BBC News Africa

Top Stories

Features & Analysis

Watch/Listen

Programmes

Latest Updates

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

We'll be back on Thursday

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

Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of our wise words of the day:

The world licks your palm when it is dipped in palm oil, not when it is dripping blood."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Oyewole

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of a woman in Ivory Coast selling chilli peppers earlier in the day:

A chilli pepper seller in Abidjan, Ivory Coast - 13 May 2020
EPA

Covid-19 survivor's daughter stoned in Ghana

BBC OS

Matilda in Ghana
Matilda
Matilda says she now ignores her neighbours

A Covid-19 survivor in Ghana has told the BBC about how the experience affected her family.

Matilda, from Upper East Region, is pregnant and says her ordeal began on 28 March when she got a sore throat and had to go to hospital:

I couldn’t take water nor any food. When I went to the hospital they took my sample, and at the end they said it was the virus. I wasn’t bothered. I looked to God.

They quarantined me for one month. They tested my daughter - she was negative. She was at home while I was quarantined.

She told me that children stoned her and told her that she’s a ‘coronavirus child’ and that she should be indoors.

I started worrying about her. People were sitting under the trees watching the children stone her. She had to run for her life.

At the beginning, when I came home, people weren’t treating me right.

Now I stay home and don’t go out.

My husband and my family - we chat, we do everything, they’re making me happier.

It’s better I ignore [the neighbours]. When you listen to them as a pregnant woman - it’s not the best.”

Cameroonians arrested for distributing face masks

Killian Ngala

BBC News, Yaoundé

People wearing face masks in Yaoundé, Cameroon
AFP
It is now compulsory to wear face masks in public places in Cameroon

Six members of Cameroon’s opposition party, the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC), have been arrested for distributing face masks and hand sanitisers in the capital, Yaoundé.

The six men were picked up at the Mokolo market, one of the largest in the country.

Opposition activists say that the arrests were politically motivated.

But police say that those arrested on Tuesday were involved in an “illegal campaign”.

The MRC had launched a fundraising initiative in early April to raise money for the fight against coronavirus, but it was banned by the authorities.

MRC spokesman Bibou Nissack has described the arrests as a charade designed to stop the party from helping Cameroonians battle the pandemic.

Two senior officials of the party have also been summoned to present themselves to police in the capital.

Christian Penda Ekoka, who headed the fund raiser, and Alain Fogue Tedom, the MRC’s treasurer, are accused of continuing to operate an initiative deemed illegal.

UN warns of extreme poverty in Africa post pandemic

Andrew Walker

World Service economics correspondent

A cooked crab seller wearing a face mask in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
EPA
Small traders across Africa have been hit hard by coronavirus restrictions

The UN has warned that the economic downturn due to the pandemic could wipe out the gains of the last four years, at a cost of $8.5 trillion (£6.9 trillion) in economic activity.

Its assessment of global prospects says that more than 30 million people are likely to fall into extreme poverty this year, mainly in Africa.

The UN expects the rich economies to shrink more at 5%, but for the developing world even the more moderate decline predicted means a marked increase in poverty.

For many of those countries, the report says, the costs of fighting the pandemic and economic stimulus measures will be prohibitive.

It also says governments in developing countries are spending an ever-increasing share of their revenue on debt interest.

Separately a group of leading politicians, including the former US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, has called for the cancellation of some of the debts owed by the poorest countries.

Nigerian drummer Tony Allen's last poignant track

BBC Focus on Africa radio

The pioneering Nigerian drummer Tony Allen recorded a melodic single with Audrey Gbaguidi, aka Ysée, in the weeks before his death in Paris on 30 April.

The French singer, who has parents from Togo and Benin, said the afrobeat legend gave the final master the go ahead just before he died.

“He recorded just before the lockdown in France. He just had time to listen to it and put the thumbs up to say, ‘Now put it out, sounds great,’” Ysée told BBC Focus on Africa’s Bola Mosuro.

Called Zelie, the song was composed by Togolese singer Bella Bellow, who died young in the 1970s - a poignant track about ancestors and angels, almost foreshadowing her death.

Listen to more of the interview about one of Tony Allen’s final recordings.

The name of the song is Zelie and was recorded with singer YSEE

Dar es Salaam life 'normal' despite Covid-19 alert

Sammy Awami

BBC News, Dar es Salaam

A man wearing a face mask in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
BBC/Eagan Salla
Many residents of the city are wearing masks though other restrictions are not in evidence

The US embassy in Tanzania has warned that there is a risk of "exponential growth" of Covid-19 cases in the country, at a time when the government is not releasing data on new cases.

The health alert does not necessarily mean the relationship between Tanzania and the US is deteriorating.

However, the unusually strong words used in the statement speaks volumes about what the US believes to be the magnitude of the disease in the country.

The lack of daily updates from the government makes it difficult to know for sure whether the situation in the country really is out of control.

Whatever the truth is, life has hardly changed from how it was before Tanzania reported its first Covid-19 case in March.

Markets and shopping centres continue to be packed with people, raising concerns that the virus could be spreading fast.

Many, however, wear masks and other face covering to protect themselves.

Shops, market centres, pubs and places of worship have also put water buckets and soap at entrance points and demand people wash their hands before entering.

BreakingConfusion over Malawi re-election date

Peter Jegwa

Lilongwe, Malawi

Voter in Lilongwe, Malawi  in May 2019
AFP
Constitutional Court judges found there had been widespread irregularities in the 21 May 2019 vote

Malawi's electoral commission says presidential elections will not be held on 2 July, as earlier announced.

On 3 February, the country's Constitutional Court ordered a fresh vote be held after annulling last year’s re-election of President Peter Mutharika.

The court said the new elections should be held within 150 days of the date of its ruling and that period elapses on 2 July - the date the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) set as election day.

But MEC Chair Jane Ansah has said that last Friday’s Supreme Court judgement, which upheld the Constitutional Court's ruling, clarified that the date for holding fresh elections should be decided by MPs - and that the 150-day period should include the day elections results are announced.

According to electoral laws, the MEC has up to eight days to announce the results, meaning if elections were held on 2 July, the election results would come after 150 days set by the court.

It is not yet clear when parliament will sit to decide on a new election date.

South Africa backlash over 'sandal sale ban'

Andrew Harding

BBC News, Johannesburg

A male model wearing sandals in Johannesburg, South Africa
Getty Images
Open-toed shoes are not allowed to be sold under new lockdown rules

South Africa's government is facing a backlash over new lockdown regulations detailing what clothes can and cannot be sold in shops.

The opposition has compared the rules to Soviet-style bureaucracy.

The governing African National Congress (ANC) party is under mounting public pressure to ease lockdown rules despite warnings that infections will only peak in two or three months.

The new regulations are impressively detailed:

  • Shoes may now be sold - but not if they’re opened-toed
  • T-shirts are OK - but only if advertised and sold as undergarments
  • The same goes for sleeveless knitted tops...

There is a logic to all this.

Winter is coming - and the government is trying to ease some of the tightest lockdown restrictions in the world. Hence the green light for the sale of winter clothes.

But Dean MacPherson, from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), is unimpressed:

Quite frankly ridiculous and mad. More likely these sorts of rules found in the Soviet Union and East Germany."

Like many countries, South Africa is now trying to rescue a collapsing economy, while avoiding a new surge of infections.

The fear is that it may fail on both counts.

The crisis has exposed deep rifts in government between ministers more inclined to authoritarian solutions, including an ongoing ban on all alcohol and cigarette sales, and those who now believe South Africans should be trusted with more individual freedoms - including the right to buy sandals and exposed knitwear.