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Summary

  1. Mugabe faces land grab lawsuit from school
  2. Trump gives Africa 'warmest regards' as he meets Kagame
  3. Daughters of Ugandan president praise him in new movie
  4. No political uncertainty in DR Congo, says Kabila
  5. South African businessman boycotts Trump speech at Davos
  6. South Africa's elite police unit raids ANC leader’s office
  7. Toyota recalls 700,000 cars in South Africa
  8. Niger prosecutors seek 20 years for 'coup plotters'
  9. Lightning kills five family members in Namibia
  10. Fear as cholera outbreak reaches DR Congo capital

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty, Flora Drury and Mirren Gidda

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back next week

That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. 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:

A poor man does not get tired."

A Teso proverb sent by Gladys Ato in Uganda

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

And we leave you with this photo taken at last week's Timket - or Epiphany - festival in Ethiopia, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. It's one of our favourite shots from our gallery of the week.

Young clergy girls also attend the Timket, or Epiphany, festival.
AFP

Is Ghana really that dirty?

A debate has been sparked in Ghana after Australia's ambassador tweeted about the capital's dirty streets.

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But just how bad is the problem? Sanitation activist Elizabeth Olympio tells BBC Focus on Africa radio that open drains are "choked" by food, plastic and even fecal waste:

Lightning kills five family members in Namibia

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A lightning strike has led to the deaths of five people in Namibia, the country's public broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation has reported.

The victims were a 45-year-old man, his 37-year-old wife, and three of their children, aged six, four and one.

All were at home when the lightning struck, setting their hut ablaze.

Five elder children were at school when the disaster happened.

'At least 30 migrants drown off the coast of Yemen'

An undated picture shows Yemeni coast guards checking a small boat with refugees arriving from Somalia to the Yemeni port city Aden
Getty Images
Somali migrants arrive in Yemen, a destination point for many migrants from the Horn of Africa

At least 30 African migrants have drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Yemen, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) has reported.

The vessel was carrying at least 152 Somalis and Ethiopians, and left the Yemeni port of Aden on Tuesday.

It is believed that the boat was heading to Djibouti and being crewed by people smugglers.

But the craft turned back to Yemen and “capsized amid reports of gunfire being used against the passengers,” a joint statement from UN migration agencies said.

Despite Yemen being one of the world's most dangerous places, migrants continue to arrive in the country, a spokesperson for the UN said.

Often they come from the Horn of Africa and are seeking work in wealthier Arab countries.

Earlier this year, eight migrants drowned off the coast of Libya in an attempt to reach Europe.

In 2017, it emerged that a number of migrants hoping to reach Yemen had been deliberately drowned.

No political uncertainty in Congo - Kabila

The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose mandate ran out over a year ago, has said there is no political uncertainty in the country and shrugged off the need to stick to an election "calendar" as relatively unimportant.

President Joseph Kabila said it was what happened afterwards which mattered.

He had, however, said earlier elections would be held as scheduled.

Mr Kabila made the comments in his first press conference in five years, amid a looming humanitarian crisis in the central Kasai province, thousands in the country's east fleeing into Burundi, and widespread anger at the ongoing postponement of elections which were due in November 2016.

He said:

You can organise elections whenever you want... what's more important is what happens after an election. Do you have chaos or relative stability? We're gearing towards... perfect elections... and long term stability in our country."

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Asked if he would stand down after an election, he replied: "Why not?"

Kenya president bows to pressure, appoints women

Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Chawahir Mohamed addresses the 72nd Session of the United Nations General assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22, 2017.
Getty Images
Amina Mohamed is one of the women named to President Kenyatta's cabinet

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally announced his new cabinet, electing seven women to ministerial posts.

Two weeks ago the president angered many when he failed to nominate a single woman in his cabinet shakeup, which saw him drop all five serving female ministers.

On Monday, hundreds of women marched through the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, calling on President Kenyatta to uphold the constitution.

Under Kenyan law, one-third of government positions must be filled by women.

This is yet to happen in practice, though Mr Kenyatta's cabinet does now meet the requirement.

Read more: One third of Kenyan MPs must be women

Niger prosecutors seek 20 years for 'coup plotters'

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou is pictured during a meeting on April 10, 2012 with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum
Getty Images
Ten men have been accused of attempting to overthrow President Mahamadou Issoufou

Public prosecutors in Niger have called for prison sentences of up to 20 years for a group of men who allegedly tried to overthrow the president.

According to the charge sheet, the group - which is made up of nine soldiers and a civilian - planned to seize President Mahamadou Issoufou on 18 December 2015, along with the head of his presidential guard.

Should the pair have resisted, the 10 men allegedly planned to execute them.

The day before the attempted attack, Mr Issofou said the coup had been stopped.

More than 20 people were arrested over the plot, with the opposition suggesting it was a fabrication. In March, some of these people were released.

Prosecutors are seeking the highest sentence, 20 years, for General Souleymane Salou, the president's former chief of staff who aided him in a coup against his predecessor in 2010.

Read more: Niger coup plot foiled

Thousands more refugees arrive in Burundi

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

A map showing the location of South Kivu in DR Congo and Burundi
BBC

Local authorities in Burundi say at least 6,000 people have fled across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the past few days.

The official number has been rising throughout the day as more people arrive in Burundi.

They are escaping fighting in South Kivu province between government forces and a rebel militia.

Most of them have travelled by boat across Lake Tanganyika with their possessions.

Son of former Ivorian president jailed for 'fake news'

Ivory coast former president Laurent Gbagbo's son Michel Gbagbo waves from a car as he arrives on August 6, 2013 at his father's party FPI headquarters in Abidjan, a day after being released on bail along with 13 aides of Gbagbo, after being detained in the aftermath of Ivory Coast's deadly 2011 crisis.
AFP
Michel Gbagbo, pictured here in 2013, is the son of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo

Michel Gbagbo, the son of Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, has been sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay a fine of $950 (£668) for "complicity in disclosing false news", his lawyer said.

It relates to comments Mr Gbagbo made to a news website in May 2016. At the time he claimed "250 people are still in prison" following the country's political crisis in 2010-11 when his father refused to step down from power and concede defeat by his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

Michel Gbagbo also said at the time that 300 other people "charged and placed under arrest since 2011" were missing.

But these claims were today ruled false by the criminal court in Abidjan, his lawyer Rodrigue Dadje confirmed.

Laurent Despas, the French director of the Koaci.com website which published the interview, was fined $18,950 (£13,339) for spreading false news, the lawyer added.

Michel Gbagbo's lawyer has said he will appeal against the sentences.

Laurent Gbagbo is on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, accused of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 2010-11 political crisis.

Bitterness in Ethiopia at sugar shortage

Sugar shortage: 'Rations are 5kg a month'

Ethiopia is facing a chronic sugar shortage which has led to violent protests.

Bad weather has led to a scarcity of the product, while the government has said it will import sugar from Algeria and Thailand to help deal with the situation.

At present, households are allowed to buy 5kg of sugar once a month from certain shops, although Ethiopians say it is still hard to come by.

Extreme cold threatens Morocco's mountain communities

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent

A man skis at the Oukaimeden ski resort, in the Atlas Mountains, 30 kilometres from the popular tourist resort of Marrakesh, on February 17, 2015.
AFP
Temperatures could drop to -10C this weekend in the Atlas mountains

Thousands of people are at risk of freezing and disease in Morocco’s High and Middle Atlas regions, a humanitarian group has warned.

Volunteers working for the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been sent to assist at-risk families in the country's mountainous north-western area.

Temperatures are normally spring-like at this time of year in the region, and residents there are not accustomed to severe temperature drops, which have reached as low as -5 degrees Celsius this month.

Some 700,000 people are at risk from the cold snap, the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns.

That's because of a lack of insulated homes and warm clothes. Food prices have also reportedly surged because of the loss of livestock.

The Geneva-based humanitarian groups says it has now released emergency funds to support the Moroccan government’s assistance programme, which includes the distribution of blankets, and food supplies.

Mugabe business faces legal action over land

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

A map showing the location of Harare in Zimbabwe
BBC

A company belonging to Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe has been ordered to vacate prime urban land belonging to a private school, or face legal action.

The Mugabe-owned Gushungo Holdings is alleged to have taken over a 23-hectare property in an upmarket suburb in Harare.

The Reformed Church says the land belongs to its Eaglesvale Group of Schools.

The schools’ lawyer Rodney Makausi told the BBC that in 2016 the government had sought compulsory seizure of the land.

The government later withdrew its claim on the land, after the matter went to court.

But Schools Board Chairman Enos Chomutiri says maize was planted on the land late last year, and the school's billboard was torn down.

He says people who say they are employed by Gushungo Holdings are on the property.

Lawyers have demanded the company vacate the property by the end of the month or face legal action.

It’s not the first time the Mugabes have been accused of taking over property. Previously, the Mugabes have had legal wrangles with poor farmers over gold-rich land, and they have also been accused of seizing part of an international citrus producer’s farm in the same area.

Former BBC editor charged with corruption

Tido Mhando, a former BBC Swahili editor, has been charged with corruption by a court in Tanzania.

Mr Mhando is accused of defrauding the state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation of $400,000 (£281,000) during his tenure as its managing director.

Appearing before the court, Mr Mhando pled not guilty to the charges and was released on bail.

The trial is due to begin next month.

Mr Mhando began his journalism career at Voice of Kenya and Radio Tanzania Dar es Salam before moving to the BBC where he worked for many years.

He is currently head of the private media organisation Azam Media, which is based in Tanzania.

Tido Mhando
TBC
Mr Mhando has pled not guilty to the charges

ANC premier responds as Hawks raid office

As we reported earlier, South Africa's elite Hawks police unit are searching the office of Free State Premier Ace Magashule in connection with a wider investigation.

The investigation relates to the Estina dairy farm near Vrede, from which the controversial Gupta family - who are close to president Jacob Zuma - are alleged to have pocketed millions of dollars from a scheme originally meant for poor black farmers.

Mr Magashule - who was elected Secretary-General of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in December - tweeted his office's press statement:

View more on twitter

You can read all about the search and the investigation in our earlier post here.

Modern humans left Africa 185,000 years ago

A close shot of the fossilised teeth at the heart of the discovery
ISRAEL HERSHKOVITZ, TEL AVIV UNI
These fossilised teeth are in the upper size range of what's seen in modern humans

Researchers have identified the remains of the earliest known modern humans to have left Africa.

New dating of fossils from Israel indicates that our species (Homo sapiens) lived outside Africa around 185,000 years ago, some 80,000 years earlier than the previous evidence.

Details appear in the journal Science.

The co-lead researcher, Prof Israel Hershkovitz, told BBC News that the discovery would fundamentally alter ideas of recent human evolution.

Read the full article here.

'Why I'm boycotting Trump's speech'

South Africa's Bonang Mohale on boycotting Trump speech

The room was packed as Donald Trump gave his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos this afternoon - but there is one man who refused to be there.

South African businessman Bonang Mohale sent an open letter to the US president earlier this week, explaining his disgust after the politician reportedly said African countries were "shitholes".

Mr Trump has denied he ever used the word.

As a result, Mr Mohale - the head of the organisation Business Leadership South Africa - said he would be boycotting the speech.

Ethiopia pardons 2,300 prisoners

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

A map showing the location of Oromia in Ethiopia
BBC

The authorities in Ethiopia's region of Oromia have pardoned more than 2,300 prisoners.

No further details have been given.

Earlier this month, Ethiopia announced it was freeing 500 politicians and activists.

More than 100 have already been released, including the head of the Oromo Federalist Congress, Merera Gudina.

The Ethiopian government is trying to end nearly three years of opposition protests during which thousands of people have been arrested and hundreds killed.

King Ramses II statue's 'delicate' move to museum

A 3,200 year old statue of Egyptian King Ramses II has been moved in Cairo to its new home in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The 83-tonne monument was carefully transported by specialist army engineers and contractors on a 400m (1,300ft) journey from a storage area, costing an estimated 13.6m Egyptian pounds ($770,000; £540,000).

It is hoped the statue will help boost Egypt's tourism sector, which has suffered in recent years because of political violence.

King Ramses II statue moved to Grand Egyptian Museum

'Thousands flee DR Congo into Burundi' in two days

Refugees from South Kivu in Burundi
BBC

Close to 3,500 people have fled fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) into neighbouring Burundi in the last two days, AFP news agency reports Burundi's police force as saying.

Residents of DR Congo's South Kivu province are fleeing clashes between the Congolese army and rebels, the news agency adds.

Many reportedly crossed Lake Tanganyika on makeshift boats, taking mattresses, suitcases solar panels, chairs and plastic buckets with them.

In a live-streamed press conference earlier today, DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila commented on violence in the country, reportedly blaming it on "terrorists", but saying the situation in Kivu was almost under control.

View more on twitter

DR Congo's Kabila gives first press conference in years

emocratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila addresses the nation at Palais du Peuple in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo April 5, 2017.
Reuters
Joseph Kabila has not given a press conference in years

Joseph Kabila, the under-fire president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), has given his first press conference in at least five years.

The unexpected statement came after protesters took to the streets to demand he step aside to allow for a presidential election.

It is not entirely clear what exactly he planned to address, but it was live-streamed so you can see it for yourself by clicking this link.

Congolese news portal Actualité said ahead of the event: "Joseph Kabila will respond to journalist questions on the current prevailing political situation in the country, notably the effective implementation of the Saint Sylvestre agreement, elections, but also the protests called by the Catholic Church."

We will be reporting back on this story as more information emerges.

All eyes on Davos as Trump meets Kagame

Donald Trump meets Rwanda's Kagame at the World Economic Forum

We reported earlier on US President Donald Trump's meeting with Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president who is current head of the African Union (AU).

Now you can hear for yourself exactly what was said to the press as the two sides met.

It came hours ahead of a possible boycott of Mr Trump's Davos speech by African businessmen - and potentially politicians - over the US billionaire reportedly labeling all African nations "shitholes".

Africa Live will be keeping an eye on that and any other updates throughout the day, and you can read the earlier post by clicking here.

SA Hawks raid ANC leader’s office

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

South African ruling Party African National Congress Secretary General Ace Magashule briefs the press on the outcome of the latest ANC National Executive Committee meeting on January 22, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa
AFP
Ace Magashule was voted in as ANC Secretary-General in December

South Africa's elite police unit, known as the Hawks, said they are executing a search and seizure warrant at Premier’s office in Free State province.

The premier also happens to be the Secretary-General of the governing African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule.

The investigation relates to the Estina dairy farm near Vrede, from which the controversial Gupta business family - who are close to president Jacob Zuma - are alleged to have pocketed millions of dollars from a scheme originally meant for poor black farmers.

Evidence revealed in a tranche of WikiLeaks-style leaked emails showed large sums of money meant for the dairy project were allegedly siphoned-off to Gupta bank accounts and - eventually - paid for the family’s lavish wedding at Sun City, South Africa's upmarket holiday resort.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit - which filed papers with the Bloemfontein High Court earlier this week - just two million of 220m rand ($169,00 - $18.5m; £118,500 - £13m) given to the project was spent on the farm, South Africa's Times Live reported.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, from the Hawks, confirmed the operation. He said they are looking for documents and any other evidence related to the farm project in a search expected to take the whole day.

“We have members from our serious corruption and cybercrime team that are that are executing those search and seizure operations at the Office of the Premier and the Department of Agriculture. It's in relation to the Estina farm.

“People must watch this space…soon we will make announcements that will shake this country,” he emphasised.

The ANC responded by saying that its secretary-general Ace Magashule “is innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law”.

Speaking for the 106-year-old liberation movement, Khusela Diko also said: “The African National Congress is committed to root out corruption wherever that corruption is committed.

"We must allow the Hawks to do their work. The matter will go to court.”

Mr Magashule's spokesman said they were cooperating fully.

In a separate process in the fight against what is known in South Africa as "state capture", the government published terms of reference for a judicial commission of inquiry which is going to investigate President Zuma, his family friends the Guptas and other government officials in his administration.

President Zuma is under considerable pressure to come clean about dodgy government contracts and the influence his family and friends have had over state officials.

The Guptas and President Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

Cocoa smuggling: 'We have no choice'

It has long been called "black gold", but now a cocoa farmer has told the BBC why he is smuggling cocoa from his farm in Ivory Coast across the border into Ghana:

More highlights from the BBC's Africa Business Report.

Trump gives 'warmest regards' to Africa

Trump and Kagame shake hands at Davos
AFP

US President Donald Trump has asked Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda and the African Union's (AU) chairman, to pass on his "warmest regards" to other AU leaders at a meeting in Davos.

The meeting comes weeks after Mr Trump reportedly used the word "shithole" to describe African nations, earning him a stiff rebuke from the AU, as well as from the leaders of countries like Botswana and Ghana.

Mr Trump has denied using that phrase.

But meeting President Kagame one-to-one on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum today, Mr Trump showed no sign of any awkwardness over the incident.

He described their discussions as "tremendous", calling their two nations trading partners who enjoy a "great relationship".

He added:

I want to congratulate you, Mr President, on being the new head of the African Union, that's a great honour... I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards."

President Kagame, who was appointed AU chair six months go, said the two leaders had discussed bilateral relations between the two countries - including US support of Rwandan "operations carried out in the world", as well as on matters of the economy, trade, investment and the growing numbers of American tourists visiting Rwanda.

Daughters of Ugandan president praise him in new movie

Wanyama wa Chebusiri

BBC Africa

The daughters of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni are set to release a movie of his life in the bush.

Natasha Karugire and Esteri Akandwanaho, who act in movie dubbed M-27 guns, want to retell the National Resistant Army bush war which brought Mr Museveni to power in 1986 following the overthrow of then President Milton Obote.

The film was originally scheduled for release today during Uganda’s Liberation Day - which marks their father's rise to power - but its launch has been postponed by two months.

Watch the film trailer below:

View more on youtube

Fears as cholera outbreak reaches DRC capital

People inspect a cholera poster in Kinshasa in January 2018
AFP
Posters informing people of how to keep safe in a cholera outbreak have been put up in Kinshasa

The deadliest cholera outbreak to hit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) in 20 years has reached the capital Kinshasa and its 12 million residents, medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) say.

The charity treated 157 people within a week of starting its response to the outbreak, one of whom has since died.

Before reaching Kinshasa, the disease had killed 32 people and caused a suspected 826 cases since the end of November.

MSF now fears the outbreak will spread like wildfire in a city which has lacks good access to clean drinking water and has bad sanitation.

But just reaching help can be difficult, as one patient in MSF’s health centre in Camp Luka revealed:

I was very weak and so we tried to take a moto-taxi but everyone refused us. Here in Kinshasa there’s a lot of stigma attached to cholera, it’s a shameful illness. My husband had to carry me on his back for three kilometres to get me here."

Cholera is a bacterial disease transmitted through food and water, causing vomiting and severe diarrhoea that can sometimes lead to deadly dehydration.

Last year it killed 1,190 people in the DRC, infecting another 55,000, the charity said.

Neighbouring Zambia is also struggling to contain a cholera outbreak currently, recording more than 70 deaths since it began in 2017.

'My teacher is a radio'

Could broadcasting school lessons solve the Democratic Republic of Congo's education crisis?

BBC Newsday spoke to a pupil in the Democratic Republic of Congo who is learning through the radio.

Seventeen-year-old Vumi Lenatha, whose favourite subjects are maths, French and geography, says it's a more affordable way to learn:

I'm learning at the centre because my parents are not able to pay for school fees."

Watch her full interview:

Toyota recalls 700,000 cars amid fears over airbags

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

The Toyota company logo is seen on a Yaris model car that is on display at Toyota's automobile manufacturing plant before the visit by the French president in Onnaing, northern France, on January 22, 2018.
AFP

The motor manufacturer Toyota is recalling more than 700,000 vehicles in South Africa because of a fault with the cars' airbags.

This latest recall by Toyota relates to airbags made by the Japanese company, Takata.

Takata discovered the problem last year and is in the process of replacing the airbags in millions of models worldwide from a large range of manufacturers, including Toyota, General Motors and BMW.

The airbags themselves can shower drivers and passengers with metal shards when they explode in a crash and they've been linked to 13 deaths in the United States alone.

The problem forced Takata to file for bankruptcy in Japan in June last year.

In South Africa, the Toyota recall affects 10 models, including Lexus.

Tourists attacked in Senegal

A map of Senegal showing the location of the Casamance province
BBC

A group of European tourists has been attacked in Senegal's southern region of Casamance, security officials say.

The group of four were robbed and the three women among them sexually assaulted, the head of the gendarmerie in Diouloulou, Mamadou Samba, told the Senegalese Press Agency, APS.

It is not clear who carried out the attack near the Gambian border, but earlier this month 13 young men were killed in the most deadly incident in the region for several years.

Casamance, which is cut off from the capital Dakar by The Gambia, used to be one of Senegal's main tourist regions but the industry collapsed there because of a decades-long separatist rebellion.

Security had improved in recent years until this month's attacks.

Trump to meet Rwanda's President Kagame

US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a working dinner with European business leaders during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on January 25, 2018.
AFP

US President Donald Trump is to meet Rwanda's President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

It is the final day of the annual summit, which brings together global political leaders, businesspeople and economists.

Some African attendees have threatened to boycott President Trump's speech later today over comments he made earlier in the month when he reportedly used the word "shithole" to describe African nations. He has denied using that phrase.

Bonang Mohale, head of Business Leadership Africa, wrote an open letter to Mr Trump, which read:

The overt racism of these statements is self-evident, and a stain on an office as august as yours. Many of us will be boycotting your address to delegates at Davos in protest against your divisive comments and continued failure to unequivocally apologise. We encourage like-minded peers to do the same.”

Analysts say President Kagame, who is the current chair of the African Union, is likely to want to turn over a new leaf in relations with the US.

It will be President Trump's third face-to-face meeting at the summit with another head of state, following meetings with the leaders of the UK and Israel.

Good morning

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