News President Hollande - a frustratingly minimalist domestic reformer but a bold, global statesman

The French President has been criticised for his interventions in Mali and CAR but insists it is not old-fashioned paternalism but a mission to save lives

Pro-Gaddafi nomads hit towns in Mali

A new Tuareg rebel group, which includes nomads who fought for the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, launched attacks yesterday in several towns in Mali.

Pictures from home: Bamako, Mali 1948-1963, is a weighty new coffee-table book from Steidl that collects previously unpublished portraits from the archives of Seydou Keïta - whose stylised studio shots documented life in his hometown in the colony of French Sudan, then a bustling transport route to Dakar - with some of his most celebrated work. £86;

Jerome Taylor: Largely unnoticed, violent Islamist groups have been looking across the Sahara

Boko Haram's goals are still inherently local, but there are fears that more internationalist groups may seek to link up

Andre Ayew (right) is hoping is be named African Player of the Year

Ayew hopes to copy his father and win top African award

Ghana winger Andre "Dede" Ayew could cement his family's status as Africa's foremost soccer dynasty if he emulates his father by becoming the continent's Footballer of the Year today. Ayew is one of three candidates for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) 2011 award to be announced in Accra, when he goes up against Seydou Keita, of Mali, and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Touré for the accolade.

Trail of the unexpected: West Africa

The masons of the Niger Delta city of Djenné are uniquely talented, says Jane Labous

Oliver Duggan: Africa answers her critics

Ravaged by leaders unanimously opting for autocratic rule, looted and fractured by base sectarian warfare and economically stifled by unyielding climate change and abusive agriculture mechanisation.

Fatuma Noor: Who’s to blame for the drought in East Africa?

The faces of hunger and famine have become part of perennial shame as drought hits the East African region once again. I have to say, this did not come as a surprise – the writing has been on the wall as early as last year August.

Video: 'Yes, Africa can' - Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama makes an emotional speech in front of young women leaders in Soweto.

Taking on centuries of tradition with the West Africa harp

The kora, a 21-stringed harp, is one of West Africa’s – and Mali’s especially – finest cultural exports.

Video: US seeks 'endangered' status for lions

Conservation groups say thousands of African lion parts are being imported to the US every year and something needs to be done.

West's billions in subsidy shut out African cotton growers

Western governments are rigging the market against poor cotton growers in Africa by pouring billions of pounds of taxpayers' money into farms in the United States and Europe, according to a new report today.

Album: Alex Wilson, Mali Latino (Alex Wilson Records)

Crossing Afro-Cuban and west African styles has become a familiar format but pianist Wilson's project with Mali's Madou Sidiki Diabaté (brother to Toumani) on kora and multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Fofana leaves over-respectful worthiness behind in favour of joyful grooves.

Images released of terrorist hostages in Niger

A videotape released on a jihadist forum has shown the first images of a group of hostages, including five French citizens, since they were seized two weeks ago in Niger by an al-Qa'ida offshoot and taken into the desert.

Mauritanian troops kill 12 al-Qa'ida members in clash

Mauritanian military forces killed 12 members of al-Qa'ida's North African wing and suffered two casualties in fighting in the desert border zone flanking Mali, a Mauritanian security source said today.

Lobi Traore: Guitarist who fused blues and rock with his native Malian music

A songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Lobi Traoré was best known for his distinctive, almost psychedelic guitar style. His music was a gritty but never overwrought fusion of rock and blues with his own Bambara folklore roots and earned him a strong cult following at home in Mali. He came to be known abroad during the last two decades through a series of solo and collaborative albums, as well as numerous tours. Word about his legendary residencies at Bamako night spots such as Bozo bar and Ma Kele Kele filtered out via reports by visiting musical cognoscenti.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before