Africa's year in pictures 2017

A selection of the best photos from across and about Africa this year:

Young ballerinas dressed in leotards and tutus stretch their legs before a lesson Image copyright Daniel Irungu/EPA
Image caption In January, young ballerinas prepare for a lesson at Spurgeons Academy, which provides free education to more than 425 orphans and less privileged children from Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.
A group of young boys stretch their legs before playing a game of football on the beach Image copyright EPA
Image caption The same month, a group of boys warm up to play football on a beach in the West Point neighbourhood of Liberia's capital, Monrovia.
A cake for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe with his portrait and the numbers 93 in Harare, Zimbabwe - Tuesday 21 February 201 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The top tier of a cake baked for former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday is decorated with his portrait by his staff in February.
South Sudanese refugees queuing for food in Kuluba, Uganda - Friday 24 February 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Refugees queue at a UN hot-meal point in Kuluba the same month. The UN says more than one million South Sudanese have taken refuge in Uganda since civil war erupted in December 2013, with at least 100,000 entering this year.
Somali model Halima Aden presents a creation for fashion house Max Mara during a fashion week in Milan, Italy - Thursday 23 February 2017 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The first hijab-wearing woman to sign to a major modelling agency, Somali-American Halima Aden takes to the catwalk in the Italian city of Milan in February.
A group of sharply dressed young men in suits and ties pose together Image copyright AFP
Image caption In April, sharply dressed fans of Congolese superstar Papa Wemba pay tribute to the musician a year after his death. He was the king of the sapeurs and founder of "La Sape" (Society of Partygoers and Elegant People).
A man sells roast mice to passing motorists near Salima, Malawi 15 May 2017. Mice is a delicacy for many Malawians and is popular as a source of income for many unemployed men in rural Malawi. Image copyright EPA
Image caption In May, a vendor tries to entice motorists in Salima, Malawi with a spot of roasted mouse.
Olufunke Oshonaike of Nigeria competes during Women Single 1. Round at Table Tennis World Championship at Messe Duesseldorf on May 31, 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Olufunke Oshonaike of Nigeria competes during the Women Single 1 Round at the Table Tennis World Championship in Germany.
A South African freestyle motor cross rider performs during a carnival to mark 50 month-long celebrations on May 13, 2017 in Lagos. A carnival was held with captivating cultural displays, traditional costumes and folk music to showcase the state rich cultural tradition at the event. Image copyright AFP
Image caption In the same month, a South African motocross rider wows the crowd at celebrations for Lagos state's 50th anniversary in Nigeria.
A woman sits next to murals as opposition parties march for the removal of President Jacob Zuma outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 15, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Meanwhile in South Africa, a woman looks on near the constitutional court in Johannesburg, where there had been a march to demand the removal of President Jacob Zuma.
Libyans fish from the shore in the eastern city of Benghazi on June 14, 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In June, Libyan fishermen rise early to make their daily catch off the coast of Benghazi.
Women after the colour run Image copyright Mercy Juma/BBC
Image caption Kenyans ran in the country's first "colour run" - a global phenomenon borrowed from the Hindu Holi festival in which participants throw coloured powder at each other.
A man runs from sea spray as storms hit Cape Town, South Africa, June 7, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In South Africa's Cape Town earlier in the month, a photographer escapes a spray of a different kind as he braves the storm to capture raging waves.
A mural shows spare parts for vehicles on a wall of a shop in Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia, July 24, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In July, a car workshop in Somalia's capital, proudly displays the various spare parts for sale on an outside wall. Business has been booming in Mogadishu since African Union and government troops drove militant Islamists out of the city.
One of the 51 best Ivorian students of the school year 2016-2017, seated in the place of Ivorian vice president Daniel Kablan Duncan during the first visit to the Cabinet room at the presidential palace in Abidjan. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ivory Coast's brightest students were invited to the presidential palace in the commercial capital, Abidjan, including this girl pictured at the vice-president's desk. She was among 51 school pupils to be honoured for achieving top grades in their end-of-year exams.
Eva Msando, widow of Chris Msando at Requiem Mass in Nairobi on 17 August 2017. Image copyright Roderick MaCleod/BBC
Image caption The widow of murdered Kenyan election official Chris Msando is seen attending a Requiem Mass on Thursday in her husband's memory, with their youngest son by her side. Mr Msando, who was in charge of Kenya's computerised voting system, was killed just days before the general election.
A mother who lost her son during the mudslide reacts near the entrance of Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone August 16, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This grieving mother who lost her son in Sierra Leone's devastating mudslide waits outside the university hospital in Freetown in August. Officials said 400 people were known to have died, and some 3,000 people were left homeless in what became a humanitarian emergency.
Luvo Manyonga mid-jump Image copyright AFP
Image caption In the same month, South African athlete Luvo Manyonga captivates the crowd with his gold medal-winning performance at the IAAF World Championships in London. Four years previously he was addicted to a drug similar to crystal meth called "tik". Now, as the men's long jump champion he is looking ahead to his next goal of beating the world record.
A palace guard stands in front of the Emir"s palace before the start of the Durbar festival, on the second day of Eid al-Adha celebration, in Nigeria"s northern city of Kano September 2, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A guard stands in front of the Emir of Kano's palace before the start of the Durbar festival in September, part of Eid celebrations in northern Nigeria.
Pope Tawardros II delivers morning Mass at St Mary ^ St Mina Cathedral on September 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Pope Tawardros II is visiting Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne during his 10 day pastoral visit. Australia is home to the third largest Coptic community outside Egypt. Copts began arriving in Australia in 1969 and there are now over 100,000 who call Australia home. Sydney has some 70,000, and its Diocese now comprises 41 churches, 70 priests, three schools, two monasteries and two Theological Colleges. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawardros II, delivers morning Mass to the faithful the previous day at St Mina Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. The country is home to the third largest Coptic community outside Egypt.
People manually remove water hyacinth weed from Lake Tana in Bahir Dar, Amhara region in northern Ethiopia, September 1, 2017. Picture taken September 1, 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Men remove hyacinth weeds by hand from Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia. The invasive plant has threatened the livelihoods of many fishermen in East Africa.
Undated handout photo issued by the Fairtrade Foundation of Fairtrade gold miners in Uganda. Mobile phones could use precious metal which supports better conditions for small-scale miners in Africa under a scheme to supply Fairtrade gold to technology supply chains. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 21, 2017. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Gold. Image copyright PA
Image caption Gold miners in Uganda search for nuggets on the same day that the Fairtrade Foundation announces its first shipment of gold from Uganda.
A supporter of The National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga sits on top of a street sign post that has been relabeled "Judge Maraga Street", referring to Chief Justice David Maraga, and "Orengo Street", referring to NASA"s lawyer James Orengo, in front of the Supreme Court in central Nairobi, Kenya, 01 September 2017. Kenya"s Supreme Court on 01 September overturned the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ordered a re-run of the election within 60 days, citing irregularities. Ecstatic opposition supporters marched through the city to celebrate "historic" court decision. Image copyright EPA
Image caption A Kenyan man sits on a street sign outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi where Chief Justice David Maraga ruled in favour of the opposition's petition to annul the results of August's presidential elections over voting irregularities. The road names on the sign were temporarily altered by the public in a tribute to the judge and to lawyer James Orengo, who brought the case. The repeat presidential vote was later won by Uhuru Kenyatta amid low voter turnout after his challenger Raila Odinga urged supporters to boycott the poll.
Maitre Gims pulls the beard of his wax look alike at the Musee Grevin wax museum in Paris, France - Monday 2 October 2017 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Maitre Gims, a rapper born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, poses next to a wax sculpture of himself at its unveiling in France's capital, Paris, in October.
Chess players in Khartoum, Sudan - Friday 29 September 2017 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Competitors grip their heads in concentration during the Sudan National Chess Championship in preparation for the Olympics, in the capital, Khartoum.
A pupil prays inside a classroom ahead of the primary school final national examinations at Kiboro Primary school along Juja road in Nairobi, Kenya - 31 October 2017 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Sometimes, you just need a little help. This little boy prays ahead of his primary school exams in Kenya's capital Nairobi.
Moroccan children head to the Great Mosque of Sale to pray for rain on November 24, 2017 near the capital of Rabat. Parched Morocco which is heavily dependent on its agricultural sector is holding prayers for rain in mosques across the country under a royal decree. Like its Iberian neighbours to the north, Portugal and Spain, Morocco has suffered a severe shortage of rainfall since the end of the summer. Moroccan university studies show that temperatures have risen by up to 4 degrees Celsius since the 1960s and annual rainfall been on the decline. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Moroccan children head to the Great Mosque of Sale near the capital, Rabat, to pray for rain. The king has issued a royal decree for citizens to pray for rainfall and end the dry spell troubling Morocco's agricultural sector.
A picture taken on November 27, 2017 shows African migrants waiting outside in a courtyard at the Tariq Al-Matar detention centre on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Also in November, African migrants are pictured in a courtyard at a detention centre on the outskirts of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. That month, footage of slave markets where African migrants hoping to reach Europe are instead sold to Libyans for unpaid labour and sexual exploitation has caused outrage.
Anti-Mugabe protesters in Zimbabwe mass in Harare, one of whom holds a signs which reads 'leadership is not sexually transmitted'. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Before he offered his resignation in November, President Robert Mugabe faced impeachment on charges that included allowing his wife "to usurp constitutional power" in what many saw as her quest to succeed her elderly husband as president. Some say that blaming Mrs Mugabe for Zimbabwe's crisis is misogynistic and merely lets Mr Mugabe off the hook.
A South African diver dressed as Santa Claus feeds a stingray as he swims in an aquarium during a show before Christmas at Africa's largest marine theme park, uShaka Sea World, in Durban on December 19, 2017. Image copyright AFP
Image caption In December, a diver dressed as Father Christmas feeds a stingray during a show at an aquarium in South Africa's coastal city of Durban.

Images courtesy of AFP, EPA, PA, Reuters and Getty Images

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