Archive for March 14th, 2008

source: Mmegi

New diamond cutters are setting up shop in Botswana, the world’s biggest diamond producer, to gain supplies in a tight market even though margins may be lower there, a top official of De Beers said on Tuesday.

De Beers, which accounts for around 40 percent of global rough diamond supply, is due to launch a new local marketing arm in Botswana this month to help boost the country’s jewellery sector and create jobs.

The move reflects an effort by African countries to move beyond exporting raw minerals and get a slice of lucrative downstream activities.

“For the first time, goods will be sorted, valued and mixed in Botswana,” Sheila Khama, chief executive of De Beers Botswana, told Reuters Global Mining Summit in London.

“The move to Botswana is significant in many ways… it moves [continue reading]

source: IOL

March 12 2008 at 06:25PM

The South African government would meet with business leaders to see how the country’s interests in Zimbabwe could be protected in light of a new law giving locals a controlling share in businesses, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said on Wednesday.

President Robert Mugabe approved an Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill last week which requires locals to own a 51 percent stake in all the country’s firms.

Pahad, speaking at a weekly media briefing at the Union Buildings, said the South African government were studying the contents and implications of the Zimbabwean law.

“We are studying this Bill more carefully and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Election observers from the Southern African Development Community – Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) have not been invited to the presidential elections to be held in Zimbabwe at the end of March.

Member of Parliament for Shoshong, Duke Lefhoko, who is also member of SADC PF and former vice chairman of the organisation confirmed yesterday that they had not been invited as an independent body.

“We have only seen a letter which says that we can come, if we wish, under the main SADC Secretariat,” Lefhoko said.

He added that it was surprising how an independent organisation such as theirs could be invited to such a major event under the shadow of another organisation. However, this is not the first time they were not invited to elections in Zimbabwe. The same happened in 2002, he said.

Lefhoko said since the SADC-PF was established 12 years ago, it had been invited to [continue reading]

source: News24
13/03/2008 22:04 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Eskom is to begin with “pre-emptive load shedding” on March 31, chief executive Jacob Maroga said on Thursday.

These deliberate power cuts would last no more than two hours and would take place between 06:00 and 22:00.

“The system remains tight,” he told reporters in Midrand.

Maroga said the parastatal was now in a “power rationing” phase of dealing with the power crisis.

This required residential customers to play their part in reducing demand, Maroga said.

“While the system has stabilised, we are concerned that we have not seen a significant reduction from commercial and residential consumers,” he said.

Complete blackout

The parastatal hoped to save 3 000 megawatts of power by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe, is not moved by the recent threat made by Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafhi, that he might cut relations with African States that are opposed to the speedy establishment of a single African Union government.

Merafhe told Parliament yesterday that the January 2008 AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, established a committee of 10 heads of state and government, following deliberations of the AU ministerial committee charged with strategising about establishing a single government for the continent. Botswana is a member.

He said he recently addressed the All Party Caucus on the matter and the majority of member states of the AU are of the view that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
African Security Research Project (Washington, DC)

13 March 2008
Posted to the web 13 March 2008

Daniel Volman

For Fiscal Year 2009 (which begins on 1 October 2008), the Bush administration is asking Congress to approve the delivery of some $500 million worth of military equipment and training to Africa (including both sub-Saharan Africa and north Africa) in the budget request for the State Department for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. The administration is also asking for up to $400 million for deliveries of equipment and training for Africa funded through the Defense Department budget and another $400 million to establish the headquarters for the Pentagon’s new Africa Command (Africom).

The State Department budget request includes funding for major new arms deliveries and increased military training to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Uganda. It will be channeled through a [continue reading]