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Summary

  1. Observers commend Kenya's electoral commission
  2. AU calls them 'very credible'
  3. Commission admits to unsuccessful hacking attempt
  4. Opposition says its candidate won
  5. Opposition supporters come out to 'celebrate'
  6. Botswana's Makwala and South Africa's van Niekerk to go head-to-head
  7. Botswana set to honour sprinter Isaac Makwala
  8. Second group of migrants feared drowned in Red Sea
  9. SA minister in court after being accused of assaulting a woman
  10. Commonwealth brokers talks between Zambia's president and opposition leader

Live Reporting

By Paul Bakibinga and Damian Zane

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: In togetherness, any obstacle can be removed." from An Ibibio proverb sent by Blessing Umoudit in London, United Kingdom
    An Ibibio proverb sent by Blessing Umoudit in London, United Kingdom

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

    And we leave you with this picture of a street vendor frying akala for sale in Accra, Ghana from the Instagram account of Nana Kofi Acquah:

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  2. Countdown to Makwala time?

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    saac Makwala of Botswana reacts after competing in the Men's 200 metres semi finals during day six of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017

    If the support of a nation can win you a medal then Botswana's Isaac Makwala will surely get one this evening in the final of the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in London.

    Back home in Botswana, the government has said it is planning a public holiday in his honour.

    But standing in his way is South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk, who has already won gold in the 400m.

    The two were supposed to go head-to-head on Tuesday in the 400m final, but Makwala was controversially barred from running over an illness.

    Before the championships began, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt said Van Niekerk was a worthy successor to his position at the world's best-known athlete.

    Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa reacts after competing in the Men's 200 metres semi finals during day six of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London

    Former US sprinter Michael Johnson told the BBC that whoever wins, the winning time will be sub-20 seconds.

    The race will take place at 21:50 (20:50 GMT).

  3. Kenya opposition claims dismissed as 'ridiculous'

    A Kenyan election official has dismissed opposition claims that Raila Odinga is ahead in the presidential election as "ridiculous", the Reuters news agency reports.

    Abdi Yakub Guliye said that the opposition Nasa alliance did not have any "credible data".

    Leading Nasa figure Musalia Mudavadi had earlier said that the party's own count showed that Raila Odinga should be declared the winner. he also repeated the claim that the electoral commission's IT systems had been hacked.

    But Mr Guliye told the BBC's Somali service that the electoral commission is "very confident of the computer system".

    Abdi Yakub Guliye
    Image caption: Abdi Yakub Guliye works for Kenya's electoral commission - the IEBC
  4. Tanzanian police kill 13 'criminals' in shootout

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC Africa, Arusha

    Police in Tanzania say they have killed 13 people suspected to be behind a spate of mystery killings of security officers and members of a pro-government vigilante group in the south of the country.

    Police spokesperson Barnabas Mwakalukwa said that of the 13 people killed seven had been identified. He added that the security forces had recovered a number of weapons including five AK 47 assault rifles and ammunition.

    In recent months, the area has been hit by a wave of insecurity that has seen people, mainly police and local government leaders, targetted.

    The insecurity has claimed more than 40 lives so far.

  5. Police look on as opposition supporters 'celebrate' in Kisumu

    A BBC reporter in the western Kenyan opposition stronghold of Kisumu has shared some images of people celebrating after the opposition Nasa alliance said its presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, should be declared the winner of Tuesday's election.

    View more on twitter
  6. From bodyguard to Kenyan MP

    Juliet Njeri

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    Nimrod Mbithuka Mbai was once assigned to guard parliamentarians and government officials, but after winning the 8 August election, he will now serve as the member of parliament for Kitui East constituency.

    The Daily Nation reports that the former police office beat the incumbent MP and will now join the man whom he used to guard as an equal, after they were both elected members of the new National Assembly.

    Screen grab showing MP

    He garnered 14,256 votes against his closest rival who got 10,899 votes.

    Mr Mbai also served as a bodyguard for a former government spokesman before he resigned from the police service.

    As a bodyguard, his daily routine included accompanying the politicians to official engagements, including public meetings, and “spending long hours idling in cars as the leaders engage in debating chamber or close door meetings, sometimes late into the night”.

    And now, somebody else will escort Mr Mbai to work, open the car door for him and guard him.

  7. Boko Haram deploys most female suicide bombers in history

    Martin Patience

    BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

    The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has deployed more female suicide bombers than any other insurgency in history, says a new report by researchers at West Point - a top US military academy.

    The report says more than 400 attacks have been carried out since 2011, mainly in north-east Nigeria but also in neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. And in over half the cases, women or girls were used as the bombers.

    The report contrasts this with the Tamil Tigers, who were fighting for Tamil rights in Sri Lanka, who used 44 female suicide bombers in over 10 years.

    This year alone more than 80 females, many of them girls, were deployed as suicide attackers by Boko Haram.

    Part of the reason was that women, and girls in particular, aroused less suspicion than men.

    They frequently strike soft targets such as markets, mosques and makeshift camps where people are sheltering from the violence.

    But the report also suggests that Boko Haram came to realise that using women could help raise its global profile.

    Overall the study estimates that about 2,000 people have been killed by suicide attacks.

    A man walks past a the scene of a bombing after at least 20 people were killed when a young female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a bus station in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on June 22, 2015 in an attack likely to be blamed on Boko Haram
    Image caption: Aftermath of a female suicide bomber attack in Maiduguri Nigeria
  8. 'Everything came from the people'

    Anthony Irungu

    BBC Africa, Kenya

    The family of John Paul Mwirigi are celebrating the fact that he has just become Kenya's youngest MP after Tuesday's general election.

    The 23-year-old student will be representing a constituency in Meru county in the east of the country.

    He was congratulated by his grandmother:

    Man with older woman

    And his mother gave him milk to drink in a local tradition symbolising the transition from one stage to another. In this case, moving from being an ordinary citizen to a member of parliament:

    Woman giving a man a drink

    Mr Mwirigi told me that he did not use any money to campaign. He relied on well wishers and motorcycle riders who ferried him around.

    "My joy is that the people of the constituency have realised that even the young generation can lead. I would like to confess that I did not use even a single coin, everything came from people here."

    Young MP

    He added that his win is a lesson to young people that you don't need a fat bank account to win political office.

  9. Kenya opposition says it has evidence of fraud

    The BBC's Tomi Oladipo wraps up the Nasa press conference

    Kenya’s opposition coalition has demanded that its candidate Raila Odinga be declared president.

    The National Super Alliance (Nasa) says it has evidence that Mr Odinga had won Tuesday’s elections even though early results showed he was well behind the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    The electoral authority says it is still verifying the results.

    Since Tuesday's elections, the opposition alliance in Kenya has made several claims that the process was fraudulent.

    The party leader Raila Odinga questioned the credibility of the vote tallying and then alleged that the election database was hacked and results manipulated.

    Now his camp says it has evidence, from an unnamed source within the electoral authority, that it was Mr Odinga who won the election and not his rival President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    This comes just hours after foreign observers expressed confidence in Kenya’s electoral process.

    The official results are not expected for at least another day.

    Raila Odinga
    Image caption: Mr Odinga was at the press conference, but did not speak to journalists
  10. Nearly 70 Malawian civil servants sacked

    Almost 70 civil servants from Malawi's ministry of agriculture have been fired for allegedly embezzling $2m (£1.5m) in public funds, AFP reports quoting Osborne Tsoka a ministry spokesman.

    "Sixty-eight officers have been dismissed and their cases referred to the attorney general for prosecution," Mr Tsoka is reported to have said in a statement.

    Workers in the agriculture ministry are accused of running a scheme that inflated salaries or initiated payments for non-existent workers between 2012 and 2014, AFP says.

    An investigation revealed that most of the money was taken by people in the accounts department at the ministry's headquarters in Lilongwe as well as research stations, AFP adds.

    Malawi has a 180,000-strong civil service who earn an average of about $100 a month.

    Peter Mutharika President of Malawi speaks on September 18, 2016 in New York City.
    Image caption: Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has repeatedly vowed to fight corruption
  11. South African hostage Stephen McGown describes release

    South African Stephen McGown, who was kidnapped by al-Qaeda from the Mali tourist town of Timbuktu in 2011, has described his release at a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    He said it was difficult to comprehend after being in captivity for five-and-a-half years:

    Video content

    Video caption: South African hostage Stephen McGown describes release

    South African Stephen McGown freed by al-Qaeda in Mali

  12. Kenya opposition supporters 'celebrate'

    Supporters of Kenya's opposition leader, Raila Odinga, have come out onto the streets in a part of Kisumu, western Kenya, considered an opposition stronghold.

    A BBC reporter filmed them celebrating after one of the leaders of the opposition Nasa alliance had said that their candidate had actually won Tuesday's election.

    The party disputes the electoral commission's preliminary results showing that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is in the lead.

    Video content

    Video caption: Kenya elections: Celebrations in Kisumu
  13. BreakingKenyans 'should remain calm'

    Musalia Mudavadi from Kenya's opposition Nasa alliance has said that Kenyans 'should remain calm'.

    He has been addressing journalists in the capital, Nairobi, and repeated his alliance's dispute with the preliminary election results that show incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has a strong lead.

  14. BreakingKenya opposition continues election challenge

    Leaders from Kenya's main opposition Nasa alliance has repeated its claim that the results of Tuesday's election are fraudulent.

    The preliminary results from the electoral commission, the IEBC, show incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta with a big lead.

    But Nasa's Musalia Mudavadi has told journalists that it was their candidate, Raila Odinga, who won.

    Nasa says that the IEBC's computer systems has been hacked to change the results.

  15. Botswana to honour Makwala with a special day

    Botswana sprinter Isaac Makwala, who was controversially barred from running in the 400m final at the World Athletics Championships, is to get a special day in his honour, Botswana's government has announced.

    View more on twitter

    The world athletics body, the IAAF, stopped him from running in the final because they said Makwala was suffering from the highly contagious norovirus. He disputed this.

    He also missed the 200m heats and has become an unwitting star after being allowed to run in a time trial on his own to see if he could qualify for the 200m semi-finals.

    Botswana has also said that it will pay him the prize money they believe he would have won if he had taken gold in the 400m.

    He is due to run in the 200m final tonight.

  16. Kenya election 'star' traced

    Juliet Njeri

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    An unwitting social media star who brought some much needed comic respite amid the ongoing tension of the Kenyan election has been identified after an online campaign.

    Githeri Man, as he has become known, was photographed on election day carrying a bag of the staple maize and bean-based dish, known as githeri, in a plastic bag to munch on as he negotiated the long queue at the polling station.

    View more on twitter

    He soon became a sensation on Kenyan social media, and was photo-shopped into a number of iconic images.

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

    Many users also called for him to be found and thanked for bringing much needed levity.

    Earlier today radio presenter @teddyeugene posted a tweet along with a picture of the man being interviewed. He was wearing the same distinctive suit and shirt he wore on election day.

    View more on twitter
  17. Kenyan civil servants ordered back to work Friday

    The head of Kenya's public service, Joseph Kinyua, has ordered all civil servants to report back to work immediately following "the successful and peaceful conduct of the general election".

    The final results are yet to be announced, but the electoral commission said earlier today that it hopes to announce the final results on Friday.

    People have taken time off as they wait for the final results, and the streets of the capital, Nairobi, has been quieter than usual.

    Letter from head of Kenya civil service
  18. Rival supporters clash in north-east Kenya

    Bashkas Jugsodaay

    BBC News, Garissa

    Market burning

    The main market in Garissa, north-east Kenya, is burning following a dispute by supporters of rival candidates for county governor in Tuesday's election.

    They clashed after the results were declared.

    Ali Bunow Korane of the Jubilee Coalition was announced the winner. Those disgruntled by the result then set parts of the market alight.

    While calm has been restored fire fighters are still battling to put out the flames.

    Market burning
  19. Swede freed in Mali opposed to ransom payments

    Johan Gustafsson a Swedish man who was held hostage by militant Islamists Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for nearly six years before being freed in June has made his first public appearance in Sweden, AFP and AP news agencies are reporting.

    Mr Gustafsson told reporters today in Stockholm that though he did not know why he was released he hoped that the Swedish government was telling the truth when it stated that its policy was not to pay ransoms, AFP reports.

    "I think it's wrong to pay ransoms..I hope they let me out because they were tired of me," AP quotes him as saying. He is further reported as saying he converted to Islam to save his life.

    There are few details on how Mr Gustafsson got to be released. He, Mr Sjaak Rijke from Holland and South African Mr Stephen McGown, were seized in northern Mali in November 2011 but Mr Gustafsson was rescued by French forces in April 2015.

    Mr McGown was only released on July 25 this year.

    Swede Johan Gustafsson gives a press conference at the Swedish library Association in Stockholm on August 10, 2017
    Image caption: Johan Gustafsson at a press conference today
  20. Kenya commission admits unsuccessful hack attempt

    Wafula Chebukati, chair of Kenya's electoral commission, has admitted that there had been an unsuccessful attempt to hack its IT system.

    "Hacking was attempted but it did not succeed," he told journalists at a press conference at the election centre in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

    Mr Chebukati did not elaborate on who may have attempted the hack or whether it is being investigated further.

    Yesterday, opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga alleged that the commission's computers had been infiltrated by hackers and the results had been manipulated.

    The commission, the IEBC, said this had not been the case.

    The count published on the commission's website so far shows that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has a commanding lead over Mr Odinga.