Archive for February 5th, 2009

source: allAfrica
AfricaFocus (Washington, DC)
4 February 2009

Washington, DC — “Until recently, the experience of the internet in Africa has been like having to eat a three-course meal by sucking it through a straw: time-consuming, unreliable and expensive. .. [but prices are dropping] and cheap international bandwidth is an essential component for any developing country to remain competitive in a changing world.” – Russell Southwood, in Global Information Society Watch 2008

Southwood goes on to note that new undersea cables, two of them due to be completed this year, are predicted to cut international bandwidth prices for some African countries by as much as 90%, and that there will be strong pressure for reducing costs inside countries as well, as well as for finding new ways to bring cheaper connections to neglected rural areas.

Although Africa still remains last among world regions in estimated internet penetration (5.4% of the population as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Gender activists at the Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisation Organisations (BOCONGO) have described as ‘crazy’ government’s move to regulate traditional brews.

Speaking at a panel discussion organised by BOCONGO to respond to the budget proposals on Monday, Maungo Mooki said this will result in loss of income for many families. She said the majority of traditional brewers are women who need the money to send their children to school and keep their families going.

Mooli said that she was disappointed with government for not signing the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) Gender Protocol on the grounds that it does not believe in affirmative action. “Our government is hyprocrite,” she said.

Mooki cautioned that there is [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Muammar Gaddafi at opening of the AU summit in Addis Ababa, 3 February 2009
Col Gaddafi was elected as the African Union’s new head this week

The new African Union (AU) chairman, Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi, has said that multi-party democracy in Africa leads to bloodshed.

Speaking at the AU summit in Ethiopia, Col Gaddafi said Africa was essentially tribal and political parties became tribalised, which led to bloodshed.

He concluded the best model for Africa was his own country, where opposition parties are not allowed.

Analysts say the AU is in for an interesting year under Col Gaddafi.

The BBC’s Mark Doyle, at the AU summit in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning Baledzi Gaolathe will have to revise down some of the highly optimistic expenditure figures he stated in the 2009/2010 national budget in view of the uncertain future confronting the country, delegates attending the FNBB Budget Breakfast in Gaborone yesterday heard.

Gaolathe announced a P37,79 billion expenditure budget against estimated revenues and grants of only P24,39 billion resulting in an unprecedented deficit of over P13 billion on Monday.

Presenting a paper on the overview of the macro-economic implications of the budget, the Managing Director of Econsult and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Botswana, Keith Jefferis, said given that no one is sure how long the recession will last, the expenditure figures proposed by the minster are not sustainable and that only capital projects that could spur growth and stabilise the [continue reading]

source: News24
04/02/2009 21:07 – (SA)

Pietermaritzburg – ANC supporters celebrated on Wednesday when it was announced that the trial for their leader Jacob Zuma would take place after the general elections.

ANC supporters who spoke to Sapa said it was unlikely that the ANC president would appear in court when he was the state president, and that the matter would have to be squashed.

Judge Leona Theron on Wednesday set August 25 as the date for the criminal proceedings to go to court. On this date Zuma also intended applying for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Addressing thousands of ANC supporters who gathered outside the court, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said that prosecuting ANC president Jacob Zuma when he was the country’s president would embarrass South Africa.

“I just want to ask those who are behind this case if they would be proud to prosecute their own president, and embarrass their own country. A person who is patriotic would not pursue such a thing.”

ANC supporter, Philemon Ngobese of Howick outside Pietermaritzburg, said the [continue reading]

source: Daily Nation
By WENE OWINO, NATION CorrespondentPosted Wednesday, February 4 2009 at 17:56
GABORONE, Wednesday

Botswana has denied reports that its chief graft buster has quit take up a job offer from the Benin government.

Mr Tymon Katlolo, the boss of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) in Botswana was recently honoured by the government of Benin.

Both the Botswana government spokesman Dr Jeff Ramsay and the DCEC have dismissed Botswana’s Sunday Standard reports that Mr Katlholo has retired and has been offered a job in Benin.

Ramsay said in a statement that the government is concerned by reports in the Sunday Standard that his office has announced that Katlholo, the DCEC head is to retire.

“No such announcement has been made. This office (Botswana Government Information Systems Coordinator – BGISC) in totally unaware of any such plans on [continue reading]

UB not to close yet

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Education say it is still too early to take a decision to close the University of Botswana (UB) after the class boycotts by the students.

The principal public relations officer at MoE, Nomsah Zuze, says they are monitoring the situation closely. She stated that the MoE wants to give the students ample time to decide whether they will go back to class.

“When the situation gets out of hand, we will have to look at other means of tackling the issue,” she said. She stated that the ministry still stands by its position that the students who moved from campus this semester will not be given the off campus allowance and that the students with 15 credits and below will be treated like part time students so they will not be given their living allowances.

Yesterday the students marched to parliament without [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The University of Botswana (UB) student demonstration turned violent when police intercepted the illegal march, apparently en route to Parliament to coincide with Finance Minister, Baledzi Gaolathe’s presentation of his 2009 budget proposal.

A morning meeting addressed by the students representative council (SRC) had resolved to disrupt classes so that no one goes for lessons, campus sources say. Students from the morning assembly took hourly patrols to ensure that their decision was not contravened.

“These students are seriously disturbing us and now they have removed us from the classes. I am going home and I will only return to the university when things have normalised,” one student appealed.

The students, bent on enforcing their decision also toured the [continue reading]

4 February 2009

The South African subsidiary of UK-based telecoms group BT has been awarded both individual electronic communications services (i-ECS) and electronic communication network services (i-ECNS) licences, paving the way for the company to broaden the range of networked IT services it provides in the country.

The i-ECNS licence provides similar provisioning rights as presently held by local telecommunications incumbents and the major local mobile operators.

“Awarding of the licences represents another milestone for BT in South Africa,” BT South Africa country manager Keith Matthews said in a statement this week.

“The new licences will allow us to further expand our portfolio and offer a comprehensive set of networked IT services to our existing and [continue reading]