Archive for October 23rd, 2007
source: World Diamond News
By: Tali Ayalon-Metser, Rachel Lieberman
23.10.07, 12:02 / World
Botswana’s President Festus Mogae stated in a special interview with Mining Weekly that his country aspires to become a polishing center like Antwerp, Jerusalem or Mumbai.
He noted that 16 companies have received polishing licenses and six are already active in the country. He noted that the remaining companies will activate their facilities within three years.
The President noted that Botswana does not require companies to polish diamonds locally even if they were acquired there, but it asks the diamond companies to polish at least part of [continue reading]
author/source:Mail & Guardian (SA)
posted on this site:Tue 23-Oct-2007
Jocelyn Newmarch and Percy Zvomuya
Zimbabwe has effectively outsourced its economy to South Africa, sending workers south of the Limpopo to mop up skilled jobs and receiving $500-million a year in return. Estimates vary, but it is thought Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa number between 800 000 and three million. They span the spectrum of skills and income levels, from highly paid professionals to poorer domestic and restaurant workers. There is also considerable cross-border trade at an informal level, as Zimbabweans shop for groceries and tradeable goods in South Africa. A study conducted by the ComMark Trust last year found that between R15-billion and R20-billion was pumped into South Africa’s economy by other African traders who bought goods here for sale at home. Although the trade has meant that border towns such as Musina are booming, most shoppers prefer Johannesburg, where goods are cheaper and there is more choice. This has boosted local manufacturing and retail, encouraging local businesses to be set up to support these shoppers.
A recent study conducted by Unisa associate professor Daniel Makina found that 62% of 4 654 Zimbabweans sampled had completed secondary school; 10% had a post-secondary school diploma, 3% were artisans, 15% held a professional qualification such as [continue reading]
23 October, 2007
GABORONE – Poverty reduction and food security cannot be attained without a viable economy, says a top finance ministry official.
Speaking at a commemoration of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) in Gaborone, Mr Kelapile Ndobano said Botswana has long realised this.
Consequently, the country has maintained a sound macro-economic environment, which has translated into a robust and sustained economic growth, contributing to an increase in average living standards.
He, however, decried problems, including HIV/AIDS, unemployment and drought, saying they have a negative impact on anti-poverty initiatives.
Mr Ndobano, who was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, is acting secretary for economic and financial policy.
He said: the institutions that have ensured peace, stability, law and [continue reading]
23 October, 2007
MAUN – Batawana Regent Kgosi Kealetile Moremi says for Botswana to be competitive in both regional and international markets there has to be a significant increase in exports.
Kgosi Moremi was speaking at the official opening of a one-day joint venture workshop organised by Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) held at Maun Lodge recently.
She said the business community has to work for sustained competitiveness while the government ensures removal of all impediments to allow business growth.
Kgosi Moremi said that in their pursuit of economic diversification it has become more and more imperative that they consider joint ventures as a way forward for Botswana.
She said Botswana has adopted a wide range of policies in order to diversify its economy, adding that the country has entered into multilateral agreements.
Kgosi Moremi said that institutions such as BEDIA, IFSC, BDC, LEA and others are [continue reading]
This Day (Lagos)
23 October 2007
Posted to the web 23 October 2007
Ayodele Aminu and Cosnatance Ikokwu
As the curtains were yesterday drawn on the 2007 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the bank’s President, Robert Zoellick, said there was “good news” coming from Africa.
He said 17 countries on the continent achieved average annual growth of 5.5 per cent between 1995 and 2005, while another eight achieved 7.5 per cent growth within the period under review.
Given the progress report so far, Zoellick said African countries needed assistance to develop their infrastructure in order to attain higher growth level.
“These countries want assistance to build infrastructure for higher growth – especially energy and physical facilities that can support regional integration. They also want us to help develop local [continue reading]
23 October, 2007
SELEBI-PHIKWE – Residents of Selebi-Phikwe have welcomed the governments intentions to regulate the harvesting of natural resources to encourage sustainable harvesting.
Speaking at a Kgotla meeting addressed by Minister of Environment, Wild Life and Tourism (MEWT) Mr Kitso Mokaila they said the move will help prevent harvesting of Botswana natural resources by immigrants.
They said immigrants are freely and excessively harvesting natural resources such as Phane worm, thatching grass, sand and fire wood.
Mr Mokaila told residents that natural resource management was not a new invention of his Ministry and has been in existence since the 1970s.
He said the lack of implementation of various acts by different departments led to the establishment of MEWT 2002 to manage such issues.
He said the new ministry was consolidating existing acts and legislations, which used to be under [continue reading]
23 October, 2007
GABORONE – Lack of a Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) certificate is denying Serowe cooperative lucrative foreign markets.
A representative of Mmabesi Multi Coop Products, Ms Tshenolo Bagwasi says they are unable to sell their products internationally due to lack of BOBS qualification.
Speaking in an interview at the just ended Global Expo, Ms Bagwasi says as such their market was limited only to Botswana.
Mmabesi Multi Coop, formed and owned by Serowe women, produces Senolofatsi fabric softener, Phatsima dishwashing liquid and PVA paint.
Other than BOBS certificate, Ms Bagwasi says their business could not register their trademark with the Registrar of Companies because Mmabesi was registered as a society and not a company.
However, all is not gloom and doom as a local chain store, Choppies, has been purchasing their dishwashing liquid.
They are also supply Sekgoma Memorial Hospital with the fabric softener. She says car wash businesses and [continue reading]
Ministers responsible for information and communication technologies (ICTs) from Eastern and Southern African countries meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, on October 15 endorsed a $2bn submarine cable project to connect Africa and called for its speedy implementation.
This was announced at a press conference after the meeting. The 50,000-km cable with a capacity of 3.84 terrabits/sec is designed to provide telecommunications connectivity to Africa and connect the continent to the Americas, India and Europe. It is expected that completion of this project will greatly contribute to a reduction of telecommunications costs that have been a hindrance to doing business in Africa.
“Recognising the urgent need to have ICT broadband infrastructure to support high-quality, high-speed and reliable electronic communications in Africa and connecting to the rest of the world at affordable prices, thus accelerating regional and continental integration, we welcome this initiative and [continue reading]
This Day (Lagos)
20 October 2007
Posted to the web 22 October 2007
The next summit meeting of the Africa-European Union is scheduled to hold in December in Lisbon, Portugal, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. Whether the meeting will hold is a matter of speculation and unforeseen circumstances. This is because, in 2003, the summit could not be held because Britain and other European allies adopted a principled position not to attend the Summit, should President Robert Mugabe be allowed to participate in it. Britain and others argued that President Mugabe rigged elections, abused human rights and presided over a mis-managed economy in his country. Consequently, a European travel ban was not only placed on him, a conspiratorial decision not to attend the Summit was taken. From the perspective of President Mugabe, Western powers, and especially the former colonial master, Britain, were simply plotting to oust him from power. There was also the problem of land use in which the White Zimbabweans control most of the arable parts of the land to the detriment of the Black Zimbabweans. In this regard, both President Mugabe and Britain had their supporters and opponents. A situation of lull was, therefore, created and the summit could not be held.
Again, the preparation of the December 2007 summit is in the making and is being informed by the [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 October 2007
A catastrophic power failure has plunged most parts of the country into darkness, amid widespread anger as the few remaining businesses are now being forced to shut down because of the blackout.
A blackout that struck the capital city on Monday last week continues to leave more than 200 000 households and businesses without power, for the second week running. Clifford Muzira who runs a printing business in Southerton, told Newsreel on Monday that he has not been operating for a week owing to power outages.
‘Industry will soon collapse if government fails to rectify the electricity problem. I am based in Southerton and I can confirm most businesses there have shut down and this may soon spread to all cities and towns countrywide,’ Muzira said.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority said a faulty high voltage supply cable triggered a major power outage, knocking out electricity in much of Harare and surrounding areas.
A former MDC councillor in Harare, who asked not to be named, said [contineu reading]
JWANENG: As the mining industry in Botswana expands, Debswana finds itself facing challenges of staff retention, especially regarding people with high-value skills.
Jwaneng Mine executives said on Friday that staff retention and attraction is becoming a big challenge for the world’s largest producer of gem diamonds. Speaking during the commemoration of 25 years of the mine’s existence, General Manager Balisi Bonyongo said: “Most crucially we need suitable skills to support the design and implementation of major capital projects as well as skills to plan for the development of underground mining.” However, Bonyongo did not give figures of how many skilled personnel Jwaneng had lost to growing competition over recent months.
Jwaneng Mine and other Debswana operations have been losing several skilled personnel to new and expanding mines in the north of the country, which is experiencing an [continue reading]
October 22 2007 at 11:47PM
The city of Cape Town rejected three tender bids by prospective operators for its new R2.85-billion stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup on Monday, including a bid by a consortium with Investec Bank.
Earlier this year, investment banking and asset management firm Investec provided the city with bridging finance of R185-million to help with construction costs of the 68 000-seat stadium.
“The bid evaluation committee came to the conclusion that none of the bids meet the city’s requirements and recommends that the bid not be awarded and be re-advertised,” according to the city of Cape Town’s notification to cancel the tender.
Three bids were received by [continue reading]
22 October 2007
South African petrochemical company Sasol has placed an order with a Japanese manufacturer for a new reactor, which will be used to increase the volume of synthetic fuels manufactured at its plant in Secunda in the Mpumalanga province.
In a statement last week, Sasol said the order to construct a Sasol Advanced Synthol reactor, placed with the Hitachi Zosen Mechanical Corporation, will enable the company to increase capacity at its Secunda plant from the current level of 150 000 barrels per day by 20% to 180 000 barrels per day by 2015.
The company advanced Synthol reactors use either gas or coal as feedstock to produce synthesis gas, which is converted into a large range of valuable liquid fuels and chemical products.
“Sasol supplies about 35% of South Africa’s liquid fuel needs,” Sasol executive director Benny Mokaba said. “The Secunda expansion project will [continue reading]