Archive for December 10th, 2007

source: BOPA
10 December, 2007

SEROWE – Local authorities have been called upon to ensure that they create an environment that is conducive to Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) development.

Officially launching Local Enterprises Authority (LEA) offices in Serowe, Minister of Land and Housing, Ret. Brig. Dikgakgamatso Seretse, said without the support of the local authorities, SMMEs could not flourish in their regions.

It is important that you become aware that provision of infrastructure is a key to the success of SMMEs, he said.

As a signatory to a number of regional and international trade agreements, he said goods made in Botswana had free access to these markets, adding that there was still an opportunity for SMMEs to penetrate the markets.

These agreements also open up the local market for imports, resulting in intense competition for SMMEs and it is therefore, important that we put in place measures that will ensure that products produced locally are able to compete internationally, he said. Brig. Seretse said he welcomed the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

African Diamonds (AFD) reckons its AK6 kimberlite diamond deposit that can deliver up to one million diamond carats a year is one of a kind . The company says it is expecting a final decision on a mining licence for the Botswana-based AK6 gem prospect early next year, the granting of which will pave the way for diamond production to start towards the end of 2009.

AFD, which released its full year results on Monday, says the planning and evaluation for the AK6 deposit, in which it currently holds a 28.38 percent stake, has been completed and, with the financing in place, the last step is the mining licence.

“The application for a mining licence (was) submitted to the Government of Botswana in October,” the company told Mining Weekly. It says with existing kimberlite mines either mature or declining, expectations are for [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

10 December 2007
Posted to the web 10 December 2007

Mariam Isa
Johannesburg

GOVERNOR Tito Mboweni stole much of the thunder from the Reserve Bank’s quarterly bulletin due tomorrow, by disclosing some of its most important data in his monetary policy statement last week.

But analysts will be looking for the details behind some of the key numbers for a clearer picture of the economy, particularly on how its current account deficit widened sharply to 8,1% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of this year. That is compared with the current account deficit in the second quarter, which was 6,5% of GDP.

The figure suggests that the shortfall on SA’s broadest measure of trade in goods and services, seen as the Achilles heel of its economy, will balloon to at least 7% of GDP this year from 6,5% last year — which was already a 32-year record.

“We have revised up our full year 2007 current account deficit forecast to 7,5% of GDP from 6,8% previously, with further widening to 7,8% next year and 8,2% in 2009,” said JPMorgan economist Tebogo Dintwe.

That means the deficit, which makes SA dependent on foreign capital inflows, will reach and possibly exceed the levels which the [continue reading]

source: Mining Weekly
By: Olivia Spadavecchia
Published: 10 Dec 07 – 8:59
Aim-listed Discovery Metals Limited reported a further 46% increase in the total inferred resource in the company’s wholly owned Maun copper project in north-west Botswana.

The latest increase follows the definition of an inferred mineral resource of 14,5-million tons at 1,3% copper and 12,6 g/t silver, at a cut-off of 0,6% copper, at the Plutus prospect in the Maun project.

The company explained that during 2007, the total inferred mineral resources for the Maun project had increased by 130% – from an initial 20-million tons at 1,2% copper.

MD Jeremy Read said that the [continue reading]

Banks to track defaulters

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

The Bankers Association of Botswana (BAB) has established a Credit Bureau under the regulation of the Bank of Botswana (BoB). The bureau will function as an information sharing mechanism enabling banks to exchange specific detailed client information for their mutual benefit.

The mechanism, which becomes operational this month, comes against the backdrop of a high credit defaultment rate caused by heavy indebtedness to multiple financial institutions by consumers, among other factors.

According to the current president of the BAB, Danny Zandamela, the mechanism has been set up by the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.12.2007 12:01:22 A

Ad CART, in partnership with Smart Cart South Africa, has launched the “everyone has a right to good health” campaign in Botswana to advertise the Botswana Public Officer’s Medical Aid Scheme. The campaign is a perfect match for Ad Cart’s obtrusive advertising medium and will run for several months across various retailers in Botswana.

“Trolley advertising is the only medium that provides extreme focus adspace for the entire duration of the shopping experience because the trolley stays with the shopper from start to finish,” said Nani Forrester-Smith, MD of Ad CART.

In store advert is recognised internationally as the only ubiquitous form of advertising and is credited for being niche marketing reaching millions of households every year. Some of the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 December, 2007

PARLIAMENT – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) have initialed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that will ensure that trade between the two blocs continues despite the expiry date of the Cotonou Agreement at the end of this month.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Neo Moroka, told Parliament that the Cotonou Agreement enabled trade to take between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and EU.

However, Mr Moroka said the trading arrangements between the two blocs were not compatible with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules that govern trade among its members.

Mr Moroka said ACP countries enjoyed preferential market access into the EU market something that was contrary to the principle of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The GATT stipulates that preferential trade must be extended to all WTO members.

He said the Cotonou Agreement was therefore protected by a waiver against any legal challenge and comes to an end on December 31.

Should WTO compatible trading arrangements not be put in place by December 31, ACP countries will have to export to the EU under [continue reading]

source: The Independent (UK)
By Andrew Grice
Published: 10 December 2007

European and African leaders have signed a pact promoting free trade and democracy but failed to make a breakthrough on formal trade agreements between the two continents.

At a two-day summit in Lisbon, overshadowed by the presence of the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the 53 African and 27 EU nations papered over their differences over Zimbabwe and Darfur.

The new “strategic partnership” is seen by the EU as a way of combating China’s growing influence in Africa.

However, there was little sign that the first EU-Africa summit for seven years had made the hoped-for breakthrough on trade. The EU wanted to meet a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)

OPINION
9 December 2007
Posted to the web 9 December 2007

David Milliband

Globalisation is increasing interdependence. It is creating shared interests that demand co-operation between countries and regions.

From climate change and economic growth, to conflict and terrorism, Europe and Africa’s futures are intertwined. We must use this weekend’s EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon to strengthen our relations and create a better future for the next generation.

The UK has in the last ten years made massive efforts with many African countries to support African-led development. From aid to trade to debt relief to education and health we are committed to put our money and people behind a transformation in African fortunes.

Whether it be £6bn in trade with South Africa, our efforts to restore peace to Sierra Leone, or the £700m of aid announced last week to fight poverty in Uganda, we are investing more in African countries than ever before.

But we also know that the EU, as a regional player of 27 states, needs to fashion a new relationship with Africa. It can add value. After all it was under the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
10.12.2007 12:00:41 A

Unions in Botswana have challenged government to list companies earmarked for privatization with the Botswana Stock Exchange so that employees who have been disadvantaged by the privatization exercise can buy into such companies, either individually or collectively through their unions.
Speaking at a recent Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) congress in Maun, Andrew Motsamai, the organization’s president, said that the government has on more than one occasion indicated that it would like to see the private sector taking a more central role in driving the economy, hence the privatization initiative. In his recent state of the nation address President Festus Mogae reiterated government’s commitment to the privatization process.

BOPEU revealed that they were invited to the initial conceptualization of the privatization policy where [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 December, 2007

GABORONE – Government is committed to facilitating the implementation of the cultural agreement signed last year between Botswana and Cuba, says Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Ret. Maj. Gen. Moeng Pheto.

General Pheto was speaking on Thursday at a courtesy call paid to him by Cubas deputy head of International Relations, Mr Oscar Cordovez.

He said Botswana wanted art exhibitions from both Cuba and Botswana encouraged. He also said he wanted to see cultural workshops, music festivals, exchange of information and the development of theatre, film and visual arts between the two countries encouraged.

In sport, we are happy that you were kind enough to assist us with Cuba technical experts in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

FRANCISTOWN: The Bank of Baroda is committed to the realisation of localising some of its managerial positions, the newly appointed Managing Director, Debabroto Mitra has said.

Speaking to BusinessWeek at the opening of the bank’s new branch in Francistown on Wednesday, Mitra said the bank had put programmes in place to achieve localisation.
He said the Gaborone branch has a total of 20 staff only six of whom are non-locals, while in Francistown, there are four staff members only one of whom is a non-local.

The bank has four Batswana at supervisory level. It is in the process of recruiting two locals for managerial positions. “We will continue to train and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 December, 2007

PARLIAMENT – The Electricity Supply Amendment Bill looks set to sail through its second reading as more and more parliamentarians continue to voice their support for it.

The MP for Molepolole South Mr Daniel Kwelagobe said the bill will open up the energy sector to more players and end the monopoly of the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) as well as create employment opportunities for Batswana at the envisioned coalmine, power plant and the town.

Mr Kwelagobe, who is also the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, said the revenue accrued from selling electricity would help the government to embark on other development projects.

Mr Kwelagobe described the Mmamabula project as a milestone that would necessitated and catalyse the development of other projects such as the provision of water to the town that will emerge because of the project.

He said the fact that the bulk of the P63 billion expected to be invested in the project will come from the private sector is a clear demonstration of the confidence that private investors have on the government.

Mr Kwelagobe added that this demonstration of confidence would attract even more private investors. He said he was [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by John Regonamanye
09.12.2007 11:55:52 P

The impeding construction of the Mmamabula energy project is expected to amass private entities from power station investors inside and outside the country, equipment manufacturers to financial institutions through project financing.

Briefing parliament about the electricity supply bill which was read for the second time, Minerals, Energy and Water Resources minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said the existence of surplus electrical power in the SADC region coupled with high unit costs for the sparsely populated Botswana and high transport costs have hitherto conspired against either Botswana developing the export power station or exporting the raw coal outside the region.

But with the current surplus power almost already exhausted in the region and world wide, the prices of commodities including those of coal have been rising.

“It is on this background that the government of the republics of Botswana and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)

9 December 2007
Posted to the web 10 December 2007

Sholain Govender
Lisbon

Most African leaders have stood together at the 2nd European Union (EU)-Africa Summit and refused to accept the EU´s proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) signing instead interim trade agreements.

The summit which was attended by 67 heads of states from the two continents concluded on Sunday with the signing of the Joint Strategy set out by Africa and the EU, minus the initially proposed EPAs.

Heads of states including President Thabo Mbeki and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade refused to accept Economic Partnership Agreements set out by the European Union and asked that different trade agreements be negotiated.

“We are not talking any more about EPAs, we’ve rejected them…we’re going to meet to see what we can put in place of the EPAs,” President Wade told reporters on [continue reading]