Archive for October, 2010

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff writer

The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has once again left the benchmark bank rate unmoved at 10 percent on the back of a favourable inflation outlook.

In its second last sitting of the year on Tuesday, BoB’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) proved its commitment to the neutral monetary policy stance where interest rates, which have not changed since the beginning of the year, are kept low in a bid to help the economy rebound from last year’s crisis.

In a statement released by its Head of Communications, Andrew Sesinyi, the central bank says the current state of the economy and assumptions on both the domestic and [continue reading]

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source: IOL
October 28 2010 at 01:10pm

The government apparently has no knowledge of what has happened to at least two thirds of cases reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline.

Over the six-year period 7529 cases were reported to the hotline, but there had been feedback on only 2717 cases, according to the 9th State of the Public Service Report released in Pretoria.

This meant that for every 100 cases reported, the PSC had received feedback from the department concerned on only 36. It did not know about the other 64.

“The mere provision of feedback to the PSC does not necessarily suggest that allegations have been investigated and that the cases have been closed, but at least it allows the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

The country’s diamond exports could top P22.35 billion for the year, representing a seven-and-a-half percent increase on the 2008 figure even though derived from lower annual production, analysts have said.

Yesterday, Capital Securities researchers said the value of diamond exports up to August 2010 were 72 percent of the 2008 total, which is used as a baseline instead of 2009 whose statistics were warped by the recession.

At current trends, Capital Securities expects this year’s exports to eclipse the P20.7 billion for 2008. “Our unofficial forecast that diamond exports will top those of 2008 by at least 7.5 percent is more than supported by industry forecasts of a 10 percent increase,” one researcher said.

“This would firmly re-position diamond revenues as the backbone of [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-10-28 16:33

Cape Town – Zimbabweans staying in South Africa can now apply for birth certificates and ID cards in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Thursday.

It said the concession was announced by Zimbabwe’s consul general Chris Mapanga during a meeting with MDC leaders in Johannesburg this week.

Mapanga could not be contacted for confirmation.

The MDC reported that Mapanga had also said people in Zimbabwe could apply there for replacements of lost birth certificates of relatives in South Africa.

The MDC said the concessions came after its delegation expressed concern over the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

South Africa’s Treasury said yesterday it would relax exchange controls further, with individuals being allowed to take more money abroad in the latest government attempt to weaken the rand.

At a briefing, central bank Governor Gill Marcus said she would give details next week, but could not estimate how much money would leave South Africa due to the easing of controls.

“The question of the amount that would flow out depends on what people want to do. By the end of next week circulars will go out,” she said.

Following are some of the proposals given by the National Treasury:

“It is proposed that qualifying international headquarter companies be allowed to raise and deploy capital offshore without exchange control approval. This regime will be effective from January 1, 2011 in line with the implementation data for the tax proposals.” “South African emigrants are currently allowed to remit up to [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 14:08

Ministry calls Budget Pitso
The Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Charles Tibone, has said the introduction of the new Public Service Act has pushed the government bill up to P1 billion, from P700 million.
Tibone was speaking at press briefing last week in anticipation of the Budget Pitso which the Ministry has planned for Thursday this week. He said the arrears owed to civil servants total about P300 million, adding P76 million to the government wage bill.

Minister Kenneth Matambo said in the past the Ministry was criticized for being too secretive with the budgeting process. “Maybe the criticism was valid,” he said, explaining that they thought debating the budget in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
ISAIAH MOREWAGAE
Staff Writer

Former Director at Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Pearl Matome, who left the public service under a cloud early this year has been charged with two counts of corruption.

Matome yesterday appeared at Gaborone Regional Magistrate Court charged with two counts of corruption. Matome is alleged to have contravened Section 31 of the Corruption and Economic Crime Act punishable under Section 36 of the same Act.

It is alleged that the accused person “on or between October and November 2006 at or around Gaborone, being an employee of a public body, DPSM, knowingly failed to disclose her personal interest in the decision by the said public body in employing Goitsemodimo Precious Sewane, who is an immediate member of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) has advised Government to start producing and publishing a Citizens’ Budget so that Batswana may be better informed about how public funds in the national coffers are raised and spent.

Unlike other countries in the region, among them South Africa, Namibia and Malawi, Botswana does not produce a Citizens’ Budget, which is a non-technical presentation of the national budget published for the public to better understand government plans and make it accountable for its policies.

Speaking at the launch of the Open Budget Index (OBI) 2010 for Botswana in [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 15:19

SA debates Rand devaluation, Dollar weakens
Diamonds could be too expensive for US consumers

If the US Dollar continues to slide at the current rate, consumers in America are likely to find it expensive to buy goods from Botswana. The US has the largest diamond market share. Botswana’s economy is still heavily reliant on diamonds, the biggest revenue contributor to the local bourse.

Observers have said the US currency slide was a way of addressing the imbalance created by the weaker Chinese Yuan. But the US has made it clear that it will not engage in devaluing the Dollar, saying currency is just reacting to a drop in interest rates among other factors.

This make the debate tricky on the part of Botswana because South Africa is having a debate of its own, with COSATU wanting the Rand devalued.

University of Botswana Economic lecturer, Dr Oupa Botswiri Tsheko said the Pula is pegged to a basket of currencies and the South African Rand takes about 50% of the share. He said [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Prof Malema
24-10-2010

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is being fast tracked into a company with limited liabilities to pave the way for it to be demutualised in future, in line with other exchanges in the developed markets, government said this week.

Junior Finance and Development Planning Minister, Charles Tibone, told Southern Africa Private Equity Roundtable at GICC that plans are in motion to revamp the existing capital market laws, including changing BSE from a “statutory body to company”.

“This change will pave way for Botswana Stock Exchange to be demutualised at a future point in time,” he said.

The move follows expert advice offered to government by Edward-Nathan Sonnenberg Consultants in 2007, who called for BSE to be made a private company adding that other legislative pieces need to be harmonized to ensure that all market players are regulated to enhance confidence in [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 16:20

Innovation Hub kick started

The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has been tasked with ensuring that the infrastructure of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is completed in time so that the full mandate of the Hub can be executed towards the end of 2012. A ground breaking ceremony was held last week Friday marking the commencement of the development of the BIH site, which totals 57 hectares of developed land. The land will be demarcated into 40 plots for lease.

The plots will be available for development mid 2011.
The BIH infrastructure will consist of the Icon Building and three annexes. Speaking at the Groundbreaking ceremony, the Board Chairperson of the BIH, Mr Neo Moroka said Botswana is committed to transforming to a knowledge based economy which is not only dependant on [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN News Service (New York)
27 October 2010

African countries must mobilise domestic revenue and diversify their economies to supplement resources that flow into the continent from foreign aid, loans and investment to sustain growth during the global financial crisis, the head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said today.

Fiscal consolidation and austerity measures in key developed economies could result in reduced global demand and a “double dip” recession with direct implications for Africa’s export earnings and for much-needed official development assistance, said Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of the ECA.

“Quantitative easing elsewhere may lead investors to travel the globe seeking best returns which heralds overvalued currencies and asset bubbles in emerging and developing economies,” Mr. Janneh told the [continue reading]

MPs Assets Bill gazetted

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

The long awaited Law forcing MPs, the President and Ministers to declare their assets and liabilities is finally here, after a draft bill was gazetted on October 22 by Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Lesego Motsumi, exactly 14 years after parliament first agreed such a law should be enacted.

However punitive actions for MPs who fail to declare their assets or under-report them is only P10,000, or suspension from sitting session of parliament for 30 days, and nothing more.

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) refused to be pressured by minority parties in parliament when the Botswana Congress Party leader, Dumelang Saleshando requested to be allowed to draft the law and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
26 October 2010

Zimbabwe entered a new digital era last week Friday when the largest mobile phone network Econet Wireless launched its mobile broadband package available to their estimated 4.5 million subscribers.
Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni said this was the most ambitious project they had undertaken since 1998 when the company was launched adding the broadband would be pivotal in reconstructing the country’s economy.

Reporting from Harare our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said three broadband packages were being offered; “On the Go” for customers on the move using internet capable handsets and laptops, the “@Home” package for home users surfing for leisure, school and light business and “@Work” for business users.
Muchemwa said customers were asked to send a blank text message to 145 and a confirmation would then be sent by Econet confirming if the line has been activated. Subscribers can then buy internet ‘bundles’ ranging from 1 to 1000 megabytes to allow them to connect to the internet. Each megabyte costs 50 US cents although many customers were given a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The UAE, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority, recently initialled an air services agreement (ASA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Botswana.

Omar Bin Ghalib, Deputy Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, signed the MoU on behalf of the UAE while Lieutenant Colonel Moakofi K. Modisenyane, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, signed on behalf of Botswana.

The objective of the agreement is to strengthen co-operation in [continue reading]