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  1. Video content

    Video caption: Omicron symptoms mild so far, says South African doctor who spotted it

    The South African doctor who first spotted the new variant says patients are showing very mild symptoms so far.

  2. Ethiopia's Tigray conflict: Drone strikes hit Mekelle

    Line Tsigab

    BBC Tigrinya

    Damaged roof
    Image caption: Photos from Mekelle show how buildings were damaged by the strike

    Ethiopia’s air force has carried out drone attacks in two places in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, witnesses say.

    The attacks appear to be part of the year-long conflict between the federal government and rebel forces from Tigray.

    The first drone strike hit at 09:00 local time in a residential neighbourhood known as Diaspora.

    Witnesses who spoke to the BBC said the attack had damaged homes.

    One resident described how his home had been destroyed.

    “We’re civilians and there is no military place around, but the shell fell on my home,” he said.

    “When the bombardment happened, I was with my family on the ground floor. We are alive, but my possessions, which I have gathered over 27 years, were utterly destroyed by the attack.”

    Another resident told the BBC: ”God saved my life. I lost my belongings, but that doesn’t matter, I can buy them with money.”

    BBC Tigrinya has seen video and pictures from sources in Mekelle which show damaged homes.

    Witnesses said a second strike hit the city at around 12:30 local time.

    When asked to comment, federal government spokesman Legesse Tulu told the BBC that he had no information on the latest assault.

    Mekelle has been hit from the air several times since last month.

  3. Scroll down for this week's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live team for now. We'll be back on Monday morning Nairobi time.

    Until then there will be an automated service and you can find the latest updates on the BBC News website, or listen to our podcast Africa Today.

    A reminder of our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Striking the ground with wood doesn't scare away an elephant." from A Balanda Viri proverb from South Sudan sent by Stephen Dimo in Cairo, Egypt.
    A Balanda Viri proverb from South Sudan sent by Stephen Dimo in Cairo, Egypt.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo taken in Morocco - it's one of our favourites of the past week:

    A monk looks at a crucifix.
  4. From Madina to the Universe: M.Anifest

    DJ Edu

    Presenter of This Is Africa on BBC World Service


    M.Anifest has to be one of Africa’s coolest cats. Unfailingly stylish in an alternative, artistic kind of way, the Ghanaian rapper also has a poet’s way with words.

    In songs like Invisible, No Shortcut to Heaven and Someway Bi he paints gritty word pictures about life on the street in Accra, Ghana. His bars are rich in observed detail, and wry in commentary.

    He’s been in the game for a while, and he has always ploughed his own furrow, nodding to the explosion of talent and the dominant genres around him, but ultimately doing his own thing.

    Madina to the Universe is M.Anifest’s latest album, just dropped on 18 November. It features Vic Mensa, Adekunle Gold, Patoranking, Ladipoe, M3nsa, Tiggs da Author, Moliy, and M.Anifest’s Mum!

    The title refers to the neighbourhood in Accra where he grew up and where his mother and grandmother still live.

    "It’s very highly populated, mainly low-income people, with some middle-class people like myself who grew up there. It’s a beautiful collage of people, there’s a lot of Muslims, a lot of Ewe, northerners…it’s a very lively neighbourhood and it epitomises what a typical urban neighourhood in Ghana looks like.

    "So Madina to the Universe is saying a person from this neighbourhood has grander ambitions, to take their ideas, thoughts and represent and take it to the Universe."

    The first single M.Anifest chose to release ahead of the album was the sultry love song, La Vida:

    "La Vida is a song where I imagine myself driving in a droptop with a lover, doing wild and free things… it just had a really fresh feeling, it felt progressive, it felt like a sound that was not like everything going on, so I wanted it to set the tone of what this album is going to be about.

    "This album is going to help people understand that it is ok to do something different. I’ve always represented that – M.Anifest is not coming to continue with whatever trends are here, I’m coming to bring something fresh into the ecosystem."

    Perhaps the song which demonstrates M.Anifest’s originality best is Weeping Clouds. Inspired by an unspecified loss he has suffered, the sadness of the words is in direct contrast to the rousing arrangement:

    "When you look at highlife music for instance, when they would talk about difficult things, whether it’s the dead or a lover doing them wrong, the music would still have something people could jam to.

    "So in this song you hear the horns that people are going to be doing call and response to, so it’s very celebratory. It’s not because people don’t feel the pain, but that’s how you exorcise it, it’s catharsis.

    "I really love that song because it feels experimental, it doesn’t have a traditional structure, I don’t do any verses, the horns do all the verses for me."

    You can hear DJ Edu’s conversation with M.Anifest on This is Africa this Saturday, on BBC World Service radio and partner stations across Africa, as well as online here:

  5. African leaders vow to nurture positive masculinity

    Grace Kuria

    The She Word, BBC News

    An anonymous woman and child
    Image caption: One in three women globally have been subjected to physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes

    African nations who've failed to adopt an ambitious charter dealing with gender-based violence, 16 years after it was first launched, are being urged to do so by fellow African Union (AU) members following a conference on what is known as positive masculinity.

    Positive masculinity is about promoting a healthier and emotionally aware view of what it means to be a man in an effort to stop harmful attitudes.

    Thirteen member states have yet to ratify the Maputo Protocol on ending violence against women and girls - they are: Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

    A new AU campaign - the so-called Kinshasa declaration - aims to help member states build their own positive masculinity campaigns.

    Men across the continent are being called upon to be role models for boys.

    Thursday's conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo was called by former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi and the head of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

    The presidents of Senegal, Rwanda, Ghana, Togo, Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya were also there.

    They have all committed to reassess their progress on the targets every year.

  6. South African health minister slams travel bans

    Joe Phaahla speaking during a press conference

    South Africa's health minister has condemned the travel restrictions being imposed against the country after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.

    Speaking to reporters on Friday evening, Joe Phaahla says the introduction of travel restrictions by a number of countries against southern African nations are "completely against the norms and standards" set out by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    “We want to reassure South Africans that some of the reaction has been unjustified,” Phaahla says.

    He adds that foreign scientists have not presented any evidence that the new variant has the capacity to evade protection offered by vaccines, though he accepts that early signs suggest it is more transmissible.

    He calls on South Africans to come forward and receive the jab, which he says remains a "major bulwark" against infection and severe illness.

  7. UN alarmed by attack on court handling Gaddafi case

    BBC World Service

    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
    Image caption: Earlier this month Saif al-Islam Gaddafi registered to run for president but has since been disqualified

    The UN has expressed alarm about a reported attack on a Libyan court where Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's lawyer was trying to lodge an appeal against his ban from next month's presidential election.

    The son of the late Libyan dictator was disqualified on Thursday by Libya's election commission, on the basis of a 2015 conviction for war crimes by a Tripoli court.

    Mr Gaddafi's lawyer, Khaled al-Zaidi, said armed men had raided the court in the southern city of Sebha and had stopped him entering to lodge his client's appeal.

    Sebha is under the control of a group allied to Khalifa Haftar, another of the main candidates.

  8. French convoy delayed by protests reaches Niger

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A French military convoy has reached Niger after being delayed for more than a week by protests in Burkina Faso.

    The supply convoy of several dozen vehicles is en route to Gao in Mali where France has a military base for its operations against jihadist insurgents.

    After entering Burkina Faso last week, the convoy was slowed by protests including one in the capital Ouagadougou.

    Some in the country are angry that the presence of thousands of French soldiers has failed to stop the attacks by Islamist militants in the Sahel.

    In the city of Kaya several thousand people blocked the road leading to clashes.

  9. West African neighbours vow firmer hand on Guinea

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC News, Monrovia

    Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast say they will step up efforts to bring Guinea back to civilian rule, following September's coup.

    All four countries are part of the regional group, the Mano River Union (MRU), which held a two-day conference in Libera where delegates committed to more rigorous engagement with Guinea's military junta.

    MRU Secretary General Medina Wesseh told the BBC that his team was asked to talk to the authorities in Guinea "to develop a framework for the return to constitutional rule in Guinea".

    Named after a river that separates Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Mano River Union was formed in the 1970s to promote peace and trade with Liberia Guinea and Sierra Leone as its original members. Ivory Coast joined later.

    The body has in recent decades, instead, concentrated more on conflict resolution because all of its members have been involved in different forms of armed conflicts.

  10. New coronavirus variant reaches Europe

    BBC World Service

    A street scene in Brussels
    Image caption: One case has been recorded in Belgium

    Belgium has reported Europe's first case of the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa - as the World Health Organization holds a special meeting to consider its significance.

    Experts in Geneva will decide whether it should be designated a variant of concern.

    The WHO says it will issue new guidance after the talks but has warned that it will take weeks to establish how transmissible the variant is and whether vaccines remain effective against it.

    The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, reminded manufacturers that their contracts with the EU mean they must adapt their vaccines immediately to the new variant.

    She also said that all air travel to countries with the new variant should be suspended.

  11. University sorry for poster that blamed rape victims

    A Kenyan university has apologised after photos circulated online of a banner on campus that blamed rape on how women choose to dress.

    The Co-operative University of Kenya acknowledged that the claims on the poster - that "indecent dressing leads to sexual harassment and rape" - were false.

    It said the "misleading and highly regrettable" banner encouraging a dress code for students had been put up without its approval by a student body.

    "We wish to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that all forms of gender-based violence and harassment are eradicated," the university's statement read:

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