Africa Today

Africa Today
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.

South Africa reports millions of job losses
Sep 29 • 22 min
South Africa’s economy lost 2.2 million jobs in the second quarter of 2020, according to the government’s statistics agency. Following a major corruption probe in Sierra Leone, several people including former President Ernest Bai Koroma have been ordered…
Zimbabwe schools reopen without teachers
Sep 28 • 23 min
Teachers in Zimbabwe strike on the first day of school, protesting low wages and lack of anti-COVID measures. Mali’s transitional President Bah Ndaw has named a new civilian prime minister, the state television announced on Sunday. Plus, we hear from…
Mali’s interim president sworn in
Sep 25 • 23 min
Mali’s new president, Former Defence Minister Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. We hear from Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, he talks about corruption in the country following an…
Kenyan officials accused of Covid-19 corruption
Sep 24 • 22 min
At least 15 top Kenyan government officials and businesspeople face prosecution in connection for alleged theft of tens of millions of dollars meant for Covid-19 supplies. Zambia’s credit rating has been downgraded over mounting debt crisis. We also meet…
Mozambique conflict: thousands forced to flee into Tanzania
Sep 23 • 23 min
Escalating conflict in Mozambique forcing thousands to flee into Tanzania. At least 25 people, including primary schoolchildren, have been killed after a lorry transporting petrol exploded in the city of Lokoja in central Nigeria. In the Gambia, women led…
Kenya’s Chief Justice calls out parliament over gender
Sep 22 • 22 min
Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga has advised the President to dissolve parliament because it does not meet the constitutional requirement to be made up of no more than 2/3 of any one gender. Nurses and midwives in Ghana are on strike after failing to…
Mali’s ex-defence minister named interim leader
Sep 21 • 25 min
Mali’s former Defence Minister Bah Ndaw has been appointed interim president while coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita will serve as his deputy, state television has announced. More than 500 South African school children are quarantined in the Eastern Cape…
Somalia: President appoints new prime minister
Sep 18 • 25 min
The president said Mr Roble was selected on the basis of “his knowledge, experience and ability to move forward with state-building efforts and the development of national plans”. Mr Roble is a relative newcomer to Somali’s politics. The decision will now…
Nigeria’s Kaduna passes law for tougher penalties for convicted rapists
Sep 17 • 28 min
The governor of northern Nigeria’s state, Nasir el-Rufai, has signed a law providing new penalties for convicted rapists, including castration and the death penalty. A UN Commission of Inquiry into alleged human rights violations says that despite a new…
US sanction former Gambia first lady
Sep 16 • 24 min
The United States has imposed sanctions on the country’s former First Lady Zineb Jammeh accusing her of corruption during her husband Yahya Jammeh’s rule. The US treasury suspects her of helping the former president transfer money illegally, and…
Mozambique: Army to investigate ‘horrific killing’ video
Sep 15 • 24 min
The West African regional bloc, Ecowas want an agreement to be reached on how Mali should be governed. Plus a Zimbabwean woman explains how she set up a private ambulance service to help people at home
Mali: Opposition group rejects transition deal
Sep 14 • 26 min
On Saturday, the country’s military leadership agreed to establish an 18-month interim government until an election could take place. But the M5-RFP group, which took part in the negotiations, said the resulting document was an attempt by military leaders…
Chibok schools reopen for exams
Sep 11 • 29 min
The local government area of Chibok, in Borno State, Nigeria, became infamously well known to the world after two hundred schoolgirls were kidnapped from a local school in 2014. Six years later now, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) has started…
Growing number of Africans are trying to reach the US
Sep 10 • 27 min
There is a growing numbers of Africans trying to reach the United States via a treacherous forest route in South America. We hear from one of them. We speak to Carine Kanimba, daughter of Paul Rusesabagina. The life of the former hotel manager inspired a…
Cameroon army launches operation in North-West Region
Sep 9 • 28 min
Cameroon army launch operation dubbed “Bamenda Clean.” It aims to restore order to the capital of the Northwest Region which the army claims has been the target of attacks by what it calls “terrorists and criminals”. Zimbabwe bans mining operations in the…
Sudan: state of emergency declared over flooding
Sep 8 • 29 min
In Sudan, half a million people have been displaced by the floods caused by torrential rains and the Nile overflowing. South Africa’s economy contracts by 51 percent due to the coronavirus. And we meet the Nigerian twins behind Eyimofe, a poignant film…
Ugandan Minister charged of attempted murder
Sep 7 • 22 min
Uganda’s Deputy Labour Minister, Mwesigwa Rukutana was today charged of attempted murder following a shooting incident during NRM party primary elections at the weekend. Protesters in South Africa force the closure of Clicks chain stores because of an…
KLM and Etihad among airlines barred by Nigeria
Sep 4 • 30 min
A set of guidelines have been announced for travellers coming into Nigeria, as international flights resume after months of shutdown following Covid-19 pandemic. The University of Namibia’s School of Veterinary Medicine is training dogs to detect…
Turning plastic bottles into face masks
Sep 3 • 25 min
A South African recycling company hits on an idea of turning discarded plastic bottles into facemasks, to help with the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Charlette N’Guessan from Ghana wins a top engineering prize for a project involving face…
Sierra Leone gives power to the people in a small village
Sep 2 • 29 min
Sierra Leone’s Energy Minister switches on the power for a village on the outskirts of the capital Freetown. Plus Mozambique’s former World and Olympics 800m champion, Maria Mutola, takes on a new ambassadorial role. And there’s a gorilla baby boom in…
Sudan’s government and rebels sign peace deal
Aug 31 • 26 min
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok says the signing of the deal with rebel groups is the beginning of the road to peace. The man whose role in saving people from the 1994 genocide was celebrated in the film Hotel Rwanda is being held there on terror…
Global leaders call for free coronavirus vaccine
May 15 • 27 min
African presidents are among world leaders calling for a free Covid-19 vaccine that should be made available worldwide. The European Union pledges 480 million Euros to help revive Sudan’s struggling economy. Our Resident Presidents tell us why health…
Burundi orders WHO officials to leave the country
May 14 • 24 min
Burundi has ordered four key staff members of the World Health Organisation to leave the country. Clashes in Sudan’s South Kordofan region leave at least 26 dead. Our listeners share their experiences of life under lockdown.
Lesotho records first coronavirus case
May 13 • 25 min
Lesotho today became the last country on the African continent to record a coronavirus case. Cameroon’s Julie Owono talks about her appointment to the board overseeing Facebook content. Malawian artist Hazel Mak on her new ‘Unorthodox’ album.
Zambia closes Tanzania border as COVID-19 cases surge
May 11 • 19 min
Zambia has acted quickly to close the border with Tanzania after a surge in Covid-19 cases near the national boundary. Sierra Leone grapples with a spate of violence in areas supportive of the main opposition party. And we hear from France-based singer…
Malawi Supreme Court upholds Presidential poll nullification
May 8 • 20 min
Malawi’s Supreme Court has upheld the invalidation of last year’s presidential election results and ruled that Peter Mutharika was not duly elected. Political tensions are rising in Ethiopia over the postponement of elections which were scheduled for…
Madagascar conducts mass Covid-19 tests.
May 7 • 23 min
Madagascar is conducting mass coronavirus tests in its worst hit area and more on its Covid-Organics. Why are schools being vandalised during coronavirus lockdown in South Africa? And the we hear from,ML Kejera, the first Gambian to be shortlisted for the…
African countries lift coronavirus restrictions
May 4 • 21 min
Some African countries among them Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda have started relaxing coronavirus measures but some of their citizens see it as an ill-advised move. Tanzania President John Magufuli criticised for his handling of the coronavirus…
South Africa government outlines plan for COVID19 recovery
Apr 24 • 27 min
The South Africa government has outlined a stimulus package to aid the country’s recovery from the effects of coronavirus The South African-Ghanaian entrepreneur helping light up Sierra Leone East Africa face the combined threat of coronavirus and a…
Thousands arrested in Morocco for Covid19 violations
Apr 23 • 20 min
Police in Morocco have arrested more than fifty thousand people for violating coronavirus emergency measures African nurses and doctors on how they are dealing with coronavirus on the frontline of the fight in Europe and the US. And Angelique Kidjo…
Cameroon government admits military involvement in civilian deaths
Apr 22 • 19 min
The Cameroonian government has admitted the involvement of its military in the death of civilians last February How the coronavirus pandemic has given the planet a lifeline Kenya government hunts a group of people who escaped from a quarantine facility
How a dip in global oil demand is affecting African countries
Apr 21 • 19 min
A dip in oil demand around the world is having big effect on Africa’s countries big producers Nigeria and Angola. We hear from a hand washing expert who is on a mission to save lives and she also has tips on how to keep clean even when there’s no water.…
Coronavirus in Africa: Your questions answered
Mar 30 • 31 min
A special podcast where we put your questions about the coronavirus pandemic to the World Health Organisation
Climate Change Strikes in Africa
Sep 20, 2019 • 26 min
A world wide push to raise the alarm over climate change. And African children are actively involved in the demonstrations
Detained Nigeria Shia leader to be freed to travel abroad for medical treatment
Aug 5, 2019 • 27 min
We explore the trials and tribulations of domestic workers in Africa; Dozens die in Libya drone attack; And the human breast milk bank newly opened in Nairobi.
Ethiopia Airways crash latest.
Mar 11, 2019 • 26 min
A day of mourning in Ethiopia following the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Jobs jobs jobs
Dec 20, 2018 • 26 min
The World Bank estimates that Africa’s working age population could grow by as much as 450 million by 2035. So how can African countries create the millions of jobs needed to accommodate these people? This special episode of the Africa Today podcast hears…
Voter Registration Day in Nigeria
Aug 31, 2018 • 17 min
Thousands of frustrated Nigerians try to beat the voter registration deadline, but the electoral commission refuses any extension; first, Theresa May and now, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel visits Nigeria… what’s on her agenda? Equality under the…
European Leaders Continue Charm Offensive in Africa
Aug 30, 2018 • 28 min
Two of Europe’s most powerful leaders continue setting out their stalls in separate African visits - Kenya and Ghana state their wants; Nigeria’s defence minister on his country’s security crisis; Soweto in South Africa after the latest anti-immigrant…
Europe’s Leaders on a Charm Offensive in Africa
Aug 29, 2018 • 26 min
Europe’s two leaders on multi-country Africa tours as evermore big world players woo the continent… we ask about the opportunities and risks for Africa; Germany hands back skulls of Namibians massacred more than a century ago; and an uproar over a TV…
Soldiers in Uganda Caught on Tape Assaulting a Journalist
Aug 21, 2018 • 25 min
From Uganda, soldiers assaulting a journalist are caught on camera: A police spokesman says the behaviour of the security forces will be investigated; Na waa oh! We celebrate a year of BBC Pidgin; also, why is Arsene Wenger getting the Humane Order of…
Zimbabwe Awaits Election Results
Aug 2, 2018 • 24 min
Zimbabwe - presidential election results expected tonight; in Ghana, five banks are merged into one; and two strong Congolese opposition presidential hopefuls warming up for the presidential election in December.
India to Open 18 New Embassies Accross Africa
Jul 25, 2018 • 29 min
Is New Delhi playing catch-up with Beijing? Zimbabwean women standing in landmark elections; will Eritrea’s political landscape change now that the war with Ethiopia is truly over?
Military Chiefs Escape Attack in Cameroon
Jul 13, 2018 • 24 min
Cameroon’s defence minister and army chief escape an attack by Anglophone insurgents; after five years of civil war, the UN imposes an arms embargo on South Sudan, the same day women march for peace in Juba; and Sierra Leone: 100 days of President Bio -…
Kenyan Lawmakers’ Taxpayer-Funded Visit to Russia
Jul 12, 2018 • 35 min
Kenyans wondering why twenty lawmakers went to Russia during the World Cup on the taxpayers’ dime; a new study shows just how long a shadow Ebola cast on those who survived it; the multicultural roots of the ZCC; The Gambia’s healthcare crisis.
EU Leaders Agree Deal on Migration
Jun 29, 2018 • 27 min
After nine hours of talks, European Union leaders agree a deal of sorts on migration; Ghana’s electoral commission boss, Charlotte Osei, sacked, the information minister tells us why; Gambia’s Adama Barrow’s major reshuffle; and the Resident Presidents on…
Ghana Imposes Ban on Tilapia Fish Imports
Jun 28, 2018 • 30 min
Why has Ghana slapped a ban on all imports of tilapia? The Ebola outbreak in the DRC could be over but the WHO remains cautious; families continuing to try and find missing relatives after a deadly fire in Nairobi; and LGBTQ Pride celebrations in…
South Sudan’s Leaders Meet
Jun 20, 2018 • 28 min
South Sudan’s warring leaders hold talks in Addis Ababa; Eritrea and Ethiopia’s peace overtures; law reforms in Tunisia; and the government of The Gambia responds to the killings of demonstrators in Faraba.
The WHO Lists Snake-bites as a Global Health Priority
May 25, 2018 • 22 min
The World Health Organisation says snake-bites are a global health priority; why is a Dutch company claiming ownership of Teff - an Ethiopian staple? Remembering the Malian music maestro, Kassé Mady Diabaté, who died last night.
Dam Burst in Kenya Kills Tens
May 10, 2018 • 27 min
A burst dam in Kenya kills 47 people; a shortage of HIV medication in Liberia; Ethiopia orders closure of a mine after protests; the prospects for the Gambia’s capital as the city votes for a new mayor.
Fire Rages in Nairobi Suburb
Jan 29, 2018 • 27 min
Thousands left homeless after fire in Lang’ata suburb in Nairobi. Also in the programme: The UK High Court to sit in Sierra Leone to hear allegations of human rights abuses by a mining company; and antibiotic-resistant germs, could onions be the answer?
African Migrants Told To Leave Israel
Jan 2, 2018 • 25 min
Israel gives African migrants three months to leave the country voluntarily or face forcible repatriation or indefinite jail terms. The daily life of a female Zambian UN peacekeeper in the Central African Republic. The Grand Mufti of Egypt proscribes the…
Kenya Election Watch: Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga
Dec 25, 2017 • 29 min
In the last of our special podcast series about Kenya’s elections this year, Dickens Olewe covers the twists and turns of the process in a rare interview with former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. He explained his view that a new political party is needed…
Chibok Girls: Three years after
Apr 13, 2017 • 32 min
Britain’s top diplomat to Nigeria on the three-year long search for the Chibok girls; More than ninety migrants feared drowned after their boat sank off the coast of Libya; Eighty thousand teenagers in danger of missing out on school in Burundi.
Wednesday, 17th August 2016
Aug 17, 2016 • 19 min
The new South Sudanese Vice President addresses key issues in the country and what political alliances will emerge in South Africa after recent municipal elections?
Wednesday, 10th August 2016
Aug 10, 2016 • 33 min
Ahead of tomorrow’s elections Zambian civil society groups call for a free and fair vote. Burkina Faso bans donkey meat and skin exports following huge demand from China.
Wednesday, 3rd August 2016
Aug 3, 2016 • 30 min
Running battles in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, between police and anti-government demonstrators. Local elections in South Africa - a major test for the ruling ANC. Malian music sensation, Modja… plus more.
Monday, 18th July 2016
Jul 18, 2016 • 30 min
HIV infections are still the leading killer of African children. And old attitudes to the virus still prevail; the AU postpones elections for a new chairman, so what happens next? And Africa’s first Spelling Bee competition.
Tuesday 14th June
Jun 14, 2016 • 31 min
Health experts warn of serious levels of under-nutrition linked to obesity. In South Africa, Reeva Steenkamp’s father says her killer, Oscar Pistorius, must pay for his crime
Wednesday, 25th May 2016
May 25, 2016 • 24 min
UN warns billions could starve as extreme weather changes poison food crops. 1000s of Zimbabweans march in support of Robert Mugabe to thwart party infighting.