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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for the week's stories

    We'll be back on Saturday at 07:00 GMT for special coverage of the Nigerian election

    But that's all from BBC Africa Live this week. 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 Friday's proverb:

    Quote Message: A lie leaves no footprints." from A Somali proverb sent by Zeinab Ayan, Nairobi, Kenya. How do you interpret this proverb?
    A Somali proverb sent by Zeinab Ayan, Nairobi, Kenya. How do you interpret this proverb?

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture of two girls carrying a prayer mat as they walk to the central mosque in Nigeria's northern Daura town in Katsina state ahead of Saturday's election.

    two girls carrying a prayer mat as they walk to the central mosque in northern Daura town in Katsina state ahead of Saturday's election.
  2. BreakingDozens killed in northern Nigeria

    Tomi Oladipo

    BBC Africa security correspondent

    Sixty-six people have been killed in attacks in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria. The attacks took place in a series of hamlets in the Kajuru area.

    The governor of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, says security agents have been deployed to the area and have made arrests.

    He also called for the communities to avoid reprisal attacks but he did not specify the identity of the suspects or what inspired the violence.

    Our colleagues at Focus on Africa will have the latest details on this story on the 19:00 GMT edition.

    It will also be on the BBC Africa website.

  3. Namibia decriminalises dumping newborn babies

    Namibia's government has now decriminalised the act of abandoning a newborn baby, which gender activists say is usually the result of difficulties in procuring legal terminations.

    Safe places will be put up where unwanted children can be left without prosecution of the mothers.

    Statistics from the Namibian police show that in 2017 - 2018, only 25 cases of baby dumping were reported, but about 7,300 cases of abortion were recorded, The Namibian newspaper reports.

    The abortion figure could, however, be as high as 10,000 because some cases went unreported, the paper says.

    Elsarien Katiti, from Speaks for Sister Namibia, an organisation that campaigns for women's rights, spoke to BBC's Focus on Africa presenter Audrey Brown

    Video content

    Video caption: Many women resort to leaving their newly born infants where they can be found
  4. Mozambique former minister denied bail

    Wanjiku Mungai

    BBC Monitoring

    Manuel Chang is currently in South African police custody
    Image caption: Manuel Chang is currently in South African police custody

    A South African court has denied bail to former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who is wanted in the US and in his home country, for his alleged role in a $2bn (£1.5bn) fraud case.

    The magistrate in the case said that to release Chang on bail would “undermine South Africa’s criminal system," News24 reports.

    Magistrate Sagra Subroyen also said that Chang had failed to fully disclose his financial records.

    Chang, a member of Mozambique's parliament, will remain in custody pending a decision by the South African court - expected on 26 February - on where to extradite him.

    The bail denial comes a day after Mozambique’s public prosecutor was reported to have made its first arrests in the case.

    The five people arrested include the former head of state security and Intelligence services, Gregorio Leao, Mozambique public broadcaster TVM reports.

    US prosecutors say that through a series of financial transactions between approximately 2013 and 2016, Mr Chang and others created fraudulent maritime projects and used state-owned companies in Mozambique as fronts to raise loans.

    Their revelation in 2016 shattered the trust of Mozambique’s creditors, causing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and foreign donors to cut off support.

    Eighteen people have been named as suspects in the case, according to Mozambican media sources.

  5. Air Mauritius losses criticised

    Yasine Mohabuth

    Port Louis, Mauritius

    Air Mauritius

    An announcement by Air Mauritius that it had made a loss of $8.6m (£6.7m) in the third quarter has sparked criticism of the company's management team.

    The company made a profit of $4.1m during the same period last year.

    Many Mauritians have criticised the company's performance.

    "When a public company is showing losses year on, with same board and management, this means actual team can't deliver more. Government must sack both board members," Rajendra Purmessur posted on Facebook.

    Investment in two new aircraft, increased payroll costs, exchange-rate fluctuations and the price of fuel over the period have been put forward by the airline management to explain the significant financial losses.

    In spite of being Africa’s third best airline – behind Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways, according to Skytrax - Air Mauritius has an urgent need to review its flight plan.

  6. 'If you love Nigeria, vote!'

    Nigeria's last President Goodluck Jonathan has issued a plea to Nigerians to cast their votes in Saturday's presidential and legislative elections.

    In a message with just over 14 hours before polls open he said:

    Quote Message: If you love Nigeria, you must come out to vote.... Remember, none of us is greater than all of us.
    Quote Message: Remember, we are all brothers and sisters born from the womb of one mother Nigeria. May God bless Nigeria."

    Mr Jonathan lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 - the first time an incumbent had been defeated in Nigeria.

    He famously phoned Mr Buhari to concede the election and alluded to this in Friday's message:

    Quote Message: I proved that my political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. Now it is your turn to prove that nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen."
    Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari
    Image caption: Goodluck Jonathan (left) lost the 2015 presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari
  7. Uganda schoolchildren chant Bobi Wine slogan

    A tweeter has shared a video of schoolchildren greeting Ugandan musician-turned politician Bobi Wine with his famous slogan " our power, people power".

    The politician, an ardent critic of President Yoweri Museveni, was picking up his daughter from the school.

    View more on twitter

    Read more about the pop star seeking 'people power'

  8. Egyptian president may rule until 2034

    Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, has been in power since leading a military coup in 2013
    Image caption: Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, has been in power since leading a military coup in 2013

    Egypt's parliament has overwhelmingly voted to approve draft constitutional changes that could extend President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's time in office by another 12 years.

    Mr Sisi is due to stand down in 2022 when his second four-year term ends.

    But 485 of the country's 596 lawmakers voted on Thursday to lengthen presidential terms to six years and let Mr al-Sisi serve another two.

    Several Egyptian human rights groups have spoken out against the decision.

    The changes, first proposed earlier this month, will now be drafted into legislation and put to another parliamentary vote. If approved again, Egypt will then hold a referendum.

    Read the full story on the BBC website.

  9. MTN unaware of reason for its boss' deportation

    Catherine Byaruhanga

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    MTN shop
    Image caption: Uganda accuses MTN of undermining its national security

    South African telecoms giant MTN has said it is unaware of the reason behind the deportation of its CEO from Uganda.

    Reports emerged on Thursday night that Wim Vanhelleputte, a Belgian national, was driven to the international airport and forced onto a flight out of the country.

    The authorities say it is in relation to an on-going investigation into claims that staff at the company have worked to undermine Uganda’s national security.

    In January, three other senior managers were also deported.

    At the time, Elsa Mussolini, the company’s former General Manager for Mobile Financial Services, said she was deported over accusations she had been funding the operations of the opposition politician Bobi Wine.

    But MTN, which operates in Africa and the Middle East, says it has not been given precise reasons for its CEO’s deportation.

    The company has also been locked in a public row with the government over the renewal of its operating licence.

    President Yoweri Museveni questioned why the industry regulator had set the renewal fee at $58m (£45m) - down from $100m.

    Last month, President Museveni met the MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    After the meeting, the president tweeted that the company needs to list shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange to ensure some of its profits remain in the country.

    He also accused MTN Uganda of under-declaring call volumes to avoid paying tax.

    The company said in a statement that it is fully committed to respecting and operating within the laws of Uganda.

  10. Young poet who wants to inspire people

    Tumaini is a nine-year-old from Tanzania with big dreams and a big vocabulary.

    The young poet first went viral after performing her own poem about the country's first President Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

    Now, as she explains in this BBC Africa One Minute Story, she wants to inspire people through her poetry.

    Produced for BBC What's New? by Debula Kemoli

    Video content

    Video caption: Tanzanian nine-year-old poet: 'I want to show everything is possible'
  11. Ready and eager to cast a vote

    Our reporters across Nigeria have been talking to people ahead of Saturday's presidential and legislative election.

    BBC Hausa's Mansur Abubakar met African star apple and cashew nut seller Mallam Alhassan in Kano.

    Fruit seller smiling

    He said he was eager to cast his vote.

    Worshippers are in mosques across the country for Friday prayers where religious leaders are expected to continue with the tradition of praying for successful polls, our reporter says.

    Pictures outside a mosque
  12. South Africans urged to support Semenya

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Caster Semenya

    South Africa's Sports Minister Sports Minister Thokozile Xasa has called for support for Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, as she challenges a proposed rule by the IAAF that would restrict the levels of testosterone in female runners.

    The proposed rule would apply to women who race in track events from 400m up to a mile.

    Under the ruling, female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels, like Semenya, would have to race against men or change events unless they took medication.

    Ms Xasa said Semenya had been "targeted" by the IAAF and had the support of the South African government in her case against athletics' governing body.

    Ms Xasa said the South African government had an interest in the case.

    “This interest is informed by our historical stance as a nation towards human rights and also if the proposed regulations go unchallenged will have a negative impact to our golden girl, Caster Semenya.

    “Our history as a nation was in the main based on the defence of our people against their human rights violation, a right to belong, that all humans are created equal," she added.

    The case will begin on Monday at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

  13. Nigeria election: Is the electoral commission ready?

    Nigerians are preparing to vote in Saturday's presidential election.

    It has been a busy few months for the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), which is charged with organising the poll in Africa's most populous country.

    Inec has been delivering election materials to all corners of the vast country, dealing with attacks on some of their offices, and facing accusations that the vote will not be free and fair.

    The BBC's Newsday presenter James Copnall asked Inec national commissioner Festus Okoye whether they can meet the challenge.

    Listen:

    Video content

    Video caption: National Commissioner Festus Okoye say the election will be free and fair
  14. Senegal condemns ex-leader's call to 'burn voters card'

    Louise Dewast

    Dakar, Senegal

    Former President Abdoulaye Wade
    Image caption: Former President Wade is not happy that his son has been barred from running in this month's election

    Senegal's government has condemned calls for violence by former President Abdoulaye Wade, who claims the presidential poll scheduled later this month is rigged in favour of the incumbent Macky Sall.

    The government says calls by the 92-year-old former leader for people to attack polling stations and burn their voter cards and electoral rolls are irresponsible and subversive.

    Mr Wade, who lives in France, returned to Dakar last week after his son was barred from standing in the poll due to a corruption conviction.

    As a result, his party - Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) - does not have a presidential candidate.

    The government added that Mr Wade's attitude would not be tolerated and that any illegal action will be sanctioned.

    Mr Wade - who has been a leading figure in the country since the 70s - still has a base of supporters but it is unclear whether they will dismiss or listen to his calls for violence.

    He led the West African nation from 2000 - 2012. He stepped down after he was defeated by President Sall while seeking a controversial third-term.

  15. Comoros president steps down ahead of election

    Sammy Maina

    BBC Monitoring

    Azali Assoumani

    Azali Assoumani has stepped down as president of Comoros to seek re-election in upcoming elections scheduled for March and April 2019.

    In an interview with privately-owned news agency HZK-Presse, Mr Assoumani announced he was picking Energy Minister Moustadroine Abdou to act as president in his absence.

    "I have chosen to have Moustadroine Abdou take over in my absence... [and] I know he has what it takes to maintain order among our ranks and is able to work with the others," Mr Assoumani said.

    According to the archipelago's constitution, a president or governor seeking re-election must step down "as soon as" the Supreme Court publishes the definitive list of candidates to run in the coming election.

    In July 2018, Mr Assoumani forced a referendum two years after his election that reversed a rotational presidency pact between Comoros' three islands, resulting in early elections being called for 2019.

    If he wins, he hopes to extend his stay in power beyond 2021 when his term of office is supposed to end.

  16. Calls for peaceful poll in Nigeria

    Damian Zane

    BBC News, Lagos

    As Nigeria pauses for breath before plunging into Saturday's presidential and legislative elections people are stressing the need for a peaceful vote.

    Presidential candidates including the two main contenders, President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, reiterated their commitment to a violence-free poll at a ceremony in the capital, Abuja, on Thursday.

    Photograph of the main candidates after the signing ceremony

    Foreign observers have also chimed in. The UK, EU and the Commonwealth have all called for a peaceful vote.

    Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who used to work in Nigeria, tweeted his own message of peace.

    View more on twitter

    And US Consul General John Bray told BBC Pidgin, in Pidgin, that elections are not war.

    View more on twitter

    Meanwhile, the electoral commission is trying to reassure people that everything is in place.

    For example, it has tweeted a photo of card readers that have been sent to Anambra state to replace those that were destroyed in a fire earlier this week.

    View more on twitter

    Campaigning stopped at midnight (23:00 GMT) on Thursday. Polls open at 08:00 (07:00) on Saturday.

  17. 'Bomb in corpse kills two in Burkina Faso'

    A Burkina Faso's soldier on patrol

    Two Burkinabe soldiers were killed on Thursday in the northern town of Djibo near the border with Mali after a bomb hidden in a corpse, dressed in military uniform, exploded, news agency AFP reports quoting a statement from the army.

    "The body, which turned out to be a trap, exploded when it was handled, killing two soldiers and wounding six, three of them seriously," the statement said.

    A security source told AFP that the corpse exploded when soldiers tried to turn it over, killing an army doctor on the spot, and wounding others.

    Burkina Faso is among countries in the vast Sahel region battling Islamist insurgency in the region.

    It formed a regional force G5 Sahel along with Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Mali to take on the militants.

    More than 300 people have been killed in Burkina Faso in four years of jihadist attacks, according to an AFP count.

    Last month Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba resigned from office along with his entire cabinet.

    His government had faced growing pressure over a rise in the number of kidnappings and jihadist attacks.

    Read more : The war in the desert: Why the Sahara is terror's new front line

  18. Biafran separatist calls off poll boycott

    The leader of a Nigerian separatist group demanding independence for Biafra, in the south-east of the country, has called off a boycott of Saturday's presidential and legislative elections.

    In a tweet on Thursday night, Nnamdi Kanu said that his preconditions for ending the boycott "have been met".

    View more on twitter

    In a BBC Igbo interview this week he called for an independence referendum and improved infrastructure in the south-east.

    But it is not clear how his conditions have been met, BBC Igbo editor Adline Okere says.

    One problem with calling off the boycott at this late stage is that there have people who did not bother to register will now be unable to vote, she adds.

  19. South Africa drops Ajay Gupta arrest warrant

    Ajay Gupta (in the red shirt and sunglasses)
    Image caption: Ajay Gupta (in the red shirt and sunglasses)

    South African authorities have dropped a warrant of arrest for Ajay Gupta, one of the three brothers in the controversial Gupta family, accused of having undue influence over former President Jacob Zuma.

    The cancellation of Mr Gupta's warrant follows the provisional withdrawal of charges against Duduzane Zuma, President's Zuma's son, in January, Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesperson for police special crime investigation unit, the Hawks, told the BBC.

    Duduzane Zuma was accused, alongside Ajay Gupta, of offering former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas a $42m (£32m) bribe and the position of finance minister.

    Mr Zuma's charges were however dropped last month.

    Arrest warrants were issued for the three brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh (also known as Tony) Gupta, over what is known as "state capture".

    They are accused of trying to influence political decisions, including the naming of ministers.

    Former President Zuma and the Guptas have always denied any wrongdoing.

    The whereabouts of the three Gupta brothers are unknown but past reports have said that they have been seen in India, Dubai and also in South Africa.

    Read more: South Africa and the fable of the missing Guptas

  20. Last-minute checks ahead of Nigeria poll

    With less than 24 hours until polls open in Nigeria's presidential and legislative elections, people have been spotted checking to make sure that their names are on the electoral roll.

    The BBC's Chris Ewokor saw some at an electoral commission office in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, north-east Nigeria.

    People taking a picture of the voters' register

    They were taking pictures of the list to make sure that there were no last-minute changes, our reporter says.