Archive for October, 2007
31 October, 2007
KANYE – The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) plans to refocus its assistance from start-ups towards existing businesses.
Dr Thapelo Matsheka, CEDAs chief executive officer, said in Kanye on Friday that 70 per cent of the agencys clients represent start-ups while the remaining 30 per cent constitute those in existence.
However, the agency is intending to reverse the trend. We want to balance our books by reducing the number of start-up businesses, Dr Matsheka said at the Kanye business communitys annual fund raising dinner. He noted that helping existing businesses would facilitate CEDAs cash flow and ensure sustainability.
He, therefore, encouraged people who are already in business to come forward, secure and utilise the loans offered by his agency for the growth or expansion of their businesses.
Dr Matsheka said he saw no value in having a lot of new businesses when one could invest in existing ones.
The event was held under the theme: Local procurement: The greatest step towards small and medium enterprise growth.
He also encouraged business people to identify [continue reading]
Botswana and South Africa have made far-reaching changes to the border opening hours between the two countries.The changes that come into effect on December 14, were agreed on at the seventh session of the Botswana/South Africa Joint Permanent commission on Defence and Security held in Maun last week.
Under the new arrangement, most border posts’ opening times have been extended by two hours. The ever busy Tlokweng-Zeerust border gate, which currently opens until 10 pm will now operate up to 12 midnight. Pioneer border gate, off-Lobatse, will also open until [continue reading]
31 October, 2007
FRANCISTOWN – Mowana Mine in Dukwe will start operating early next year, says the African Copper Mining Human Resource Manager Mr Mack Zulu.
Briefing the Sowa Township Authority full council meeting, Mr Zulu said that the Botswana government did not buy shares in the mine as it has done with the Tati Nickel Mining Company and other mines.
He said currently they were exploring a 4000 square kilometres area in the Matsitama area, which has an assortment of minerals including lime and traces of gold.
Mr Zulu said that they have abide by the prerequisites of the [continue reading]
source: Business Day (SA)
Linda Ensor and Mathabo le Roux
FINANCE Minister Trevor Manuel yesterday called for a return to the aggressive approach to trade liberalisation of the 1990s , urging that SA buck the slow pace of multilateral trade negotiations and introduce unilateral trade reforms to boost growth.
Presenting his mid-term budget in Parliament, Manuel donned the mantle he first wore a decade ago in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet — a liberalising trade and industry minister.
Manuel’s remarks came as a surprise and signal a marked shift from SA’s cautious approach to trade talks.
They also highlight the critical importance of [continue reading]
31 October, 2007
HUKUNTSI -The government has approved the Brand Botswana strategy and plan and is to be launched next month.
Botswana Export Development Agency (BEDIA) public and communications manager, Ms Ester Kanaimba said an appropriate day to launch the brand is being worked out between his organisation, the Office of the President and other stakeholders.
The project to develop a national brand for Botswana is spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through BEDIA.
The national branding strategy is seen as one of the key tools for the economic development of the country as well as to create a coordinated approach to the promotion of investments, tourism and trade.
Kaiser Associates and Place Brands developed the strategy and plan after assessing the current economic realities, strategies and organisational capacities of Botswana as well as the current perception within the country and internationally.
Ms Kanaimba said a national brand is much more than [continue reading]
31 October, 2007
GABORONE – The government has approved the CIC Energy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the power station and mine for the Mmamabula Energy Project.
A statement from the company says the government approval follows extensive work over the last 18 months by the company and independent environmental consultants.
Environmental approval from the government of Botswana is a significant achievement for the Mmamabula Energy Project, says GIC president and chief executive officer Greg Kinross.
He says it was an important step towards securing mining and independent power producer licenses and more broadly, adding it is a key development for all stakeholders including Eskom, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and potential leaders.
Mmamabula Energy Project power station will be the first in Africa with flue gas desulphurization and it is being designed to meet the Equator Principles, a voluntary set of guidelines based on International Finance Corporation (IFC) policies.
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Meanwhile CIC Energy has appointed Mr Edward Scholtz as [continue reading]
The Voice (Francistown)
30 October 2007
Posted to the web 30 October 2007
Our government wisely wishes to diversify the economy. A carrot is dangled by underscoring job opportunities- more than 3000 jobs at a minimum wage of P600 per month – by cultivating 10,000 hectares of sugar cane and harnessing the water of the Zambesi River.
But count the cost- 10,000 hectares of Kasane forest reserve replaced by sugar cane! In a country with a land surface consisting largely of Kalahari Desert, every tree is precious. Think of destroying trees in the current crisis of climate change. Not only is the intrinsic value of the trees worth more than many years of sugar crops (even if it does produce alternative fuel as well as sugar). And what picture will such a move paint in the international eco-sensitive world?
Tourism is our second greatest economic powerhouse. Tourists arriving in Kasane/Chobe will surely not be enamoured by endless vistas of sugar cane fields when they are spending big money to see the natural wonders of well-preserved Botswana. Make no mistake; tourism represents a very substantial job market for [continue reading]
Dire consequences if they use the forex black market to finance imports
By Nelson Banya
Harare – Zimbabwean companies face dire consequences if they use the foreign currency black market to finance imports, state media reported on Tuesday. In its latest bid to tame the world’s highest inflation rate, the government will now require companies to provide proof of their import costs before they set their prices, the official Herald newspaper quoted National Incomes and Pricing Commission Chairman Goodwills Masimirembwa as saying. “Companies and individuals caught violating price management legislation will face the full wrath of the law,” he said. Food shortages have worsened in the southern African nation since President Robert Mugabe’s government ordered businesses to roll back prices to mid-June levels. The move triggered panic buying and emptied shop shelves. Price controls led to a slowdown in inflation in August but the official figure shot to a record 7,900 percent last month.
Although the government has allowed retailers to set prices as much as [continue reading]
31 October, 2007
GABORONE – Botswana and Kenya have learnt a lot from each other since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two, says outgoing Kenyan High Commissioner Mr Charles Mbaka.
Speaking at a ceremony to bid President Festus Mogae farewell, Mr Mbaka noted that bilateral relations between the two countries date back to former presidents Sir Seretse Khama and Mr Jomo Kenyatta.
Our two countries have a lot of things in common, having cooperated in areas such as training of personnel and in the beef sector.
These interactions have been consolidated by occasional visits from both countries to learn from each other, he said.
Mr Mbaka observed that in terms of trade the two [continue reading]
The pula has traded mixed in the past twelve months, appreciating by seven percent against the US dollar and losing six percent against the rand.
The pula has been behaving in opposite directions against the rand and the US dollar for some time now. Analysts believe the trend is set to continue, particularly on the back of the continued fall of the greenback against most major currencies.
“The pula behaves in opposite ways to the rand and the greenback, and if the US$ continues to slide against most currencies, we anticipate the pula to appreciate further against the US$ while depreciating against the rand,” an analyst with a stockbroking firm said. The US dollar has been on a free fall against major currencies this year and this has seen the local currency firming by [continue reading]
source: BBC News
Researchers could be a step closer to a cure for malaria after discovering people with blood group O are naturally protected from its most severe forms.
Edinburgh University has found blood type O people are significantly less likely to experience the most life-threatening effects of malaria.
It is hoped the discovery will help develop drugs which mimic the properties of red cells.
Red cells in O group blood prevent malaria worsening.
Scientists at Edinburgh University and researchers in the US, Mali and Kenya studied African children and found that those with blood type O were two-thirds less likely to experience unrousable coma or life-threatening anaemia.
Both conditions are characteristic of [continue reading]
Botswana is in the top five of Standard Bank’s 13 African operations, the Managing Director of Standard Bank in Botswana, David Cutting, has said.
Speaking at the launch of the bank’s Smart Credit Cards at Phakalane Golf Resort last week, Cutting said 2007 turned out to be a great for the bank. The launch of the smart card was scheduled to coincide with the 110th anniversary celebrations of Standard Bank Botswana. It was a glittering affair replete with the cutting of a massive cake to mark the occasion.
Cutting said the smart credit cards were one of a number of exciting developments in the history of the bank in Botswana which came with an enviable array of benefits.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank in Botswana, Vincent Seretse, said the bank was known for its [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
30 October 2007
A severe shortage of bearers cheques has hit the country and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is reported to be drafting plans to introduce a new currency. Bearers cheques are currently the only legal tender in Zimbabwe. Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa spoke to sources within the RBZ who said the plan is to bring in the new notes once a substantial amount of the current bearers cheques have been removed from circulation. Muchemwa said this is an attempt by the RBZ to lower the exchange rate and to limit hoarding. The exchange rate for US$1 surpassed the Z$1million mark in mid October.
Muchemwa explained that for 2 weeks now account holders have been finding it difficult to withdraw their hard earned money at the banks because they run out of notes as [continue reading]
October 30 2007 at 08:02PM
South Africans cursing the skills deficiency, power cuts and shortage of construction materials could take heart that the country was building for growth, delegates at the SA International Trade and Investment Conference in Durban heard on Monday.
The construction sector in SA was growing at a rate of 20 percent a year on the back of six consecutive quarters of economic growth.
This looked set to continue, with a three-year “infrastructural build” of R631-billion.
Andrew Wright, of the National Empowerment Fund, said R410-billion of that spending was by the government, and the balance was from the private sector.
Wright said that 37 percent of the government spending would be on municipalities, Transnet and Eskom. He said the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors had conservatively predicted the growth momentum to continue at [continue reading]
source: Reuters Africa
Tue 30 Oct 2007, 6:43 GMT
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Botswana’s central bank left its bank rate unchanged at 14.5 percent on Monday, saying it expected inflation to stay above the top end of its target range in the short term but moderate further down the road.
“In the circumstances the bank considers it necessary to maintain the current monetary policy stance with the aim of sustaining the medium-term inflation path and expectations of low inflation,” it said in a statement.
The bank last cut its rate by 50 basis points in June, but Bank of Botswana Governor Linah Mohohlo later warned more cuts were [continue reading]