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Live Reporting

Flora Drury and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. Keep up-to-date with South Africa's new President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation address by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: The bad odour of a wealthy man doesn't trouble poor villagers." from A Kiembu proverb sent by Eric Nyaga in Nairobi, Kenya
    A Kiembu proverb sent by Eric Nyaga in Nairobi, Kenya

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture of Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation address:

    Cyril Ramaphosa smiles broadly

    See our top shots of the week.

  2. Ramaphosa: 'Jobs, jobs, jobs'

    Cyril Ramaphosa - reading his speech from an iPad - has dedicated much of his State of the Nation address to job creation.

    In particular, he talked about youth unemployment, revealing he planned to create a million paid internships in the next years.

    However, the lack of detail in his plans has apparently got to some people.

    Here's our Africa editor, who is in the building:

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  3. Ramaphosa: We need to follow Mandela's example

    South Africa"s newly-minted president Cyril Ramaphosa arrives to deliver his State of the National address at the Parliament in Cape Town, on February 16, 2018

    Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to continue the "long walk" Nelson Mandela began in a State of the Nation Address which touched on corruption, poverty, gender equality and racial divides.

    Mr Ramaphosa, who was sworn in as president yesterday, told those gathered in Cape Town to hear the speech that the country should look to Mr Mandela's example during what would have been his hundredth year.

    "We are continuing the long walk he began, to build a society in which all may be free, in which all may be equal before the law and in which all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life," he said.

    Mr Ramaphosa's speech emphasises a feeling of hope which appears to have swept the country since he took power this week following nine years under Jacob Zuma's presidency.

    Mr Zuma's tenure was marked by allegations of corruption at the highest levels.

    Mr Ramaphosa stood on for the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) on an anti-corruption platform, and once again turned to Mr Mandela's example to drive through the message he would not accept any such behaviour under his watch.

    "We have dedicated this year to [Mr Mandela's] memory and we will devote our every action, every effort, every utterance to the realisation of his vision of a democratic, just and equitable society," he said.

    "Guided by his example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership."

  4. South Africa's new president begins State of the Nation address

    Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa's president of just more than 24 hours - is addressing parliament in Cape Town.

    Mr Ramaphosa is giving the country's State of the Nation Address.

    View more on twitter

    He has thanked South Africans for their patience during the last turbulent week - which was met with applause.

    However, when he thanked his predecessor Jacob Zuma for the manner in which he had stepped aside, the chamber erupted into boos.

    It has not gone unnoticed that Mr Zuma is not present at the speech. As the Huffington Post's editor notes:

    View more on twitter
  5. Ethiopia declares a state of emergency

    Ethiopia's Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency.

    The announcement was made on state television, EBC.

    Yesterday Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned unexpectedly, saying he hoped to end years of unrest and political upheaval.

  6. Call for ICC to investigate Libyan town 'where everyone was forced out'

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Displaced people from the Libyan town of Tawergha, 260 km east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, are seen on February 8, 2018 at a temporary camp, 20 kms from Tawergha, after they were denied entry to their hometown.
    Image caption: People displaced from Tawergha have set up a makeshift camp

    Human Rights Watch is calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the forced displacement of the entire population of the Libyan the town Tawargha.

    Some 40,000 residents were forced out of the town in 2011 when armed groups from Misrata accused them of supporting Col Muammar Gaddafi and committing war crimes against them.

    The entire population of Tawergha was forcibly displaced in 2011 in what was described as collective punishment by rights groups.

    A UN inquiry in 2012 concluded that militias from Misurata committed crimes against humanity by deliberately destroying Tawergha and rendering it “uninhabitable”.

    Last year, the Libyan prime minister signed and adopted an amended reconciliation agreement brokered by the United Nations mission to the country between the two rival communities.

    Attempts to reconcile these two Libyan communities have been met by one hurdle after another for more than six years.

    At least 230 Tawerghan families attempting to return to their town in recent weeks have been stranded in new makeshift camps they erected in the desert and on the outskirts of their town.

    Human Right’s Watch says these camps lack basic health facilities and two men have already died from strokes this month.

    It says armed groups from the rival city of Misurata blocked their return using intimidation tactics like burning tires along the road and firing shots into the air.

  7. Five Congolese soldiers 'killed by Rwandan army'

    At least five Congolese soldiers have been killed by the Rwandan army, the Congolese military says.

    Gen Bruno Mandevu said the clash occurred in the famous Virunga National Park, on Congolese territory - a claim Rwanda denied.

    He said the Congolese troops initially thought they were fighting one of the many rebel groups active in the area.

    A Rwandan army spokesman told the BBC that it was Congolese troops who had crossed the border.

    Rwanda has twice invaded its much larger neighbour, sparking decades of conflict.

    Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, across the border with Rwanda, remains deeply unstable.

  8. Troops to help with cattle bandits in Nigeria

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Nigeria"s President Muhammadu Buhari attending a joint press conference with the German Chancellor at the Chancellery in Berlin. Nigeria"s government on January 24, 2018

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate deployment of troops to the north-western state of Zamfara following the killing of dozens of people by armed bandits.

    The police say eighteen bodies were recovered but residents say more than 30 people were killed when the suspected cattle thieves attacked village traders in a community which had formed vigilante group to tackle frequent raids by bandits.

    Mr Buhari has described the killings in the village of Birane as heinous, inhuman and senseless.

    He ordered the immediate deployment of troops to protect vulnerable areas that are often targeted by armed cattle thieves.

    He condoles with families of the victims and says that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

    A statement from his office says the president has also asked the minister of Defence to immediately visit Zamfara state to assess the security situation.

    While Nigeria is making progress in fighting the militant group, Boko Haram, in the north-east of the country, it appears the deadly violence between crop farmers and pastoralists as well as killings linked to armed cattle thieves have continued unabated in the central and north-western parts of the country - prompting the deployment of thousands of troops to several states this week.

  9. The Malian playboy who got away with $242m

    Foutanga Babani Sissoko

    One day in August 1995, Foutanga Babani Sissoko began one of the most audacious confidence tricks of all time.

    The Malian told Dubai Islamic Bank a bank manager, Mohammed Ayoub, that he had magic powers. With these powers, he could take a sum of money and double it.

    He put on a show for the bank manager and - impressed - Ayoub started sending Sissoko the bank's money.

    It would be decades before the truth emerged...

    Read the whole story on the BBC News website.

  10. On the 'red carpet' at South Africa's Sona 2018

    The State of the Nation Address is an important event in South Africa's political calendar: a chance for the country's leader to lay out his priorities for the year.

    It is also, it transpires, an opportunity to show off your impeccable red carpet credentials.

    Here are some of the looks making a stir in Cape Town ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa's speech:

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    Of course, not every look is going to make it onto the "best dressed" lists.

    We, however, are making no comment.

    View more on twitter
  11. US report says al-Shabab attacks are 'highly targeted'

    Abdullahi Abdi

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    Somali businessmen stand near the scene of explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia October 17, 2017.
    Image caption: Hundreds were killed in a truck bomb attack in October

    A report published by the Combating Terrorism Centre in the US is being used by supporters of the militant group al-Shabab to defend the extremists.

    Somalimemo, a pro-al-Shabab media outlet, picked out parts of the report titled “Targeted Terror” to support its own narrative the Islamist militants often avoids civilian casualties in its attacks.

    “A research centre owned by the US military has said in a new report on al-Shabab that the mujahideen movement’s attacks are highly targeted,” Somalimemo reported.

    “The report said that unlike other groups, al-Shabab often minimises civilian fatalities in its attacks.

    “In a 40-page report on al-Shabab bombings between 2006 and 2017, the report says al-Shabab attacks are highly targeted, focusing on Somali government officials, UN centres, and bases of the invading African Union forces in the country.”

    Somali government troops supported by thousands of African Union forces have been battling al-Shabab for years.

    The group, however, has continued to carry out deadly attacks both inside Somalia and in neighbouring countries - both on security forces and civilians.

  12. Protests over three murders in a day in DR Congo

    Protesters carrying the body of a murdered money-changer have been forced to leave his coffin behind after police opened fire on the crowd in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The group took to the streets after at least three people were killed in the eastern city of Bukavu on Thursday.

    According to the Kinshasa Times (in French), the protests paralysed the city, with the police reportedly using tear gas before resorting to live ammunition to disperse the crowd.

    Numerous pictures of the protests are circulating on social media, including one video which appears to show security officials carrying away the man's coffin.

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    View more on twitter
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  13. Gambia must pay journalists $127,000 for violating human rights

    The Gambia has been ordered to pay four journalists a total of six million dalasis (£94,000; $127,000) for breaching their human rights.

    The four journalists should receive either one or two million each, West African regional group Ecowas ruled.

    The plaintiffs launched their case in 2015, when The Gambia was still under Yahya Jammeh's rule - a period which was marked by little respect for human rights or freedom of speech.

    They said they had been arbitrarily arrested, harassed and later detained them under inhuman conditions, according to an Ecowas release.

    Eventually, three of the four went into exile because they feared "persecution... as a consequence of their work as journalists".

    The Gambia must also amend or repeal the laws it used to jail three of the complainants, the three member panel said.

  14. Ethiopia turning waste into energy

    Find out how a rubbish dump in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa will convert waste into a source of energy for the city:

    Video content

    Video caption: Energy from rubbish to power Addis Ababa
  15. More than 46,000 children on the run from DR Congo violence

    A Congolese refugee girl waits to cross into Uganda
    Image caption: Tens of thousands of people have fled fighting in the DR Congo

    The United Nations children's agency, Unicef, says more than 46,000 children are on the run because of violence between two ethnic groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Unicef says it has recorded at least 76 killings - mostly of women and children - since violence broke out between the Hema and Lendu groups.

    The organisation said more than 70 villages had been burnt down, with three health centres and seven schools attacked and looted since December.

    The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga, who travelled to the area, has seen the burnt and abandoned villages in the Ituri province, where the two groups have been fighting for control of land.

    However, while the governor of the north-eastern Ituri province, Abdallah Pene Mbaka, was willing to acknowledge the attacks on villages and facilities, he denied that so many people had been killed.

    He told news agency AFP that "people need to do some work first... to avoid sensational news".

    "I fear that the humanitarian workers have fallen into facile ways," he added.

    This conflict is one of several in DR Congo, which has seen more than 4.5 million people flee their homes over the past two years.

  16. Vital Somali river runs dry

    Abdi Dahir

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    One of Somalia's main rivers, the Shabelle, is running dry, causing millions of people who depend on it for their livelihoods to suffer amid a recurrent drought, local media report.

    The river flows into southern Somalia from the highlands of neighbouring Ethiopia. It is the longest river in Somalia and is a major source of water for people in south and central Somalia.

    But for the third time in three years, the water has stopped flowing.

    Pictures being shared on social media show the river has almost entirely dried up, with residents digging into the mud in search of water.

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    The little water that the residents are fetching from the riverbed is not clean. There are fears of a cholera outbreak as a result of the river drying and people consuming dirty water.

    On Thursday, local media reported that 10 people had died of diarrhoea in Daymasame village in Middle Shabelle region after drinking contaminated water.

    "As you can see the water in the Shabelle River is not fit for human or animal consumption. As you know there is change of weather patterns, globally. However, we have a long term plan to prevent such thing from happening again," one Somali government official told the privately-owned Radio Kulmiye.

    In January, the UN said about 6.2 million Somalis needed emergency aid, such as food, water and shelter, due to an unprecedented drought. it appealed for $1.6bn to help.

  17. Nigerian comes last in skeleton race

    Skeleton - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Women"s Finals - Olympic Sliding Center - Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 16, 2018

    Nigerian Olympian Simidele Adeagbo came last in both the heats for the skeleton race in the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

    Adeagbo took more than two and a half seconds more time to go down a hill on a metal tray than the fastest in the heat, British athlete Lizzy Yarnold.

    Yarnold finished in 51.66 seconds.

    But Adeagbo - the first Nigerian to compete in the winter Games - is not letting being last upset her.

    The BBC's Nick Hope tweets:

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    And, he revealed, she also had support from home, in the form of her Nigerian teammates who were cheering her on:

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  18. Small farm plots 'hold coffee production back'

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    Coffee farmer

    The relatively small size of coffee farms is holding coffee production back across Africa, according to development group TechoServe.

    TecnoServe's global coffee director Paul Stewart told me that when the coffee price goes up farmers don't invest more in production because their farms are so small.

    He compared the sizes of farms in Kenya and Brazil. In Brazil a small holder's farm is around five hectares, compared to just 0.14 hectares in Kenya.

    Coffee farmers across Africa could be growing much more of it if the plantations were bigger and more efficient, as they are in Latin America, he added.

    Ethiopia and Uganda have successfully increased crop output, but even their coffee farmers are earning much less than growers in Latin America.

  19. What not to wear to see Black Panther

    If you're heading out to see the superhero film Black Panther this weekend, the magazine Okay Africa has compiled a whole guide on what to wear and what to avoid.

    The magazine says:

    Quote Message: Folks have been planning what they're going to wear to Black Panther since the trailer dropped in June of last year. Almost, immediately after, the internet was flooded with memes about black folks bringing out their 'best and blackest' outfits to mark the momentous occasion."

    The magazine gives a thumbs down to British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo's outfit, which it rather cruelly suggests locks like "an uncle at a graduation cookout":

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    But a big thumbs up goes to British-Nigerian actor John Boyega and British-Ghanaian grime artist Stormzy:

    View more on twitter
  20. UK sending troops to protect Malawi's animals

    British trooper and Counter Poaching Operator Samuel Knuckey (C) leads participants in demonstration of field tactics for countering poachers during Counter Poaching Training course for Game Rangers at the Liwonde National Park in Machinga District South Eastern Malawi, on October 14, 2017
    Image caption: British soldiers training rangers in Malawi in October 2017

    The UK is sending troops to Malawi to help with the country's fight against poaching, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

    British soldiers will travel to Nkhotakota and Majete national parks in May to help train rangers in areas like tracking, infantry skills, bushcraft and information analysis, an MoD release said.

    It follows on from a successful pilot scheme in a third park, Liwonde, last year, which manager Craig Reid described as "once overrun with poaching".

    It is hoped the scheme, which is a joint effort by the parks, the MoD and the conservation non-profit African Parks, will replicate its success in the other parks.

    The UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson described poaching as a "horrific and cruel trade that is putting the very existence of this planet's most majestic wildlife in jeopardy".

    He explained the hope is that the newly trained rangers "will form a skilled network to ensure that the world's precious species are here for generations to come".

    Poaching is a serious problem in Malawi and across Africa.

    According to news agency AFP, poaching has halved the country's elephant population from 4,000 in the 1980s to just 2,000 in 2015.