Archive for June 4th, 2007
01 June, 2007
GABORONE – Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), which in the past subsidised local calls from inflated international call rates, has adjusted the cost of calls to real costs in order to compete in the open market.
Speaking at the American Business Seminar in Gaborone, yesterday, Assistant Minister of Works and Transport, Mr Frank Ramsden said a UK call, which in 2004 cost some P6 per minute, had now been reduced to P1.80 per minute and may drop further in the near future.
This is good, but it is still not enough, said Mr Ramsden who was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST), Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.
Mr Ramsden said: if we want to compete with the best in the world, we have to meet our customers needs both in terms of better capacity and in terms of lower prices for both voice and data.
He said the government was working on the capacity in several ways, such as on the national fibre optic network on both western and northern sides of the country, which should be completed by the end of this year.
On the eastern side of the country, he said access to broadband was being rolled out and at the same time the MCST was working tirelessly to connect the country to undersea optic fibre cables on the eastern and western sides of Africa that would improve the network capacity to the rest of the world.
We expect substantial improvement in telecommunications capacity and cost reduction in the next two years, Mr Ramsden said.
He said the government was now moving ahead with a number of mega projects to accelerate economic growth, such as [continue reading]
New Vision (Kampala)
3 June 2007
Posted to the web 4 June 2007
THE Eastern African Submarine (EASSy) project partners have signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent to undertake the implementation and construction of the undersea fibre optic cable network, reports Emmy Olaki.
Sources close to the deal said Alcatel was awaiting financial approval from the funding agencies to commence the project.
“Financial close of the EASSy project is expected to be concluded in the coming weeks when the physical implementation and construction of the cable system will commence,” said Sammy Kirui, the chairman of the EASSy project management committee.
The 9,900km network is aimed at easing costs of linking Eastern Africa to the world’s telecommunications network. It is hoped to drastically reduce the costs of telecommunications. allAfrica
source: Dutch News
Monday 04 June 2007
The 12-day meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) which began in The Hague on Saturday, announced on Sunday that it has approved exports of elephant ivory from Botswana (20 tons), Namibia (10 tons) and South Africa (30 tons).
The approval was based on up-to-date data on elephant poaching and population levels.
June 04 2007 at 04:18AM
By Ntokozo Mfusi, Sibusiso Mboto, Stephanie Saville, Matthew Savides & Sapa
As the countrywide public service strike continues, paralysing health services in some major hospitals, health workers were warned on Sunday night to return to work by Monday or be fired.
“If they are not at their workplace by today, then we will be instituting a process of terminating their services,” national Director-General of Health Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku said.
Mseleku said the ultimatum applied to all health workers.
He said those who did not report for work within an hour of the start of their shifts would face action from the government.
His warning came as chaos reigned at some hospitals, with soldiers called in to perform essential duties and patients being moved to private facilities.
An eerie silence hung over the normally overcrowded state hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday as patients, many of them children, were transported to private hospitals for treatment.
The ongoing public servants’ strike has left state hospitals without nursing, cleaning and other essential staff.
Neonatal wards have been worst hit, with 22 babies having been transferred from Durban’s Kind Edward VIII Hospital to other hospitals in the past three days. Several premature and ill babies have been discharged into their parents’ care because doctors feel it is best for them to be at home than in hospital without adequate care.
Doctors and patients have been forced to shed their traditional roles and are emptying bedpans, changing bedding, feeding weaker patients and attending to newborn babies – jobs normally performed by nurses. SA National Defence Force soldiers, volunteers and private hospitals have also stepped in to help public health facilities.
Private hospitals reported that they were beginning to take [continue reading]
03/06/2007 10:13 – (SA)
Harare – Economically-ravaged Zimbabwe is counting its losses as skilled construction workers trek in droves to South Africa to join the boom spawned by 2010 football World Cup preparations.
With three years to go before the first-ever World Cup finals to be held in Africa, Zimbabwean architects, artisans and engineers are leaving the country for better-paying jobs with construction companies south of the border.
Tafadzwa Huni, an engineer with a state firm, told AFP he would join the exodus this month, saying 30 of his colleagues had already left since January.
“The economic situation (at home) and the boom of opportunities offered by the hosting of the World Cup has forced me to go,” said Huni.
He said he got a job in Pretoria after responding to a newspaper advertisement but some of his colleagues were recruited by a South African agent who makes occasional trips to Harare and Bulawayo to scout for professionals.
Daniel Ncube, managing director of Ncube Burrow consulting engineers, told AFP the exodus of professionals was compromising local companies.
“Things are not looking good,” said Ncube, who has lost six engineers to South African companies since October.
“You train an engineer for two years and the next thing he is gone. They (South African firms) are taking almost everyone: artisans, engineers, architects and even bricklayers.”
The president of the Zimbabwe Institute for Engineers, Martin Manhuwa, was equally worried.
“We have a serious problem because of [continue reading]