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Summary

  1. Opposition leader Tundu Lissu spent four months recovering
  2. Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe hosted awards in Ghana
  3. Nigerian mother given small fine by judge
  4. Namibia minister fears China's ivory ban will help black market
  5. Landslides and flooding in Kinshasa kill at least 37
  6. Clear up under way following fatal train crash in South Africa's Free State

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty and Flora Drury

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    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 checking the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: Nobody tests the depth of a river with both legs." from Sent by Stanley Ekabi in Douala, Cameroon and Gabriel Michael in Benin City, Nigeria
    Sent by Stanley Ekabi in Douala, Cameroon and Gabriel Michael in Benin City, Nigeria

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this shot from New Year's Eve in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - one of our favourites from today's Africa's Week in Pictures. You can see the rest by clicking here.

    People celebrate during New Year's festivities at the Farm School in the resort town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on January 1, 2018.
  2. Tanzania MP labels attack 'assassination attempt'

    Tundu Lissu outside hospital in Kenya

    Tanzania’s opposition leader Tundu Lissu - who was shot by unknown attackers four months ago - has told the BBC he believes it was an assassination attempt.

    Speaking from the Nairobi hospital where he is recovering, he hit out at President John Magufuli’s government, terming it as dictatorial.

    He told the BBC's Victor Kenani he called what happened to him an "assassination attempt".

    Mr Lissu added:

    Quote Message: Politics, particularly our kind of politics, is dangerous.
    Quote Message: For 25 years, we were used to peaceful politics, we were used to politics where your argument was answered by counter-arguments.
    Quote Message: Now our arguments are answered not by counter-arguments, but by a hail of gunfire."

    Mr Lissu said he would be lying if he claimed to feel safe returning home, accusing the country of becoming a "very dangerous place".

    Quote Message: It has become a place where a journalist is abducted and they disappear. It has become a place where people are murdered, they are shot dead, their hands and feet are tied and they are dumped into the sea and washed onto the beaches.
    Quote Message: We have become no different from those odious military dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s."

    It is not known who carried out the attack.

    However, the government has denied any part in the shooting.

    President Magufuli has previously described the attack on the opposition politician as "barbaric", while government spokesman Hassan Abbas, a told the UK's Financial Times in November that his allegations of assassination were “misplaced”.

  3. SA train crash death toll rises to 19

    Four children are among the 19 people now known to have died in a train crash in South Africa on Thursday morning.

    The train was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg when the collision occurred near Kroonstad city in Free State province. Eyewitnesses said a truck failed to stop at a crossing.

    An investigation is underway into what happened, as we reported earlier.

    A map showing the location of Kroonstad in South Africa
  4. Pay cut planned for Chad's civil servants

    People walk at the cereal market in N'djamena on April 12, 2016, two days after Chad's presidential elections. Voters in Chad await the outcome of the presidential poll of April 10 with incumbent Idriss Deby expected to extend his 26-year rule as the electoral commission warns full results may take weeks to emerge.
    Image caption: Around 100,000 workers in Chad would have their pay cut if plans go ahead

    Labour unions in Chad have reacted angrily to a government plan to slash civil servants' salaries, threatening widespread strikes.

    If the decree is signed by the president, civil servants earning up to 60,000 CFA ($110; £81) a month will have a 5% pay cut, while higher earners will lose up to 45% of their salaries.

    The changes would affect around 100,000 workers.

    Speaking to BBC Afrique, opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo said he "understood their anger", adding:

    Quote Message: They are not the ones responsible for the bankruptcy in Chad. The country became an oil producer 15 years ago but Chadians are wondering where the oil money goes?"

    He added that economic reforms taken in September last year were "useless", blaming "general governance" shortcomings.

    Read our Chad country profile here.

  5. Zambia city bans handshaking in church

    Red, yellow and green peppers on display at a market
    Image caption: The sale of fresh fruit and vegetables on the street has also been banned

    Zambia's second largest city has banned shaking hands - especially in churches - as it tries desperately to prevent a cholera outbreak, according to news site Zambia Reports.

    Kitwe has also banned the sale of fresh food, including fruit and vegetables, on the streets.

    The decision, made by city leaders, alongside government and church officials, comes after 2,000 cases of cholera were recorded across the country, with dozens of deaths in the capital Lusaka.

    Kitwe, which is 200 miles (320km) north of Lusaka, is trying to avoid the same fate.

    The bans will stay in place until the situation returns to normal, the newspaper says.

  6. When is Egypt not an African country?

    Mo Salah celebrates after scoring a goal for Liverpool FC
    Image caption: Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah won the African Player of the Year award on 4 January, 2018, the first Egyptian to achieve the feat since 1983

    Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah's win as African Player of the Year 2017 is dividing social media users.

    Egyptian-born Salah, 25, was awarded the title in Ghana yesterday by the Confederation of African football (CAF) after a public vote.

    In what appears to have started as a joke, some football fans on social media questioned Salah's win because they believe Egypt is not an African country.

    View more on twitter

    Another Twitter user posted:"African football is sooo corrupt man Salah is not even African he's Egyptian."

    It seems that the question over Salah's entry in the competition began as a joke by Twitter user @ClinicalFirmino on Tuesday during a conversation with Liverpool fan @redinrandbur:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    While much of Arab Twitter celebrated Salah's award, calling him the pride of Egypt others expressed their dismay at the confusion.

    View more on twitter

    Read the full story here.

  7. Mozambique city records 1,500 diarrhea cases in four days

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    A warning has been issued after one Mozambican city saw more than 1,500 cases of diarrhea in the first four days of this year.

    The cases in Chimoio, Manica province's capital, affected mostly children and pregnant women.

    Telma Cossa, head of public health at Chimoio Provincial Hospital, said it was particularly worrying as the rainy season - which is associated with outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera and malaria - goes on until March.

    However, she said the problem was not a lack of knowledge about how to prevent getting ill, but a lack of effort on the part of the affected communities.

    She said:

    Quote Message: We are talking about acute diarrhoea. My advice is that people should take preventive measures. We have noted that the problem is not a lack of knowledge about the measures to be taken. The key problem is to put the measures in practice."

    Both Zambia and Malawi have recorded cases of cholera in recent weeks. More than 50 people have died in Zambian capital Lusaka, while four deaths have been registered in Malawi.

  8. The female brewmaster making craft lager

    Video content

    Video caption: The female brewmaster making craft lager

    The world of beer may have traditionally been dominated by men, but it certainly doesn't need to stay that way.

    Hear - and see - how Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela tells us all about how she is mixing up South Africa's industry above.

  9. Kenyatta begins Kenya cabinet reshuffle

    Ibrahim Haithar

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his speech during a celebration to mark the 54th Jamhuri Day at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, on 12 December 2017.

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has unveiled part of his eagerly anticipated cabinet in a minor government reshuffle which also affects the security sector, the privately-owned Standard website reports.

    “As promised, I have named part of the men and women to help my government implement our projects as the Jubilee government kicks off its second-term service to the nation,” Kenyatta said.

    Who is who?

    Six members of the outgoing cabinet have been retained in the new team.

    • Henry Rotich, who has been re-appointed secretary fpr the treasury;
    • Charles Keter will be energy secretary
    • Joseph Mucheru will be secretary for ICT
    • James Macharia will be transport secretary
    • Najib Balala will have responsibility for tourism
    • Fred Matiangi will be interior secretary, as well as acting education secretary.

    There are three new names on the cabinet - but as yet, they have no role.

    • Turkana Senator John Munyes,
    • Former Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani
    • Former former director of public prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.

    Former Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua has been named State House Comptroller, while Joseph Kinyua retains his post as Head of Public Service.

    In other changes, the president has replaced director of criminal investigations Ndegwa Muhoro with George Kinoti in acting capacity.

    The president - who won a second term last year in a contested election which was later boycotted by the opposition - added he will be unveiling his full list of cabinet secretaries in the coming days.

  10. Is Zuma's free university promise to be believed?

    Lebo Diseko

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    A person holds up a sign saying 'fees must fall'
    Image caption: Jacob Zuma's announcement came after protests across the country demanding "fees must fall"

    As South African school leavers get their exam results today there is growing confusion over the implications of President Jacob Zuma’s promise of free education for 90% of new students.

    He made the surprise announcement at the ANC conference in December, despite a commission finding that the country could not afford it.

    The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has been urging prospective students to walk in to universities and demand to be admitted.

    But at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand there was no sign of the mass attempts at registration that had been feared.

    On Tuesday, the organisation representing South Africa’s universities had warned against this, saying no walk-ins would be admitted.

    The EFF - led by firebrand Julius Malema - had been encouraging young people to turn up at universities and essentially claim their promised free university education.

    The party had said it would have members stationed at the entrances of universities to force them to accept more students, in a campaign whose title - in IsiZulu - loosely translates to “we will obtain education by force”.

    Last month, President Jacob Zuma announced that free higher education would be made available to students from households that have a combined annual income of up to 350 000 rand - just over $28,000 or £20,000.

    The pledge made at the ruling ANC’s party conference seemed to take both the treasury and universities by surprise. It is still unclear how much it will cost, or how it will be paid for.

    But analysts say while the move does breach established governance process, as it was made outside of a budget, it is not unconstitutional.

    Whether it is deliverable though remains to be seen.

  11. Italy steps up anti-terror funds to Niger

    Italy has said it will direct 40% of its African aid budget to Niger.

    Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who is in Niger's capital Niamey to open Italy's first embassy in the Sahel region, made the announcement following a meeting with President Mahamadou Issoufou.

    Security is top of the agenda, with Mr Alfano telling reporters that closer economic cooperation between the two countries was another priority. In a tweet, the Italian foreign ministry also alluded to the ongoing migrant crisis:

    View more on twitter

    Niger is one of five countries in the Sahel region - alongside Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania - to have set up a joint counter-terrorism force to tackle the jihadist threat.

    Last year, the European Union agreed to give more than 50m euros (£44m; $60m) to fund the Sahel G-5 - a new joint military force made up of troops from Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger.

  12. 'Mercy' for mother who tried to sell twins

    Gbolahan Macjob

    BBC News

    A woman who tried to sell her one-month-old twin babies has been sentenced to 10 months in prison, but can avoid jail time if she pays a court-ordered fine of 10,000 naira ($27; £20).

    She was arrested last month in Katsina, northern Nigeria, after attempting to sell the children for 350,000 naira ($973; £718).

    Judge Nuradeen El-Laden said he chose not to give the woman a heavy sentence over fears for the babies' health, Punch reports.

    The news site also says the judge was lenient because he understood the mother's attempt to sell her children to be a result of "abject poverty", adding that she had shown remorse for her actions.

    Map showing location of Katsina in Nigeria
  13. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on her remarkable rise

    Lyse Doucet, the BBC's chief international correspondent, has been travelling the world meeting remarkable women, marking the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote.

    Among those she interviewed was Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who led her country for 12 years.

    Here she reflects on being a 22-year-old mother of four sons, then a global banker and finally, becoming Africa's first elected female leader:

    Video content

    Video caption: Lyse Doucet meets Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female head of state.
  14. The drug-carrying drones that reach far-flung places

    What do you do when you need to pick up medication - but the nearest hospital is almost a two-hour cycle away?

    You look for an innovative new method of transportation, that's what.

    Malawi health worker Chris Chapo and his colleagues explain how:

    Video content

    Video caption: The drones that deliver medical supplies
  15. US says al-Shabab deputy is 'global terrorist'

    The US State Department has added al-Shabab's deputy leader and the man behind the 2015 Tunisia museum attack to its list of global terrorists.

    Al-Shabab's Abukar Ali Adan and Wanas al-Faqih, who is associated with North Africa's Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), will now have a series of sanctions placed against them.

    It is hoped the sanctions will help isolate the groups they are associated with, and prevent them from using the US financial system.

    Little is known about Adan, who is understood to be deputy leader of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which is battling the UN-backed government in Somalia.

    The US State Department say al-Faqih was behind the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunisia's capital Tunis two years ago.

    At least 19 people died.

  16. DR Congo death toll rises to 37 after floods

    Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have confirmed at least 37 people are known to have died in a landslide and flooding caused by heavy rain in the capital Kinshasa on Wednesday.

    See our earlier post for more details on this story.

    Our colleagues from BBC Afrique have shared more photos from the scene:

    A flooded street in Kinshasa
    A collapsed hillside with people standing at the bottom
  17. Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe hosts African football awards

    Actor Boris Kodjoe attends the New York Premiere of 'Addicted' at Regal Union Square on October 8, 2014 in New York City.

    While Egypt and Liverpool forward Mo Salah was last night's big winner at the Confederation of African Football awards, Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe also hit the headlines as the event's host.

    The 44-year old German-Ghanaian led proceedings with his wife and fellow actor, Nicole Ari Parker, alongside Ivory Coast football star Didier Drogba and South African sports journalist Carol Tshabalala.

    But some on social media questioned why the two US-based actors were invited to co-host the event:

    View more on twitter

    Others were pleased to welcome Kodjoe and family to Ghana:

    View more on twitter

    Kodjoe, who is best known for his films Brown Sugar and Love & Basketball, is quoted by Pulse Ghana as saying he'd like to work with Ghanaian actors and producers.

  18. Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa meets Tsvangirai

    President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he will not form a coalition with Zimbabwe's opposition party, moments after visiting its leader.

    Mr Mnangagwa told reporters he saw "no need" for a deal with Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

    He had been visiting Mr Tsvangirai, who is currently battling cancer, at home in Harare.

    But instead of being disheartened by Mr Mnangagwa's words, the opposition were upbeat.

    Nelson Chamisa, deputy leader of the MDC, said the visit was a step in the right direction.

    He told the state-owned Herald newspaper:

    Quote Message: This is the new politics we want to see, the politics of peace, the politics of working together, the politics of feeling for one another. This is the direction and we hope it is the kind of talk that will be walked, and talk that will be sustained."

    The newspaper also shared pictures of the two meeting on its Twitter account:

    View more on twitter

    Mr Mnangagwa was made president last year, following the end of Robert Mugabe's 37-year tenure.

    Zimbabwe is due to have elections later this year.

    Read our piece from earlier this week on the challenges Mr Mnangagwa needs to deal if he wants to win the vote here.

  19. Liberia's Weah invites Wenger to inauguration

    Stanley Kwenda

    BBC Africa

    Arsene Wenger looks concerned

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told the BBC that he has invited by Liberia's new President George Weah to his inauguration later this month.

    The Arsenal manager was Weah's boss at French league team Monaco in the 1990s.

    But Wenger could never have imagined the young player would go on to become president of Liberia.

    Weah was elected president last month, winning more than 60% of the vote in the second-round run-off.

    "The life of this guy is a real film. It is unbelievable. It can make a fantastic film," an excited Wenger told the BBC.

    "I remember when I saw him the first time at Monaco, coming in a bit lost, not knowing anybody, not being rated by anybody as a player and becoming the best player in the world in 1995 - and today becoming the president of his country. It's an unbelievable story."

    President-elect George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) speaks during an interview with REUTERS at his residence in Monrovia, Liberia, January 2, 2018.

    Wenger said Weah has always had a strong love for his country, as well as a belief he was on a mission.

    "I went with George during the period when there was war in Liberia and I have seen how much he suffered for his country and that was the thing which was continuous in his country, the love for his country and for his people," Wenger said.

    "When I look back I see him crying when war was on in Liberia, so it's a happy story and I wish [him] a happy presidency... This guy is an example for everybody who plays football today."

    Sadly, Premier League commitments mean it is unlikely Wenger will be able to attend - although he may still be able to squeeze the trip in.

    "I believe I will be busy but if I am suspended I will have time to go," said Wenger, who is facing an English Football Association disciplinary hearing for comments he made about football referees.

  20. The global rise of African art

    As demand increases for African art, the work of contemporary African artists can be seen in exhibitions around the world.

    One specialist, Ruarc Peffers, says African artists' willingness to engage with big questions explains their success:

    Quote Message: The best art is produced in countries where there are social issues and political difficulties. Those things create the context in which good art is produced."

    Others, like Andile Magenlele, say that spaces for showcasing art in South Africa have not kept step with societal changes and are still dominated by wealthier, white elites as a result.

    The BBC's Vumani Mkhize reports on the business of art in Johannesburg:

    Video content

    Video caption: The rise of African contemporary art