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Summary

  1. Passengers pray on Lagos-bound flight as smoke fills cabin
  2. Lawyers for Zambia's opposition leader aim to quash treason charges
  3. Nigerian authorities to investigate incident
  4. Seventeen more mass graves found in DR Congo
  5. Uganda ends search for Lord's Resistance Army leader Kony
  6. Nigeria to probe head of the National Intelligence Agency over $43m cash find
  7. Burundian report criticises treatment of workers in Saudi Arabia
  8. Australia's high court confirms Kenya-born Lucy Gichuhi as senator
  9. Five Malian soldiers killed by suspected Islamist militants
  10. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 19 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  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: If a man says he will swallow an axe, hold the handle for him." from A Fulani proverb sent by Usman Usman, Kaduna, Nigeria
    A Fulani proverb sent by Usman Usman, Kaduna, Nigeria

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    We leave you with this photo of the seaside from @africashoboy Instagram account

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  2. 'Sim card registration party in Uganda'

    Earlier today Uganda's government extended a deadline for mobile phone subscribers to register their SIM cards to great relief of many. 

    An earlier order from the communication authority had given people a week to register their cards which many felt was too a short period.  

    A local nightclub seems to be capitalising on the news by organising a themed party: 

    View more on instagram
  3. Nigerian bank robber arrested in New York

    A Nigerian journalist and former United Nations employee has been charged with robbing or attempting to rob four Manhattan banks during his lunch breaks. 

    Abdullahi Shuaibu is accused of stealing $10,000 (£7,800) from banks near the UN headquarters in New York over the past two months. 

    Prosecutors said he told bank staff he had a gun and thanked them for their understanding. 

    He was caught after an image released by the police was recognised by a UN guard. 

    Mr Shuaibu was briefly employed by the United Nations before working as the UN correspondent for a Nigerian press agency.

    Abdullahi Shuaibu
    Image caption: Mr Shuaibu's image was recognised by a UN guard
  4. Class, race and cultural identity through West African art

    Artist Larry Achiampong explains how he draws on his Ghanaian heritage and colonial history to explore ideas around class, race and cultural identity.

    He mixes highlife music with hiphop and video game sound effects to create a unique sound.

     He's just released his third album 'Untitled' and has been speaking about it to BBC's Focus on Africa programme:

    Video content

    Video caption: Artist Larry Achiampong explains how he draws on his Ghanaian heritage
  5. Zambia opposition leader waves to supporters

    Zambia's opposition UPND party has shared two pictures of party leader Hakainde Hichilema leaving the court in the capital, Lusaka. 

    Mr Hichilema is facing treason charges over allegations that he plotted the overthrow of President Edgar Lungu.

    View more on twitter

    The party says that 10 other party officials facing charges of obstructing the president's motorcade were released on bail.

    View more on twitter
  6. Nigeria to probe smoke-filled plane

    Nigeria's aviation authority is investigating how the cabin of a domestic flight ended up filling with smoke on Tuesday leaving the passengers fearing for their lives, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

    On a video circulated on Twitter you can hear passengers praying during the flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos (see earlier story).

    View more on twitter

    Sam Adurogboye, from Nigeria's civil aviation authority, said that the aircraft was grounded for investigations, NAN reports.

    The airline, Aero Contractors, has also ordered an investigation.

    NAN quotes its spokesperson Simon Tumba as saying: "the management of Aero regrets any inconveniences the incident might have caused its esteemed passengers and assured it will get to the root cause of the matter".

    All the passengers arrived safely in Lagos and there were no reported injuries.

  7. Mayor recognised for help given to thousands of migrants crossing to Europe

    The mayor of the small Italian island of Lampedusa has won a major humanitarian award for her work in saving the lives of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe.

    Giuseppina Nicolini won the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize (named after a former president of Ivory Coast) along with the NGO SOS Mediterranee.

    The mayor of Lampedusa, Giuseppina Nicolini, poses on July 7, 2013 near the harbor of Lampedusa
    Image caption: Giuseppina Nicolini has taken a major role in helping migrants on Lampedusa

    The acting head of the jury, former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano, said "after examining conditions around the world, the jury determined that refugees and migrants constitute one of the crucial issues of our day, notably in the Mediterranean where nearly 13,000 men, women and children have perished in shipwrecks since 2013”.

    Thousands of refugees arrive on Lampedusa, which lies between African and mainland Europe, after being rescued from the sea

    A statement from the UN's cultural organisation, Unesco, which sponsors the prize says that the Ms Nicolini has been widely recognised for her "boundless humanity and unwavering commitment to refugee crisis management". 

    Migrants in Lampedusa
    Image caption: Many migrants trying to reach mainland Europe end up in Lampedusa
  8. World Bank reports bullish prospects for Africa's economy

    Africa's economic prospects this year are positive despite a recent slowdown in growth, the World Bank said in a report. 

    In its latest Africa Pulse report, a biannual analysis, it says economic growth was seen expanding to 2.6% this year and a further to 3.2% in 2018 and 3.5% the year after. 

    It says growth will be driven by commodity prices, an uptick in the global economy and improvements in the domestic market. 

    It says the slowdown in 2016 was the worst in decades and attributed it to poor performances in Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. 

    "This low growth rate was driven mainly by unfavourable external developments, with commodity prices remaining low, and difficult domestic conditions," the report said.

    Angola's growth was dragged by a fall in oil production while South Africa's economic expansion slowed to 0.3% due to contractions in the mining and manufacturing industries and the effects of drought on agriculture.

    "Excluding these three countries, growth in the region was estimated to be 4.1% in 2016," the report said.   

    Angola's capital, Luanda
    Image caption: Angola's growth was dragged by a fall in oil production
  9. Tanzania to recruit doctors blocked by Kenyan courts

    Tanzania's President John Magufuli has ordered the recruitment of 258 of the 500 doctors who were to be sent to neighbouring Kenya to address a shortage of medics there. 

    View more on twitter

    A Kenyan court today extended an order barring the recruitment of the foreign medics. 

    Kenya's doctors' union says the government should instead recruit 1,000 local unemployed physicians. 

    According to Tanzania's Citizen newspaper, a study revealed that the country was training more doctors than it can absorb.   

  10. Ontlametse's hometown celebrates her life

    Residents of Hebron, a small town near South Africa's capital, Pretoria, have today gathered for a memorial service to celebrate the life of Ontlametse Phalatse who died last week aged 18

    Ontlametse had a premature ageing disorder progeria and was well known and liked. 

    She was known as the "queen of positivity",

    A local artist drew her portrait: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  11. Nigeria to investigate graft allegations over funds for the north-east

    We've reported about Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari suspending the head of the National Intelligence Agency over a large cash find (see earlier entry), and in the same press release the head of state also mentions an investigation into another top official.

    Mr Buhari has also suspended David Babachir Lawal, the secretary to the government, in connection with questions over how contracts were awarded for the Presidential Initiative on the North East (Pine).

    Pine was set up to help the millions suffering from food shortages in an area threatened with famine.

  12. SA #FeeMustFall protester graduates with distinction

    A South African student who led protests against an increase in tuition fees at the Durban University of Technology has graduated cum laude - or one of the top students in his year, TimesLive reports

    Bonginkosi Khanyile, who was studying public management and economics, said he wrote exam in prison. 

     "I’m graduating on Tuesday‚ 9 May ‚" he said in a brief phone conversation. "I wrote exams in prison. It was a difficult experience.", the report says.

    Mr Khanyile was arrested for being part of the #FeeMustFall protests last September. 

    He was denied bail on several occasions and was only released after taking his matter to the constitutional court in March.

    View more on twitter
  13. Trump imagined as a military strongman

    If you've ever wandered what US President Trump Donald Trump could look like in military dress then look no further.

    A Reuters journalist in Nigeria has spotted work by an artist who imagined how the US leader might appear:

    View more on twitter
  14. Penguin kidnapping case 'dropped'

    Two South African students accused of kidnapping a penguin from a marine park and releasing it into the wild have had the charges against them dropped, the AFP news agency is reporting.

    Adrian Donian and Emile du Plessis took the penguin, Buddy, in a demonstration against animals being kept in captivity.

    At the time, Dylan Bailey, the manager of Bayworld in Port Elizabeth, said the penguin was "completely ill-equipped to survive in the wild".

    Buddy has never been found.

    AFP reports that the magistrate dropped the charges because the authorities took too long deciding whether to go ahead with the prosecution.  

    Penguin
  15. Hichilema charge 'ploy to keep accused in custody'

    We've been getting more details of the court case in Zambia involving treason charges against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema (see earlier entry).

    Initially, he was charged with endangering the life of the president over an incident where Mr Hichilema's convoy appeared not to make way for the president's motorcade.

    Then the reason for the treason charge was switched on Tuesday. Prosecutors alleged that the opposition leader had been planning to overthrow the president.

    In court today, Mr Hichilema's lawyers criticised the lack of detail in the new charges, the AFP news agency is reporting.

    It quotes one of his lawyers, Vincent Malambo, as asking the court "to determine whether the charge is not a mere fact or ploy of keeping the accused in custody."

    The case has been adjourned until tomorrow when the prosecutors will get a chance to respond.

    Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema waves to supporters from a police van as he leaves a courtroom in Lusaka on April 18, 2017.
    Image caption: Hakainde Hichilema was pictured being driven to court
  16. Buhari suspends Nigeria's spy chief over $43m cash find

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the boss of the intelligence agency, Ayo Oke, and ordered an investigation following last week's discovery of $43m (£33m) in cash in a flat in an upscale estate in Lagos, a statement from his office says.

    Cash
    Image caption: The money was neatly arranged and hidden in wardrobes, investigators say

    The money, which was uncovered by the anti-corruption agency following a tip-off has been claimed by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the statement says. 

    Mr Buhari has ordered investigators to find out how the NIA came in possession of the funds and to establish if they broke any law. 

    A statement from the presidency says a committee, headed by the vice president will conduct the investigation and submit a report to him within 14 days.

    Watch: Inside the Nigerian flat full of cash in Lagos

  17. Uganda extends SIM card registration deadline

    Uganda's government has extended the deadline imposed by the communication commission for all mobile phone subscribers to register their SIM cards by 20 April. 

    A letter from the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda orders the commission to allow the registration to continue until 19 May. 

    The commission had directed all subscribers to update their details using their National Identification Card. 

    View more on twitter

    Campaigners in Uganda had gone to court to challenge the order saying that it had not given enough time for people to register. 

    The government says the move is necessary to track criminals, amid heightened security concerns following the murder of the country’s police spokesperson last month.

    There are an estimated 19 million mobile phone users in the country.   

  18. Uganda traders protest against foreign hawkers

    BBC Monitoring

    News from around the globe

    Traders in Uganda's capital, Kampala, closed their shops for several hours today in protest at what they see as unfair competition from Indian and Chinese rivals. 

    Local newspapers are reporting that a leader of the protest action David Lwanga was taken away by police. 

    Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago, addressed the protesting traders who deal in construction materials. 

    The New Vision newspaper said the protesters complained that they paid taxes to import goods from China, while their Chinese counterparts allegedly didn't have to pay any taxes and undercut local traders. 

    New Vision quoted one trader, Ronald Kiwuwa, as saying: "If they are here as investors, let them go and start factories, production plants and leave retail business for Ugandans."

    View more on twitter
  19. French soldier faces prison over Burkina Faso 'child sex abuse'

    Prosecutors in France have requested a sentence of six month in prison against a French soldier who has been on trial in Paris for child sex abuse in Burkina Faso. 

    The soldier initially denied the allegations before admitting inappropriate contact with two minors. 

    Prosecutors say 40-year-old Sebastien L, filmed himself touching two young girls sexually in a hotel pool in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou in 2015. 

    The children's mother then found the footage on a camera that the soldier left behind.

    He was flown out to France to stand trial after the incident was brought to light. 

    The prosecutors asked the court for a one-year suspended prison sentence in addition to the actual six-month prison term.

    They also want the court to order the serviceman to take a compulsory counselling to address psychological issues as well as a problem with alcohol.   

  20. Uganda says Kony is no longer a threat

    Uganda's army says it has begun pulling its forces out of the Central African Republic where they have been fighting members of the Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

    The LRA, led by Joseph Kony, were notorious for terrorising the population of northern Uganda in the 1990s and the first decade of this century.

    Its fighters, including Kony, were forced from Uganda into neighbouring South Sudan. Later, under pressure from an international force, they went into the Central African Republic.

    The Ugandan army says that the LRA's "capacity and means of making war against Uganda have been degraded".

    In a statement, it goes on to say:

    Quote Message: [Joseph Kony] with less than 100 armed fighters is now weak and ineffective. He no longer poses any significant threat to Uganda's security."
    file photo taken on November 12, 2006, shows the leader of the Lord"s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony
    Image caption: Joseph Kony founded the LRA in 1988

    Read more about Joseph Kony.