Friday 15 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
GABARONE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Botswana transgender man has won a 10-year battle to be legally recognized as male in a landmark ruling that could boost minority rights in the conservative nation. Botswana High Court last week ordered the government to change the gender marker on the man’s identity card from female to male to respect his constitutional rights. “This is an immense relief,” the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that other persons who find themselves in a similar situation will be dealt with in a more respectful manner when they apply for new identity cards.” Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa said in his judgment that the government had violated the...
(APA 10/04/17)
APA-Gaborone (Botswana) - Botswana has listed the defence and security sector as among the five priority spending areas for the 2018-19 national budget, getting P66.9 billion (about $670 million). This information has emerged at a time when Botswana intends to buy 8 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden worth more than $1.6 billion, and Korea Aerospace Industries’ FA-50s, whose price tag is yet to be disclosed, according to local media. Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo has said the security sector will receive more resources to fund the upgrading of equipment to enhance national security. This was contained in an expenditure estimate presented at a pre-budget seminar that examined government spending priorities for the 2018/2019 financial year beginning in March...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
Botswana Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said Thursday that the African country and China need each other at a reception celebrating the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. At the event, Venson-Moitoi said a lot of African countries have benefited from China's development. She also praised China's contribution to the development of education, technology and economy in her country. "The most important thing is that we must have sincerity, and I know we both need each other," she said. Chinese Ambassador to Botswana Zhao Yanbo made a speech at the event about China's achievements in economic and social development, as well as China-Botswana relations.
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(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...

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