Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category
26 November 2010
Cape Town — African and European heads of state are expected to endorse plans for a high-level science policy dialogue between the two continents when they meet in Libya next week (29-30 November).
The agreement, which has already received support from African and European science ministers, could lead to them meeting regularly – bridging a perceived gap in relations between the two continents when it comes to the engagement of member states with science projects.
“We don’t have a senior dialogue between Europe and Africa like we have with the Gulf countries and South-East Asia,” said Fadila Boughanemi, an official in the European Commission’s research directorate.
“The idea is to establish such a [continue reading]
10 November 2010
Leaders in the business, development, health and research communities are gathering this week in Washington, DC, to plan how to more effectively deliver healthcare through mobile technology in the developing and developed worlds.
The three-day mHealth Summit: Research, Technology and Policy aims to advance the discussion around ways mobile technology can increase the access, efficiency and effectiveness of health systems.
Mhealth stands for mobile-based or mobile-enhanced health solutions. “It’s basically making health wireless,” Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, told a recent teleconference.
“It’s a simple but groundbreaking idea that global wireless networks and mobile devices – whether they be cell phones, smart phones, mobile-enhanced diagnostic devices – can be powerful vehicles for delivering innovative medical and health and services to the [continue reading]
Failure to resolve a dispute over the lucrative air route between Johannesburg and Maun – the nearest airport to the Okavango swamps – means that neither South African Express nor Botswana Air is flying the route.
Botswana Air’s servicing of this route was terminated from October 1 and it is now only flying from Gaborone, which means that visitors to one of Botswana’s top tourist attractions have to stop off at Gaborone to get there.
South African Express CEO Inati Ntshanga told MPs yesterday that this “sad state of affairs” was due to the failure of negotiations to acquire equal access to the route.
South African Express was granted the right to fly from Johannesburg to Maun last year but this was later denied when Botswana’s aeronautical authority decided it was not ready to cope with a [continue reading]
source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 15:19
SA debates Rand devaluation, Dollar weakens
Diamonds could be too expensive for US consumers
If the US Dollar continues to slide at the current rate, consumers in America are likely to find it expensive to buy goods from Botswana. The US has the largest diamond market share. Botswana’s economy is still heavily reliant on diamonds, the biggest revenue contributor to the local bourse.
Observers have said the US currency slide was a way of addressing the imbalance created by the weaker Chinese Yuan. But the US has made it clear that it will not engage in devaluing the Dollar, saying currency is just reacting to a drop in interest rates among other factors.
This make the debate tricky on the part of Botswana because South Africa is having a debate of its own, with COSATU wanting the Rand devalued.
University of Botswana Economic lecturer, Dr Oupa Botswiri Tsheko said the Pula is pegged to a basket of currencies and the South African Rand takes about 50% of the share. He said [continue reading]
UN News Service (New York)
27 October 2010
African countries must mobilise domestic revenue and diversify their economies to supplement resources that flow into the continent from foreign aid, loans and investment to sustain growth during the global financial crisis, the head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said today.
Fiscal consolidation and austerity measures in key developed economies could result in reduced global demand and a “double dip” recession with direct implications for Africa’s export earnings and for much-needed official development assistance, said Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of the ECA.
“Quantitative easing elsewhere may lead investors to travel the globe seeking best returns which heralds overvalued currencies and asset bubbles in emerging and developing economies,” Mr. Janneh told the [continue reading]
FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown bus and taxi rank is becoming a dangerous place for women in high hemlines, despite the police promising to keep an eye on the situation.
In an undeclared war on the high hemline, taxi drivers here often gang up to attack any woman who, in their dim view, is dressed indecently. Alternatively, such women are booed, insulted and even stripped.
In the latest incident a week ago, two young women clad in short dresses escaped by a whisker when they were chased by a yelling mob of taxi drivers and their conductors at the rank. Some students joined the fray in the midst of catcalls as soon as the two hapless women entered the rank from Nswazwi Mall.
A few moments later, it seemed everyone at the rank could not resist the urge to join in the craze. To their credit, the women focused on a combi which whisked them away before the mob could get to them.
Said Julia Saturday, a vendor who operates at the rank: “They are lucky. They should have been stripped. How can they come to the rank dressed like that? They [continue reading]
America.gov (Washington, DC)
Charles W. Corey
28 September 2010
Africa is the “last frontier of international investment,” and Africans need to be ready to make choices and take action to take advantage of this situation, according to Christopher Gardner, founder and chief executive of the Chicago-based brokerage company Gardner Rich LLC.
In addition to his financial career, Gardner is also a best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is probably best known as the inspiration for the acclaimed film The Pursuit of Happyness, based on his 2006 autobiography.
Homeless and the sole guardian of his young son in the early 1980s, Gardner refused to give up on his dreams. He climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom. Today, as the chief executive officer of his own brokerage firm, he is tireless in [continue reading]
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
27 September 2010
London — Irked by accusations that it is the new coloniser of Africa, China is looking to use soft power and historical evidence of its ancient links to the continent to justify its economic embrace of Africa.
Chinese archaeologists have been sent to hunt for a long-lost shipwreck off the Kenya coast to support claims that China beat white explorers in discovering Africa. Meanwhile Beijing is preparing to fund more research on the continent to aid its companies and banks’ quest for expansion there.
Last month saw the launch of the new China-Africa Research Centre under the Ministry of Commerce. The centre’s aim is to “provide a theoretical basis for the Chinese government’s Africa-related decision-makings,” Huo Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the ministry said at the opening. It will also provide consultation services for companies with plans to expand their businesses to [continue reading]
22 September 2010
New York — At the opening of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit on Monday, mixed reactions greeted the World Bank’s announcement of an additional U.S.$750 million funding of basic education in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world that are not on track to meet the education MDGs by 2015.
The president of the World Bank Group, Robert B. Zoellick, announced the increased funding during his remarks for the opening plenary of high-level meetings on the MDGs. He lauded efforts of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) fund, which since 2000, he said, has helped immunize 311 million children; provided access to water and sanitation for 177 million people; helped more than 47 million people access health services; and provided nutrition supplements to 99 million children.
However, going forward, Zoellick said the World Bank was going to [continue reading]
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
Servaas Van Den Bosch
21 September 2010
Cape Town — The beleaguered Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has to face up to serious challenges at its upcoming heads of state meeting in October, including the divergent interests of its member states and the lack of coordinated industrial policies in the union.
In Oct 2010 SACU heads of state will meet again to discuss progress on critical issues in the customs union, such as the raging debate on the revenue sharing formula that sees significant capital flows into the national budgets of the small states of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).
High-level intervention could assist in pushing through the structural changes that the customs union has embarked on. “One of the key challenges in SACU is lack of leadership on how it can be a platform for deeper regional integration,” stated Trudi Hartzenberg, director of the Trade Law Centre of Southern Africa (Tralac). The non-profit Tralac provides capacity-building support to governments.
The economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with [continue reading]
Southern African News Features (Harare)
14 September 2010
Significant progress has been made by COMESA, EAC and SADC to establish an enlarged Free Trade Area encompassing 26 countries in east and southern Africa by 2012.
A report presented to recent summits of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said the three regional economic communities are committed towards deepening integration through the harmonization of their trading arrangements.
Chairperson of the Tripartite Taskforce, which is spearheading the implementation process, Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, said a draft plan of action on the FTA has been approved by the three secretariats for adoption at the forthcoming Tripartite Summit of the Heads of State and Government expected in early 2011.
However, COMESA and SADC have already endorsed the roadmap as [continue reading]
Maputo – Mozambique’s government is reversing bread and water price increases that had touched off deadly riots, the planning minister said on Tuesday.
Protests last week in the capital, Maputo, over hikes in the costs of bread, water and electricity turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police. The health department put the death toll at 13.
Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia told reporters after a cabinet meeting that the 20% increase in the government-set price of bread – which had followed a year of steady increases on [continue reading]
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
1 September 2010
Windhoek — The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) has received a major boost as several countries have begun drawing on funds from a $22 billion pledge made by the G8.
Under CAADP, African governments are committed to increase their national budget expenditure on agriculture to at least 10 percent. The Programme, agreed by heads of state at the 2003 summit of the African Union, expects a six percent growth rate in agriculture every year.
Dr Nalishebo Meebelo, the Country CAADP Process Facilitator at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), told IPS that the overall goal of CAADP is to help African countries achieve food security and higher economic growth through agriculture-led development
Meebelo said leaders at the G8 Summit held in L’Aquila, Italy in 2009 pledged to raise over [continue reading]
The Nation (Nairobi)
29 August 2010
Nairobi — The Chinese influence, in the form of its people, investment and business, is sweeping across the African continent like a wild fire.
Be it financing and executing massive infrastructure projects — roads, power plants and mineral extraction, or small time commercial ventures such as textile, electronic and other household goods, the Chinese are literally driving the African economies.
It is a phenomenon that has triggered a strong wave of reaction from the various African countries, including Kenyans, ranging from open-arm welcome to indifference, to even hostility bordering on Sino-phobia.
An expert in Sino-Africa relations, Dr Martyn Davies, warns that while China is a significant investor in Southeast Asia, one can hardly hear any criticism against the Chinese from [continue reading]
source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by ………..
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 00:00
The Ministry of Education and Skills Development is believed by many to be a cursed ministry. It is a department that is always involved in dubious practices that cost the tax-payers a lot of money. Its problems range from sponsoring ghost students to lack of mechanisms to monitor its divisions within the country to run efficiently and effectively. The song by Gongmaster was resonating in my mind when writing this article, Sangoma bua!! Who bewitched our beloved ministry and by extension its employees? This include Teaching Service Management (TSM), Department of Student Placement and Welfare (DSPW), Department of Secondary Education and our trade unions especially Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU). The latter died with the departure of Ditau, Mukomani and [continue reading]