The Story of the Ngami Times….
THE NGAMI TIMES has since its establishment in 1999 developed into one of the most important print advertising mediums in the north of Botswana .
Botswana is becoming an important market for many foreign companies, and several have started, or are about to start, operations in the newspaper’s core circulation area – the towns of Maun, Francistown , Kasane and Ghanzi. The population of this area is estimated to be more than 160 000, of which 94 000 (2002 census) are resident in Maun and environs.
The newspaper, a tabloid-size weekly on sale each Friday, is owned by The Ngami Times Printing and Publishing Co Botswana (Pty) Ltd, a privately owned and financed company registered in Botswana .
Established in November 1999, the newspaper is printed and published in Maun, 1 000km from the country capital, Gaborone , and 500km from the nearest major urban area, Francistown .
The newspaper is the only one in Botswana that is printed outside of Gaborone and currently has a regular circulation of 5 000, with a readership estimated to be in excess of 25 000. An electronic edition ( www.ngamitimes.com ) records thousands of hits by Internet browsers in many countries, including Britain, South Africa, France, Australia, New Zealand, India, Vietnam, United States, Germany, China, the Netherlands, Tanzania and Kenya
The full circulation area covers Maun, Kasane, Ghanzi, Francistown, Etsha, Gumare, Sehithwa, Nata, Shakawe, Palapye, Tsau, Charles Hill, Letlhakane, and by air to Gaborone. Subscription copies are mailed to many countries.
Editorial content is of local, regional and national interest, with a weekly page of international news, and regular columns on labour affairs and the environment .
Maun is the “Gateway to the Okavango ”, the largest inland delta in the world and the only major inland delta in Africa . The town lies at the northern edge of the Kalahari Desert and is part of a Ramsar site because of the unique bio-diversity found there . An application is being made to have the area declared a World Heritage Site.
Thousands of tourists from all over the world annually visit the town enroute to the delta and South Africa , Namibia , Zambia and Zimbabwe due to the huge environmental and conservation interest in the delta region.
The town is cosmopolitan in its demographic make-up, with many South Africans, British, Australians, New Zealanders, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Chinese, Spanish, Dutch, Germans, Russians, Americans, Congolese, and other nationalities residing here.
Maun now has excellent transport links to all corners of southern Africa as well as a highly-sophisticated communication network, both land-based and satellite-based. Maun airport is recognised as the busiest in Botswana and one of the busiest in the southern African region.
THE NGAMI TIMES offers advertisers four-colour facilities on its Heidelberg Kord 64 sheet-fed printing press, the only large press of its type in Botswana outside of Gaborone and Serowe.
WHO ARE BEHIND THE SCENES…
The Managing Editor and Managing Director of The Ngami Times, Norman Chandler, is an experienced South African-born journalist who has worked on newspapers in South Africa , Zambia , Zimbabwe , Lesotho , and Britain as well as working for two years in Public Relations.
He has reported extensively on many issues in Africa, South America, Europe and Asia .
Co-director is Marinda Chandler, who oversees all aspects of administration and financial control.
The Editor is Keto Segwai, a journalist which long experience in Botswana and southern Africa in general. He was appointed in September 2011.
The newspaper employs and trains only Botswana citizens in all departments – editorial, advertising, administration, distribution, and printing.
A spiring journalists and other staff are encouraged to improve themselves and some have enrolled in Journalism Schools or for degree courses at the University of Botswana or South African educational institutions, returning during vacation periods. Interns from other countries are also invited to join the staff during higher education vacation periods in order to give them an understanding of the operations of a small newspaper with limited resources in a relatively remote part of Africa and to expose local staff to other practitioners of journalism.
The staff is supported in their efforts to improve their journalism skills, particularly overseas. Reporters have travelled to the United States , Sweden , Thailand and into Africa ( Zambia , Namibia and South Africa) on assignment or attending conferences.