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News and analysis from the BBC's Focus on Africa. The Africa Today podcast is published from Monday to Friday. It contains the day's top African stories.

BBC World Service

    • Nov 28, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 26m AVG DURATION
    • 954 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Africa Today

    How safe are South Africa's mines?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2023 29:23

    Eleven miners have been killed at a platinum mine in South Africa, despite earlier concerns about safety. The country has some of the deepest platinum and gold mining shafts in the world and accidents are a regular occurrance. So, how safe are the mines in South Africa? Also, coup leaders in Niger have overturned an eight-year-old law criminalising migrant smuggling in the country. What will its impact be? And an opera celebrating the life and times of gay rights and anti-apartheid activist Simon Tseko Nkoli.

    Was there an attempted coup in Sierra Leone?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2023 32:21

    Sierra Leone's government says it repelled an attack at the weekend and was in control of the situation. President Maada Bio calls for unity. What led to this unrest?A special investigation into the dangers of unsafe abortions in Kenya. And a prize for Ugandan psychologist Dorothy Nambi for raising awareness of autism in her country.

    Why is Abyei contested by Sudan and South Sudan?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2023 32:49

    The United Nations says at least 75 people have been killed in Abyei. It's a highly contested region, sandwiched between Sudan and South Sudan. While the borders between the two countries were agreed, Abiye was left unallocated. What's the reason behind the ongoing battle for Abyei? Also Mali's military junta have retaken a town held by Tuareg rebels, with the help of Wagner mercenaries. So where does this leave Mali? And the award winning Mozambican photographer Mario Macilau, tells us what inspires him.

    Why did Ethiopia rebel talks end in deadlock?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2023 28:03

    Another round of peace talks between Ethiopia and the Oromo rebel group aimed at ending years of conflict end without a deal. What does this mean for the country's unity? Why does cheating in exams occur? We look at a problem many African countries are grappling with. Plus, an Irish woman explains why she is returning African artefacts from her late father's collection.

    What is President Weah's legacy in Liberia?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2023 27:35

    As Liberians wait to swear in President-elect Joseph Boakai, we look back at George Weah's time in office. Why did he lose the last election? What impact did he make? Also what happened at the stadium in the Brazaville-Congo where 37 people died and over 100 were injured? And how the rise in the cost of living is forcing girls out of schools in some African countries.

    Why no plastic pollution deal was reached

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2023 29:06

    The United Nations recently held the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, in order to develop an international treaty on plastic pollution. However, campaigners have accused oil and plastic producing countries as well as special interest groups of delaying progress. Over 20 African countries are on the slippery path to debt distress. What is it, and what can they do to avoid it? And is the development of women's footballing talent in Africa stuck in the slow lane?

    Can African- led negotiations achieve peace for Sudan?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2023 30:58

    There's a fresh call from the Sudan Humanitarian crisis conference in Cairo to end the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The three-day conference concludes today with peacebuilding experts suggesting, negotiations in Sudan this time round, should largely be African-led. Also is there press freedom in Eritrea? The founder of ERISAT, which has been broadcasting in the country since 2018 shares her experience. And how a production company in the UK, is changing the narrative of Somali women in Britain.

    What reparations does Africa want?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2023 31:49

    Calls for a global fund to compensate Africans for the transatlantic slave trade were made at a recent summit in Ghana. However, what form should this compensation take? Sudan civil war: Returning home to Port Sudan after escaping clashes bewteen Sudan government solders and the RSF paramilitary unit. Reporter Osman Mohamed shares his experience. At nearly five million, the country officially has the highest number of internally displaced people in the world. And a South African initiative which gives abandoned babies a new lease of life ordered to close for ''breaking law''

    Is Zimbabwe's political opposition in disarray?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2023 28:50

    Over thirty MPs from Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change, have lost their seats. There have also been four abductions and a death. What's going on? We shine a light on abusive work practices on foreign flagged fishing boats operating in Africa. And what's behind the world record breaking craze in Nigeria? A Nigerian woman has broken a record for making the longest hand-made wig. It stretches up to 351.28 metres!

    Madagascar braces for controversial election

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2023 30:21

    People in Madagascar will head to the polls on Thursday, but 10 of the 13 candidates have called for a boycott of a presidential election which follows months of street protests. We look at why questions over the President Andry Rajoelina's dual French nationality have contributed to a contentious campaign. Translators who have worked for German troops serving as United Nations peacekeepers in Mali say they fear reprisal attacks from jihadist militants, as the UN winds up its mission. 2026 FIFA World Cup: Africa's qualifiers kick off today, with a record number of teams from the continent set to make it to the finals.

    Why are Nigeria's labour unions striking again?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2023 32:07

    The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have today asked their members to down their tools indefinitely. The two, are Nigeria's biggest labour representatives. They accuse the government of failing to meet their demands. What do they want? Also, after the recent apology by German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier where he expressed "shame" for the colonial atrocities his country inflicted on Tanzania, we look at Germany's colonial history across Africa. And we meet the African photographer Sarah Waiswa who is determined to show case the continent through a different lens.

    Why is East Africa being devastated by floods?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2023 35:00

    Thousands of people in the Horn of Africa and East Africa have been uprooted by what the UN has called “once-in-a-century“ floods. We look at why this is happening now. Kenya's Ogiek community condemns the government, over forceful evictions that have forced members from their ancestral land. Plus, the initiative bringing hope to talented young South African musicians from townships in Cape Town.

    Liberia's runoff election: What to expect?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2023 35:56

    Liberians return to the polls on Tuesday in a runoff election between President George Weah and former vice-president Joseph Boakai. It follows a fiercely fought first round in which neither candidate was able to secure 50% of the votes for an outright victory. So, what can we expect from the runoff? Also British Somali author Nadifa Mohamed leads us into a world of cruelty and horror about human zoos. She tells the story of a stillborn baby, whose parents came from the Bambuti community from present day Democratic Republic of Congo to the UK. And does the blockbuster Nigerian film, "Over the Bridge", take us beyond Nollywood and into movie magic?

    Sudan: What is happening in West Dafur?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2023 28:04

    Witnesses accuse Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of targeting non-Arabs in Darfur, after capturing the Sudanese army headquarters in West Darfur's capital El Geneina. We ask a representative of the United Nations refugee agency what is happening in the region. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed his country's expulsion from the Agoa free trade deal with the United States, but is his response mere posturing? And will burning poached wildlife products discourage criminals in Nigeria?

    Amhara: What's going on?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2023 35:03

    The security situation in Ethiopia's Amhara region has been concerning for a while now with the authorities in Addis Ababa trying to contain it. However, the latest escalation in violence between government forces and groups opposed to a disarmament plan is leading to a humanitarian crisis, amid fears that the conflict could spread. Also we look at a new report from Amnesty International, which accuses TikTok of directing content to children to the detriment of their mental health. TikTok denies the allegation. And did you know giraffes are even more at risk of extinction than elephants?

    Is Africa contributing to AI development

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2023 41:36

    We look at the future of AI in Africa, with two people involved with the development of the technology on the continent. What are some of the benefits and potential risks? Abake Adenle is the founder of Ajala, a tech company which delivers voice automation solutions for African languages, and Alex Tsado is co-founder of Ahura AI – which aims to keep workers around the world up-to-date with AI. A month on from the start of the most recent escalation in the conflict between Hamas and Israel, where do African countries stand? Plus are Kenyan complaints that President William Ruto travels too much justified?

    Somalia: Thousands trapped in severe flooding

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2023 24:41

    The United Nations says, thousands of people are trapped following severe flooding in Somalia. Over forty thousand remain displaced and 14 people have been killed. We hear the latest. Also, following on from a BBC Africa Eye investigation into corporal punishment in Kenya, we'll look at the broader context across Africa and around the world. Why does it still happen despite its ban and what is the long term impact? And we'll hear more about the fight for a rare African mask from Gabon which is at the centre of a multimillion-dollar legal battle in France.

    Global concern over the spread of dengue fever

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2023 32:29

    There is growing concern over the spread of dengue fever around the world. A medical specialist tells us what dengue is, why cases are rising and what the difference is between dengue and malaria. Also, a year after the bloody war in Ethiopia came to an end, we look at how life has changed for people in Tigray, and what more needs to be done. And we hear a discussion on the recent royal visit to Kenya, by King Charles. What was it really about?

    DR Congo conflict: How children are impacted

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2023 29:39

    As the number of internally displaced persons rises to record levels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we look at the devastating impact the ongoing conflict is having on children. Also how does Africa benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), signed into law by the United States, 23 years ago? And we speak to one woman, Amira Adawe, who is determined to highlight the dangers of using skin lightening products.

    Facebook accused of stoking Ethiopia's conflict

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2023 31:01

    Amnesty International has accused social media giant Facebook of contributing to human rights abuses against Tigrayans during the two-year war in Ethiopia. As Nigeria begins vaccinating girls to prevent cervical cancer, we look at the picture across Africa. And we look at how masquerade in Nigeria is both an art form and act of resistance.

    Kenya's plan for universal healthcare

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2023 31:11

    We'll look at the Kenyan government's plan to provide universal healthcare for all its citizens. It's back on the agenda, so what will it entail? Also a Nigerian High Court rules against calling the Indigenous People of Biafra a terrorist organisation, saying it's unconstitutional. And we hear the remarkable story of a little known African anti-slave trade campaigner, Quobina Ottobah Kuguano.

    South Africa win Rugby World Cup

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2023 30:59

    South Africa's men's rugby team made history by winning a fourth World Cup title. How did they achieve it, and what does it mean for the nation and the African continent? A BBC investigation reveals that some school teachers in Kenya are still administering corporal punishment, despite the practice having been banned more than 20 years ago. Plus, we meet the winners of the Mr. and Miss Albinism Southern Africa 2023 beauty pageant, who are drawing attention to problems faced by their community.

    Victory for Nigeria's president at supreme court

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2023 33:22

    Bola Tinubu was sworn in as Nigeria's president in May this year, after winning the country's most competitive election since the end of military rule in 1999. Defeated candidates Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi challenged his victory in court, alleging the result was manipulated. On Thursday, Nigeria's Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the challenge. What does this mean for politics in Nigeria? Also as Turkey celebrates its 100th anniversary as a Republic, we look at the growing relationship between the country and Africa. What's Turkey's vision for the continent? And fans gear up ahead of the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday, as South Africa's Springboks take on New Zealand's All Blacks!

    Is Niger being treated unfairly?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2023 32:01

    It's three months since the coup in Niger, when Mohamed Bazoum was forced from office. Sanctions have been imposed by ECOWAS and the AU. In an interview with the BBC, the prime minister of Niger's ruling military junta, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine says, Niger is being treated unfairly. Also Sudan's warring parties resume talks in Saudi Arabia. Can they agree on a ceasefire? And we'll meet Ghanaian musician and Kologo player, Stevo Atambire.

    Zimbabwe faces another major cholera outbreak

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2023 26:06

    Zimbabweans are facing another major cholera outbreak. Just over a hundred people have died with around five thousand infected. We look at the many challenges faced by the country, as it tries to deal with the current situation. Also two young Tanzanians are still missing in Israel following the attack by the militant group Hamas, almost three weeks ago. The father of one of them, 21 year old Joshua Loitu has been speaking of his anguish, in not knowing where his son is. And why is Ghana at risk of losing state properties in London?

    UAE firm to manage Tanzania's main port

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2023 30:00

    UAE firm DP World has signed a deal with Tanzania to manage two thirds of Dar-es-Salaam port for the next 30 years. The issue has provoked protests in Tanzania. The UAE is the fourth-largest investor in Africa, after China, Europe and the US. The opposition criticised the deal when details first emerged in July, saying it violated Tanzania's constitution. Will the war between Israel and Hamas affect relations between Israel and its newest African ally Morocco? And we meet the Kenyan designer from the slums who dressed Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.

    Sierra Leone opposition ends parliament boycott

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2023 23:20

    Sierra Leone's APC opposition party has ended its boycott of parliament. The action had begun after June's presidential election, which the party decried as fraudulent. The All People's Congress has now agreed to take up its seats in parliament. We hear from a Nigerian pilgrim who escaped from Israel after the conflict there flared up earlier this month. Plus Nigerian Afrobeats sensation Mr Eazi talks to us about his latest collaborative offer.

    Has Africa gained from China's infrastructure plans?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2023 30:29

    As China marks the tenth anniversary of its Belt and Road initiative in Beijing, we look at benefits for African countries. What are the continent's losses and gains from working with China? Also Ethiopia's prime minister Abiy Ahmed has again said, his country needs its own seaport. Ethiopia is landlocked. So what would he need to do, to make that possible and at what cost? And how Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum went from running in borrowed breaking world records.

    Why did Mozambique's opposition call for protests?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2023 29:16

    Mozambique's opposition staged demonstrations nationwide to denounce fraud in local elections. The vote is seen as an indicator of what to expect in next year's presidential election in the country that is rich in natural gas.   The history behind South Africa's complex and complicated relationship between Israel and Palestine   Plus, we meet the Ghanaian woman, Valarie Labi, who makes locally produced e-bikes to ease transport for women entrepreneurs in the north

    Dam water floods in Ghana

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2023 28:13

    Thousands of people in Ghana's Volta region have been displaced following spillage of excess water from some of the major dams amid heavy rains. It's the worst floods the region has seen in years. Also, Angolan TikTok influencer Neth Nahara, whose real name is Ana da Silva Miguel is in jail for "outrage" against Angola's president. Is this part of a wider crackdown on free speech on social media? And we'll meet Madagascan scientist, Lova marlin, whose curiosity and study of ancient plants is helping solve, very modern problems.

    What's are UN's concern for Madagascar's polls?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2023 29:12

    The United Nations says the human rights situation in Madagascar is “deteriorating” ahead of next month's presidential election, as police put down opposition protests. The EU and the US have also voiced concern over the "disproportionate use of force" to disperse demonstrations. Who really benefits from the buying and selling of carbon credits? And Nollywood screen legend Richard Mofe-Damijo talks to us about his latest streaming hit The Black Book.

    Burkina Faso's nuclear power plant deal with Russia

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 16, 2023 27:24

    Burkina Faso's military leaders have signed a deal with Russia to build a nuclear power plant, with the hope of increasing its electricity supplies. Burkina Faso is one of the least electrified countries globally, with only 21% of people connected to power. Our West Africa Correspondent Mayeni Jones talks us through the advantages and disadvantages of a nuclear power plant in the Sahel. Also there's a rise in child labour across the globe, that's the warning from the International Labour Organization. More than half of all child labourers are found across Africa. We hear from the Director-General of the ILO, Gilbert F. Houngbo. And what to do with an old pair of sneakers? How one young South African, Sibusiso Zulu, is already helping to change the world after asking that very question.

    Is Morocco hosting the IMF meeting only symbolic?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2023 31:19

    The Bretton wood institutions are meeting in Morocco this year. It's the first such summit on African soil in 50 years. Does this meeting signal a renewed approach to how it works with and supports African economic growth? Also did you know, eggs are currently South Africa's hottest commodity? The country has been grappling with one of its worst outbreaks of bird flu which has resulted in the culling of millions of chickens and supermarkets, running out of eggs. We'll hear more about the impact it's having. And there's a treat in store as we bring you all the latest from the star studded draw on AFCON 2023, from Abidjan in Ivory Coast.

    Liberians await presidential election results

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2023 31:54

    Liberians voted in elections on Tuesday, with President George Weah seeking a second term. Observers said polling was peaceful, despite some violence during the campaign. Mr Weah is the favourite to win, with former Vice-President Joseph Boakai considered his main challenger. Did the president deliver in his first term? Are reparations the best way of rectifying the injustices of the past? After Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo calls for Western countries which profited from the transatlantic slave trade to pay reparations to African countries, we hear from an opponent of the proposal. And South Africa's latest census reveals the population rose by over 10 million, to 62 million people, in just over a decade. But how significant is this data?

    Israel-Hamas War: Egypt's reaction and relationship

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2023 34:20

    What is Egypt's reaction to the war between Israel and Hamas? Israel has continued to heavily bomb the Gaza strip since the attack. Egypt shares a border with Gaza. We find out more about the shared border and get analysis into Egypt's relationship with both the Palestinians and Israelis. Also thousands of tonnes of much needed food aid is stuck on the border between Benin and Niger, unable to get into Niger. We'll hear how it's adding to the country's food insecurity. And we'll find out more about the African political prisoners sent to Australia during British colonial rule. Who exactly were they and why were they "excluded" from History?

    UN: South Sudan ‘curbing democratic freedoms'

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 10, 2023 30:44

    The United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has accused the government of restricting the democratic and civil space in the country. The claim comes ahead of an exercise to draft a new constitution, ahead of the country's first election since achieving independence in 2011.   Plus, we hear from an African migrant caught up in the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.   And on World Mental Health Day, Ghanaian Afrobeats sensation KiDi opens up on coping with the demands of life as a music star.

    The Arab-Israeli conflict: Africa's reaction

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 9, 2023 32:17

    There is international concern and diplomatic pressure following the attacks and retaliation between Israel and Hamas. Hundreds of people have died, in both Israel and Palestine. We get analysis into how Africa is reacting. Also in Mauritius the courts have decriminalised same sex relations on the basis that the ban reflected colonial era values rather than indigenous ones. We'll hear from a LGBTQ+ campaigner. And we meet the South African teenager, Mika Abrahams, who is breaking records in the world of motor racing.

    Why Morocco wants the World Cup

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2023 30:11

    Morocco will co-host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, becoming only the second African country to stage the event. Why did the country succeed with its bid, at the sixth attempt? What are Liberians prioritising ahead of  next week's general election? The vote will be the fourth since the end of two successive civil wars which ravaged the country. Plus, we meet Bose Ogulu, mother and manager of afrobeats sensation Burna Boy. Known as Mama Burna, she tells us about her life and inspiration.

    Egypt: A Testimony of alleged torture

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2023 26:38

    A report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture this week said, torture in Egypt has been used as a political tool to curtail dissent and that it was so widespread it amounted to crimes against humanity. We hear a testimony from an Egyptian female in exile in the United States, who alleges she was tortured in prison, under the current regime. The Egyptian government denies all allegations of torture in facilities, including prisons. Also quelea birds are a pest across many countries on the continent. Recently, Tanzania culled over a million of them but the chemical used to kill them in Africa, is either banned or restricted in other countries. I speak to my colleague Dorcas Wangira who has covered this story extensively in Kenya. And we meet Rwanda's first female Barista.

    Seychelles opposition leader denies witchcraft charges

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2023 30:15

    The main opposition leader in Seychelles, Patrick Herminie, is one of eight people charged with witchcraft, following the exhumation of two bodies. They deny the charges, with Mr Herminie calling the prosecution a "political show" intended to taint his image. Meanwhile, we examine the arrest of Tunisian opposition politician Abir Moussi, and look at why another opposition leader from the country, Rached Ghannouchi, is on hunger strike. And why the price tag for conserving the king of beasts, the African lion, could be a staggering $3 billion per year.

    Inside Sierra Leone's justice system

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2023 33:45

    Focus on Africa takes you inside Sierra Leone's overcrowded prisons and looks closely at the country's justice system. Our reporter Umaru Fofana looks into a much needed review on how prisoners are treated. Also the Nobel peace prize-winning gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, who is renowned for helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, announces his plans to run for president in December. What's the reaction in the DRC and can Denis Mukwege make a difference? And we talk to African playwrights, Tonderai Munyevu and Yael Farber who join over 60 of the world's leading playwrights for an online charity auction taking place at Christie's in London. The event, "Out of the Margins", is organised by the Good Chance theatre and will include writers; Wole Soyinka, Inua Ellams, Tom Stoppard, Tina Fey, and Tanika Gupta.

    One year since Burkina Faso's latest coup

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 2, 2023 25:51

    One year on from the most recent coup in Burkina Faso, we look at the current state of play regarding security, the economy and the ruling junta. We examine the political tensions in Mozambique ahead of the country's local elections next week. Plus, we meet Kenyan stargazer Susan Murabana, who is bringing astronomy to the people.

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