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  1. Nigeria's parliament to probe massive oil fraud
  2. Tanzanian charged with insulting president on WhatsApp
  3. Morocco applies to rejoin the African Union
  4. Funeral for South African music star Mandoza
  5. Gabon court due to rule on disputed poll
  6. Madikizela-Mandela critical of ANC leadership
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Friday 23 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    That's it from us this week. 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:

    Quote Message: A roofer's house leaks." from An Ndebele/Zulu proverb sent by Sondlo Leonard Mhlaba, Boston, US
    An Ndebele/Zulu proverb sent by Sondlo Leonard Mhlaba, Boston, US

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

    And we leave you with this picture from our top shots across the week of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari leaving the stage during the US-Africa Business Forum in New York.

  2. 'Large' weapons cache found in northern Mali

    The UN mission in Mali (Minusma) says it has found a large cache of weapons in a town 80km north of Kidal, northern Mali.

    This is near where there has been fighting between rival groups in recent weeks, the AFP news agency reports.

    Minusma said that there was a large stockpile of ammunition, including rockets and the means to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    The weapons were destroyed, it added.

    Minusma has published some pictures of what was discovered.

  3. Captured Kenyans 'paraded in Somalia'

    The privately owned and independent Somali news website Shabelle reports that al-Shabab militants have paraded four captured Kenyan policemen in Jilib District, southern Somalia. 

    Al-Shabab said its fighters raided a police post just over the Somali border in Kenya's Garissa district on Thursday, killing four policemen and seized some others. 

    Kenyan authorities said two policemen were missing as a result of the attack and one other was wounded.

    Shabelle reports that hundreds of residents of Jilib District witnessed the parading of the Kenyans.

  4. MTN deny paying bribe to reduce fine by billions

    Registering sim cards

    South African Mobile phone giant MTN has denied it paid a bribe to Nigerian officials to reduce its fine for failing to disconnect unregistered Sim cards, reports Reuters news agency.

    They had been fined a record $5.2bn (£4bn) by the Nigerian Communications Commission but in June the two sides settled on a lower amount of $1.7bn.

    MTN said in a statement there had been allegations that a top official in the Nigerian presidency took a payment towards reducing the fine.

  5. Are our Resident Presidents fit enough for office?

    The health of the candidates in the US presidential election race has become a major issue.

    But are our presidents, Olushambles and Kibarkingmad, well enough to run a country?

    In fact, Olushambles has a heavy cold, but there is no way he's letting go of the reins.

    Listen to the satirical couple:

    Video content

    Video caption: Kibarkingmad and Olushambles ponder whether they are fit for office.
  6. Cheetahs smuggled to Gulf states

    Image caption: The lucky ones: These young cheetahs were rescued

    The threat to the cheetah will be raised at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species being held in Johannesburg over the next fortnight.    

    Our science editor David Shukman has some arresting figures on the scale of trafficking cheatahs from East Africa to Gulf States to be pets. 

    • Some 1,200 cheetah cubs are known to have been trafficked out of Africa over the past 10 years
    • 85% of them died during the journey
    • The total of adult cheetahs living in the wild are now numbering less than 7,000    
    • Baby cheetahs can fetch as much as $10,000

    Baby cheetahs are prized as exotic pets and end up being paraded on social media by wealthy buyers in Gulf states.


    We reported earlier that the conference will also debate stricter protection for elephants. 

  7. South Africa's bittersweet sugar tax

    South Africa is about to become one of a handful of country's across the world that slap a tax on sugary soft drinks. 

    Denmark has had one for decades and has recently been joined by Mexico and France.  For health experts in South Africa the tax will be good for long-term health, but many others think it may damage an already fragile economy.  From Johannesburg, the BBC's Vumani Mkhize finds out more for Africa Business Report.

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa's bittersweet sugar tax
  8. Africa's candidate to head WHO faces five challengers

    Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom has been joined by five other candidates in the race to succeed Margaret Chan as head of the UN's World Health Organization.

    Nominations closed on Thursday.

    Mr Tedros has the backing of the African Union, and Ethiopia is putting him forward in an effort to raise the diplomatic profile of the country.

    When he formally launched his candidacy in May he said:

    Quote Message: The fresh view we can bring from our continent and the perspective of a developing country can help improve the global health situation... It's time for a director-general who has lived some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, as I have lived in Africa."

    Ethiopia's foreign minister is up against four European candidates and one from Asia.

    After a short listing process WHO member states will vote next May.

    Ms Chan is due to step down at the end of June 2017.

    Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom
    Image caption: Tedros Adhanom has said he can bring an African perspective to the job
  9. Kenya charges radical Muslim cleric's widow over police attack

    Cordoned off the area
    Image caption: Police cordoned off the area where the attack happened

    The widow of a radical Muslim preacher has been charged for allegedly helping three other women attack a Kenyan police station, reports Reuters news agency. 

    A Kenyan court charged Hania Said Sagar, widow of sheikh Aboud Rogo - a preacher accused of supporting and recruiting for Somali Islamist group al Shabaab - with withholding information that could have prevented the attack, Reuters adds.  

    She faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.  

    The three alleged attackers were killed on 11 September after one woman pulled a knife and another threw a petrol bomb, starting a fire, the police said.

  10. Shops shut early in Gabon as the wait for court election ruling continues

    Abdourahmane Dia

    BBC Afrique

    There's tension in Gabon's capital, Libreville, as people continue to wait for a constitutional court decision on a challenge to last month's presidential election result.

    The ruling is due either later today or tomorrow.

    Incumbent President Ali Bongo won the vote by a margin of less than 6,000 votes and his main challenger, Jean Ping, has complained of fraud.

    Violence broke out in August when the result was declared and people have been stocking their homes with extra groceries in anticipation of further trouble.

    To avoid looting, many shop owners have closed early.

    "We are waiting to see what's going to happen," one shop owner told the BBC.

    Gabonese youth face police
    Image caption: Rioting broke out in the aftermath of Ali Bongo being declared the winner of last month's poll
  11. Analysis: Morocco's application to rejoin AU

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Morocco is keen on re-joining the African Union over the same issue that drove it away more than three decades ago - the dispute over the status of Western Sahara.

    Back then, the recognition by the Organisation of African Unity (the AU's predecessor) of Western Sahara’s independence drove Morocco away. 

    This year, as tensions mount over the status of the territory, there is a renewed worry in Rabat that the idea of independence for Western Sahara could gain momentum internationally.  

    There is an even greater worry at the prospect of a return to armed conflict with independence fighters, the Polisario Front.

    Today, the Moroccan authorities appear to recognise they’ve gained nothing by their isolation.  

    There will be a hope in Rabat that a return to the AU will help strengthen Morocco's own plans to grant Western Sahara autonomy, but under Moroccan sovereignty.  

    But this is a prospect with few guarantees as heavyweights in the AU, including South Africa and Algeria, have traditionally not budged on their views favouring an independent Western Sahara state.

    Camels with Polisario fighters
    Image caption: The Polisario Front, backed by Algeria, proclaimed independence fpr Western Sahara in 1976, but Morocco disputes this
  12. 'I grew up in the world's biggest refugee camp'


    Asad Hussein was born in Dadaab refugee camp, in northern Kenya, in 1996 and doesn't know what to do when it is due to close in November, he writes in the Guardian

    Quote Message: I belong to a generation of children who have been rendered stateless. I neither belong to Kenya, where I was born, nor Somalia, where my history begins. Sometimes, I say I am a child of UNHCR."

    He explains that his family were always meant to go to the US but the plane they thought they had been booked on never arrived - he suspects their seats were sold to another family.

  13. More bodies found after migrant boat capsizes

    Government officials in Egypt say 108 bodies have now been recovered after a boat full of migrants capsized off the Nile Delta on Wednesday. 

    Search teams found another 64 bodies on Friday. 

    It's feared that as many as 400 people may have drowned.

  14. The mobile app that offers farmers security

    How can a farmer know for sure that the land they work on is really theirs?

    In some cases land holders struggle to prove ownership - and this can lead to fights over land.

    In Ghana, for example, around 10% of smallholder farmers are thought not to have any certificate documenting their ownership rights.

    A tech company Landmapp is trying to solve the problem with a mobile platform that uses GPS to map and survey smallholder farmers.

    Farmers then receive a certified plan of the land and land tenure documentation signed by the surveyor, chiefs and high court.

    Read more: How farmers can end land disputes and produce more food - BBC News

    Surveying the land
    Image caption: Landmapp makes an accurate digital survey of the farmer's land provides certification
  15. Young unmarried woman becomes leader of northern Nigerian council

    Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    A 25-year-old woman has become the chairperson of one of the biggest and oldest councils in Kebbi state in the north of Nigeria, a region where women are politically relegated for cultural reasons. 

    Hindatu Umar's appointment to lead the Argungu local council is unprecedented: not only is she the first woman to take up the post, she is also the first council leader not to be married.

    Hindatu Umar

    Ms Umar became the chairperson after the government ordered all council chairmen in Kebbi state whose tenures had expired to relinquish authority to the most senior official in their municipalities.

    She had been the deputy to the former administrator.

    Some people have expressed reservations over her succession to power. 

    They argue that she lacks the experience and boldness to govern a local government like Argungu with all its complexities. 

    One of the fishermen comes out from the river with his catch
    Image caption: Argungu is well known for its annual fishing festival
  16. Nigerian governor rewards three Paralympic gold medallists

    Oluwashina Okeleji

    BBC Sport

    Nigeria's Imo State governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha has rewarded three Paralympic gold medallists from his state with gifts of cash and a car.

    Mr Okorocha hosted powerlifting gold medallists Roland Ezurike, Nwosu Ndidi and Josephine Orji at the state house in Owerri on Thursday.

    The governor then announced a cash gift of 1m naira ($3,100, £2,400) and a brand new car each for the trio.

    Their coaches were also given a car each.

    Nigeria ended the Rio Paralympics with eight golds, two silvers and two bronze medals to finish 17th in the medal table, the top-ranked African country.

    Gold medalist Josephine Orji of Nigeria poses with her medal
    Image caption: Josephine Orji won the gold medal in the 86kg class

    Read more: Nigeria's Paralympic powerlifters show football stars the way.

  17. Morocco applies to rejoin the African Union

    The African Union (AU) says Morocco has officially submitted a request to rejoin the organisation. 

    Morocco left the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, more than three decades ago in a row over Western Sahara. 

    The continental body recognised the area as an independent country, while Morocco considers Western Sahara as part of its territory.

    A BBC correspondent says it appears Morocco now recognises that its absence has reduced its influence in Africa, and hopes that by joining the AU it will have a greater chance of persuading others to support its position on Western Sahara. 

    Woman waving Western Sahara flag
    Image caption: A dispute over the status of Western Sahara has led to the division between Morocco and the African Union
  18. Smugglers stopped with suitcases full of tortoises

    Five tortoise traffickers were arrested in Antaninarenina, in the capital of Madagascar, yesterday with three suitcases of tortoises, reports Tim Healy in Madagascar.


    This breed of tortoises, known as radiated tortoises, are sought after by collectors around the world, in part because of their stunning shells.  

    If the tortoises had made it to the international black market they could have been sold for around $800 (£600) each.  


    The smugglers' plans were scuppered after activists infiltrated a smugglers' network on Facebook and alerted the police, our correspondent adds.

    After the arrests, the tortoises were taken to the Turtle Survival Alliance, with the plan that they will be released back into the wild eventually. 

    Read more: The top-secret tortoise sanctuary of Madagascar

  19. Tanzanian lecturer 'charged with insulting president on WhatsApp'


    A Tanzanian lecturer has been charged with insulting President John Magufuli in a WhatsApp message, reports Reuters news agency.

    The senior university lecturer was arraigned in court yesterday, Julius Mjengi, police chief of the south-west Tanzanian town of Iringa told Reuters.

    The lecturer denies the charges. 

    Insulting the president was made a criminal offense in Tanzania under a cybercrimes law passed last year, punishable by up to three years in jail or a fine of around $3,000 (£2,300) or both. 

    The lecturer is the 10th person to be charged under this law.

    Those who have faced trial for insulting Mr Magufuli in recent months include students and opposition politicians. 

    In March, the US aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation cancelled nearly $500m of funding for Tanzania partly on concerns over the enforcement of the new cybercrimes law. 

  20. The island where women carry men on their backs


    The BBC’s Yves Bucyana has come across an unusual cultural practice on the island of Nkombo in western Rwanda – a tradition that the men on the island, situated in the middle of Lake Kivu, love.

    Our reporter says it is common for a wife to wash and oil her husband’s feet and then physically carry him on her back to bed.

    Women who spoke to our correspondent say the practice is not oppressive but really an expression of love.


    "When your husband returns home, he finds you have warmed the bathing water. You wash his feet… because often, he will be very tired, you carry him to the bed,” Josephine Nyirantibashima, 48, said.

    Religious leaders in the area say it is a treasured tradition.

    "When we are advising prospective brides and grooms here in the church, they tell us frankly that this is their tradition. It is not something that women are forced to do to save their marriages - no,” said Hanyurwa Jean, an Anglican priest.

    “It is difficult to prevent them from doing that."

    Government officials agree it is hard to stop the cultural practice, but say they don’t encourage it.