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Live Reporting

Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for this week’s stories

    We'll be back next week

    Clare Spencer

    BBC News

    That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. 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: When someone drives you in the middle of the night, thank them in the morning." from A Bemba proverb sent from Zambia by K O'daka, K Ng'andwe, M Jacob, M Lombe, M Chipili, M Chishimba & Tamara, and by B Augustine from Russia.
    A Bemba proverb sent from Zambia by K O'daka, K Ng'andwe, M Jacob, M Lombe, M Chipili, M Chishimba & Tamara, and by B Augustine from Russia.

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture of the traditional carnival earlier this week in Cape Town, South Africa. It's one of our favourite pictures from the week.

  2. Wrist beads used to guard against period stains

    Bongben Jisi

    BBC Pidgin, Cameroon

    A member of staff at the Girls Excel workshop

    An NGO in Cameroon says it has helped schoolgirls avoid the embarrassment of menstrual stains on their clothes with the use of wrist beads.

    Girls Excel, which is funded by the British High Commission, says the beads are colour-coded to help users keep track of their menstrual cycle.

    Red beads denote menstruation time and is for light pink for pre- and post-ovulation.

    Girls Excel found around 30% of girls in the area missed school when on their periods. The issue was found to be more acute in rural areas than in cities.

    One 15-year-old in the Cameroonian city of Limbé said:

    Quote Message: Each time I got up in class there was laughter. I did not know why until a classmate later whispered that I had blood stains on my uniform. I wished for the ground to open and close up on me so that I would just disappear. This made me stay away from school for days until a friend convinced me to return.
    Quote Message: Now I put my pad when I follow my cycle beads… and avoid the shame I suffered the first time."
    A workshop run by Girls Excel
  3. DR Congo's Catholic election observer deemed 'illegal'

    The result is timetabled to be announced on 6 January

    In the Democratic republic of Congo, the coalition in power has condemned the country's influential catholic church for announcing that they know who the winner is in recent presidential elections.

    Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, spokesman for the FCC (Common front for the Congo), told the BBC "they are doing something illegal and as a matter of fact they are preparing the population for insurrection".

    The ruling coalition said only the electoral commission is officially allowed to announce results.

    Earlier this week the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco) said there was a clear winner of Sunday's presidential election based on results it had seen.

    Cenco, who deployed more than 40,000 election observers on voting day - more officials than any other body, did not say who it thought had won.

    But bishops urged the authorities to be truthful and announce the results soon.

    The Church had been vocal in its opposition to the extension of President Joseph Kabila's rule. He was supposed to have stepped down in 2016.

  4. Why CAR is 'the worst place to be a child'

    The Central African Republic has been called the worst place in the world to be a child.

    Healthcare is a particular concern.

    When the BBC travelled to Kaga Bandoro, 400km (249 miles) from the capital Bangui, they found just one doctor to serve 200,000 people.

    The UN co-ordinator in the area, Bitumba Tipo-Tipo Mayoyo, told the BBC that doctors were too scared to work there.


    Video content

    Video caption: People in the town of Kaga Bandora survive on humanitarian aid and UN peacekeepers
  5. Burkina Faso death toll rises to 46

    BBC World Service

    The Burkina Faso government says the number of people now known to have died during clashes this week in the central region has risen to 46.

    The clashes began on Monday when suspected jihadists riding motor bikes attacked an ethnic Mossi farming community in the village of Yirgou, killing seven people, including the village chief.

    The villagers then attacked Fulani herders in the area in apparent retaliation, killing 39 people.

    Clashes between the two communities have increased in West Africa in recent years, exacerbated by jihadist militants.

    Similar violence between herders and farmers in neighbouring Mali left 37 people dead on Tuesday.

    Fulani herder
    Image caption: Fulani people are semi-nomadic herders
  6. Kenyan schools examine girls for FGM


    In Kenya, girls returning from their school holidays in Narok are going to be examined to see if they have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).

    The directive, brought in by the county commissioner, is aimed at stopping FGM which is illegal but still continues in this part of Kenya.

    Teachers are not convinced that forced inspections are helping.

    Charles Ngeno from the Kenyan Union of Post Primary Education Teachers told BBC Focus on Africa radio that by the time the tests are done the "damage has already been done".

    He also expressed concern that the test could have the unintended consequence of stigmatising girls who have undergone FGM and cause further trauma.

  7. Hundreds gather to demand Bashir steps down

    Image caption: Omdurman is the twin city of Sudan's capital, Khartoum

    Protesters have gathered in the Sudanese city of Omdurman to call for an end to the nearly 30-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir.

    People were heard chanting: "Freedom, peace, and justice. Revolution is the people's choice."

    The protests began after Friday prayers.

    Many of those taking part came straight from the Al Syiad Abderhaman mosque, which is linked to the opposition Umma party.

    The BBC's Mohamed Osman says security forces have used tear gas against some of the 300 or so demonstrators there.

    Demonstrations began on 19 December after the government announced price rises for fuel and bread.

    The protests have escalated into broader calls for an end to the rule of President Bashir, who came to power after a coup in 1989.

    Activists accuse him of mismanaging the economy.

    Read more on the BBC News website.

  8. Comoros coach Amir Abdou extends contract

    Amir Abdou

    Comoros National football coach Amir Abdou has extended his contract until June this year with the option of a further two years.

    The extension means Abdou will be able to complete the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with the final group match in Cameroon in March.

    A victory for Comoros would see them qualify for a first Nations Cup finals at the expense of Cameroon on the head-to-head rule.

    Under Abdou Comoros has recorded some impressive home results in the 2019 qualifiers including a 2-1 win over Malawi as well as drawing 2-2 against Morocco and 1-1 against Cameroon.

    Read more on the BBC Sport website.

  9. UN: DR Congo violence drives 16,000 to Brazzaville

    Around 16,000 people have fled the Democratic Republic of Congo after clashes erupted last month in the south-west, AFP news agency reports the UN as saying.

    The UN said people fled to neighbouring Republic of Congo after violence broke out in Yumbi, in the DR Congo province of Mai-Ndombe.

    Spokesman for the UN refugee agency Andrej Mahecic is quoted as saying that the violence did not have anything to do with the presidential election on Sunday.

    "An old rivalry between Banunus and Batende communities led to fresh inter-communal clashes," AFP reports Mr Mahecic as saying.

    He says dozens have been killed in the clashes.

  10. Egypt 'tells CBS to drop Sisi interview on Israel cooperation'

    Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    The Egyptian ambassador to the US has asked the US television network CBS not to broadcast an interview with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the broadcaster says.

    CBS said that in the interview the president confirmed that the Egyptian military was working with Israel against terrorists in North Sinai.

    Egypt is battling an estimated 1,000 IS-affiliated jihadists and are letting Israel attack them from the air, CBS said.

    In February the New York Times reported that Israeli aircraft had carried out dozens of cross-border strikes against jihadists in the Sinai.

    In reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would do "whatever is necessary to defend ourselves", reports AFP news agency.

    Egypt has signed peace treaties with Israel but relations remain sensitive.

    The interview with Mr El-Sisi is due to air on Sunday and CBS insisted that it still planned to broadcast it.

  11. Zambian 'arrested for wearing miniskirt'

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    A 16-year-old Zambian girl has spent the last two weeks in police cells after being arrested for allegedly walking past a police station wearing a miniskirt, according to local newspapers.

    The girl and her 28-year-old aunt are accused of conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace on 22 December, report the Times of Zambia and Zambia's Daily Mail.

    The duo denied the charge.

    The newspapers go on to say that the two appeared before the magistrate's court on Thursday.

    A police officer asked her why she was wearing a short skirt, according to the Daily Mail.

    In response, the aunt wondered why the officer was questioning the length of her niece’s skirt when he did not question other women with similar attire.

    It is alleged that this response did not go down well with the officer who immediately detained them.

    The trial starts on 14 January.

  12. AU chief calls for respect for DR Congo vote

    The head of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has called for the results of the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential vote to be respected.

    He made the plea in a tweet:

    View more on twitter

    The tweet is accompanied by a photo which shows Mr Faki met with the head of the AU observer mission, Dioncounda Traoré, a former president of Mali, at the bloc's headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

    Election observers from DR Congo's Catholic Church have said they know who has won the vote and urged the electoral commission to publish the "truth".

    The Congolese election commission has said it is "working hard" to get provisional results ready for Sunday.

  13. Zimbabwe 'asks for applicants for striking doctors' jobs'

    Zimbabwe's government has advertised for more than 200 vacancies to replace junior doctors who went on strike at the beginning of December, reports the state-owned newspaper the Herald.

    The doctors say there are many areas of concern, including working conditions, protective gear and the availability of medicines.

    The government says it has met most concerns, which the doctors say is not true, reports the BBC's Shingai Nyoka in Harare.

    The government suspended more than 500 medical staff on Christmas Eve, reports the Guardian.

    Last week the Labour Court declared the strike illegal, the Herald adds.

    In April the government sacked thousands of striking nurses and later reinstated them.

    Sign saying "health has gone to the dogs"
    Image caption: Medical staff have been protesting over the last two years
  14. Delta Beverages scraps hard currency plan

    Image caption: It is increasingly more difficult to get hold of dollars in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe's biggest drinks company, Delta, has abandoned a plan to accept only hard currency in payment after the government declared the move illegal.

    The country's central bank has promised to ensure that the firm has the cash it needs to pay suppliers.

    The statement was issued after talks attended by the country's vice president, Constantino Chiwenga.

    Zimbabwe is suffering a severe shortage of foreign currency and a collapse in confidence in locally issued bond notes.

  15. Bankers arrested over '$2bn fraud scheme'

    Three former Credit Suisse bankers have been arrested over their alleged role in a $2bn (£1.5bn) fraud scheme connected to firms in Mozambique, according to US authorities.

    Two others, including the country's former finance minister, have also been arrested.

    An indictment says that through a series of financial transactions more than $2bn was borrowed through loans guaranteed by the Mozambican government.

    In a statement, Credit Suisse said the three former employees had been accused by US authorities of "circumventing our internal controls" in a fraud connected to the Mozambican government. The bank said no action had been taken against them.

    Read more on the BBC News website.

    Credit Suisse logo
  16. Anti-Bashir protests expected in Sudan

    More anti-government protests are expected in Sudan today as demonstrators continue their call for an end to the rule of President Omar al-Bashir.

    The protests first erupted in mid-December after the government announced price rises on fuel and bread.

    The country has already been rocked by two weeks of sometimes deadly street demonstrations. At least 19 people have died.

    But a Sudanese man who plans to take part in the protest today told the BBC's Newsday programme that, while he is worried, he cannot continue to live with the status quo:

    Quote Message: In three decades the government have humiliated us every single day and trying to take our dignity away. One would rather die that be living this viscous cycle forever."

    Listen to the full interview:

    Video content

    Video caption: Sudan has been rocked by two weeks of demonstrations
  17. UN security council to meet over DR Congo

    BBC World Service

    Election agent counting votes
    Image caption: The count is still under way

    The UN Security Council will hold a closed door meeting later today on the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The Roman Catholic Church, which fielded thousands of election observers across the country, said that - based on results it had seen - there was a clear winner.

    It urged the election commission to publish truthful and accurate results to avoid political unrest.

    We are still waiting for the results from last Sunday's vote.

    In their report, the Catholic bishops said there had been widespread procedural irregularities on voting day.

    The vote has been repeatedly delayed since 2016, when President Joseph Kabila's mandate officially ended.

  18. Wise words

    Today's African proverb:

    Quote Message: When someone drives you in the middle of the night, thank them in the morning." from A Bemba proverb sent from Zambia by K O'daka, K Ng'andwe, M Jacob, M Lombe, M Chipili, M Chishimba & Tamara, and by B Augustine from Russia.
    A Bemba proverb sent from Zambia by K O'daka, K Ng'andwe, M Jacob, M Lombe, M Chipili, M Chishimba & Tamara, and by B Augustine from Russia.
    Nelson Mandela Bridge lit up at night,

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

  19. Good morning

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

  20. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We’ll be back tomorrow

    Natasha Booty

    BBC News

    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: Rain that thunders when it falls only soaks the fool." from An Umbundu proverb sent by Antonio Pedro Garcia in Luanda, Angola.
    An Umbundu proverb sent by Antonio Pedro Garcia in Luanda, Angola.

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo of a little boy eavesdropping on the conversation between his parents and their guests in Accra:

    View more on instagram