Archive for December 17th, 2007

source: Sunday Standard

by John Regonamanye
17.12.2007 1:06:33 P

The controversial but impending privatization of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is calculated to attract potential local and outside investors, observed the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.

Though the impending privatization of parastatal institutions is deemed in some circles to breed negative results, the Communications, Science and Technology minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moiotoi, is adamant the corporation is heading in the right direction towards privatization.
At the acceptance of the 2007 BTC annual financial audit report and accounts [continue reading]

source: IOL

December 17 2007 at 05:37PM

More delays hit the ANC’s watershed national conference in Polokwane on Monday, pushing the presidential nominations even further behind schedule.

After a very brief resumption of the programme after lunch, delegates once again streamed out of the conference marquee into the Limpopo rain so that the steering committee could finalise the conference’s credentials report.

Limpopo premier Sello Moloto said the steering committee asked for a 20 minute adjournment so that it could finalise the credentials of delegates.

Nominations for the “top six” positions were due to have started at the party’s 52nd national conference held at the University of Limpopo on Sunday night, with results expected on Monday morning.

Tensions in the battle between party president Thabo Mbeki and his deputy Jacob Zuma for the leadership of the party have heightened since the conference got off to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The construction of the multi-million pula headquarters of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at the up-market Gaborone Central Business District (CBD) has begun, it has been confirmed.

Both SADC and members of Bongwe Consortium, which is steering the construction of the project, say the construction work, which began on October 15, will take 18 months.

This was also confirmed by Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm), another member of the consortium.

Other members of the consortium are Stocks and Stocks Botswana and Outsourcing Botswana. The project is co-financed by [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
17.12.2007 1:13:09 P

Botswana unveiled its brand last week with the aim of shoring-up its image in the globally competitive investor and tourist market but it remained concerned as to whether it has the capacity to attract the right kind of people—from the Ivy League.

Speaking at the launch, President Festus Mogae, urged the nation “to live the brand, breath the brand, walk the brand and to talk the brand”, adding that other countries are also developing and creating national brands.
“The world over, nations are developing and creating strong national brands and identities with which they communicate their respective visions, values and beliefs that defines them as a people,” Mogae said. “Botswana is no exception. As a progressive nation, we have no choice but to move with the times in embracing these opportunities and challenges whilst branding ourselves as a nation,” he said.

The move to come up with the Botswana brand started after [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) this week awarded the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) the ISO 9001:2000 Conformance Certificate for its Quality Management System.

“This certificate is issued in recognition of BVI’s Quality Management System which has been assessed by the Botswana Bureau of Standards and found to be in conformity with the BOS ISO 9001:2000 standard for quality management systems,” said BOBS Deputy Managing Director, Masego Marobela, at a ceremony held for the purpose at BOBS headquarters in Gaborone on Tuesday.

Marobela said the certificate is awarded to deserving organisations being assessed by BOBS. Many organisations in the world have their products and quality management systems certified in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
17.12.2007 1:02:43 P

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is expected to give the market a surprise New Year present in the first quarter of the year by launching its mobile phone network that will push the number of competitors to three.

Close sources told The Sunday Standard that the network could be on the market as early as February.

“The target launch into the market is February/March. Currently, the network is undergoing some tests and it is working. All what is left is that BTC is doing some quality assurance,” a source said.

However, BTC last week did not want to go into details except to say that plans to launch the new service were well advanced.

“The plans are well advanced and we are [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


In contrast with other countries in the region, Botswana’s exports are heavily skewed towards secondary products.

According to the 2007/2008 Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week, Botswana’s exports are 86 percent made up of manufactured products with only 13percent of primary products and 0.2 percent of high technology exports.

Compared to Namibia where trading is more balanced with 41 percent of exports coming from the manufacturing sector and 58 percent of the exports in the form of primary goods, Botswana needs economic diversification as an [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by John Regonamanye
17.12.2007 12:26:21 P

Financial constraints are no longer the cause of concern over the unfinished or the development projects still to be started. Of almost all the ministries that revealed their implementation progress to date, capacity constraints seem to be gaining an upper hand.

“My ministry was allocated the sum of P125 017 000 for the 2007/2008 financial year and, to date, P10 420 351 (8%) has been spent,” said Youth, Sport and Culture minister Moeng Pheto. “Most of this amount was spent in completing design work for some of the projects. The expenditure for the projects is minimal to date due to a number of factors”.

He continued, “(There was) late completion of designs for some projects which were to be completed in September 2007, but were only finished in [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Zimbabwe’s government is to ease its tough security and media laws, responding to opposition demands at talks to end the political crisis.

The existing laws have been used to block opposition political rallies and to shut down the private press.

Under the changes, the police must give reasons to ban a rally and a magistrate can be asked to overturn a ban.

President Robert Mugabe was last week confirmed as his party’s candidate in elections due next March.

The revisions were agreed at talks brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki between the ruling Zanu-PF party and the two opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions.

Details of the talks have been mostly secret but on Sunday, one MDC group said they were [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
17.12.2007 1:08:24 P

As the world moves closer to becoming a global free trade area through the elimination of trade barriers, Batswana need to expeditiously gear up and develop a horticultural industry that can compete in the local, regional and international markets. This was said by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Neo Moroko, when officiating at the workshop on the dissemination of the findings of the Horticulture Produce Market study that was conducted by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

Moroka said through collaboration, technology adoption and diffusion, Batswana could transform this country into a horticultural commercial hub. “Countries like Israel have transformed themselves into [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Although some aspects of it have been released, the lease agreement between the Botswana Government and De Beers on Jwaneng Mine will never be made public, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said in Parliament yesterday.

“The agreement entails, among other points, that Diamond Trading Company Botswana will be established, the Botswana Diamond Valuing Company (BDVC) will be wound up, new sorting and valuation processes, (and) procedures and techniques will be adopted from DTC International,” Kedikilwe said.

A Shareholder Working Group comprising representatives of both Government and De Beers was appointed by the two shareholders before the appointment of the [continue reading]

source: IOL

December 16 2007 at 10:54PM

By Phumza Macanda

Controversial populist politician Jacob Zuma looked on track on Sunday to win the leadership of South African’s ruling African National Congress and become the country’s next president in 2009.

After party delegates met for more than 11 hours on Sunday, officials said the vote for the new leader would be held on Monday. Earlier reports had suggested it might be on Sunday night, after the first day of a five-day conference.

A bitter struggle between supporters of Zuma and current South African President Thabo Mbeki for leadership of the party has deeply divided the previously monolithic ANC, which has led Africa’s biggest economy since the end of apartheid in 1994.

“Voting will start tomorrow in the morning and go throughout the day,” ANC spokesperson Thabo Masebe told reporters just [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


FRANCISTOWN: Officials and resident Zimbabweans fear that raised passport fees in that country could cause escalation of illegal borderjumping into Botswana.

This follows press reports emanating from Zimbabwe that the country’s Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede had directed that with immediate effect adults applying for passports would pay US $ 220 (P1 320) while minors would be required to pay USD$120 (P720). “The changes have the backing of President Robert Mugabe’s cabinet,” reports ZimOnline. Whilst the adoption of the US dollar was only temporary and meant to raise foreign currency to import production materials, it has attracted condemnation from Zimbabweans living in Botswana and some political commentators.

They condemn this as an unnecessary move which [continue reading]