Sunday 21 January 2018
(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...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(APA 08/08/17)
De Beers Group of Companies has put measures in place to ensure that mining towns in Botswana do not turn into ghost towns following depletion of diamonds, APA learnt here Tuesday. The diamond mining towns are Letlhakane, Orapa mines in central part of the country and Jwaneng mine is southern Botswana. Debswana managing director Balisi Bonyongo told journalists here on Tuesday that through an Enterprise Development Programme, dubbed Tokafala, small mining companies will be supported through business mentoring, advisory support and capacity building to access funding and markets. Debswana is a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government. He said this will diversify the economies of mining towns as diamonds will not last forever. Resident director of...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Botswana Daily News 08/02/17)
Letlhakeng — The Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi has hailed Batswana for their innovation, citing solar-powered lights which he said were designed at the then Rural Industries Innovation Centre in Kanye as a first in the history of the country. Speaking at a political rally at Maboane to welcome new members to the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) on Saturday, Mr Masisi said that the solar-powered lights would be patented to prevent foreign companies claiming the idea. He said plans were underway to mass produce and use them across the country, which would help address power shortage and reduce expenditure on power. Mr Masisi also said this innovation was the beginning of good things to come from the country. He also...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Botswana Daily News 08/01/17)
Following inspection of A3 road which Covers Francistown/Nata and Nata/Maun by the Minister of Transport and Communication, the Department of Road has been tasked to come up with a unique design for its refurbishment and reconstruction. During the inspection tour Thursday, Minister Kitso Mokaila said the ministry was currently working on maintaining areas that were ‘excessively’ damaged, in particular at Mathangwane village and Nata area. He said although maintenance would be done as a temporary measure since government took a stance to reconstruct the road, the ministry was working on something which would be cost effective considering that it was going to take time for the road to be done completely. “Our aim is to give the road a life...
(Botswana Daily News 08/01/17)
National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) employees have donated benches that sit 70 people to pensioners in Gakutlo. Handing over the benches on Friday during a community outreach programme, acting NACA coordinator Mr Moagi Kenosi said since they have opted to partner with the village in their community projects, they have realised that pensioners did not have a place to sit when they visit the post office for their monthly allowances. As a result, they engaged the department of prisons to craft the benches with funds raised by NACA staff through various fund raising activities and their personal contributions in order to make a difference in the village. Mr Kenosi further emphasised that while it was not the first time to...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(Botswana Daily News 07/31/17)
Gaborone — The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Kenneth Matambo says the double taxation avoidance agreement between Botswana and France could boost foreign direct investment between the two countries. Speaking during an occasion to seal a protocol to make amendments to the agreement on Thursday, Mr Matambo stated that the agreement eliminates chances of double taxation of income between the two countries. "I hope this will encourage foreign direct investment between our countries. I wish to mention that Botswana offers a lot of advantages to investors. To mention a few, Botswana has the lowest tax rates in the region. We are also one of the few countries in the continent which
(Bloomberg 07/31/17)
De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value, said its unit in Botswana is on track to produce the most since 2014 this year, exceeding its annual production forecast. Debswana, as the local division is known, will likely produce 22 million carats this year, exceeding its 20.5 million-carat target, Gareth Mostyn, De Beers’s executive head of strategy, said in a July 27 interview in Gaborone, the capital. De Beers, which also has operations in Canada, Namibia and South Africa, kept its total forecast for the year at 31 to 33 million carats. Global diamond sales edged up 0.3 percent last year to $80 billion as rising demand from the U.S., which accounts for more than half of the world’s...
(MmegiOnline 07/31/17)
The Dalai Lama will visit Botswana next month and meet with President Ian Khama, in a trip that has irked China. The Tibetan spiritual leader, who lives in exile in India, is due to make a public address at the three-day “Mind and Life Dialogue” conference in the Botswana capital Gaborone on August 19. It has been reported that Chinese Embassy officials in Botswana have been “scrambling to stop Botswana from opening its doors to the Dalai Lama.” Beijing has indicated that allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Botswana would set back relations between the two countries. This has raised concerns that Botswana will suffer economic repercussion at the hands of China, and raises questions of whether the Dalai Lama...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...

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