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  1. Obasanjo says youth unemployment is Africa's biggest problem
  2. South African church body unleashes fierce critique of president's government
  3. Body of Kenyan politician Thomas Minito found in river, police say
  4. Inmates escape from second DR Congo prison in a week
  5. France's President Macron in Mali on first overseas trip
  6. Targeted killings in South Sudan could be war crime, UN says
  7. Gambia issues indictments over killing of journalist Deyda Hydara
  8. Bashir 'will skip' Saudi summit to be attended by Trump
  9. Clashes in Libya kill 60
  10. Email stories and comments to - Friday 19 May 2017

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 next week

    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: The he-goat’s beard and perfume cannot prevent his owner from selling him." from A Dinka proverb sent by Francis Beek in Gogrial, South Sudan
    A Dinka proverb sent by Francis Beek in Gogrial, South Sudan

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

    And we leave you with this picture of a South African motocross rider wowing the crowd at celebrations for Lagos state's 50th anniversary in Nigeria. It's one of our top shots from this week.

    A South African freestyle motor cross rider performs during a carnival to mark 50 month-long celebrations on May 13, 2017 in Lagos. A carnival was held with captivating cultural displays, traditional costumes and folk music to showcase the state rich cultural tradition at the event.
  2. Could presidents give up their motorcades?

    Ten motorcycle outriders, a convoy of 20 bullet-proof cars.

    It's all necessary for our satirical President Olushambles to get from A to B.

    But his counterpart President Kibarkingmad has started to wonder. What's so wrong with just walking?


    Video content

    Video caption: Olushambles and Kibarkingmad are living the fast life.
  3. Obasanjo: Part of the solution or part of the problem?

    A lot of people have been reacting on the BBC Africa Facebook page to the comments from Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo that Africa's most dangerous problem is the high rate of youth unemployment (see earlier post).

    Mr Obasanjo made the comments as an elder statesman taking a bird's-eye view of the continent, but the commenters on Facebook are not very sympathetic and see the former leader as part of the problem:

    Anengiyefa Alagoa says:

    Quote Message: People like Mr Obasanjo are a major part of the problem! The absence of accountability and people failing to take responsibility for their failures, are the main reasons why Africa is in the mess that is in today."

    Akpoka Desmond Akpoka says:

    Quote Message: This man has been the person destroying youth in his country. He should be asked how he has helped youth during his eight year reign as president. What platform did he created that's helping youth today?"

    Olagunju Kayode says:

    Quote Message: Very many of our past leaders jet off to weddings of colleagues and move huge capital investments out of the country. So how do they expect the youth to do well without a good job?"
    Olusegun Obasanjo
    Image caption: Mr Obasanjo was Nigeria's president from 1999 to 2007
  4. Tanzanian aims to sell health insurance to poorest

    Tanzanian entrepreneur Lillian Makoi was inspired to look into health insurance when her maid’s husband died in a car accident.

    She told the BBC’s Sammy Awami that he didn’t die because of the car accident, it wasn’t a bad crash. He died because he couldn’t pay $25 to access the hospital care.

    This spurred her on to look into health insurance for people on low incomes and found a big gap in the market in the form of millions of uninsured Tanzanians.

    The big insurance players told her the administration costs make it impossible to provide health insurance to people earning less than $100 a month.

    Listen to her explain on Focus on Africa how she found a way to charge $1 a month for health insurance:

    Video content

    Video caption: A phone app hoping to revolutionise the cost of health insurance.
  5. Parcel bomb injures three in South Africa

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Three people have been seriously injured by what is believed to be a parcel bomb in the South African coastal city of Durban.

    The bomb exploded after it was delivered to a house in an upmarket part of the city.

    Police and emergency services were still on the scene on Friday afternoon.

    Captain Nqobile Gwala from the South African Police Service said the people were injured when they opened the parcel. They have all been taken to hospital.

    Police are investigating the motive behind the explosion.

    View more on twitter
  6. The price of the release of 82 Chibok girls

    Chibok girls queuing up to meet president

    Eighty-two of those kidnapped from Chibok in Nigeria in 2014 were released earlier this month. They were part of group of girls kidnapped by the Islamist militants Boko Haram.

    The release of the 82 came with a price, the BBC's Alastair Leithead and Stephanie Hegarty have found.

    The details of the deal are sketchy.

    But they report that five senior Boko Haram militants were moved from a high security unit to be driven to freedom.

    Our correspondents' sources don’t want to be named and their version of events is hard to confirm, but they say the men were high-level Boko Haram bomb makers, and that they were accompanied by two million euros in cash.

    Governments rarely admit to paying a ransom, and this claim could not be independently verified.

    Read our in depth analysis of the fate of the Chibok girls.

  7. South Africans on Twitter rally to help threatened woman

    The Twitter handle for South Africa's Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has been trending in the country today as people share what appears to be a desperate cry for help from an abused woman.

    It comes as the spotlight has been thrown on the high number of women being murdered in South Africa following the killing of 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena. Her former boyfriend has been arrested in connection with her death.

    One Twitter user compiled some of the woman's messages and tagged the minister in a tweet. She alleges that her boyfriend is trying to kill her.

    Content of Twitter message

    The minister responded by asking for help in getting in touch with the woman:


    Later he said contact had been made:

  8. Nigerian officials warned not to take bribes for visas

    Muhammad Kabir Muhammad

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Image caption: Officials often demand payments to get anything done quickly

    Nigeria's acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned officials caught soliciting for or receiving bribes for visas will be sacked and prosecuted.

    He said this as he signed three executive orders that aim to radically speed up the notoriously slow Nigerian bureaucracy.

    One of the orders instructs all government agencies to publish all requirements or conditions for obtaining their services or products, including permits and licences on their websites.

    It also says all applications for business registrations, certification, waivers, licenses or permits not concluded on time shall be deemed approved.

    This could radically change how things are done in Nigeria.

    Currently, when you apply for anything from Nigerian officials, you either pay bribes to get it done as quickly as possible or you wait for the bureaucratic wheel to complete its sluggish turn at an indeterminate period in future.

  9. Nigerian ex-governor to box Holyfield, Soyinka to referee

    It sounds like a surreal dream: former heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield in the ring with ex-Lagos state governor Bola Tinubu and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka is the referee.

    But - according to the event organisers - this is really going to happen next week.

    View more on twitter

    #RumbleInLagos has been trending on Twitter in Nigeria today as people discuss the fight.

    Mr Tinubu is quoted as saying that he "can't wait to knock Evander down".

    View more on twitter

    The event is part of the Lagos@50 celebrations and is intended to raise awareness of various medical conditions:

    View more on twitter
  10. Man jailed for giving away daughter to pay bar debt

    A Mozambican man has been jailed for 19 years after he handed over his daughter as a child bride to pay a bar debt of 600 meticais (£6.90; $10), reports Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias.

    The man who accepted the girl was given the same sentence, the newspaper adds.

    The article goes on to say an NGO found out about the girl and took her in.

    The sentence was handed out by a court in Manica, close to the border with Zimbabwe, on 18 April but took a month to come to light, Lusa news agency adds.

  11. 'We are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder'

    The unemployment rate among Africa's large youthful population is potentially dangerous, Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo told the BBC.

    "We are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder," he said in an interview with Africa Business Report when he was talking about his greatest fear for the continent.

    He estimated that 60% of the continent's population is under the age of 25 and half of those do not have a job.

    He suggested that a better education system was one of the answers to the problem.

    His comments came in a candid interview about the state of both Africa's and Nigeria's economy and politics.

    Video content

    Video caption: Olusegun Obasanjo: 'We are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder'
  12. Nigerian oil workers union calls strike

    An attendant sells fuel to a motorist at a filling station in Lagos, on May 12, 2016.
    Image caption: Nigeria is not yet self-sufficient in petrol

    A Nigerian oil workers' union has called a strike over 150 workers who were sacked in December, a union member told Reuters news agency.

    The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (Pengassan) union called for the shutdown of all Exxon Mobil Corp facilities in the Niger Delta.

    Reuters was unable to verify whether union members had shut down the company's facilities and oil sources told them there had been no impact on production.

    Madubuezi Azubuike, who chairs the union in Rivers state, said the call followed the breakdown of talks with the company over sackings and was part of a strike that began last week.

  13. Italy's first black minister 'vindicated' by racist slurs verdict

    Italy's first black minister has said she feels "vindicated" after winning a four-year court battle against a far-right MEP who made repeated racist slurs against her.

    Mario Borghezio has been ordered to pay Cécile Kyenge 50,000 euros ($55,690; £42,895) by a court in Milan.

    Among other comments, Borghezio said she "took away a job from an Italian doctor" in a 2013 radio interview.

    The Northern League MEP must also pay Ms Kyenge's legal fees.

    Ms Kyenge, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, told the BBC's Newsday radio programme: "At the end of the day this is a strong message against impunity. those who believe there is no justice should think twice.

    Video content

    Video caption: She won a case against a fellow MEP, over racial slurs

    Read more from BBC News Online.

  14. Macron arrives in Mali for visit to French troops

    Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Mali to meet French troops, less than a week after his inauguration as France's president.

    Mr Macron's plane touched down at a French airbase in Gao in the north of the country just before 10:00 GMT (11:00 BST).

    French soldiers have been fighting Islamic militants in the north of the former French colony since 2013.

    He has been tweeting tributes to those troops.

    This says French troops will continue fight alongside Mali.

    View more on twitter

    He also said that France will be uncompromising in its struggle against Islamist militants in the country.

    He was greeted in Gao by his Malian counterpart, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita,

    French President Emmanuel Macron (L) talks with Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (R) during a visit to the troops of France's Barkhane counter-terrorism operation in Africa's Sahel region in Gao, northern Mali, 19 May 2017

    Thousands of French soldiers have been fighting jihadists in the Sahel region since 2013, when they led a military intervention to drive out Islamist groups that had seized large parts of Mali.

    But attacks by militants continue, killing 300 people last year.

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  15. Politician's body identified by documents in pocket

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    We've been reporting on the death of a politician linked to the raids on private ranches in Kenya (see earlier entry).

    Police believe the body retrieved from a river this morning belongs to Thomas Minito, who was being investigated for possible involvement in the shooting of Italian-born Kenyan conservationist Kuki Gallman.

    The body was found floating in a river in Machakos county, 50km east of the capital, Nairobi.

    Police said they identified him from the documents found in his pockets and they think he was murdered because of an injury they have observed to his head.

    But his family is yet to confirm the identity.

    Mr Minito was arrested on 30 March and accused of inciting violence in Laikipia county, including raids on private ranches.

    Ms Gallmann was shot in an attack linked to that violence.

    Thomas Minito
  16. South Africa turning into 'mafia state'

    BBC World Service

    A church panel in South Africa has warned that corruption is fast turning the country into a mafia state.

    Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, the head of the influential South African Council of Churches (Sacoc), said President Jacob Zuma's government had lost its moral legitimacy.

    The Reuters news agency quotes him as saying:

    Quote Message: We have come to recognise that South Africa may just be a few inches from the throes of a mafia state from which there may be no return, a recipe for a failed state."

    Sacoc has been carrying out a commission looking into corruption in the country and witnesses told commissioners that government officials around Mr Zuma had diverted budgets, rigged tender processes and tailored regulations to benefit a select few.

    The church council said it would send its findings to the governing African National Congress.

    Last year, a report by the country's anti-corruption investigator found evidence of possible corruption at the top level of Mr Zuma's government.

    The president has launched a legal process to challenge the findings.

    South African President Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: South Africa President Jacob Zuma is coming under increasing pressure over allegations of corruption in his government
  17. Second jail-break in DR Congo

    BBC World Service

    There has been another jail-break in the Democratic Republic of Congo two days after more than 3,000 inmates escaped from the country's main jail.

    This time, about 60 people broke out of Kasangulu prison, some 40km from the capital, Kinshasa.

    The jail is located in the heartland of the Bundu Dia Kongo religious sect.

    In the previous incident, the sect's jailed leader was among those who escaped when armed men attacked the prison.

    The authorities are discussing the possibility of deploying the military to guard jails.

    Scene in front of jail where prisoners escaped on Wednesday
    Image caption: Cars parked at the front of the prison were burnt during Wednesday's jail-break
  18. Salomon Kalou recalled to Ivory Coast squad

    Salomon Kalou

    New Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has persuaded Salomon Kalou to come out of international retirement.

    Hertha Berlin's Kalou quit the Elephants after the defending champions crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations this year.

    Wilmot had also persuaded four former France youth internationals to swap national allegiances and play for Ivory Coast.

    Ivory Coast face the Netherlands in a friendly on 4 June and Guinea in a 2019 Nations Cup qualifier five days later.

    Read more on the BBC Sport website.

  19. Ugandans warned unregistered phones will be cut off tonight

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    Mobile phone

    The Uganda Minister for Communications Frank Tumwebaze has warned that all unverified Sim cards will be switched off midnight tonight.

    This is in spite of a motion passed in parliament to extend the deadline.

    He says voice services on unverified Sim cards will first be turned off, but mobile money services will stay on for people to withdraw any credit they have may if they don't intend to have that Sim card verified.

    Mr Tumwebaze says at least 92% of all active Sim cards had been submitted for verification by close of business yesterday.

    Long queues were seen on Thursday in parts of Uganda's capital Kampala as people were trying to get national identity cards to be used to verify the Sim cards.

  20. Suspected Ebola cases in Congo rise to 29

    Health workers wearing protective gear at the Nongo Ebola treatment centre in Conakry, Guinea, on August 21, 2015
    Image caption: The world's deadliest Ebola outbreak hit West Africa in 2014-2015

    The number of suspected Ebola cases in Congo has risen to 29, up from 21, Reuters News agency reports World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier as saying.

    Three people have died so far and 416 peolpe who may have had contact with sufferers were being chased up in case they also developed symptoms, he said.

    People began to get sick on or after 22 April in Bas-Uele province in the country's far north.

    The region affected lies 1,300km (800 miles) north-east of Kinshasa, close to the border with the Central African Republic, in a remote forested area.