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  1. Kenyan trio happy with marriage
  2. SA hosts big marijuana expo
  3. Zimbabwe to release poll violence report
  4. Deported Kenyan lawyer gets 'torture' damages
  5. 'Miracle baby' survives Congo Ebola
  6. South Africa's ex-President Zuma 'excited' to join Twitter
  7. Nigeria vice-presidential candidates to debate
  8. Somali protests over arrest of militant-turned-politician

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Friday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Half a word is what is told to a good child so that when it gets inside it becomes whole." from A Yoruba Proverb sent by Tonye, London, UK.
    A Yoruba Proverb sent by Tonye, London, UK.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  2. Good morning

    Welcome back to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news and trends from around the continent.

  3. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    BBC Africa Live

    Natasha Booty

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now. You can 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 Thursday's wise words:

    Quote Message: A wrong decision is worse than a drought." from A Somali proverb sent by Adam Ibrahim in Mogadishu, Somalia
    A Somali proverb sent by Adam Ibrahim in Mogadishu, Somalia

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo posted to Instagram by Ghanaian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah:

    View more on instagram
  4. US eyes competition with new Africa policy

    Anne Soy

    BBC senior Africa correspondent

    US National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks about the administration's African policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2018. - The United States will seek an end to UN peacekeeping missions in Africa that do not bring long-term peace, Bolton said Thursday.
    Image caption: The new policy is focused on the fight for global dominance over China and Russa

    The US says its new strategy for Africa will now focus on checking the growing influence of China and Russia.

    Its National Security adviser, John Bolton, accused the two nations of carrying out "predatory practices" meant to drive African countries deeper into debt, stunt the growth of their economies and threaten US interests.

    The US says its investment, military operations and national security are threatened by China’s and Russia’s growing influence on the continent.

    One such example is in Djibouti, where China has set up a military base close to America's, and plans to run a major sea port.

    Mr Bolton said US aid would now be used to counter the competition. And the country will demand faster and more tangible results.

    The immediate casualties will include UN peacekeeping missions whose impact the US has questioned.

  5. Arrest of ex-militant commander angers Somalis

    Ibrahim Aydid

    BBC Monitoring

    News of the arrest of a former al-Shabab leader-turned-politician in Somalia's town of Baidoa has been met with street protests in the area.

    A Somali radio station has tweeted these photos of the unrest on Thursday:

    View more on twitter

    Somalia’s Ministry of Internal Security has issued a statement accusing Mukhtar Robow of being a threat to the security of Baidoa town, failing to denounce terrorism and smuggling weapons into the south-western Somali town.

  6. Uganda oil exports face delays

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    Uganda's plan to produce the first oil from resources in the west of the country within three years could suffer a delay.

    Pipeline investors have said they want the fees for transporting the crude to be increased.

    In 2016, Uganda opted to build a pipeline to transport oil from the region around Lake Albert to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, saying it was more cost effective than the original scheme to export oil from Lamu in Kenya.

    Uganda has discovered more than six billion barrels of oil, which is being developed by Total of France and the Chinese energy group CNOOC, along with the Irish firm Tullow.

    The oil companies are funding 30% of the cost of building the 1,400km (870 miles) pipeline and they have asked for a higher fee despite an existing agreement to cap it at $12.20 (£9.66) a barrel.

    The demand will test the government, because it fears higher transport costs would undermine profits from selling the oil to customers abroad. The issue could delay the first exports of oil, planned for 2021.

  7. Ex-Angola minister dies in Mozambique hotel room

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa

    Angola has confirmed the death of its former minister of higher education, Adão Gaspar Ferreira do Nascimento, in a hotel room in the Mozambican capital, Maputo.

    A press statement from the Angolan embassy in Maputo says the 60-year-old's body has been moved to a local morgue for a trauma examination.

    The embassy says the death occurred at 21:00 local time on Wednesday night.

    Mozambique's National Criminal Investigation Service is investigating the cause and circurmstances of Mr do Nascimento's death, the embassy's statement adds.

  8. Students raped at gunpoint on Ghana trip

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Authorities in Ghana are investigating the sexual assault of four British girls and their teacher at gunpoint.

    The Sixth Form students, aged between 16 and 17, were part of an organised trip by a school in southern England.

    Reports say the four girls and their teacher were attacked on Saturday night at the hostel where they were staying in the Greater Accra region.

    The attackers shot and wounded a security guard who attempted to stop them.

    The students and their teacher have been flown back to the UK for medical attention and are responding to treatment.

    The UK Foreign Office says around 90,000 Britons visit Ghana every year. Attacks like this on foreign nationals are not common in Ghana and the authorities are searching for the attackers.

  9. Egypt in U-turn over 2019 Afcon bid

    Egypt FA president Hany Abo Rida
    Image caption: Egypt FA President Hany Abo Rida has changed course

    The Egypt Football Association (EFA) has said that it is interested in bidding to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations despite previous comments to the contrary.

    Just eight days ago, the EFA ruled itself out of stepping in to replace Cameroon as hosts.

    This latest development follows a meeting between EFA President Hany Abo Rida and his Confederation of African Football (Caf) counterpart Ahmad Ahmad.

    "We're preparing a file to send to Caf and we're waiting for formal approval from the government," EFA's Ahmed Megahed told reporters.

    Caf is seeking a replacement for Cameroon, which was stripped of hosting rights last month because of poor preparations.

  10. Motorbike gunmen kill 40 civilians in Mali

    BBC World Service

    Officials and activists in Mali say gunmen have killed more than 40 Tuareg civilians in the south-east of the country.

    They say the attackers - who were riding motorbikes - shot people dead in several villages in the Ménaka region near the border with Niger.

    It is not known who carried out the shootings, but earlier this year hundreds of people were killed in ethnic violence between members of Mali's Tuareg and Fulani communities.

    A map showing the location of Ménaka in Mali, close to the border with Niger.
  11. SA rugby star in intensive care after setback

    BBC Sport

    Naka Drotske
    Image caption: Naka Drotske coached Super Rugby side the Cheetahs

    Former South Africa international Naka Drotske is in intensive care following a setback in his recovery after being shot in a robbery.

    Drotske, a World Cup winner in 1995, appeared to be recuperating well after the attack in Pretoria.

    But a hospital spokeswoman told BBC Sport the 47-year-old was "in a critical but stable condition", adding, "it is anticipated that he will be ventilated for another couple of days and kept under sedation."

    Drotske was pictured giving a thumbs up from his hospital bed in the aftermath of the attack, while his cousin had said he could soon return home. However, his sister-in-law posted a message on social media saying Drotske had had a setback.

  12. Eritrean leader in 'historic' visit to Somalia

    Tesfalem Araia

    BBC Tigrinya

    Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki is visiting Somalia for the first time in decades.

    He has held talks with his Somali counterpart, President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed, in the capital, Mogadishu.

    For many years Eritrea refused to recognise Somalia’s UN-backed government – because of its close ties to Ethiopia and Western powers.

    But in the wake of the thaw in relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, things have improved throughout the region – mainly thanks to Ethiopia’s new leader Abiy Ahmed.

    He ended a two-decade state of war with Eritrea and encouraged regional talks.

    In July, President Mohamed visited Asmara where a tripartite peace agreement was signed between Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea

    “President Isaias's historic visit is part and parcel of the consultative tripartite summits of the heads of state and government of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia,” Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel said.

    He also tweeted pictures of the "warm welcome" accorded to Mr Isaias:

    View more on twitter

    The Somali presidency tweeted that the visit marked a "new era":

    View more on twitter

    Eritrea had been accused of supporting Somalia al-Shabab militants – an allegation it always strenuously denied.

    UN sanctions placed on Eritrea in 2009 because of these suspicions were lifted in November, citing a lack of evidence.

    Mr Isaias is also expected to visit Nairobi to hold talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

  13. Scientists unveil 'soil-less' bananas

    Bananas are the world's most popular fruit. Experts say 100 billion bananas are eaten every year, and 95% of those are the Cavendish banana type.

    But a new fungus has emerged that attacks this usually resistant variety of banana, and it is spreading rapidly throughout the world's commercial crops.

    Chemicals can help, but another potential solution is to grow bananas without using soil, as Gert Kema, professor of Tropical Phytopathology at Wageningen University, told BBC Newsday:

    Video content

    Video caption: Dutch scientists harvest their first batch of 'soil-less' bananas

    More banana facts:

    • Around 14% of global banana exports are from the African continent, according to the UN food agency
    • It says that up to 80% of production in Africa is of local banana varieties that have been present on the continent for more than 1,000 years.
  14. Somali militant commander-turned-politician arrested

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    Former Deputy Leader and spokesman of Somalia's al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabab rebels, Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, also known as Abu Mansur, speaks to journalists on August 15, 2017 in Mogadishu
    Image caption: Mukhtar Robow, who trained in Afghanistan, defected from al-Shabab last year

    Security forces in Somalia have arrested a former al-Shabab commander who is set to contest in regional elections, reports from the country say.

    Mukhtar Robow is one of the leading candidates seeking the presidency of Somalia’s South West state in next week’s vote.

    The arrest took place amid clashes between gunmen and security forces in the town of Baidoa. So far it is not clear why Mr Robow was seized.

    Mr Robow was arrested on Thursday morning as heavy gunfire was heard in Baidoa. Telecommunication lines in the town have since been cut off.

    In October, Somalia’s federal government banned the former al-Shabab spokesman, who once served as the group's deputy leader, from contesting in the state elections but the electoral commission ignored the decision and gave him the go-ahead.

    Mr Robow has been a major threat to the influence of Somalia's federal government in the south-west.

    This latest incident will only increase his popularity, and fuel local resentment towards the government and its foreign allies.

    Mr Robow divides opinion in Somalia - with some seeing him as a major resource in the fight against al-Shabab, while others still view him with suspicion because of his past as a founding member of the jihadist group.

  15. DR Congo fire: 8,000 voting machines destroyed

    Louise Dewast

    BBC Africa, Kinshasa

    One of the voting machines to be used during Democratic Republic of the Congo's elections - February 2018
    Image caption: Many worry about the security of voting machines that are to be used in this month's election

    At least 8,000 electronic voting machines are known to have been destroyed in the fire overnight at a depot in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    That is more than two-thirds of the number needed for the capital city's four million voters. Other electoral material was also destroyed.

    The president of DR Congo's National Electoral Commission (Ceni) called this a serious blow, but he added that officials would do everything they could to maintain the vote on 23 December.

    Ceni says it is planning to return voting machines that had been dispatched to other parts of the country and were meant to serve as reserve in case of any problems.

    The use of the machines has proved controversial as many believe they could facilitate vote rigging, and several opposition candidates have called for them to be banned outright.

    The reason for the fire remains unclear but this incident comes after worrying developments in the country.

    In the past few days, there have been clashes with police at campaign meetings - with reports of more than 40 people injured and some reportedly killed.

  16. 'I won't wear make-up to hide my scars'

    Video content

    Video caption: Kenyan model: I won't wear make-up to hide my scars

    Kenyan Claudiah Wanjiru always wanted to be a model, but when she was caught in a fire, her face was scarred.

    People called her names and accused her of bleaching her face. This led to her suffering depression and attempting to take her own life.

    But she never gave up on her dream and is now a successful model.

    Video journalist: Sarah Tiamiyu

  17. Cameroon rebels 'launch crypto-currency'

    An "AmbaCoin" cryptocurrency bond certificate

    Separatists in Cameroon's English-speaking regions have launched their own crypto-currency called "AmbaCoin", according to the Quartz Africa news site.

    They want to create a breakaway state called Ambazonia, and this currency is the latest symbol of nationhood that rebels have attempted to adopt, along with their blue-and-white flag and anthem.

    One AmbaCoin sells for $0.25 cents (£0.18), reports Quartz, and is currently on pre-sale ahead of the "main initial coin offering scheduled for 24 December".

    Quartz adds that the AmbaCoin was "conceived and built by a group of anonymous Anglophone separatist scholars, technocrats and developers".

    Cameroon's official currency is the Central African franc (CFA), which is linked to France’s national treasury. There have been calls from some to scrap the CFA, which they regard as a "colonial currency".

    Read more:

  18. DR Congo fire: Controversial voting machines destroyed

    Louise Dewast

    BBC Africa, Kinshasa

    A number of electronic voting machines were destroyed in the fire which tore through a depot in Kinshasa overnight, says the Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission.

    Officials are working to determine how many. The cause of the fire is still unclear.

    These machines are controversial as many believe they could be used to rig the vote and a number of opposition candidates have been calling for them to be banned.

    For now, the election commission says the electoral process will continue, with polls in the vast country scheduled for 23 December.

    A man walks towards smoke rising from a fire at the independent national electoral commission"s (CENI) warehouse on December 13, 2018 in Kinshasa, ten days ahead of presidential elections that have been foreshadowed by violence.
  19. Zuma ordered to refund the state for his legal fees

    Vauldi Carelse

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Former South African President Jacob Zuma reacts as he sits at the dock at the Durban Magistrate Court in Durban, on June 8, 2018 during a hearing to face over 16 corruption charges.
    Image caption: The state has spent more than $1m on his legal fees since 2006

    South Africa’s embattled former President Jacob Zuma will have to pay back the money provided for his legal fees.

    The state has paid between $1m (£792,000) and $2.2m in legal costs for Mr Zuma over the past decade.

    A High Court ruling has instructed the state attorney to recover the money.

    In addition, Mr Zuma will also have to find the money to pay his lawyers in his ongoing corruption case, which has been adjourned until May next year.

    The state has been footing the bill for Mr Zuma’s legal fees since 2006 – when charges of corruption were first laid against him.

    The former president faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering stemming from hundreds of payments made to him in relation to the South Africa’s arms procurement deal.

    Mr Zuma, who was forced out of office in February, denies any wrongdoing.

    The charges were dropped in 2009 but reinstated earlier this year.

    Opposition parties took the presidency to court after President Cyril Ramaphosa's recent revelation that an agreement signed by Mr Zuma, under former President Thabo Mbeki, had formed the basis of the decision to continue paying Mr Zuma's legal fees, more than a decade on.

    On Thursday, a judge found that the decision taken by the presidency and state attorney to cover Mr Zuma’s legal costs was invalid and set it aside.

  20. Ghana university removes 'racist' Gandhi statue

    A controversial statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the famed Indian independence leader, has been removed from a university campus in Ghana's capital, Accra.

    Students and lecturers told the AFP news agency it had been removed from the Legon campus of the University of Ghana overnight on Tuesday.

    The statue was unveiled by India’s former President Prana Mukherjee in 2016 to celebrate strong ties between the two countries.

    The university's professors launched a petition calling for its removal soon after the unveiling, saying Gandhi was "racist" and that the university should put African heroes "first and foremost".

    In the wake of the row, Ghana's government at the time had said the statue would be relocated.

    A journalist has tweeted photos of the plinth before and after its removal:

    View more on twitter

    Students welcomed the statue's removal.

    Benjamin Mensah told AFP: "It's a massive win for all Ghanaians because it was constantly reminding us of how inferior we are."

    Though Gandhi is known for his non-violent resistance to British rule, his comments on Africa and black people have been more controversial.

    Read more: Ghana tackles 'racist' Gandhi

    Mahatma Gandhi
    Image caption: Mahatma Gandhi was an inspiration to many freedom fighters