Zimbabwe's new ICT policy nears promulgation

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Information about Zimbabwe's new ICT policy nears promulgation

Published on March 15, 2016

Author: BH24Zim

Source: slideshare.net

1. By Tawanda Musarurwa HARARE – The new National Information and Commu- nications Technology (ICT) policy draft is currently being reviewed by Cabinet, pend- ing approval, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has said. Zimbabwe is presently using the National ICT Policy of 2005, which has long been overrun by the rapid changes in the ICT space. Minister Mandiwanzira said the promulgation of the new National ICT policy will also provide impetus for the establishment of sub-sector policies and pieces of legis- lation. “The document (ICT Policy) is now past the working parties and now before the committee of Ministers of Cabinet,” he said. “Other sub-sector policies and legislations that are awaiting approval of the policy framework are already at an advanced stage of approval. And these include News Update as @ 1530 hours, Tuesday 15 March 2016 Feedback: bh24admin@zimpapers.co.zwEmail: bh24feedback@zimpapers.co.zw New ICT policy nears promulgation Minister Mandiwanzira

2. the National Cyber-security Policy and cyber-security related bill, cyber-crime and cyber-security, e-transac- tions and e-commerce “These policies and pieces of legislation which can only come into existence after the broader ICT Policy has been approved, are critical because we have seen the development in the ICT sec- tor and social media space in this country where the abuse of social media has extended.” The draft ICT policy focuses on areas that the Govern- ment considers priorities of the local technology space is going to contribute in a big way to national economic growth going forward. These include ICT infrastruc- ture (sharing), e-govern- ment, content, ICT sector growth, local ICT industry development and empower- ment, affordable broadband, ICT research and cyber security. Analysts say the country’s ICT sector has the poten- tial to drive the economy forward, but to the extent that relevant strategies and measures are put in place. They say ICT could improve revenue, enhance com- petitiveness, and assist in the economic and societal modernisation. It can further facilitate innovation, con- necting people and communi- ties, and improving stand- ards of living and new trade opportunities.● 2 news

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5. By Funny HUdzerema HARARE – Zimbabwe’s trade deficit at the end of last year stood at $3,3 billion, Zimtrade statistics show. The Statics show that in 2015 Zimbabwe exported goods worth $3 billion and imported goods worth $6,3 billion and resulting in the $3,3 billion trade deficit. An official from ZimTrade said the worsening of the trade deficit is due to the cumbersome process that local exporters have to con- tend with, such as numerous documents which has forced many companies to stop exporting. ZimTrade chief executive Ms Sithembile Pilime said Zim- babwe has got the capacity to balance its trade if export policies are reviewed. “Zimbabwe has got the potential to balance its export performance if authorities reduce the num- ber of export regulations and levies which are currently limiting different companies exporting levels. “Currently trade deficit is at $3,3 billion due to a general decline in exports for all sectors except clothing and beverages during year 2015,” she said. ‘She was speaking during the Stanbic Bank and ZimTrade export awareness seminar aimed at educating exporters how to export their prod- ucts and the best markets to export to. “We have too many export permits, export licenses and import permits that export companies need to have so at the end of the day most of the time is spent on obtain- ing the documents than on real business. “Right now our companies are exporting all over the world but the problem is that the number of exporters has shrunk and the value of exports has declined,” she added. She added that the country is producing quality products which are of high demand on the market and there is only need to revisit our exporting policies. ZimTrade sourced markets for local products in Mozam- bique, Malawi and Swaziland and is also targeting the Tan- zania and DRC markets. “This year we will do actual marketing surveys in DRC and Tanzania to see what our local companies can sup- ply to those markets,” she said.● 5 news 2015 trade deficit at $3,3bn

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8. HARARE– Government will likely recover only $2 mil- lion out of $18 million of its money which was locked up in the now liquidated Inter- fin Bank, an official has said. The Reserve Bank of Zim- babwe placed Interfin under curatorship in June 2012 after it was found to be in an unsound financial position. Strenuous efforts to revive the bank failed, resulting in the central bank applying at the High Court for its liquida- tion last year, a request that was granted. The bank owed its creditors over $150 million. Before its closure, Interfin was one of the financial institutions that had been chosen by Govern- ment to manage and loan out funds to struggling com- panies under the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility (Zetref), a facility which was partially funded by the African Export and Import Bank. At least $20 million in Zetref funds was deposited with the bank. The Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Dennis Muchemwa said Interfin Bank liquidator, the Deposit Protection Corpo- ration, had assured Govern- ment it would likely recover around $2 million. “We submitted claims with the liquidator on June 4, 2015 after notification from the liquidator,” Muchemwa told the Parliamentary Port- folio Committee on Public Accounts. “There is antic- ipation that we will receive a small amount of plus or minus $2 million out of the $18 million.” Quizzed why Government had chosen to deposit funds with a struggling financial institution, Mr Muchemwa said officials had not been aware that the bank was in the red. “We would not have made the investment if we were aware that the bank was in dire straits,” the Accountant General said. Interfin’s financial position only came to the fore after the ministry of finance’s repeated efforts to withdraw about $5 million in Zetref funds failed to materialise. It is at this point that the Reserve Bank was asked to look into the bank’s finan- cials, which revealed that it was teetering on the brink of collapse. The bank was then placed on “recuperative cura- torship.”- New Ziana.● 8 news Government recovers $2 million out of $18 million lost in bank

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11. 11 news 02 03 ADD TO CART Save big on selected Products of your choice PAYMENT You can purchase whenever, wherever using: DELIVERY Spend $30 or more on your purchases and get free delivery 01 Hello Convenience www.hammerandtongues.com BIG CONVENIENCE+ BIG SAVINGS+ BIG OPPORTUNITIES = BIG HAPPINESS SHOP ONLINE!! BH24 Reporter HARARE -South Afri- can-headquartered cement manufacturing giant says the expansion project in Zimba- bwe is now 55 percent com- plete – along with projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. PPC is constructing an $80 million cement plant in Harare, which will have capacity to produce 680 000 tonnes annually. In an operational update to investors today, the cement producer said its expansion strategy was on track, while sales at its recently commis- sioned plant in Rwanda had exceeded the 100 000 tonne point. “PPC’s expansion strategy remains on track and sales in the recently commissioned plant in Rwanda have passed the 100 000 ton mark. All three remaining projects in the DRC, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia are over 55 percent complete,” said the company. In respect of operations for the first five months of its financial year, PPC Ltd noted an increase in sales within South Africa, although sales in its international division dipped. “Group cement volumes are down 1 percent for the first five months of the financial year. Sales in the SA cement business rose 2 percent while they declined in the interna- tional businesses. Pressure on selling prices has weighed in most operating regions.”● PPC Zim expansion project 55pc complete

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13. HARARE - The equities market bucked yesterday’s losses as the mainstream industrial index rebounded 0.39 to close at 99.41 in trading dominated by gain- ers. Giant insurer Old Mutual added $0,0697 to trade at $1,9697, while CBZ advanced by $0,0050 to set- tle at $0,1100. Delta Beverages was up $0,0025 to $0,5650, while Padenga was $0,0002 stronger at $0,0620. No counter traded in the negative territory while activity was limited to eleven counters. The mining index was up 0.08 to settle at 19.22 following a $0,0001 gain in Bindura, Falgold, Hwange and RioZim maintained previous price levels at $0,0050, $0,0300 and $0,1040 respectively - BH24 Reporter ● ZSE13 Industrials gain

14. Movers CHANGE Today Price USc SHAKERS Change TODAY Price USc CBZ 4.76 11.00 Old Mutual 3.66 196.97 Bindura 1.05 0.96 Delta 0.44 56.50 Padenga 0.33 6.02 Index Previous Today Move Change Industrial 99.02 99.41 +0.39 points +0.39% Mining 19.14 19.22 +0.08 points +0.42% 14 zse tables ZSE Indices Stock Exchange Previous today

15. 15 DIARY OF EVENTS The black arrow indicate level of load shedding across the country. POWER GENERATION STATS Gen Station 15 March 2016 Energy (Megawatts) Hwange 404 MW Kariba 285 MW Harare 17 MW Munyati 0 MW Bulawayo 18 MW Imports 0 - 500 MW Total 1293 MW •Thursday 24 March 2016 - Annual General Meeting of Willdale Limited; Place: Boardroom, Willdale Administration Block, 19.5km peg Lomagundi Road, Mount Hampden; Time: 1100 hours... • Upcoming AGM - TSL, Head office, 28 Simon Mazorodze Road, Southerton, 16 March, 1200hrs • Analyst briefing - Old Mutual Zimbabwe, Steward Room, Meikles Hotel, March 30, 1430hrs THE BH24 DIARY

16. JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's rand was softer against the dollar on Tues- day, in nervous trade ahead of a Moody's rating review visit and the central bank's interest rate decision later in the week. Stocks opened lower, with the JSE securities exchange's Top-40 index dipping 0,7 percent. At 0700 GMT the rand was down 0,35 percent at 15,5950 to the dollar com- pared with where it closed in New York on Monday. This followed a drop of nearly 2 percent on Mon- day, after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said it would be hard for South Africa to get its credit rating back up, should it be downgraded. Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch have all warned of possible downgrades after President Jacob Zuma changed finance minis- ters twice within a week in December, casting doubt on Pretoria's commitment to fiscal prudence. Moody's will start a three- day visit on Wednesday to review South Africa's rating. Tuesday's rand weakness was also in line with softer emerging markets after the Bank of Japan held policy steady as expected, boosting the yen which is seen as a safe haven currency. "We expect international developments ... to hold more sway over the rand than local developments leading up to the MPC meet- ing on Thursday," Standard Bank said in a note, refer- ring to the South African Reserve Bank monetary policy committee's own rate announcement. Economists polled by Reuters say the MPC will wait until May before hiking interest rates again, despite ris- ing inflation, as economic growth stutters. On the bond market, gov- ernment debt prices edged lower, and the yield for the benchmark instrument due in 2026 was up 3 basis points at 9,17 percent. -Reuters● regioNAL News16 Rand softer in line with EM currencies, stocks down NAIROBI - The Interna- tional Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved two-year standby credit facilities for Kenya worth about $1,5 bil- lion, it said late on Monday. "The Kenyan authorities have indicated that they will continue to treat both arrangements as precau- tionary," the fund said on its website. - Reuters● IMF approves 24-month $1,5 bil- lion standby facili- ties for Kenya

17. SINGAPORE - Gold dropped for a third consecutive ses- sion on Tuesday to its lowest in almost two weeks, with investors focused on the upcoming US Federal Reserve policy meeting. A rise in global equity mar- kets over the past few days has provided headwinds to the gold market, which has gained around 16 percent this year. The yen advanced against the dollar and Asian stocks languished near the day's lows on Tuesday, after the Bank of Japan held policy steady as expected and offered a bleaker view of the country's economy in the face of lingering anxiety over slowing global growth. Spot gold dropped 0,5 per- cent to 1 228,56 an ounce by 0649 GMT, while US gold slid 1,3 percent to $1 229,10 an ounce. Spot gold earlier in the session fell to $1 225,70 an ounce, its lowest since March 2. "We are waiting for the outcome of the Fed meeting and data coming from the United States is showing that the state of the economy is not bad," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers Ltd. "I think there are too many long positions in the market. They are taking some profit." The Fed's two-day policy meeting will start on Tuesday and be watched for clues on the future pace of US rate increases. Further US rate hikes could lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. The metal has risen 16 percent this year as expectations for fur- ther near-term hikes faded. The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady but offered a bleaker view on the economy and warned of waning inflation expecta- tions, signalling that global headwinds that may justify deploying yet more stimulus ahead. The weak move in gold over the last two sessions fol- lowed Friday's brief bounce to a 13-month high after the European Central Bank signalled an end to rate cuts and the euro rose sharply versus the dollar. Gold is highly sensitive to monetary policy and resulting currency moves. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 1,08 percent to 790,14 tonnes on Mon- day from 798,77 tonnes on Friday. In terms of ounces, holdings fell to 25 403 927 ounces from 25 681 155. Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish COMEX gold position to the highest in 13 months in the week to March 8, the eighth increase in the last nine weeks, data showed on Friday. - Reuters● internatioNAL News17 Gold prices hit near 2-week low; focus on Fed meeting

18. The top of the oil market may be closer than you think. With Brent futures having bounced back to $40 a barrel, the International Energy Agency sees “light at the end of the tunnel,” and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is spotting “green shoots.” Even so, many analysts warn that, like the failed rally last year, this recovery will sputter once prices go high enough to keep US crude flowing. “If prices keep going up, US production from shale pro- ducers is extremely respon- sive,” Jamie Webster, vice president of crude markets at IHS Energy, said in a Bloomberg Television inter- view. “Falling US production is the key dynamic you need to get supply to equal demand, and that might not actually hap- pen,” meaning prices could fall again. Brent futures have recov- ered about 40 percent from the 12-year low of $27,10 reached in January. With output outside the Organisa- tion of Petroleum Exporting Countries set for its biggest slump since 1992, “prices might have bottomed out,” according to the IEA. Yet world crude benchmarks may struggle to push past $50 a barrel this year as any further price recovery only delays the production cuts needed to balance the mar- ket, according to the median of a Bloomberg survey of nine analysts. While US crude production has retreated 5,5 percent since last summer, the pro- cess of depleting bloated inventories is just getting started, according to Gold- man Sachs. The bank, which foresaw oil’s plunge into the $20s, predicts prices still need to stay low enough to starve producers of capital, otherwise the output losses necessary to remove the sup- ply surplus won’t happen. 18 analysis18 analysis If oil prices have hit bottom, the top may not be too far away

19. 19 analysis19 analysis “An early rally in prices before a deficit materializes would prove self-defeating,” Jeffrey Currie, head of com- modities research at Gold- man Sachs in New York, said in a report on March 11. The recovery “could throw a lifeline to US producers” that would “limit oil produc- tion declines,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich. Sustainable Price The argument that $50 rep- resents a ceiling for crude is flawed, according to Sanford C Bernstein & Co., which sees prices returning to $70 in the next year. The industry can’t stay profitable at cur- rent price levels, having lost $3 for each barrel produced last year even as companies squeezed costs, it said. “The price of oil has to rise to balance the market in the medium run, and the medium run might be sooner than people think,” analysts including Bob Brackett in New York said in a report. The rally could in any case sputter out before it even reaches the point that revives US production, according to UBS’s Staunovo. Temporary price support from pipeline disruptions in Iraq will fade, while talks between OPEC and non-members on freezing supply while have little impact, he said. Iran still insists it won’t accept any freeze until it restores about 1 million barrels of exports now that sanctions have been lifted, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Monday following a meeting in Tehran. Similar Trend This year’s price trend is nonetheless similar to last year, IHS’s Webster said. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 40 percent from late March 2015 as US drilling plummeted, yet stalled near $61 that summer as the nation’s production kept going. The US bench- mark ultimately sank near $40 again by August. The resilience of US pro- duction has taken OPEC by surprise, Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said last month. Break-even prices at North American shale wells declined by 40 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to consultant Rys- tad Energy AS. Crude output remains near 9 million bar- rels a day even as data from Baker Hughes Inc. shows drillers are using the fewest rigs since 2009. The reduction in costs makes OPEC’s forecast for a 700 000 barrel-a-day contraction in non-OPEC output this year “more uncertain,” the group said in its monthly oil-market report Monday. As a result of efficiency gains, the “shale band” -- the price range that allows output to be profitable -- has fallen by about $10 since last year to $45-$55 a barrel, said Olivier Jakob, managing director at consultant Petro- matrix GmbH, who originated the term. This year’s rally has already buoyed US drill- ers, who raised $10 billion of extra funds on Wall Street. There’s a cache of suspended wells stretching from south Texas to the Rocky Moun- tains that can be completed as soon as prices rise high enough, according to ana- lysts at Bloomberg Intel- ligence. This reserve is known as the “fracklog,” in reference to the technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used by the shale industry. “There’s a cap that has to do with when the high-cost frackers will come back in, at say $50,” Catherine Mann, chief economist at the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Develop- ment, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “You’ve got frackers out there whose capacity to come into the market is very, very flexible. So there’s a range now.” - Bloomberg●

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