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Africa :: Botswana
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Botswana
  • Introduction :: BOTSWANA

  • Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name at independence in 1966. More than four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most stable economies in Africa. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has won every election since independence; President Ian KHAMA was reelected for a second term in 2014. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.
  • Geography :: BOTSWANA

  • Southern Africa, north of South Africa
    22 00 S, 24 00 E
    Africa
    total: 581,730 sq km
    land: 566,730 sq km
    water: 15,000 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 48
    slightly smaller than Texas
    total: 4,347.15 km
    border countries (4): Namibia 1,544 km, South Africa 1,969 km, Zambia 0.15 km, Zimbabwe 834 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
    predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
    mean elevation: 1,013 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
    highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
    diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
    agricultural land: 45.8%
    arable land 0.6%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 45.2%
    forest: 19.8%
    other: 34.4% (2011 est.)
    20 sq km (2012)
    12.24 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.19 cu km/yr (42%/19%/39%)
    per capita: 107.3 cu m/yr (2005)
    periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
    overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country
  • People and Society :: BOTSWANA

  • noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
    adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
    Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
    Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English (official) 2.1%, Sesarwa 1.9%, Sempukushu 1.7%, other 5.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2001 est.)
    Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4% (includes Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim), unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 est.)
    2,182,719
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    0-14 years: 32.66% (male 363,264/female 349,517)
    15-24 years: 21.49% (male 233,090/female 235,894)
    25-54 years: 37.31% (male 433,246/female 381,151)
    55-64 years: 4.48% (male 43,604/female 54,261)
    65 years and over: 4.06% (male 35,346/female 53,346) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 55.3%
    youth dependency ratio: 49.7%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.6%
    potential support ratio: 17.9% (2015 est.)
    total: 23.1 years
    male: 23.1 years
    female: 23 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    1.21% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    20.96 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    13.39 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    4.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    urban population: 57.4% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    GABORONE (capital) 247,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    19 (2007 est.)
    129 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    total: 8.93 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 9.26 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 8.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    total population: 54.18 years
    male: 55.97 years
    female: 52.33 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    2.33 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    52.8%
    note: percent of women aged 12-49 (2007/08)
    5.4% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0.4 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    1.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 99.2% of population
    rural: 92.3% of population
    total: 96.2% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.8% of population
    rural: 7.7% of population
    total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 78.5% of population
    rural: 43.1% of population
    total: 63.4% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 21.5% of population
    rural: 56.9% of population
    total: 36.6% of population (2015 est.)
    25.16% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    392,400 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    5,100 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: malaria (2013)
    19.5% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    11.2% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    9.6% of GDP (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 88.5%
    male: 88%
    female: 88.9% (2015 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: NA
    female: NA (2008)
    total number: 45,036
    percentage: 9%
    note: data represent children ages 7-17 (2006 est.)
    total: 36%
    male: 29.6%
    female: 43.5% (2010 est.)
  • Government :: BOTSWANA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
    conventional short form: Botswana
    local long form: Republic of Botswana
    local short form: Botswana
    former: Bechuanaland
    etymology: the name Botswana means "Land of the Tswana" - referring to the country's major ethnic group
    parliamentary republic
    name: Gaborone
    geographic coordinates: 24 38 S, 25 54 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    10 districts and 6 town councils*; Central, Chobe, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, North East, North West, Selebi-Phikwe*, South East, Southern, Sowa Town*
    30 September 1966 (from the UK)
    Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
    previous 1960 (preindependence); latest adopted March 1965, effective 30 September 1966; amended several times, last in 2006 (2016)
    mixed legal system of civil law influenced by the Roman-Dutch model and also customary and common law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Botswana
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April 2008); Vice President Ponatshego KEDIKILWE (since 2 August 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April 2008); Vice President Ponatshego KEDIKILWE (since 2 August 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 24 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019); vice president appointed by the president
    election results: Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
    description: unicameral Parliament consists of the National Assembly (63 seats; 57 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 4 nominated by the president and indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the rest of the National Assembly, and 2 ex-officio members - the president and attorney general; elected members serve 5-year terms); note - the House of Chiefs (Ntlo ya Dikgosi), an advisory body to the National Assembly, consists of 35 members - 8 hereditary chiefs from Botswana's principal tribes, 22 indirectly elected by the chiefs, and 5 appointed by the president; the House of Chiefs consults on issues including powers of chiefs, customary courts, customary law, tribal property, and constitutional amendments
    elections: National Assembly elections last held on 24 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 46.5%, UDC 30.0%, BCP 20.4%, independent 3.1%; seats by party - BDP 37, UDC 17, BCP 3
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal, High Court (each consists of a chief justice and a number of other judges as prescribed by the Parliament)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president and other judges appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Service Commission; all judges appointed to serve until age 70
    subordinate courts: Industrial Court (with circuits scheduled monthly in the capital city and in 3 districts); Magistrates Courts (1 in each district); Customary Court of Appeal; Paramount Chief's Court/Urban Customary Court; Senior Chief's Representative Court; Chief's Representative’s Court; Headman's Court
    Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]
    Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Dumelang SALESHANDO]
    Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Ian KHAMA]
    Botswana Movement for Democracy or BMD [Ndaba GAOLATLHE]
    Botswana National Front or BNF [Duma BOKO]
    Botswana Peoples Party or BPP [Motlatsi MOLAPISI]
    Umbrella for Democratic Change or UDC [Duma BOKO] (includes BMD, BPP, and BNF)
    First People of the Kalahari (Bushman organization)
    Pitso Ya Ba Tswana
    Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (Kalanga elites)
    other: diamond mining companies
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador David John NEWMAN (since 3 August 2015)
    chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990
    FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta
    chief of mission: Ambassador Earl R. MILLER (since 30 January 2015)
    embassy: Embassy Drive, Government Enclave (off Khama Crescent), Gaborone
    mailing address: Embassy Enclave, P. O. Box 90, Gaborone
    telephone: [267] 395-3982
    FAX: [267] 318-0232
    light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center; the blue symbolizes water in the form of rain, while the black and white bands represent racial harmony
    zebra; national colors: blue, white, black
    name: "Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)
    lyrics/music: Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE
    note: adopted 1966
  • Economy :: BOTSWANA

  • Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for one quarter of GDP, approximately 85% of export earnings, and about one-third of the government's revenues. Tourism is the secondary earner of foreign exchange and many Batswana engage in subsistence farming and cattle raising. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $17,700 in 2015. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa.
    Botswana's economy is highly correlated with global economic trends because of its heavy reliance on a single luxury export. According to official government statistics, unemployment is 19.5%, but unofficial estimates run much higher. De Beers, a major international diamond company, signed a 10-year deal with Botswana in 2012 and moved its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone in 2013. The move was geared to support the development of Botswana's nascent downstream diamond industry.
    Following the 2008 global recession Botswana’s economy recovered in 2010. However, the Government of Botswana estimates the economy grew by only 1% in 2015. This was primarily due to the downturn in the global diamond market; water and power shortages also played a role. In October 2015 President Ian KHAMA announced a stimulus plan to boost the economy through projects in agricultural production, construction, manufacturing, and tourism development. In 2016, Botswana entered its fourth year of drought, detrimental to Botswana’s small, but vital agriculture sector.
    The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens the country's impressive economic gains.
    $34.84 billion (2015 est.)
    $34.96 billion (2014 est.)
    $33.88 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 122
    $12.86 billion (2015 est.)
    -0.3% (2015 est.)
    3.2% (2014 est.)
    9.9% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    $16,400 (2015 est.)
    $16,600 (2014 est.)
    $16,300 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 98
    37.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    46.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    41.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    household consumption: 48.2%
    government consumption: 16.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 31%
    investment in inventories: -1.6%
    exports of goods and services: 60.7%
    imports of goods and services: -55.1% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 1.8%
    industry: 32.9%
    services: 65.3% (2015 est.)
    livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
    diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; livestock processing; textiles
    -1.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    1.155 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    17.8% (2009 est.)
    7.5% (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    30.3% (2003 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    63 (1993)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    revenues: $5.078 billion
    expenditures: $5.55 billion (2015 est.)
    38.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    -3.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    17% of GDP (2015 est.)
    15.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    1 April - 31 March
    3% (2015 est.)
    4.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    7.5% (31 December 2014)
    7.5% (31 December 2013)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    7.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    9% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    $1.569 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.388 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    $8.293 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $7.635 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    $1.634 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.272 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    $4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $4.107 billion (31 December 2011)
    $4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    $1.202 billion (2015 est.)
    $2.496 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $6.66 billion (2015 est.)
    $8.516 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
    $7.331 billion (2015 est.)
    $7.989 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
    $7.99 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $8.323 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $2.256 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.43 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    pulas (BWP) per US dollar -
    10.04 (2015 est.)
    8.9761 (2014 est.)
    8.9761 (2013 est.)
    7.62 (2012 est.)
    6.8382 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: BOTSWANA

  • 235 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    3.213 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    3.371 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    132,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    18,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    18,320 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    3.919 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
  • Communications :: BOTSWANA

  • total subscriptions: 170,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    total: 3.4 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 158 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    general assessment: Botswana is participating in regional development efforts; expanding fully digital system with fiber-optic cables linking the major population centers in the east as well as a system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relays links, and radiotelephone communication stations
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity has declined in recent years and now stands at roughly 7 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity now pushing 140 telephones per 100 persons
    international: country code - 267; international calls are made via satellite, using international direct dialing; 2 international exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)
    2 TV stations - 1 state-owned and 1 privately owned; privately owned satellite TV subscription service is available; 2 state-owned national radio stations; 3 privately owned radio stations broadcast locally (2007)
    AM 8, FM 13, shortwave 4 (2001)
    2 (1 state-owned, 1 private) (2007)
    .bw
    1,806 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    total: 283,500
    percent of population: 13.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
  • Transportation :: BOTSWANA

  • 74 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    total: 10
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 64
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
    914 to 1,523 m: 46
    under 914 m: 13 (2013)
    total: 888 km
    narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    total: 17,916 km
    note: includes 8,916 km of Public Highway Network roads (6,116 km paved and 2,800 km unpaved) and 9,000 km of District Council roads (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 117
  • Military and Security :: BOTSWANA

  • Botswana Defense Force (BDF): Ground Forces Command, Air Wing Command, Defense Logistics Command, Special Forces Group (2013)
    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
    2% of GDP (2013)
    2.31% of GDP (2012)
    2.43% of GDP (2011)
    2.31% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 34
  • Transnational Issues :: BOTSWANA

  • none
    current situation: Botswana is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; young Batswana serving as domestic workers, sometimes sent by their parents, may be denied education and basic necessities or experience confinement and abuse indicative of forced labor; Batswana girls and women also are forced into prostitution domestically; adults and children of San ethnicity were reported to be in forced labor on farms and at cattle posts in the country’s rural west
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Botswana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; an anti-trafficking act was passed at the beginning of 2014, but authorities did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any offenders or government officials complicit in trafficking or operationalize victim identification and referral procedures based on the new law; the government sponsored a radio campaign to familiarize the public with the issue of human trafficking (2015)
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