Archive for September 20th, 2007

US/Africa ties vital

source: BOPA
20 September, 2007

WASHINGTON DC – President Festus Mogae has urged the United States of America to develop close relations with Africa. He said the continent is undergoing political and economic transformation, adding that countries that engage meaningfully with African countries during the process will have strong relations with the continent.

The president made these remarks Tuesday in Washington at the Corporate Council on Africa where he talked about “The Importance of the USA becoming more engaged in Africa, and especially Botswana.” Mr Mogae noted that long-term energy security is a global concern and that the US, which is a major oil consumer, is affected by this challenge.

“The opportunities created by economic reforms, improved macroeconomic stability, good economic and corporate governance, privatization, public private partnerships, scaling up infrastructure development present interesting opportunities for US investors,” he said.

He further noted that raw material prices recently increased mainly due to demand from China and India giving impetus to economic development.”Increased internet connectivity and mobile telephony are making the continent accessible internationally which is key to linking IT to major world markets.

“Furthermore, African countries belong to regional economic communities that aim to integrate their economies thus constituting larger markets,” he added.

President Mogae said for Botswana the engagement with the US government has encouraged private foundations and educational institutions to also establish relationships with their counterparts and government agencies in Botswana.

He said Botswana made progress in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN News Service (New York)

19 September 2007
Posted to the web 20 September 2007

New York

Better information technology links can help Africa to unleash its economic potential, United Nations and business leaders said today in New York.

African countries have registered the world’s highest mobile phone growth, ranging from 50 to 400 per cent in the last three years, Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), told a press briefing.

Africa’s goal should be to replicate that success in broadband capability, also achieving “Internet access in every village, every school, every university, every hospital.”

Lack of Internet access is holding back growth, according to ITU figures. Less than 4 per cent of Africans have Internet access, broadband penetration is below 1 per cent and 70 per cent of all continental traffic goes outside Africa, driving up costs for consumers. The cost of Internet connectivity in Africa, says the World Bank, is the highest in the world – some $250-300 per month.

Africa needs a competitive information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, Mr. Touré said. “By bringing optical fibres in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
20 September, 2007

GABORONE – It is important to empower civil society for it to play a bigger part in different national processes.

Mr Wayne Gill of UNAIDS and Botswana Network of AIDS and Service Organisations (BONASO) told participants at a workshop that the civil society should be the driving force of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS.

He was speaking at a workshop held to mobilise civil society’s meaningful participation in UNGASS in Gaborone.

Mr Gill said UNGASS was influential in the global scale, and the civil society in Botswana should come forward and make an impact not only in the country, but also globally through meaningful participation.

He said civil society in Botswana should be able to contribute fully and actively to the national report on AIDS to be presented to the UNGASS.

He also said UNGASS had adopted a set of resolutions at its eighth plenary meeting held in June 2001, with regard to issues relating to leadership, vulnerability, care, support and treatment.

UNGASS also resolved to ensure that [continue reading]

Business Day (Johannesburg)

20 September 2007
Posted to the web 20 September 2007

Thabang Mokopanele

MAJOR vehicle manufacturers warned yesterday that they faced the risk of losing export contracts and that thousands of workers could lose their jobs as talks to end the strike by workers at motor industry component manufacturers deadlocked yesterday.

The strike, now in its eighth day, has resulted in the crippling of the supply of critically needed components to assemble vehicles. Several motor manufacturing plants have closed as parts became unavailable.

Volkswagen SA (VWSA), Toyota SA, DaimlerChrysler SA, General Motors SA and Ford SA said yesterday they were losing production at the rate of several hundreds cars each day, and were unable to fulfil critical export orders. They warned that they could be forced to retrench workers if they lost their export contracts .

The strike is still no closer to resolution after wage negotiations [continue reading]

source: BOPA
20 September, 2007

SEROWE – Batswana have been advised to invest intelligently in the share or equity market by spreading their risks across a wide range of savings.

Marketing and Development Manager at the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), Ms Lame Masire, said in Serowe on Tuesday that to avert some of the risks involved in the share market, one needed to buy shares from various industries listed under the BSE.

Addressing the full meeting of the Central Distict Council, Ms Masire said the equity or share market was a section of the BSE where companies could raise money by selling securities that awarded part-ownership of their companies to members of the public.

“The shareholders need to take control of their investments, as they will be investing their money in those particular companies,” she said.

Ms Masire spoke of more than 20 listed companies, which varied from the financial, mining, tourism, furniture and asset management where Batswana could buy shares from.

“It is always advisable to invest in various industries so that at any particular point when one goes down one will be able to benefit from the other.” Ms Masire told the councillors about the benefits of investing in the share market, which she said was a profitable, hassle-free and stimulating way of making money.

“One receives a part of company profits in the form of dividends and one benefits from [continue reading]

source: BOPA
20 September, 2007

GABORONE – The Presidential commission to review salaries, conditions of service and other entitlements for national leaders was sworn in Monday.

A media release from the commission secretariat says the work will be completed in December. The commission will review entitlements for the president, vice president, speaker of the National Assembly, ministers, assistant ministers, deputy speaker, leader of the opposition, members of Parliament, Members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi and councillors.

The release says the terms of reference include reviewing existing pay scales; making appropriate recommendations to reflect the level of responsibility and accountability for each of the categories; and reviewing the existing conditions of service and other entitlements including allowances and terminal benefits for each of the categories with a view to making appropriate recommendations.

The commission will also make other [continue reading]

source: BOPA
20 September, 2007

MAUN – The annual Maun 4_4 challenge gets underway at Sitatunga race tracks near Maun on Saturday. The race is expected to be a thriller given the introduction of quad bikes and motorbikes.

At least 20 quad bikes and motorbikes are expected to participate in addition to 10 modified 4_4 vehicles and five 4_4 standard vehicles, said Ericka Rademeyer, of the Okavango Motor Club ,who are the race organizers.

Rademeyer said teams in the modified and standard categories would be from Francistown, Orapa, Gantsi and Maun But regrettably, South African drivers and navigators would not take part in the Maun 4_4 race as there is a similar challenge in South Africa a week after the Sitatunga race.

However Rademeyer said this year’s Maun 4_4 Challenge would see more women participation as [continue reading]

source: IOL
Babalo Ndenze
September 20 2007 at 07:17AM

The continued illegal strike action at the R2,85-billion Green Point Stadium could cripple the project, making South Africa the “laughing stock of Africa”, contractors warned.

The warning came on Wednesday after hundreds of construction workers – brandishing wooden poles, rocks and hammers – went on a rampage over transport arrangements and a travel allowance, causing damage to equipment.

A senior police officer was also injured when a rock struck him on the head during a confrontation with the workers. Satellite offices were also damaged during the protest.

Stadium construction companies employ about 1 500 workers.

A “bitterly disappointed” on-site project director, Andrew Fanton, said what happened on Wednesday was “unpleasant”.

“On August 27 and 28 there was a strike around additional travel allowances and we engaged in negotiations with the union. We engaged in a process of discussions. We then [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

19 September 2007
Posted to the web 19 September 2007

Courtney Hess
Washington, D.C.

The “divergent” interests of the United States and China “can be reconciled to Africa’s benefit,” according to representatives from Africa, China and the United States who took part in a trilateral exchange of views over the past year.

However, stark differences in approach can also produce diplomatic and economic complications that need to be regularly addressed, according to participants in the trialogue process, which was launched in August 2006 to promote conversation on the differing American and Chinese approaches to investment and aid on the African continent.

Participants in the discussions included academics, policy analysts and current and former government officials. They met in South Africa in August 2006, in China in March and last week in Washington, DC for their third and final gathering.

China’s rapidly expanding economy has [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Trade experts were yesterday worried that if a deal is not made on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) by December 31, the country could face serious repercussions.

At a Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) private sector trade workshop, the experts sounded the alarm that Botswana beef stood to lose.
“If the Cotonou Agreement expires, there will be an immediate impact and challenges,” said Pauline Elago, the Deputy Director of Trade Facilitation and Capacity Building at the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub.

“Cotonou is the only basis for Botswana to enter the European Union market. Botswana beef will face duties and Botswana will be competing with other countries and prices will be affected.”

Botswana and its SADC and ACP peers are currently locked in negotiations with the European Union (EU) over the EPAs that seek to replace the preferential trade system with a reciprocal one.

Under the existing Cotonou trade provisions, Botswana [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


It would be very easy for anyone to dismiss the new Standard Chartered Bank account known as the ‘Diva Account’ as another marketing gimmick.

After all, banks focus on getting more customers and breaking virgin ground to make more profit.

Before this groundbreaking innovation is trashed under a heap of wrong perceptions we caution that it be judged fairly and objectively.

In an era where patriarchy defines progress, empowerment and even innovation, the new account comes as a breath of fresh air that is bound to challenge accepted stereotypes.
For a very long time it has been accepted that banking and management of family estates, community or even a nation’s wealth is best left to men. Even from a cursory point of view, it is very clear that men are the dominant force running the economy.
While everyone, regardless of their sex, is free to use banking facilities it does not take a rocket scientist to discern that banking is very male oriented.

Government and other pressure groups have over the years made strides in ensuring that women take a more active role in public life. As a consequence we have [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

Tererai Karimakwenda
19 September, 2007

Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, has urged the international community to take tougher measures to end the Zimbabwe crisis. Speaking to BBC Television in London, Tutu criticised the so-called “quiet diplomacy” approach that South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki has applied to Zimbabwe so far, saying it had failed. The Archbishop said: “All of us Africans must hang our heads in shame for having allowed such a desperate situation to continue almost without anybody doing anything to try and stop it.”

Tutu, who is also a Nobel prize winner, is the 2nd Archbishop this week to voice a desire to see stronger action taken against the Mugabe regime. On Monday the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, called on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to lead an international campaign of foreign intervention and full sanctions against the Mugabe regime.

Like Sentamu, Tutu also appealed to the British Prime Minister, saying more pressure should be [continue reading]

source: IOL
September 19 2007 at 11:39PM

By Wendell Roelf

A South African police officer was injured on Wednesday during a wildcat strike at a soccer stadium work site, raising fears that labour disputes could disrupt the nation’s preparations to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

A thousand workers, many affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), downed tools at Cape Town’s Green Point stadium to demand better travel benefits. Some threw stones and bricks when police tried to break up the protest.

One officer was treated for minor injuries.

“The strike will continue until our demands are met. We will strike to Kingdom come,” said Mzulula Madolo, a worker who took part in the protest.

It was the second time in the [continue reading]