Archive for September 10th, 2007

source: Mmegi

THATO CHWAANE
STAFF WRITER

The opening of the Brazilian Embassy in Botswana is a clear demonstration of Brazil’s willingness to permanently count on Botswana as a friend and a partner in development, Ambassador Joao Inacio Padilha said on Friday.

Padilha was speaking at the first Brazil National Day to be held in Botswana. He said the two countries had signed agreements in the field of HIV/AIDS, in sports and agricultural research.

“While recognising the excellent effort being made by the government in combating HIV/AIDS, the Brazilian government is prepared to join forces with Batswana as well as the international community at large, to face that terrible pandemic in this country, the social cost of which remains to be estimated,” he said.

Padilha said after lengthy discussions with Botswana’s sports-related institutions, it seems that the bilateral cooperation on sports would flourish.

He said in the agricultural field, there are excellent possibilities as Botswana has a climate similar to the one prevailing in a number of Brazilian sub-regions.

“Through such agreements we hope [continue reading]

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source: The Standard (Zimbabwe)

By Kholwani Nyathi

BULAWAYO — Milk worth millions of dollars is lost every day at dairy farms across the country as farmers fail to transport it to processors due to severe fuel shortages triggered by the government’s controversial price blitz.

Farmers attending a joint crisis meeting of the National Dairy Farmers Association and Cattle Producers Association here on Friday, said they feared they might soon be forced out of business.

Milk products, like other basic commodities have virtually disappeared from shops in the aftermath of the government edict forcing business to revert to pre-June 18 prices.

But NADF says precious milk was going bad before it could reach the processors.

The National Dairy Co-operative (NDC), which collects the milk from farmers, has reportedly grounded most of its fleet because of the worsening fuel crisis.

“The milk is not getting to the processors in urban centres,” Ezra Ndlovu, the NADF regional chairman told the meeting, “and we are beginning to see the effects of [continue reading]

Mogae praises Metro

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

GABORONE – President Festus Mogae has commended Metropolitan Botswana for showing confidence by investing a large part of its assets in Botswana.

By deciding to invest over 70 per cent of your companys assets in Botswana you are saying to us we are here to stay, Mr Mogae said at the companys 10th anniversary celebration in Gaborone Friday.

The phenomenal growth of Metropolitans assets from P44 million as at December 1999 to just under P1 billion to date is part of the good story that can be related with confidence about Botswana.

Mr Mogae said the impressive growth of Metropolitan was indicative of the growth that had happened in Botswana over the past 10 years.

Your company will appreciate that over the years Botswana acquired the capacity to host a wide range of company operations, he said. Reforms such as the setting up of the International Financial Services Centre, foreign exchange liberalisation and the enactment of facilitatory legislation have gone a long way towards making Botswana a credible investment destination.

He assured Metropolitan and other investors that government would continue to do its utmost to create an enabling environment for business operations.

You have noticed that we are currently engaged in [continue reading]

Vision 2016 caters for women

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

GABANE – The Vision 2016 Council should include gender issues in its mandate. A Senior Gender Officer in the Department of Womens Affairs, Mr Nathaniel Tlhalerwa, said women had for a long time been marginalised in all spheres of life and it was instruments such as Vision 2016 which could help advance their status and livelihood in general.

Mr Tlhalerwa was speaking at the launching of the Vision Month for Kweneng District in Gabane on Friday. This follows the national launch at Khakhea in the Mabutsane Sub-District this month. This year, the vision month is commemorated under the theme Ten Years into Vision 2016, the Journey Continues.

The commemoration is intended to reflect on the achievements of the past years and identify gaps and opportunities in charting a way forward.

Mr Tlhalerwa said it was important to ensure that women were well educated and trained in professions of high pay which were initially considered to be for men.

He said it was mostly the safety and security of women and children that was normally compromised. Therefore, Vision 2016 should see to it that the aspects were well addressed along side achieving the pillars.

He said through equity and equal opportunity and access to resources for men and women, unity and pride could be achieved.

Meantime, Principal Education Secretary with the Kweneng District Council, Ms Lame Osupile, said there was a shortfall of [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info

10 September 2007

South African petrochemical company Sasol this week announced a broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) deal, which if approved, will see 10% of the company’s shares, currently worth approximately R18-billion, placed under ownership of previously disadvantaged individuals and groups.

“This transaction is ground-breaking, not only in terms of its size, but also in terms of its overarching ambition to create a legacy of building skills and capacity in the South African economy,” Sasol chief chairman Peter Cox said in a statement issued on Monday.

In terms of the transaction, 3% of shares will be transferred to black South Africans, 1,5% to selected BEE groups, 1,5% to the Sasol Foundation and 4% to Sasol employees with permanent South African residence below managerial level, comprising 60% black and 40% white employees, black managers and black non-executive directors.

This 10% stake in the company is valued at approximately R17.9-billion, based on a closing share price of R285 on 5 September this year.

Sasol is working with the National Empowerment Fund to identify ways of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

10 September 2007
Posted to the web 10 September 2007

Renée Bonorchis
Johannesburg

SA’s government bond market is the sixth-most liquid debt market in the world, ahead of the UK, according to a recent report by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The report, which centred on financial stability and the effect of the development of local currency bond markets in emerging market economies, noted SA’s bond market had a turnover ratio comparable to mature markets.

Countries with higher liquidity than SA in their government bond markets included Taiwan, Poland, the US, Chile and Canada.

Garth Greubel, CE of the Bond Exchange of SA (Besa), agreed that the research strengthened the case for SA to open its local debt market to remote access. This means that overseas investors, depending on the model that Besa and the industry chose, would be able to trade directly in SA’s market without going through an intermediary.

Previously, one of the arguments for the opening up of the market was to try to stop liquidity from flowing to London. If SA’s government debt liquidity is seen to be higher than that of the UK’s, then there may be scope for cementing that position.

“Over the past decade the conscious [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

GABORONE – The 2007 Economic Freedom of the World report and index was released in Vancouver, Canada recently has placed Botswana atop of African countries in economic freedom With an improved overall rating of 7.2, Botswana is once more ranked number one in the studys Sub-Saharan Africa region table and in first place in Africa. Botswana has maintained its lead position in the Africa table for more than a decade, during which time the countrys rating has risen from 6.4 to 7.2.

Botswana was also ranked number 38 in the world, alongside Belgium and Portugal, in this years overall global ranking of an expanded list of 141 nations.

This places Botswana ahead of nine European Union member states: Spain, 44; Czech Republic, France, Italy, Greece, Poland and Bulgaria, 52; Romania, 82; and Slovenia, 91.

According to this years report, Hong Kong retains the highest overall rating for economic freedom of 8.9; closely followed by Singapore with 8.8, New Zealand with 8.5, and Switzerland with 8.3.

Africas top performers were Botswana, 7.2/38; Lesotho, South Africa, 6.8/60; Zambia, 6.7/67; Namibia, Kenya and Tunisia, 6.6/69; Uganda, Egypt and Mauritania, 6.5/76; Tanzania, 6.3/86; Mozambique and Ghana, 6.2/91.

The report says Uganda and Ghana were among five nations in the world who have increased their [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

JWANENG – The second national literacy survey jointly conducted by the Department of Non-Formal Education and the Central Statistics Office in 2003 found out that Botswana has achieved 81 per cent national literacy rate.

The Assistant Minister of Education, Mr Peter Siele, said this at the handover of Debswana-Jwaneng adult education learners and facilitators to the Department of Non-Formal Education on Friday.

Mr Siele said the figure, when compared to 68.9 per cent of the 1993 national literacy survey results, shows a 12 per cent increase of the literacy rate in Botswana, adding that the challenge was to raise the literacy rate to 95 per cent by 2015.

He said one of the innovations that the Department of Non-Formal Education has introduced was community learning resource centres, which were intended to serve as places of learning in a community outside the conventional education system.

The centres were strategically located around Botswana — in Kang, Lokgwabe, Mopipi, Matshelagabedi, Hukuntsi, Ranaka and New Xade. Jwaneng had just been added to the list.

Mr Siele encouraged the communities where the centres are located to use them optimally. He also urged the department to increase the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

BOBONONG – Literacy still remains an elusive target with more than 700 million adults mostly women lacking minimum literacy skills globally, according to UNESCO.

This came to light during the commemoration of an International Literacy Day in Bobonong at the weekend, which was held under the theme Literacy: Key to Good Health and Well Being.

But the situation in Botswana states otherwise, as the MP for Bobirwa explained that the Central Survey Office literacy results indicate that the countrys literacy rate for adults stands at 81 per cent – an increase of 12 per cent from the first literacy survey of 1993 that stood at 68.9 per cent.

Officiating at the event, Mr Shaw Kgathi said female adult literacy rate is at 82 per cent compared to males 80 per cent, while district desegregation rate of adult literacy rate shows that over 90 per cent could read and write in cities and towns with Orapa having the highest rate of 98 per cent. The lowest rate was recorded in Kweneng West with 58 per cent.

Mr Kgathi said the Department of Non-Formal Education continued in its endeavour to eradicate illiteracy. The mandate of NFE is to provide quality out of school education and training, thus increasing literacy rate of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

TSHABONG – Shortage of water in the Kgalagadi District especially southern part, could soon to be a thing of the past if the current initiative for cross-border supply yields positive results.

Mr Mokgolele Moapare, the chairperson of the Kgalagadi District Council, told a council meeting last week that a task force had been appointed to look at the possibility of cross-border water supply from South Africa.

Mr Moapare said the task force comprised the Department of Water Affairs, the councils water department and an a representative of the South Africa authorities.

He said the task force was also to work on an agreement framework between Botswana and South African municipalities and tailor-make it to meet Botswana specific requirements.

Water shortage for both people and livestock in the district has been recurring for discussion at all council meetings.

Mr Moapare blamed the shortage on lack of reliable aquifers with satisfactory yields as most boreholes drilled in the district produced poor quality water. Where treatment plants were used, the council had to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 September, 2007

GABORONE – Botswanas digital satellite television provider (Dstv), Multichoice Botswana, intends to continue to provide its clients with top class coverage of all major sporting events around the world.

The companys Public Relations Officer, Ms Tshepo Maphanyane, said this at a dinner hosted for the rugby fraternity at Phakalane Golf Estate on Friday.

The rugby enthusiasts came in large numbers to watch the opening game of the Rugby World Cup between France and Argentina.

Dstv subscribers were furious last month when it emerged that Multichoice premier sports channel, Supersport, had lost rights to air the majority of the English Premier League matches.

However, Multichoice says it is determined to continue to give its clients the best sporting treat. The intension of organising this gathering was to highlight the depth of our sports coverage to various stakeholders, she said.

We cover major football leagues around the world such as the English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and the South African league, as well as the European Champions League and other major football events.

Ms Maphanyane emphasised that Multichoice was committed to giving viewers a choice of [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.Info

10 September 2007

South African cellular operator MTN has announced plans to build a 5 000km fibre-optic network that will cover major centres across the country within the next two years, in order to cope with the increasing demand for bandwidth from its customers.

“MTN has designed and mapped out its own national backbone network and is in the process of going out to tender to identify relevant suppliers and obtain final constings for the laying of 5 000km of optical fibre cables to build the MTN network,” MTN SA managing director Tim Lowry said in a statement last week.

The decision to build a national backbone follows a successful two-month pilot project during which fibre-optic cables were laid between Sandton, Illovo and Rosebank, to the north of Johannesburg, with companies such as SABMiller and the JSE taking part.

Lowry told Engineering News that while the pilot project cost R10-million – R8-million for the fibre and R2-million for equipment, the national backbone could cost up to R1.3-billion, depending on possible joint ventures or partnerships.

“Having been awarded a commercial licence to self-provide, MTN is now in a position to launch [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
09.09.2007 4:40:53 P

Investigations raised by The Sunday Standard indicate that cabinet is deeply divided over recommendations by the Ministry of Works and Transport to sell Air Botswana to SA Airlink.
Indications are that SA Airlink is fast losing favour with many influential voices inside cabinet.

There are some ministers who are outright against the sale of Air Botswana.

This comes in the wake of a declaration by British Airways/Comair axis that they would be interested in buying a stake in the national carrier after all.
At a Wednesday meeting, cabinet sent back Minister of Works and Transport, Lesego Motsumi, to go and get more technical and background information about SA Airlink.

The Sunday Standard can confirm that even before Motsumi was turned back, some cabinet ministers had indicated that they were against selling Air Botswana to a small and little known operation like Airlink.

Another section of cabinet said, while Air Botswana is not making money, it had to be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

8 September 2007
Posted to the web 9 September 2007

Stephen Leahy
Brooklin, Canada

The sharp decline of Africa’s abundant wildlife is now happening inside the continent’s protected areas, a new analysis indicates.

Africa’s world renowned parks are destined to become isolated pockets of wilderness with few large animals left, as is the case in Europe, conclude the authors of an article in the current edition of the ‘African Journal of Ecology’.

“It is not a pleasant conclusion,” said Paul Scholte, co-author of the article, and a researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

“Where we have good data, there are dramatic declines in wildlife inside parks and protected areas,” he told IPS. “It was a shock. The declines are far worse than we expected.”

The steep population decrease for large numbers of mammals outside of parks and game reserves in the past 15 years has been well documented. Illegal hunting, the bushmeat trade, and expansion of agriculture and urban settlements are the main causes of this trend.

However, a continent-wide overview of the status of wildlife in [continue reading]