Archive for June 19th, 2007
19 June, 2007
GABORONE – Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila has hailed the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race as a well organised event Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony on Sunday, he said besides being a success the race also provides an opportunity to grow Botswana tourism.
This race also offers local business people an opportunity to grow and there were few incidents during the race, said Mr Mokaila.
He said apart from an incident where some people pulled a wire across the road, there were no cases of stones being thrown at passing vehicles like in the past.
Mr Joe Motse, Marketing Manager of Botswana Tourism Board on Friday prior to the start of the race , was hopeful that all stakeholders would work together to make the race bigger.
Botswana government is proud to be working with Motorsport, Toyota and all other organisers in making this race a success, said Mr Motse.
The race also saw seven locals from Motorsport Botswana taking part and most Batswana who converged at various spots along the race route behaved well and followed the instructions of marshals. Some 650 police officers kept an eye on things.
Hundreds of motor sport fans converged at Mmanoko bridge along the Molepolole/Gaborone road. They roared with [continue reading]
source: Business Day
Posted to the web on: 19 June 2007
REPRESENTATIVES of Zimbabwe’s ruling party and main opposition had begun their first direct talks in Pretoria at the weekend as part of SA’s effort to mediate an end to their ongoing feud, the parties said yesterday.
While neither side nor the hosts would give details on the discussions, they represent the first tangible evidence of progress in President Thabo Mbeki’s quest to reconcile the two sides before Zimbabwean elections next year.
Southern African leaders meeting in Tanzania in March appointed Mbeki to facilitate negotiations between the ruling Zanu (PF) and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mbeki, who has been condemned for his quiet diplomacy approach to the Zimbabwe crisis, has mediated in the crisis for years.
“I can only confirm that we have representatives in SA attending roundtable discussions with the country’s other political players,” said MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa.
“In the interest of diplomacy, I am under instructions not to comment or give any more detail until such a time as both parties have agreed to make a statement,” he said.
Officials from Zanu (PF) could not be reached for comment.
The state-run Herald news-paper quoted National Security and Lands Minister and the party’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, yesterday as confirming that talks were under way.
“The officials are still in SA,” the [continue reading]
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
18 June 2007
Posted to the web 19 June 2007
Desert Race Good for Economy
We need more international events like the desert raceThis past weekend we have just experienced the fun and economic power of the annual Toyota 1000Desert Race. It is indeed a huge money-spinner as a tourist attraction. It is estimated that every year 80 000 people follow this event which sees hundreds of racers from South Africa and Europe participating.
The economic spin-offs of this race are felt by various sectors, including hotels and lodges, shops, restaurants, pubs, filling stations as well as the small man in the street. Individuals would sell items such as drinks, and meat, while the villagers sell firewood to the campers during the two days of the race. There is no doubt that this event contributes in a big way in stimulating economic growth. The event is running for the 27th year now and hopefully it will continue to grow in limbs and bounds for years to come.
However, we feel that we as a nation need to be a little more selfish and aggressive in our drive to encourage the staging of events like the Toyota Desert race in this country. In South Africa, for instance, the same company that stages the Toyota desert race mounts three similar events in three consecutive months. The Department of Tourism in collaboration with the race organisers should surely start exploiting ways of increasing the frequency of this event, or coming up with another event in a bid to market Botswana, boost tourism, as well as economic growth at all levels. It is interesting that over the last 27 years, this race has always been staged in the Southwestern part of the country.
There is nothing wrong with that, but it certainly demonstrates that perhaps there is untapped market for something similar in the Northern, Central, or Eastern part of Botswana. It goes without saying that there are always thousands and thousands of spectators who cannot afford driving to the Southern part of the country to experience this once-in-a-year event.
We believe that events like the Toyota 1000 Desert Race is one viable way of diversifying our [continue reading]
source: Reuters Africa
By Moabi Phia
GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana’s central bank has cut its bank rate by 50 basis points to 14.5 percent, citing an improved outlook for inflation.
“The reduction in the Bank rate reflects the positive outlook for the path of inflation,” the bank said in a statement issued late on Monday.
It was the first cut in interest rates since a 50 basis points increase in February 2006.
Inflation in the southern African country has been declining in 2007, falling to within the central bank’s 4 to 7 percent target for three consecutive months.
The Central Statistical office said in a separate statement on Tuesday the annual inflation rate measured 6.4 percent year-on-year in May, down from 7.4 percent year-on-year in January.
But the central bank said there was a likelihood of short-term price volatility due to inflationary pressures in South Africa, the regional economic powerhouse.
“Nevertheless, over the medium-term, restrained [continue reading]
18 June, 2007
MOLEPOLOLE – Participants at a community leadership seminar on empowerment initiatives for government assistance programmes say it should reach out to more Batswana as they were unable to run businesses due to lack of knowledge.
They told the seminar, which brought together residents of Lekgwapheng and Lephaleng wards in Molepolole, that most of them failed to use some government assistance programmes because they were ignorant of the procedures to access them.
They said most of the programmes were hard to understand, saying officers responsible for assisting them were ignorant and impatient.
Molepolole South MP, Mr Daniel Kwelagobe organised and co-sponsored it jointly with VDCs and Dikgosi of the respective wards.
MP Kwelagobe encouraged them to utilize programmes available before they were stopped; he said the government was tired about destitution which was growing daily even though some people have survival means.
He said President Festus Mogae, o boloditse ntwa ya mananeo to alleviate poverty. He urged other various departments to visit Batswana in kgotla to conduct seminars of teaching them how to get out of poverty.
Meantime, Financial Advisor of Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) in Molepolole, Ms Kenalepe Mhusiwa says LEA seeks to encourage small businesses to use locally available natural resources and raw materials found in Botswana to uplift themselves.
Ms Mhusiwa said LEA was mandated to take over the responsibility of implementing policies and programmes for promotion and development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in a consolidated manner through focused one-stop-shop services centres.
The Financial Advisor said LEAs key sectors were manufacturing, agriculture, services and tourism. She said they encourage young business people to venture into profitable agricultural sectors.
She said they aspired to see tuck shop owners and vendor businesses transformed into well grown entities, which would boost their daily lives, he urged them to come for free assistance from their office on how to start and run businesses.
She also said LEA targeted entrepreneurs and enterprises within their key sectors and in particular women, youth and the unemployed.
LEA, she said, intended to build [continue reading]
18 June, 2007
MOLEPOLOLE – Governments efforts to expand Gaborone city is still on hold pending further consultations with Kweneng Main Land Board (KLB) and Ledumadumane residents.
KLB had a meeting with a committee elected to talk on behalf of residents of Ledumadumane on June 14 and the board took a break twice to caucus when the committee waited outside.
Senior citizen, Mr Eric Gomolemo Sethebe led the nine member committee. Chairperson of KLB, Mr David Botlhoko told the delegation that government was requesting 5 520 hectares of land from Kweneng.
But Mr Sethebe wanted to know why KLB was now handling the matter when the committee members only knew that they were discussing it with Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse. He asked the board if they have any powers to handle the issue.
According to Mr Botlhoko, things were starting afresh ignoring consultations that were made before probably because current board members were new; they were only elected few months ago.
The former board had consulted the whole of Kweneng district and most people agreed with government to take over Ledumadumane settlement to expand the city. Of 5 520 hectares of land the state requested, 249 hectares is in Ledumadumane and 5 270 hectares east of Mmopane and west of Sir Seretse Khama Airport.
According to a briefing document the board earlier presented, the land was needed for expansion of the Airport, residential and commercial plots which would be allocated to only citizens.
Principal Land Surveyor, Mr Joseph Barati showed on the sketch map that Metsimotlhabe River formed a boundary between Kopong and state land requested by government.
Mr Sethebe also triggered attention of the board when he showed that Phase 1 and 2 was within Kweneng and then Phase 3 and 4 protruded into Kgatleng district.
He asked the board to support them refuse with the land requested by the state to see what the minister would do. Ganang kopo e, lo tle lo bone gore tona o tla dira jang.
In response to the sketch map presented by the land surveyor, Mr Sethebe was concerned why it was showing Ledumadumane as a communal area because there was no sign of a house, dam or borehole. He said the map showed virgin land. He also wished there was a representative from bogosi.
Mr Sethebe wants the Ministry of Local government to [continue reading]
source: BBC News
Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Fifa president Sepp Blatter declared on Monday that South Africa are on course to stage a “wonderful” World Cup in 2010.
He dismissed criticism of the country’s hosting of the tournament as nothing more than jealousy.
Blatter, making his first visit to South Africa since work began building or refurbishing 10 stadiums in nine cities, said that his earlier fears about the rate of progress had been allayed and preparations were on target.
“If you are good, people are envious about you and even jealous about you,” Blatter said at a press conference at Soccer City on the outskirts of Johannesburg which will host the opening ceremony and final.
“To organise the World Cup in South Africa, there’s a lot of jealousy because people say they can also do it somewhere else. They cannot because it will be a wonderful World Cup.”
Questions about South Africa’s ability to stage the tournament in 2010, the first time that the world’s biggest sporting event will be staged on the world’s poorest continent, have lingered despite the insistence from organisers that they are ahead of schedule.
Blatter himself fuelled some of the scepticism last September when he said he wanted to see “pickaxes and shovels” swing into action.
But after surveying the building work at Soccer City, where the old stands have been razed to the ground, Blatter said that dump trucks were now the order of the day.
“From what I have seen here today and from what I have heard I can say generally we are on track,” said the Swiss.
“I am a very optimistic man and I am very positive.”
Blatter’s comments came after he held talks in Johannesburg with senior members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), including its chief executive Danny Jordaan and chairman Irvin Khoza to discuss preparations.
He will travel down to Cape Town on Tuesday to view building work on the Green Point stadium which is being built from scratch to host one of the semi-finals and which has run into opposition from some local residents.
Blatter is also due to hold talks during his two-day visit with South African President Thabo Mbeki who pledged last week that Blatter “will find us well on course with our preparations.”
Khoza was delighted by Blatter’s show of confidence, pointing to the [continue reading]
June 18 2007 at 05:10PM
Government and public service negotiators will meet again on Tuesday to discuss this year’s percentage wage increase.
The parties were set to meet at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) in Centurion around 1pm on Tuesday, PSCBC spokesperson Yolanda le Roux said.
Preceding the talks, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and independent union leaders would meet on Tuesday morning to try to consolidate their position.
Cosatu affiliates were to meet on Monday to come up with a range of percentage increases they would be prepared to accept to end a three-week old public service strike.
It is understood that the Independent Labour Caucus has already set a percentage range within which it could accept a deal.
The unions were expected to table a [continue reading]
18 June, 2007
GABORONE- The European Commission and SADC civil society representatives will meet in Windhoek Namibia on June 20 to discuss and help steer the design of new trade rules under a future Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
A news release from European Commission Delegation says participants will get a unique chance to air their views at a crucial stage of negotiations and get an insight into the EPA, which will link the two regions.
The release says the EPAs represent a major overhaul of trade relations with Europe and high-ranking government officials who are among key speakers together with representatives from the SADC Secretariat.
The release says the seminar will gather a wide range of participants from the SADC EPA region to discuss how these agreements can deliver development.
Economic Partnership Agreements are being negotiated between the EU and six regional groupings of African, Caribbean and Pacific nations.
Their objective is to promote sustainable development in ACP countries. Negotiations are due to be concluded by the end of the year.
The SADC EPA group negotiating with the EU is composed of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania. BOPA
UN News Service (New York)
18 June 2007
Posted to the web 18 June 2007
The rampant gender-based discrimination hampering African women’s success in business must be tackled through policy and programmes, according to a new study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The study, entitled “Lessons from Success Stories of African Women Entrepreneurs,” called for initiatives beyond microcredit schemes while pointing out that women continue manage businesses which generate employment and tax revenue despite limited government support, negative social environments, institutional discrimination and lasting gender inequalities.
If African nations are to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of targets aimed at slashing social ills such as poverty by 2015, governments need to address these issues, the report argued.
The study – based on [continue reading]
18 June, 2007
GABORONE – The business community has been urged to create a holistic crime awareness environment and to make everybody crime vigilant at all times.
Speaking at a business community workshop organized by Borakanelo Police Station in Gaborone, Managing Director of Dewey and Dewey and Associates, Mr Elias Dewey said it is crucial for business owners to enhance crime prevention awareness as well as their preparedness to guard against criminals.
Mr Dewey said incidents of armed robberies where the business community was targeted remained a concern that needed to be addressed by coming up with effective mechanisms that could address the problem.
He said Borakanelo Police Station records showed that last year, incidents of shoplifting were 195, obtaining by false pretences stood at 100, cheque fraud were 58, stealing by servants were 61 while of store breaking were 71.
He expressed concern about some people who were still reluctant to participate in initiatives that were aimed at reducing crime in the country.
He said urged the Police to consider intensifying public education in order for the public to see the significance of participating in crime prevention programmes.
Mr Dewey said the recent improvement of the conditions of service for police officers would motivate them and also instill public confidence on them.
He, however, urged the Police to work on their weakness so as to win public trust. He pointed out that crime prevention committees were faced with a sophisticated crime environment.
He added that these committees must be [continue reading]
18 June 2007
Debswana management and employees have received rave reviews from De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer for their “high level of professionalism and innovation.” During his visit to the Debswana operations, Oppenheimer commended the management of the Orapa, Lelhakane and Damtshaa mines for their efficiency and implored them to continue demonstrating “ingenuity and passion as they mine diamonds for the benefit of the people of Botswana.”
Oppenheimer’s positive remarks were not just reserved for the mine employees. He also praised the government of Botswana for its prudent management and accountability. “I wish to also commend the Government of Botswana for spending revenues from diamond mining efficiently. Diamonds are an extraordinary product that has played a significant role in the development of Botswana, leading to the success of Africa and the world as a whole.”
He continued by calling upon all governments to use Botswana as a role model for equitably re-investing natural resource revenues into citizens’ development.
Matome Malema, Assistant General Manager of Damtshaa and Letlhakane Mines added that his [continue reading]
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
18 June 2007
Posted to the web 18 June 2007
PARTICIPATION by MDC leader Arthur Mutambara in a European tour organised by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign was thrown into doubt yesterday after police confiscated his passport.
Mutambara, who was in Cape Town where he attended the World Economic Forum meeting, was due to travel to Germany yesterday evening. He was supposed to be part of a group of leaders who are embarking on a tour of European states.
The leaders, who include another MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, hope their mission will complement efforts by South African President Thabo Mbeki who is mediating in the Zimbabwean crisis.
But up until late yesterday, Mutambara’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo of Mtetwa & Nyambirai was battling to secure the release of the passport and four activists who had been picked up by police.
According to an urgent chamber application filed by Nkomo, Mutambara sent Nqabutho Nicholas Dube, a Zimbabwean holding an SA passport, to Harare to obtain UK and Schengen visas on his behalf.
Mutambara could not travel to Harare due to pressing business commitments, he said.
But Dube was arrested by a uniformed officer who stopped a vehicle he was travelling in near Harare Central Police Station on Friday. The officer arrested Dube accusing him of being a spy when he found him in possession of his South African passport and that of Mutambara.
Dube, the party’s Information and Publicity officer for [continue reading]