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Live Reporting

Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Wednesday'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 proverb:

    Quote Message: When the farm owner is slow to catch the thief, the thief calls the farm owner ‘thief’." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Abubakar Mohammed Sani in Serdang, Malaysia
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Abubakar Mohammed Sani in Serdang, Malaysia

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    We leave you with this photo of a group of men engrossed in a draughts board game in Ghana's capital, Accra:

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  2. Zimbabwean trampled to death for 'elephant selfie'

    Elephant in Zimbabwe
    Image caption: Inspector Ndebele reminded people that elephants were dangerous

    A man in southern Zimbabwe has been trampled to death while he and his two friends were trying to take selfies with elephants, the country’s state-run Chronicle newspaper reports.

    Moses Ndlovu, 31, from Bulilima district near Plumtree, and his friends reportedly spotted three elephants - two females and a bull - on Saturday morning.

    Police spokesman Philani Ndebele told the Chronicle the men had tried to herd the animals to an area where they could more easily take photos.

    Quote Message: He called his two friends and they attempted to drive the elephants into a clearing at Bhagani Business Centre where they could take pictures." from Inspector Philani Ndebele
    Inspector Philani Ndebele

    But the elephants charged the trio and the bull trampled Mr Ndlovu to death, the inspector said.

    His body was found the following day by a passerby, who reported the matter to the village head.

    Quote Message: Jumbos are known to be dangerous animals and what these men did was risky. I would like to urge people to ensure that they take responsibility for their lives and desist from engaging in dangerous acts." from Inspector Philani Ndebele
    Inspector Philani Ndebele
  3. Kenyan top lawyer to apologise for plagiarism

    One of Kenya's top lawyers renowned for his eloquence has agreed to apologise within 14 days for plagiarising the work of a fellow colleague. 

    Patrick Lumumba, known as PLO, agreed to write a letter of apology to lawyer Wachira Maina and another to the Law Society of Kenya and affiliated bodies to withdraw and delete the 10,000-word article - From Jurisprudence to Poliprudence: The Kenyan Presidential Election Petition 2013 - which was published in 2015.

    Mr Wachira accused him of lifting close to 5,000 words verbatim from his own piece that had been published by the East African newspaper on 20 April 2013, Kenya's Star newspaper reports.

    Mr Lumumba served as the the boss of  Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission from September 2010 to August 2011 and is currently the director of the Kenya School of Law. 

    Read more:Other leaders caught up in plagiarism scandals

  4. DR Congo to probe 'massacre video'

    BBC World Service

    The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced that it has, after all, opened an inquiry into a video which appears to show troops carrying out a massacre on unarmed civilians.

    It initially denounced the video as a fake made by an opposition group and resisted international and local calls for an investigation.

    The footage, which emerged over the weekend, appears to have been filmed in Kasai Central province, where Congolese forces have been fighting a militia group.

    The US has condemned what it called the heinous abuses shown in the video.

  5. Nigerians demand end to South Africa xenophobic attacks

    Habiba Adamu

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Nigerians protesters

    Dozens of Nigerians have staged an anti-xenophobia protest outside the South African embassy in the capital, Abuja. 

    Members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, which organised the demonstration, called on the South African authorities to stop attacks on other African nationals. 

    The protesters carried placards such as “South Africa we say stop killing our people” and chanted slogans denouncing the attacks. 

    Earlier this week a top Nigerian government official called on the African Union to intervene but the proposal was reportedly dismissed by a South African official who said the attacks were isolated. 

    There are about 120 South African companies in Nigeria including telecommunication giant MTN and chain of Supermarket Shoprite. 

    A protester told the BBC:

    Quote Message: We are doing this because of the killings taking place in South Africa, we want to express our displeasure over that and urge them to take measures to address the situation.
    Quote Message: We presented a petition in which we want them to call their people to order. We have foreigners here and it will not be good if there is reprisal attacks that will not make world a peaceful place to live.”

    The South African ambassador to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Mnguni, received the petition and told the protesters his government was going to deal with the situation. 

    He said that the attacks were unfortunate and unwarranted despite "the frustration and anger should that people might be feeling".

    Mr Mnguni added that the attacks were not unique to South Africa and blamed underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment on the continent. 

  6. Army medics 'deployed to Zimbabwe hospitals'

    A hand with pills in front of the Zimbabwe flag
    Image caption: Non-critical patients were being turned away from major hospitals

    Zimbabwe has deployed army medics to work at major public hospitals following a week-long strike by junior doctors, Reuters news agency quotes a senior government official as saying.

    Gerald Gwinji, permanent secretary in the health ministry, said the strike had put pressure on public hospitals, which were already struggling with shortages of drugs and under-funding.

    Edgar Munatsi, president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, told Reuters that doctors wanted their on-call allowances to be increased to $10 (£8) an hour from the current $1.20.

    He said more than 400 doctors were staying away from work, warning that senior doctors could also join the strike.

  7. Poachers kill two rhinos at South African orphanage

    Baby rhino covered in mud in SA
    Image caption: More than 700 rhinos were killed in South Africa in the first half of last year

    Poachers have killed two rhinos during a vicious attack on an animal orphanage in South Africa.

    Rhinos Impi and Gugu had their horns taken after a gang of poachers took staff hostage at the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday night.

    Gugu was killed instantly but Impi survived, only to have to be put down the next morning due to his injuries.

    Staff members are understood to have been assaulted during the attack.

    The rhinos had been due to have their horns removed next week to protect them from ivory traders, according to local media.  

    Read the BBC News story for more

  8. South Africa budget targets the rich

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Pravin Gordhan
    Image caption: Pravin Gordhan has a fractious relationship with the president

    South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has targeted the rich in his annual budget, announcing a new top tax rate of 45% in his 2017 budget.

    It will apply to annual incomes of more than 1.5m rand ($114,000; £91,000) and will hit around 100,000 people.

    Mr Gordhan is battling weak tax receipts which, during the current financial year have been 30bn rand ($2.3bn, £1.8bn) less than expected.

    He pointed out that 95% of wealth is in the hands of 10% of the population – nearly 23 years after the end of apartheid.

    And it is still very much skewed along racial lines.

    The minister warned of "growing impatience and ferment" over post-apartheid inequality:

    Quote Message: Economic growth is slow, unemployment is far too high and many businesses and families are under stress.
    Quote Message: The relationships between labour and capital, rich and poor, black and white still reflect the entrenched legacy of colonialism and apartheid.
    Quote Message: We do not seek to reproduce the racial domination that was the hallmark of apartheid nationalism."

    He also spoke frankly to his own comrades:

    Quote Message: That which we expect the public to do, we in government must also do…where fraud and corruption is identified, action must be taken."

    This may well have been Mr Gordhan’s last budget speech given his fractious relationship with President Jacob Zuma.

    Many see him as standing in the way of those wanting to loot government coffers.

    Read the BBC Business story for more.

  9. #Hireagraduate: SA's unemployed demand jobs

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    View more on twitter

    A protest of a different kind is trending on Twitter in South Africa. 

    #Hireagraduate offers a glimpse to the plight of university graduates in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. 

    They are calling for the government and the private sector to create jobs in the province. 

    Dressed in graduation robes, some are carrying placards with the slogans:

    • Education is the key to which door?
    • We have what is takes
    • Do not limit us.

    The Eastern Cape Province has some of the highest rates of inequality in the country with people often forced to migrate to other areas in search of jobs. 

    The province’s administration often makes headlines for mismanagement of state funds set aside to provide services for the poor, including job creation.

    View more on twitter
  10. Coptic Christians 'killed in Egypt's Sinai'

    BBC World Service

    Reports from Egypt say suspected militants have killed two more Coptic Christians in northern Sinai. 

    This brings to six the number of Christians who have been murdered in the region over the past two weeks.

    The bodies of the latest victims - a father and son - were found dumped on a roadside in the el-Arish area.

    Earlier this week Egyptian militants linked to so-called Islamic State released a video that said there would be more attacks on the country's Christian minority.     

  11. Libyan women solo travel ban frozen

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent

    Women demonstrating in Libya
    Image caption: Libyan women who were at the forefront of the protests during the uprising

    The military chief of staff of Libya’s eastern region has ordered a temporary freeze on a controversial ban on Libyan women under the age of 60 travelling on their own.

    The directive, which came into force on the weekend, was widely condemned and ridiculed across the country.

    The ban was said to be for "national security reasons" and not driven by religious ideology.

    A source in the chief of staff’s office said it was being frozen for amendments because “it may have generalised the matter too much”.

    Libya is not controlled by a single authority.

    Eastern Libya is under the control of commander Khalifa Hafter who is leading the battle against Islamist militias.

  12. Nigeria army accuses Amnesty of fabrication

    Nigeria's army has dismissed Amnesty International allegations that its forces were involved in two incidences last year that resulted in the death hundreds of civilians as "fabrications". 

    The rights group's annual report says more than 150 people were killed in pro-Biafra clashes in the south-east in November. 

    View more on twitter

    In the other incident 240 people who were held in military detention centers at a facility at Giwa barracks in Maiduguri in the north-east died because of overcrowding, starvation and disease, Amnesty says. 

    The captives were fleeing Islamist  Boko Haram militants who operate in the area, it says.

    The army said the report was "orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian army":

    Quote Message: [It ]is yet another in its series of spurious fabrications aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.
    Quote Message: The report is rather contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces which they have unsuccessfully tried to do in the past.
    Quote Message: The truth is that the Nigerian military has always been open in its operations and do not hide its activities from the probing eye of the public. Amnesty International chose to bandy fabricated reports and concocted stories instead of seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities."
  13. Somalia president faces challenges

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

    The inauguration of Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed was a colourful even though it was held in a hangar at Mogadishu’s international airport. 

    Security was tight at the airport and commercial flights were suspended. 

    Heads of states from Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia jetted in for the event. 

    The threat from al-Shabab militants remains and the group has promised to continue attacking the new government. 

    In his speech, President Mohamed appealed to the militants to lay down their weapons and help rebuild the country.

    The president commended the African Union troops for their efforts in stabilising the country – however he also highlighted the importance of rebuilding Somalia’s military to take over security duties. 

    Mr Mohamed also faces the huge task of leading the country’s economic recovery after decades of conflict. 

    In addition he pledged action to fight rampant corruption and a drought crisis - which are immediate challenges for the new administration

  14. Body of 'Blind Sheikh returned to Egypt'

    Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman
    Image caption: Rahman was also accused of inspiring the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center

    The body of the mastermind of numerous bomb plots in New York in the early 1990s has been brought back to Egypt, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

    Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind cleric who preached at mosques in New York, was sentenced to life in 1996 for planning the attacks. 

    His body was handed over to his family for burial on Wednesday, following his death in a US federal prison over the weekend. 

    Rahman and nine others were convicted of planning a "war of urban terrorism" in the US which would have culminated in five bombings of prominent New York landmarks including the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. 

    He was also accused of inspiring the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, but was not convicted over that attack. 

    Often referred to in the US as the Blind Sheikh, Rahman was also suspected of roles in numerous other violent attacks in Egypt in addition to developing close links with al-Qaeda.  

  15. Kenyan inmates register to vote

    A BBC team has been at Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison this morning… not for breaking the law, but to witness prisoners registering to vote.

    A prisoner registering to vote

    In August, the inmates will be able to vote in a general election for the first time – though they will only be able to cast their ballot for president, not for local or parliamentary posts.

    Prisoners have only ever been allowed to vote once before, in the 2010 referendum on changing the constitution.

    According to the electoral commission, Kenya has 118 prisons with an estimated 49,000 prisoners, but only about 10,000 have national identification cards – which one needs in order to register.

    But many were eager to register today: 

    Kamiti Maximum Security Prison inmates

    Ronald Mwachie, who has served 20 years into a life sentence, says he will be voting for the first time in his life:

    Ronald Mwachie
  16. Why is UAE building a base in Somaliland?

    The United Arab Emirates is building a military base in Berbera in Somalia's self-declared republic of Somaliland. 

    It has proved controversial among neighbouring countries in the Horn of Africa. Tomi Oladipo explains the reasons behind the deal.

    Video content

    Video caption: Why is UAE building a military base in Somaliland?
  17. Kismayo holds historic book fair

    Somalia’s southern city of Kismayo is hosting an international book fair - the first such event there in more than two decades. 

    The venue is bustling with authors, playwrights, poets, artists and musicians - many of them from the diaspora who have travelled to the city for the three-day event.

    Tweets about the fair are shared using the hashtag #KBF2017

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Kismayo was once an important base for the Islamist al-Shabab militants.

    The group occupied Kismayo for six years until September 2012, and the loss of the port city hit its finances, as it used to earn money by taking a cut of the city's lucrative charcoal trade.

  18. Kenya's giant clam shell collector

    Volker Bassen lives in Kenya and is an avid collector of shells from giant clams, which died out 180,000 years ago.

    The shells are often found by workers in quarries in Kenya.

    Mr Bassen, who is originally from Sweden and works as a scuba-diving instructor in Kenya, often auctions off the finds to support a variety of charitable projects.

    His latest success was selling one for $32,000 (£25,700) at the world's largest gem and mineral show in the US city of Tucson.

    He told the BBC's Newsday programme about the shells and how the money would be used to fund a factory to make menstrual cups:

    Video content

    Video caption: Money from the sale of a giant clam is being used to provide menstrual cups for poor girls
  19. Only one in four Nigerians 'get into university'

    More than seven million Nigerian high school graduates missed out on a place in the country's universities between 2010 and 2015, according to a report by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Quartz reports. 

    It says that of the 10 million applications only 26% gained university admission. 

    Quartz reported last year that an estimated 1.5 million Nigerian high school graduates annually miss out on a place at university. 

    The problem, it says, is the country has a shortage of tertiary institutions: 150 public and private institutions with a capacity of 600,000. 

    For a country with 180 million people, 62% of them 24 or younger, Quartz says that is nowhere near enough. 

    In comparison, the US has more than 5,000 higher education institutions, and a population of 319 million, Quartz reports. 

    Some students opt for a foreign university degree but the cost has locked out many. 

    Education authorities have also outlawed online degrees from foreign universities locking out an option that would help alleviate the problem. 

    NBS also found lower enrollment of female students in north-east of the country which it blames on cultural beliefs which see education of girls as a luxury.  

    Students protest during a strike
    Image caption: Nigerian students regularly protest about the poor state of education
  20. South Africans 'not xenophobic, no need for AU intervention'

    A Nigerian man gathers his belongings after his house was burned out by a vigilante mob in Pretoria, South Africa, 18 February 2017
    Image caption: This Nigerian man's house was set alight in a township in Pretoria over the weekend

    The South African government has dismissed Nigeria’s call for the African Union (AU) to intervene to end xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

    Over the weekend 30 shops belonging to foreigners were looted and burnt down in a Pretoria township.

    But the spokesperson for the foreign affairs department, Clayson Monyela, told South Africa's New Age paper that the attacks were isolated incidents:

    Quote Message: It was just sporadic criminal incidents, the residents were clear that they were unhappy about drugs and prostitution.
    Quote Message: You can deduce from that there are no nationalities targeted. South Africans are not xenophobic."

    Earlier this week an adviser to Nigeria's president said that 116 Nigerians had been killed in attacks in South Africa over the last two years.   

    Read more: South Africa's identity crisis