Archive for October 29th, 2008

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Gaborone residents are either very rich or very poor, the UN says in one of its reports. The State of the World’s Cities report says that Gaborone has extreme levels of inequality.

The report indicates that though many countries in Africa are enjoying rapid, positive economic growth, a large majority of their populations are not benefiting from the new wealth.

African countries in which cities exhibit extremely high levels of inequality are Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. The report says African countries lead in urban poverty.

“Although rural poverty is pervasive in the region, more than 50 percent of the urban population in the poorest countries live below the poverty line. Poverty often manifests itself in inequality in access to adequate housing. In 2005, six out of every 10 urban residents in the region were slum dwellers, nearly double the proportion of the rest of the developing world, and four times that of Northern Africa, where slum prevalence is approximately 15 percent, and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 October, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) campus in Francistown has come at a better time when the northern part of the country is experiencing a surge in economic development.

This was said by the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Samson Guma when launching the year-old campus in Francistown.

Mr Guma said northern Botswana had seen the emergence of mining, tourism and the hospitality industry taking prominence.

He said such industries needed skills and certain competencies to flourish.

Human capital and skills development are pivotal to their success.

He said as one of the leading tertiary education providers, BAC wanted to make itself available to learners who [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)
28 October 2008

President Jakaya Kikwete has said the African Union will not tolerate leaders who sought power through undemocratic means.

He said African countries must learn to respect democracy in electing their leaders.

President Kikwete who is the AU Chairman spoke on Monday in South Africa during the official opening of the 10th seating of the African Parliament in Midrand, Pretoria.

“The past non-interference in member countries, internal affairs has no place in our continent.

Africa will not continue to watch from the sidelines as tenets of democracy are broken or when governments oppress their own people,” said President Kikwete.

He said the AU must be ready to take on leaders who do not respect democracy, the rule of law and

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
28 October 2008

A protester from Monday’s demonstration is alleged to have been beaten to death at ZANU PF’s offices in Fourth Street, Harare. Newsreel has been told that Osborne Kachuru from Mbare was abducted immediately after the demo by unidentified men, and bundled into a twin cab truck belonging to ZANU PF. A few minutes later 3 other people were abducted by youths using a Nissan single cab truck, believed to be owned by Zanu PF political commissar Eliot Manyika. Manyika was allegedly driving the car and instructing the youths to beat up some of the protesters.

Speaking to Newsreel on Tuesday Edgar Chikuvire, the Information Director for the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), said their lawyers traveled to Parirenyatwa Hospital in an effort to positively identify Kachuru’s body. The lawyers were turned away by hospital authorities who told them they needed to bring at least one relative for the identification exercise. Kachuru’s friends insist their colleague was killed inside the ZANU PF office after being brutally assaulted.

Newsreel spoke to several of his friends who say they saw his body being removed from [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Triprop Holdings started prospecting for base metals in an area covering 20 kilometres along the Serule Road on Sunday.

Triprop Holdings is a Botswana company promoted by an Indian gem and jewellery multinational company, Shrenuj Group. Triprop has been granted prospecting licences for base metals in the Selebi-Phikwe and Tati-Selkirk areas.

During a brief groundbreaking ceremony, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the day marked yet another milestone in Botswana’s strive to find and develop its mineral resources.

He attributed the existence of Selebi-Phikwe to exploration work that took place in the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 October, 2008

PALAPYE – Discipline and efficiency are crucial in banking to win the confidence of customers and investors, says Vice President, Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe.

Officially opening the new Palapye branch of Stanbic Bank last week, General Merafhe said discipline and efficiency could shield the bank from the recent international financial crisis.

“I believe Stanbic Bank and other local financial institutions are drawing some good lessons from the crisis,”[6.] he said.

Vice President Merafhe said Africa should count on indigenous financial institutions such as Stanbic Bank to provide the required leadership to ensure that the continent not only survived the crisis but also came up with strategies to mitigate the impact.

He said financial skills were critical in any economy, adding that he was confident that Stanbic Bank would continue to grow its graduate programme to increase the number of Batswana with financial skills.

Regarding crime in Botswana, the vice president said government was as concerned as the private sector at the level of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
29 October 2008
Wyndham Hartley
Cape Town

With only three days to go before the planned national convention, the momentum towards a breakaway party from the African National Congress (ANC) continued, with two prominent ANC members resigning from the party.

Former ANC national executive committee member Phillip Dexter and the chairwoman of the ANC’s women’s caucus in Parliament, Kiki Rwexana, announced their resignations from the party at a news conference yesterday seated alongside former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa.

They both said their resignations from the political movement that had been their home came with deep sadness.

Shilowa confirmed that the two-day convention was to start on Saturday at the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: The story of the mobile phone sector in Botswana bears all the hallmarks of modest beginnings and humble expectations.

Growth projections over ten years were put at a customer base of merely 100, 000 for the whole sector. But now since its inception in 1998, the mobile phone customer base is beyond everyone’s wildest dreams at 1.6 million.

But the CEO of Mascom, Jose Vieira Couceiro, is quick to point out that the figure reflects the number of sim cards in circulation and that some customers hold two or more sim cards, rather than the number of subscribers.

Couceiro was speaking at his company’s 10th anniversary dinner at Marang Motel here on Saturday. He said his company decided to commemorate the anniversary not only in Gaborone, but also in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 October, 2008

PALAPYE – The Vice President, Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe, says the challenges and tribulations that the present government face are different from those that confronted its predecessors.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Palapye last week, General Merafhe praised Botswana’s first three presidents, the late Sir Seretse Khama, Sir Ketumile Masire and Mr Festus Mogae for their sound leadership.

Vice President Merafhe said the government was ready to deal with challenges to take Botswana to another level, adding that this would mean “changing things” if need be.

He said it was their intention “to take the government from Gaborone to the people,” hence their trips across the country.

He briefed the residents about the public performance standards which were launched earlier this year by the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 October, 2008

GABORONE – Lack of skilled workers in the health sector is the biggest impediment to service delivery, says health minister, Ms Lesego Motsumi.

Officially opening the 39th annual meeting of the Botswana Medical Association last week, Ms Motsumi said the doctor-patient ratio stood at one doctor to two thousand people.

Ms Motsumi said most of the doctors served at the highest level of Botswana’s health care system such as district and referral hospitals. She said government continued to experience unacceptably high vacancy rates in all cadres and at all levels of the health care system.

“Eighty to 90 per cent of our doctors are non-citizens who have left their own communities to selflessly come and serve Batswana,” she said.

Ms Motsumi said HIV/AIDS and trauma were the number one causes of morbidity and mortality in the country but that the nation did not have a single government-employed infectious diseases consultant or trauma surgeon.

“We also have an acute shortage of general specialists in medicine and surgery,” she said, adding that all of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
Violet Gonda
29 October 2008

The SADC Troika wrapped up a 13 hour marathon meeting on Zimbabwe in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but failed to break the political stalemate. A communiqué issued by the Troika said the group noted with concern the disagreement in the allocation of the Home Affairs ministry, and has now referred the matter to the full SADC Summit to further review the current political situation in Zimbabwe as a matter of urgency.

Tomas Salomao, the executive secretary of SADC, presented the communiqué in Harare saying: “The extraordinary summit noted the progress made so far regarding allocation of ministries and that there is convergence between the parties with respect to co-operative management of the Ministry of Home Affairs.”

“The summit therefore strongly encourages the parties to pursue this option.”

This is the ZANU PF suggestion to share the Home Affairs ministry on a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Emerging diamond producer, Diamonex Limited, last week commenced the sale of its first parcel of diamonds from its Lerala Mine comprising more than 10 000 carats recovered during the commissioning and startup phase.

The diamonds were presented for viewing in Gaborone followed by a viewing in Antwerp, a statement from the company said.

The Australia-based company completed the last phase of commissioning at the end of August, leading to the commencement of diamond recovery. Lerala is expected to produce 330 000 carats per year through a 10-year life.

Under its mining lease from the Botswana government, Diamonex first offers its goods to local cutters and polishers before they are offered to international customers in a closed tender process in Antwerp. This dual sales process is part of a major initiative of the Botswana government to grow diamond beneficiation industry in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 October, 2008

MOCHUDI – Former president, Mr Festus Mogae has cited teenage pregnancy, alcohol and substance abuse as some of the challenges distracting the youth from achieving their goals.

Speaking during the official opening of Stepping Stones International Centre in Mochudi recently, the former president said, “There is too much violence and abuse in some of our families which traumatises our children.” Mr Mogae said “some of our youth also indulge in self-destructive behaviour by abusing alcohol”. He said he was impressed that Stepping Stones offered children opportunities to better their lives, by encouraging them not to lose hope and advising them that the opportunity to better their lives “is a stepping stone to greater experiences and a chance of success”.

As a community based project, Mr Mogae said Stepping Stones’ success would depend on the community’s continued support and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 October, 2008

GABORONE – The Botswana Institute of Accountants (BIA) and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) held an achievement award ceremony in Gaborone recently.

At the event, graced by certified accountants, certified accountant graduates and their families, the President of the British-based AAT, Mrs Catherine Chamberlain, and the association’s Chief Executive, Mrs Jane Paul, also from Britain, scores of Botswana youth got certificates and gifts for having qualified as either accounting technicians or attaining full AAT membership.

Mrs Chamberlain described the ceremony as an occasion to celebrate the achievements of people who had worked hard on their studies and in shaping their careers. She encouraged the youth to work on their potential, citing her own experience in Britain where, she said, she had failed most of her early education but persevered until she got her qualifications.

She rose up the ranks until she became the leader of [continue reading]