Archive for October 24th, 2008

source: Mmegi

HARARE: Air Botswana has joined a number of national airlines in the SADC region to negotiate a partnership to exploit the opportunities offered by the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The negotiations are aimed at striking a deal to make sure that Air Botswana and its counterparts from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia jointly service southern Africa.

Air Zimbabwe chief executive, Peter Chikumba, said the airlines will also promote the region as an attractive tourism destination.The regional airlines will work jointly under a ‘Visit Southern Africa’ campaign, said Chikumba during a presentation on regional transport and tourism development at a tourism fair in Bulawayo last week.

The Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa fair ran from Wednesday to Sunday, attracting 800 exhibitors from [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
New Vision (Kampala)
22 October 2008
Henry Mukasa and Anne Mugisa

THE tripartite summit has agreed on the expeditious establishment of a free trade bloc and a single customs union, stretching from South Africa to Egypt and from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya.

This was the conclusion of the first meeting ever of the three regional blocs of eastern and southern Africa, COMESA, SADC and the East African Community, which ended in Kampala yesterday.

The summit directed the three regional blocks to come up with a roadmap for the free trade area within six months, a legal framework and measures to facilitate the movement of business people.

A tripartite Council of Ministers will convene in one year to determine the time-frame for the free trade zone.

The summit further directed the chairpersons of [continue reading]

source: Engineering News
By: Oscar Nkala
Published: 24 Oct 08 – 0:00

Botswana may soon have its first coal-bed methane gas development project following the discovery of what has been described as an “unexpected occurrence” by Nyati Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Zulu Energy Corporation, of the US.

Zulu Energy is a Denver-based energy and exploration company focused on the discovery and development of coal-bed methane in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Zulu Energy chairperson Brian Hughes says a preliminary exploration study of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
22 October, 2008

GABORONE – A decision to confine the sale of auctioned government vehicles to Batswana will help empower them to own vehicles at cheaper prices.

The Central Transport Organisation (CTO) Senior Transport Planner, Mr Simon Mokganya, said the move was meant to protect Batswana against stiff competition from foreigners.

He however noted at the beginning of a series of auction sales at the CTO premises in Gaborone last week that bidders would be allowed to buy only two vehicles per round unlike in the past where there was no restriction to the number of vehicles one person could buy.

If a bidder buys a vehicle at an auction in Gaborone and another one during another auction in Lobatse, he would not be allowed to buy again during the same round of auctions, he explained.

Mr Mokganya said deposits paid prior to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

On the back of an anticipated slowdown in the annual rate of inflation in the short- to medium-term, the Bank of Botswana has once again decided not to move interest rates.

BoB’s Public Relations Officer, Chepete Chepete, says in a statement that while current inflation levels are still relatively high and out of the central bank’s 3 to 6 percent target, optimism that inflationary pressures will ease off as the new year approaches has influenced BoB not to adjust their Bank Rate for now.

“At (a) meeting held today (Tuesday), the Bank of Botswana’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to maintain the Bank Rate at 15.5 percent,” says the statement.

“While inflation remains above the Bank’s objective range of 3 to 6 percent, a more positive outlook is [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 October, 2008

NEW XADE – Residents of New Xade in the Ghanzi District have been encouraged to take cattle farming seriously as there are tangible benefits to be derived from the cattle industry.

Addressing a kgotla meeting at New Xade in his Ghanzi South Constituency on Monday, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Christiaan De Graaff, said the Botswana Meat Commission netted a surplus during this financial year, adding that it was in the interest of government that such a surplus goes to benefit the farmers.

Mr De Graaff said in July 2008, producer prices at the BMC were increased by P2 per kilogramme for eligible cattle whose meat was assured of access to the European Union market. He said though this increase was to be in force until the end in December, a decision has since been taken to extend the price increase to March 2009. In future, he said, the government would make sure that communal farmers get conducive prices for their cattle. He said communal farmers were accountable for 80 per cent of the beef. Mr De Graaff also revealed that the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
23 October 2008

The head of the MDC’s women’s assembly, Theresa Makone, on Thursday said her party had lost ‘total faith’ in Thabo Mbeki’s mediation efforts to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe.

‘Although we hold him in high esteem, we have felt as a party that he has not treated us fairly to what he does to Robert Mugabe and his party,’ Makone said.

The women’s assembly chairperson said what bothers the MDC is that when ever they raise an issue of concern with Mbeki, he never responds.

‘We have raised a lot of issues with him, including lately the alterations to the memorandum of agreement signed by the party principals, but he has not bothered to respond to us,’ Makone added.

She wondered if Mbeki would ignore any of Mugabe’s queries, adding that they know a lot of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The National Development Bank (NDB) says it has not received communication on its role in the new initiative launched by President Ian Khama to give seasonal loans to arable farmers.

NDB spokeswoman, Karabo Musa said they have not been officially informed about the initiative known as Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD). “We have not received any communication about the role the NDB will play in the implementation of ISPAAD. If there is anything, I am sure they will communicate it to us in due course. We are partners with government in a number of projects. NDB is currently administering Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) fund,” she said.

However, the ISPAAD implementation guidelines from the Ministry of Agriculture says the [continue reading]

23 October 2008

South Africa’s financial system is fundamentally sound, well capitalized and well regulated, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports, with the country’s banks and insurance companies enjoying good profitability, capitalization levels and reserves.

However, despite having weathered the global financial market turmoil without major pressures so far, “the system faces heightened macro-financial risks, and financial institutions are bracing for a less benign environment,” the IMF says in its latest Financial System Stability Assessment of South Africa, released on Wednesday.

The report, completed on 19 August, was compiled by a joint IMF-World Bank team that visited South Africa from 6 to 20 May.

According to the report, South Africa has a sophisticated, diversified financial system “supported by an elaborate legal and financial infrastructure and a generally effective [continue reading]

source: BOPA
22 October, 2008

GABORONE – The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) will presents the country with opportunity to further diversify the economy and create jobs, as well as become a full member of the global digital information age.

These were the sentiments expressed by various speakers when the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) held a BIH breakfast briefing with diplomats accredited to the country.

The General Manager for Management Services at the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), Mr James Kanyuka, said the BIH “is an initiative that is being introduced under the government leadership to promote investment in ICT, promote export of ICT-enabled services, to grow the knowledge industry and to promote innovation.” He said the ministry carried out a feasibility study and developed a business plan for the proposed hub. The BDC was approached for assistance with infrastructure and property development for the site, and it signed an agreement with the ministry making them responsible for the infrastructure development as well as the design and construction of buildings at the Innovation Hub.

Mr Kanyuka said the BDC would deliver the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has started the process of developing infrastructure for the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), which is set to be fully operational by 2010.

The hub is a government-led initiative to promote investment in Information Commutation Technology; promote innovation and export of ICT-enabled services; and grow the knowledge industry.

Speaking at a briefing on the BIH to ambassadors and High Commissioners in Gaborone on Tuesday, Coordinator of the Hub, Marianne Nganunu said BDC has signed an agreement with BIH to develop infrastructure at the hub and so far geo-technical work has begun.

“About 57 hectares of land, situated next to the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
23 October 2008

After weeks of relative silence from Zimbabwe’s politicians on the state of the crippling food shortages in the country, the House of Assembly on Wednesday finally moved a motion to declare the situation a national disaster.

There has been an alarming increase in the number of deaths in recent weeks, as Zimbabweans are beginning to succumb to hunger related diseases, such as kwashiorkor, marasmus and in some cases, pellagra. Newsreel has previously reported on the countless numbers of dead and dying children across the country, with only half of the seriously ill being admitted to hospital for care. But even in hospitals, the country’s youngest victims are still dying because of a critical lack of medical supplies and nothing to feed starving patients.

Aid agencies have predicted that up to 5 million Zimbabweans will face starvation by January. At the same time farmers unions have said that food aid will be vital for at least the next eighteen months, because of poor harvest projections for the upcoming farming season. But aid agencies are battling to try to get food to those who are [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
22 October 2008
Kitsepile Nyathi

Zimbabwe’s militant war veterans threatened today to take action against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and urged President Robert Mugabe to form a government without him.

Mr Jabulani Sibanda, who chairs the militant grouping of the veterans of Zimbabwe’s war of independence, said the Movement for Democratic Change leader was stalling a power-sharing deal, which has hit deadlock over Cabinet posts.

“He is leaving the people of Zimbabwe with one option: to take action,” he told the official Herald newspaper. “If he behaves the way he is behaving, this nation will take action to defend itself from him.”

The MDC, which has accused the war veterans of [continue reading]