Archive for August 30th, 2008

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]