Archive for March 25th, 2008

source: France Diplomatie

(Paris, 20.03.08) © MAEE, A. Arraou
President Festus Mogae of the Republic of Botswana is making an official visit to France from March 20 to 22.

On March 20 President Mogae gave a lecture and answer questions at the University of the Sorbonne on the topic, “Good governance and management of development in Africa: the example of Botswana.” Secretary of State for Cooperation and Francophonie Alain Joyandet then signed a convention on the teaching of French in Botswana with Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mompati Sebogudi Merafhe, witnessed by Botswana’s head of state. Mr. Joyandet received President Mogae for luncheon.

In the afternoon President Mogae was received at [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
23.03.2008 6:49:46 P

When the 2008/09 financial year starts in a week’s time, the Botswana Training Authority (BOTA), the Tertiary Education Council and the Manpower Planning Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning will still be separate entities but it has been suggested to government that they should be combined.

What would be ideal about such a merger, says a report which as yet has not been officially released, is that it would lead to “optimum utilisation of resources” in the following ways: eliminating duplication of organisational services – especially of a support services nature; reduce budgets for personal emoluments by sharing staff in support functions, such as administration, human resources, marketing, public relations, finance and IT functions and systems; reduce operating budgets of such down-sized support services; and, reduce capital expenditure requirements resulting from sharing facilities such as furniture and equipment, transport and shared office facilities.

The main reason given for such merger is that “there are overlaps relating to registration and [continue reading]

source: SmallCapNews

Discovery Metals has appointed Paul Fulton as its next chief financial officer (CFO).

Fulton, who will be based at the company’s Brisbane office, has more than 35 years experience in broad commercial management, accounting and CFO roles within the resource industry.

He previously held CFO positions at Rio Tinto Indonesia – based at [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) has finally opened.The state-of-the-art facility, which costs around P470 million, will process stones in excess of 36 million carats per annum and sell them to 16 Sightholders licensed in Botswana.

The 2008 Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people was released recently and DTCB and its sightholders have their fair share of representatives dubbed diamataires.

Recently, Mmegi reviewed last year’s list and found that the diamond industry has representatives whose fortunes have increased while some lost ground in their rankings from the 2007 Forbes list.

The list includes Benny Steinmetz, Nicky Oppenheimer, Lev Leviev and Laurence Graff.
Leading the diamantaire, Nicky Oppenheimer, who was at [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by PHILLIMON MOLAODI
23.03.2008 6:33:15 P

A private equity investor from China, Wang Qi, last week said the current encroachment into Africa by Chinese investors is causing unnecessary unrest.
Qi, who is a Managing Partner in one of China’s largest private equity firms – The Development Principles Group, said he is wondering why there is such euphoria with regard to China’s affinity towards Africa.

“My statistics may be lagged, but figures show that in 2006 China’s investment into Africa totaled 3%. This clearly shows that we are not invading Africa,” he said. He said his country’s major trading partners remain as the European Union and the United States of America.

“Africa does not even fall into the top 10 investment destinations of China,” he told the delegates of the just ended Africa Venture Capital Association (AVCA). He revealed that of his country’s investment into Africa, Angola and South Africa have received the largest share, with the contested Sudan trailing in the third position. Sudan’s investment has been criticized by [continue reading]

source: Times Online

Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, sees a new work transfer as beating aid and keeps faith in South Africa’s investor appeal.

Nicky Oppenheimer, scion of South Africa’s richest family, believes that the country where its fortune was made remains “enormously investor-friendly” and will stay that way, despite recent concerns over its future leadership and a continuing power crisis.

“Is South Africa a country I would feel comfortable investing in? Absolutely. I would have no problem with that at all,” he told The Times. “I believe South Africa is very investor-friendly and that will remain.”

Mr Oppenheimer, the 62-year-old chairman of De Beers Group and a non-executive director of Anglo-American, in which his family has a 3.5 per cent stake, played down talk that pro-business policies followed by President Mbeki may be be abandoned if Jacob Zuma, his arch-rival, takes over after the next election in 2009.

Mr Zuma is in pole position after [continue reading]

source: Business Report
March 25, 2008

By SLINDILE KHANYILE

Gaborone, Botswana – The South African Diamond Corporation, which employs 200 people locally, was considering relocating to Botswana because of that country’s investor friendly climate, the firm said last week.

The diamond corporation is expanding aggressively in Botswana. It has become one of the 16 operators that have set up a diamond cutting and polishing factory in Gaborone. These diamonds will be supplied by the newly established Diamond Trading Company Botswana.

Brian Gutkin, the chief executive, said the firm expected its annual turnover, which was well more than R2 billion, to rise by 20 percent as a result of the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

The annual inflation rate continued to soar further in the month of February, adding 0.6 percentage points from 8.4 percent to 9 percent, mainly on the back of rising fuel prices.

This is the fith successive rise in the inflation rate as prices continue to increase, reflecting a worldwide trend where energy and food prices are continuously ballooning. “In February, headline inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose further to 9.0 percent from 8.4 percent in January.

The major factor contributing to higher inflation was an increase in transport prices where inflation rose from 9.2 percent to 11.2 percent due to rising costs of fuel,” a Bank of Botswana statement on the issue said. With further food and [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
23.03.2008 6:31:18 P

Furniture Mart, the biggest furniture chain store in the country, got cheers from the market over its half year results to the end of January as its revenue grew at a stunning rate that is supported by its expansion programme.

The furniture company, which is currently operating about 70 outlets, is headed by one of the wealthiest people in Botswana, John Mynard. It saw its revenue growing at 32 percent to the end of January to P 247.8 million, the rate that for a long time could only be seen in the banking sector. Further, income after tax edged up 45 percent to P 18.1 million.

“The main reason for the significant growth in income after tax is that last year’s mid-year results were relatively weak, as they included substantial start up for the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Herald (Harare)

24 March 2008
Posted to the web 24 March 2008

Bulawayo

PEOPLE should go out in large numbers on Saturday and vote for Zanu-PF as voting for the opposition MDC is tantamount to wasting votes, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Addressing thousands of people at Stanley Square in Makokoba, Bulawayo, President Mugabe said there was no way the MDC could be allowed to rule this country as it is led by puppets of Western countries who would reverse the gains of the country’s independence.

“You can vote for them (MDC), but that will be a wasted vote. You will be cheating yourself as there is no way we can allow them to rule this country,” said President Mugabe drawing applause from the enthusiastic crowd.

“We have a job to do and that is to protect our heritage. The MDC will not rule this country. It will never, ever happen. Asisoze sivume.”

The President had the crowd in stitches when he said the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

RYDER GABATHUSE
STAFF WRITER

FRANCISTOWN: After one of the hardest fought parliamentary by-elections ended last Saturday, peace and serenity has finally returned to Palapye.

“I have instructed my supporters in Palapye to start cleaning the streets as the purpose of the posters and the placards is now over.

At least we will have a rest from political rallies politics until the party opens the season for Bulela Ditswe again,” says the BDP’s Moiseraele Goya who emerged victorious. He was sworn in as an MP on Monday, together with Victor Motobaki of Kgalagadi North. He said some of his supporters hired two combis and followed him to ensure that he was finally accepted in Parliament. “Well, over 200 of my supporters witnessed the swearing in ceremony before they returned to Palapye,” said Goya.

BCP is also doing the same thing and after cleaning the town they will on March 29 hold a [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
23.03.2008 6:28:43 P

Aviva Corporation Limited, the Australia and Botswana listed Energy Company, moved a step further to giving the markets the much needed confidence by saying its resource at Mmamantswe has been upgraded from inferred to indicated.
The move, which shows that the company is close to working on a bankable feasibility study and mining licence, comes at a time when the southern African region is in dire need of energy to power its economies.

“The upgrade of the resource to indicated category allows the company to move ahead with mining studies designed to upgrade the resource to a reserve over the 12 months,” the Chief Executive Officer of Aviva, Lindsay Reed, said.

“This upgrade is a significant milestone for shareholders and provides a greater confidence in the ore deposit,” he added.

According to the latest studies, Mmamantswe indicated resources stand at 1.3 billion tones of coal which is capable of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRASER MPOFU
CORRESPONDENT

HARARE: A Zimbabwean timber processing company, Border Timbers Limited, is positioning itself to profit from growing demand for wood products in Botswana.

Rising demand for timber in Botswana has over the years seen Zimbabwe’s biggest timber grower and processor, Allied Timber Holdings, formerly Forestry Company of Zimbabwe, setting up Altim City Botswana in Gaborone.

Now, Border Timbers is following suit. In the company’s financial report for last year, Border Timbers said the group was waiting to be awarded tenders in Botswana and Mozambique for transmission poles. “Demand for light poles in Botswana was expected to remain strong as farmers continued to fence off farms to comply with a government directive,” said the company.

Border Timbers has three divisions – forestry, manufacturing and sawmilling.
The forestry division manages more than 47,000 hectares of pine and eucalyptus plantations on five estates – [continue reading]