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Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe, Emmanuel Onyango and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Liberia ranked number one for helping strangers

    Hand holding

    Liberia has been named number one in the world when it comes to helping strangers, according to the World Giving Index, an annual ranking of people's generosity.

    Helping strangers is one of the three criteria the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation used to draw up the overall index of generosity.

    It also looked at how much money people donate to charity and how much time people give to volunteering.

    The index was based on a 10-year study that surveyed 1.3 million people across the globe.

    In the overall rankings, Kenya was listed as the most generous country in Africa and the 11th most generous in the world.

    Liberia was listed as 17th, Sierra Leone 20th and Nigeria 22nd.

    But it is in helping strangers that Africa excelled.

    Including Liberia, there were seven African countries in the top 10 in that category: Sierra Leone (second), Kenya (fourth), Zambia (fifth), Uganda (sixth), Nigeria (seventh) and Malawi (joint 10th).

  2. South Africa power company 'sorry for blackouts'

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Coal-fired power station
    Image caption: Most of Eskom's power plants run on coal, an abundant resource in South Africa

    South Africa's state-run electricity company Eskom has apologised for the latest round of power cuts that began on Wednesday.

    The blackouts will affect different parts of the country throughout the day.

    In a statement, Eskom said its ability to generate power had been hit by maintenance problems.

    “The severe supply constraint being experienced has come about due to high levels of unplanned breakdowns... [for example] five generating units are unavailable due to boiler tube leaks,” it said.

    "We unreservedly apologise to South African for the negative impact this may have on them," the company added.

    It also advised people to use power "sparingly" through the day.

    This is not the first time the utility has resorted to load shedding. Similar measures were introduced earlier this year and last year, as well as in 2008 and 2015.

    The problems have been caused by a combination of increasing demand, rising costs, falling revenues, crumbling infrastructure, and decades of corruption and mismanagement.

    More than half of Eskom's debt is guaranteed by the government, accounting for 15% of the national debt. International banks have described Eskom as the single biggest threat to South Africa's economy.

  3. Eating insects: Testing out the delicacy in DR Congo

    Edible insects are often portrayed as something of a sustainable superfood - an environmentally friendly alternative to livestock.

    Unlike the production of meat, bugs do not use up large amounts of land, water or feed, and insect farming also produces far fewer greenhouse gases. But who is already eating them and do they actually taste any good?

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, insects are a popular culinary delicacy.

    So Joice Etutu, from BBC Africa's Smart Money programme, went to the capital Kinshasa to taste for herself.

    Video producer:Andrew Njuguna

    Video content

    Video caption: Eating insects: Testing out the delicacy in DRC
  4. Kenya's 'railway to nowhere' questioned

    Peter Mwangangi

    BBC Africa

    Map showing location of towns in Kenya

    Experts are questioning the viability of the latest addition to Kenya’s railway infrastructure moments after President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line, dubbed phase 2A.

    The new 120km (74 miles) stretch is a western extension of the line that already links the port city of Mombasa with the capital, Nairobi.

    Unlike the Mombasa to Nairobi line, which was launched to much fanfare in 2017, state activities for the opening of the new line have been low key.

    Analysts say that the government is having a hard time justifying the economic benefit of the project because the terminus, Suswa, is a nondescript town in the Rift Valley - hence the derisory nickname "railway to nowhere".

    The plans to extend the line to Kisumu, on Lake Victoria, and to Uganda have been thrown into doubt because Chinese finance has not been forthcoming.

    View more on twitter

    At the recent China Africa summit in Beijing, the Chinese government declined to fund what it termed as vanity projects, saying it would only finance those that made economic sense.

    Phase 2A of the line was undertaken by the China Communications Construction Company at a cost of $1.5bn (£1.1bn).

    Passenger services will start immediately with cargo services to follow, but it is not clear exactly when.

    Since its launch, the performance of the existing Mombasa-Nairobi line has also led many to question its viability.

    In its first year of operation, the SGR’s freight service generated $57m, while the passenger service brought in $16.1m according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, against an annual operation cost of $120m.

  5. Egypt archaeologists find 20 ancient coffins

    Ancient Egyptian coffins uncovered at the Theban necropolis of Asasif, near Luxor

    Archaeologists have found more than 20 ancient wooden coffins near the Egyptian city of Luxor, the country's antiquities ministry says.

    The coffins, whose brightly coloured decorations are still visible, were uncovered at the Theban necropolis of Asasif, on the River Nile's west bank.

    They were in two layers, with the ones on top across those below.

    The ministry described the discovery as "one of the largest and most important" in recent years.

    More details will be released at a news conference on Saturday.

    Read more here.

  6. Rwanda opposition leader undergoing 'psychological torture'

    Victoire Ingabire
    Image caption: Ms Ingabire has denied links to last week's violent attack in the northern region

    The main opposition party in Rwanda, FDU-Inkingi, says its leader, Victoire Ingabire, is undergoing "psychological torture" a week after she was summoned and questioned by police over a recent attack in the northern region.

    Ms Ingabire, 51, has denied any links to the 8 October attack which killed 14 people in Musanze district near Volcanoes National Park, a popular tourist spot.

    “I am fighting a political war but it is not a war of bullets," Ms Ingabire told the BBC's Great Lakes Service last week.

    In a statement, FDU-Inkingi said that the police have been summoning Ms Ingabire for questioning without her lawyer, knowing that they cannot ask her any questions without her legal representative.

    "It seems to be done as a psychological ploy to wear down her mental capabilities and to humiliate her," the party said.

    "We call for the end psychological torture, degrading and inhuman treatment," the statement said.

    Last week the spokesperson of the police's investigation bureau told local media he cannot give details of the ongoing investigation on Ms Ingabire.

    Since September last year, when Ms Ingabire was released from prison after a presidential pardon, she has had to report every month to the prosecutor's office.

    She had been serving a 15-year jail term for threatening state security and "belittling" the 1994 genocide.

  7. Blaming dress code for sexual abuse in Zimbabwe criticised

    A man rests his arms on the shoulder of a student

    Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) - the state body in charge of gender issues - has been criticised for proposing that universities introduce a dress code to protect students from sexual harassment.

    The commission's Legal and Investigations Manager Delis Mazambane was quoted by local media as saying on Tuesday:

    “To make life easier for the lecturer the university needs to have a dress code policy, of course, the constitution talks about freedom of expression but institutions are allowed to cascade such provisions to their own needs."

    Ms Mazambane said that there would be exceptions to the policy:

    “During the weekend, the students can then wear whatever they want but when attending lectures, they need to be guided on how to dress and this makes it easier for lecturers to pinpoint that according to the university’s policy you are not dressed appropriately."

    She added that relationships between lecturers and students are unacceptable.

    National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Dean of Students Sibongile Kamusoko is quoted as saying by ZimLive news site that the main challenge they face is victims not reporting the abuse:

    “Very often I see young men coming forward to report that women are being abused but the women themselves don’t step up so there is no way we can do anything without tangible proof and information."

    One student suggested that universities need to vet lecturers before hiring them:

    “Can universities have a mechanism to sample if someone is a perpetrator or if they have any cases of previously abusing students in their workplaces,” she said.

    Some Twitter users have criticised ZGC's proposal:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  8. Nigerian art work sells for $1.4m after owners googled signature

    Christine painting

    A painting by the artist considered to be the father of Nigerian modernism has been bought for $1.4m (£1.1m) at an auction in London after the owners googled the artist's signature.

    Ben Enwonwu's "Christine", painted in 1971 in Lagos, Nigeria, had been in the home of the family of the sitter since then, auction house Sotheby's says.

    But following the passage of time they "were unaware of the significance of the painting or the importance of the artist, until a chance 'googling' of the signature," it adds.

    Enwonwu, who died in 1994, also produced "Tutu", which had been described by Nigerian novelist Ben Okri, as the "African Mona Lisa".Tutu was sold last year for $1.5m after it was discovered in a London flat.

    Christine, the subject of the painting that has just been sold, was born in New York but moved to Ghana in her late 20s to live with her step-father, Sotheby's says.

    She then moved to Lagos in 1969 where she struck up a friendship with the artist.

    Enwonwu was a student at Goldsmiths, Ruskin College, and the Slade art school in the UK in the 1940s.

    He became more widely known when he was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Nigeria in 1956.

    Read more about Enwonwu's life.

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    Video caption: Enwonwu's masterpiece "Tutu" was sold in 2018
  9. Eliud Kipchoge returns to Kenya after historic feat

    Eliud Kipchoge has returned home after becoming the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours.

    The Kenyan runner, 34, covered the 26.2 miles (42.2km) in one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.

    Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways, tweeted a photo of the athlete aboard the flight from Amsterdam.

    View more on twitter

    The airline's spokesperson Denis Kashero told Kenya's Citizen TV that the athlete landed in Nairobi on Wednesday morning.

    The sub-two-hour marathon mark will not be recognised as the official marathon world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.

    Kipchoge, also the World and Olympic marathon champion, compared the feat to being the first man on the moon.

  10. Deadly parasite 'jumped' from gorillas to humans

    Gorilla

    A rare and unfortunate sequence of events allowed a deadly type of malaria in gorillas to "jump" species and attack humans, according to scientists.

    Hundreds of thousands of people die from malaria every year andPlasmodium falciparum- the type the researchers studied - accounts for most cases.

    African great apes were the original host to the parasite.

    But a chance genetic mutation about 50,000 years ago turned it into a threat to humans, experts have found.

    The findings, published in the journal PLoS Biology, could help uncover new ways to fight malaria, the Wellcome Sanger Institute researchers hope.

    Malaria is caused by a parasite that gets into the bloodstream when an infected mosquito bites humans - or animals.

    There are lots of different strains of parasite and one of the most important ones, which now affects only humans, isPlasmodium falciparum.

    It switched host from gorillas at about the same time as the first migration of humans out of Africa, some 40,000 to 60,000 years ago, the researchers say.

    Read the full story of the BBC website.

  11. 'Music has kept Cape Verde peaceful'

    Cape Verde - a group of islands off the west coast of Africa - has long been hailed as a model for democracy in Africa.

    It’s had a peaceful transition of power pretty much every time since achieving independence from Portugal in 1975.

    That's partly because of its Funaná music according to African music collector Vik Sohonie whose new album focuses on the unique sound.

    He spoke to the BBC Newsday programme:

    Quote Message: In 1991, the Cape Verde islands had its first democratic elections and the political parties came up with a rather noble approach which was to incorporate music festival (into campaigns)."
    Quote Message: The festivals allow large crowds to gather... there is a grand stage, people's ears are wide open, the question now was what music do you use at the music festival They tapped into this particular Funaná sound as the soundtrack to their campaign rallies."

    Video content

    Video caption: Cape Verde's unique Funaná music has played an important part in the country's democracy
  12. Somalia army 'seizes sheep and weapons from al-Shabab'

    A cache of weapons and 300 animals were seized from militant Islamist group al-Shabab in an operation on Tuesday in Reydab village, 40km (24 miles) north of Baardheere in southern Somalia, the national army's radio station reported.

    The militants had forcefully taken the animals from locals, it said.

    The commander of the operation Ali Mohamed Hassan told the radio station that several militants were captured alive.

    Al-Shabab - who want to overthrow the central government - impose taxes on locals to fund their operations.

    A VOA journalist shared a video of the recovered animals:

    View more on twitter

    Read more: Who are Somalia's al-Shabab?

  13. Kenya to open $1bn Chinese-built railway line

    Train
    Image caption: A banner on the Kenya Railways Facebook page announces the launch of the passenger service

    The second phase of Kenya's new railway line, connecting the capital Nairobi to the Rift Valley region, will be opened today for passenger services only.

    Cargo services will have to wait for the construction of a dry port, which could take longer than planned after the local Maasai community moved to court to oppose its construction.

    The 120km (74 miles) stretch has been built by the China Communications and Construction Company at a cost of 150 billion Kenyan shillings ($1.4bn; £1.10bn).

    Passenger services will only be available in four of the 12 stations, The Business Daily newspaper quotes Kenya Railways head Philip Mainga as saying.

    The entire line, initially planned to reach Naivasha town, has not been completed and ends kilometres away from any major town or population, the Daily Nation newspaper reports.

    Its launch lacks the fanfare witnessed at the opening of the first phase - which cost $3bn to build - running from the coastal city of Mombasa to Nairobi in May 2017.

    The Standard Gauge Railway line project has cost close to three times the international standard and four times the original estimate.

    The government explained the reasons for the high cost include the terrain that required many bridges, tunnels and land compensation.

    About 80% of the money for the railway came through loans from China.

    The initial plan was for the railway to run from the coastal town of Mombasa to the lakeside town of Kisumu, and a possible extension to Uganda. But in April the Chinese government pulled the plug over viability concerns.

    The country will now need to borrow an additional $3.3bn to complete the project.

  14. Wednesday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Empty stomachs have no ears." from Sent by Chatim Daniel Diu, Juba, South Sudan
    Sent by Chatim Daniel Diu, Juba, South Sudan
    An illustration of a person holding their belly

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

  15. Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for today. There will be an automated service until Wednesday morning.

    Here's a reminder of our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: The tree the elephant keeps breaking as it moves will be used to roast it." from Sent by Mike Watmon Kinyera and Alii Emmanuel Omati, both from Uganda
    Sent by Mike Watmon Kinyera and Alii Emmanuel Omati, both from Uganda

    And we leave you with this image by Gabonese photographer and visual artist Yannis Davy Guibinga:

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  16. Polls close in Mozambique amid ballot-stuffing complaints

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Voters seen queuing with their infant children in Mozambique on 15 October 2019.

    Voting has officially ended in Mozambique's general elections but people who joined queues at polling stations before the cut-off time of 18:00 (16:00 GMT) will be allowed to cast their ballot.

    Seven polling stations did not open in an area of the country that has suffered militant Islamist attacks in recent years - three fewer than expected - said the body in charge of voter registration and the voting process, STAE.

    It had also denied reports of ballot-stuffing made by the the two main opposition parties, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), plus four smaller groups.

    But when reporters insisted, pointing out that photos of the supposedly fraudulent ballot papers have gone around the world via the internet and thus threaten the international credibility of the elections, STAE's director Felisberto Naife admitted it was a serious problem.

    He said there should be a through investigation of these cases, starting with ascertaining whether the extra ballot papers are authentic.

    Electoral observers were deployed from the Southern African Development Community(Sadc), the EU and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. The first two applauded the government earlier on Tuesday for its efforts to maintain peace and organise secure elections.

    However it is unclear if all monitors were able to secure accreditation in time - a researcher for campaign group Human Rights Watch tweeted on Monday that over 3,000 election observers were still waiting for the necessary paperwork.

  17. Muslims in Ghana demand end to discrimination

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Africa, Accra

    Muslims women protesting
    Image caption: Muslim women held a protest march over the weekend

    Members of Ghana's Muslim community are pushing for a new law that would prohibit and prescribe punishment for public officials who discriminate against women and girls who wear hijabs or headscarfs.

    This follows reported incidents of discrimination against some Muslim women at work and in schools.

    This latest incident comes after an invigilator for the West African Examinations Council asked a candidate to remove her hijab before sitting her exams.

    Thousands of Muslims staged protests on Saturday in key cities across the country to push for an end to discrimination.

    Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, the spokesperson for Ghana’s chief Imam, said public officials who discriminate against Muslims must "suffer sanctions, adding:

    Quote Message: The sanctions must be made public to send a message."

    Muslim youth have also started a social media campaign using the hashtag #HijabIsAnIdentity calling for the end to discrimination.

    Ghana is officially a secular country and the constitution prohibits all forms of discrimination.

  18. 'I benefited from white privilege' - Hollywood star Charlize Theron

    Charlize Theron at the Oscars in 2019
    Image caption: Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of a female serial killer in the 2004 film Monster

    South African Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has admitted she has benefited from "white privilege" growing up in apartheid-era South Africa, entertainment paper Variety reports.

    Theron, who was born in the South African town of Benoni in 1975, spoke at an annual fundraiser for an educational and health program for Nigerian children.

    She said:

    "I obviously am a white person who benefited from my white privilege. I grew up during the apartheid era, I benefited from it."

    "These children [today] were all born post-Apartheid era. I feel like it’s my duty to not let them forget and to also let them know that there is [unity], that I am with them, that we are all standing together," the Oscar-winning actress added.

    Apartheid, a system of institutionalised racial segregation, was dismantled in the 1990s.

    However, racial relations are still complicated in the country.

  19. Anti-measles, polio and rubella drive to launch in Uganda

    Mildred Wanyonyi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Nurse Agnes from the Bwindi Community Hospital administers a measles vaccination during a Polio and Measles vaccination program for newborn children in the community - June, 2011
    Image caption: More than 18 million children under 15 are to be vaccinated

    Uganda is set to immunize more than 18 million children against measles, polio and rubella in a five-day mass vaccination programme starting on Wednesday.

    It follows recent measles and rubella outbreaks that spread to more than 60 districts. The drive is co-funded by Gavi - the global vaccine alliance, Unicef and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ugandan government.

    Polio has remained a big threat in Uganda with wild and vaccine-derived strains circulating in neighboring DR Congo and South Sudan.

    Uganda has also seen a decline in routine vaccination programmes in recent years, the WHO says.

    In a joint statement, Uganda's health ministry and WHO said that the campaign will be a launchpad to introduce the measles-rubella vaccine into the country’s routine immunization schedule.

    Disease surveillance is to begin as well as investigation of any suspected cases of these diseases.

    View more on twitter
  20. Crashed government plane found in DR Congo

    BBC World Service

    A map showing the location of Sankuru province in DR Congo.

    Search teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo have found the wreckage of a government-chartered cargo plane, which went missing last Thursday with eight passengers on board. One of those was President Félix Tshiseked's personal driver, the presidency told the BBC.

    The aircraft - also carrying military personnel - had provided logistical support for a presidential visit to eastern DR Congo.

    An aid worker from the Catholic Relief Service said he had visited the crash site in Sankuru province, and local villagers had already buried the bodies of four people found among the debris.

    The Russian embassy in Kinshasa said two Russians had been on the Antonov 72 plane when it crashed.