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Summary

  1. Gabon's president is accused of trying to create a monarchy
  2. Sudan university vice-chancellor allegedly beat students
  3. Ban on menstruating girls crossing Ghana river
  4. Nigeria deploys special forces to end land conflict
  5. Mugabe ally rules out deal with "devil"
  6. Anti-corruption buster appointed in Ghana
  7. "Students injured in stampede" at South African college
  8. Tanzanian-flagged ship seized and crew arrested in Greece
  9. Trevor Noah picks South African comedian for gig
  10. Kenya Airways to fly non-stop to New York from October

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: The cold is felt equally by all but hunger isn’t." from A Banyoro proverb sent by Albert Kunihira in Entebbe, Uganda.
    A Banyoro proverb sent by Albert Kunihira in Entebbe, Uganda.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture from Cairo, Egypt, by photographer Farah Zahra:

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  2. Ghana appoints 'Citizen Vigilante' as special prosecutor

    Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has appointed former attorney general Martin Alamisi Amidu as the country's first ever special prosecutor who will focus on investigating corruption among public officials.

    Mr Amidu, a member of the opposition, is nicknamed "Citizen Vigilante" for his "no-nonsense stance and campaign against corruption", Ghana's privately owned Citi FM news site reports.

    Citi FM goes on to say that the role was created in a new bill that, notably, Mr Adimu himself had criticised for giving the special prosecutor too much power.

    The winner of Ghana's presidential election Nana Akufo-Addo (C) takes the oath of office during the swearing-in as elected President of the fourth Republic of Ghana, in Independence Square in the capital Accra, on January 7, 2017.
    Image caption: President Nana Akufo-Addo took office almost a year ago with a pledge to appoint a special prosecutor
  3. Controversial banker tweets about Africa's potential

    A banker, paid $41m (£30m) from Angola's so-called "people's fund", has tweeted about Africa's economic potential, hours after his boss was sacked.

    At first glance, the tweet may seem unremarkable:

    View more on twitter

    But what is curious about it is that it is tweeted by the fund manager who was paid at least $41m (£30m) in just 20 months while managing Angola's sovereign wealth fund.

    Mr Bastos's boss and close friend, 39-year-old José Filomeno dos Santos, was sacked yesterday by the Angolan president after an investigation into the affair.

    But the tweet makes no mention of that.

    Mr Bastos posted a similar tweet expressing optimism about Africa in November, shortly after he was identified in the Paradise Papers investigation into offshore money:

    View more on twitter

    The fund was mired in controversy from the start, after José Filomeno dos Santos, the son of then-President Eduardo dos Santos, was appointed to head it.

    Read more:

    Tycoon made $41m from 'people's fund'

    Paradise Papers: All you need to know

  4. Nigeria protest over mass sackings

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    protest

    Hundreds of workers have protested in Nigeria’s northern city of Kaduna against the state government's sacking of around 22,000 teachers after they failed a competency test.

    The government has also fired about 4,000 administrative staff at local government level in order to reduce what it called a "bloated and unproductive" civil service.

    The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which orgnaised the protest, described the sackings as "callous", saying it will leave thousands of workers and their families without a livelihood.

    Protest

    The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which orgnaised the protest, described the sackings as "callous", saying it will leave thousands of workers and their families without a livelihood.

    Unions have also called for a strike across Kaduna state to show solidarity with the affected workers.

    The demonstrations took place amid heavy security, with police and soldiers present.

    Police
  5. Gabon lifts presidential term limits

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba departs at the conclusion of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands.
    Image caption: Critics say President Ali Bongo is creating a monarchy

    Gabon has adopted a new constitution that would let President Ali Bongo remain in power indefinitely.

    The National Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new legislation which allows the unlimited renewal of the presidential seven-year term.

    The president also will be immune from prosecution during and after his time in office.

    The opposition called it an attempt to turn Gabon into a monarchy.

    Previously, Gabon had a limit of two seven-year presidential terms.

    Mr Bongo took office in 2009, after his father, Omar Bongo, who ruled the oil-rich state for 42 years, died.

    The president has 25 days to approve the National Assembly's decision.

  6. Sudan professor 'beats female students'

    Mohanad Hashim

    BBC Africa

    A video circulating on Sudanese social media of a university vice-chancellor purportedly beating his students has caused a massive controversy.

    The video, apparently filmed on Wednesday, shows Professor Gasim Bedri of Al-Ahfad University for Women allegedly slapping female students attending the private education college.

    View more on youtube

    Several eyewitness accounts by female students on social media said the girls were protesting at a rise in prices in the university’s canteen when Prof Bedri intervened and promised to resolve the situation.

    The students started chanting anti-government slogans and wanted to take their campus demonstration to the street, but Prof Bedri, 72, apparently opposed the move and ordered the university’s gates closed, saying that it was his duty of care to ensure the safety of his students.

    Other accounts suggest that he was aware of the presence of riot police and security personnel outside the campus.

    It is not clear what happened next and what led him to allegedly strike his students.

    On social media many defended Prof Bedri, while others criticised his attitude and called for him to resign.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The BBC's efforts to contact Prof Bedri have been unsuccessful.

    The professor has been leading the university, which is one of Sudan's most progressive higher education institutes and a beacon for women rights, since 1982 when he became the dean.

    The university’s origins date back to the early 1900s, when his grandfather, Sheikh Babiker Bedri, a Mahdist soldier and a champion for women's education, opened the first school for girls in Sudan.

  7. Menstruating girls banned from crossing river

    Favour Nunoo

    BBC Pidgin

    Men in a boat crossing a river
    Image caption: Students have to cross the river to get to school

    Children's rights activists have hit out at traditional leaders for banning girls from crossing a river while they are menstruating.

    Girls in central Ghana have been banned from crossing the River Ofin by traditional leaders, who say they are enforcing what they call a "directive" from a river god.

    But children have to cross the river to get to school in Kyekyewere, in the Upper Denkyira East district in the Central Region of Ghana.

    So this means girls cannot attend school while they are on their periods.

    However, it is not just on period days: a second order from the river gods bans all girls from crossing the river on Tuesdays.

    Unicef’s menstrual hygiene ambassador Shamima Muslim Alhassan told the BBC the directive is in violation of girls' right to education:

    Quote Message: It seems the gods are really powerful aren’t they? Sometimes I think that we need to ask for some form of accountability from these gods who continue to bar a lot of things from happening, to account for how they have used the tremendous power that we have given them."

    The River Ofin serves as a boundary between the Ashanti and Central Region.

    Central Regional Minister Kwamena Duncan has given indications he will coordinate with the Ashanti regional minister to find a solution.

    Many cultures have myths and taboos around menstruation.

    In Madagascar, some females are told not to wash during their periods and in Nepal some women are forced to sleep in huts away from the rest of the family.

  8. Nigeria deploys special forces to end land conflict

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    A Fulani herdsman waters his cattle on a dusty plain between Malkohi and Yola town on May 7, 2015.
    Image caption: Herdsmen and farmers fight for control of grazing land

    The Nigerian military has deployed special forces to three states amid mounting concern about deadly clashes between farmers and herders.

    More than 100 people have been killed in about a week in central Benue state and north-eastern Taraba state. Mass burials for some of the victims have been taking place today in Benue.

    The conflict has also hit Nasarawa in the centre, raising tensions across the country and increasing pressure on the authorities to act to end the bloodshed.

    The herders accuse farmers of killing their cattle while the farmers say the animals are destroying their crops.

    The military has now responded with the deployment of special forces to the three states.

    Analysts say the military could find itself being over-stretched as it currently has thousands of troops fighting militant Islamist group Boko Haram in the north-east and oil militants in the south who are are demanding a greater share of the region's oil wealth.

    Read: Nigeria's deadly battle for land

  9. Caf to take over payment of referees

    Tunisian Club African football team captain Zouheir Dhaoudi (L) speaks with Ethiopian referee Bazezew Belete (C-R) who declared Club African the winners of their CAF confederation cup football match against Nigerian team Dolphin Port Harcourt at the Rades Stadium, on the outskirts of Tunis, after the Nigerian team were force to forfeit after arriving one hour late for kick-off due to visa-related issues at the airport on March 14, 2015
    Image caption: Caf has been acting to prevent possible corruption in refereeing

    The Confederation of African Football (Caf) is to take over payment of all referees officiating games on behalf of African football's ruling body in a bid to stamp out corruption.

    Previously, Caf rules stated that host associations should pay such costs.

    "The decision reduces the financial burden on national associations," Caf said in a statement.

    "[It] also eliminates an ethical challenge because it removes the suspicion perceived between national associations and the referees."

    It is the second time in a month that Caf has taken action to minimise the threat of corruption in refereeing, after it removed the Best Referee in Africa award in December.

    Read the full BBC story here

  10. Mugabe ally rules out immunity deal

    Jonathan Moyo, a minister who served in Robert Mugabe’s government, has said he will not discuss an immunity deal with the new Zimbabwean government.

    “When the devil offers you immunity, you would be a fool to enter what is called a Faustian bargain,” he told BBC Hardtalk’s Zeinab Badawi.

    He described President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government as being an "illegal regime".

    "They are afraid of elections. They do not want to have free and fair elections let alone credible elections," Mr Moyo, who is in self-imposed exile, said.

    Mr Mnangagwa and his deputy, former army chief Constantino Chiwenga, visited opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week in the hope of winning his support for the postponement of general elections due in August, Mr Moyo added.

    "We know that when Mnangagwa and Chiwenga went to Morgan Tsvangirai's house they pretended that they were concerned about his health but we know they wanted to negotiate with him to postpone elections for at least three years," he said.

    Video content

    Video caption: I will not take an immunity deal, says Jonathan Moyo
  11. E Guinea coup 'planned in France'

    Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo arrives to attend the inauguration of Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari at the Eagles Square in Abuja, on May 29, 2015.
    Image caption: Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema is Africa's longest-serving ruler

    A failed attempt to overthrow Equatorial Guinea's government in December was organised in France, the oil-rich West African state's foreign minister has said, AFP news agency reports.

    However, the coup plot did not involve the French government, Agapito Mba Mokuy added, without naming the suspects.

    "We will cooperate with France as soon as we have more information," he was quoted as saying.

    Mr Moku also announced that Equatorial Guinea was suspending its participation in a scheme to allow free visa travel among six countries in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac) grouping.

    The scheme could not be implemented, "given what has happened in Equatorial Guinea" and the absence of "secure" passports, AFP quoted him as saying.

    A total of 27 "terrorists or mercenaries" had been arrested after the attempted coup on 24 December, and about 150 others were still being sought near the border with Cameroon, he added.

    Equatorial Guinea has been ruled since 1979 by Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest-serving president.

    His critics accuse him of being one of Africa's most repressive rulers.

    Read: After the Mugabes, which African dynasties remain?

  12. H&M 'racist' ad turns up in Angola

    The image of a boy who modelled for an advert deemed by many on social media as racist has turned up as graffiti on the streets of Angola's capital, Luanda:

    View more on instagram

    Outrage swept across social media after the clothing brand H&M got a black child model to wear a green hoodie that says "coolest monkey in the jungle".

    Celebrities have shared artists' re-imaginings of a more positive message of the child:

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

    H&M has said: "We apologise to anyone this may have offended."

    Meanwhile, some newspapers are reporting that the boy's mother is a Kenyan who lives in Sweden, and she has come out on social media to say that "this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled... Stop crying Wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here... Get over it".

    It has been widely shared on social media but we have been unable to verify if she did indeed say this.

  13. Tunisia hit by new anti-austerity protests

    Police at scene of protest
    Image caption: Riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters

    More than 300 people have been arrested in Tunisia overnight, as anger over the government's austerity measures spilled into the streets once more.

    Police used tear gas against large crowds demonstrating against price rises affecting basic goods.

    The army was deployed into towns across the country to protect government buildings, which have become targets.

    Prime Minister Youssef Chahed condemned acts of "vandalism" by the protesters, saying they were trying to weaken the state.

    Read the full BBC story here

  14. Nigerian TV presenter: From London to Lagos

    TV presenter Yewande Osamein has moved back to Nigeria from the UK because it offered her more exciting job opportunities.

    She has been in Lagos for almost two years; there have been some tough times but now she says she does not want people to know she grew up in England because she wants to blend in.

    She told BBC Minute the only thing she'd come back to the UK for is McDonald's.

    Video Journalist: Ema Edosio

    Video content

    Video caption: Nigerian TV presenter Yewande Osamein doesn't want people to know she grew up in England.
  15. Daily Show gig 'is about Africa, not me'

    The South African comedian who has got the gig as a co-host on Trevor Noah's satire programme, The Daily Show, says his appointment is a boost for Africa.

    Loyiso Madinga made the comment on Instagram:

    Quote Message: This isn’t even about me. This is about SA comedy and comedy on [sic] in Africa. We’re all grinding so damn hard to make this thing work and this only happened because the hard work, love and dedication we all put into this is obvious to the world."
    View more on instagram
  16. Stampede at South African college

    Five people have been injured in a stampede at a college in South Africa after thousands of students tried to push through campus gates to register for the new academic year, the public broadcaster, SABC, has reported on its website.

    The Capricorn College in Polokwane city in northern Limpopo province was forced to suspend registration following the stampede, SABC added.

    Last month, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma announced free education for first-year university and college students, raising fears it would chaos during registration.

    View more on twitter
  17. South African comedian picked for the Daily Show

    Comedian Trevor Noah has selected another South African comedian Loyiso Madinga to co-host the popular satire programme The Daily Show.

    Comedy Central, the channel the Daily Show is aired on, tweeted that Madinga "will present local segments for Africa, reporting outside the US for the African broadcast".

    View more on twitter

    "As wild as Donald Trump is for America, many countries around the world have Trumps of their own and since The Daily Show is in many countries, we thought ‘why not give each country a chance to show off their stable geniuses?'," said Noah.

    Madinga describes himself on his website as going "from a small village in the Eastern Cape [one of the poorest provinces in South Africa] to world stages".

  18. Kenya Airways starts direct flights to New York

    Kenya Airways has announced it is going to start flying directly to New York from October.

    The national carrier said it expected the flights between Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and New York’s JFK Airport to play a critical role in returning it to profit-making territory, reports Kenya's Standard Newspaper.

    “This is a symbol of a comeback by Kenya Airways", its chairman Michael Joseph is quoted as saying.

    In November, Bloomberg news agency reported that the Kenyan government took over the airline, including its $405m (£300m) debt.

    Air hostesses
    Image caption: Air hostesses looked on at the press conference announcing the flights
  19. Tanzanian-flagged ship 'seized'

    A Tanzanian-flagged ship heading for Libya and carrying materials used to make explosives has been seized by Greece's coastguard and its eight-member crew has been arrested, Greek authorities have said, Reuters news agency reports.

    The vessel was detected sailing near the Greek island of Crete on Saturday.

    Some 29 containers, carrying materials including ammonium nitrate, non-electric detonators and 11 empty liquefied petroleum gas tanks, were found on the vessel, the coastguard said, Reuters reports.

    The material could have been used “for all sorts of work, from work in quarries to making bombs and acts of terrorism”, Rear Admiral Ioannis Argiriou was quoted as saying.

    Members of a brigade headed by field commander Salah Bogheib and loyal to Khalifa Haftar -a retired general and former chief of staff for Moamer Kadhafi- hold up their guns as they fight alongside Libyan army troops against Islamist gunmen in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on December 17, 2014.
    Image caption: Libya has been lawless since the fall of long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011

    Read: Why is Libya so lawless?

  20. Today's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: The cold is felt equally by all but hunger isn’t." from A Banyoro proverb sent by Albert Kunihira in Entebbe, Uganda.
    A Banyoro proverb sent by Albert Kunihira in Entebbe, Uganda.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs