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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 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: 

    Quote Message: A living dog is better than a dead lion." from A Tsonga proverb sent by John Tshabane in Sandton, South Africa
    A Tsonga proverb sent by John Tshabane in Sandton, South Africa

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And we leave you with this photo of a new work by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare:

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  2. Pastor: I want $50m for my diamond

    Big diamond

    The pastor who found one of the world's largest uncut diamonds says he expects to get "not less than $50 million" for the 709-carat precious stone, after it failed to reach its minimum reserve price at auction in Sierra Leone today, AFP news agency reports.

    "I want my diamond to be sold abroad so I can get the best price to enable many people to benefit from the proceeds," Pastor Emmanuel Momoh told AFP. 

    Today's highest bid, for $7.8m, came from a UK citizen based in Antwerp, the European diamond capital in Belgium, where the next auction is expected to take place in the next few weeks.

    Evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh arrives with his wife on May 11, 2017 in Freetown for the auction of the 709 carats diamond he found earlier this year
    Image caption: Emmanuel Momoh and his wife attended today's failed auction in Freetown

    The reserve price, which is the minimum amount that the diamond can be sold for and was set by the Sierra Leonean government, is a secret.

    Last May, diamond-mining firm Lucara sold a 813-carat stone for $63m (£51m) at a closed auction in London.  

    Read more:

  3. Somalia will become a 'success story'

    UN chief Antonio Guterres, has told an international gathering on Somalia that after decades of conflict and stability, the conditions are now in place for it to become a success story. 

    Mr Guterres said Somalia now had a government that could be trusted and a plan that made sense. 

    At the end of the meeting in London, President Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said now was the time for action.

    ritain"s Prime Minister Theresa May chairs the London Somalia Conference at Lancaster House, May 11, 2017.
    Image caption: Several world leaders attended the meeting

    Earlier, the conference heard that although there had been improvements in security, Somalia faced the risk of a drought turning into famine. 

    Six million people need help and the UN is seeking about $1bn (£780m) in aid.

    The African Union has a large force in Somalia to help the government defeat the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group.

  4. African lions face same extinction threats as Ice Age cats

    African lion on the prowl
    Image caption: The African lion formerly ranged throughout Eurasia and Africa, but today is only found in sub-Saharan Africa

    Two big cats - the African lion and the Sunda clouded leopard - are most at risk from extinction caused by loss of prey, according to a new analysis.

    Lack of food was a factor in why seven big cats, including sabre-toothed tigers, went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age, say scientists.

    The trend is continuing, threatening a range of modern big cats, they warn.

    If the prey of big cats continues to decline it will add to other pressures such as habitat loss, a study found.

    Dr Chris Sandom from the University of Sussex said: "I think it adds an extra pressure for these animals. They are already suffering quite heavily from other conflicts with humans."

    Lion on the ground
    Image caption: The African lion is under threat from habitat loss and poaching

    Read the full BBC News story 

  5. Nazi poster controversy: SA students suspended

    Image caption: The poster (l) was similar to that portraying the Nazi-era League of German Girls (r)

    A leading South African university has suspended three students suspected of being linked to Nazi-inspired posters which appeared on campus notice boards earlier this week, a statement has said.

    The posters at Stellenbosch University had caused outrage, with critics saying it was the latest sign of racism at the institution. 

    The university has condemned the posters and started an investigation to find out who was behind them. 

    In a statement, vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers said he had decided to suspend the three students "suspected of misconduct while disciplinary proceedings are ongoing". 

    The posters, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda to rally support for Hitler, called for a "Fight for Stellenbosch".

    The university has been fraught with racial tension since white minority rule ended in 1994.


    The posters, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda to rally support for Hitler, called for a "Fight for Stellenbosch".

    The university has been fraught with racial tension since white minority rule ended in 1994.

  6. Ghanaian judge gets top Fifa job

    Fifa logo

    Ghanaian Anin Yeboah, a supreme court justice, has been elected as chairman of Fifa's Disciplinary Committee.

    He was voted in for a four-year term at Thursday's congress of football's world governing body in Bahrain.

    Yeboah was a member of Fifa's Ethics Committee last year.

    He was one of several Africans voted onto committees at the congress, including Rwanda's Martin Ngoga as deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.

    Read the full story here

  7. The diamond find that changed my life

    There was disappointment earlier for bidders at an auction in Sierra Leone for the second largest diamond ever found in the country. Even the highest bid, at $7.8m, wasn't enough to meet the minimum price that had been set for the precious stone.

    It will now be re-auctioned in the Belgian city of Antwerp, known as the diamond capital of Europe.

    BBC Africa's Umaru Fofana, who reported on the extraordinary find by a Christian pastor, has a special connection to this story.

    He used to hunt for diamonds in his spare time when growing up in Sierra Leone.

    And he's been telling the BBC's David Amanor how finding a diamond changed the course of his life:

    Video content

    Video caption: Umaru Fofana on the diamond find that transformed his life

    Read more: How I funded my studies by digging for Sierra Leone diamonds

  8. Mugabe 'resting eyes not sleeping': Twitter reacts

    Twitter users have been poking fun at Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's spokesman after he denied that the 93-year-old falls asleep at meetings, saying the veteran leader was in fact closing his eyes to protect them from bright lights:  

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  9. Your questions: How will UK elections affect Africa?

    British voters go to the polls on 8 June but how will the vote affect Africa?

    The election follows last year's Brexit vote when voters decided to leave the European Union, a decision that is expected to bring a lot of changes to the UK's international relationships.

    If you want to know where the major parties stand on trade, immigration, education or any other issue, and if you want clarification abut anything related to the election, let us know.

    We'll put a selection of your questions to our reporters and in-house experts for their analysis.

    Go to the BBC News website to send us your questions

  10. Nigeria passes budget after five-month delay

    President Muhammadu Buhari (left) has left Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo
    Image caption: President Muhammadu Buhari (left) has left Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in charge while he takes medical leave in the UK

    Nigerian lawmakers have approved the national budget in both houses of parliament after a five-month delay, in a move that is hoped will kick-start the country's flagging economy. 

    The budget of 7.5 trillion naira ($24bn; £19bn) was passed in both the House of Representatives and The Senate. 

    It was slightly higher than the expenditure first put forward by President Muhammadu Buhari in December.

    The budget can now be signed into law by the president.

    President Buhari left Nigeria on Sunday to take medical leave in the UK for an undisclosed illness, leaving Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in charge.

    Nigeria is in its second year of recession brought on by low oil prices which have slashed government revenues, weakened the naira currency and caused chronic dollar shortages. 

    The senate tweeted confirmation that the government spending plans had been passed:

    View more on twitter
  11. New era begins for African Champions League

    Mamelodi Sundowns
    Image caption: Mamelodi Sundowns are the current holders

    A new era for the African Champions League begins this weekend as a group stage featuring 16 teams kicks off.

    There are five matches on Friday, two on Saturday and one Sunday with seven previous champions in action.

    Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa continue the defence of their title on Sunday as they host Ethiopia's Saint George.

    Sundowns' coach Pitso Mosimane says fixture fatigue could threaten their hopes.

    Last year they became just the second South African winners of Africa's top club competition, beating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final.

    Read the full BBC Sport story 

  12. Femi Kuti 'to try again' after world record near-miss

    Femi Kuti, son of the late Afrobeat legend Fela, has told the BBC that he'll try again after narrowly missing out on breaking the world record for the longest continuous note played on a saxophone. But how does he manage to play for so long? 

    Video content

    Video caption: How saxophone player Femi Kuti played a single note for 46 minutes
  13. Chibok girls: 103 freed girls to go back to school

    Ms Alhassan
    Image caption: Ms Alhassan said the government will close its rehabilitation centre in September

    The 103 schoolgirls released from captivity after being taken by Islamist militants Boko Haram in Chibok, north-east Nigeria, will go back to school in September, a Nigerian minister has said.

    Aisha Alhassan said the girls will be ready psychologically.

    She said the rehabilitation centre in the capital, Abuja, where some of the girls have been kept, will be closed.

    The girls include the 82 released on Saturday, Ms Alhassan said.

    She told journalists that the young women were "stable" and "cheerful" compared to how the 21 freed last year were on their release.

    Read the full BBC story here

  14. How seven rangers stopped 'industrial scale' logging

    Thirty-five men from Mozambique, Malawi and China have been convicted over an illegal logging operation which destroyed about 2,000 hectares of woodland and smuggled out $37m (£29m) worth of hard wood. 

    Journalist Lucy Ashton told the BBC's Newsday programme how a small group of Malawian rangers brought down the racketeers last November:

    Video content

    Video caption: It was the largest arrest of its kind in Malawi's national parks
  15. $7.77m Sierra Leone diamond bid fails

    Umaru Fofana

    BBC Africa, Freetown, Sierra Leone

    Diamond auction will now move to the Belgian city of Antwerp after none of the bidders matched the state's reserve price at the auction in Sierra Leone. 

    See previous post

  16. Multi-million dollar auction bid for Sierra Leone diamond

    Someone has bid $7.77m (£6m) for an uncut diamond weighing 709 carats which has gone on sale at an auction in Sierra Leone, the BBC's Umaru Fofana reports from the capital Freetown.

    They are now waiting to find out if the bid has reached the reserve price (the lowest price which the diamond can be sold for), which has been set by the government. 

    It's the second largest diamond ever discovered in Sierra Leone and one of the 20 largest found anywhere. 

    It was discovered in March by a local pastor and his workers in Kono district. 

    If it does go for $7.77m, then Umaru would not have been far off with his own valuation of $7.5m! Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised though, given he was once a diamond miner himself. 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    How I funded my studies by digging for Sierra Leone diamonds

  17. Egypt uncovers 'tomb of pharaoh's daughter'

    Photograph published by the Egyptian ministry of antiquities showing a burial chamber at the Dahshur royal necropolis, south of Cairo (10 April 2017)
    Image caption: The discovery was made at an archaeological site at the Dahshur royal necropolis

    The 3,700-year-old burial chamber of a pharaoh's daughter is believed to have been found near the remains of a recently-discovered pyramid in Egypt.

    The ministry of antiquities said the chamber at the Dahshur royal necropolis, south of Cairo, contained a wooden box engraved with hieroglyphs.

    Inside the box were four canopic jars filled with the organs of the deceased, likely a daughter of King Emnikamaw.

    Read the full BBC News story

    Photograph published by the Egyptian ministry of antiquities showing a wooden box found inside a burial chamber at the Dahshur royal necropolis, south of Cairo (10 April 2017)
    Image caption: A box found inside the chamber bore hieroglyphics meant to protect the body
  18. Libya 'intercepts' migrant boat heading for Europe

    BBC World Service

    The Libyan coastguard says it has turned back a boat packed with nearly 500 migrants bound for Europe, just as they were about to be rescued at sea. 

    The migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, Syria, Bangladesh and Morocco, were returned to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where they are being held at a detention centre. 

    Libya accused a German rescue boat - run by the Sea-Watch organisation - of trying to disrupt its operation. But the captain said the EU-funded Libyan patrol boat had almost crashed into his vessel. 

    llegal migrants arrive by boat at a naval base after they were rescued by Libyan coastguard in the coastal city of Tripoli, Libya, May 10, 2017
    Image caption: Libya is under pressure to curb migration to Europe
  19. Mugabe 'resting eyes, not sleeping'

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe appears to be sleeping on the floor of the 67th United Nations General Assembly meeting September 25, 2012 at the United Nations in New York
    Image caption: Mr Mugabe often appears to be dozing at meetings

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's spokesman has hit back at critics who accuse him of being asleep at public events when his eyes appear to be closed, saying the 93 year old is in fact protecting them from bright lights. 

    George Charamba was quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper as saying that Mr Mugabe travels regularly to Singapore to receive specialised treatment for an eye condition.

    He added that "the rest of his body gets attended to" in Zimbabwe by a physician who is not only Zimbabwean but "is actually black".

    The increasingly frail-looking Mr Mugabe's health has been the source of intense speculation, and his critics say his trips to Singapore show he has no confidence in Zimbabwe's hospitals. 

    He is due to return from Singapore at the weekend after travelling to the country for his latest check-up.   

    In his response, Mr Charamba said:

    Quote Message: I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences. No. At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the president cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting."
    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe participates in a discussion at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa May 4, 2017
    Image caption: Mr Mugabe was at a World Economic Forum meeting in South Africa last week

    Mr Charamba drew parallels with South Africa's late President Nelson Mandela, whose eyes were sensitive to flash photography:

    A picture taken on February 10, 1995 shows former South African President Nelson Mandela visiting his former cell in notorious Robben Island prison.
    Image caption: Mr Mandela visited his prison cell after minority rule ended in 1994
    Quote Message: In the case of Mandela, if you remember, you were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room. This is what happens at 93 and Mandela, I do not think lived as long as the president."

    Mr Mandela died in a private hospital in the main city, Johannesburg, in 2013 at the age of 95.

  20. The young Senegalese woman behind the next French president

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    French newspaper Le Monde is running a profile on Sibeth Ndiaye, the 37-year-old Senegalese-French campaign guru of Emmanuel Macron, who has now been named as the president-elect's press secretary.

    Ms Ndiaye is seen as one of the key figures who orchestrated the meteoric rise of Mr Macron's En Marche movement.

    Le Monde says that she was ever-present during the Macron campaign and that along with his wife Brigitte Macron, was one of the most prominent women in his camp.

    She's being hailed as the star of a new documentary that's just aired on French TV, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at Mr Macron's victory.

    In the film, she jokes with Mr Macron, is seen advising and encouraging him, as well as organising his schedule. 

    With her "dreadlocks and blue Adidas trainers" Ms Ndiaye does not fulfill the stereotypical image of those working in French politics, the paper adds.

    Describing herself in her Twitter bio as an "apprentice geek and committed socialist", Ms Ndiaye grew up in the Senegalese capital Dakar, the youngest of four sisters in a highly political family. 

    Both her parents were high-profile figures in Senegal, serving in senior positions under former President Abdoulaye Wade.