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  1. SA official fears donkey meat is being fed to unsuspecting customers
  2. China gives Mozambique $60m grant for airport
  3. Mohamed Salah named BBC African Footballer of the Year
  4. Workers who were "laying fibre-optic cables killed in Mali"
  5. Ivory Coast pays mutineers to quit
  6. Anger after Tanzania's leader pardons musicians sentenced for child rape
  7. Russia and Egypt sign nuclear power deal
  8. AU warns of threat by returning IS fighters
  9. Jordan to be referred to UN Security Council over Bashir visit

Live Reporting

By Flora Drury and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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We'll be back tomorrow

After the excitement of the announcement of the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2017, 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.

You can also find out more about the BBC's African Footballer of the Year by heading over to its dedicated live page.

Before we go, a reminder of today's wise words:

As the grass grows, so too does the lion."

A Thimbukushu proverb sent by Saunan Yemba in Rundu, Namibia

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

And we leave you with this photo from Mali's capital, Bamako:

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BBC African Footballer of the year revealed

AFOTY: Winner of BBC African Footballer of the Year 2017 revealed
Mohamed Salah, the winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2017 award, receives the prestigious prize from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Salah: I want to be the best Egyptian ever

Mo Salah scores against Everton for Liverpool on Sunday

It has not been a bad weekend for Mohamed Salah, smashing home a stunner in the Merseyside derby on Sunday, picking up his first African Footballer of the Year on Monday.

He told BBC Sport:

I have always followed my way, and I want everyone in Egypt to follow my way.

Since I left Egypt, in my mind, I want to be the best Egyptian ever. I work hard and try to be different from them."

Efan Ekoku

Former Nigeria international

Salah has a maturity that he did not have at Chelsea.

He is one of the best attackers in world football.

Mohamed Salah: A worthy winner


Piers Edwards

BBC Africa Sport

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool

Mohamed Salah is a worthy winner of this year's BBC African Footballer of the Year award - as it is very hard to argue with what he has achieved.

He has shone both at club and international level.

Starting with the latter, he helped Egypt reach the Africa Cup of Nations final in February - having a hand in four of the Pharaohs' five goals in Gabon.

Things got even better in October, when he scored a dramatic stoppage-time penalty against Congo that secured a 2-1 win and a place in the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Incredibly, of the seven goals that Egypt scored to get to Russia, Salah scored five while making the other two.

No wonder that some fans have nicknamed Egypt the 'Pass to Salah' team.

Salah, 25, started the year with AS Roma in Italy, scoring 15 goals and assisting 11 others as the side from the Italian capital finished second, their best placing in seven years, behind champions Juventus.

And now, having joined Liverpool in June, Salah's form has been so impressive that he is the current Premier League top scorer - above the likes of Harry Kane and others - having netted 13 goals in his first 16 league games for the club.

It's a run of form throughout the year that persuaded the fans to vote for him.

Salah named BBC African Footballer of the Year

Egyptian Mohamed Salah

Egyptian Mohamed Salah has been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017.

Following a record number of votes, the Liverpool star won ahead of Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Guinean Naby Keita, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Nigeria's Victor Moses.

The 25-year-old told BBC Sport:

"I am very happy to win this award. It's always a special feeling when you win something.

I feel like I had a great year, so I'm very happy. I would also like to win it next year!"

Farewell to Pierre

We can now reveal that Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not be winning the award this year.

That leaves us with just two men left - the Liverpool duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Nation: Gabon

Age: 28

Club efforts in 2017: The fashion-loving forward hit 40 goals in all competitions as Dortmund won the German cup.

International efforts in 2017: The Gabon captain had a year to forget as his country became only the fourth Africa Cup of Nations hosts to exit in the group stage, despite his two goals in three games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
BBC Sport

And the next to go is....

Victor Moses

Victor Moses
Getty Images

Yep, it's the Chelsea man. He has had some injury problems this season but is fit again.

Club: Chelsea

Nation: Nigeria

Age: 26

Club efforts in 2017: After years of loan moves, the 26-year-old finally cemented his role at Stamford Bridge - so much so that he became an integral member of their Premier League-winning team.

As well as winning the Premier League, Moses also received an FA Cup runners-up medal after Chelsea lost to Arsenal in a final where the Nigerian tinged his successful campaign with a red card.

International efforts in 2017: Moses played only three internationals this year, but in his first he scored in a sensational 4-0 destruction of Cameroon that knocked the African champions out of qualifying and smoothed Nigeria's eventual passage to a third straight World Cup.

The first to go

Naby Keita

Getty Images

He was the last candidate to be unveiled back in November and he is the first to be named today. Say goodbye to the man from Guinea.

Club: RB Leipzig

Nation: Guinea

Age: 22

Club efforts in 2017: Made the Bundesliga team of the year - an honour bestowed by a public vote - as he helped RB Leipzig to a shock second-place finish.

International efforts in 2017: Keita is primarily on the list for his club exploits because Guinea found the road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia too tough, even if the midfielder did score in qualifiers against Libya and Tunisia.

Celebrating African football

Here's a reminder of some of the special coverage we've had as part of our celebration of African football for this year's BBC Africa Footballer of the Year award.

There was the story of 10-year-old Jessica Quachie, the Liberian girl dreaming of playing for Real Madrid one day. Her life changed after she was spotted by an academy and has now played international tournament football against boys.

The 10-year-old Liberian girl dreaming of Real Madrid

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If you cannot get access to see Mimi Fawaz, former Nigeria striker Efan Ekoku and DR Congo international Gabriel Zakuani eliminating the contenders until we are left with a winner - panic not!

There is also a special BBC World Service Facebook Live that you can now follow.......

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Countdown to BBC Africa Footballer of the Year

BBC Sport


Voting for the BBC Africa Footballer of the Year has closed.

All of them have been added up - and we have a winner. The thing is, we don't know who that is yet.

But don't panic - over the next 30 minutes we will find out exactly who is the 2017 BBC African Footballer of the Year.

In case you've been stuck under a rock for the last month or so, the shortlist comprised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Victor Moses and Mohamed Salah.


Scars still raw in Mogadishu after attack

It has been eight weeks since a huge bomb exploded in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killing more than 500 people.

The 14 October attack - the deadliest in Somalia's history - was carried out at a busy junction using a truck packed with explosives.

The Somali government blames Islamist militant group al-Shabab for the bombing.

So what - if anything - has changed in the city since the attack? Osman Hassan from the BBC Somali service explains:

What's changed in the Somali capital since the attack?

The plastic pollution problem - in seven charts

A meeting of experts in Kenya warned last week that marine life is facing "irreparable damage" from the millions of tonnes of plastic waste which ends up in the oceans each year.

"This is a planetary crisis... we are ruining the ecosystem of the ocean," UN oceans chief Lisa Svensson told the BBC ahead of the meeting in Nairobi.

But just how bad is the problem? The BBC science desk has broken it down into handy graphs to give you a quick, at-a-glance idea - and it isn't good.

Take this chart showing how long your coffee cup (and worse, fishing line) will take to naturally degrade:

A graph

You can see more graphs, and read our full report on the plastic pollution problem by clicking here.

Pro-police protest in Nigeria

Ishaq Khalid

BBC Africa, Abuja

Protest in Nigeria

Two protests have been held in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, to show support for the police's embattled Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

It was intended to rival a demonstration to demand the disbandment of the squad, which is accused of extra-judicial killings and corruption.

The pro-Sars protesters - who rallied at the police headquarters and Eagle Square - said it played a vital role in combating kidnappings and robberies.

However, they supported the police chief's efforts to reform the squad, and the removal of "bad eggs" from it.

See earlier post for more details

Senegal's hijab-wearing circus star

BBC World Service

Maty Niang is a law student living in Senegal with a slightly unusual passion: the 22-year-old loves the circus.

But while learning skills like the trapeze and aerial silks are gaining popularity in places like the UK, they are little known in Senegal - and some of her family questions whether the hobby is compatible with her religion.

But Maty believes there is no reason why practising her faith as a Muslim, and practising her hobby as a circus performer, have any reason to clash.

Hear her story - and watch her skills - on BBC Minute:

'Just like the sport, the hijab is a part of me'

China to finance new Mozambique airport

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

China has given Mozambique a $60m (£45m) grant to build an airport in the southern coastal city of Xai Xai.

The airport would improve the mobility of people and goods, and make it easier to respond to natural catastrophes in the remote Gaza province, Mozambique's Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi said.

China has also agreed to finance the purchase of 100 commuter buses at a cost of $7.5m. The buses would be assembled by a firm in China after a public tender, China's ambassador to Mozambique, Su Jian, said.

In a further initiative, China has promised to install a satellite television system in 500 Mozambican villages.

Many people in Mozambique are poor and lack basic infrastructure.

But a $200m airport, built three years ago in the north, is hardly used:

S Africans 'tricked' into eating donkey

Turkey and donkey are seen in a farm in Bodony, Hungary, December 6, 2017
Hundreds of donkeys have been killed illegally since 2015

A South African official has told a court he fears donkey meat is being fed to unsuspecting customers after being illegally slaughtered, TimesLive reports.

SPCA inspector Mishack Matlou revealed 300 donkeys have been slaughtered in areas north of Pretoria in the last two years - sometimes hacked to death with machetes.

Recently, the remains of 30 donkeys were found in the bush.

According to TimesLive, Mr Matlou explained:

They remove the meat and leave heads‚ legs and skins. We have information that this meat ends up in pots of food vendors and ultimately plates of customers."

Some of these customers, he added, had no idea what they were eating - having been sold "game" by street vendors.

Mr Matlou was giving evidence as three men appeared at Ga-rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on a charge of livestock theft.

They were allegedly caught with bucketfuls of fresh meat in a Citigolf after being stopped by a off-duty police officer on 29 November, RekordNorth reported.

One of the defendants was remanded in custody, while the other two were released on bail.

Russia 'ready to resume' direct flights to Egypt

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after giving a press conference following their talks at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo on December 11, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) met with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) on Monday

Russia's transport minister has said Moscow is ready to resume direct flights to Egypt, more than two years after a Russian passenger plane crashed as it left Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters the paperwork could be signed as early as this week, with flights between Cairo and Moscow beginning in February, news agency Reuters reported.

The announcement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Egyptian counterpart, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, in Cairo on Monday.

Flights were suspended between the two countries after a passenger plane bound for St Petersburg crashed in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

The Islamic State group said it was responsible for planting a bomb on the flight.

Listeria kills pregnant woman in SA

Listeria bacteria
Science Photo Library
The bacteria contaminates food

A pregnant woman has died of listeria in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, health officials have said.

She is the 37th person to die of the food-borne disease in South Africa in the last 11 months.

A total of 557 cases have been detected this year.

The disease mainly affects newborns, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems.

The bacteria is found in soil, water and vegetation, and contaminates food sources such as animal products and fresh produce.

Russia to build nuclear facility in Egypt

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (R) speaks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (L) prior to their meeting in Cairo on December 11, 2017.
Russia's leader Vladimir Putin is visiting Egypt

Russia is set to build a new nuclear power plant costing as much as $21bn (£15.7bn) in Egypt.

Rosatom, Russia's state-owned nuclear company, said it would be completed by 2029, according to news agency Reuters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, two years after the initial deal to loan Egypt 85% of the construction costs in return for servicing the reactors for 60 years was signed.

This is one of a series of plants Russia is building across the continent.

In October, it was revealed it would build two in Nigeria, while a similar deal in South Africa has run into trouble.

Jordan to be referred to UN over Bashir visit

The International Criminal Court (ICC) says it will refer Jordan to the UN Security Council for its failure to arrest Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir when he attended an Arab League summit in the kingdom in March.

Jordan failed to comply with its international obligations by ignoring the ICC's request to arrest Mr Bashir, even though it is a signatory to the Rome Statute which set up the court in 2002, the ICC said in a statement.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bashir in 2009, accusing him of genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

He denies the allegation, and accuses the court of being political.

Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) welcomes Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at a welcome ceremony at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman on March 28, 2017 ahead of talks on the eve of the Arab League summit
King Abdullah (R) hosted President Bashir (L) in Amman in March

#ENDSARS protest in Nigeria

Ishaq Khalid

BBC Africa, Abuja

Nigeria protest

A protest has been held in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, to demand the dissolution of the police's controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

Police chief Ibrahim Idris promised to "reorganise" the squad after a social media outcry about alleged brutality by the force.

But civil society groups, which organised today's protest, say they do not believe the squad can be reformed, and they want it to be shut down.

Sars officers have been accused of extra-judicial killings and corruption.

Nigerians have shared stories of alleged abuse by the squad on Twitter under the hashtag #ENDSARS.

Finding love in a Libyan detention camp

This Nigerian couple fell for each other while trapped in Libya

Mabel Emmanuel and Steven Ekhiator met and started a family in a Libyan detention centre, having failed to make the crossing to Europe.

Last week they were flown home to Nigeria with their baby boy.

Here their remarkable story above.

Video journalist: Abdulmalik Fahd Abdulmalik, BBC News Pidgin

Countdown to BBC African Footballer of the Year

Afooty logo

The wait is almost over! Exactly a month after we revealed the five players on the shortlist for the BBC African Footballer of the Year, we are now counting down the hours before the winner is announced.

It’s been our biggest vote ever - more football fans made their voices heard than ever before.

Here's a quick reminder of our five contenders:

  • Gabon’s and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Guinea's and RB Leipzig's Naby Keïta
  • Senegal’s and Liverpool’s Sadio Mané
  • Nigeria’s and Chelsea’s Victor Moses
  • Egypt’s and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah

So who will it be? To find out, join us at 17:30 GMT on a special BBC World News programme on TV, radio, online and social media.

Ivory Coast paying 'mutinous' soldiers thousands to quit

Ivory Coast"s special force soldiers take part in a drill rescue exercise during a military exercise in Abidjan, Ivory Coast September 22, 2017
The government hopes to reduce the size of its army

Ivory Coast is to pay its soldiers 15m CFA francs ($25,500; £20,000) each to leave its large and mutiny-prone army, news agency Reuters reports.

The government is hoping to retire 4,400 troops - almost a fifth of its reported 25,000-strong army - by 2020, the agency said.

A thousand of those will voluntarily retire by the end of the year.

However, officials would not confirm exactly what the pay off would be - but Reuters and a number of other outlets report it will be more than $25,000 per soldier.

This is far more than the average wage, understood to be in the region of $1,200 a year.

Ivory Coast was Africa's fastest growing economy in 2016, but it suffered earlier this year after numerous uprisings by low-ranking soldiers.

In May, a five-day mutiny over pay ended with the government offering thousands of soldiers almost $12,000.

Many soldiers are former rebels who fought in a series of civil conflicts.

Read more: Why are Ivory Coast soldiers up in arms?

Zuma given reprieve over corruption charges

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

South African president Jacob Zuma takes part in question and answer session at the parliament in Cape Town, on March 11, 2015.
President Zuma has been dogged by corruption allegations for more than a decade

South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority has extended the deadline for President Jacob Zuma to file papers on why he shouldn't be prosecuted for corruption.

Mr Zuma now has until the end of January to submit arguments in relation to charges linked to a $2bn (£1.5bn) arms deal.

The original charges were dropped before Mr Zuma became president, but this year the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled he should stand trial.

Mr Zuma denies a series of corruption allegations made against him.

Read: Zuma the survivor

Release of child rapists in Tanzania condemned

Tanzanian President John Magufuli reviews a military honour guard before attending the launching ceremony of a one-stop border post to speed up slow customs processing at the border and the laying of the cross-border marker for the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Mutukula, Uganda, on November 9, 2017.
President John Magufuli (centre) pardoned the musicians

The release of two musicians who were serving life sentences for the rape of primary school pupils is indicative of the Tanzanian president's "punitive" attitude towards children, a child rights activist has said.

Kate McAlpine, director of Community for Children Rights in northern Tanzania, said she was “horrified but unsurprised” by President John Magufuli's decision.

On Saturday, he pardoned Nguza Viking, known as Babu Seya, and his son Johnson Nguza, known by the stage name Papii Kocha, who were given life behind bars after being convicted of raping 10 girls, aged between six and eight years.

Ms McAlpine said this was the latest example of Mr Magufuli showing a lack of understanding about violence against children.

Earlier this year, the president banned pregnant school girls from returning to school.

“Pregnant schoolgirls are pregnant because they are victims of violence," Ms McAlpine said.

“He has a blind spot when it comes to recognising children as victims.

“There seems to be a punitive attitude towards young children.”

Ms McAlpine said the fact the two men were jailed in the first place was unusual in a country where most child rape cases are resolved between families.

Rapists have also been known to pay of police and court staff.

She said: “It’s extremely rare for child rape cases to get to court in Tanzania - and even rarer for the culprits to get life sentences.”

Read our earlier post on the release here.

ANC 'will lose under Dlamini-Zuma', says poll

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma gestures as she addresses the audience during her final campaign at a African National Congress (ANC) Kwazulu-Natal rally in Clermont township south of Durban on December 9, 2017
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was previously married to President Jacob Zuma

A polling company says that South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) will lose its majority should it choose President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife and former African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, South Africa's TimesLive reports.

According the the newspaper, Ratepop Research found just 6.9% of black voters of the opposition Democratic Alliance would switch to the ANC in the 2019 general election if Ms Dlamini-Zuma is voted in as leader at a party conference starting on Saturday.

In comparison, the company found 50.9% would change their votes in favour of the ANC should Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa be elected leader.

The two politicians are going head-to-head for the role which would make them well placed to become South Africa's new president in 2019.

Mr Ramaphosa, a former business tycoon and trade unionist, took the lead at the beginning of this month, however, it is still all to play for.

Workers of Chinese firm killed in Mali

Five employees of a Chinese-owned telecoms company have been kidnapped and killed in central Mali while laying fibre-optic cables, security and local officials have said, AFP news agency reports.

The bodies of the four Malians and one Togolese employees were found abandoned at a roadside on Saturday, following their abduction a day earlier near the town of Niafunke, AFP quoted a local official as saying.

The motive for the attack is unclear.

Both militant Islamists and criminal gangs are active in the region.

Earlier this month, the prime minister's office said that efforts to improve internet access in parts of Mali have been hampered by instability and rocky terrain, AFP reports.

AU warns of threat by returning IS fighters

Iraqi fighters of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation units) stand next to a wall bearing the Islamic State (IS) group flag as they enter the city of al-Qaim, in Iraq's western Anbar province near the Syrian border as they fight against remnant pockets of Islamic State group jihadists on November 3, 2017. /
Iraq had declared victory over the IS militants

Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq and Syria could return home, and threaten the continent's security, the African Union's top security official has warned, news agency AFP reports.

African nations needed to coordinate intelligence activities to counter the threat, said the AU's commissioner for peace and security, Smail Chergui.

Speaking at a meeting in Algiers, he added:

There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East.

The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and intense cooperation between African countries."

Iraq's government declared victory over IS on Saturday. The group has also been driven out of its strongholds in Syria.

Tens of thousands of foreigners joined IS after it declared a caliphate in 2014, and captured territory in the two neighbouring states.

Read: IS losing grip of 'virtual caliphate'

Tanzanian president pardons child rapist musicians

Nguza Viking, known as Babu Seya (R) and his son  Johnson Nguza, known as Papii Kocha (C) at a court appearance in Dar es Salaam in October 2013
Michuzi blog
Nguza Viking, (right) and his son Johnson Nguza, (centre) at a court appearance in Dar es Salaam in October 2013

Two popular singers serving life sentences after being found guilty of raping primary school children have walked free from a Tanzanian prison, having received a presidential pardon.

Nguza Viking, known as Babu Seya, and his son Johnson Nguza, known by the stage name Papii Kocha, were among more than 1,000 prisoners freed by President John Magufuli on Saturday.

The rhumba musicians had served 13 years after being convicted of raping 10 girls, aged between six and eight years, who were were all pupils at the same Dar es Salaam school.

They were reportedly met by cheering fans and family after emerging from the prison.

Dr Juma Malewa, Tanzania's commissioner-general of prisons, praised them for their good behaviour while incarcerated. According to Tanzania's The Citizen newspaper, he added:

After the news Ukonga Prison exploded. You know Nguza and his son were very interactive and entertainers. While Mr Viking played his guitar, his son used to entertain other prisoners through singing. Hopefully, they will be missed in Ukonga Prison."

However, others have not welcomed the move, which has ignited a heated debate around the country.

Good morning

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