Archive for May 14th, 2007

source: BOAP

14 May, 2007

DURBAN – Botswanas finest tourism products and services are in one stand at Africas largest and prestigious trade travel exhibition which is held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) and Durban Exhibition Centre (DCE) South Africa.

The four-day annual South Africa Tourism event running from May 12-15 organized by Kagiso Exhibitions and Events showcases the widest variety of Southern Africas best tourism products, service. It attracts international visitors and the media from across the world.

Under the auspices of Botswana Tourism Board about 42 tourism operators and service providers from Botswana such as accommodation providers, tour operators, game lodges, transport providers, camping and safari companies have brought the International world Botswanas unique and diverse tourism products under one roof.

The local tourism operators and service providers exhibits captures the essence of experiences of traveling through Botswana such as viewing the exciting wilderness and wildlife, the beautiful Okavango Delta and experiencing the countrys rich and dynamic culture.

Botswana has been participating at Indaba for over 15 years and has over the years reaped benefits as attested by operators who report an increase in their business due to their participation, according to Botswana Tourism Board Marketing Manager Mr Joe Motse in a recent interview with BOPA.

He said the exhibition affords operators in [continue reading]

source: BOAP

14 May, 2007

GABORONE – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe prefers a gradual approach with regard to establishing a continental government.

He disclosed his stand when briefing the media about the 10th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) that was held in Durban, South Africa, on May 8 -10.

Gen Merafhe said the meeting brainstormed on the idea of having a United States of Africa and many countries at the meeting also supported the approach.

This is a collective decision by all countries, and there were very few countries who were upbeat about fast-tracking, he said.

The Durban session was to prepare for the Union summit to be held in Accra, Ghana on July 1 – 3.

The exercise was not an event but a long-term process that anchored on economic and political fundamentals which should be clearly defined.

He said two schools of thoughts were presented, one calling for the fast tracking of the establishment of the AU government, while the other was for a gradual and long-term process.

He said they had to be real and recognise the problems at hand and use all instruments of integration as a building block in the creation of the AU government.

This is a political and sensitive issue as we are talking about surrender of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

The Nation (Nairobi)
13 May 2007
Posted to the web 13 May 2007

Michael Wakabi

The predictable spinoff from the KQ 507 tragedy is that it will once again draw attention to the issue of air safety in Africa in general and the West African sub-region in particular.

Speculation is rife about the jinx of the West African air space and if something is inherently wrong with the region.

Depending on when and where you are flying in the region, the risk will increase by a significant factor, and it may be related to the age of the aircraft you are flying, the quality of the civil aviation authorities in the particular flight information region or the weather.

For instance, the Abdijan- Douala route which KQ 507 was on is notorious for bad weather largely because of the movement of winds from the ocean to the mainland, which stir up turbulence.

The monsoon winds can make landing and takeoff particularly difficult because of the sandstorms they generate.

Around this time of the year, the tropical storm belt is moving north as the sun migrates between the tropics, causing some nasty weather as the winds converge to fill low pressure zones.

Statistics show that while they [continue reading]

source: The Gazette

Energy Minister Kedikilwe

Botswana faces a serious shortage of electricity next year, a problem that has hit the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
More than 72 percent of Botswana’s power requirements are met through imports, mainly from South Africa’s Eskom. The Managing Director of Casmic Energy, an energy conservation and management company, Mr Saul Hlambelo, told The Gazette in an interview that Botswana is in trouble from now: “For over 12 years Botswana has been importing electricity; South Africa used to have enough power for herself and to spare, but that is no longer the situation”, he said.
Hlambelo said Botswana seems to be the worst hit of all SADC countries. “We are in dire need of new power sources; producing only 32% of own supply, we are in serious trouble looking at generation versus consumption,” he said. The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), Chief Executive, John Kaluzi hits the road every month to seek power sources for the country in anticipation of post December 2007 when the BPC’s firm contract with Eskom, SA’s power company, comes to an end.The incoming Eskom CEO, Jacob Maroga has made it clear that his country does not have enough capacity and he is looking up to an investment in electricity power stations expansion of about R150 billion. “This has already affected electricity prices in that country with an 18% hike in electricity prices.

“Under Botswana’s present contract with Eskom that ends in December 2007 electricity supply could not be cut even when there were blackouts in areas such as Cape Town last year. “If we can get a new contract from SA, it is impossible that it will be a firm contract; it is more likely to be a Non-Firm Contract at very high rates,” Hlambelo said. Botswana is currently pursuing long term projects that will not rescue the critical situation next year. “The expansion of our own facilities is a positive development but it comes too late,” he said.

As a former Commercial, Marketing, Rural electrification Manager who was in BPC’s executive for over a decade, Hlambelo was part of the study that recommended the expansion of Morupule Power Station in 1994. Tts objective was to reduce imports and increase capacity. It was also to look at electricity tariffs and the structure of rates; it was headed by Black and Veatch International.The study left the rates structure as it was and reduced the price of electricity by 10%. “As for expansion we had a complete model that recommended an increase in production in 1995 but the customer base at that time was very small, the power supply in the region stable and the cost of expansion potentially very high hence “it would have affected the tariffs; we decided not to go ahead with the expansion but to defer it,” he said.

Hlambelo said BPC’s management and Board failed to review the Morupule expansion study on time, “both Government and BPC are to blame because all role players in the study are still within the system,” he said. The Morupule expansion study has now undergone feasibility study stage and it is now at Environmental Impact Assessment stage.

“The expansion of Morupule itself is going to bring price hike because BPC will borrow money that will need to be serviced. On the other hand imported electricity is going to be very difficult to get and this will cause a price hike as well,” he said. Hlambelo, an electro Engineer and Economist said Botswana’s options are few; possible power sources include Zimbabwe, which has little capacity to meet its own demand and is importing from Zambia; the DRC, SA and Mozambique. Hlambelo worked for eight years in Zimbabwe’s Electricity Corporation.

Complicating the Zimbabwe situation is the poor network, “and we are already importing a little bit from Zimbabwe for areas such as Pandamatenga, Ramokgwebana border post and the Jackalas villages,” he said. As for Mozambique, the Caborabassa Dam, which was erected by the Portuguese for their South African investments, supplies both Mozambique and SA. It is reported that Kaluzi has already tried negotiations with the former Portuguese colony but nothing came of it.

Hlambelo said there was need for sustainable immediate mitigation measures to be put in place. “The whole region needs new sources of supply that will be long term.” He gave the example of WESCO: the Western Electricity Supply Corridor sponsored by Angola, Botswana, DRC, Namibia and South Africa, which, he said would have been a more viable project; it would have generated electricity from the Great Inga Falls in the DRC for use in the Southern Africa Region. “But it needs heavy investment,” he observed. He said Botswana should continue to participate in short-term energy operations. “The SADC countries are interlinked, they can always sell to each other any unused power at a given point.”

Hlambelo emphasized the need for energy conservation in the commerce and industry sector. He said it is possible for Botswana to reduce energy consumption by between 15-20 % if industry and residences used energy conservation compliant devices. “There is no information on the implications of energy conservation. If we could do that even climate changes could be better managed,” he said.

Contacted for comment, The Public Relations Manager of BPC, Ms Selato confirmed that BPC’s contract with Eskom which was signed in 2000 comes to an end in December 2007, “but we have renegotiated another one which will end in 2012,” she said, though she could not confirm whether the contract was Firm or Non – Firm. She said they are looking at other countries such as Mozambique and Zambia as possible sources of electricity supply.

The Gazette is reliably informed that Eskom is yet to decide on BPC’s request for an extension of the contract. Further information suggests if it is extended the new rates for importing the electricity will be very high, which will compel BPC to hike electricity tariffs locally.
The Gazette

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

13 May 2007
Posted to the web 13 May 2007

Themba Gadebe

Tourism in South Africa has grown three times more than global tourism in 2006, the Chief Executive Officer of South Africa Tourism Moeketsi Mosola said at the Tourism Indaba in Durban Saturday.

While globally, tourism grew by 4.5 percent, South Africa shot to 14 percent with African countries being the main influence.

“The phenomenal growth of nearly 14 percent was driven off most of our target markets with Africa leading at 16.9 percent, followed by America at 11.2 percent, Asia and Australia at 9.8 percent and Europe showing a steady increase of 5.6 percent,” he said.

In addition, Mr Mosola noted that more air routes from various countries were beginning to lead to South Africa.

This, he said, followed an approval of airlift strategy by cabinet in July 2006.

The strategy supports the national economic growth through greater alignment with the tourism strategy and [continue reading]