Archive for February, 2007

28 February 2007 South Africa’s economy continues to expand, with the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures showing an increase for the 33rd consecutive quarter since 1998, the longest economic upswing in the country’s history. [continue reading]

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Zebras train in Belgium

Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 12:52 GMT
source: BBC Sport

Botswana coach Colwyn Rowe

Botswana coach Colwyn Rowe is taking his team to Belgium for training

Botswana are in Belgium for a two-week training camp in preparation for their 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi next month. The 18-man squad, which left Gaborone on Tuesday, will play three friendlies in Europe, amongsy them against Russia’s Spartak Moscow in Holland and Belgian side Westerlo.

Botswana coach Colwyn Rowe said that the trip is a chance for the Zebras to get some exposure.

Botswana will return on 10 March two weeks before they play Burundi.

Botswana are bottom of Group 2 of the qualifiers with one point after two games.

Egypt lead the group, which also includes Mauritania on four points.

Brutal day on Wall Street

Dow tumbles 416, biggest one-day point loss since 2001, as investors eye China, drop in durable orders
By Alexandra Twin, CNNMoney.com senior writer

A big decline in Chinese stocks, weakness in some key readings on the U.S. economy and news that Vice President Dick Cheney was the apparent target in a Taliban suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan all fueled the selling on Wall Street. [contiune reading]

from BBC
Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 03:01 GMT x
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stockexsydn.jpg

Asian stock markets have opened sharply lower after the biggest drop in Chinese stocks in a decade triggered a steep slide in global markets.

Japan’s TOPIX index dipped 5.04% while the country’s Nikkei 225 stock index fell 693.50 points, or 3.83%.

The slips were echoed in the South Korean capital, Seoul, where the country’s benchmark index fell 3.9%.

Tuesday’s falls were sparked by a near-9% slide in Shanghai and comments fuelling fears of a US recession.

Correction

During Tuesday’s trading, the Dow Jones fell more than 500 points at one point, before closing down 416.02 points, or 3.29%, at 12,216.24.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed on a fall of 2.3%, or 148.6 points, to 6,286.1.

Early Asian trading followed the trend of Wall Street overnight as the Dow Jones industrials [continue reading]

Source:BOPA
27 February, 2007

GABORONE – Minister of Trade and Industry Neo Moroka has allayed fears that Botswana will import beef from Brazil through the SACU Mercosur Trade Agreement.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) and Small Business Council (SBC) on Thursday, he said he was as equally worried as local farmers were that beef from Brazil would compete with local beef.

Mr Moroka further said the new Trade Act and Liquor Act have outlawed fronting and any foreigner caught doing so will be slapped with a fine.

He concurred with the SBC that business ideas should….[continue reading]

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

Gideon Nkala

Up to 50 Batswana nationals will be sponsored to train in India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), the Indian High Commissioner to Botswana Vishnu N. Hade has said. The ambassador was speaking at an occasion to celebrate ITEC day and launch the Overseas India card in Gaborone on Tuesday.

The ITEC scholarships is a 100 percent increase from the 25 slots that have traditionally been reserved for Batswana.

Under the ITEC scholarship, the government of India bears the cost of training, including the return international fare, tuition fee, accommodation, emergency [continue reading]

The East African (Nairobi)
February 25, 2007
Posted to the web February 26, 2007

Mike Mande
Nairobi

Tanzania has concluded a deal with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to export duty-free textiles and garment products to countries in that region.

Dr Juma Ngasongwa, Minister for Planning, Economy and Empowerment told The EastAfrican last week that after long consultations with SACU member states, Tanzania was granted a five-year export license to the member states.

Dr Ngasongwa said that among the issues [continue reading]

Govt takes12 brigades

BOPA

26 February, 2007

PALAPYE – Government will spend about P1.4 billion to develop and transform brigades into technical colleges over a seven-year period, says the Assistant Director for Management in the Department of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), Mr Victor Nkile.

Addressing a meeting in Palapye on governments intention to take over the 41 brigades, Mr Nkile said the funds would be used for infrastructure and staff development and the construction of six new technical colleges.

Currently there are 41 brigades, but when the government takes over there will only be 25 brigades [continue reading]

Business Day (Johannesburg)

February 26, 2007
Posted to the web February 26, 2007

Lesley Stones
Johannesburg

TELKOM has finally confirmed it is buying the African internet service provider Africa Online for £10,32m.

The fee — a hefty R142,6m — is almost double the amount bid by another potential suitor. It is also up from the £9,72m cited by Africa Online as its buying price.

That is because Telkom has agreed to pay a peace settlement of £600000 to the rival bidder, Africa Telecoms Company (ATC) of Kenya, towards the costs ATC incurred when the battle for control turned nasty.

Telkom CEO Papi Molotsane justified the price by saying the investment “forms part of Telkom’s drive towards investing in and enhancing our longer-term future, while creating more value for our customers and shareholders”.

Telkom had to explore opportunities to offer a package of voice, data, video and internet services in Africa to ensure sustainable growth, he said.

“This acquisition is aligned to Telkom’s goal of expanding [continue reading]

read more posts taged with Africa Online Deal

ADB funds Kazungula bridge

source: BOPA
26 February, 2007

KASANE – The third meeting of the joint steering committee for the proposed Kazungula Bridge took place in Kasane, recently. The government of Botswana and Zambia jointly requested the financial assistance of the African Development Bank (ADB) in order to prepare the detailed design studies for the construction of Kazungula Bridge over the Zambezi River.

The financial assistance would be used for other border facilities to remove the remaining physical and [continue reading]

February 24 2007 at 02:58PM
source : IOL

The sizzling heat wave is not letting go just yet and, to make matters worse, some of the city’s reservoirs are running dry.

According to the South African Weather Service’s assistant manager: forecasting Kevin Rae, city residents should brace themselves for a sweltering weekend.

“Temperatures will stay in the mid to low 30s with temperatures rising to 34ºC on Sunday,” he said.

But there is some good news. “Due to an influx of moist air from the east, Saturday will [continue reading]

from BOPA
23 February, 2007

GABORONE – First National Bank (FNB) has announced its half year interim financial results with a significant increase of its net interest income by 26.1 per cent from P134.6 million to P169.7 million.

FNBs Chief Financial Officer, Mr Ackim Chalwe, attributed to a strong growth in interest income from advances, which have grown by 17.7 per cent compared to the corresponding period.

Mr Chalwe said this was also as a result of the increase in holdings of Bank of Botswana certificates, which increased by 503.3 per cent following the change in the policy by BoB restricting Bank of Botswana certificates trading to commercial banks with effect from March 1, 2006.

He said the effect of this was that all the funds previously invested directly in Bank of Botswana certificates by individuals, companies and parastatals are now deposited with the commercial banks, [continue reading]

February 23 2007 at 11:11AM
source: iol.co.za

By Thokozani Mtshali

About three million potential taxpayers in South Africa are still outside the tax net, the commissioner for South African Revenue Services Pravin Gordhan told parliament on Thursday.

Gordhan and Finance Minister Trevor Manuel appeared before the portfolio committee on finance on Thursday to discuss an input by the Financial and Fiscal Commission on the Division of revenue Bill.

Gordhan said the revenue register was expected to increase by more than half a million people this year, which, he hoped, would allow the national Treasury more flexibility to beef up expenditure on social services.

According to Gordhan, there are currently close to six-million people in the country’s tax registry, a million companies also paid tax while 350 000 mainly self employed people, paid income tax.

By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Business Writer
23-02-2007

Source: yahoo news


SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp. must pay $1.52 billion in damages to telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA for violating two patents related to digital music, a federal jury ruled Thursday.
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The Redmond, Wash.-based software company said the patents in question govern the conversion of audio into the digital MP3 file format on personal computers.

In 2003, Lucent Technologies Inc., which last year was acquired by Alcatel, filed 15 patent claims against Gateway Inc. and Dell Inc. for technology developed by Bell Labs, its research arm. In April 2003, Microsoft added itself to the list of defendants, saying the patents were closely tied to its Windows operating system. The PC makers are still defendants.

Microsoft said a judge threw out two of the 2003 patent claims and scheduled six separate trials to consider the remaining disputes. The case that was just decided went to trial in U.S. district court in San Diego on Jan. 29.

“We think this verdict is completely unsupported by the law or the facts,” said Tom Burt, a Microsoft deputy general counsel.

Microsoft disputed that Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent’s patents govern its MP3 encoding and decoding tools, and said it licenses the MP3 software used by its Windows Media Player from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a German company.

“We believe that we properly licensed MP3 technology from its industry recognized licenser Fraunhofer. The damages award seems particularly outrageous when you consider we paid Fraunhofer only $16 million to license this technology,” Burt said.

Microsoft said the damages were calculated by multiplying Windows sales volumes and PC sales prices worldwide since May 2003.

“We’ve made strong arguments supporting our view, and we are pleased with the court’s decision,” Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Lou Ambrus said.

Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund wrote in a note to investors Thursday that while $1.52 billion is not a small sum, it’s less than the $4.5 billion Alcatel-Lucent originally sought. Microsoft said the court threw out Alcatel-Lucent’s claims that it willfully violated the patents, which would have tripled the damages.

“Patent infringement risk is an ongoing part of doing business as a technology company,” Sherlund wrote. “We observe Microsoft has ten counter claims pending, perhaps implying some eventual negotiated settlement.”

Microsoft plans to appeal the jury’s decision, but it could take more than two years for the case to reach the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, where all patent appeals are heard. In the interim, Microsoft’s Burt said the case could have broader implications for the hundreds of companies that license MP3 technology from Fraunhofer including Apple Inc.,Nokia Inc. and Sony Corp.

“I think the entire MP3 industry has to take notice and be gravely concerned about this verdict,” Burt said.

Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, countered that he doesn’t think the win for Alcatel-Lucent will reach beyond Microsoft.

“I think they have just gone against Microsoft because they felt Microsoft would compromise with them,” Chowdhry said. “I don’t think Microsoft will be compromising.”

In the meantime, the court will consider the next of the patent suits, which relates to speech coding, in March or April, Microsoft said. Other areas in dispute include video coding on Microsoft’s
Xbox game console and Windows user interface.

Microsoft also filed another patent claim of its own last week, this time with the International Trade Commission, seeking to keep Alcatel-Lucent from importing unified messaging technology into the U.S.

Shares of Microsoft slipped 3 cents to close at $29.32 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Alcatel-Lucent’s stock added 10 cents to end the day at $13.17 on the
New York Stock Exchange.

Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
February 22, 2007
Posted to the web February 22, 2007
Kabo Mokgoabone

Bank of Botswana (BoB) governor Linah Mohohlo has revealed that the central bank is negotiating with banks so that when it reduces rates, the commercial banks should also ‘bear the brunt’.

The governor stated that it is the expectation of the reserve bank that when BoB slashes rates commercial banks should follow suit.

“We are discussing with commercial banks whereby depositors could be accommodated if the bank rates go down. If the bank rates go down… [continue reading]