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  1. Human ancestor Lucy "probably died falling from an Ethiopian tree"
  2. Tanzanian opposition politician Edward Lowassa arrested
  3. Kenya grants bail to 'Rio fiasco' officials
  4. South African school faces backlash over 'racist hair rule'
  5. Second marathon runner from Ethiopia makes protest sign
  6. Tanzania bans two FM radio stations
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Monday 29 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website

A reminder of today's wise words:

If your enemy has thrown the only spear he had at you, it means that he doesn't fear you."

Sent by Vairi Natale Gbiiti in Tombura, South Sudan

Click here to send your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this Instagram photo of someone breakdancing in the Cameroonian city of Douala:

View more on instagram

Tanzania politicians released on bail

Odeo Sirari

BBC Swahili Service

Five leaders of Tanzania’s main opposition Chadema party have been released on bail after being questioned.

They are now required to report back to the police on Thursday 1 September, the day their party is planning to hold countrywide demonstrations.

Among those arrested was Chadema’s presidential candidate last year, Edward Lowassa – the main challenger to President John Magufuli who won the poll.

It was not immediately clear why they were arrested, but speaking to the BBC Swahili’s Dira ya Dunia programme, Chadema official Peter Msigwa said they had discuss plans for Thursday at a meeting.

This directly defies a police order that bans such gatherings.

What the Afro protest means for South Africa

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Pretoria

Twitter various
The images have spread across the world

The reports of alleged racism at a Pretoria girls school, (see earlier posts), have resonated across South Africa.  

One of the protesters told me that this is about the identity as black people:

We're tired of being told to be less than what we are so we can fit in"

South Africans, particularly young black South Africans, have been using social media in recent months to raise questions about beauty, cultural tolerance and racism.

They have been challenging what they describe as colonial standards that should have been dismantled years ago.

In the navy: Africa's first woman commander

Zimasa Mabela, who saw the sea for the first time at the age of 18, is the first African woman to command a navy vessel.

She is in charge of a de-mining ship based in Cape Town, South Africa and talks to another pioneer, Jasmin Labarda - the first woman in the Philippines to become a chief mate - on the BBC World Service programme The Conversation about life at sea. 

Listen to the South African commander tell how her desire to see the world led her to join the navy:

Commander Zimasa Mabela on why her sailors have never given her any trouble

Click here to listen to the whole programme.

Afro SA protest: Call for investigation

We have been reporting today that protests have surrounded a school in Pretoria, South Africa, where black students were allegedly told to straighten their hair.

The spokesperson for Gauteng province's education department Oupa Bodibe has told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that he is calling for an investigation. 

After visiting the school he said its code of conduct was not accommodating to black hairstyles and called for an investigation:

"The teachers, when they enforce [the rules] are insensitive and use very hurtful and abusive language, such as: 'Your hair looks like a mess, you look like a monkey.'

[Students] are being told to get over it or toughen up after raising concerns with senior management."

The video of an adult telling schools girls that they will all be arrested has been viewed more than 10,000 times:

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Kenya defends dissolving Olympic comittee

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Head of Athletics Kenya Jackson Tuwei (L) and Kenya’s Sports Minister Hassan Wario (R)
Head of Athletics Kenya Jackson Tuwei (L) and Sports Minister Hassan Wario (R) were at a big meeting today about the "Rio fiasco" scandal

Kenya’s Sports Minister Hassan Wario has today maintained he will not reverse the decision to disband the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) over the ongoing “Rio fiasco” scandal.

This is despite fears of an imminent ban from International Olympic Committee (IOC) over orders to dissolve it last week.

Senior Nock officials are currently being investigated – and could face criminal charges (see earlier posts) – over alleged mismanagement of Kenya’s Olympic team and officials during Rio Olympics.

Mr Wario said an eight-member team would also look into the allegations.

Complaints ranged from problems with accreditation and transportation to missing kit and trouble with accommodation.

As part of the investigation, police raided the Nock headquarters and found cartons containing kits meant for athletes.

However, athletics boss Jackson Tuwei has warned the decision to disband Nock could affect the country’s reputation after registering good results in the just concluded Olympics.

Speaking separately, retired athlete and Nock President Kipchoge Keino raised similar concerns.

Kenya is expected to send a delegation to IOC headquarters in a fortnight to defend its decision.

Lucy, the ancient human, 'died falling out of a tree'

A 3D model of Lucy pictured in 2007
A 3D model of Lucy, who belonged to the species Australopithecus afarensis

New research suggests that Lucy, an ancient human whose fossil remains show she lived more than three million years ago, probably died falling from a tree. 

Lucy was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. 

She is made up of several hundred pieces of bone fossils.

John Kappelman and his colleagues from the University of Texas analysed the fractures and breaks in the bones and say they are likely to have been sustained at the time of her death as a result of a fall from a considerable height.

They produced this animation of Lucy's hypothetical fall:

An animation depicting a hypothetical scenario for Lucy’s fall out of a tree.
University of Texas at Austin
John Kappelman produced this animation of Lucy's hypothetical fall

The findings support the case that the species would climb trees to escape predators.

But the man who discovered Lucy, Donald Johanson, told the UK's Guardian paper that the story is "neither verifiable nor falsifiable, and therefore unprovable".

Tanzanian police arrest opposition politicians

The BBC’s John Solombi in Dar es Salaam says police have arrested officials of the main opposition party Chadema party, including former presidential contender Edward Lowassa.

It is not clear why they have been arrested.

Chadema is planning countrywide rallies on Thursday to protest at what it says are infringements on freedom of expression and democracy in Tanzania since President John Magufuli came to power last year. 

His government has barred public and in-door political rallies in the country. 

Tanzania politician Edward Lowassa at a rally in 2015
Edward Lowassa, a former PM, defected from the governing CCM to Chadema - he lost elections to President Magufuli last year

Somali Hajj season livestock head to Saudi

Thousands of sheep and goats are currently being exported to Saudi Arabia from the port of Berbera in the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

The BBC’s Ahmed Said Egeh snapped some of them in the holding pens at the port:

Goats and sheep in Berbera, Somaliland

Our reporter says one million head of livestock have already been shipped to Jeddah and and another 500,000 will be exported next week.

They are all tested by vets to make sure they are disease-free before they are loaded on to ships:

People with injections in Berbera, Somaliland

The Muslim Hajj pilgrimage starts next week and afterwards Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Adha.

The festival means "feast of sacrifice" and marks God's gift of a ram as a substitute for Abraham's sacrifice of his son. 

During Eid, Muslims buy a ram to sacrifice and share the meat with those less fortunate than themselves.

Goats in Berbera port, Somaliland

Thousands rescued off Libyan coast


Spanish and Italian naval ships have rescued thousands of people off the Libyan coast today, AP news agency reports. 

Some 3,000 people were rescued this morning from more than 20 wooden boats. 

While some people reportedly cheered as the rescue boats arrived and jumped to swim, others stayed in their boats looking after their children, like this man cradling his five-day-old baby.

A man carries his five-day-old son after been rescued from a crowded wooden boat as they were fleeing Libya, during a rescue operation at the Mediterranean sea, about 13 miles north of Sabratha, Libya, Monday 29 August 2016.

 AP adds that most of the people on the boat are from Eritrea. 

Kenyan entrepreneurs welcome interest rate cap

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenyan commercial bank shares have continued to plummet at the Nairobi Stock Exchange days after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a controversial law that caps interest rates. 

The new law means banks will be allowed to charge no more than 4% above the rate set by the central bank, which is currently 10.5%.   

It is the culmination of nearly two decades of attempts by MPs and consumer groups to lower interest rates which they say have frustrated start-ups in the country.  

The Kenya Bankers Association has warned that the cap is not in the interests of the country but says its members will fully comply with the law once it comes into effect. 

But many ordinary Kenyans, especially young entrepreneurs, have welcomed the move.

Kariuki Maina told me that interest rates were so high when he was setting up his drinks delivery company that he couldn't even take out a loan from the bank and went to a co-operative instead.

But now it will be much better to approach banks as the rates are almost half what they were before. It's a huge relief."

EU observers say Gabon election lacked transparency

Ali Bongo poster above Jean Ping poster
Getty Images

EU observers monitoring the conduct of Saturday's presidential election in Gabon say it lacked transparency. 

Bulgarian MEP Maryia Gabriel told journalists in the capital, Libreville: 

I congratulate Gabon's voters who have expressed their democratic will in a process that was managed in a way that lacked transparency."

The incumbent, Ali Bongo, and his main rival, Jean Ping, have both claimed to have won the election but the official results are not due until tomorrow.

Are Japan and China competing in Africa?

The Kenyan press is depicting a rivalry between Japan and China over their involvement in Africa.

Kenya's Daily Nation says that after Japan announced it would give 10bn Kenyan shillings ($98m; £75m) to Kenyan healthcare, China's deputy foreign minister questioned whether they would actually stick to the promise.

Aggret Mutambo says in the Daily Nation that the two countries have "pushed their rivalry to Africa".

He has suggested a motive behind the competition:

The Japanese prime minister promised to help Africa get a permanent seat at the UN Security Council by 2023, in what appeared to be a longshot to checkmate China which is already a permanent member. However, the rivalry between the two countries has been in trade.

Meanwhile The Star says the same, in cartoon form:

View more on twitter

Kenyan Olympic officials granted bail

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Francis Paul, the secretary-general of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) and Nock vice chairman Pius Ochien
Prosecutors had wanted Pius Ochieng (L) and Francis Paul (R) to remain in custody

A Kenyan court has granted bail to two Olympic officials being investigated over alleged mismanagement of the team in Rio.

Bail for Francis Paul, the secretary-general of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock), and Pius Ochieng, Nock's vice chairman, was set at $2,000 (£1,530).

The judge barred them from accessing their offices, talking to witnesses and told them to surrender their passports.

Prosecutors had requested they be remanded in custody for 21 days as they investigate them for offences of theft, abuse of office and neglect of duty.

A third official, Stephen Soi, has already been granted bail on medical grounds and did not appear in court.

Mr Soi's bail terms will be determined on Wednesday as his lawyer said he was in hospital and prosecution has asked for time to verify this.

Afro protest: 'Natural beauty. Leave our sisters alone'

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Pretoria

Women protesting outside Pretoria Girls High School, South Africa

I have just arrived at Pretoria High School Girls in South Africa's capital where students from surrounding universities have gathered outside, some carrying placards.

This one reads in Zulu: "Natural beauty. Leave our sisters alone”:

People protesting outside Pretoria Girls High School in South Africa

Black pupils at the school say they are being forced to straighten their natural hair because it is "untidy" and say the school’s policy is racist and discriminatory.

The school has refused to comment.

The groups gathered outside are singing songs from the anti-apartheid struggle and are calling for an end to racism.

Protesters outside the gates of Pretoria Girls High School, South Africa

DR Congo's yellow fever vaccine sprint

An emergency yellow fever vaccination campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola is coming to an end with millions of people reached.

Hundreds have died in what has been described as the largest outbreak of the disease in 30 years. 

Yellow fever outbreak: Mass vaccinations in DR Congo

See more photos: Vaccinating a megacity

Hair rules: What does Pretoria Girls High stipulate?

We have been reporting all day about the fall-out from schoolgirls' protest in South Africa after black students were allegedly told by a school in Pretoria to straighten their hair.

The school rule book has very specific hair stipulations, here are a few excerpts:

If hair is long enough to be tied back it must be tied neatly in a ponytail no lower than the nape of the neck, with a navy blue elastic."

It also goes on to say that relaxing hair is banned but only, it appears, if it changed the girl's hair colour:

No dyeing, bleaching, highlighting, colouring, colour washing, colour rinsing, relaxing of hair causing a change of colour or shaving of hair in any way is allowed."

And it gives strict instructions on cornrows:

Cornrows must run parallel from each other from the forehead to the nape of the neck. No patterned cornrows."

Kenyan Olympic officials to be probed for theft and abuse of office

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Nairobi

The prosecution in the case of the Kenyan Olympic officials accused of mismanagement of the team in Rio (see below) says it is investigating the suspects for criminal culpability in the offences of theft, abuse of office and neglect of duty.

It has requested they be remanded in custody for 21 days.

The defence is opposing the detention request.

No charges will be laid today.

Court in Nairobi, Kenya
The court in Nairobi is packed

Kenya's 'Rio fiasco' Olympic officials in court

It looks like court proceedings are about to get under way in Kenya for the Olympic officials arrested over the weekend for alleged mismanagement of the country's team in Rio (see earlier post).

The BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi is in court in the capital, Nairobi, and snapped Francis Paul, in the suit, and Pius Ochieng, leafing through documents.

Nock officials Francis Paul, in the suit, and Pius Ochieng

Mr Paul is the secretary-general of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) - dissolved in the wake of the Games.

Mr Ochieng is Nock's vice chairman and was Kenya's Rio team general manager - he was arrested on Sunday after Mr Paul and two other officials had been detained and questioned.

Our reporter says it appears the court is set to order that these two, along with Stephen Soi - the head of the Rio delegation - be remanded in custody for 21 days:

Court document
The alleged mismanagement of Kenya's Olympic team has been dubbed the "Rio fiasco"
Nock officials Francis Paul, in the suit, and Pius Ochieng

But Mr Soi  is not in court today – he has been released on bail on medical grounds.

His deputy, James Chacha, who was also arrested over the weekend, is not to be charged, our reporter understands.

SA minister supports 'right to natural hair'

Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa's arts and culture minister, has tweeted in support of students protesting against a school for allegedly insisting black pupils straighten their hair:

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter

We reported earlier that pictures of this girl protesting have gone viral:

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When Bono met Africa's richest man

Bono and Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, have visited a camp of 2.3 million displaced people in north-eastern Nigeria.

Aid agencies have warned of a growing humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency.

Bono: "I wasn't prepared to see a nine-year-old child bride, with all her friends who are child brides"

Tanzania bans two radio stations

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania's government has temporarily banned two FM radio stations for allegedly insulting President John Magufuli and inciting violence in the country.

Magic FM, based in Dar Es Salaam, and Radio Five, which broadcasts from Arusha, are to be investigated by the information ministry.

It comes a few weeks after the government banned the newspaper Mseto for publishing “false information” as tension rises ahead of countrywide rallies planned by the opposition for Thursday.

President Magufuli banned all rallies after he won power last year, but the opposition Chadema party says it plans to go ahead.

It wants to protest against new cybercrime laws it says infringes the freedom of expression, the sacking of public officials without due process and the ban on political activities.

Read more: Tanzania's cybercrime laws

Men listening a radio
The banned radio stations are both privately owned

SA school racism row: 'One black woman, one Afro'

We reported earlier about the controversy in South Africa after a school in the capital, Pretoria, is alleged to have insisted that black students straighten their hair.

These pictures show people gathered outside the school in question, Pretoria Girls High:

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View more on twitter

A local newspaper has counted the police vehicles present:

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Inside, Panyaza Lesufi, the provincial education minister, is meeting students, tweets Virginia Keppler from The Citizen newspaper:

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Another journalist at the meeting, Macdonald Thobang, is tweeting girls' accounts of other racism at the school:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Kenya Olympic chief defends his record

More on the Kenya’s “Rio fiasco” – the chairman of Kenya’s Olympic committee, Kipchoge Keino, has told the BBC’s John Nene that he refuses to resign from his job.

This is despite the fact that the government has disbanded the committee and arrested three of his associates over the alleged mismanagement of the Olympic team (see earlier post).

“I'm innocent, sijaiba chochote [I have stolen nothing]” he said as arrived back from Rio this morning at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital, Nairobi.

He was dismissive of the sports minister's decision to dissolve the Olympic committee, saying it should be the minister, Hassan Wario, who should resign over his "ineptitude".

Mr Keino, a two-time Olympic champion, won the inaugural Olympic Laurel in Rio for his contribution to education, development and peace through sport.

Kipchoge Keino
Getty Images
Kipchoge Keino received the Olympic Laurel during the opening of the Rio Games

East Africa Community pass resolution to make Swahili official language

The East African Legislative Assembly has passed a resolution to make Swahili an official language of the East African Community (EAC), reports Tanzania's Citizen Newspaper.

The newspaper goes on to say that the legislators agreed that the change was "long overdue" as the language "played a big role in uniting the people" of East Africa.

The next stage is that the EAC treaty will have to be amended, says the Citizen.

Cartoonists on Kenya's 'Rio fiasco'

Three top officials of the disbanded National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) are expected to appear in court today to answer to the charges of alleged mismanagement of the country’s team in Rio.

The head of the delegation, Stephen Soi, his deputy James Chacha and Francis K Paul, Nock’s secretary general, were arrested over the weekend as part of an investigation ordered by the president into what has been dubbed Kenya’s “Rio fiasco”.

They face criticism for kits not turning up and other arrangements for the team, including putting up some athletes in a shanty town after the closure of the Olympic village where they could hear gunshots.  

Despite all this Kenya was Africa's most successful side in Rio, as some cartoonists point out: 

View more on twitter

And here's an athlete taking a swipe at Mr Soi.

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One of the most outspoken critics of Kenya's Olympic arrangements was Wesley Korir, an independent MP and marathon runner.

He blamed Kenyan officials for his failure to complete the marathon, saying they mixed up his drink with Stanley Biwott's.

"I was given Stanley's and he was given mine caused both of us to have some serious stomach problems," he was quoted as saying.

Accra car show 'shows Ghanaians have money'

Car lovers are posting their pictures of yesterday's car show in Ghana's capital, Accra: 

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But Prime News says that looking at the type of cars on display "you will wonder if Ghanaians are really poor as we say".

Grillz made a similar point on Twitter

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And Simon in Accra adds:

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YFM reports that this is the second Accra Auto Show. 

Second marathon runner from Ethiopia makes protest sign

A week after marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa won silver for Ethiopia at the Olympics - making headlines forcrossing his hands above his head as he finished the race, a second Ethiopia runner has won the Quebec City Marathon in a similar fashion.

The gesture is made by Ethiopia's Oromo people who have suffered brutal police crackdowns.  

A Twitter account in the Canadian city tweeted the moment Ebisa Ejigu won the race in 2:30:40:

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Mr Ebisa is a regular on the Canadian running scene, the Canadian Running Magazine reports.

He has listed his place of residence at Toronto since June, the magazine quotes the website Sports Stat as saying.

Mr Feyisa has not returned to Ethiopia since his protest, saying he fears for his life or could faceprison for making.  

Read more: Endurance test for Ethiopian runner and What is behind Ethiopia's protests?

Bongo rival claims victory in Gabon election

Gabon's government newspaper is leading with the nation waiting for the result of Saturday's presidential election:

L'union front cover

It adds that the result is expected on Tuesday.

But one of the main contenders, veteran diplomat Jean Ping, has already claimed victory and alleged electoral fraud.

He is running against incumbent Ali Bongo whose family has been in power for nearly 50 years.

The head African Union election observer mission in Gabon, Casam Uteem, told the BBC "so long as as the results are not made official, I don't think anybody can claim victory at this stage".

Read more: Can Gabon's opposition unseat President Bongo?

Nigeria's richest man visits Boko Haram displaced

Bono and Aliko Dangote in Maiduguri

Aid agencies are warning of a growing humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria caused by Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency. 

Yesterday Nigeria’s richest man, the businessman Aliko Dangote, along with the Irish rock star Bono visited camps where some of the 2.5 million displaced by the fighting are now sheltering.

Mr Dangote told the BBC's Nigeria correspondent Martin Patience that the international community should give Nigeria help:

If we don’t rebuild their homes, their schools, their lives, two million people could actually become a danger to the world."

Bono said he was there because this story of malnutrition not getting out.

Fifty thousand children are going to die round here if they don’t get what the UN is looking for.

He added:

These are just abstract concepts until you meet a malnourished child and until you meet a child bride and you think - oh that’s the face of Boko Haram, it's not men in battle fatigues out in the bush, it’s what they leave behind."

Our correspondent has been tweeting people's reactions to the pair's visit:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

South African school faces backlash over 'racist hair rule'

The hashtag  #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh is trending in South Africa as a school in the capital, Pretoria, faces a backlash for allegedly telling black school pupils to straighten their hair.

Videos and photographs of pupils protesting at Pretoria Girls High School - some sporting Afros - went viral over the weekend.

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View more on twitter
View more on twitter

A petition, which has 5,000 signatures so far, has been set up asking the authorities to investigate the school:

Learners at Pretoria High school are demanding that racist practices at the school are brought to an end. Girls attending the school have been forced to straighten their hair; are accused of conspiring when standing in groups and face other intolerable comments and actions."

The provincial education minister is to visit the school this morning to look into the controversy.

The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says Panyaza Lesufi has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to such things.

He has shut down schools judged to be racist in the past, she says.

Read more: What does hair have to do with it?

Wise words

Today's African proverb:

If your enemy has thrown the only spear he had at you, it means that he doesn't fear you."

Sent by Vairi Natale Gbiiti in Tombura, South Sudan

Click here to send in your African proverbs.

Good morning

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

The Kenya Wildlife Service hits the nail on the head this morning:

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