by burning their boats so they cannot be reused.

But increasingly the strategy has come in for criticism.

Successive reports have suggested a link between the burning of the boats and the rising death rate on the Central Mediterranean. As the smugglers adapted by using cheaper boats that were more unseaworthy, the crossing became more dangerous for the migrants.

And testimony from the migrants themselves suggests the Libyan coast guard could be playing a double game: taking money from the EU to intercept migrants, and money from smugglers to let them pass.

Read more from the BBC's Rami Ruhayem: Are migrants paying price as EU targets smugglers in the Med?

Migrants on a dinghy off the Libyan coast
BBC
The migrants come from a number of countries including Nigeria, Guinea and Ivory Coast

Nigeria to open major fertiliser plant

Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is about to open a huge fertiliser plant in the country's south-east as part of ongoing efforts to boost the agricultural sector.

A bid to diversify the economy away from the reliance on oil is one of the aims of the current government.

Reuters reports that the plant has cost $1.5bn (£1.1bn) and should produce 1.5 million tonnes of fertiliser.

Mr Osinbajo's media team has been tweeting about his trip to the south-east of the country.

View more on twitter

What do Somali women learn at marriage school?

In Somali culture, like in some other places, conversations around love and marriage can often be taboo.

But a marriage school in the self-declared republic of Somaliland is working to change that.

In a conservative society, the unique school is encouraging women to open up emotionally, as well as teaching them cooking and other skills.

Madonna accepts damages over adopted Malawi twins story

Madonna
Getty Images

Madonna and her adopted twin daughters from Malawi have accepted undisclosed damages from Associated Newspapers over a "serious invasion of privacy".

The singer adopted four-year-old twins Stella and Estere in February.

At the time she asked the media to "respect our privacy during this transitional time."

Madonna brought the case at London's High Court over a MailOnline article that caused her "considerable personal distress", her solicitor said.

The article revealed the girls' names, race, age, the fact they lived in an orphanage in Malawi and were the subject of pending applications for adoption by Madonna.

"The MailOnline published it at a time when, as the journalist ought to have appreciated, Madonna would be powerless to protect the girls from harm," solicitor Jenny Afia told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies on Thursday.

Since the adoption, Madonna has published pictures of the children on her Instagram account.

The PA news agency quotes Ms Afia as saying that the pop star will donate the damages to The Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery in Malawi.

View more on instagram

Including the twins, Madonna has adopted four children from Malawi.

Read more here.

France 'to check asylum claims in Libya'

France is planning to process asylum claims in Libya rather than wait for people to try and make the risky journey across the Mediterranean, the AFP news agency reports.

Libya is a major stopping point on the route for many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN's migration body, the IOM, says that more than 2,300 migrants have died trying to cross from North Africa to Europe so far this year.

AFP quotes French President Emmanuel Macron as saying: "The idea is to create hotspots to avoid people taking crazy risks when they are not all eligible for asylum."

Migrants on a boat
EPA
Many migrants are rescued after trying to cross the Mediterranean

Investigation after Somali security officials killed in friendly fire

Mohammud Ali Mohamed

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmajo has ordered an investigation following an incident in which Somali security forces opened fire on each other on Wednesday, resulting in the death of four of them.

Military officials at a security checkpoint opened fire on National Intelligence Service officers, who were not in uniform.

The incident has once again highlighted problems around the coordination of security in the capital, Mogadishu.

Sources said the fighting erupted after the soldiers blocked a convoy carrying a former Intelligence chief.

All the officers involved have been arrested, and police are reviewing CCTV footage

In a similar incident in May, a government minister was killed after soldiers opened fire on his convoy, close to the presidential palace.

Call for Haileselasie statue in Ethiopia

Patrick Kihara

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

Former Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis has suggested that Emperor Haileselasie’s monument be erected in front of the old hall of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) in the capital Addis Ababa, privately-owned Reporter website says.

The OAU was founded in Addis Ababa in 1963.

Ex-President Girma made the suggestions during an event to mark Emperor Haileselasie’s 125th birthday anniversary, organised by the Emperor Haileselasie’s Memorial Association.

The president was applauded after talking about all the contributions the emperor made to the country and making the suggestion about the monument.

The emperor was overthrown in a military coup in 1974, which led to the establishment of the Marxist Dergue regime.

His name was then removed from buildings and institutions around the country.

Emperor Haileselasie
Hulton Archive
Emperor Haileselasie was instrumental in the founding of the OAU

Nine Nigerian soldiers killed in Boko Haram rescue

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

Nine Nigerian soldiers have been killed during an attempt to free people kidnapped by suspected members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, the military has said in a statement.

It added that it rescued a team of 10 researchers from the University of Maiduguri who were abducted in an ambush in north-east Nigeria.

They were in a convoy that was ambushed as it was returning to the city late on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, the state-run oil firm said three of the team had been rescued.

But it is yet to comment on the military's latest claim.

One eyewitness told the BBC that the army was downplaying the death toll.

He said several of the researchers had been killed and others were still missing.

A Nigerian army vehicle patrols in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on April 26, 2017
AFP
Nigeria's military is battling Boko Haram militants in north-east Nigeria

Rebel ANC MP complains of persecution

Makhosi Khoza
Reuters

An outspoken member of South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) party, who has been charged with ill-discipline for speaking out against President Jacob Zuma, has complained about being persecuted.

In a Facebook post Makhosi Khoza complains she is suffering persecution:

Because I can no longer tow the party line. I cannot accept corruption, looting, a disregard for the people who brought us to power and the propping up of growing kleptocracy. "

She has received death threats warning her to stop pushing for a secret ballot when MPs vote on Mr Zuma next month.

Parliament and the police decided to provide security for her, but Ms Khoza has chosen not to accept it, according to her Facebook post.

Last week, the ANC said she had crossed the line and must face disciplinary action for speaking out against the president.

Are Somalia's leaders selfie obsessed?

The new generation of Somali politicians take full advantage of social media to let the people know what they are up to.

But there have been some complaints that their accounts are full off selfies - so are they just showing off?

The BBC’s Mohammud Ali Mohamed explains which pictures are causing problems.

President Buhari in 'much better condition'

In the latest update on the health of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State has said he is "in a much better condition".

He released a video message after he, and some other state governors, met the president in London.

View more on twitter

Mr Buhari has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness in London since early May - his second trip for medical reasons this year.

His office also released photos of Wednesday's meeting:

View more on twitter

Earlier this week we reported Governor Rochas Okorocha saying that the president was expected back in the country in "two weeks".

Mr Buhari's long absence has led some to question whether he will be able to resume his duties.

Winnie distances herself from controversial Mandela book

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela, has denied that she gave permission to his doctor to write a book about his last years, Eyewitness News reports.

The book, written by Dr Vejay Ramlakan, was wihtdrawn by the publishers earlier this week "out of respect" for the family after complaints that it revealed personal details about his death in 2013.

Winnie Mandela
AFP

Dr Ramlakan has defended the book saying that a member of the family gave him permission to write it.

There was some suspicion that it was Mrs Madikizela-Mandela who gave the doctor the go-ahead as the book suggests that it was her and not Graca Machel, Mr Mandela's wife at the time of his death, who was with him when the former president died.

But Mrs Madikizela-Mandela has denied that was behind the book's publication saying in a statement that she only agreed to give the author an autograph.

Good morning

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

Today's African proverb:

Calves don't fear the horns of their mothers."

A Wolayta proverb sent by Firehun Necha in Woodbridge, Virginia, United States
Newborn scottish highlander calf with head of mother cow
iStock

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