Botswana: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 6:28 pm
U.S. hotel firm Marriott, which bought South African hotel chain Protea in 2014, wants to reposition Protea from being a strong regional player to a globally recognized brand with international appeal by leveraging the power of its name, the parent company said. The Protea brand name may be changing, but among South African youth, it has been voted the coolest hotel brand six years in a row
Julia Austin, 12:21 pm AFKI Original
Four of the world’s 20 largest diamonds have been found at Lesotho’s Letseng mine — at 10,000 feet, the world’s highest-elevation diamond mine. In 2008, miners of Lesotho Gem Diamonds found a white 500-carat diamond in Letseng. It had very few inclusions, a rare color and was valued at $12 million before being cut up. Africa has more top diamond-producing countries than any other continent, and it’s the site of some mind-blowingly huge gemstones.
Dana Sanchez, 9:22 am
Under the trade agreement, the E.U. will guarantee Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland 100 percent free access and South Africa 98.7 percent. SACU member countries do not have to respond with the same level of market openness. Instead, they can keep tariffs on products sensitive to international competition. The E.U. has never agreed before to such a degree of asymmetry in any free trade agreement. Other development-oriented free trade agreements could soon follow in West and East Africa.
Staff, 5:08 am
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) signed the operationalisation of phase one of the two parties’ Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Kasane town in north-eastern Botswana on June 10. There have been concerns that the conclusion of negotiations, which lasted for almost a decade, could result in EU’s advanced industries crowding out the infant industries in the region, especially those in the agricultural sector.
Lillian Mutiso, 5:49 am AFKI Original
Africa has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the world. Since 2000, more than 27,000 Africans have died while trying to illegally enter Europe via the sea. The search for jobs and an escape from high levels of poverty across the continent is a major motivation. Though unemployment in some African nations reportedly remains higher than 25 percent, general numbers are improving, and many believe that emerging economies in Africa are set to expand rapidly in the coming years.
Julia Austin, 9:04 am AFKI Original
The Angolan diamond industry barely existed during the 1975-2002 civil war, but Angola caught up. The industry is on track to be worth $7.5 billion by 2018. Angola is trying to attract international investment. The CEO of the government-owned diamond company Endiama says 90 percent of Angola’s diamonds have yet to be discovered. Diamonds are a vital source of foreign exchange for cash-strapped African countries.
Dana Sanchez, 6:14 pm
There’s a strong case for nonstop flights between Cape Town and Miami, according to South African and U.S. business stakeholders. The U.S. is the No. 1 foreign direct investor in the Western Cape province, its third largest tourism source market, and the fifth largest buyer of Western Cape products. Miami is the fourth largest U.S. market with over 1.9 million residents and pent up demand for direct flights to Cape Town, said Abigail Ellary, director of Enterprise Florida.
Kevin Mwanza, 5:03 am
US-based global fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) will shut down all its 12 outlets in Botswana this week bringing to an end a two-decades operation in the Southern African nation. VPB Propco, franchisee for KFC Botswana, said it had been trying to the sell the restaurant chain for the past year without success and the only option left was to shutter its 12 stores by the end of this week, cutting 400 jobs
Staff, 5:07 am
International fast food outlet, Kentucky Fried Chicken, has closed its franchise in Botswana rendering over 400 employees jobless. This was contained in a statement that was issued on Friday by VPB Propco, the franchise of KFC in Botswana, which announced that it would cease operating by next week. The statement said: “Such a step is always for us, a final resort, and during the course of the last 12 months, we worked tirelessly to seek an alternative.
Dana Sanchez, 8:40 am
Botswana has the third highest HIV rate in the world after Lesotho and Swaziland, and was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to provide universal free antiretroviral treatment. Its very high rates of HIV diagnosis, treatment, and viral suppression are better than most Western countries including the U.S. Glaxo said in March it would no longer seek patents for medications launched in low-income or least-developed countries. Botswana is a middle-income country.
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