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Summary

  1. Dangote falls more than 50 places in world rich list
  2. Ivory coast arrests eight for pangolin smuggling
  3. Ethiopia 'promises ID cards for Rastafarians'
  4. EU 'will not send election observers' to Angola
  5. Sign language proposed as South Africa's 12th language
  6. Sudan 'orders Christian schools to open on Sundays'
  7. 'Dozens' killed in Nigeria ambush

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Friday’s stories

We’ll be back next week

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:

Only those with wounds know that flies have teeth."

Sent by Silas Sifeh in Bamenda, Cameroon

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this shot of Nigerian tennis star Adetayo Adetunji from our selection of this week's top African photos.

Rising Nigerian tennis star Adetayo Adetunji knocks India's Zeel Desai out of this year's Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas on Friday 21 July.
Getty Images

Sudan 'orders Christian schools to open on Sundays'

Christian schools in Sudan have been told they must adhere to the same working week as rest of the Muslim-majority country, Radio Dabanga reports.

The broadcaster says Sudan's education ministry has instructed schools to adopt Fridays and Saturdays as their weekend, instead of Saturdays and Sundays.

According to Christians Sunday is the day of rest, whereas in Islam it is Fridays.

Radio Dabanga have published a copy of the official letter on their Facebook page.

View more on facebook

The move comes shortly before the worldwide head of the Anglican church, Archbishop Justin Welby, visits Sudan this weekend.

Read more about Sudan's Christians.

St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral near the Sudanese capital Khartoum
AFP
Sudan has a minority Christian population

Ethiopia 'promises ID cards for Rastafarians'

Rastafarians in Ethiopia
AFP

Ethiopia's foreign ministry has said it will issue identification cards to Rastafarians, reports AFP news agency.

The Rastafarian community who emigrated to Ethiopia has long complained of living in limbo in their so-called promised land.

Foreign ministry spokesman Meles Alem told AFP that Rastafarians will now be eligible to receive ID cards that will allow them to reside and have most legal rights in the country.

However, they are still not considered citizens.

Under the revised guidelines, the cards will also be available to foreigners who have contributed to the country's development and to Israelis of Ethiopian descent, Mr Meles said.

Rastafarians revere Ethiopia's former-Emperor Haile Selassie as a god.

This started after the black consciousness leader Marcus Garvey's prophecy: "Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand".

Selassie gave land on the outskirts of the town Shashamene to black people from the West who had supported him in his struggles with Mussolini's Italy.

In 1963, a dozen Rastafarians took up the offer and those numbers swelled to around 800 today.

But residents complain that they can't own property, send their children to university or work because they're not Ethiopian citizens.

Read more on: The Rastafarians' flawed African 'promised land'

BBC targeted by fake news in Kenya

A screenshot from the fake video report, branded with a 'fake' stamp.
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A fake video report about Kenya's election that is made to appear as if it is from the BBC's Focus on Africa programme has been circulating on social media.

The report contains a bogus poll indicating that President Uhuru Kenyatta will win August's election.

The BBC has urged people to verify any report that claims to come from the BBC by visiting www.bbcafrica.com.

A recent survey suggested that 90% of Kenyans had seen or heard false news in the run up to the poll.

Many of the people surveyed felt that some news items had been deliberately misleading.

It also found that while traditional media remained the most trusted source of information, large numbers of people got their news from Facebook and WhatsApp.

The origin of the fake BBC news story is not clear but it began to be shared on WhatsApp on Friday morning.

A fake report made to look like it came from CNN has also been circulating.

Cameroon mourns shipwrecked soldiers

Randy Joe Sa'ah

BBC Africa, Bamenda

Cameroonians have begun observing two days of mourning for soldiers who died in a ship wreck recently in the south-west of the country.

The dead soldiers were honoured in a public event attended by military personnel in Douala today, and flags have been flying at half-mast across the country.

Just three of the 37 people on board survived when their ship capsized and sank within two minutes in rough waters.

They had been transporting supplies to Bakassi in south-west Cameroon.

The Israeli-trained soldiers belonged to the elite Rapid Intervention Battalion, which has been fighting Boko Haram militants involved in piracy.

Angelique Kidjo sings against child marriage

Ata Ahli Ahebla

BBC Afrique

The Beninese star Angelique Kidjo has released a song calling for an end to child marriage in her country.

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The lyrics include the line: “A little girl is still a child and can’t be a wife or a mother, let her live her life and be free”.

The track, which has been recorded in the different languages of Benin, is a collaboration between artists like Sagbohan Danialou, Kalamoulai and Olga Vigouroux representing numerous musical genres.

In a post on her Facebook page, Ms Kidjo said the record showed how artists in Benin are united in furthering an important cause.

According to the Unicef, in Benin three out of 10 girls are married before their 18th birthday.

Kidjo has spoken before about child marriage in her capacity as a Unicef goodwill ambassador:

When I was growing up in Cotonou, Benin, several of my girlfriends from primary school were married at a very young age. Some I never even saw again – their married lives took them far away. Others I saw again later on, but they weren’t the same. Their joy and enthusiasm had gone."

Keep up-to-date with the latest tracks across the continent, by liking the Facebook page for my BBC Afrique music show C'est le Moment.

South Sudan troops 'capture town close to rebel stronghold'

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

South Sudan government forces say they have captured Maiwut town after heavy fighting with opposition troops allied to former first Vice-President Riek Machar, reports South Sudan News Agency.

The town of Maiwut is 25km (15.5 miles) north-west of Pagak, the rebel stronghold established by Mr Machar after the outbreak of civil war in 2013.

The area is of strategic importance.

It sits on a supply route that links Ethiopia to the town of Mathiang, which is next to the oilfields that provide the main source of government revenue, Reuters news agency says.

Heavy fighting between South Sudan’s warring factions erupted two weeks ago, forcing civilians to flee their homes.

The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan David Shearer describes the situation around Pagak as “extremely worrying,” as the fighting is worsening the already dire humanitarian situation.

Italy backs force to police Libya's shore

Migrant boat
Getty Images
European states have already been helping Libyan efforts to prevent migrants reaching international waters

Italy's cabinet has backed sending a mission to Libya to try to stem the influx of migrants.

The mission would help Libya "reinforce their capacity to control their borders and national territory", said Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

It would reportedly comprise ships, planes and at least 700 sailors.

More than 94,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy so far this year, according to the UN.

But more than 2,370 people have died in the attempt.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Tanzania authorities 'detain gold miner'

Gold
BBC
The Tanzanian government accuse the gold miners of under-reporting their exports

An official from the Canadian-owned mining company Acacia was briefly detained in Tanzania while trying to leave the country, the company has said in a press statement.

The statement says the senior international employee was briefly detained and had their passport confiscated at Julius Nyerere airport this morning.

"This incident follows on from increased levels of pressure from government agencies on Acacia employees in the past 48 hours," the statement says.

Earlier this week Acacia said in a statement that the government told them they owe it $190bn (£145bn) in taxes, penalties and interest.

The company denies this and has set up a section of its website to rebut the claims.

What if sign language becomes an official South African language?

Sign language
SA Parliament
Sign language interpreters already appear on parliamentary broadcasts

Earlier we reported that South Africa could soon give sign language official status.

So we have looked into what this would actually mean in a practical sense.

The Centre of Constitutional Rights Phephelaphi Dube told News24 the move would lead to a change in how state institutions currently view sign language:

All state institutions, schools, hospitals, government departments would need to have personnel who know sign language and can communicate in it."

If approved this means the private sector would also be compelled to make sure that personnel in their institutions and businesses are able to use sign language.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Battle of the bands as Kenyan elections approach

Anthony Irungu

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Politicians in Kenya are using music to woo voters ahead of elections on August 8.

Being selected to write and perform campaign songs in praise of political candidates is big business for Kenyan musicians.

Political campaign managers use these songs as a vehicle to reach voters particularly in rural areas and informal settlements.

Current President Uhuru Kenyatta is praised by a group of around 20 musicians from his home turf in central Kenya, calling here for voters to turn out in large numbers and safeguard "their" government:

View more on youtube

This song by Onyi Jalambo appeals to would-be supporters of Raila Odinga's Nasa opposition alliance. The expression tibim has two meanings - it's a call to action but also describes a loud boom or thud, and the song claims that Nasa has had the same kind of powerful impact on the lives of Kenyans:

View more on youtube

Can gambling boost The Gambia's fortunes?

Men and women in a betting shop in Banjul, The Gambia.
BBC
Betting shops are popular with both men and women in Banjul

A ban on gambling in The Gambia made in 2015 has now been reversed.

The country's government says a reinvigorated gambling industry could significantly boost national tax revenues, if properly regulated.

Some in the majority-Muslim country have however branded the change "unacceptable".

Africa Business Report's Lerato Mbele has been visiting betting shops and casinos in the capital, Banjul:

Watch more highlights from Africa Business Report.

DR Congo Kasai violence displaces 850,000 children

The UN says many of the children are now being looked after by foster families and relatives
Getty Images

An estimated 850,000 children have been forced to flee fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Kasai provinces, the UN's children's agency Unicef says.

This makes it one of the world's "largest displacement crises" for children, it adds.

Many of the affected children are now in foster care or with relatives.

Fighting broke out in Kasai in August 2016 after a traditional leader was killed in clashes with security forces.

It has since escalated leaving more than 3,000 people dead. The UN has also discovered dozens of mass graves in the area.

In all, 1.4 million people have had to leave their homes "with 60,000 uprooted in June alone," says Unicef's acting head in DR Congo Tajudeen Oyewale.

EU 'will not send election observers' to Angola

The EU has scrapped plans to observe elections in Angola next month, reports Reuters news agency.

It comes after Angola failed to agree to a package of conditions, including access to all parts of the country for the poll, an EU spokesperson told Reuters.

They added that the EU expects instead to send a smaller team of experts to assess the elections, but the team will consist of no more than five people, and will not provide an in-depth account of the electoral process.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been president of Angola since 1979 but announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down from the position after the elections.

The country has been gearing up for the vote on 23 August:

Banners bearing a picture of MPLA (The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola) residential candidate Joao Lourenco during a rally in Luanda on March 4, 2017.
Getty Images
Banners can be seen for the ruling MPLA party's presidential candidate Joao Lourenco
Supporters of the Angolan Opposition party Unita during the first General Elections campaign rally on July 22, 2017 in Luanda.
Getty Images
People have been turning out to rallies for the opposition Unita party in co-ordinated outfits

Rebel MP tells South African newspaper: 'If they kill me, so be it'

Makhosi Khoza
Reuters

Makhosi Khoza of South Africa's ruling ANC party has told the Mail & Guardian newspaper that she stands by her call for President Jacob Zuma to step down, saying:

I’m not going to apologise. If they kill me, so be it."

The outspoken MP has received death threats warning her to stop pushing for a secret ballot when MPs vote on a motion of no confidence in Mr Zuma next month.

Ms Khoza appears sceptical of the ill-discipline charge handed to her by the ANC, telling the Mail & Guardian:

I’m going to appear before an ANC disciplinary committee that has already decided that I’ll be fired.

Africa's richest man falls in Forbes rating

Billionaire Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote has fallen from being the 51st richest person in the world to the 105th, according to the 2017 Forbes Rich List.

Forbes magazine reports that Mr Dangote's wealth dropped from $15.4bn (£11.8bn) in 2016 to $12.2bn this year, due to Nigeria's currency being devalued.

Mr Dangote, who made his fortune in the production of cement, sugar and flour, made international headlines in 2016 when he said he wanted to buy Arsenal Football Club within the next four years.

Yesterday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly overtook Bill Gates as the world's richest man on Forbes' real-time ranking, but later dropped back to second place.

Aliko Dangote and daughter
Getty Images

Japanese defense minister resigns over South Sudan scandal

BBC World Service

Mrs Inada in South Sudan
Getty Images
Mrs Inada was appointed defence minister in 2016

The Japanese defence minister, Tomomi Inada, has resigned over allegations relating to a controversial Japanese military deployment in South Sudan.

Mrs Inada has repeatedly denied claims she helped cover up internal records exposing the danger that Japanese peacekeepers faced during the operation.

The Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has apologised to the nation, saying he bore full responsibility for appointing her to the post.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Worst place in the world to be a child?

The Central African Republic has been described as one of the worst countries in the world to be a child.

Almost one million people have been displaced in the civil conflict which began four years ago, the UN estimates.

To show how years of conflict have damaged the country, photojournalist Marc Ellison and illustrator Didier Kassai have produced a graphic novel called House Without Windows.

Marc told the BBC’s Bola Mosuro about the project.

A window into life in the Central African Republic.

'More men are willing to talk about menstruation'

Over the last ten years, one person who has seen attitudes to womens' periods changing is Sophia Grinvalds.

She talks about periods a lot because she is the founder of Afripads - a Ugandan company that distributes reusable sanitary pads in refugee camps.

She told BBC minute:

Not only have we seen government taking an interest in meeting the menstrual hygiene needs, more men are willing to talk about the subject".

Listen to the full interview:

A Ugandan company reaches 1.5 million women with their reusable period kits

Nigerian military chiefs ordered to relocate to Maiduguri

BBC World Service

Nigerian military chiefs have been ordered to relocate to the north-eastern city of Maiduguri following an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants which is thought to have killed more than 40 people.

Exploration workers searching for oil in Nigeria's conflict-ridden north-east, were ambushed as they returned to the city on Tuesday.

The team was made up of officials from the state oil firm, university researchers and staff. A rescue was attempted by military personnel and vigilantes - many of whom were killed.

The Nigerian Defence Minister Mansur Ali said the military struggled to assert its dominance during the rainy season.

Army in Maiduguri
Getty Images
The Nigerian Military have had to increase their presence in Maiduguri

'Dozens' killed in Nigeria ambush

Camouflaged vehicle
Getty Images
Nigeria's military has been battling the insurgents since 2009

More than 40 people have died during an attempt to free people during an ambush by militant Islamist group Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria, sources have told the BBC.

At least five members of an oil exploration team were killed, a spokesman for the University of Maiduguri said.

Soldiers and members of a vigilante group also died in the ambush.

The high number of casualties will be a blow for the government, which insists the insurgency is all but defeated.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and thousands more abducted since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Sign language proposed as South Africa's 12th language

Campaingers are urging South African authorities to make sign language the country's 12th official language, according to local press.

Eye Witness News reports that the South African parliament’s constitutional review committee is recommending to the National Assembly that sign language be officially recognised, following requests from the deaf community.

Chief executive of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), Rakwena Monareng told ENCA news site that teaching South African sign language in schools prevented high-profile mistakes:

”[It will] limit challenges of incorrect sign language interpreters, such as the one at the memorial service of the former president Nelson Mandela in 2014".

The country already has 11 official languages.

Sign language at Nelson Mandela's funeral
BBC
Deaf viewers of Nelson Mandela's funeral said signs by interpreter made no sense

Ivory coast arrests eight for pangolin smuggling

BBC World Service

Pangolin
Getty Images
Pangolin are often cited as being the most trafficked mammal in the world

The authorities in Ivory Coast say they've seized a record haul of three tonnes of pangolin scales.

They say the haul represents about 4,000 of the endangered nocturnal mammals, captured in several West African countries.

A senior police officer with Ivory Coast's organised crime unit, Thimotee Gnahore, said the scales were worth an estimated $82,000 (£63,000) on the local market but could fetch 100 times that amount in Asia, where they are used in traditional medicine.

Eight men of different nationalities have been arrested.

Pangolin
Getty Images
Some believe pangolin scales have medicinal properties

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

Only those with wounds know that flies have teeth.

Sent by Silas Sifeh in Bamenda, Cameroon

Click here to send us your African proverbs

House flies
Getty Images

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