Botswana

Botswana

#fancy-title-5b061fd7d6a86:after{ background-color:rgba(117,170,219,0.4); height:3px !important; } #fancy-title-5b061fd7d6a86 a{ color: #75aadb; }
Overview

BotswanaBotswana, one of Africa’s most stable countries, is the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy. It is relatively free of corruption and has a good human rights record.

Botswana is flat, and up to 70% is covered by the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula, Zambia is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred metres long.
A mid-sized country of just over two million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, with a GDP per capita of about US$70. Botswana has since transformed itself, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world to a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $14,000,[1] and a high gross national income, possibly the fourth-largest in Africa, giving the country a modest standard of living. The country also has a strong tradition as a representative democracy.
Sparsely populated, Botswana protects some of Africa’s largest areas of wilderness. Safari-based tourism – tightly-controlled and often upmarket – is an important source of income. Botswana is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation. The country has had its share of problems: It once had the world’s highest rate of HIV-Aids infection. UN figures for 2014 suggest that for adults aged 15 to 49 the prevalence rate is 25%. The country has one of Africa’s most-advanced treatment programmes, however, and medicine for the virus is readily available.

Profiles by BBC Monitoring

The Situation
  • 1867 – European gold prospectors arrive, mining begins. In 1885, British proclaim a protectorate called Bechuanaland.
  • 1950 – Chief of the Ngwato, Seretse Khama, is deposed and exiled by the British.
  • 1960 – Britain approves new constitution for Bechuanaland. Executive Council, Legislative Council and African Council are established. The following year, Seretse Khama is appointed to Executive Council and later founds the Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP), which is eventually renamed the Botswana Democratic Party. He becomes prime minister in 1965.
  • 1966 – Bechuanaland is granted independence and becomes Republic of Botswana with Seretse Khama as president.
  • 1967– Diamonds discovered at Orapa.
  • 1999-2008 – Presidency of Festus Mogae – praised for diversifying Botswana’s economy to reduce its dependence on diamonds.
  • 2004 – HIV infection rate falls to 37.5%; Botswana no longer has the world’s highest rate of infection.
  • 2008 – Seretse Khama Ian Khama takes over as president.
  • 2010 – Human rights group Survival International calls for a boycott of Botswanan diamonds, accusing the government of trying to force Basarwa bushmen away from their ancestral lands.
  • 2014 – Gay rights group wins legal recognition.
#list-style-5b061fd7d874d ul li:before { font-family:"FontAwesome"; content: "\f111"; color:#000000 }
Fun Trivia Facts

The Republic of Botswana
Capital: Gaborone

  • Population: 2 million (UN, 2012)
  • Capital: Gaborone
  • Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq miles)
  • Major languages: English (official), Setswana
  • Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs
  • Life expectancy: 54 years (men), 51 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Pula = 100 thebe
  • Main exports: Diamonds, copper, nickel, beef
  • GNI per capita: US $7,470 (World Bank, 2011)
  • Internet domain: .bw
  • International dialling code: +267

Other African Nations

#fancy-title-5b061fd7d9654:after, #fancy-title-5b061fd7d9654:before { background-color:; height:3px !important; } #fancy-title-5b061fd7d9654 a{ color: ; }
#clients-shortcode-5b061fd7db8a3 ul li:last-child .flip-wrapper { border-right-width: 2px !important; } #clients-shortcode-5b061fd7db8a3 .client-item-wrapper{ border-width: 2px; } #clients-shortcode-5b061fd7db8a3 ul li:last-child .flip-wrapper { border-right-width: 2px !important; }
#list-style-5b061fd7e7bda ul li:before { font-family:"Pe-icon-line"; content: "\e643"; color:#dd3333 }
#list-style-5b061fd7e811d ul li:before { font-family:"FontAwesome"; content: "\f024"; color:#000000 }
#list-style-5b061fd7e8660 ul li:before { font-family:"FontAwesome"; content: "\f11d"; color:#81d742 }
#list-style-5b061fd7e8b83 ul li:before { font-family:"FontAwesome"; content: "\f11e"; color:#9b9b9b }