Archive for August, 2008

source: The Financial Gazette
Godfrey Ganetsang

BOTSWANA — Francistown retailers, wholesalers and shopkeepers have welcomed the announcements that the Zimbabwean government has extended the waiver on import duty to December.

Prospects of loss of profitable business from the bulk purchasing Zimbabweans caused a lot of apprehension in the city’s business community after the Zimbabwean government’s suspension of import duty on basic commodities expired on August 12.

Political strife in Zimbabwe tore the country apart resulting in skyrocketing inflation and the collapse of the national economy.

The collapse of the manufacturing and agriculture industries led to scarcity of basic commodities like cooking oil, sugar, soap, rice and flour, especially after a number of retailers closed shop, triggering massive food shortages throughout the country.

Skyrocketing inflation and a general decline in the economy has crippled the Zimbabwean manufacturing sector and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Angola Press Agency (Luanda)
29 August 2008
Posted to the web 29 August 2008

The director of the National Institute for Education Research and Development (INIDE), David Chivela, announced that the project of introducing the subject of Business Education, in secondary school, is to start being materialised as from October, in 10 provinces of the country.

Speaking to ANGOP, about the programme of the institution in the last six years, turned to the improvement of the education system, INIDE director said that the project is a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and it will benefit over five thousand students and it is aimed at promoting entrepreneurial capacities among young people.

The project also aims at promoting sustainability, creation of new jobs and fight against poverty. In the first five years (first phase), it will be applied more than USD 5 million, the official said.

To achieve better results, the project will [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
29 August 2008

South African President Thabo Mbeki has reconvened power-sharing talks between the MDC and ZANU PF in the hope that both parties will be persuaded to strike a deal, despite Robert Mugabe committing grave breaches to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all parties on the 21st July. This is contrary to earlier reports that the talks were set to resume next week.

Privately, Mbeki has not been keen to renew the talks using the excuse that the MDC have said they would not sign the deal on the table in its current form because it favours Robert Mugabe.

Regional and international pressure has been mounting for Mbeki to ask both sides to make ‘painful concessions’ to end the stalemate and start with the normalisation of the political, economic and humanitarian situation in the country.
The South African leader’s latest attempt to inject momentum into the faltering SADC initiated peace process, is not expected to yield any promising outcome given the radical positions adopted by the negotiating parties.
The talks have been bedevilled by Mugabe’s refusal to cede any of his powers, and demote Tsvangirai to a minor role of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Minister of Agriculture Christiaan De Graaff says that government continues to put in place measures that will help Botswana meet her food security challenges.

Addressing Maokatuma residents, the minister said working with Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB), government will increase the strategic grain reserves for use in time of great difficulty, when the grains cannot be sourced from anywhere else.

He added that the strategic grain reserve, which used to be composed of sorghum at 10,000 metric tonnes will be increased and expanded to include sorghum at 30,000 metric tonnes, maize at 30,000 metric tonnes and beans at 10,000 metric tonnes.

He said that after realising that the Arable Land Development Programme (ALDEP) had not achieved its intended objective of increasing rainfed agricultural production and employment creation, government then decided to introduce a new programme known as the Integrated Support Programme for [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
27.08.2008 9:32:18 A

Government has turned down a request by University of Botswana authorities to have the Scarce Skills Allowance extended to the university personnel.

Sunday Standard has turned up information which suggests a souring of relations between government and the university as a result of the decision taken by government not to extend Scarce Skills Allowance to the university.
After consultations between the two, government, which pays salaries for all university staff, has come to the conclusion that the Allowance should only be paid to civil servants.

While the University of Botswana is experiencing difficulties accessing the allowance, it has since surfaced that other government owned parastatals are already implementing the Scarce Skills Allowance regime which is meant to attract and retain technical skills, especially in the science and engineering fields, including [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
Published: August 29, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe: In a sign of the growing desperation in Zimbabwe, the government of President Robert Mugabe lifted a ban on aid groups that provide food and humanitarian assistance.

They were banned before the recent national election, accused by Mugabe of helping the opposition.

South Africa said power-sharing talks between Mugabe’s government and opposition leaders would resume Friday although Mugabe’s top negotiator said there was no need for further discussions.

Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have failed to reach agreement in more than one month of talks since Mugabe’s unopposed re-election in a ballot boycotted by Tsvangirai and condemned around the world.

All parties would participate in the resumed negotiations in South Africa and no deadline for an end to [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 29 2008 at 03:18PM

The retail price of petrol will drop by 69-78 cents a litre next week, the minerals and energy department said on Friday.

The wholesale price of diesel 0.05 percent sulphur would drop by 144 cents per litre while diesel 0.005 percent sulphur would drop by 146 cents.

The wholesale price of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
29 August 2008
Posted to the web 29 August 2008
Lesley Stones

CELLULAR operator MTN is making heavy investment in its networks a top priority, aiming to sink almost R25bn into its infrastructure by the end of this year.

Congestion on its networks in Nigeria has cost it market share, and its operations in other countries also risk losing ground because they are unable to keep pace with demand, CEO Phuthuma Nhleko said yesterday.

Since its subscribers have soared 53% to 74,1-million compared with 43,3-million a year ago, its operations are taking strain.

MTN has approved capital expenditure of R30,5bn for the year, with R7bn earmarked for jacking up its network in SA and [continue reading]

29 August 2008

South African cellular company Vodacom is spending US$700-million (about R5.6-billion) to acquire Gateway Telecommunications, which is Africa’s largest independent provider of interconnection via satellite and terrestrial infrastructure.

The transaction amount includes an enterprise value of approximately $675-million, as well as a make-whole payment of approximately $25-million in relation to Gateway’s high-yield bond.

“The acquisition of Gateway reflects Vodacom’s strategy to reposition itself as a leading pan-African provider of communications services and to diversify from its current status as primarily a mobile-centric network operator,” said Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys in a company statement this week.

“We believe that Gateway’s significant presence acros [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The price of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 productivity suite has been slashed by up to 40 percent in an effort to ensure that technology is made easily accessible and affordable to people across Africa.

A statement from Microsoft says the launch of a pilot programme in the last half of 2007 made reduced-price Microsoft Office Home and Student available in five markets worldwide. This in turn saw a marked increase in the demand for genuine Microsoft software.

As a result, Microsoft has rolled out the price reduction across its emerging markets worldwide, which sees the cost of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 coming down to around US$100 in most African countries, including Botswana.

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 is the most cost-effective office suite, designed especially for the needs of students and home users. It allows easier and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
28 August 2008

The MDC leadership has resolved as a matter of urgency to write a letter of protest to South African President Thabo Mbeki about Robert Mugabe’s ‘suicidal mission’ to form a new government.

Apparently rattled by the jeers and heckles he endured during his speech at the official opening of parliament on Tuesday, Mugabe has hit back by threatening to put in place a cabinet of ZANU PF ministers.

MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti said on Thursday they would write a letter of protest to Mbeki the facilitator about the breaches that have occurred to the July 21st Memorandum of Agreement governing the talks.

Article 9 of the MoU, titled ‘Decisions by the Parties’ stipulates that during the period of the dialogue, the parties shall not take any decisions that have a bearing on the agenda of the negotiations, such as convening of parliament or the formation of a new government.
Mugabe’s regime threatened on Thursday to form a new government and that nothing is going to stop them from doing so. ZANU PF MP Bright Matonga said Mugabe got the mandate from SADC to go ahead with the formation of a government.

MDC’s Biti warned that such a move would [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A Russian billionaire has shown interest in buying a stake in Air Botswana, Ministry of Works and Transport spokesperson Samuel Mbaiwa has confirmed.

“I can confirm that he is interested in investing in Air Botswana and we have invited him to come to Botswana to make his proposal to government,” Mbaiwa said.

He explained that the Russian’s interest has nothing to do with the ongoing management contract or privatisation of Air Botswana.

He said the Russian proposed that he could help establish a direct air link to transport tourists from Europe to Botswana.

Business Today has been reliably informed that the Russion is Alexander Lebedev, who was in 2008 listed by Forbes magazine as one of the richest Russians. He is the 358th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $3.1 billion and owns Aeroflot and is part owner of Noyaya Gazeta. He is referred to as one of the Russian tycoons and is a member of the state Duma and one of [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 28 2008 at 06:42PM

The energy market should be privatised and deregulated for the electricity crisis to be solved, the Free Market Foundation (FMF) suggested on Thursday.

“One does not have to be an expert on energy to know that what is needed is not better management of Eskom but free competition to which end Eskom should be unbundled into its distinct activities: generating, national grid, distribution, retailing and managing energy markets,” said FMF director Leon Louw in a speech prepared for delivery to the foundation, a policy organisation.

“Once these functions have been unbundled they should probably be further divided into regions and local governments. Either way, Eskom should be privatised and the energy market deregulated.”

Leon was addressing the foundation on an energy crisis which resulted in rolling blackouts and significant losses in the manufacturing and mining sector and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Prof Malema
27.08.2008 9:14:40 A

The world’s first non-sky-scrapper Diamond Park’s first face is expected to emerge next month with a lot of international insurance companies and banking institutions among others.

Anthony Licht, head of the world’s trail-blazing Diamond Technology Park — along the road to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, told The Sunday Standard that everything is running according to plan and the official opening is expected sometime in November this year.

This is according to project manager, Ryan Machet, who told Engineering News that the project will be managed from Johannesburg by Images 2000.
A project management company, Images 2000 was established by architect Tickey Klawansky and Machet in 2000, although a subsidiary has been established in Botswana to help manage the construction of the 35 000-m2 park.

Botswana-based companies were contracted to do the perimeter wall and the civil works.

In terms of costs, Machet states that the company does not have fixed costs for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The President of Botswana Lt General Seretse Khama Ian Khama is expected to conduct the opening of 10th National Business Conference (NBC) in Francistown on Monday.

According to a BOCCIM statement released yesterday, the conference will be held under the theme “Setting the Agenda For Sustainable Economic Growth”.

The National Business conference is a high level gathering which is expected to come up with resolutions and recommendations that can bring positive changes to the economy.

Past resolutions of this conference had seen the establishment of institutions such as CEDA, PPADB, NOB, SIOPA, BOCODOL, High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) and LEA to mention a few.

It is a gathering that BOCCIM has nurtured over the years together with the government and other stakeholders basically to promote public-private sector dialogue.

BOCCIM executive Director Maria Machailo-Ellis says his organisation values the [continue reading]