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Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the BBC Africa Livepage 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:

    Quote Message: By working together, the teeth can chew the meat." from A Luganda proverb from Uganda sent by Henry Gombya, Farnborough, UK.
    A Luganda proverb from Uganda sent by Henry Gombya, Farnborough, UK.

    Click here to send your African proverbs.  

    And we leave you with this photo of street vendors in the Ugandan capital, Kampala:

    Women carry baskets of mangoes on their heads

    Listen to the BBC Africa Debate on street vendors tomorrow at 19:00 GMT on BBC World Service radio.   

  2. Somali anger over 'botched' US air strike

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The government of Somalia has demanded an explanation from the US following an air strike which is alleged to have killed 22 soldiers and civilians.  

    The US said the raid, in the central Somali region of Galmudug, killed nine members of militant Islamist group al-Shabab. 

    The Galmudug authorities blamed a rival region, Puntland, for duping the Americans into believing those targeted were militants. Al-Shabab says none of its fighters were killed. 

    The Somali military said the dead were civilians and members of the Galmudug regional army.

    Crowds burnt the US flag as protests against the air strike continued for a second day in Galmudug.

    Read earlier post for more details

  3. Belgium confirms 'blood diamond' dealer's death

    Suspected blood diamond dealer Michel Desaedeleer, 65, likely died of natural causes, a spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor's office has told AFP news agency. 

    Mr Desaedeleer, a dual citizen of the US and Belgium, died in a prison in Belgium's capital, Brussels, while awaiting trial on charges of trading in diamonds which helped fuel Sierra Leone's civil war, in which some 120,000 people died between 1991 and 2002. 

    A UN report at the time alleged that Mr Desaedeleer had signed an agreement in 1999 with Sierra Leone's rebels allowing him to exploit diamond mines and ship the gems abroad via neighbouring Liberia. 

    Most of the gems were allegedly sold in Antwerp, Belgium's second-biggest city and the heart of the global diamond trade.

    See earlier post for more details

    Antwerp jewellery shop front
  4. Is data too expensive in Africa?

    That's one of the many questions being discussed at the Africa Tech Summit in London today. 

    The answer, at least in relative terms, appears to be: YES. 

    In Nigeria, based on the average income it would take someone 28 hours to earn enough to buy 500MB of mobile data. 

    For people in Germany, it takes just one hour, according to this slide tweeted by one entrepreneur at the conference:

    View more on twitter

    The Africa Live Page's own Clare Spencer is there and has been tweeting some interesting facts:

    View more on twitter

    She's also heard about a financial innovation seemingly named in honour of the outgoing UN secretary-general: 

    View more on twitter

    How much does mobile data cost? (500 MB prepaid mobile data)

    • South Africa: $9/month (1.5% of average income)
    • Kenya: $5.70/month (5.9% of average income)
    • Nigeria: $12.20/month (5.4% of average income)
    • Liberia: $20/month (59% of average income)
    • US: $48.90/month (1.1% of average income)
    • UK: $16.45/month (0.47% of average income)

    Source: Measuring the Information Society Report, ITU (2015)

  5. ICC turns its focus on Gabon

    The flash of an explosion is pictured amid flames and smoke billowing from the National Assembly building in Libreville after it was set ablaze on August 31, 2016 by demonstrators protesting after Gabon's president Ali Bongo was declared winner of last weekend's contested election
    Image caption: The parliamentary building was torched on 31 August

    The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, has said she is carrying out a "preliminary examination" into unrest in oil-rich Gabon following disputed presidential elections. 

    The government asked the ICC to launch an investigation, accusing supporters of opposition leader Jean Ping of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity. 

    Opposition supporters set ablaze the parliamentary building after President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of the 27 August election, while Mr Ping said that his party headquarters had been bombed.    

    The "preliminary examination" would determine if there was enough evidence to carry out an investigation, Ms Bensouda said in a statement.

  6. Cameroon orders no flight for unregistered drones

    A drone equipped with a camera
    Image caption: Archive picture: the regulation of the use of drones is bound to impact on Cameroon budding video industry.

    In Cameroon, drones have increasingly been used over the last year to capture scenes for documentary films or music videos, but now the government has decided to regulate their usage. 

    The Ministry of Transport called on owners to stop flying the little crafts until they have properly registered them. 

    In disappointment, one video producer told BBC Afrique:

    Quote Message: I am afraid this is going to restrict the visibility of video productions from Cameroon on the international stage."

    Read: Drones - good or bad for Africa

  7. Kenya official stripped of passport after anti-gay boast

    The boss of Kenya's Film Classification Board has been ordered to surrender his diplomatic passport, the immigration department has said. 

    The announcement comes just days after Ezekiel Mutua boasted that he had one and had obtained a visa to travel to the US despite the fact that he was opposed to gay rights. 

    Mr Mutua did not qualify for a diplomatic passport and he would have to hand it in for an ordinary one, Kenya's immigration department said in a tweet: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    About 12 hours ago, he posted photos of himself on a plane on his Facebook page:

    Ezekiel Mutua

    In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Mr Mutua took a swipe at critics who said he would not be able to travel to the US:

    Passport page

    Mr Mutua said he was attending a Google-organised conference on online safety in the US. 

    He has earned the moniker "Kenya's moral policeman" for his relentless and controversial campaign to clamp down on media content that is perceived to go against "Kenyan values". 

  8. Nigerian ref attacked by fans over disallowed goal

    Oluwashina Okeleji

    BBC Sport, Lagos

    Fans charge at the referee as security staff rush to keep up

    A Nigerian Cup semi-final tie had to be abandoned on Wednesday after fans invaded the pitch to assault the referee who had disallowed a late equaliser.

    FC Ifeanyi Ubah had been leading Crown FC 2-1 at Kaduna's Ahmadu Bello Stadium, with three minutes of normal time remaining when the referee made the controversial decision.

    An angry group of fans and security officials encircle the ref on the pitch

    The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has told the BBC it is awaiting a report from its match commissioner before making a full statement. 

    The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was fined $5,000 (£3,900) for overcrowding at the same stadium in March. It was packed three times beyond its capacity for Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt. 

    Fans fill the stands and are also crammed onto a tall viewing platform made out of scaffolding
  9. 'Fire' at South African university

    A lecture hall caught fire at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa earlier today, a spokeswoman for the university, Kaamini Reddy, has said, the local News24 site reports.

    Ms Reddy is quoted as saying: 

    Quote Message: We are treating it as a crime scene. We have been told that it could be an electrical fire."

    The university has been hit by student protests following a government proposal earlier this month that tuition fees by raised by up to eight percent next year. 

    See earlier post for more details

  10. Nigeria's currency tumbles

    This picture taken on January 29, 2016 in Lagos shows 1000 naira banknotes, Nigeria's currency.

    Nigeria's currency, the naira, has fallen more than 5% to a new record low against the US dollar on the black market, as a dollar shortage persists, Reuters news agency reports. 

    Low prices for oil, the West African state's main foreign currency earner, have drained foreign exchanges, it adds, quoting one dealer as saying:

    Quote Message: Dollar is very scarce in the market right now because many people don't know how low it will fall in the near term, so people are holding on to their hard currencies in order to watch the direction of the market."
  11. Mali 'should cut ties with vigilante group'

    Tuareg fighters with grenade launchers near Kidal, north-Eastern Mali
    Image caption: The US is concerned that fighting between Gatia and Tuareg rebels (pictured) could escalate into a full-blown conflict.

    The US ambassador to Mali, Paul Folmsbee, has urged the government of President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita to severe ties with a Tuareg vigilante group known as Gatia. 

    Gatia has been involved in deadly fighting with a former rebel group in Kidal, north-eastern Mali, in breach of a peace deal agreed by the government and several armed groups. 

    Ambassador Folmsbee made the warning amid threats by the international community to impose targeted sanctions against armed factions that are blocking peace efforts. 

    Following Mr Folmsbee's comments, Gatia accused the US of taking sides. 

  12. Zuma vows to end 'mayhem' at universities

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has ordered his security ministers to deal with the "mayhem" that protesting students have caused at universities across the country, a government statement says

    The protests have led to "vandalism, destruction of property, burning of libraries and now even the death of a university worker", the statement added.

    It warned that law-enforcement agencies would "leave no stone unturned" in efforts to apprehend those who were "destroying our institutions of higher learning". 

    South African police officers dismantle a barricade in the Doornfontein district of Johannesburg after students of the local University of Johannesburg campus clashed with private security guards on September 28, 2016.
    Image caption: Violence has forced the closure of some of South Africa's top universities

    The protesters have rejected a government proposal to increase tuition fees by up to 8% and are demanding free education. 

    The government reiterated that it would help finance the studies of students from poor families, as well as working-class and middle-class families, but those who could "afford to pay for a university education must and should continue to do so because education is a responsibility of all - not only government".

  13. Street vendors across the continent share their stories

    We've been hearing from street vendors across the continent ahead of the BBC Africa Debate tomorrow evening. 

    Street vendors are big drivers of Africa's informal economy, which accounts for more than half of the continent's GDP. 

    View more on instagram

    “My name is Beauty Nyandoro. I’m 26 and I run my stall along Annan road in #Harare. I sell vegetables, wild fruits and mobile top-up cards. Competition is tough because I sell close to a supermarket. I started running my stall in 2008 when the economy was at its worst in #Zimbabwe.

    "I earn about $100 (£77) a month and I use that to support a family of three. My husband and I divorced. 

    "What I earn isn’t enough to cover all my needs. So I want to start trading across the border, bringing in clothes to sell here. My only problem is getting the capital.”

    Listen to the BBC Africa Debate on street vendors tomorrow at 19:00 GMT on BBC World Service radio. 

  14. Kenyan artist on music as therapy for her depression

    Kenyan singer-songwriter, Jaya Awinja, says music helped her overcome the severe depression she'd suffered from since childhood. 

    Jaya has duetted with the Tanzanian star Lady JD and is now promoting her debut album. 

    She told the BBC's Outlook reporter programme about the meaning behind one of the tracks from the album Heart Right Here: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Awinja says music helped her survive dark times.
  15. World Bank: African economic growth to fall to 1.6%

    Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6% this year, from 3% in 2015, because of continuing woes in the continent's largest economies South Africa and Nigeria, the World Bank says in a new report.

    Growth will pick up slightly to 2.9% next year, according to Africa's Pulse, the bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan. 

    African economies are expected to expand by 3.6% in 2018, it said. 

    View more on twitter
  16. Lagos hawkers: Nuisance or necessity?

    The authorities in Nigeria's main city of Lagos are cracking down on street hawkers who sell a variety of items to passing drivers.

    They blame the traders for causing traffic jam.

    The BBC Africa Debate this month is considering whether street trading should be regulated or banned.

    Video content

    Video caption: Lagos hawkers: Nuisance or necessity?
  17. CAR fighters 'must vacate schools'

    Fighters in the Central African Republic
    Image caption: Conflict broke out in CAR in 2013

    Members of armed groups who are squatting in schools across the Central African Republic (CAR) must vacate the classrooms or face the possible use of force against them, the UN mission in the country (Minusca) has said, AFP news agency reports 

    The warning came at the start of the new school year amid concern that armed groups were preventing children and teachers access to some schools

    CAR is emerging from a civil war which broke out in 2013 after rebels overthrew then-President Francois Bozize. 

    UN troops deployed in the country have so far struggled to restore stability. 

    Read: CAR's peacemakers

  18. US military 'building $100m drone base in Niger'

    The US is building a $100m drone base outside the desert city of Agadez in northern Niger, according to formerly secret files obtained by investigative news site The Intercept. 

    It quotes experts as saying that this is the latest sign of an "ever-increasing emphasis on counter-terror operations in the north and west of the continent".    

    The investigation's author has tweeted a link to the story:

    View more on twitter

    The site in Agadez will be solely run by the US, which shares the drone base in Niger's capital Niamey with the French. 

    Video content

    Video caption: The BBC's Julian Keane is given rare access to Base 101 in Niamey
  19. 'Blood diamond' dealer dies in Belgium

    Belgian-American businessman Michael Desaedeleer, accused of dealing in blood diamonds in West Africa, has died in prison in Belgium, before the start of his war crimes trial, two legal groups which fought to bring him to justice have said.  

    Mr Desaedeleer, 65, was believed to be the first businessman ever to be arrested in connection with the diamond trade that helped finance Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.

    Henry, a teenaged Revolutionary United Force rebel solider, brandishes his weapon June 9, 2001 in the town of Koindu, Sierra Leone.
    Image caption: The conflict in Sierra Leone lasted for more than a decade

    In a joint statement, legal groups Civitas Maxima and the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law said:   

    Quote Message: Sadly, the victims of slavery in the diamond mines in Sierra Leone’s Kono district, who were enslaved for months partially for the purpose of enriching Western businessmen, will never fully achieve justice.
    Quote Message: Nevertheless, the arrest of Michel Desaedeleer, his imprisonment and the fact that his trial was scheduled to commence in a few months represent a victory for the victims who courageously filed a complaint against him and have never ceased in their fight for justice.

    The cause of Mr Desaedeleer's death is unknown. 

    He was arrested in Spain last year following an arrest warrant issued by Belgium. 

    It wanted to put him on trial for allegedly profiting from the illicit trade of "blood diamonds" during Sierra Leone's civil war, which raged from 1991 to 2002. 

    He was accused of working with then-Liberian President and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor and Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group to mine diamonds illegally in Sierra Leone's eastern Korno district. 

  20. UN official slams CFA currency as outdated

    CFA bank notes
    Image caption: The CFA currency is pegged to the Euro, with France as guarantor of its value.

    The CFA currency used in twelve former French colonies in West and Central Africa as well as in Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea is an outdated monetary mechanism, the UN deputy Secretary General, Carlos Lopez, has told the AFP news agency. 

    Mr Lopez made his statement as Finance Ministers from the CFA zone are expected in Paris on Friday for a routine review of their common currency ahead of an IFM and a World Bank joint meeting next week in Washington. 

    The CFA currency is a controversial colonial legacy. It is pegged to the Euro, with its value guaranteed by France. 

    Carlos Lopez told AFP: 

    Quote Message: "A discussion is really needed around the CFA zone.
    Quote Message: No country in the world can afford to have a static monetary policy for more than 30 years. That only exists in the CFA zone. Something is definitely wrong."