Archive for June 9th, 2008

source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
08.06.2008 2:19:16 P

The Bolux Group (Pty) Ltd will on Thursday next week open a new extended subsidiary Pasta facility, called Prima Foods, to become the only producer of pasta products in Botswana.

Speaking with The Sunday Standard, Johann Swanepoel, the General Manager of Prima Foods, stated that Prima Foods have been commissioned so as to enhance pasta production in Botswana.
Swanepoel said Prima Foods is involved in the manufacturing of high quality pasta and biscuit products and is the only producer of these goods in Botswana. Although the products are readily available on the domestic market, he said they export to Sub-Sahara Africa, to countries like Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Congo.

“The potential market in this region has led to the extension of the Pasta production facility, which will be officially opened next week,” he said.

Touching on the background of the Bolux Group, Swanepoel explained that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The financial services sector continues to grow from strength to strength as both the amount of deposits with and credit by commercial banks has surged considerably in the past year.

According to a Bank of Botswana (BoB) financial statistics report, commercial banks’ deposits which were sitting at a mere P5 billion 10 years ago, grew by 20 percent between February 2007 and February 2008, from P25.5 billion to P30.6 billion.

The deposits, which include current, call and savings accounts, also factor in fixed return investment paper ranging from the 31-day paper to 12 months instruments.

“Total deposits held by commercial banks rose by P178.3 million from P30.45 billion in January to P30.63 billion in February and this was due principally to an increase in deposits of households by P848.1 million (13.8 percent).

“Deposits by all other major sectors fell, including [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The East African (Nairobi)

9 June 2008
Posted to the web 9 June 2008

David Malingha Doya

Economists are going back to the drawing board to develop ways of using agriculture to fight poverty in Africa.

At the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) biannual meeting in Uganda recently, participants proposed a fresh start, saying development models copied from elsewhere have not worked.

Some 40 years of structural transformation in several countries especially in the sub-Saharan region have yielded almost no growth.

The share of agricultural products in African exports have in the meantime reduced by over half, despite programmes to transform the sector such as the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture in Uganda, drought management in Kenya, and water user associations in Tanzania.

The meeting, which was attended by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Debswana Diamond Company is making preparations to expand its coal-mining subsidiary Morupule Colliery in response to the anticipated expansion of Botswana Power Corporation’s Morupule Power Station in 2010.

In its 2007 annual review released last week, the company says should the colliery win the contract to supply the new power station, production of the mine will be increased to approximately 4 million tonnes per annum.

“Further expansion potential is also being investigated,” the report says. Consequent to the plans being made to increase the output of the mine, Morupule Colliery’s mining lease area has been expanded. The reserves available to be mined have subsequently increased by some 1, 110 percent. The company says the current lease now expires in 2032. The colliery also has [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
08.06.2008 2:11:39 P

Standard Bank Investment Corporation (Stanbic) Bank Botswana announced on Thursday its intensions of spreading the bank’s footprint in the country.

During the official opening of the refurbished Broadhurst branch, the bank said in the foreseeable future it will be opening three branches. In three months time, Palapye is scheduled to have a branch open and two others are billed for opening in the Central Business District (CBD) and at the newly opened Diamond Park, respectively.

Speaking at the event, the bank’s chairman, Gulaam Abdulla, said the country is currently riding on the wave of economic boom. The economic swings, he said are based on a number of things, but for a government dominated ones like Botswana, fiscal expenditure is critical in determining the economic direction.

“Perceptions about the economy also play a big role and now we see the excitement in the economy around the diamond beneficiation and the setting up of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff writer

Following its decision to develop and diversify financial markets through the regular issuance of bonds and treasury bills, Government domestic debt shot to P2.2 billion in March this year.

Prior to the March bond issue, government domestic debt had been sitting at P1.75 billion since June last year.

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe, launched a P5 billion ‘Domestic Note Programme’ under which there will be regular auctions of government securities last March.

“The first auctions took place in March, totalling P1.3 billion through a combination of bonds (P1 billion) and treasury bills (P300 million),” said a central bank report.

“Total domestic debt stood at P2, 200 million compared to P500 million at the time of the inaugural Government bond issue in March 2003.”

The programme will support the development of [continue reading]

spource: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)

9 June 2008
Posted to the web 9 June 2008

Julie Gichuru
Cape Town

The World Economic Forum on Africa ended with optimism that Africa would seek to offers trade opportunities and greater returns on investments.

This was, however, coupled with a caution that the continent needs a responsive and responsible leadership to map the way forward.

At the closing plenary on Friday, South African President Thabo Mbeki emphasised that Africa cannot continue to ignore problems posed by colonial legacies. He cited Kenya as an example of what happens when governments fail to do so.

Needs of youths

Mbeki also recognised that much of the violence in Kenya and South African townships was a result of society’s failure to adequately address the needs of youths.

This year has also seen more open discussion on the situation in Zimbabwe.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga described the lack of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Prof Malema in Brussels
08.06.2008 2:08:13 P

Avano Casella, the European Commission’s chief negotiator in the ongoing EU- SADC trade negotiation on economic partnership agreement, said Angola, Namibia and South Africa have formed a “pressure group” aimed at coercing the EU in a bid to give more concessions.

“Angola, Namibia and South Africa (ANS), have formed a pressure group and have presented their consolidated argument, which we are still considering. There is a commitment to negotiate on the part of the EU and we are still studying the document and we will get it to them,” the Italian man said.

The three countries bolted out of the EU-SADC trade negotiations raising concerns and they either initialed in protest or totally refused to initial the agreement.

However, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland have initialed. Out of the five, only Namibia could not proceed to the next stage of negotiating on services and investment at a meeting which [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The African Development Bank said on Wednesday that the cost of Botswana’s giant Mmamabula energy project could rise way above US$10-billion (P64.9 billion) from a previous estimate of $9,5-billion (P61.6 billion).

The project costs have been going in one direction and that is upwards and so I personally won’t be surprised if it ends up being higher than $10-billion, Tim Turner, director of private sector and microfinance development at the AfDB, told delegates at the World Economic Forum conference in Cape Town.

The project, which includes a coal mine and two 2, 500 MW power stations, is situated in southeast Botswana on the border with South Africa and was initially slated to cost around $6-billion (P38 billion).

The project is being developed jointly by Canada’s CIC Energy Corp, International Power Plc from Britain and Japan’s Sumitomo.

Uncertainty over the final costs were fuelling the funding crunch, said Turner, adding that the equipment supply market for the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
9 June 2008
Posted to the web 9 June 2008


AFRICA’s economy has been growing by about 6% a year since 2004. Last year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the economies of sub-Saharan Africa showed real growth of 6,5%.

In its April outlook, the IMF predicted the region could show the same growth again this year. The African Development Bank’s recent forecast is 5,9%. And speakers at last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa were generally upbeat about growth.

Yet with the storm clouds over the global economy growing darker, is that optimism misplaced? There’s reason to think not. But how well Africa weathers the storm will depend as much on whether it can improve the quality of its leadership and governance as on pure economics.

In previous global downturns, Africa has often been hit even harder than more developed regions. And one might expect that since the global commodities boom has been so important a driver of Africa’s growth in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Botswana is well on the way to reaching its target of health-for-all, a Nurses Association of Botswana (NAB) official has said.

NAB executive secretary Geetha Feringa said that Botswana has committed itself to Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy for the attainment of health-for-all. She said that Botswana has set criteria of having a health facility within 15km of a settlement.

She was speaking as NAB prepares to celebrate Nurses Day on June 12, on the theme: Delivering quality, serving communities: Nurses leading Primary Health Care.

She said PHC depends on the nurse as the first contact with the community. She however wondered how they could provide quality care when they remain few on the ground.

Feringa said in developed countries the nurse to population ratio is 9-12 per 1,000. She said in Botswana the ratio is 3.5 nurses to a 1,000 and added that other under developed states have [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
08.06.2008 1:46 P

The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, the oldest race on the off-road racing calendar, which has grown from a small nondescript event into a major feature on the Botswana calendar second only to soccer, will be held next week from June 13 to 15.

This year, the race, which will again be organized by the Four-Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa and sponsored by Total, will have Three National Off-road races: cars, bikes and quads, and have three separate routes for each so as to keep the race safe.

“So far, we have 185 entries in total, and this year we will have 15 spectator points,” said Skean Drummond, the Financial Planner of the First National Bank South Africa.

According to Drummond, these three 1000 km routes, which will be available to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Oxfam International (Oxford)
6 June 2008
Posted to the web 9 June 2008

International aid agency Oxfam today announced it has suspended all field work in Zimbabwe on the orders of the government.

A letter issued on June 4th by the Zimbabwean Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, addressed to “all private voluntary organizations / non governmental organizations” has instructed all NGOs “to suspend all field operation until further notice”.

In addition to food shortages now, it is estimated there will be a further 1.4 million tonne shortfall in maize this year. Food insecurity is expected to be a serious problem by August.

Charles Abani, Oxfam’s director in Southern Africa, said: “We are deeply concerned at this development. A lot of people are completely reliant on food aid to keep them alive. They don’t have anything else to eat. Access has been restricted in recent months and we are very worried about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Last week’s bank rate increase by the Bank of Botswana’s (BoB) Monetary Policy Committee should be effective in cutting down inflationary pressures, renowned economist Dr Keith Jefferis has said.

After sticking to their guns for a while, BoB last week finally raised the bank rate from 14.5 percent to 15 percent as a counter inflationary measure.

This followed a seven-month rally of the annual inflation figure rising from 6.8 percent in September 2007 to 11.1 percent in April this year.

In an interview with Business Week, Jefferis said although most of the inflation was exogenously exerted on the economy, the bank rate increase should be effective in taming second round effects of the pressure.

“The bank increase by the central bank was nothing unexpected as inflation had been on the increase for [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
08.06.2008 2:12:25 P

Botsnet recently launched one of their latest innovative products, the tourism and investment web portal, at the BOCCIM Northern Trade fair in Francistown. The web portal is one of Botsnet’s latest products that are especially geared for the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa.
The web portal presents an opportunity for companies, parastatals, SMMEs and government to advertise their products and services on the international market.

Fundie Mongwato, Corporate Sales and Marketing Executive, said at the launch that Botsnet found it fitting to develop a marketing and advertising hub for Botswana businesses in the form of a portal. The portal will avail a link with global investors and tourists to showcase a different Botswana and expose local companies to the international market.
Mongwato said that, with the advent of the 2010 World Cup all eyes will be on Africa and companies in Botswana and Africa as a whole are faced with the [continue reading]