Archive for March 25th, 2009

source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

Botswana is not doing enough to sell herself to Japanese investors, says a senior government official from Japan.

In an exclusive interview on Saturday afternoon, deputy director general for press and public relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yasufisa Kawamura, said that Botswana is not doing enough to convince Japanese investors about the friendly business environment it can offer to them.

“Botswana enjoys a good international reputation and has great potential for economic growth, has high level of good governance but is not doing enough to advertise itself to Japanese investors,” he said.

Kawamura was in Botswana to attend the follow up meeting of Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD IV) which was held in [continue reading]

source: Daily Nation
By WENE OWINO, NATION CorrespondentPosted Tuesday, March 24 2009 at 20:06

GABORONE, Tuesday

Botswana has issued an alert after the flooding of the Okavango River affected villages in its Ngamiland District.

The Botswana national disaster management office warned people living along the river to move to higher ground because news from neighbouring Namibia where the river passes indicate that the flooding will get worse.

The Okavango River passes through Angola and Namibia before it pours its water into the world famous Okavango Delta in Botswana. The flooding of the river has already caused havoc in Angola and Namibia and Botswana is now bracing for the full effects of the deluge.

“Reports from our counterparts in Namibia who are already experiencing the same situation indicate that flooding is likely to increase thereby affecting other villages downstream in the delta. Similarly there are indications that the Chobe District (in Botswana) is also likely to be affected,” the Botswana disaster management office said warned.

“In the light of this, (we) would like to urge members of the public living along the [continue reading]

source: Republic of Botswana (23/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 8 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

D. Government Communications in the Information Age by Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Coordinator BGCIS, published in the 22/3/09 edition of the Sunday Standard (Botswana) newspaper:

In recent years Governments, like other public institutions, have been scrambling to adapt themselves to the 24/7 communications challenges of what is commonly referred to as the Global Information Age.

The emergence of online communication allows individuals and institutions to instantly access and transfer information across geographic and linguistic boundaries. This has resulted in what some describe as the digital economy. In this view the ongoing global financial crisis differs from past downturns in that transactions are being driven by the channelling of online information as well as the primary forces of production, supply and demand. Perhaps part of the problem of finding a way out of the current spiral lies in a gap in our collective understanding of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
24 March 2008

First lady Grace Mugabe might have escaped an assault charge in Hong Kong, using diplomatic immunity, but now lawmakers and human rights activists in the territory are campaigning to have her banned from traveling there. In January this year Grace flew into a rage after British photographer Richard Jones took pictures of her as she left a plush hotel with a female friend and a bodyguard. With help from her bodyguard, who pinned the photographer to the ground, the first lady struck him repeatedly in the face, cutting him with her diamond encrusted ring.

The decision to grant diplomatic immunity to Grace has not gone down well with human rights activists now demanding a full explanation from the Department of Justice. Activist Law Yuk-kai told the government-run RTHK radio station that they wanted to know why Grace got immunity when she was on a private shopping trip and visiting her daughter, who is a student at a local university. Further enraging the activists are [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

An international report on the penetration of mobile phone use reveals that uptake is slowing in Botswana and Mauritius owing to saturation.

The Market Research Report Title for East and Southern Africa Telecommunications, covering the first quarter of 2009, shows that Botswana’s uptake continues to slow down while in other countries, the sector continues to grow rapidly. The report compiled by the Business Monitor International tracks patterns in the mobile industry in the east and southern regions of the continent. Countries like Kenya and Uganda continue to experience rapid growth in the sector with new entrants and established players moving to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 March, 2009

JWANENG – Chain store, Choppies’ public relations director, Mr Ben Steglin, has refuted allegations that the store is contemplating to retrench its staff in Jwaneng since business is not booming due to the mine shutdown. He admitted that they have experienced slightly lower sales due to the shutdown.

However, he said it is too early to say whether they will retrench staff, taking into consideration that Jwaneng Choppies does not only cater for the mine workers.

Mr Stegling said Choppies Jwaneng covers a wide area, adding that most of people who pass by Jwaneng to other destinations do their groceries in the diamond mining town.

He said not only Jwaneng has experienced lower sales, adding that the reason they have not opened new stores in the country is clear indication that there is a problem in sales.

Mr Stegling said Choppies is dedicated and committed to help the government in fighting unemployment amongst the youth. Meanwhile the mine shut down has affected big and [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: March 23, 2009

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has barred the Dalai Lama from a peace conference in Johannesburg this week, hoping to maintain good relations with China but instead generating a storm of criticism.

The peace conference Friday was organized by South African soccer officials to highlight the first World Cup to be held in Africa, which South Africa is to host in 2010.

But because the Dalai Lama is not being allowed to attend, the gathering is being boycotted by fellow Nobel Peace laureates the Rev. Desmond M. Tutu, retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, and former President F.W. de Klerk. Members of the Nobel Committee have also declined to attend.

“It is disappointing that South Africa, which has received so much solidarity from the world, doesn’t want to give that solidarity to others,” the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
WANETSHA MOSINYI
Staff Writer

Customs revenues that accrue from member-countries of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) are projected to drop by an estimated P5.5 billion (US$680 million) this year, it has emerged from Japan’s TICAD IV conference here.

SACU, which groups together Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and South Africa in the regional trade bloc, will experience the huge decline in customs revenues over the 2008/09 financial year due to the deepening global downturn, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sue van der Merwe, said on Sunday.

Speaking at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) Ministerial Follow-up Meeting, van der Merwe said a rapid decline of between 8 to 12 percent in customs revenues over the medium-term, SACU members are also experiencing a slowdown in [continue reading]

source: News24
24/03/2009 20:02 – (SA)

Nelspruit – 2010 World Cup project managers in Nelspruit have confirmed that R55m is urgently needed to install a vital pipeline that will connect the stadium to the main sewerage network.

Project manager at Platinum Sport Consulting, Neil Fourie, apologised on behalf of officials who have been ducking questions on the matter since last week.

“These are not political questions, so I am uncertain why they have not been answered – possibly some unfair reporting by various publications has made most people involved in 2010 in this region cautious to get involved,” he explained on Monday.

Platinum Sport Consulting is contracted to manage the construction of the R1bn stadium.

Fourie said Bigen Africa Consulting, whose chair Wiseman Nkuhlu was former state president Thabo Mbeki’s economic advisor, has been hired to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 March, 2009

MAUN – Residents of Phuduhudu in the North West District are all to blame for the late payment by their hunting safaris joint venture partner, Out of Africa Safaris.

The village headman, Kgosi Bobota Yokhwe said last week during the Xhauxhwatubi Development Trust Annual General Meeting (AGM), in response to the trust manager’s report to the members.

The trust manager, Ms Omphile Libalamwe had reported that the trust failed to carry out some development projects budgeted for because of the failure by the partner to pay in time.

Ms Libalamwe said the matter is before their lawyers to ensure that the partner adheres to the contractual obligations. Kgosi Yokhwe said he is not in good terms with the partner for the sole reason of speaking his mind and asking questions when ever he sees things not going accordingly.

“Some people have teamed up with the joint venture partner to cheat the residents, and all this [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
22.03.2009 11:48:08 A

The Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry (BOCCIM) is to host a four-day workshop to promote visionary leadership, critical planning and change, as well as productivity at the height of the current economic challenges sparked by the global credit crunch that started in the United States of America.

The four-day workshop under the theme “Succeeding in Today’s Challenging World: The Manager” aims to empower companies and businesses people with the tools to run a secure and profit oriented enterprise while at the same time giving due consideration to the needs and welfare of their employees.
It will start on Tuesday running through to Friday in Gaborone.

Gaamangwe Mathame, Public Relations Officer at BOCCIM, said, “The workshop is a motivational and highly interactive one designed to re-equip new and incumbent supervisors with the necessary skills and tools for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
TOM ONIRO
Correspondent

Dr Sebastian Okello-Wengi has been appointed Uganda’s first Honorary Consul in Botswana.

Okello-Wengi was installed on Sunday in Gaborone at a ceremony attended by Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, his Botswana counterpart Phandu Skelemani and other dignitaries.

During the ceremony, Skelemani said the establishment of the Uganda Consulate in Botswana should facilitate people-to-people interaction between the two countries. The minister urged the new consulate to intensify cooperation between the two countries in trade and economic spheres. “This is a day that should be remembered. Consul, please tell (Batswana) how to get (trading) licences in Uganda. He (Consul) cannot say ‘no…no… I stamp passports’,” Skelemani said. He hopes that the Consulate will become a fully-fledged High Commission.

In his speech, Okello-Wengi said the establishment of the office of Honorary Consul in Botswana will promote and encourage a [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
24 March 2009

United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee has warned that targeted sanctions imposed by his government, will not be removed until there is a clear sign that things have changed, especially on the human rights front.

Despite the power sharing agreement, violent disturbances and invasions continue on commercial farms and political detainees remain imprisoned.

The U.S Ambassador said: “There is no reason and no way the United States is going to lift sanctions anytime soon against Zimbabwe, without some very, very clear indication that the country’s new unity government is moving in the right direction.”

The United States has imposed targeted sanctions on individuals and parastatals, and in an interview with an American government website McGee said “they are there for a reason because certain people and entities have been using the country for their own enrichment.”

The diplomat said that a lasting and peaceful solution to [continue reading]