Archive for December 7th, 2007

source: BOPA
07 December, 2007

GABORONE – A state-of-the-art diamond sorting machinery worth P69 million was delivered this week at the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTC Botswana).

A news release from De Beers states that the technology was developed at the DTC International Research and Development Centre in Maidenhead, United Kingdom, making DTC Botswana closer to being the largest and most sophisticated rough diamond sorting and valuing operation in the world.

The machines were installed by nine employees from Maidenhead and citizen employees of DTC Botswana who were trained by [continue reading]

Give Batswana preference

source: BOPA
07 December, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Parliamentarians have unanimously approved the mines, and minerals (amendment) bill which was presented by minerals, energy and water resources minister Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe on Tuesday.

The bill is part of a suit of regulatory requirements for the implementation of the Mmamabula energy project which consists of the largely export coal-fired power station and a coal mine in the Mmamabula coalfield.

However, the bill is not confined to the Mmamabula project, as it is enabling and forward looking. Supporting the bill, the MP for Gaborone West South Mr Robert Molefhabangwe said Batswana should be empowered in the mining industry.

Mr Molefhabangwe said it is disturbing to realise that few Batswana have mining licenses, be it in prospecting, cutting or polishing.

He said only two Batswana have mining licenses, adding that the country still has a long way to go. The Gaborone West South MP said unlike in the past, the country now has citizen mining engineers and that they should be given an opportunity to participate and spearhead mining companies.

Mr Molefhabangwe further expressed concern about [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, ahead of this weekend’s EU-Africa summit.

He is banned from the EU, but was let in after African leaders threatened to stay away if he was not invited.

UK PM Gordon Brown, who is critical of Mr Mugabe’s human rights record, is boycotting the summit in protest.

EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has criticised Mr Brown’s decision, saying that leaders sometimes have to meet people they disapprove of.

“If you are an international leader then you are going to have to be prepared to meet some people your mother would not like you to meet. That is what we have to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

7 December 2007
Posted to the web 7 December 2007

Mariam Isa
Johannesburg

THE Reserve Bank raised interest rates for the fourth time this year yesterday, warning that SA’s inflation outlook had deteriorated further, but acknowledged there was “heated debate” among monetary policy committee members on whether to hold rates steady.

“The assessment of the committee is that the balance of risks to the inflation outlook continues to be on the upside,” governor Tito Mboweni said, in a televised statement on the decision to raise the Bank’s repo rate by half a percentage point to 11%.

“The committee will continue to monitor developments and to take the steps needed to ensure that inflation returns to its target range as soon as possible.”

Inflation measured by the annual rise in CPIX has breached its 3%-6% target range for seven months in a row, climbing to 7,3% in October — a four-and-a-half-year peak.

Markets had expected the latest hike in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

7 December 2007
Posted to the web 7 December 2007

Neels Blom and Mathabo Le Roux
Johannesburg

THE government has radically scaled back plans for an ambitious biofuels roll-out, citing concerns over food security and the effect of climate change on the agricultural sector.

The move deals a hefty blow to hopes that the strategy would substantially reduce SA’s dependence on imported oil and create tens of thousands of new jobs.

Production targets in the new strategy, ratified by the cabinet this week, have been reduced from 4,5% to 2% of total motor fuel consumption and the government has opted to exclude maize as feedstock for biofuels, due to food security concerns.

Maize producers reacted with dismay to the decision to exclude maize from the strategy, saying it would have the opposite of its intended effect. Grain SA chairman Neels Ferreira said the [continue reading]

Two stadiums in offing

source: BOPA
07 December, 2007

GABORONE – The country look set to have two more stadia if the govenments dream of beefing up existing sports facilities becomes a reality.

In that respect, construction of the much awaited multi purspose Lobatse and Francistown sports facilities are expected to begin soon,it has been confirmed.

The ground breaking ceremony marking the commencement of Lobatse stadium will be performed by the minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Maj. Gen. Moeng Pheto on January 14 while the tender for the Francistown one is expected to be awarded early next year.

A Chinese company, Zhon Gan Engineering and Construction will construct the Lobatse Stadium.

Youth, Sports and Culture minister is optimistic that the facility will be delivered on budget and on time.

Minister Pheto says, Lobatse stadium will includ [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 December, 2007

GABORONE – To fulfill its aim of commercialising this years music awards to generate profit, Botswana Musician Union (BOMU) has partnered with South African radio station Motsweding FM for its 2nd Annual BOMU Awards.

BOMU announced on Tuesday that the 2nd Annual BOMU Awards coming this Sunday would air live for the first time from the Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC), on South Africas Motsweding FM.

BOMU has partnered with the only vernacular station broadcasting to Setswana speaking audiences within its footprint to create awareness and promote local musicians and [continue reading]

source: BBC Sport

Fifa says African countries will have to play their first four qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup finals on successive weekends.

The first group phase of the qualifiers begin at the end of May and conclude in September.

The four weekends of June will be used for the first four rounds of group matches, presenting a potential logistical headache for teams having to criss-cross the continent.

“We have written to Fifa seeking clarification of this,” said South African Football Association chief executive officer Raymond Hack.

“It seems a little tough on the players.”

Poor flight connections, which often turn [continue reading]

source: Mining Weekly
By: Martin Creamer
Published: 6 Dec 07 – 12:36

De Beers’ new $83-million diamond building under construction in Botswana was “by far and away” the most advanced diamond facility anywhere in the world and testament to De Beers’ confidence in the future of the African continent, MD Gareth Penny has told Mining Weekly Online in an exclusive interview.

Penny said that the building, which was nearing completion in Gaborone, would replace diamond activity currently undertaken in London at higher cost.

“It won’t just be sorting and valuing. The whole selling and marketing function for Botswana will be operated from there,” Penny said.

“We are going to focus London on the sorts of activities that are appropriate to have in what is one of the most expensive cities in the world,” he said.

Retained would be corporate and marketing to international consumers, but diamond activities currently undertaken in London would in future be done in Botswana.

By aggregating in Botswana – where 60% of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

STAFF WRITER

Here is a great idea: The villages of Mahalapye, Serowe and Palapye should aggregate and form a huge one called MA-SE-PA.

This could rival Gaborone and other bigger cities around the world. The economic potential could be enormous. There could… before you get on the drift of the potential of the Frankenstien village of MA-SE-PA, I must confess that the idea is not original. I got it from Festus Mogae, yes President Mofesto. But he too says it is not original as a footnote, he acknowledges some residents of TUMASERA, to be more precise, Seleka villagers. Apparently the villagers must have felt belittled when they were forced to aggregate with other smaller neighbouring communities of Tupye, Malete and Rasesa all of which are located within one Tswapong geographical area, which was initially styled as Seleka until government decided that from now it would be Tumasera all the way. Many years after that government decision, Seleka villagers find it hard to accept Seleka is no more. The thing about ‘MA-SE-PA’ according to Mogae, is a way of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Oxfam (Oxford)

6 December 2007
Posted to the web 6 December 2007

The free trade deals Europe is negotiating with Africa threaten to undermine development and push people further into poverty, said Oxfam today on the eve of a summit in Lisbon aimed to promote partnership between the two blocs.

As officials prepare to travel to the EU-Africa summit for a weekend of talks on issues ranging from climate change, trade and economic integration, to peace and security, efforts to finalise a range of trade agreements between the EU and four African regions were intensifying.

The deadline for the deals is December, but so far only some countries from two of the four African regions have initialled interim deals, and none are fully completed.

Amy Barry, Oxfam spokeswoman at the summit said: “It is ironic that on the eve of a summit that is meant to be about partnership, the EU is placing enormous pressure on developing countries to sign up to free trade deals that may be very harmful for their economic development.

“Many African governments have expressed concern about the content and schedule for these negotiations, as have a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

TUMELO SETSHOGO
CORRESPONDENT

MOCHUDI: Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has pleaded with the workers of Botswana to help resolve the deepening socio-economic and political crisis in his country.

“We have a house on fire and our African culture requires you, as neighbours, to help us put out that fire,” pleaded Tsvangirai at the ongoing conference of Botswana Land Boards and Local Authority Workers Union (BLLWU) in Mochudi on Tuesday.

He told the delegates that workers’ solidarity and protection is a myth unless the politics is right. “Every voice has a value in this struggle for social democracy,” said the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader. He added that everything that can possibly go wrong has gone wrong in Zimbabwe. He said the workers have suffered most directly as individuals, as unions and collectively through their political alternative, the MDC. He said one of the MDC’s priorities is the strengthening of public institutions to support democracy. “A two-tier system remains weak, as long as [continue reading]

source: Financial Gazette
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter

SOUTH Africa and Zambia have disconnected power to Zimbabwe because of its failure to service substantial accumulated debt, a parliamentary report tabled in the Senate last week shows.

And an agreement with Nampower of Namibia, touted by government as the solution to the country’s deepening power crisis, now also hangs in the balance after Zimbabwe failed to honour its part of the deal.
The Namibians have already fulfilled their side of the bargain by paying US$40 million. But, contrary to glowing government comments on the Namibia deal, the report says Zimbabwe has thrown the arrangement into jeopardy.
The report was prepared by Members of Parliament (MPs) serving on the Portfolio Committee on Mines, Energy, Environment and Tourism, and was presented in the Senate last week. The report paints a dire picture of the extent of the country’s power crisis.
“The country has not paid its debts, for the period March 2007 to August, amounting to US$42 million. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been unable to pay this debt because of the unavailability and cost of foreign currency vis a vis the low tariffs. As a result, South Africa and Zambia have discontinued supplies,” the report, which probed the prevailing power crisis, said.
The report noted that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

OLIVER MODISE
STAFF WRITER

STATE HOUSE: President Festus Mogae has challenged editors and reporters to aim at promoting a qualitative media profession, free of bias and malice. Mogae said this at a cocktail party organised for media practitioners and other stakeholders on Tuesday evening. The event was well attended by journalists and presenters from the country’s print and electronic media.

Announcers and reporters from the popular Setswana-medium South African radio station, Motsweding FM, were also present.

In his remarks, President Mogae characterised the occasion as an opportunity for an informal interaction between media practitioners and himself.

In a light-hearted but piercing speech, Mogae took the opportunity to share his observations of the media in Botswana. He noted that the [continue reading]

source: BBC News

A tourism promoter in Zimbabwe has been arrested for allegedly defacing bank notes to use as business cards.

Denis Paul is accused of insulting behaviour for handing out 10-cent Zimbabwean notes stamped with his business details at a tourism fair.

Officials say his actions in effect discouraged tourism to Zimbabwe.

Banks say the cost of printing the 10-cent notes by far exceed their face value. If found guilty, Mr Paul could face up to a year in prison.

Correspondent says the single-cent bank notes – or bearer cheques as they are known – released last year have become obsolete because of [continue reading]