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Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Evelyne Musambi

All times stated are UK

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  1. Angolan ex-president's son on trial for corruption

    Andrew Harding

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Jose Filomeno dos Santos
    Image caption: Jose Filomeno dos Santos is the first member of the former president's family to be put on trial

    The son of Angola’s former president has gone on trial for corruption.

    Jose Filomeno dos Santos and his co-accused, former central bank governor Valter Filipe, helped spirit $0.5bn (£0.4bn) out of the country during his time as head of Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, prosecutors say.

    They have pleaded not guilty.

    The case is being seen as a test of the country’s commitment to undoing the corruption that flourished during the four-decade rule of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

    Two years ago, his son, better known as Zenu, was untouchable - a member of the all-powerful Dos Santos family whose influence seemed to reach into every corner of Angola.

    So, his trial in the capital, Luanda, is an extraordinary moment for a famously corrupt, impoverished and oil-rich country.

    In 2017, Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down after 38 years in power.

    But his successor, João Lourenço, from the same governing party, abruptly turned against the Dos Santos clan and promised reforms and a clean-up.

    Across Africa, ageing liberation parties are busy trying to reinvent themselves - pushing out old leaders, vowing to modernise, determined to hold on to power. So far, the results have been, at best, mixed.

  2. Gunshots fired to chase away swarms of locusts

    People in the self-declared republic of Somaliland have started shooting at swarms of locusts to try to drive them away.

    In other locust-affected areas, including Ethiopia and Somalia, people have been banging pots and pans to try to frighten them away.

    The United Nations has described the current locust infestation in the Horn of Africa as extremely serious. In some areas, farmers have lost their entire crops to the pests.

    Somaliland's agriculture minister, Ahmed Mumin Seed, confirmed to BBC Somali that locals were shooting at the locusts, but this was "not good".

    “In the coming two days, we are sending cars with spray chemicals and other equipment that people can use. We will deploy these to all regions affected by the locusts,” he added.

    A swarm of the Red Locusts 20 kilometres north of the town of Sakaraha, south west Madagascar on April 27, 2013
    Image caption: Madagascar has also been affected by swarms of locusts in the past
  3. Veteran anti-apartheid activist Ben Turok dies

    A prominent South African anti-apartheid activist, Ben Turok, has died at the age of 92.

    He was a lifelong member of the African National Congress (ANC), but became a fierce critic of the corruption within its ranks after it took power in 1994.

    "He was always outspoken and dedicated his whole life to fighting for freedom, equality and social justice in South Africa," his son Ivan Turok said in the statement.

    "He was a loyal, lifetime member of the ANC, but retained an independent perspective throughout. His wisdom and counsel will be sorely missed," he added.

    Local media reported that Turok - an economics professor who was also a former member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) - had been in hospital in Cape Town for some time.

    He had spent three years in prison for his anti-apartheid activities,and later went into exile before returning to South Africa after the unbanning of the ANC, SACP and other political movements in 1990.

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa led tributes to Turok on Twitter, pointing out that he was the "only surviving member of the original underground leadership" of the SACP:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  4. Video content

    Video caption: South African creates sign language glove for deaf parents

    South African Lucky Mashudu's smart glove translates sign language into speech.

  5. Flashy Nairobi governor pleads not guilty to corruption

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Mike Sonko sits in a court room during a hearing after he was arrested on corruption-related charges, at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, on December 9, 2019.
    Image caption: Mike Sonko is known for his flashy lifestyle

    The flamboyant governor of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has pleaded not guilty to more than 30 counts of corruption, including money laundering and receiving bribes.

    Mike Sonko is accused of making more than $3m (£2.3m) through unlawful activities.

    The court was surrounded by riot police after Mr Sonko's supporters called for protests.

    He is a controversial figure and has already spent time in jail.

    He models himself on American rappers, wearing expensive jewellery, and golden hats and shoes.

    He runs fleets of personally branded fire trucks, ambulances and hearses to assist slum dwellers.

    Read: Are Kenyans still scandalised by scandals?

  6. Anger in Ghana over 'snub' by US rapper Cardi B

    Favour Nunoo

    BBC News, Pidgin

    Cardi B
    Image caption: Cardi B is America's most famous female rapper right now

    There is furore in Ghana after American rapper Cardi B failed to meet local celebrities who had gathered at her hotel in the capital, Accra, on Sunday.

    Prior to her performance at a Livespot X Festival in the city, videos of some local celebrities taking a swipe at Cardi B went viral amid claims she showed disrespect towards her hosts.

    The American rapper, known in real life as Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, has since said she was not aware that the meet and greet session was going ahead.

    “I asked my booking agent do I have a meet and greet today and he said no.”

    “I did not know I have a meet and greet... for that I apologise but then again it wasn’t my fault,” she said.

    Twitter users in Ghana and Nigeria have been vocal about the incident, which is currently trending at number one in both countries.

    The rapper performed in Nigeria before visiting Ghana, and some have used the opportunity to revive the friendly rivalry feud between the two nations:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  7. Scandal-hit SA rail firm put into administration

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A member of the railway security patrols the platform as students belonging to the COSAS (Congress of South African Students) are seen while on board a train after a rally to deliver a memorandum on student infrastructures to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in Johannesburg, on March 17, 2017.
    Image caption: Many South Africans use the train for their commute

    South Africa's state-owned rail company has been put into administration. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has dissolved the interim board, saying it had done nothing to improve services.

    The Passenger Rail Agency has been accused of irregular expenditure amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

    The company has been beset by other problems, including ordering trains that were not suited for South African rail lines.

    The country's transport sector has been struggling in recent months.

    The state-owned airline company, South African Airways, is close to financial collapse, with flights grounded in November due to strike action.

    Read: The great train safari from Tanzania to Zambia

  8. US Peace Corps hit by Liberia cash crisis

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC Africa, Monrovia

    Man with US notes
    Image caption: Liberia's economy is said to have worsened under President George Weah

    The US embassy in Liberia has been hit by the worsening financial crisis in the West African state, forcing it to temporarily withdraw Peace Corps volunteers from 12 of the country's 15 counties.

    An embassy spokesperson in the capital, Monrovia, confirmed the pull-out decision, saying difficulties in "reliably obtaining needed funds from banks up-country and in Monrovia are affecting the ability of the Peace Corps to sustain volunteers".

    The withdrawal is a blow to Liberia's education sector because the volunteers were assigned to government-run schools in remote areas to teach mainly science courses because of a shortage of teachers.

    Liberia's economy has deteriorated under the government of former international football star George Weah, who became president in January last year following his victory in election.

    The crisis has also resulted in lawmakers and civil servants complaining of delays in the payment of their salaries.

    Liberia was founded in 1847 by freed African slaves from the US, and the Peace Corps has a long history of working in the country, which is trying to rebuild itself after a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003.

    Read: The president no-one dares to tackle

  9. Rwanda starts Ebola vaccination campaign

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Nurse preparing needle in Goma
    Image caption: The vaccination was first used in Goma in eastern DR Congo

    Rwanda has launched its first large-scale vaccination campaign against the Ebola virus.

    At least 200,000 people will be vaccinated over the next year in areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda's health minister Diane Gashumba said at the weekend.

    Priority will be given to health workers, immigration officials, police and those engaged in cross-border trade.

    So far there have been no confirmed Ebola cases in Rwanda.

    The authorities are hoping the experimental vaccine will keep things that way.

    More than 2,200 people have died from the disease in neighbouring DR Congo since August last year.

    The vaccine was used for the first time last month in the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo.

    A quarter of a million Congolese have already been vaccinated with another product - both are made by US drug companies.

  10. Ethiopian sanitary pad maker named Hero of the Year

    Freweini Mebrahtu at her factory
    Image caption: Freweini Mebrahtu designed and patented a reusable menstrual pad in 2005

    Ethiopian chemical engineer Freweini Mebrahtu, who makes reusable pads, has been named Hero of the Year by the news channel CNN.

    Ms Mebrahtu won the award for her reusable pads project, which is said to have helped keep Ethiopian girls in rural areas in school.

    Ms Mebrahtu won an online vote and will receive $100,000 (£76,000) to expand her work.

    In a previous interview with BBC Tigrinya, Ms Mebrahtu said when she started her project people laughed at her.

    However, she carried on because she felt that Ethiopian women and girls deserved dignity during their period.

    "The moment girls and women in rural Tigray told me they sit in a hole during their period, I was shocked," she said.

    Ms Mebrahtu designed and patented a reusable menstrual pad in 2005.

    She and her team produce 700,000 reusable pads every year at her factory in Ethiopia.

    More than 80% of the pads she manufactures are sold to non-governmental organizations that distribute them for free.

  11. Tanzanians pay tribute to business leader

    Sammy Awami

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Tributes are pouring in on social media for influential Tanzanian businessman Ali Mufuruki, following his death on Saturday at the age of 61.

    Mufuruki died in a South African hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for a few days.

    In 2000, he founded the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, which brought together more than 100 of the country’s most influential business leaders to lobby for the interests of the private sector.

    Until a few weeks ago, he was still working, serving as chairman of the board of directors of Vodacom Tanzania, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the country.

    As well as running a family business, Infotech Investment Group, Mr Mufuruki held a number of other leadership positions in companies in Tanzania and abroad.

    Executive Director of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Godfrey Simbeye, described Mufuruki as a visionary and said his death was a great loss.

    Here are some of the tributes paid to him on Twitter:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  12. Death toll rises in Nairobi building collapse

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    A collapsed residential building
    Image caption: The residential building collapsed in the Nairobi suburb of Tassia last week

    The death toll from the residential building that collapsed in Kenya's capital Nairobi has risen to 10 after three more bodies were retrieved on Sunday.

    More than 30 people have been rescued so far from the rubble in the Nairobi suburb of Tassia, but there are fears more are still trapped.

    The six-storey building collapsed on Friday and the emergency services are still searching for people who are trapped.

    Some families are still waiting for their relatives who are unaccounted for and feared to be under the rubble.

    Area administrator James Wanyoike told the BBC that rescuers have gone through five floors and still have to search the basement, where children are believed to have been trapped in a video game store.

  13. Sudan 'to pay Kenya and Tanzania terror victims'

    Sudan prime minister Ahmed Hamdok
    Image caption: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has just concluded his first US visit

    Sudan has promised to pay compensation to families of victims of the 1998 US embassies bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

    Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said in an interview with the US-based newspaper that his country would give the compensation to Kenyan and Tanzanian families in a few weeks.

    However, lawyers for victims of the bombings are not convinced that this would happen, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports.

    Mr Hamdok was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal during his first official visit to the US, during which he asked for the removal of Sudan from the US terrorism list.

    He was quoted as saying that Sudan has consulted at length with the US and met most of the requirements for its removal from the list.

    He added that only two major obstacles remain: settling the cases related to the bombings and co-operating with the US in combating terrorism.

    US courts have held Sudan liable for $10bn (£7.6bn) in damages - $5.9bn of which they say should go to survivors of the 1998 attack.

    More than 220 people were killed in the coordinated bombings in the two cities, and nearly 5,000 people were injured.

    The bombings were carried out by al-Qaeda, which was accused of running training camps in Sudan.

    A lawyer involved in the case, Chicago-based Gavriel Mairone, wrote to the Daily Nation to say he had contacted the Sudanese government's lawyers, and had outlined "creative proposals" to resolve the dispute.

    "The road forward requires the government of Sudan to demonstrate its commitment to international norms through deeds, and not merely aspirational words," he wrote.

  14. Algeria prosecutor ‘seeks 20 years in jail for ex-prime ministers’

    People gathered outside court during trial
    Image caption: The trial has drawn crowds to the court in Algiers

    The Algerian prosecutor's office has requested 20-year prison sentences for two former prime ministers in a corruption trial, AFP news agency reports.

    Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal are two of 19 defendants accused in a huge corruption investigation which was launched after ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced from power by protests against him running for election again.

    Mr Ouyahia and Mr Sellal and the other main defendants have denied the accusations against them.

    Defence lawyers have boycotted the trial, alleging the proceedings are "politicised" and surrounded by a climate of "settling scores", reports AFP.

    The verdict will be given on Tuesday, two days before a presidential election.

    Protestors, who continue to march weekly, are against the election because they did not want people who were in power under Mr Bouteflika to organise the vote.

  15. South African crowned Miss Universe 2019

    Miss South Africa being crowned Miss Universe
    Image caption: Zozibini Tunzi said the most important thing that girls need to learn was leadership

    South African beauty queen Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the 2019 Miss Universe on Sunday night.

    Ms Tunzi emerged top in the contest after impressing the judges and fans through the different rounds with different outfits.

    Miss Puerto Rico, Madison Anderson and Miss Mexico, Sofía Aragón emerged as runner-ups.

    During question time Ms Tunzi said that the most important thing that girls needed to learn was leadership.

    "It's something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world," she said.

    Ms Tunzi had been running a campaign online where she urged South African men to write what she described as love letters to the country's women.

    She went on to incorporate the letters in her national costume outfit that also featured the South African flag colours.

    View more on twitter
  16. Monday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: The leaf that was under the pile is now at the top. from A Bemba proverb sent by Annmarie Kapapula - Landu, Lusaka, Zambia.
    A Bemba proverb sent by Annmarie Kapapula - Landu, Lusaka, Zambia.
    Leaf

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

  17. Video content

    Video caption: Making Ethiopia green again

    Ethiopia has lost most of its trees, making it vulnerable to longer droughts and intense bursts of rain.