Archive for April 17th, 2008

source: Mmegi

Botswana’s central bank Governor Linah Mohohlo said it would be “a wrong move” to raise interest rates now as inflation is forecast to slow next year.

The inflation rate, driven mainly by rising food and energy costs, will probably drop to the upper end of the 3 percent to 6 percent target next year, Mohohlo said in an interview in Washington yesterday. The Bank of Botswana has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 14.5 percent since June even as inflation climbed to 9 percent in February, the highest in 17 months. The central bank in February lowered the inflation target range from 4 percent to 7 percent, aiming to keep it within the band over the next three years, rather than on an annual basis.

“It will be a wrong move to raise interest rates to begin with, unless inflation proves that [continue reading]


17 April 2008
Posted to the web 17 April 2008

John Allen
Cape Town

South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki has told a news conference at the United Nations that “things… have gone wrong in Zimbabwe,” while at home his Cabinet has called for the “speedy release” of Zimbabwe’s presidential election results.

Mbeki’s comment was made after he chaired a summit of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

According to a transcript published by South Africa’s foreign ministry on Thursday, Mbeki vigorously denied telling journalists in Harare last Saturday that “there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.” He said his remark about there being no crisis applied specifically to the issue of election results as matters stood then.

“The question [asked by a reporter in Harare] was about the [continue reading]

source: The Financial Gazette
Njabulo Ncube Political Editor

ACUSATIONS and counter-accusations are being traded between ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the wake of violence in areas where the ruling party lost to the main opposition.

The Financial Gazette was this week shown pictures, which the MDC claims show its brutalised supporters, mainly from Mashonaland provinces.
According to the MDC, the hardest hit areas include Mudzi East, Masvingo, Karoi, Mutoko, Hwange and Lupane.
MDC deputy president Thokozani Khupe this week claimed at a press conference In Mudzi, bases have allegedly been established at Nyamapanda, Kotwa, Suswe and Chifamba. War veterans are reportedly holding meetings in villages.
Villagers known to be MDC supporters are allegedly being detained. The war veterans have allegedly instructed all hospitals not to attend to opposition supporters.
In Mutoko North and South, the MDC and its allies alleged a reign of terror has been sweeping the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Botswana will be the first country in African to host a competition on energy saving this year.

The Botswana Energy Champion Competition 2008 (BEC 2008) will be launched at the beginning of May and will run for a full year.

This was announced at the recent half-day seminar on ‘Energy Efficiency in the Building Sector’ at the Gaborone Sun by the Chief Consultant at the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources and Danish Energy Management, David Udbjorg.

The competition will run under the theme ‘Saving Energy by Changing Behaviour’ to indicate that Botswana is moving to the [continue reading]


Michael Appel

17 April 2008

With Zimbabwe’s presidential elections results still outstanding more than two weeks after the 29 March poll, the South African government has expressed great concern at the delay.

Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Thursday after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Government Spokesperson Themba Maseko said the Cabinet had endorsed the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) call for the verification and release of all results as soon as possible.

The South African government would do everything within its power to make sure the outstanding election results were released, Maseko said, and if necessary would interact directly with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

“Beyond this, there is very little we can do.”

Questioned on the delayed presidential election results, Maseko said the ZEC had given no reasons for the delay, and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The price of oil has hit a new record on the back of supply worries after bad weather hit Mexican oil exports.

US light, sweet crude oil rose 72 cents to $112.48 a barrel, above the previous record of $112.21. Brent crude rose 41 cents to $110.25 a barrel in London. Bad weather led Mexico – a key supplier to the US – to close ports that deal with 80 percent of its oil exports.

Comments by Russia’s leading oil firm suggesting output from the country may have peaked also concerned traders.

A surprise fall in Russian oil output in the first part of the year has raised fears over the ability of global supply to keep pace with demand over the next decade.

Russian production averaged 10 million barrels a day in the first three months of 2008, down 1 percent on the [continue reading]

source: BBC News

South African President Thabo Mbeki has defended his record on Zimbabwe, while playing down the crisis at a UN debate.

His governing ANC party, however, said it was concerned about the deepening crisis brewing in its neighbour.

Gordon Brown told the UN Security Council no one believed Robert Mugabe won last month’s presidential election in the country.

Meanwhile, the opposition in Zimbabwe said 50 supporters were arrested after a strike over delayed poll results.

Mr Mbeki had said there was “no crisis” in Zimbabwe after meeting Mr Mugabe on Saturday.

He defended those remarks in New York, saying dialogue was essential to [continue reading]


15 April 2008

Sub-Saharan Africa experienced one of its highest growth rates in decades in 2007, with real gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by about 6.5% as a result of growing production from oil exporters and rising domestic investment and productivity across the region, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest regional outlook.

“The growth was supported by successes in stabilizing economies and implementing structural reforms,” the IMF said in a statement last week. “Solid global demand for commodities, greater flows of capital to Africa, and debt relief has helped increase resources and lift growth.”

According to the organisation, growth in sub-Saharan should again average about 6.5% in 2008, but with a widening gap in economic growth between oil exporters and oil importers.

In addition, higher food and energy prices are expected to push regional inflation up slightly to about 8.5% this year.

The IMF pointed out, however, that the region was better [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


SELEBI-PHIKWE: Microlith Textile Company of Selebi Phikwe has suspended its operations for three months because it is struggling financially.

The company employs about 600 people, most of them women. A few weeks ago, the firm laid off about 200 employees and last week, the remaining employees and some town council authorities received letters informing them that the firm has decided to halt its operations for three months as it wanted to recover running costs from clients who had not yet paid.

Efforts to get a comment from company management on the latest development yesterday were [continue reading]