Deputy Bureau Chief, Southern Africa
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Oct 27, 2014

Analysis – Botswana, Africa’s diamond, risks losing its sparkle

GABORONE (Reuters) – When environmental scientist Bakang Bogopa graduated first in his class from the University of Botswana two years ago he did not expect that his first job would be moving furniture or that he would still be living off handouts from his mother.

Bogopa, who studied on a government scholarship, is among thousands of unemployed graduates in Botswana who exemplify both the country’s swift economic progress in the five decades since independence from Britain, and the challenges it now faces.

Oct 27, 2014

Botswana, Africa’s diamond, risks losing its sparkle

GABORONE (Reuters) – When environmental scientist Bakang Bogopa graduated first in his class from the University of Botswana two years ago he did not expect that his first job would be moving furniture or that he would still be living off handouts from his mother.

Bogopa, who studied on a government scholarship, is among thousands of unemployed graduates in Botswana who exemplify both the country’s swift economic progress in the five decades since independence from Britain, and the challenges it now faces.

Oct 24, 2014

Botswana votes in poll set to test ruling party dynasty

GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswanans went to the polls on Friday in an election that is expected to see President Ian Khama’s ruling party win a reduced majority as young and middle-class voters send out a warning to a political dynasty which has ruled for nearly five decades.

Khama’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has been in charge of the world’s biggest diamond producer since independence from Britain in 1966, is credited with overseeing one of the most stable and democratic countries on a continent often tainted by conflict and corruption.

Oct 23, 2014

African beacon Botswana prepares for tight election

GABORONE (Reuters) – Botswana will on Friday hold what are expected to be its closest elections since gaining independence from Britain 48 years ago as President Ian Khama’s ruling party faces growing dissent in a country often heralded as a beacon of African democracy.

Khama’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is expected to win a reduced majority, extending the grip on power it has held since 1966. There is, however, growing support for opposition parties who say change is needed with economic growth slowing and unemployment stuck at around 20 percent.

Oct 21, 2014

Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years for Steenkamp killing

PRETORIA (Reuters) – A South African judge on Tuesday sentenced Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius to five years in prison for the negligent killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.At the culmination of one of the most watched murder trials in recent history, the 27-year-old disabled sprinter was led away by police officers to holding cells beneath the courtroom in Pretoria.

Pistorius wiped his eyes as Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down the prison sentence for culpable homicide.

Oct 21, 2014

Grim-faced Pistorius faces sentencing in South African court

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Oscar Pistorius arrived at the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday to be sentenced for killing his girlfriend, closing one of the most sensational trials in South African history and one that may yet fuel controversy about race and money in its justice system.

The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, who was convicted of culpable homicide last month for shooting 29-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, was escorted by armed police into court, past a scrum of reporters.

Oct 16, 2014

Africa set to switch on gas-to-power potential

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Africa’s under used gas reserves, either exported or burnt away into the sky, are set to play a big role in stemming the continent’s crippling electricity void, a shift that should boost economies and small-cap energy firms.

Sub-Saharan Africa contains some of the fastest growing and most dynamic economies in the world but electricity shortages deter investment, pushing up business costs and sustaining poverty and inequality.

Sep 22, 2014

South Africa says toll in Nigeria church collapse rises to 115

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The death toll from the collapse of a church guesthouse in Lagos has risen to 115, South African government minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday, urging the heavily criticized Nigerian government to investigate the “tragedy”.

The Sept 12. disaster in the church compound of popular preacher T.B. Joshua, which Radebe says killed 84 South Africans from visiting church groups, has opened up a diplomatic rift between the two African economic heavyweights.

Sep 9, 2014

South Africa wants to resume Iran oil imports in three months

PRETORIA, Sept 9 (Reuters) – South Africa wants to resume
oil imports from Iran, once its biggest supplier, and hopes to
resolve “sanction issues” that have blocked purchases within the
next three months, its deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday.

South Africa bought around 68,000 barrels of oil per day
(bpd) from Iran in May 2012, a month before it halted crude
purchases as Western countries pressured Tehran over its nuclear
programme. That was well down from peak purchases in 2011.

Aug 21, 2014

S&P says will not follow South African bank downgrade by Moody’s

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Ratings agency Standard &
Poor’s said on Thursday it had no plans to downgrade South
African banks, easing concerns a cut by Moody’s on the country’s
four biggest lenders this week could have a knock-on ratings
impact.

Moody’s on Tuesday downgraded deposit ratings for Standard
Bank, FirstRand, Nedbank and Absa
Bank — Barclays Africa Group’s local operation.

    • About Joe

      "Joe is Reuters deputy bureau chief for southern Africa, covering ten countries in the region out of Johannesburg. Joe has previously been based in Abuja, Nigeria and London."
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