Africa

Africa in pictures: 1-8 January 2015

A selection of photographs from around the African continent this week.

Image copyright AFP

The New Year begins with fireworks in Abidjan, illuminating the night sky over the Ebrie Lagoon in Ivory Coast's main city...

Image copyright Reuters

In the South African port city of Durban, thousands of people celebrate New Year's Day on the beach…

Image copyright AP

And families celebrate the New Year with their children in Uhuru Park's in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, with fun fair rides.

Image copyright AFP

On the same day, people sit near a fully loaded truck in the desert settlement of Madama, in Niger near the border with Libya, which is on a route reportedly used by militants and arms smugglers - and where France has an army base.

Image copyright Reuters

As Nigeria gears up for elections next month, printers at a shop in Lagos produce political souvenirs on Wednesday…

Image copyright Reuters

The next day, a rally in the city kicks off President Goodluck Jonathan's campaign bid for another term in office…

Image copyright AP

... where part of the campaign material included masks of the president in his trademark black hat.

Image copyright AFP

Togolese journalists hold signs reading "Yes to freedom of expression" and "I am Charlie" in front of the French embassy in the capital, Lome, on Thursday - the day after the shooting of 12 people in the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris....

Image copyright THEMBO MUHINDO KASHAURI/AFP

Congolese cartoonist Thembo Muhindo Kashauri, known as Kash, paid tribute to his slain colleagues by issuing two cartoons. This one has the name of the satirists who were killed on the giant pencils and the words "Freedom of expression will never die" on the wall.

Image copyright THEMBO MUHINDO KASHAURI/AFP

"We are all Charlie Hebdo and we will never disarm," reads this one. Kash is one of the most popular cartoonists in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Image copyright Reuters

In Belgium's capital, Brussels, on Wednesday asylum-seekers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone warm their hands over a heater in an house where they are squatting. They have been urging the Belgian government to allow them to stay in the country until the West African Ebola epidemic is over, AFP reports.

Image copyright Reuters

The first day of the year also marks Sudan's independence - here students carrying a long Sudanese flag over a Nile bridge in the capital, Khartoum, as part of the celebrations.

Image copyright AFP

On Tuesday, members of Cameroon's national football side, the Indomitable Lions, stretch during training in the grounds of a stadium in Yaounde ahead of the home friendly against DR Congo the next day. The game ended in a draw. Both teams are competing in the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on 17 January.