Archive for April, 2007

source: allAfrica

The Namibian (Windhoek)

April 25, 2007
Posted to the web April 25, 2007

Brigitte Weidlich

HISTORY was made in the energy sector when a licence was granted to investors for the erection of a large wind-power project that could eventually generate 25 per cent of Namibia’s electricity supply.

This makes Namibia the first African country to embark on large-scale wind-power generation.

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) handed the licence over to Aeolus Power Generation Namibia, a joint venture between Dutch businessman Leo van Gastel and a Namibian partner, the United Africa Group.

Both hold a 40 per cent stake in the venture and the remaining 20 per cent is reserved for future employees.

The mother company, Aeolus Associated, is registered in Luxembourg.

Van Gastel intends to inject nearly N$1 billion into the establishment of a large wind park that will generate 92 megawatt (MW) of electricity, roughly a quarter of Namibia’s energy needs of approximately 400 MW.

The proposed investment of 99 million euros (about N$1 billion) provides for 102 wind turbines to be erected outside Luederitz, Oranjemund, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Walvis Bay.

The intention is to sell the electricity [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

April 24, 2007
Posted to the web April 24, 2007

Tshireletso Motlogelwa

The telecommunications industry is watching keenly to see what will happen after the groundbreaking award of service-neutral licences to Orange Botswana and the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) by the parastatal Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA).

Until the award of the new licences, Orange was limited to mobile phones while the BTC was confined to fixed lines. Orange has said although they were still working out a strategy to take them into the increasingly converging communications industry, they intended to claim more segments of the market.

“This new licence means that we will be able to provide more services and cover more areas. Botswana presents a growing market, and this is true of most of Africa. Africa offers the fastest growth of mobile telecommunication uptake in the world.

“We are glad that we are well in step with that,” said Orange’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mickael Faurie, who was accompanied by the company’s Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer Keabetswe Segole, during an interview with Business Today.

Unlike the GSM licence, which limited the company to services in the mobile sector only, the new one spans different ICT sectors, from landlines, through the Internet, to enhanced mobile services.

In the wake of its unparalleled awarding of ‘wider’ licences, the BTA has said its move was influenced by the fact that ICT technology was converging and services were becoming increasingly interlinked. The BTA has acknowledged Orange Botswana’s parent company, France Telecom/Orange Group, as one with vast experience in the provision of integrated ICT services across the African continent.

In countries like Mauritius, the Ivory Coast and Senegal, the company’s subsidiaries offer fixed lines, Internet and mobile services.

“We are considering every option [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

April 24, 2007
Posted to the web April 24, 2007

Zeph Kajevu

The adoption of new technologies in communication services will contribute to the country’s economic growth, Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) Chief Executive Officer Thari Pheko has said.

Speaking during the awarding of the second and new 15-year service neutral license (SNL) under the new licensing framework to Orange Botswana recently, Pheko explained that fast technological developments made the telecommunications industry move towards fixed-mobile convergence, and this has led to a blurring of the boundary between fixed and mobile services. This would entice communications sector operators to expand their business ventures and generate a substantial return on their investment, he said.

Pheko explained that BTA, as the regulator, will ensure that Botswana continues to achieve a sustainably competitive edge in communications critical to make the economy globally competitive.

Under this new dispensation, Orange would be able to provide all forms of communication in addition to mobile telephony. Because SNL replaces Orange’s original mobile telephone operating license, obtained in 1998, and not a renewal, there were no costs involved for the acquisition. Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (BTC) was the first to receive SNL from BTA during an award ceremony in March after making a formal application.

“Since there is virtually no area of business and social life not impacted by [continue reading]

source: news24
24/04/2007 19:18  – (SA)

Johannesburg – Government’s new electronic national traffic information system eNaTIS had processed more than two million transactions by Tuesday while receiving heavy criticism for slow service and backlogs from the motor industry.

Department of transport spokesperson Ntau Letebele on Tuesday said the system was processing an average of 13 transactions per second and 45 000 to 60 000 per hour.

“Since April 12 to date we’ve done 2.3 million transactions in total – this means people are getting services on the system.”

Interventions had been implemented to improve performance over the past week to cope with high demands and the slowness of the new system, he said.

Backlogs, technical glitches and shaky, slow systems have been reported since the system [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SEROWE: President Festus Mogae has accused MPs of blackmail and selfishness at the expense of the national agenda. Speaking at a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s Wing dinner dance in Serowe over the weekend, Mogae said the MPs want to arm twist government in a horse-trading exercise. This involves MPs passing the Judges Bill and government reciprocating by reviewing their salaries.

“They maintained that they wanted their pay structure reviewed before they could pass the Judges Bill. We disagreed hence we suspended the issue and are still to engage in talks.”

The President said the government cannot fail to address national issues to push the interests or give priority to the demands of MPs.

“It will be a great embarrassment to want to address the MPs’ pay structures first at the expense of those of High Court judges. My vice-president and I feel very strong about this issue.”

He stressed that the move is not in anyway intended to punish [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

April 24, 2007
Posted to the web April 24, 2007

Chandapiwa Baputaki

A tiff has erupted between President Festus Mogae and the back-bench across the political divide. While the President insists that MPs have been trying to arm twist government by demanding that government review their salaries before they pass the Judges Bill, the MPs on the other hand have denied the allegation, saying it is totally untrue.

Opposition MPs have expressed concern at statements made by President Festus Mogae at a ruling party Women’s Wing dinner in Serowe over the weekend. Mogae said in Serowe that the MPs wanted to hold government at ransom by demanding that they can only pass the Judges Bill if their salaries are reviewed. The sole Botswana Congress Party (BCP) MP, Dumelang Saleshando said the President owes it to the nation to explain where he got the idea that MPs wanted their salaries reviewed before that of the judges. “I am actually baffled and do not understand what could have prompted him to say that. I do not remember any forum where the MPs discussed their salaries, not [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

April 24, 2007
Posted to the web April 24, 2007

Following the Botswana Defence Force’s advertisement for the recruitment of the first female cadets into the army, many have questioned whether the age limit tied to qualifications has not been intended to disqualify women at the on-set.Voice journalist, GONTSE GAREEBINE posed a few question to the army’s Director of Protocol and Public Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel Baatweng, on the cut-off age of females hoping to join the army.

Q. There is not many Batswana aged between 18 to 22 with a degree. But your advert for female cadets states that one should be a degree holder between 18 and 24 years of age. Is that not a disqualifying factor on its own?

The BDF has been recruiting male officer cadets with degree qualifications at that stated cut-off age over the years. This has been successful, with the majority of our recruits over the years ranging between 22 and 24 years.

Q. What about 25-29 year old women who want to join the army? Does that mean that they are too old?

Recruitment will be done as per the required qualifications unless otherwise stated. Age may be waived on special cases based on scarce skills.

Q. What are the grounds for deciding on the age of females to recruit into the force?

This age limit is standard for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 April, 2007

PALAPYE – Unproductive workers in the public service delay project implementation, resulting in funds returned unspent to the finance ministry at the end of every financial year, Mr Boyce Sebetela, the MP for Palapye, has said.

Speaking at a Lotsane kgotla meeting in Palapye on Wednesday, Mr Sebetela said though government had money for projects, Batswana were unable to enjoy developments intended to them because some government employees were unproductive.

Mr Sebetela said in some instances, parents had to spend their money to buy books for their school children because a government employee failed to use resources on time.

He cited shortage of text and exercise books at schools in Palapye as one example of how incompetent officers could frustrate community development.

Mr Sebetela said in 1999, Palapye was promised a police station and though the project was allocated funds nothing had been done to date, hence the soaring crime rate in the village.

He said Palapye police who operated from a small office were overwhelmed by crime. He said the situation was likely to worsen as the population increased because of the expansion of Morupule Power Station and Morupule Mine, and the construction of a second university.

He said although the village was promised a bus and taxi rank, officials continued to reprioritize projects without the consent of Parliament. He said that made MPs appear dishonest to their electorates.

Mr Sebetela encouraged residents to work hand in hand with their representatives and dikgosi to demand better service from government.

For her part Itshupeng Monageng, a Lotsane resident, said the local market was flooded by cheap Asian goods. She said the small local businesses had disappeared from the scene.

Another resident, Mr Oitsile Gobatilwe, suggested that the government should lease farms to the youth instead of asking them to apply to the land boards for land allocation so that programmes such as Young Farmers Fund and Livestock Management Infrastructure Development could fully benefit the youth.

He said acquiring land in Botswana was a difficult process and as such youths were likely to miss the opportunities created by government assistance schemes. BOPA

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

April 23, 2007
Posted to the web April 23, 2007

Bame Piet

Outgoing Botswana Police Commissioner Edwin Batshu says the establishment of an independent intelligence organisation is the brainchild of the Botswana Police Service. “It is us who advised government to establish an independent intelligence organisation,”

It is good for a country to have someone responsible for intelligence gathering to ensure nationBatshu told a farewell press conference in Gaborone last Friday. He said at the moment the commissioner of police “is the overseer of intelligence gathering, which makes his job very difficult”.al security, he stressed. “In fact, I am disappointed that to date we still do not have the organisation in place. There is too much work for the police commissioner now,” he said. The commissioner stated that economic growth in Botswana has earned her enemies, who needed to be detected before they could cause irreparable harm to the country.
Africa 2007

Batshu said it was only Botswana and Swaziland in the SADC region that did not have intelligence services. However, he declined to comment on the Intelligence Services and Security Bill, which has divided Parliament and cabinet and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Batshu has announced that he will retire at the end of June and that he [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

April 23, 2007
Posted to the web April 23, 2007

Fraser Mpofu

Botswana will not participate at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which begins in Bulawayo tomorrow. Over the years, the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) has brought a number of Botswana companies to exhibit at the ZITF, but for the first time in many years, Botswana will not be represented.

Speaking in a telephone interview from Gaborone, BEDIA’s export promotion officer Maxwell Mosinyi said instead of travelling for the show, the authority would arrange contact promotion initiatives.

“The ZITF is not among the trade fairs that we will participate in this year,” he said.

“However, Botswana companies will keep in contact with their Zimbabwean suppliers and customers through BEDIA because we will arrange contact promotion missions between them. Under this strategy [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 April, 2007

GABORONE – The topical Security and Intelligence Services Bill is likely to return to Parliament an edited and user-friendly version in some respects.

The bill was prompted by the fact that regional and global environment has changed, thus necessitating a review in Botswanas approach to national security concerns. Rebaone Tswiio of BOPA writes.

It has since transpired that Minister of Justice, Defence and Security, Mr Phandu Skelemani is currently working round the clock drafting amendments that would provide for a free-of-charge tribunal that would handle all complaints levelled against the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS).

When Parliament adjourned last month, the bill had been adopted in principle, awaiting only amendments to be tabled at committee stage during the July meeting of Parliament.

I am certainly going to submit this amendment of adding a tribunal in the bill during committee stage, he said in an interview.

Mr Skelemani confessed that he had taken heed of Parliaments view that lodging an appeal with the High Court, as the Bill currently provides, would be a costly exercise that might indirectly prejudice innocent individuals who had fallen victims to the operatives of the intelligence department.

The tribunal that we want to establish would have power to investigate [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 April, 2007

JWANENG – Botswana has been praised for using revenue from diamonds to positively transform the lives of Batswana.

In an interview after a Jwaneng mine tour, British Commonwealth Parliamentary Association leader Dr Roger Berry promised to go back home and tell his parliamentary colleagues about the wonders that Botswana diamonds are doing for citizens.

Dr Berry said he was impressed with HIV/AIDS programmes in place at Debswana mines and that he learnt that diamonds increased the countrys revenue and foreign exchange.

There is no doubt that diamonds help in both education and health sectors which are basic human rights, he said. Briefing the entourage, Acting Assistant General Manager, Mr Rodgers Thusi, said Debswana has a P56 million budget towards prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. He said 95 per cent of employees working for Debswana were Batswana, 21 per cent of them women.

The British delegation also toured Debswanas IDCC Clinic. BOPA

Dear Michael

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I don’t have any comments on that.

source: new24
22/04/2007 21:38 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The city is making progress in its fight against crime in efforts to create a safe environment for residents, says mayor Amos Masondo.He told a Midrand weekend summit attended by business, labour and NGOs that run-down buildings were likely to be associated with criminal activities.

“It is an established fact that crime and grime goes together. Run-down buildings tend to be closely associated with criminal activities.”

The city was focusing on urban renewal and poverty relief programmes.

Masondo said that [continue reading]

See SA’s crime map…

Source (Japanese)

Microsoft spent millions of dollars advertising its next generation OS ‘Windows Vista’ in China, in fact the IT juggernaut threw up the biggest Vista Ad on the 421 meter high Jin Mao tower in Shanghai China. However after 2 weeks (Jan 19 to Feb 2) from launch Microsoft managed to sell a mere 244 copies of Windows Vista. Software piracy is rampant in the middle kingdom and a pirated version of Vista sells for a mere $1 on the streets. The following numbers are quoted by Windows Vista chief distributor in Bejing.