Archive for November, 2007

source: Mmegi

President Festus Mogae returned to Botswana Tuesday night after spending much of the day in Songo, Mozambique.

While in Songo he joined the Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza in celebrating the handover to the Mozambican state of a majority participation in the Cahora Bassa dam and hydro-electric plant on the Zambezi River.

In addition to Presidents Guebuza and Mogae, four other regional leaders also graced the occasion, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, and Prime Minister Absalom Dlamini of Swaziland.

Yesterday’s celebrations followed the [continue reading]

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source: Mmegi

KENNETH BANDA
CORRESPONDENT

SELEBI-PHIKWE: An ominous mood has pervaded Selebi-Phikwe as fears of power shortages expected to interrupt production loom over the horizon, it emerged during a Media Day arranged by BCL Mine last Friday.

The General Manager of the mine Montwedi Mphathi said the mine “has to do something” to minimise the effects of the impending power shortages.

With electricity bills of up to P120 million per year, BCL Mine is one of Botswana’s largest consumers of electricity. It uses 18 percent of BPC supply.

Selebi-Phikwe’s energy woes will not be helped by the fact that South Africa, which supplies 70 of Botswana’s electricity, is already in the grip of [continue reading]

source: Reuters Africa

Thu 29 Nov 2007, 14:04 GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Botswana credit growth
quickened to 24.3 percent year-on-year in October, stretching further away from its target range, its central bank said on Thursday.

Strong credit demand and rising inflationary pressures are a major concern for the bank, with consumer inflation at the top end of its 4 to 7 percent band.

“This was up from 23.1 percent in September, taking credit growth further outside the Bank of Botswana credit growth target range of 11-14 percent for 2007,” it said in a statement.

The Bank of Botswana cut its lending rate by 50 basis points in June, but [continue reading]

source: The Financial Gazette
Rangarirai Mberi News Editor

SENEGALESE President Abdoulaye Wade is on a collision course with South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki after he proposed to lead a committee of five African leaders to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis and end the country’s row with Britain.

Wade has proposed that a group of African leaders mediate between Zimbabwe and Britain, and also between President Robert Mugabe and his internal opponents.
Although Wade said Mbeki would be part of this group, it is clear the South African leader would view such an arrangement as an attempt to diminish his influence in Zimbabwe.
“We should, at the level of heads of state, together with brother Mbeki, undertake mediation. I think that Zimbabwe should be treated as an African problem, to be solved by all African leaders,” Wade told reporters yesterday after meeting President Mugabe.
Asked whether his proposal does not usurp the Mbeki process, Wade retorted: “Thabo Mbeki does not have the sole right to meet with (President) Mugabe.
“Mbeki has done a lot, but the problem has not been solved”, he said.
Late yesterday, Wade met leaders of the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

OARABILE MOSIKARE
CORRESPONDENT

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana has been advised not to diversify the economy ‘away’ from mining but should instead use the mining industry as a vehicle or catalyst for diversifying the economy.

Speaking at the BOCCIM Northern Annual Gala Dinner held at Tati River Lodge here last Saturday, the General Manager of Tati Nickel Peet Kotze said his company had approved business development projects totaling P1.2 million in 2007.

These include leather tanning, honey production, catering, poulty and horticulture.
“These projects are all operational and will uplift neighbouring communities by creating the much needed employment opportunities,” Kotze said. “The projects are (our) modest steps in the journey towards economic diversification.

“We also approved P2 million for social development projects, which include a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

27 November 2007
Posted to the web 28 November 2007

Abid Aslam
Washington, DC

Africa, the world’s least plugged-in continent, is moving closer to reliable telecommunications and affordable Internet access.

Construction of a 10,000-kilometre undersea fibre-optic cable connecting 21 East, Southern, and Central African countries to West Africa and Europe is to begin next month following the announcement Monday that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and others have come up with 70.7 million dollars in financing for the project.

“The project will transform the African telecommunication landscape and have a direct positive impact on business in East Africa,” Lars Thunell, chief executive at the World Bank’s private sector arm, said Monday.

In much of the developing world, digital communications have enabled school and college students to study in virtual libraries and to visit counterparts in other countries. Businesses have harnessed the Internet to reach offshore customers and suppliers and to obtain management know-how and [continue reading]

source: IOL
November 28 2007 at 08:12PM

Johannesburg has been ranked as one of the top 50 cities in the world that are hubs of the new worldwide economy, according to an index released on Tuesday.

Johannesburg, the only African city to make the top 50, was ranked 47th in the Mastercard “Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index”.

Senior economist at T-Sec Mike Schussler said in the index had been developed by sophisticated international ranking practices

“There are a lot of things to be grateful for, but the typical complaints have been proven, like crime and skills shortages,” he said.

The index, developed by a worldwide panel of economic, urban development and social science experts, ranked the top cities according to six measures including legal and political frameworks, economic stability, ease of doing business, financial flow, business centre and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

TSHIRELETSO MOTLOGELWA
STAFF WRITER

Lands and Housing Minister Ramadeluka Seretse has warned residents of Nkoyaphiri in Mogoditshane that illegal settlers would be forcibly removed from the area.

He told the residents that painful as it was, his ministry would have no option but to demolish the shacks if owners did not leave the area.

Addressing a heated Kgotla meeting in the village yesterday, Seretse informed residents that people who illegally settled in the area after 1992, as the Kgabo Commission Report indicates, would be ejected if they did not leave voluntarily.

Seretse advised the settlers to therefore contact the Land Board offices to lodge their applications.

“We should not pander to populist sentiments and we [continue reading]

source: ZimNews

author/source:AFP
published:Wed 28-Nov-2007
posted on this site:Wed 28-Nov-2007
Article Type : News
“Wade and Mbeki are in a sort competition over who deals better in tackling the Zimbabwean crisis”

Dakar – President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal is to hold talks with President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday in a bid to defuse tensions between Harare and London that have overshadowed next month’s EU-Africa summit. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he will not attend the EU-Africa summit in Portugal on December 8-9 after Mugabe declared he would be present at the talks. But Wade, who has expressed concern that the impasse between Zimbabwe and its former colonial ruler could derail the Lisbon summit, is embarking on a mission to try and sort out matters. The Senegalese leader said South Africa, which has been tasked by a southern African regional bloc to try and resolve neighbouring Zimbabwe’s political and economic crises, could not achieve the task alone. South African President Thabo Mbeki has been leading negotiations to try and end turmoil and the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe which have led Harare to being ostracised by the West and by Britain, in particular.

Eldred Masunungure, political scientist at University of Zimbabwe warned that Wade risked being viewed as a European Union mediator. “If his visit is to [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info
28 November 2007

World football authority Fifa has given qualified and experienced tour operators from around the world the opportunity to benefit from staging the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, by enabling them to sell customised tour packages comprising accommodation, transport and World Cup tickets.

To make it easier for football fans to identify the tour operators who are entitled to sell travel arrangements with valid 2010 tickets, a special quality mark featuring the 2010 official emblem with the word mark “Authorised Travel Packages” has been developed.

According to fifa.com, a total of 350 000 tickets have been allocated to cater for these packages.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk on Monday officially presented the tour operator programme to more than 200 interested travel experts from around the world at Soccerex 2007, currently taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg.

“It is extremely important for us to ensure that the first FIFA World Cup in Africa touches as [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
28 November, 2007

The government’s chief statistician, Moffat Nyoni, has said the inflation figures that are issued at the beginning of each month will be delayed, because the basic items used to measure them are not available in the shops. Known as the “average family basket” there are specific basic goods needed by each family every month, and the cost of these items from month to month is used to calculate the rate of inflation.
Nyoni’s admission shows just how severe the shortages have become, and also confirms how the government’s insistence on price controls is destroying the economy.

The state Herald quoted Nyoni as saying: “There are too many data gaps,” and he was “now trying to find ways of coming up with the missing figures.” The last official figure for inflation, reported last month, was 7,982%. However economic experts say the actual figure is closer to 15,000%. The inflation rate is expected to more than triple by the end of the year.

A resident of Mabelreign suburb Harare laughed when asked [continue reading]

source: IOL
November 28 2007 at 11:38AM

By Solly Maphumulo

With 24 percent of Eskom’s generating capacity not operating, the utility is battling to keep up with South Africa’s electricity demands.

As a result, the probability of load shedding is high at the moment and Eskom is urging consumers to use electricity sparingly.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said on Wednesday morning that the problem started at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in Cape Town when a unit tripped, resulting in blackouts in many parts of the country.

“There is a technical fault that has been identified and repairs are in progress at the moment. Our technicians have been working around the clock to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana, together with Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland, has signed an Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Trade and Industry has announced.

A statement from the ministry says the agreement was signed last Friday in Brussels, Belgium after extensive negotiations which began in 2004 between the EU and the SADC EPA configuration.

Under the new trade agreement, Botswana’s exports, including beef, will now enjoy permanent duty free, quota free (DFQF) access to the European market. Additionally some textile products will benefit from single transformation for export.

“This improved market access should enable higher returns and better profits to producers and hence higher employment and growth to the Botswana economy,” the statement says.

“The Interim Agreement also provides for [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Tichaona Sibanda
27 November 2007

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has reiterated he will not be attending next month’s European summit with African leaders because of reports saying Robert Mugabe plans to attend.
Brown confirmed his decision to stay away from the Lisbon summit at his monthly Downing Street press conference on Tuesday. Other EU leaders including the German chancellor Angela Merkel, have criticised Mugabe’s calamitous rule in Zimbabwe, but say they put the importance of the summit over and above Mugabe’s attendance.

Brown told journalists; ‘I will not be attending the summit. Given the circumstances of the last 10 years and our attempts to give assistance in Zimbabwe, which have been thwarted and resisted, it is not possible for us to attend this summit and sit down with President Mugabe.’

Reports in the British press said while Mugabe was reported to have [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

The bearish pattern that has characterised the stock market lately continued last week as the mainstream DCI lost another 0.77 percent to close the week near 9,000 points.

The main index was once again pulled down by blue chip commercial banks Barclays and Stanchart, whose prices have been realigning to levels supported by their fundamentals.

Stanchart was the biggest loser of the week, shedding 6.1 percent, while Barclays lost 0.56 percent.

The DCI, which closed the week at 9,014 points, has lost about 8 percent from the September 28 level of 9,769 points.

On the other hand, the Foreign Companies Index lost by an even wider margin, shedding 4.65 percent largely due to losses in the dominating mining counters on the board.

Profit taking in mining companies A-Cap, AF Copper and Anglo saw the counters losing [continue reading]