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Summary

  1. Mandela family expresses "indignation" that $22m misspent
  2. Nigeria governors approve release of funds to tackle militants
  3. Ghana vows to arrest anyone who uses "dangerous" firecrackers
  4. Zimbabwe's president urges West to lift sanctions
  5. Emotional farewell for killed Tanzanian peacekeepers
  6. Angola's leader threatens to seize cash stashed abroad
  7. Suspected militants kill at 13 police officers in Somalia's capital

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Gbolahan Peter Macjob

All times stated are UK

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That's all fromBBC Africa Livetoday. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to theAfrica Today podcastor checking theBBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand."

A Swazi proverb sent by Nkosikhona Dlamini in Nelspruit, South Africa

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

And we leave you with this photo of a wildebeest crossing in Kenya's Masai Marai game reserve:

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Nigeria sets aside $1bn to fight Boko Haram

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

A Nigerian soldier, with a grenade launcher, stands guard near the Yobe river, that separates Nigeria from Niger, on the outskirt of the town of Damasak in North East Nigeria on April, 25 2017
AFP

Nigeria's state governors have approved the release of $1bn (£740m) to help the government fight militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The money will come from what is known as the excess crude account, which is a reserve of money earned from selling oil.

The sum is almost half the money in the account.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the war against Boko Haram had been won, the group continues to mount attacks and carry out suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria and in neighbouring countries.

See earlier post for more details

'Mass escape' from Madagascar prison

About 120 prisoners have escaped from a jail in north-eastern Madagascar after an 800-strong mob stormed it in search of a murder suspect, the justice ministry has said, AFP news agency reports.

The mob overpowered guards and entered Ikongo prison yesterday with the intention of killing a murder suspect, spokesman Jeremy Napou was quoted as saying.

The attackers allowed 120 prisoners to break free "after they realised that the person they were looking for had already been moved to another facility", he added.

Chadian women are still facing equality barriers

BBC World Service

A woman sits next to her newborn child as a nurse stood by her side
BBC
Chadian women cannot inherit land

UN experts have warned that women in Chad are facing deeply-entrenched barriers to equality, in spite of new laws designed to tackle the problem.

A UN panel says women and girls continue to suffer genital mutilation, and some girls are married by force as soon as they begin puberty.

Both practices are officially banned. The experts are concerned that most women do not own or inherit land, and girls very often do not go to school.

Members of the panel expressed shock at the widespread sexual violence in the country.

Find out more about Chad here

Tanzania demands justice over killing of troops

Aboubakar Famau

BBC Africa, Arusha

Soldiers of Tanzania People"s Defence Force (TPDF) stand beside the coffins of Tanzanian peacekeeperes who were killed by by suspected Ugandan rebels, at the headquarters of Tanzania People"s Defence Force in Dar es Salaam on December 14, 2017.
AFP
The attack was one of the deadliest against peacekeepers

Tanzania's government is demanding a UN inquiry into the killing of 14 of its soldiers last week while on a peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At an emotional ceremony to commemorate the dead, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said family members and the government wanted to know exactly what had happened:

The government of Tanzania is calling on the UN to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation for the spilled blood of Tanzanian soldiers, in order to know and justice be attained. It is our hope that will be done within the shortest time."

The attack was the most deadly against UN peacekeepers for a quarter of a century.

The UN believes the Ugandan rebel group the Alliance for Democratic Forces was to blame, though this has not been confirmed.

Football stars to play in Nigeria charity match

Ishaq Khalid

BBC Africa, Abuja

El-Hadji Diouf
Getty Images
El-Hadji Diouf will join Kanu Nwankwo to raise money for Boko Haram victims

Former Arsenal and Nigeria international star Nwankwo Kanu and his Senegalese counterpart El-Hadji Diouf are expected to play in a charity match later today to raise funds for victims of militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The two former English Premier league stars will lead a team against Kano Pillars Football Club in northern Kano city.

Boko Haram's insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and has left more than two million homeless.

Malema predicts Ramaphosa victory

South African deputy Cyril Ramaphosa dances at the end of the opening remarks of the opening session at the ANC'S Fifth Annual Policy Conference in Johannesburg on June 30, 2017.
AFP
Cyril Ramaphosa has so far won the nomination of most ANC branches

South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has predicted that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will win the battle to become the next leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC).

Mr Ramaphosa's main rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was "surrounded by crooks", and did not stand a good chance of winning, the opposition politician tweeted:

View more on twitter

The ANC is due to elect its new leader on Sunday.

President Jacob Zuma will step down from the post, and is backing Ms Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife and former African Union commission chief, as his successor.

Read: The battle for the top job

US 'cuts aid to Somali army'

Somali soldiers patrol on the scene of the explosion of a truck bomb in the centre of Mogadishu, on October 15, 2017.
AFP
Somalia's army is said to be badly-trained

The US is suspending food and fuel aid to most of Somalia's armed forces because of concerns about corruption, a state department official has told Reuters news agency.

The Somali military, which is battling militant Islamist group al-Shabab, had repeatedly failed to account for food and fuel aid, according to private correspondence between the US and Somali governments seen by Reuters.

A state department official, who spoke to the agency on condition of anonymity, said:

During recent discussions between the United States and the Federal Government of Somalia, both sides agreed that the Somali National Army had failed to meet the standards for accountability for US assistance."

The US also helps funds the 22,000-strong African Union (AU) force in Somalia. The force plans to withdraw from Somalia by 2020. The first 1,000 troops are due to leave by the end of this month.

Read: How do you solve a problem like Somalia?

Life inside inside a women's prison

Olivia Obell thinks prisons should be about rehabilitation, not punishment.

As the officer-in-charge of Lang’ata Women’s Prison in Nairobi, Kenya, she has introduced courses that teach prisoners skills to prepare them for life outside the prison walls.

Inmates can learn law or take yoga classes. Oliva even refers to the prisoners as "clients".

Her approach has attracted controversy, especially when she introduced a beauty pageant in the prison.

In this week’s episode of the BBC's The Conversation with Kim Chakanetsa, Oliva explains her approach and the challenges that come with it.

She compares notes with Doris Bakken, the Deputy Prison Governor at Bredtveit Prison in Olso, Norway. The prison is considered one of the most progressive jails in the world.

Two women who help prisoners to start new lives

Ghana bans 'dangerous' Christmas firecrackers

Becky Tsotsoo Kwei

BBC Africa

A vendor sells firecracker and fireworks at the burstling Cater bridge connecting Lagos Island with Mainland at Idumota in Lagos 21 December, 2006.
afp
The sale of firecrackers soars across Africa around Christmas time

Police in Ghana have threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone who uses "dangerous" firecrackers during the festive season, in a move aimed at preventing deaths and injuries.

Their use was banned under a 1999 "executive instrument", and law-enforcement officers have been ordered "to arrest any person or group of persons" who defied it, assistance police commissioner David Eklu said in a statement.

In an interview with me, he added:

Most people think this Instrument is no longer in force and this is a reminder to the public that we will enforce it to the latter.

This is not taking out the joy of Christmas because it is only the dangerous firecrackers that have been banned. It is better to protect yourself and your neighbours than end up in the hospital during Christmas.”

Mandela family angry over funeral money misuse

Nelson Mandela
BBC
Money meant for Mandela's funeral is alleged to have been misspent

The family of Nelson Mandela has expressed "indignation and dismay" that officials misspent about $22m (£16m) allocated to memorial events after the death of the anti-apartheid icon four years ago.

His grandson Mandla spoke out for the first time since South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog said it had evidence of the disappearance of money during preparations for his funeral.

Officials have been accused of inflating costs and awarding tenders fraudulently.

Mandla Mandela said that anyone found guilty should face the full wrath of the law.

It was difficult to believe that while the world was mourning the anti-apartheid icon "some people were allegedly conniving to profit financially by shamelessly siphoning off funds" or they were "allegedly not observing good governance", he said, adding:

It is unfathomable that a legacy built on principled action‚ integrity and a high degree of ethical standards should be so sullied and allegedly be associated with such criminal intent."

Read: The man who destroyed apartheid

Dakar mayor's fraud trial adjourned

The fraud trial of the detained mayor of Senegal's capital, Dakar, has been adjourned to 3 January, reports BBC Afrique.

Halifa Sall made a brief appearance in court - his first since he was indicted in March on charges of embezzling state funds. He denies the charges.

Large numbers of his supporters came to court. The case was postponed because Mr Sall’s lawyers said they needed more time to prepare their client’s defence.

See earlier post for more details

Mnangagwa urges forgiveness, not vengeance

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers a speech during the opening of the 107th annual conference of the Zanu-PF Central Committee at the party headquarters in Harare on December 14, 2017.
AFP
Emmerson Mnangagwa took power last month following the dramatic resignation of Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged his supporters to show forgiveness rather than vengeance, following the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule.

Mr Mnangagwa made the appeal at a meeting of the ruling Zanu-PF's top leadership body, the central committee.

He thanked leaders for their "boldness and courage" and not flinching from taking tough decisions after Mr Mugabe "illegally dismissed" him as vice-president last month.

Mr Mnangagwa also warned people who had laundered money abroad that he will "name and shame" them if they fail to bring it back by March, saying:

I have a list of who took money out. In March, when the period expires, those who would not have heeded the moratorium I will name and shame them. "

Read: Mnangagwa - the 'crocodile' who snapped back

Boko Haram 'attempt takeover of army base'

Members of the Boko Haram militia
Getty Images
The attack could be an indication that Boko Haram is feeling the pressure, report says

Fourteen Boko Haram fighters have been killed during a shoot-out with Nigerian soldiers as they attempted to overrun a military base in north-eastern Borno state, AFP news agency has reported.

The militant group stormed the army base in eight pick-up trucks on Wednesday, but the troops were able to repel the attack with the help of reinforcements, the report adds.

Eyewitness Laminu Isa told AFP that the gunmen came from the direction of Buni Yadi in Yobe State and hundreds of motorists caught up in the shooting had to detour to the nearby village of Jakana until the shooting stopped.

Buni Yadi is linked to Sambisa forest - believed to be the hideout of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Mnangagwa calls for lifting of sanctions

Zimbabwean new interim President Emmerson Mnangagwa receives the chain and sash of office from the Chief judge of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Luke Malaba as he is officially sworn-in during a ceremony in Harare on November 24, 2017.
AFP
Emmerson Mnangagwa took office with a promise to create "jobs, jobs jobs"

Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for the removal of sanctions imposed by Western countries and indicated that elections due in July could be brought forward.

Speaking to the leadership of the ruling Zanu-PF party, Mr Mnangagwa said sanctions were crippling Zimbabwe's national development and he called for them to be lifted unconditionally.

He also said the government would do all in its power to ensure that elections were credible, free and fair, adding that the vote was 'nearer than you expect".

Mr Mnangagwa became president last month after Robert Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, was removed from office.

See earlier post: Christmas cheer for civil servants

Angola's leader vows to fight corruption

Jose Eduardo dos Santos and MPLA candidate to the presidency Joao Lourenco hold hands during the closing campaign rally in Luanda, on August 19, 2017.
AFP
José Eduardo dos Santos (L) handed power to João Lourenço (R) after 48 years

Angola's President João Lourenço has vowed to recover money siphoned out of the oil-rich state, saying his campaign against corruption should not be seen as the "persecution" of wealthy families, the Angola Press Agency reports.

His comments came as his predecessor José Eduardo dos Santos, who is still the head of the ruling MPLA party, said that changes were necessary, but they should not be "as radical", BBC Afrique reports.

Mr Lourenço has shaken up the government since he took office, sacking Mr Dos Santos' daughter Isabel as the chair of the state oil company, Sonangol.

He also sacked the police and intelligence chiefs, despite parliament passing a law in the dying days of Mr Dos Santos' rule that they would remain in their posts for eight years.

Speaking at a seminar on crime, Mr Lourenço said that Angolans who had illegally stashed money abroad should bring it back and invest it in the country - or else the government would take steps to recover the cash, the news agency quoted him as saying.

Mr Lourenço added:

Do not confuse the fight against corruption with persecution of the rich or of wealthy families. The rich are welcome as long as their fortunes are lawful."

Mr Lourenço the former defence minister, was hand-picked by Mr Dos Santos for the presidency, but there has been persistent speculation of tension between the two as the new president, who is the deputy leader of the MPLA, asserts his authority.

Mr Dos Santos was the president for 38 years. He stepped down in August.

Read: How the new president's fortunes rose

Dakar mayor's fraud trial due to start

The fraud trial of the veteran mayor of Senegal's capital, Dakar, is due to open later today.

Halifa Sall had been seen as a likely presidential contender for 2019.

He was indicted in March for alleged fraud and embezzlement of public money - charges he denies.

He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Mr Sall's supporters say the allegations of fraud are a plot to undermine his political ambitions.

Zimbabwe Christmas cheer for civil servants

A supporter holds a sign during the Inauguration ceremony of the newly sworn-in President at the National Sport Stadium in Harare, on November 24, 2017.
AFP
Many Zimbabweans welcomed the fall of long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's government has ordered that civil servants be paid their salaries before Christmas, breaking from the policy of the former regime of Robert Mugabe which delayed payments because of a severe cash crisis, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

Solders, who played a key role in ousting Mr Mugabe, and health workers would be paid tomorrow, while the remaining civil servants would be paid by 21 December, the report adds.

Welcoming the move, Cecelia Alexander, the chairwoman of the Apex Council, a body which represents civil servants, said that this was the "first time in many years we will enjoy the Christmas holidays because all of us are going to get paid before the festive season".

She added:

This is also the first time in many months that everyone is getting paid within the month worked. This is a positive development we appreciate. We hope that as we go into next year, the trend is going to be maintained."

We know the economic challenges being faced, but it shows Government has taken into consideration that we are important stakeholders who deserve the best."

It is unclear how President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government has raised the money to overcome its cash crisis.

Deadly suicide attack at Somali police academy

Al-Qaeda linked al-shabab recruits walk down a street on March 5, 2012 in the Deniile district of Somalian capital, Mogadishu, following their graduation
AFP
Al-Shabab has often attacked the security forces

A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman has killed at least 13 police officers inside a training centre in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, police say.

Fifteen others have been wounded in the attack, police added.

The bomber blew himself up during an early morning parade at the General Kaahiye Police Academy.

The militant Islamist group al-Shabab has frequently targeted government and police personnel in the capital.

It has not yet commented on the blast.

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