1. In pictures: Africa and the King's Coronation

    The Coronation of King Charles in the UK capital was a sumptuous affair - and among the guests were African royalty and leaders as well as other well-known figures from the continent.

    Various royal couples from around the world paraded into London's Westminster Abbey on Saturday, but Ghana’s King of the Ashanti Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu were among the most arresting:

    Ashanti Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu - 6 May 2023
    Ashanti Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu - 6 May 2023

    King Mswati III of Eswatini - Africa’s last absolute monarch - was accompanied by one of his wives Queen LaMbikiza:

    King Mswati III of Eswatini and Queen LaMbikiza - 6 May 2023

    They had to contend with the British weather - and umbrellas were out for them as they approached the abbey:

    King Mswati III of Eswatini and Queen LaMbikiza under an umbrella - 6 May 2023

    Lesotho’s King Lestie III and Queen Masenate was also pictured walking towards the gathering of more than 2,000 guests.

    Lesotho’s King Lestie III and Queen Masenate - 6 May 2023

    They walked up the aisle to their seats with other royal families:

    Lesotho’s King Lestie III and Queen Masenate amongst royals walking in Westminster Abbey - 6 May 2023

    Commonwealth leaders showed up in force - having met King Charles the day before.

    Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba (R), and his wife Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, progressed in slowly to their seats as the 64-year-old leader now walks with a stick having suffered a stroke several years ago:

    Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba (R), and his wife Sylvia Bongo Ondimba

    Gabon joined the Commonwealth last year, one of the few nations with no historic ties to the UK to be part of the 54-member club. Below the Gabonese leader can be spotted seated with other Commonwealth leaders, including those from Malawi and Nigeria.

    Commonwealth leaders seated in Westminster Abbey - 6 May 2023

    In the seating for other world leaders, Senegal’s President Macky Sall was in attendance with his Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall, in emerald green, by his side.

    Senegal’s President Macky Sall was seated next to his Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall

    South African opera star Pretty Yende wowed the guests with her voice and outfit when she sang Sacred Fire, a new piece written by composer Sarah Class for the occasion:

    Pretty Yende singing - 6 May 2023

    Later she could be seen looking down at King Charles and his attendants as they made their way down the aisle at the start of the ceremony:

    Pretty Yende (R) looking down at King Charles and his entourage - 6 May 2023

    Another eye-catching design was worn by Eva Omaghom, a British-Nigerian who is a cultural anthropologist and works as director of community engagement for King Charles and Queen Camilla:

    Eva Omaghom arriving at Westminster Abbey -  6 May 2023

    Dame Elizabeth Anionwu (L), a pioneering British sickle cell nurse whose father was from Nigeria, wore a stylish Nigerian "gele" headscarf as she carried in the Sovereign's Orb into the abbey:

    Dame Elizabeth Anionwu (L) carrying the orb - 6 May 2023

    Uganda-born Dr John Sentamu, the former Archbishop of York, also took part in proceedings - and was one of the Anglican Church clerics to walk up the aisle:

    Dr John Sentamu (centre front standing) - 6 May 2023

    Style guru Edward Enninful, the Ghanaian-born editor of British Vogue and a global ambassador for the Prince's Trust, enjoyed a selfie before the pageantry began:

    Edward Enniful, editor of British Vogue, taking a selfie with a policeman - 6 May 2023

    And the event was also watched by people at various special sites set up in Africa, like at the British high commissioner's residence in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi:

    Guests at the British embassy in Nairobi for the Coronation - 6 May 2023
  2. Scrap food tax to ease living costs, say Gabonese

    Dried fish and vegetables on sale in Port-Gentil in 2017.
    Image caption: People are feeling the crunch (archive photo)

    Town hall-style meetings on how to tackle Gabon's high cost of living have ended with plenty of recommendations but no clear plan of action.

    The central African nation imports a lot of its food and one popular suggestion has been to scrap all taxes on food imports.

    Other recommendations included scrapping VAT on all basic necessities, raising import taxes on luxuries like champagne and cigarettes, ending police racketeering, as well as boosting local agriculture and quarries.

    This national forum was held in all nine of Gabon's provinces and the capital, Libreville, ending on Thursday.

    "There are, among the proposals that have been made, some that can be applied immediately and others that will have to be spread out," said Prime Minister Alain Claude Bilie-By-Nze.

  3. Togo's jailed coup-plotter evacuated to Gabon - report

    A half-brother of Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé, who has been in prison since 2009 over a failed coup attempt, has been evacuated to Gabon because of his deteriorating health, one of his lawyers has confirmed to AFP news agency.

    Kpatcha Gnassingbé, who suffers from diabetes, was being treated in a hospital in Gabon, Zeus Ajavon said.

    "We have asked for his evacuation several times, because of the deteriorating state of his health. We appreciate this gesture," he added.

    In 2011, Togo's Supreme Court sentenced Kpatcha Gnassingbé, the former defence minister, to 20 years in prison for plotting a coup against his half-brother.

    He was arrested in 2009 as he sought refuge in the US embassy in Togo's capital, Lomé.

    He had been in the military wing of a hospital in Lom since June 2021.

    He has received no reply to his requests for a pardon, Mr Ajavon told AFP.

  4. More bodies recovered after Gabon ferry accident

    Papa Atou Diaw

    BBC Afrique

    The death toll from last week's ferry accident in Gabon has risen to 21, local officials say, after divers recovered more bodies.

    The vessel named Esther Miracle was carrying 161 passengers from the capital Libreville to Port-Gentil when it sank on Thursday close to the coastal village of Nyonie.

    "All passengers were wearing life jackets," said public prosecutor André Patrick Roponat, who assured that rescue teams were still exploring the boat "to see if other bodies are trapped".

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    According to the lead search officer, 350 soldiers, patrol boats, shuttles, diving robots and radars were deployed for the operation.

    But for the families of the missing victims, hope of finding their loved ones alive is fading.

    "My four children have not been found... the families are only losing hope," lamented a mother interviewed by the BBC.

    The authorities have suspended operations of the vessel's owner Royal Cost until further notice.

    Reports say the ferry, which started operations in November last year, was overloaded and was likely carrying livestock too.

  5. Gabon mourns ferry tragedy victims

    Guy Bandolo

    BBC News

    A map of Gabon

    Gabon has begun three days of national mourning following a ferry accident that left six dead and around 20 others missing.

    The Esther Miracle ferry, a mixed passenger and freight vessel, sank off the coast of the capital, Libreville, on Thursday night.

    The government has since suspended four officials and the public prosecutor has announced the opening of an investigation.

    The search continues to find the missing people

    Civil society organizations plan to file a complaint against the Gabonese state and the ferry owner, Royal Coast Marine (RCM).

    President Ali Bongo announced three days of national mourning in a brief address on national television on Monday evening. Festive and sporting events are suspended during the morning period.

    The ferry operated between Libreville and oil city of Port-Gentil. Its wreckage was detected at a depth of 30m, according to Gabonese authorities,

  6. Hunt for survivors after ferry sinks off Gabon

    Rescuers are hunting for survivors after a ferry sank of the coast of Gabon, leaving two people dead.

    Royal Cost Marine (RCM), the company that owns the Esther Miracle ferry, said on Facebook that the vessel sprang a leak as it was travelling from Port-Gentil to the capital, Libreville, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

    In a message posted on Thursday afternoon, the firm said 121 people had been rescued so far and taken to hospitals in Libreville.

    The AFP news agency quoted officials as saying 151 passengers and crew had been onboard, meaning 28 people are still missing.

    RCM said operations to find further survivors were continuing.

    "The search is continuing but if at nightfall we don't find anyone, we will sadly have to consider the strong probability that those missing have died," AFP quotes public prosecutor Andre Patrick Roponat as saying.

    Relatives of those on board are gathered by the quayside in Libreville waiting for news, AFP reports.

    "My daughter called me in the middle of the night to say that something was going on," a man in his 50s is quoted as saying.

    "She said: 'Dad, we're sinking', and then there was no more," he said.

    RCM's Facebook page has photos of the Esther Miracle's inauguration at a ceremony in November last year:

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  7. Gabon announces shorter political terms

    President Ali Bongo.
    Image caption: But candidates can still run for office as many times as they like

    All political terms in office in Gabon will now last five years, President Ali Bongo announced on Monday.

    Until now, presidents officially served seven-year terms and senators served six-year terms.

    But Mr Bongo, who has led the country since his father's death in 2009, has not made any statements regarding a new limit on the number of terms a president can serve.

    As things stand presidents, MPs and senators can run for office as many times as they like, RFI explains.

    President Bongo's announcement came during talks between the government and opposition, which were called to discuss election matters ahead of polls expected later this year.

    More on Gabon:

  8. Gabon minister dies after cabinet meeting heart attack

    Gobon's Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Moussa Adamo
    Image caption: Gobon's Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Moussa Adamo

    Gabon's Foreign Minister Michael Moussa Adamo has died after suffering a heart attack during a cabinet meeting on Friday.

    The 62-year-old died despite "despite efforts by specialists" to revive him, a government statement said.

    "He was a very great diplomat, a true statesman. For me, he was first of all a friend, loyal and faithful, whom I could always count on," President Ali Bongo tweeted.

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    Mr Adamo was a well-known television broadcaster before joining politics.

    He had served in several government roles, including as Mr Bongo's special advisor, before becoming foreign minister last year.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Jaures Kombila - the Gabon contortionist.

    Jaures Kombila from Gabon has an incredible talent – he can get into almost any position using his amazingly flexible body.

  10. Video content

    Video caption: How Gabon is selling carbon credits to fuel its economy

    What are carbon credits and how did Gabon earn them? BBC Africa's Claire Muthinji tells us more.

  11. Gabon opposition leader under house arrest

    BBC World Service

    The Gabonese opposition leader, Guy Nzouba-Ndama, has been placed under house arrest five days after he was detained at the Congolese border with suitcases packed with about $2 million (£1.8 million).

    His arrest was filmed and the opening of the suitcases posted on social media.

    Mr Nzouba-Ndama - a potential candidate in upcoming presidential elections - has been charged with violations of import controls and cooperation with a foreign power.

    His party, The Democrats, say the accusations are politically motivated.

    The 76-year-old was for 19 years the speaker of the National Assembly and a loyal ally of the former president, Omar Bongo, father of the incumbent Ali Bongo Ondimba.

  12. Aubameyang victim of violent robbery in Spain

    BBC World Service

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Image caption: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang previously played for Arsenal

    The Barcelona footballer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been the victim of a violent robbery in his home.

    The club said four armed men had broken into the Gabonese striker's house early on Monday, and forced him to open a safe.

    The men made off with the jewels that were kept there.

    There have been several break-ins in footballers' homes in Spain, but most of them have taken place when the stars have been playing.

  13. Gabon and Togo poised to join Commonwealth

    Joice Etutu

    BBC News, Kigali

    Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

    Former French colonies Gabon and Togo are set become the latest countries to join the Commonwealth, which is made up of 54 nations most of which were once part of the British Empire.

    They will be the first new members in more than a decade - the last one being Rwanda, which joined in 2009.

    Rwanda is currently hosting the biennial meeting of heads of Commonwealth states.

    Mozambique, which also did not have links to the British Empire, joined in 1995.

    Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey said French-speaking Togo’s inclusion into the Commonwealth would “help it develop closer ties with English-speaking countries, opening up new horizons outside of France's sphere of influence in West Africa.”

    Since joining in 2009, Rwanda has praised the Commonwealth for helping the country with election support, combatting corruption and creating a stronger judicial system.

    Togo and Gabon are expected to be admitted later on Friday.

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    Video caption: Biologist Lee White explains how creating national parks saved Gabon’s elephant population

    Biologist Lee White explains how creating national parks revived Gabon’s elephant population