Archive for April 14th, 2008

source: BOPA
11 April, 2008

GABORONE – Government stipulates 11 steps to follow in order to start a business in Botswana but has reduced the time taken to do so.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Gaylard Kombani told BOPA that in January 2004, his ministry reduced the turnaround time for registration of companies whose applications were error-free from three months to within 10 days.

While it is true that there are 11 steps required in starting a business in Botswana, the time taken has been drastically reduced following a review of a number of pieces of legislation, he said.

Mr Kombai was responding to a World Bank report, Doing Business 2008 Botswana which says it takes 108 days to start business in the country.

The report was the fifth in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhanced business activity and those that constrained it.

It ranks Botswana 51 out of 178 economies while Singapore is the top ranked economy in the Ease of Doing Business.

Mr Kombani explained that the World Bank representatives were updated late last year on the [continue reading]

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source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
13.04.2008 7:27:27 P

Africa Telecom People recently celebrated the leading telecoms players operating on the African continent in an awards ceremony held in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.

Following an in-depth review by renowned telecommunications consultants and the Secretary General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), the certifying body for the ATP Awards, Orange Botswana was ranked “Best Mobile Operator for Southern and Eastern Africa”, recognizing its robust and excellent performance both in Botswana and set against worldwide and African benchmarks in 2007.

This recognition rewards Orange’s constant efforts to satisfy its clients, partners and staff, while reflecting the brand’s commitment to building a better model for telecommunications in Africa as a genuine [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma yesterday announced the appointment of Gabaipone Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, to the post of Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General.

Sharma said: “I am truly delighted to be able to make this appointment. From an exceptional field of candidates from six countries, Masire-Mwamba offered a wealth of experience in a broad range of areas of our work. I am confident that the Commonwealth will benefit enormously from the significant contribution that Masire-Mwamba will make.”
Masire-Mwamba will succeed Florence Mugasha of Uganda, the outgoing deputy secretary-general who will soon be leaving after six years in the post. ‘The Commonwealth has benefited greatly from Mugasha’s wisdom and leadership, and we wish her well in her future endeavours,” added Sharma.

Responding to the appointment, Masire-Mwamba said, “I am honoured to have been given this great opportunity and I look forward to working in the service of the Commonwealth”.
Masire-Mwamba will report to Sharma on [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

14 April 2008
Posted to the web 14 April 2008

Wyndham Hartley
Cape Town

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe suffered two big setbacks at the weekend in his bid to manipulate the recounting of votes from last month’s contested election – as local politicians expressed disbelief at President Thabo Mbeki’s “there is no crisis” statement after meeting Mugabe.

The High Court in Harare delivered a blow to Mugabe yesterday when it ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) not to recount the results from about 23 constituencies because the result of the presidential poll had not yet been announced.

Most of the 23 were won by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and a reversal in just nine of them would have undone the MDC’s slim majority in Zimbabwe’s parliament.

The courts will also rule today on the MDC application for the ZEC to release the presidential poll results forthwith.

The opening salvo in the battle to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Philimon Molaodi
13.04.2008 7:15:46 P

The recent amendments to the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) fees and brokerage commissions have been hailed as a welcome development. The initial share commissions structure levied on investors by the broking firms has been changed to the negotiable charge of up to 1.85%, effective beginning of this month. Under the old regime, broking firms charged variable costs of between 1% for transactions that exceeded P100 000, 1.5% for a range of P50 001 and P100 000 and 2% for P50 000 and below.

Analyst at Capital Securities, Leutlwetse Tumelo, said the new flexible commission regime would boost competitiveness amongst brokers.
“This would encourage competitiveness that would even go beyond commissions,” he told Sunday Standard.

On fears of possible collusion in view of the fact that there are few firms in the market, he dismissed the insinuation on [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 April, 2008

GABORONE – The behaviour of the occupants of a building is important in improving energy efficiency, says a report from the ongoing project on energy efficiency, supported by the Danish government.

The report says much of the energy used in a building is intended to improve the comfort and effectiveness.

It emphasises that comfort is not only a matter of air temperature but is rather determined by clothing, activity, the temperature of surrounding surfaces, humidity, air movement and other factors.

Some of these, the report indicates, represent opportunities to achieve comfort with less energy.

A dress code that encourages people to wear short sleeves and open necked shirts in summer means that thermostats can be set 2-3 degrees higher without sacrificing comfort, says the report.

On other issues, the report mentions that ceiling or desk fans are effective at making one feel cooler, and also give people control over [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

TUMELO SETSHOGO
CORRESPONDENT

The Department of Energy Affairs in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) in conjunction with the Danish Energy Management held a workshop on Tuesday at the Gaborone Sun during which they launched an energy efficiency book as well as a website.

The workshop was attended by representatives of the Botswana Power Corporations (BPC), MMEWR, the University of Botswana (UB), the Botswana Training Authority (BOTA), the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology and of Local Government and other organisations.

The Department of Energy Affairs was hosting a seminar on ‘Energy Efficiency in the Building Sector’ which was as a result of the project on ‘Developing Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation in the Building Sector in Botswana.’

The project was established by the MMEWR in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
13.04.2008 6:34:41 P

There is every possibility that the ministry of trade and industry and the Liquor Trade Association (LTA) could soon be battling at the High Court over the liquor regulations that the government is introducing.

LTA’s spokesperson, John Kula, says that they are considering three options. The first is to present their case to President Ian Khama.
“Hopefully, he will appreciate our view point,” Kula says.

The second option is to refer the issue back to MPs, a majority of whom previously supported a parliamentary motion that the regulations be put on hold to enable further consultations with members of the public. The government acquiesced and the minister undertook a nationwide consultative process. On the whole LTS is not happy with the manner in which the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 April, 2008

GABORONE – The new Liquor Act that was supposed to be effective on April 1 has been delayed due to logistics.

A press release from the Ministry of Trade and Industry says the implementation was delayed because law enforcement agencies around the country were not notified about the changes and it had just been published in the Government Gazette.

The regulations were not as strict as they were when trade and industry minister, Mr Neo Moroka first presented them.

At the time, it was proposed that bars operate from 5 p.m. during week days and not open on Sundays. Parliament adopted a motion by Specially Elected MP Mr Botsalo Ntuane for consultations with the nation before the regulations could be adopted.

Following the consultations that took place countrywide, Parliament adopted the regulations.

Under the new regulations, trading hours for bars were [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

With a global food crisis looming, Botswana should brace itself for massive food price hikes and shortages as demand for mostly cereals is increasingly outweighing supply as governments in producer countries curb exports to prevent protests.

Botswana, whose food basket contributes over 21 percent to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), imports about 90 percent of its food requirements. But the picture is looking gloomy for the near future because the situation is being exacerbated by the uncertainty of future supply due to shortages on the international market.

In the past few months, Botswana consumers have had to live with seeing prices of basic commodities hiked every time they visit the store. Notable changes have been recorded for mabele, pasta, rice, cooking oil, maize meal and vegetables.

The price of a 500g packet of pasta has risen from around P3.45 at the beginning of the year to almost P7 now, while the prices of maize meal and mabele have shot up by about [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 April, 2008

PARLIAMENT – MP for Mahalapye East, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso has welcomed the amendment of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act to prohibit politicians from being members of the tender boards as it will reduce public pressure on them.

Debating the amendment of the Act in Parliament, Ms Tshireletso said politicians sitting on the boards are often under pressure from companies who tender for projects.

Some, she said are often accused of being corrupt and some are subjected to abuse from those who have tendered for projects.

She said removing politicians from the board would also enable them to tender for projects without fear of being accused of corruption.

Ms Tshireletso also supported retroactive approvals of payments by the PPADB in circumstances of urgency and emergency, as it would remove delays in [continue reading]

source: The Israeli Diamond
14.04.08, 11:46 / World

Botswana’s new leader President Ian Khama has signaled economic policy changes that are expected to have wide implications for the diamond industry.

Some two years ago, the Botswana government established a Business and Economic Advisory Council (BEAC), and charged it with developing a strategy to achieve an effective diversification of the economy and generating higher growth.

During the past year it began implementing the new diversification strategy, mainly focusing on developing various new manufacturing activities using Botswana’s pivotal position to establish a significantly expanded diamond industry as a key driver in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
13.04.2008 7:13:47 P

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), the fixed line operator, is to launch its first mobile network next week on Wednesday pushing the number of mobile phone operators to three.

The spokesperson of BTC, James Molosankwe, confirmed to Sunday Standard on Thursday that the new mobile phone will first be launched at the Gaborone Sun Hotel on April 23 for journalists and VIPs.

“We will be launching our mobile phone and revealing our brand on the April 23. This is a very serious campaign,” he said.

The mobile phone operator, whose numbers are prefixed with ‘73’, is already in operation but at the moment is being used in connection with BTC fixed line. A select number of people within BTC and outside the organization have been given the SIM cards to test [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

EDITOR

Finally, the new Ian Khama administration has given credence to what has been the majority of Botswana’s position on Zimbabwe.

That position has been that Zimbabwe’s neighbours, and indeed the whole African continent, has not been sympathetic enough to the plight of the long-suffering Zimbabwean people.

This Wednesday when Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) fled to Botswana, he was given a hearing at the country’s highest office. Coincidentally, before Tsvangirai’s hurried arrival here, President Khama had taken it upon himself to contact his Zambian counterpart, Levy Mwanawasa, requesting for an emergency SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government leaders to discuss Zimbabwe’s volatile situation. Mwanawasa is the current SADC chairman.

Khama’s efforts appear to have paid off, at least for now, as that Summit is scheduled for [continue reading]

source: ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Monday 14 April 2008

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s opposition said on Sunday it would challenge fresh attempts by the country’s electoral commission to recount votes before announcing results of a presidential election held more than two weeks ago.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has released results of the House of Assembly and Senate elections but withheld results of the presidential poll, plunging Zimbabwe into a political stalemate that the opposition has warned could lead to violence and bloodshed.

Lawyer for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party Selby Hwacha said the party secured a court order last Friday night blocking a vote recount that the ZEC had planned for Saturday.

Hwacha said: “We got an order on Friday night which stopped ZEC from recounting the votes on Saturday.”

“But even as I got the order on the basis that it was unlawful for ZEC [continue reading]