Sunday 22 October 2017
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
Much of the focus around Indian mining tycoon Anil Agarwal’s pursuit of Anglo American Plc has been the company’s South African operations. But Botswana could be similarly important. Botswana is the source of about two-thirds of Anglo’s diamonds and the country is a major stakeholder in De Beers, the world’s biggest gem producer. There are few countries as dependent on a single commodity as Botswana is with diamonds and the nation is highly protective of the industry. So far Botswana appears to be pretty sanguine about Agarwal’s position in Anglo. But it’ll be worth watching if the billionaire continues raising his stake because there’s a provision in Botswana’s agreement with Anglo that allows the nation to renegotiate if De Beers’s...
(Morocco World News 09/22/17)
A recent survey reveals some hidden gems for investors looking to put their money to work overseas. Botswana, Morocco, and Egypt are Africa’s best nations for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to a survey by an Africa-based economic research institute. Botswana is as close to an actual gem as a country can be; its economy is driven by its diamond mines. The southern African nation tops the list because of its stable democracy, improved credit rating, current account ratio, import reserves, and ranking in the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business index, according to the Africa Investment Index 2016. The Index was created by the Quantum Global Research Lab, the independent research arm of investment firm Quantum Global Group. The Quantum Global Research...
(Botswana Daily News 09/22/17)
Maun — Water situation in Ngamiland district is expected to improve following efforts made by Water Utilities Corporation to address the problem. Councillors were informed that water supply improvement efforts were on-going as the corporation had floated a tender for works involving the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of five diesel standby generators for villages of Tsau, Mohembo East and Somelo Treatment Plants as well as for the Gumare and Nxamasere booster stations. The council chairperson, Mr Duncan Enga told them when updating about water situation in the district. He said the intervention would ensure continuous water supply for the concerned water interconnection schemes as the effort was meant to address the prevailing electricity interruptions that were experienced in...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Mining Weekly 09/21/17)
ASX- and Aim-listed Tlou Energy has submitted a proposal to the Botswana Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security to develop up to 100 MW of coalbed methane- (CBM-) fuelled pilot power plants in the African country. The government of Botswana earlier this year requested proposals for the development of CBM-fuelled pilot power plants, aimed at assisting the development of a CBM gas industry in the country. Tlou said on Thursday that if its submission response was successful, it would provide an ideal pathway towards a power purchase agreement. Once the initial development is completed, Tlou’s gasfields would be connected to the regional grid
(News Day 09/21/17)
Zimbabwe has effectively shelved plans to extend its Feruka pipeline to Francistown, Botswana, citing viability concerns over the project, an official has said. The deal had been proposed in attempt to make the pipeline, which runs from Beira to Harare, more profitable by opening it up to the region and increasing traffic volumes. In January, the government reduced the pipeline tariff from 8,05 cents to 6,50 cents per litre to lure fuel dealers who otherwise opted to use road transport. “We are in talks with Botswana, but the deal is not happening anytime soon. The (Botswana) market is not that big to warrant the deal,” Energy and Power Development permanent secretary, Partson Mbiriri said yesterday. Zimbabwe imports 90% of its...
(Xinhuanet 09/21/17)
At least nine stray elephants have been electrocuted after knocking down a power line in Botswana, the country's environment minister has confirmed. In a telephone interview, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama said Wednesday the incident occurred on Tuesday night and investigations are ongoing. Khama said the herd is believed to have strayed from the northwestern Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve and into a nearby village of Dukwi while in search for water. "Preliminary investigations into the incident suggest that the freak accident happened after one (elephant) knocked over an electricity pole and a power line fell on them," said Khama. He said the accident is the first of its kind in Botswana. According to Khama, all...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(AFP (eng) 09/20/17)
Nine elephants were electrocuted in a freak accident in Botswana after one of them knocked into an electricity pole and the high-voltage power line fell on them, a local official said Tuesday. The herd is believed to have broken out of the northeastern Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve and strayed into a nearby village of Dukwi. Village chief Kelethusitse Mosweu said one of the elephants brought down the electricity pole, which resulted in the transmission cables falling on the entire herd. "Officials from the wildlife (department) came to my office late on Monday to notify me about the incident," said Mosweu, who did not specify when the incident occurred. The ministry of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism confirmed the accident and said...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
Nine elephants were electrocuted in central Botswana in a freak accident near the village of Dukwi. The elephants died after they knocked down overhead power lines while jostling to drink water from a leaking pipe supplying water to villagers, the director of Wildlife and National Parks, Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo, told Reuters. “Investigations are still at a preliminary stage, but what we have discovered so far is that the elephants were helping themselves to water from a damaged supply pipe. The elephants were electrocuted when they knocked down power lines, which fell into the gushing pool of water,” he said. Botswana has an elephant population of between 150,000 and 200,000, depending on the migration season. Elephants normally live in the wild but...
(APA 09/19/17)
Botswana, Namibia and Mauritius have missed out on the list of top 10 best investment destinations in Africa in 2018 but are seen as “investment grade” economies, according to a new report by South African-based Rand Merchant Bank. The report, titled “Where to Invest in Africa 2018”, showed that Egypt has now replaced South Africa as the best investment destination on the continent. South Africa lost its traditional spot at the top of the investment rankings. South Africa has ranked in the number one position for the past six years. Surprisingly one of the biggest economies in Africa, Nigeria did not make it in the top 10 and was relegated to 13th spot. Although Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius have consistently...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(Xinhuanet 09/08/17)
Communication ministers from the Southern Development Community (SADC) countries vowed on Thursday to turn the region into an information and knowledge-based economy. This emerged from a ICT (information and communication technology) meeting taking place in Durban, a coastal city in southeastern South Africa. Communication ministers from 15 SADC countries have been meeting in Durban since Monday to discuss the region's ICT infrastructure. The meeting, also attended by policy regulators, implementing agencies and ICT industry players, was designed to help create a more integrated region and help move its communication systems forward. "An accessible, affordable and reliable telecommunications is essential for us to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution which has the potential to leapfrog SADC region economically and socially as...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...

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