Archive for August 10th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Despite the mushrooming of banks in recent years, nearly half of Botswana’s adult population remains unbanked and there has been little progress since 2004, according to a FinScope Botswana 2009 survey.

The survey shows that 48 percent of the adult population remains unbanked. Only 41 percent of the population currently uses banking services, the survey has shown.

A more serious wake-up call for banks is that the survey found that a further 11 percent that used banking services in the past are no longer doing so.

The results of the survey were presented by FinMark Trust to stakeholders at the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
9 August 2009

President Jacob Zuma has agreed to urge Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe to give Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party one of two key contested posts in the fragile unity government.

Zuma agreed to this when he met Tsvangirai in Joburg on Monday, say official sources.

This could help to break the deadlock.

The two key disputed posts are Central Bank governor and attorney-general, held by Mugabe cronies Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana respectively.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says Mugabe reappointed them last year in violation of the Global Political Agreement.

The MDC has insisted that both Gono and Tomana should be replaced by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The re-emergence of fuel price hikes calls for a delicate balancing act from government to protect consumers in a free market system. The government will try to keep fuel prices down and control the associated ripple effects like public transport fare hikes.

Last week, British Petroleum (BP) president for sub-Sahara Africa, Advocate Rams Ramashia drove the point home when he said those who run governments will walk a tightrope on oil matters because of the long term security supply concern in the region.

He said the situation is not helped by the fact that government and private sector do not see things in the same perspective. “Politicians want to control the price and keep it down. It is a good thing to do, only if it was [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Botswana Police Service has admitted responsibility for the death of a suspect whose body was found in the bush at Senamakola lands in Gabane on Thursday last week, a relative has said.

A brother of the deceased said a senior police officer promised the family that they will take responsibility since the suspect died when it was known he was in their custody. “Ba mpoleletse gore kana motho o tlhokafetse a le mo diatleng tsa bone. Jaanong go raya gore maikarabelo ke a bone,” says Moemedi Setlampoloka.

However police spokesperson, Christopher Mbulawa says he is not aware of the acceptance of responsibility. “You have to understand that we are in the middle of the investigation. It is only after the investigation is complete that the Police Commissioner can [continue reading]

source: The New York Times

PARIS — The opening of a fiber optic cable providing broadband Internet service to millions of people in Southern and Eastern Africa is part of an ambitious plan to expand Web access and help spur the continent’s economy and technology industry.

The cable, built by Seacom, a consortium 75 percent controlled by African investors, is the first of about 10 new undersea connections expected to serve Africa before the middle of next year. The expansion will cost about $2.4 billion and will help connect Africa with Europe, Asia and parts of the Middle East at higher speeds and a lower cost.

Until now, Africa had only one submarine fiber optic cable: the less efficient SAT-3 in Western Africa, owned primarily by Telkom, the South African telecommunications company, and last updated in 2002. Those with no access to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Botswana and Zimbabwe intend to engage in projects that will result in mutual economic cooperation between the two Southern African Development Community (SADC) neighbours.

Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met in Gaborone last Saturday and discussed the Hwange Colliery Power Station project from which Botswana wants to import power and in return help Zimbabwe exploit its vast coal deposits.

Minerals, energy and water resources spokesperson Mpho Kerapeletswe said that the duo focused on how best the two countries can [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 09 2009 at 11:29PM

Planned industrial strike action by disgruntled Eskom workers was avoided after the power utility revised its wage offer on Saturday, trade union Solidarity said.

“We are very positive about this news,” spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said.

“Members will vote on the offer by next week Tuesday, but we have full faith that they will accept it,”

Eskom offered a 10.5-percent salary hike to three unions who initially demanded a 14-percent increase.

Kleynhans said the outcome of the new offer would be known by Wednesday.

“The company initially negotiated a five and seven percent increase months back and we would not [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Among the challenges coming with the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is the entry of subsidised imports into the country, it emerged at a recent BOCCIM workshop here on EPA awareness.

Making a presentation at the workshop, the Executive Director of Delta Dairies, Howard Sigwele, said the EU subsidises several agricultural and industrial goods some of which also enjoy export subsidies covering freight and insurance.

“If such products enter Botswana, local competing firms or products could be adversely affected by [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
Lynnette Johns
8 August 2009

Cape Town — The US government’s policy on Africa has changed from being prescriptive to working together to solve the continent’s challenges, according to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s spokesman.

In an interview at the Cape Grace Hotel yesterday, Philip Crowley said President Barack Obama was passionate about Africa and wanted to see the continent succeeding. It was felt it would be more useful to Africa – ravaged by wars, disease and corruption – to work with it than to tell it what to do, said Crowley.

Planned interventions included improving trade relations, tapping the potential of green energy, convincing emerging countries not to make the same environmental mistakes as the US, helping to provide drought-resistant and [continue reading]