Archive for March 24th, 2007

By Moabi PhiaGABORONE, March 23 (Reuters Life!)Botswana’s health minister is fuming over a South African casting agency’s rejection of 18 local women shortlisted to play Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith’s lady detective heroine on the big screen.Moonyeenn Lee Associates earlier this week said the Botswanan women up for the role of Precious Ramotswe in Hollywood director Anthony Minghella’s film were “unsuitable” to play the ‘traditionally built’ fictional character.
“This is very disappointing. To me it is an insult. Are they saying that there are no Botswanan women who are traditionally built – whatever that means?” said Health Minister Sheila Tlou — who incidentally is herself an actress who has played Ramotswe on the stage in Gaborone.Tlou was not among the women considered for the lead in the film, which is based on “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,”
the debut novel in McCall Smith’s popular series about a woman whostarts a detective agency in the southern African nation.The stunning success of the first novel spawned a series, with sales in excess of 15 million English-language copies.It has also generated a mini-tourism boom in Botswana, a former British protectorate with a population of about two million. A growing number of tourists are visiting Mochudi, the hometown of Ramotswe.The possibility that an outsider could end up being cast for the film lead does not sit well in Botswana.”What we hear is that the search has since gone to South Africa where the casting agency is based, which is really not fair,” Tlou told Reuters in an interview.Oscar-nominated Hip-hop diva Queen Latifah, U.S. talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey and actress Whoopi Goldberg are among those thought to be interested in playing Ramotswe in Minghella’s upcoming film.

© Reuters 2007

see also: Diva and Minister battle to be no1 lady detective

source: The Namibian
The Namibian (Windhoek)

March 23, 2007
Posted to the web March 23, 2007

THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, has been instructed by Cabinet to table a trade agreement between southern Africa and the European Union in the National Assembly for ratification.

The negotiations for a Free Trade Area (FTA) between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) took place over six rounds between May 2003 to August 2005.

Namibia signed the Sacu/EFTA agreement on July 14 2006 in Gaborone, Botswana.

The agreement comprises of the general provisions and scope, and the annexes deal with specific issues of territorial application, agriculture, processed agricultural products, industrial products, fish and marine products, rules of origin, mutual administrative cooperation on customs matters and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, the latter relating to exports like table grapes and meat products.

Cabinet also instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present the instrument of ratification to the Sacu Secretariat, which is housed in Windhoek.

Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa are members of Sacu, the oldest customs union in the world, which was founded in 1910.