Friday 15 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(MmegiOnline 08/24/17)
Government has issued its first coal bed methane (CBM) mining licence as the country edges towards commercial use of renewable energy in power supply. Emerging junior energy company, Tlou Energy this week announced that a mining licence for its Lesedi CBM project has been granted by the Department of Mines paving way for the development of Botswana’s first gas to power station. Apart from a small 1.3MW solar power plant in Phakalane, Gaborone, the remainder of the country’s local power supply is met from coal-fired power plants. In a statement, Tlou said the mining licence, which covers an area of approximately 900 square kilometres, gives security of tenure over the project area. “The mining licence for the Lesedi CBM Project...
(MmegiOnline 08/24/17)
Botswana businesses have been urged to take advantage of the bilateral trade agreements between Botswana and Kenya. Kenyan High Commissioner to Botswana, Ambassador Jean Wambui Kimani made the call at the official opening of the Botswana Consumer Fair in Gaborone on Monday. She said businesspeople from the two countries should establish long-term networks to grow trade and investment, adding that robust intra-Africa trade is vital in achieving prosperity and growth amongst African states. “The relations between Kenya and Botswana are warm and characterised by historical ties that bind the people of the two countries,” she said. According to Kimani, the various memoranda of understanding (MoU) that the two countries have signed should give both Botswana and Kenyan companies the chance...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(MmegiOnline 08/23/17)
The US Ambassador to Botswana, Earl Miller will tomorrow preside over the official opening of the new Botswana office of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. Funded by the USAID, the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub works throughout the region to improve the livelihoods of southern Africans by increasing access to trade and broadening investment. The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the fourth generation of USAID projects focused on these goals. The previous version of the Southern Africa Trade Hub made many contributions on behalf of the U.S. Government
(MmegiOnline 08/23/17)
President Ian Khama has bid farewell to fellow southern African leaders at the 37th SADC Ordinary Summit for Heads of State and Government Summit in Pretoria, South Africa. The President is serving his last term in office and was attending the SADC Summit over the weekend, for the last time as sitting President. He steps down on April 1, 2018. The summit was held under the theme: Partnering with the Private Sector in developing Industry and Regional Value-Chains. The 37th SADC Summit amongst others, deliberated on the status of Implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap; the socio-economic situation in the region; Continental integration issues; and the general political and security situation in the SADC region. Among other activities, the...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(Botswana Guardian 08/22/17)
At 17.7 percent, unemployment rate in an economy considered to be performing well, is still high, says Statistics Botswana Deputy Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni. But the reasons are evidently clear - the country’s undiversified economy is anchored by the mining industry, which is not labour intensive. Such economies may do very well where the diamond mining industry is doing well and contributing a lot to the economy. However, the mining industry is not a great employment creator hence the situation whereby the economy of the country is doing well but there is high unemployment, said Dr Mguni while releasing the results of the Botswana Multi Topic Household Survey 2015/2016 survey. The purpose of the survey was to provide a...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(APA 08/17/17)
Botswana President Ian Khama has lashed out at China accusing it of intimidating his administration which was expected to host Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama who has since cancelled his trip, Botswana Guardian newspaper reported here Thursday. Khama told the paper that “they told me things like the Ambassador may be recalled, it would damage relations between Botswana and China that they would as China engage other African states to isolate Botswana.” Khama said the Dalai Lama is welcome to visit Botswana at any time. He wishes the Dalai Lama a “speedy recovery” from the exhaustion he suffers, after which the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is “welcome to come and visit Botswana.” He was expected to be the keynote speaker...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Gem Diamonds Ltd reported a 14 drop in half-year revenue, hurt by lower production and a decline in average diamond prices, and said it received an acquisition offer for its mine in Botswana. The company, which mines diamonds from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, said on Thursday its revenue fell to $93 million for the six months to June 30, from $109 million a year earlier. The average price per carat fell to $1,779 for the period, from $1,899 in the same period last year, while carats recovered fell 12 percent to 50,478, Gem Diamonds said. Weaker demand from China and the United States has hurt diamond prices, while India's surprise move to abolish high-value bank notes in November also...
(MmegiOnline 08/17/17)
With the local commercial property market coming under pressure, RDC Properties says it is aggressively pursuing regional diversification with Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique soon to be added to their portfolio. Announcing results for the half-year ended June 30, 2017 in Gaborone yesterday, RDC executive chairman Guido Giachetti said the local property market is going through challenging times but the downturn was plugged by good performance in the properties in the tourism industry. This resulted in an increase in profit and rental income with focus now placed on growing its residential property portfolio as well as new acquisitions in the region. “Profit from operations increased by six percent to P31.4 million with rental income up five percent to P43.9 million...
(MmegiOnline 08/17/17)
Botswana has proposed to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to assist them in organising a friendly match against Japan men’s national softball team in October. The match is expected to take place during the upcoming World Baseball Softball Conference (WBSC) to be hosted in Gaborone. Speaking during the handover ceremony of softball equipment yesterday, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) representative, Steve Botlhasitse said he has been informed by Botswana Softball Association (BSA) president, Tirelo Mukokomani, that they are putting together a presentation that would be forwarded to JICA. He said it would mean a lot if JICA came onboard and assist in bringing the Japanese team to Botswana. Botlhasitse said the match would showcase what the Botswana men’s national...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(AFP (eng) 08/12/17)
The Dalai Lama has cancelled a trip next week to Botswana because of "exhaustion" after Beijing expressed anger at the African country for allowing the visit. The 82-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, who lives in exile in India, was to speak at a three day conference in Botswana's capital Gaborone, which begins on August 17. An official statement released late Friday said the Dalai Lama had written to the president of Botswana and the conference organisers, the Mind and Life Institute, expressing "profound regret" at having to cancel his visit "due to exhaustion". "His Holiness has reluctantly had to concede that his 82-year-old body was telling him to rest. "Since his physicians have also advised him to avoid undertaking long journeys...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
Botswana's Isaac Makwala admitted to being heartbroken and fuelled by anger as he ran two rounds of the 200 metres -- one on his own -- to reach the final at the world championships on Wednesday. The 30-year-old had been given the go-ahead by the sport's governing body the IAAF after missing Monday's heats and then the 400m final because the quarantine period for the highly contagious norovirus which he had been diagnosed with had expired. However, the fastest man in the world this year made light of it in his semi-final. Running in lane one, he finished second, raising his arm as he crossed the line. "I'm still running with my heart broken," said Makwala. "I wish the IAAF...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/09/17)
Botswana's Isaac Makwala was refused entry to the London Stadium on Tuesday after earlier being withdrawn from the night's 400 meters final at the World Championships after falling victim to an outbreak of sickness that has hit scores of competitors. The 30-year-old, who was considered one of the main challengers to gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk and is a national icon, had also been ordered to withdraw from Monday's opening round of the 200m. Makwala said he felt well and wanted to race but when he attempted to go through the athletes' entrance, an official and security personnel barred his way. "I arrived at the stadium today ready to run but I found a trap set there ... and was...

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