Jul 27, 2017 Last Updated 2:30 PM, Jul 26, 2017


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 Political campaigning is under-way in Rwanda to elect a president.

For many, there's only one worthy candidate, it's current president, Paul Kagame. He's been in power since 2000 and he's looking to keep his seat for the next 17 years.

President Paul Kagame launched his campaign for re-election this month. He is running for a third term after Rwandans voted overwhelmingly in support of constitutional changes allowing him to extend his term in office until 2034.

Kagame has officially been president since 2000 - but effectively in control since his rebel force marched into Kigali to end the genocide there in 1994.

Kagame is widely admired for restoring stability to the East African nation. This includes presiding over rapid economic growth and creating a relatively corruption-free government, hence he has no doubts about the outcome of the elections.

"The journalists are writing and saying that the elections in Rwanda are not important because it is already known who is going to win. Me, I'm proud that the result is already known," he said. 

However, activists say development has come at the expense of civil liberties and media freedoms. Some of his political opponents have been killed after fleeing abroad in yet-unsolved cases, but Kagame's government denies any involvement.

There is only one registered opposition party standing against Kagame. "One of the reasons why we are standing is to make sure that we bring liberty and total democracy to Rwanda because people in Rwanda, feel that no other leader can lead them,” said the Democratic Green Party’s leader, Frank Habineza.

“They were saying in 2015 that only one person would lead them again, because they do not know what will happen tomorrow, but we are telling them that, No! That is not true. We should move forward.  We can be better.”

The Green Party's campaign platform includes investing in agriculture, increasing salaries for the security forces and ending political detentions.

But compared to its larger rival, the party will have to fight hard to gain that recognition.

Nigeria has the largest number of children in the world who are not being educated, the government has said.

Acknowledging the scale of the problem the education ministry's permanent secretary Adamu Hussaini said it was "sad to note" that Nigeria had 10.5 million children out of school.

This is the first time senior officials have admitted the size of the problem.

Cultural factors have been blamed but critics point to a lack of money going to publicly funded schools.

The UN's children's agency, Unicef, has been campaigning on this issue as well as a number of other groups.

On a visit to the country last week, education activist Malala Yousafzai met acting president Yemi Osinbajo and asked him to declare what she called "an education state of emergency in Nigeria".

Mr Hussaini said those most affected were girls, street children and the children of nomadic groups and added that economic prosperity can only be achieved with an "inclusive and functional education system".

But BBC Hausa editor Jimeh Saleh says the failure in the education system is due to a lack of government funding, rather than any cultural factors as suggested by the ministry.

"Government funded schools in Nigeria have practically collapsed over the years because of poor funding leaving children from poor homes with nowhere to go but the streets," he says.

Unicef estimates that 60% of Nigerian children not attending school live in the north of the country.

The Africa Cup of Nations will not suffer in quality after its expansion to 24 teams, says a top Confederation of African Football (Caf) official.

Amaju Pinnick believes the African game can only benefit, even if the tournament may suffer early on.

"At the beginning, you will see some problems but later it will start building up to the quality people know it for," the Nigerian told BBC Sport.

"Trust me - it is not going to reduce the quality."

Last week, Caf chose to both expand the Nations Cup - by an additional eight teams – and move its timing from January/February to June/July.

Pinnick, who presides over Caf's Nations Cup Organising Committee, believes African football will be 'redefined' as a result of the changes, citing benefits with regard to business, infrastructure and the sport itself.

He says African companies are excited about the changes, that African players will become more prized and that more countries will benefit from new and/or reconstructed stadiums.

Concerns over the quality of football aside, there are also questions about how many African countries have the capacity to actually stage a 24-team Nations Cup.

The Caf executive committee member believes '10-12' countries could host on their own right now, but he also introduced the concept of 'regionalising.'

"We are trying to encourage co-hosting and regionalising," said the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president in a wide-ranging interview.

"If Nigeria and Ghana were to put up a bid for example, I would also advocate that they accommodate (neighbours) Togo and Benin. Nobody is pushing that for now but I am just giving an example of the possibility."

In the meantime, the next Nations Cup hosts - Cameroon - must deliver a finals, in 2019, for 24 teams despite having bid for a 16-team event.

Last week, the country denied reports it was behind schedule but Pinnick is not unduly concerned.

"Cameroon is a major footballing nation and I believe they are going to be able to do it," he said. "They are very eager and excited."

Firstly, the format for qualifying for the 2019 Nations Cup - which has already started - needs to be changed.

Caf will meet in Morocco later this week to begin talks on how that process will change, with the next qualifiers set for next March.

The switch of timing, meanwhile, has been broadly welcomed - with both African players and agents set to benefit given the Nations Cup will no longer clash with the middle of a European season.

"You will now starting seeing big money for African players - massive transfers because they are now in line with the footballer calendar," said Pinnick.

Nonetheless, any footballer in a team that qualifies for Nations Cups either side of a World Cup could find himself playing three extended seasons in a row.

"I don't think there is any major concern," argued Pinnick.

"I called nine Nigeria internationals (to check) and they said it was not an issue. I also asked my marketing agent who called some big African names in the Premier League and they said the same thing."

Warning: This story contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

An elephant that gives tourist rides has killed its handler in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls National Park.

Enock Kufandada was looking after several domesticated elephants when one of them charged at him on Saturday.

No-one saw the elephant attack but they heard the screams and trumpeting of the elephant, Brent Williamson from the tour operator told the BBC.

The elephant has since been put down.

"I heard him screaming and crying for help, but it was just for seconds," an unnamed eyewitness told Zimbabwe’s Newsday newspaper. 

"I then rushed to check on him and that is when I met the elephants walking on the road and I spotted Mbanje [the elephant] following from behind covered with blood all over.

"My blood went cold and I already knew what I was about to witness… he was torn apart, all body parts were ravaged."

According to the Chronicle Newsapaper, Mr Kufandada's son went to the scene of the accident on Sunday and "helped pick up some body parts that were scattered all over the place".

The tour operator, Adventure Zone, describes the rides it offers on its website as "elephant back safaris" where tourists "get close to these giants and interact with them".

It adds that "each elephant is under the charge of a handler - the trips are lead by a professional guide, who is armed and carries a first aid kit and handheld radio".

A nine-year-old infected with HIV at birth has spent most of their life without needing any treatment, say doctors in South Africa.

The child, whose identity is being protected, was given a burst of treatment shortly after birth.

They have since been off drugs for eight-and-a-half years without symptoms or signs of active virus.

The family is said to be "really delighted".

Most people need treatment every day to prevent HIV destroying the immune system and causing Aids.

Understanding how the child is protected could lead to new drugs or a vaccine for stopping HIV.

The child caught the infection from their mother around the time of birth in 2007. They had very high levels of HIV in the blood.

Early antiretroviral therapy was not standard practice at the time, but was given to the child from nine weeks old as part of a clinical trial.

Levels of the virus became undetectable, treatment was stopped after 40 weeks and unlike anybody else on the study - the virus has not returned.

Early therapy which attacks the virus before it has a chance to fully establish itself has been implicated in child "cure" cases twice before.

The "Mississippi Baby" was put on treatment within 30 hours of birth and went 27 months without treatment before HIV re-emerged in her blood.

There was also a case in France with a patient who has now gone more than 11 years without drugs.

Dr Avy Violari, the head of paediatric research at the Perinal HIV Research Unit in Johannesburg, said: "We don't believe that antiretroviral therapy alone can lead to remission.

"We don't really know what's the reason why this child has achieved remission - we believe it's either genetic or immune system-related.

Some people are naturally better at dealing with an HIV infection - so-called "elite controllers". However, whatever the child has is different to anything that has been seen before.

Replicating it as a new form of therapy - a drug, antibody or vaccine - would have the potential to help other patients.

It is worth noting that while there is no active HIV in the child's body, the virus has been detected in the child's immune cells.

HIV can hide inside them - called latent HIV - for long periods of time, so there is still a danger the child could need drug treatment in the future.

The team in Johannesburg performed the study alongside the UK's MRC Clinical Trials Unit.

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