Archive for May 16th, 2007

source: BOPA
16 May, 2007

SEROWE – Rakops will tomorrow be a hive of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) activities when the country joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.

The celebrations, which are expected to help raise awareness on the possibilities that the use of ICTs can bring to communities, comes at a time when the country has one of the highest teledensities in the continent.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary (ICT) in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Alicia Mokone, said the government had set up a computer lab in every secondary school.

She told BOPA that although the country had a digital telecommunications network, telephone rates are not the cheapest in the world, but they are very competitive when compared to countries in the region.

However, she said the country is slipping in the World Economic Forum rankings for ICT due to delays in adopting the National ICT policy called Maitlamo, which was drafted in 2005.

Even though Maitlamo was first sent to Parliament in 2006, it was not discussed because of the backlog of parliamentary business. Mrs Mokone said it was on the list in the just-past session but again there was no time to deliberate on it.

Also, we all know that we have a number of ICT graduates who remain unemployed for some time after graduation. To overcome the problem, she said the development of an ICT industry should be encouraged.

Other obstacles that hinder the achievement of an equitable information society, according to the deputy PS are competing priorities, as the nation cannot spend all it has on ICT.

She said while all areas in the country lack first-world level of ICT, some people in the districts are disadvantaged in not having access to basics such as telephone, radio and television than those in urban centres.

To bridge this digital divide, she said government programmes such as Nteletsa, liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, e-government, Kitsong Centres Project, i-partnership and ICT education in the school curricula have been introduced.

Mrs Mokone explained that though the public and the private sectors are committed to help the country achieve an all-inclusive information society, they need to work harder.

We do however have active groups such as the COBIT (Citizen Owned Businesses in IT). We need more groups who focus on other issues such as building standards in IT and IT in education.

Rakops in the Boteti Sub-District has been chosen, as the venue for the commemoration, as the events are only held in rural areas and [continue reading]

source: southafrica.info

Themba Gadebe

16 May 2007

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique have signed an agreement to share the tourism spin-offs of the 2010 Fifa World Cup through “border-free” tourism packages.

South Africa’s provincial Limpopo Tourism Parks Board, the Zambia National Tourist Board, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Mozambique struck the deal creating the Limpopo-Zambezi Destination at the Tourism Indaba conference and exhibition in Durban on Monday.

The agreement will see the creation of new package tours between and within the four countries, the easing of border formalities to smooth the passage of travellers through border posts, and joint marketing and branding in support of the package tours.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority CEO Karikoga Kaseke said the World Cup provided “an ideal platform for the concept of intra-regional tourism to be put into meaningful practice.”

Kaseke also thanked South Africa for marketing Victoria Falls, noting that 80% of tourists visiting the Falls were South Africans.

The waterfall, located at the border between Zambia to the north and Zimbabwe to the south, is one of the natural wonders of the world. It is 1 708 metres wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world.

source: allAfrica

The Voice (Francistown)

15 May 2007
Posted to the web 15 May 2007

Francistown

Botswana’s tourism is expected to benefit from the World Tourism Industry expansion.

Blackie Marole, the Managing Director of Debswana Diamond Mining Company has said that as the tourism industry growth continues, more emphasis should be put on sustainability, equity and citizen participation beyond just providing labour.

“It is no longer sufficient for us to just get jobs. We are gradually developing an interest to become part of the growth as beneficial owners of the assets it creates. The expected growth in Botswana presents us with an opportunity to bring about transformation through empowerment. That means intergrated socio-economic process that directly contributes to transformation of citizens and brings about significant increases in the number of Batswana in tourism sector and related services,” he said.

He advised that to achieve growth, it is crucial that “we nurture the foreign investment. No real citizen empowerment can take place without a shared commitment between current owners and those Batswana willing and able to take the risk in investing in tourism businesses. We must seek to explore means of bringing Batswana to share this future growth of tourism on an arms length commercial basis.”

He explained that [continue reading]

Botswana tourism grows
source: BOPA
15 May, 2007

DURBAN – Botswana inbound tourist arrivals have been growing at an average of 13.7 per cent per annum over the past 10 years, the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila, has said.

It is our aspiration and determination to see to it that this figure continues to grow and thus increase the total contribution of the tourism industry to the economy of Botswana, he said at the screening of locally produced film Roar-Lions of the Kalahari hosted by Botswana Tourism Board at the Durban IMAX studio.

Mr Mokaila said tourism was considered the second engine of growth after diamonds, hence its importance.

I believe this sector has a lot to offer and in partnership with you, we can grow it more, he said to Botswanas tourism industry partners.

Therefore, he thanked industry partners, local, regional and international including investors and tour operators, employees and all stakeholders who have contributed to the growth of tourism in Botswana.

Our success in growing the tourism industry would have not been possible without the heartedness and cooperation of the local communities that we operate within, he said. Mr Mokaila said the film, which has been shown in Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, London and throughout major US and world cities, would no doubt sell Botswana as a key tourist destination.

He said government, in partnership with the National Geographic, sponsored the film to promote Botswana both as a destination and to show its most utmost commitment to the conservation of the environment.

He said the government was thankful to the contribution made by co-sponsors to make this investment — Roar – Lions of the Kalahari — a success.

It is with pride that I share with you that my government has reserved 38 per cent of our land for conservation purposes, he told delegation to the four-day annual South Africa tourism fair.

The government believed that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

The Voice (Francistown)

15 May 2007
Posted to the web 15 May 2007

Moses Maruping
Francistown

The recent issuing of three national radio licenses by the National Broadcasting Board (NBB) has been heralded as a milestone in the further liberalisation of the local airwaves.

The NBB last week Friday issued Gabz FM, Yarona FM and Duma FM with national broadcasting licenses, which will enable the three commercial radio stations to reach a wider audience. This is a new development as only two government owned radio stations, RB2 and RB1 have enjoyed the nationwide broadcast monopoly for years.

While many have welcomed the awarding of the three radio licenses as a development that will go a long way not only in the liberalisation of the national airwaves but also in the bolstering of democracy, others feel the three stations have been set up for a financial struggle due to the small advertising pie.

Many have also expressed fears that the newest baby on board; Duma FM might only broadcast views of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) because two of its shareholders belong to the BDP.

But Duma’s station’s manager, Moreri Gabakgore formerly with Radio Botswana has dismissed as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 May, 2007

DURBAN – A locally produced film, Roar – Lions of the Kalahari has made P1.1 million in eight months of screening in South Africa.

This was said by Mr Mark Martin, director of South Africas two IMAX Theatres which are screening the film produced by renowned filmmaker Tim Liversedge.

For a wildlife documentary, that is a phenomenal amount in only eight and half months of screening, Mr Martin said at the showing hosted by Botswana Tourism Board at the Durban IMAX studio during a tourism conference.

The conference showcases the widest variety of Southern Africas best tourism products and attracts international visitors.

Mr Martin said he hoped the documentary, shot in Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, would make more money as it would be showing for the next 12 months. Roar – Lions of the Kalahari is a wildlife documentary that captures the amazing lion behaviour and showcases the beautiful Kgalagadi and its spectacular wildlife.

The film which has been shown in IMAX theatres in more than 50 countries since its release in 2004 would no doubt sell Botswana as a key tourist destination, the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila, said.

Mr Mokaila said Botswana, in partnership with the National Geographic, sponsored the film to promote Botswana both as a toruist destination and to show [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
14 May 2007
Posted to the web 15 May 2007

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Gaborone

What could have been a state-of-the-art facility to help feed pupils at Tau Manthe Primary School has now turned into a white elephant and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The facility, which upon completion would enable the school to cook using either gas or electricity, remains incomplete seven years after construction started. The school is in Mmopane, approximately 26 kilometres north-west of Gaborone.

Curiously, the school has been electrified. In this semi-urban village where firewood is not easy to come by, the more than 900 pupils of Manthe often have to go hungry.

The school head, Diana Manthe, says the price for firewood is extremely high because suppliers have to travel long distances to find it. For two days last week, the problem repeated itself and pupils had to fend for themselves.

Those who had a few coins bought fatcakes or other snacks sold at the school. Manthe does not understand why [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 15 2007 at 12:38PM

Regulations coming into effect next month will protect consumers’ rights in regard to their credit records, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) said on Tuesday.

Credit bureaux, which compile consumer credit histories, will have to comply with new regulations in the National Credit Act, the NCR said in a press release.

The bureaux will have to remove information about certain small debts and paid-up judgments by June 1.

Debts of less than R500 or dormant accounts will not be recorded on consumer credit histories.

However the dormancy exclusion applies only to accounts that had been unused for two years on September 1, 2006, that usually require monthly payments, and which do not have credit facilities.

Civil court judgments for sums between R500 and R50 000, depending [continue reading]

source: Malaysian National News

From Mohd Shukri Ishak
May 15, 2007 11:28 AM
GABORONE (BOTSWANA), May 15 (Bernama) — Malaysia believes that the benefits of promoting international education go far beyond the immediate economic and financial rewards, Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said.

He said it was important for an educational institution to recruit international students because their goodwill was invaluable.

“Education is another form of diplomacy and is a soft tool that can be used in complex nation-to-nation dealing.

“Malaysia is now hosting more than 50,000 foreign students who come from more than 160 countries. We are committed to achieving our target of 100,000 international students by 2010.

“In this effort, LimkokWing University is making a major contribution. Half of its enrolment comprises international students who come from nearly 100 countries,” he said at the official opening of LimKokWing University of Technology (LUCT) Botswana here Monday.

His speech was delivered by the ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General Omar Abdul Rahman. The opening was performed by Botswana President Festus G Mogae.

Mustapa said that LUCT had for years been at the forefront of promoting Malaysia as a regional centre of excellence for higher education.

LUCT president and founder Tan Sri Prof Dr Lim Kok Wing said that empowering young Botswanians with the knowledge and skills would enable [continue reading]





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