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Summary

  1. Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga in first public meeting since last year's election
  2. SA chainsaw attack athlete hopes to compete again
  3. Mobile giants freeze sale of SIM cards in Uganda
  4. Burundi refugees flee to Rwanda in fingerprint row
  5. South Africa's new police chief declares war on criminals
  6. Russia to back African bids for UN Security Council seats
  7. Mauritius starts impeachment of Africa's only female president
  8. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson starts Africa tour in Djibouti and Kenya
  9. Cameroonian soldier 'found beheaded'

Live Reporting

By Yaroslav Lukov, Natasha Booty, Flora Drury and Mirren Gidda

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for Friday's, Thursday's and Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page for this week. 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 Friday's wise words:

    Quote Message: If the vulture fails to hover at the end of a sacrifice, then you know that something happened in the land of spirits." from Sent by Mac Anthony Okpala and Chukwuma Okonkwo in Nigeria
    Sent by Mac Anthony Okpala and Chukwuma Okonkwo in Nigeria

    We leave you with this photo of a jubilant fan of Egypt's Al Ahly football team after their 4-0 victory against Gabon's Mounana - it's one of our pick of the photos taken in Africa this week:

    A man runs with a flare
  2. Nigeria footballer dreams of World Cup glory

    Video content

    Video caption: Ekong's World Cup hopes

    Less than 100 days to go to the football World Cup in Russia, and one man is hoping to add to his medal collection - Nigeria and Bursapor defender William Ekong.

    He won a bronze medal with the Super Eagles at the Rio Olympics two years ago.

    Earlier this week, he was named in coach Gernot Rohr's latest squad for a couple of friendlies to be played later this month, and naturally he's delighted.

    "I'm really honoured as usual to be called up for the Super Eagles again," Ekong said.

    "We've got massive games coming up against Poland and Serbia.

    "I hope to make all the Nigerians proud."

    Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr includes CHAN duo in squad.

  3. SA chainsaw attack athlete hopes to compete again

    Mhlengi Gwala

    South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala has spoken to the BBC from his hospital bed about a brutal attack in Durban by a gang who tried to saw his legs off.

    "I was cycling, and then three men come out of the bush. They greet me," he recalled.

    He said he was dragged at gunpoint to the bush after telling the men he was going to the gym.

    "Then they start the chainsaw. One man was holding my back, and another was holding my legs. And the other one cuts in [with the chanisaw]."

    Mhlengi Gwala said the attackers tried to cut off his legs below the knees, then suddenly left.

    From the way they spoke, he thought they were from north or west Africa.

    The athlete then started calling police and one of his friends - but they did not respond. "So I crawled to the road.

    "And then I stopped a car, and that car took me to hospital."

    He said he hoped he would compete again after surgery next week.

    "I'll try. I'll see if my leg gets healed. If not - I'll have to quit. The doctor was complaining about the nerves, saying the nerves will take longer to heal. But the tissue and the bone will heal soon.

    The horrific attack sent shockwaves throughout the world, and a crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $40,000 (£29,000) for the triathelete's medical treatment.

    "People all over the world are praying for me... I'll carry on," Gwala said.

  4. The rise of Nigeria's animation houses

    Nigeria's animation industry could be on the up.

    Growing audience figures and a move into more ambitious projects could make animation as successful as Nollywood, and boost the economy.

    "What we're trying to do is to tell an African story the African way using technology and tools that will portray them properly," is how the boss of Komotion studios, Kolawole Olaweraju, sums up their mission:

    Video content

    Video caption: Nigeria's animation houses want to be as big as Nollywood
  5. Rex Tillerson calls Kenyatta-Odinga talks 'positive step'

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (centre) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) in Nairobi
    Image caption: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (centre) Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) in Nairobi

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has praised the "positive step" taken by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his opposition rival Raila Odinga who have promised to begin a process of reconciliation following last year's bitterly contested election.

    Speaking at press conference in the capital Narobi, Mr Tillerson also stressed on the US and Kenya's "shared fight against terrorism", referring to Kenyan troops serving in Somalia.

    And he said he was "looking forward to more opportunities to trade" with Kenya.

    Mr Tillerson, however, critised Kenya for "shutting down TV stations" - referring to the authorities' decision to take television channels off air at the end of January to prevent them from airing Raila Odinga's mock swearing-in ceremony as "people's president".

    He also told the Kenyan government that it should not threaten the courts.

  6. Zimbabweans press for missing activist investigation

    Zimbabwean activist Itai Dzamara. File photo

    Demonstrators in the Zimbabwean capital Harare have called on the new government to investigate the abduction of an activist three years ago.

    Itai Dzamara, who led protests in a park overlooking parliament against former President Robert Mugabe, was taken by unidentified men from a barber's shop and never seen again.

    EU and US diplomats on Friday described his disappearance as a "dark shadow on the new horizon for Zimbabwe".

    Mr Mugabe resigned last November after 37 years in power.

  7. South Africa's new police chief declares war on criminals

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Bheki Cele

    South Africa's tough talking new police minister, Bheki Cele, has promised to take war to the criminals.

    Mr Cele, who was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in last week's cabinet reshuffle, told national police force at a ceremony in Pretoria today:

    "Whoever declares war against us, against innocent communities, against women... you want war, you get war. We shall refuse to fall in front of criminals."

    He also urged officers to sharpen their policing skills to better fight crime.

    A 65-year-old former anti-apartheid activist, Bhekokwakhe "Bheki" Hamilton Cele is a known figure within the police.

    He served as police commissioner under President Jacob Zuma from 2009 to 2011.

    In 2010, a statement he made about overweight officers went viral on social media.

    "General Cele", as he liked to be addressed then, told police officers to "shape up or ship out... when you walk down the street, people must envy your body."

    His phrase "Stomach in, chest out" became popular to the extent that musicians produced remixes using audio from his speech.

    As he spoke to the police this morning, wearing his fashion trademark hat, he said that if officers had other motives other than protecting the South African public, they can "walk out now".

  8. Mauritius' president to quit after independence celebrations

    Yasine Mohabuth

    Port Louis, Mauritius

    Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. File photo

    Mauritius' President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim will resign after next week's independence day celebrations on 12 March - thus evading her impeachment by the government.

    The announcement was made by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

    Mr Jugnauth said that they arrived at a compromise - but has not revealed a date, adding that it would be before the resumption of parliament scheduled on 27 March.

    "The president of the republic has told me that she will resign from her position," Mr Jugnauth said.

    "We have agreed on the date but I will not announce it.

    "The interest of the country comes first, and I am proud of Mauritius' image as a model of living democracy in the world.

    "It is important that we celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence, with serenity as one nation, a united people, and be proud of our homeland."

    India's president will be the chief guest at next week's celebrations along with dignitaries from other nations, and the government want to give a welcome to all its guests.

    Opposition parties say they will boycott the celebrations should the president be still in power.

    Former Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Navinchandra Ramgoolamsaid this compromise was unacceptable:

    "It's as if we are telling a supporting actress to go but the lead actors are here. There is not only one culprit in this mega-scandal.

    "There are many questions," he added. "How did billionaire Alvaro Sobrino came to Mauritius? Who facilitates his access?

    "It does not only concern the president - there are many ramifications."

  9. Burundi refugees flee to Rwanda in fingerprint row

    A human fingerprint

    At least 2,500 Burundian refugees who have been living in the Democratic Republic of Congo have fled to nearby Rwanda.

    The refugees - most of them women and children - belong to a religious sect which prohibits them from being fingerprinted.

    The UN refugee agency said they could not remain in DR Congo without being registered using their fingerprints.

    It is unclear what will happen to the group in Rwanda, which also insists on registration by fingerprinting.

  10. Rebooting Zimbabwe's textile industry

    Textile manufacturing was once an important industry in Zimbabwe. But the clothing lines became uncompetitive in the face of cheap imports, which flooded the market.

    David Whitehead Textiles, which used to supply most of the country's fabric before being forced to close in 2016, has recently been bailed out by Zimbabwe's central bank and resumed some of its operations.

    The BBC's Taurai Maduna has visited the factory in Chegutu, a town 100km west of the capital Harare.

    Video content

    Video caption: Rebooting Zimbabwe's textile industry
  11. Nigerian manhunt for forest elephant killer

    Joshua Ajayi

    BBC Yoruba, Lagos

    A manhunt has been launched in Nigeria for a person suspected of killing a rare species of forest elephant in the south-western state of Ondo last month.

    The incident has drawn widespread condemnation on social media with pictures of a hunter posing on the elephant with a rifle.

    View more on instagram

    Rasheed Badmus, the commissioner for natural resources in Ondo, told BBC Yoruba that the hunter had been declared wanted.

    He said the state authorities were also making efforts to protect the forest reserve near the town of Idanre.

    The state’s police spokesman, Femi Joseph, also confirmed the development, saying officers were searching for the man in the photographs.

    The area around Idanre is Nigeria's largest cocoa-producing region.

    The killing has ignited debate about the old belief that hunters of big game should be honoured and respected. Elephant killers are traditionally the most revered of all hunters.

    Nigerian conservationist and environmentalist Desmond Majekodunmi told BBC Yoruba that such customs were “outdated” and “unfortunate”.

    Mr Majekodunmi said that there was a total disconnect between old traditions and modern life and urged the authorities to start a big awareness campaign to tackle the problem.

    The elephant killed in Idanre was a rare species that was close to extinction, he said.

  12. Kenya talks: Pre-emptive PR stunt?

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Resolving differences between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga won't be so easy. Kenya is sharply divided along ethnic lines because of the political stand-off.

    The opposition charges of rigged elections, police brutality and state high-handedness were not mentioned - only a joint call for national dialogue.

    The unexpected public appearance comes as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Kenya as part of his Africa tour.

    In Ethiopia, he criticised the government for declaring a state of emergency. So some see this meeting as a pre-emptive public relations stunt to water down any potential dressing-down; while others have welcomed the announcement as long overdue.

    Whichever explanation rings true, Kenya is headed for an intriguing second episode of political drama.

  13. Cameroon journalist 'forced into dog kennel'

    Caristan Isseri

    A media rights body has accused bodyguards at the home of Cameroon's former transport minister, Alain Edgard Mebe Ngo’o, of humiliating a journalist by forcing him into a dog's kennel.

    Reporters Without Borders said Caristan Isseri was stripped, slapped and put into the kennel where he was sprayed with water.

    The journalist, who works for the Le Jour newspaper, was accused of spying and interrogated for several hours.

    He was working on a story about President Paul Biya's recent cabinet reshuffle in which the transport minister lost his job.

    The former transport minister has not publicly commented on the accusations.

    Cameroon ranks poorly in the world's press freedom index - placed 130th out of 180 countries. Reporters Without Borders says radio stations in particular are under "constant threat".

  14. Nigeria's dessert-inspired beauty products

    Blondie Okpuzor
    Image caption: Blondie Okpuzor jokes that her products 'don't taste as good as they look'

    When she realised her traditional beauty products were causing her problems, Nigerian entrepreneur Blondie Okpuzor decided to make dessert-inspired treats for her skin.

    The BBC's Africa Business Report visited her in Lagos to see how she crafts her products:

    Video content

    Video caption: Nigeria's dessert-inspired beauty products
  15. South Sudan's UN-operated radio station taken off air

    Ibrahim Haithar

    BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

    Screengrab of Radio Miraya website

    South Sudan's media regulator has ordered the UN-operated, independent Radio Miraya station off air for refusing to comply with the country's broadcast laws, Amsterdam-based Radio Tamazuj reports.

    Radio Miraya broadcasts 24 hours a day on FM and three hours a day on shortwave in Juba, in both Arabic and English.

    It was launched in 2005, and its initial aim was to support implementation of the peace agreement that marked the end of the long conflict between northern and southern Sudan.

    The media regulatory body says the popular radio station should stop broadcasting with effect from Friday.

    The management of Radio Miraya, the regulator alleges, has failed to respond in what authorities equate to violation and non-compliance with the media authority orders.

    For his part, an unnamed UN official told Radio Tamazuj that the decision to suspend the radio service violated an agreement between the government and UN.

    “Radio Miraya is operating under the UN Mission in South Sudan, not under the Media Authority,” he said.

    The Status of Forces Agreement signed by the UN and South Sudan's government protects Radio Miraya's operation according to international treaties.

    In July 2017, South Sudan’s authorities blocked access to four news website including Radio Tamazuj, accusing them of “hostile” reporting.

    Journalists in South Sudan often complain of harassment and arbitrary detention by state security forces.

  16. US adds two Kenyans to al-Shabab wanted list

    Abdirizak Atosh

    BBC Somali

    Locals block the road with a barricade as they protest the rising in insecurity following the killings in Mpeketoni
    Image caption: Residents of Mpeketoni barricaded the road after the 2014 attack to protect themselves

    The US state department has added two Kenyan to its list of wanted al-Shabab leaders.

    The announcement was made during the US Secretary of State Rix Tilison’s first visit to Africa.

    Ahmad Iman Ali and Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi are believed to be commanders for the Somalia-based militant group.

    Ali is accused of masterminding the deadly January 2016 attack against a Kenyan military base in El-Adde, southern Somalia, as well as recruiting Kenyans to fight for al-Shabab.

    Abdi is suspected to have led the 2014 attack that left some 50 people dead in the Kenyan coastal town of Mpeketoni.

    Both men are believed to be in Somalia.Al-Shabab has not commented on the accusations.

    For more than 10 years, al-Shabab has been carrying out attacks in Somalia and neighbouring countries, especially Kenya.

    Kenyan forces are among the more than 20,000 African Union troops fighting the group inside Somalia.

  17. Russia to back African bids for UN Security Council seats

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) shakes hands with Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (R) at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare on March 8, 2018. Lavrov is in Zimbabwe for bilateral and economic talks.
    Image caption: Mr Lavrov visited Zimbabwe during his tour and met President Emmerson Mnangagwa

    Russia has said it will support Africa’s push to have a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

    Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast are the current African members of the council, but they occupy non-permanent seats.

    Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is in Ethiopia on an official state visit, has admitted that the council as currently constituted is skewed in favour of the world's wealthier nations.

    The reforms have been part of demands by the African Union (AU) for decades now.

    Speaking at a press briefing, Mr Lavrov said Moscow would push for reforms at the council where, he said, developing countries were hugely underrepresented.

    He said the inclusion of an African representative would have additional value.

    AU head Mahamat Faki called the push by the continent “a legitimate claim”, and said the international community had so far ignored their efforts.

    Mr Lavrov was speaking on the last leg of his Africa tour, which has taken in five countries.

    He has promised Russia’s support in improving trade ties between his country and the continent.

    On Thursday, Mr Lavrov told a press briefing that he would not be meeting the US Secretary of State in Ethiopia - despite an offer by Rex Tillerson.

    He said he was revealing the details to clarify the discussions between himself and Mr Tillerson.

  18. Mobile giants freeze sale of SIM cards in Uganda

    Major mobile phone service providers in Uganda have responded to tough new rules targeting criminal use of unregistered SIM cards by halting sales.

    The telecomms companies have also been ordered to recall "all SIM cards held in stock by street vendors, agents and hawkers".

    Under the new rules, Uganda's Communications Commission says, mobile phone service providers will have to "validate national identification information" for its customers which will then be "verified against the national database".

    Both MTN and Airtel - the biggest of Uganda's eight mobile service providers - have tweeted the news to their customers:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Uganda's minister of information and communications technology told reporters on Thursday that unregistered SIM card were sometimes used by criminals to hide their identities.

  19. Kenya talks: Genuine restart or PR stunt?

    The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi in Nairobi asks whether the meeting between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga was a "genuine restart or a preemptive PR stunt ahead of the Tillerson visit?"

    The US secretary of state is due to arrive in Kenya later on Friday.

  20. 'This descent stops here' - Odinga

    Back to Kenya, and the historic meeting in Nairobi. Opposition leader Raila Odinga said: "As we fight ostensibly to save ourselves from each other the reality is we need to save our children from ourselves.

    "My brother and myself have therefore come together today to say this descent stops here.

    "We refuse to allow our diversity to kill our nation. We refuse to be the leaders under whose watch Kenya slid into a failed nation."