Archive for February 21st, 2008

source: Mmegi

RYDER GABATHUSE
STAFF WRITER

PALAPYE: After emphatically losing the second round of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections in Palapye last Saturday, Health Minister, Professor Sheila Tlou now knows how she lost the plot.

Tlou went into the primaries a complete novice in so far as canvassing for support in a political environment is concerned. She relied upon her campaign team to do all the work for her.

Instead of exploiting issues that could bring them closer to the electorate, they chose the negative approach which amounted to ‘mudslinging’. They dwelt on the personal being of the candidates rather than reflecting on what their candidate would do if elected to parliament.

It was really not helpful for a lobby group of the BDP to mock fellow party members of running a ‘poor’ campaign that was characterised by meagre financial resources.

This was said so loudly for the other group to hear. Unfortunately for them, these [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Zimbabwe’s soaring inflation hit an annual rate of 100,000% in January, new official figures show.

Ongoing shortages of food and fuel helped drive inflation from December’s rate of 66,212%.

Government officials say the shortages make it hard to work out inflation with any degree of accuracy.

About 80% of the country’s population lives in poverty and it is estimated that three million people have left the country for a new life in South Africa.

New notes

The economy has been in trouble for seven years, with supplies of basic foodstuffs, cooking oil and petrol all running low.

The central bank has introduced new banknotes to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

The Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) group has delivered exceptionally strong overall results for the year ended 31 December 2007, with total after surplus tax attributed to shareholders reaching half a billion pula.

BIHL operating surplus, a measure of the group’s ‘normalised’ earnings, increased by 21 percent to P216.2 million. The BSE-listed group had a surplus of P179.3 million in the same period in 2006.

The group’s major businesses, Bifm and BLIL, both contributed to the improvement in operating surplus.

Surplus attributable to ordinary shareholders is P534.1 million, which is 73 percent up from 2006, benefiting from the significantly stronger equity markets, especially local equities, during the period.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of BLIL, Gaffar Hassam, said at the audited results announcement on yesterday that the strong growth in operating surplus is a result of increased new business volumes.

Hassam said the group’s assets under management also grew by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

STAFF WRITER

Two Chinese companies have been awarded tenders for the expansion of Morupule Power Station, while Government will tap into the massive Caborra Bassa power station in Mozambique, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said at a briefing of business representatives in Gaborone on Monday.

Kedikilwe told the BOCCIM prompted session that government intended to fast-track and incentivise the contractors to speed up the first phase of the 300MW project.

The federation of organised business had invited Kedikilwe to brief its executive and selected business magnates on what plans government had to address the power crisis Botswana is currently undergoing.

The minister said another plan was to encourage independent power producers (IPPs) to start power generation projects, but he warned his audience that his ministry would be on the lookout for sharks out to swindle government.

The Botswana Power Corporation has also entered into [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg Reuters
Published: February 20, 2008

ACCRA, Ghana: Traveling across Africa this week, President George W. Bush has been a little like Santa Claus, a benevolent figure from another land handing out gifts – hundreds of millions of dollars in American foreign aid – and generating smiles wherever he goes.

But here in the capital city of Ghana on Wednesday, the smiles stopped for a moment as Bush confronted skepticism about American military policy and his AIDS initiative.

Bush used a news conference here to address head-on the widespread suspicion that the United States plans to establish military bases in Africa as it expands its strategic role on the continent. And for the first time, he suggested that he might consider dropping a requirement that one-third of AIDS prevention dollars be spent on abstinence programs, but only if he was convinced the approach was not working.

“I know there’s rumors in Ghana, ‘All Bush is coming to do is to try to convince you to put a big military base here,’ ” Bush said at a news conference with President John Kufuor of Ghana. “That’s baloney. As they say in Texas, that’s bull.”

The suspicion grows out of the Bush administration’s plan to establish Africom, a command headquarters that [continue reading]