Africa :: 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)
    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

  • 2,209,208
    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 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    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 77.3%, Sekalanga 7.4%, Shekgalagadi 3.4%, English (official) 2.8%, Zezuru/Shona 2%, Sesarwa 1.7%, Sembukushu 1.6%, Ndebele 1%, other 2.8% (2011 est.)
    Christian 79.1%, Badimo 4.1%, other 1.4% (includes Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafarian), none 15.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2011 est.)
    Botswana has experienced one of the most rapid declines in fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. The total fertility rate has fallen from more than 5 children per woman in the mid 1980s to approximately 2.4 in 2013. The fertility reduction has been attributed to a host of factors, including higher educational attainment among women, greater participation of women in the workforce, increased contraceptive use, later first births, and a strong national family planning program. Botswana was making significant progress in several health indicators, including life expectancy and infant and child mortality rates, until being devastated by the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 1990s.
    Today Botswana has the third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world at approximately 22%, however comprehensive and effective treatment programs have reduced HIV/AIDS-related deaths. The combination of declining fertility and increasing mortality rates because of HIV/AIDS is slowing the population aging process, with a narrowing of the youngest age groups and little expansion of the oldest age groups. Nevertheless, having the bulk of its population (about 60%) of working age will only yield economic benefits if the labor force is healthy, educated, and productively employed.
    Batswana have been working as contract miners in South Africa since the 19th century. Although Botswana’s economy improved shortly after independence in 1966 with the discovery of diamonds and other minerals, its lingering high poverty rate and lack of job opportunities continued to push workers to seek mining work in southern African countries. In the early 1970s, about a third of Botswana’s male labor force worked in South Africa (lesser numbers went to Namibia and Zimbabwe). Not until the 1980s and 1990s, when South African mining companies had reduced their recruitment of foreign workers and Botswana’s economic prospects had improved, were Batswana increasingly able to find job opportunities at home.
    Most Batswana prefer life in their home country and choose cross-border migration on a temporary basis only for work, shopping, visiting family, or tourism. Since the 1970s, Botswana has pursued an open migration policy enabling it to recruit thousands of foreign workers to fill skilled labor shortages. In the late 1990s, Botswana’s prosperity and political stability attracted not only skilled workers but small numbers of refugees from neighboring Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
    0-14 years: 32.4% (male 364,807/female 350,888)
    15-24 years: 21.32% (male 234,251/female 236,650)
    25-54 years: 37.61% (male 444,290/female 386,622)
    55-64 years: 4.55% (male 45,186/female 55,272)
    65 years and over: 4.13% (male 36,216/female 55,026) (2016 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 55.3
    youth dependency ratio: 49.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.6
    potential support ratio: 17.9 (2015 est.)
    total: 23.2 years
    male: 23.4 years
    female: 23.1 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    1.19% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    20.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    13.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    4.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 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: 1.15 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    19 years (2007 est.)
    129 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    total: 8.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 8.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 8.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    total population: 54.5 years
    male: 56.3 years
    female: 52.6 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    2.3 children born/woman (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    52.8%
    note: percent of women aged 12-49 (2007/08)
    5.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0.38 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    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.)
    22.21% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    348,900 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    3,200 (2015 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 (2016)
    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: 13 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 13 years (2013)
    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 Mokgweetsi Eric MASISI (since 12 November 2014); 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 Mokgweetsi Eric MASISI (since 12 November 2014)
    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 (65 seats; 57 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 6 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 GAOLATHE]
    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, BCP and BNF)
    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

  • Until the global recession, Botswana maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. Diamond mining fueled much of the economic 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 rearing. 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 approximately $16,900 in 2016. Botswana also ranks as one of the best credit risks in Africa.
    Botswana's economy closely follows global economic trends because of its heavy reliance on a single luxury export. According to official government statistics, unemployment is around 20%, 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.
    Botswana’s economy recovered from the 2008 global recession in 2010, but has only grown modestly since then, primarily due to the downturn in the global diamond market, though water and power shortages also played a role. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens the country's impressive economic gains. In 2016, Botswana entered its fourth year of drought, detrimental to Botswana’s small, but vital agriculture sector, but diamond exports increased to their highest levels since 2013, buffering economic growth. As a result, the economy registered 2.9% growth in 2016.
    $35.9 billion (2016 est.)
    $34.89 billion (2015 est.)
    $35.49 billion (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 122
    $15.01 billion (2016 est.)
    2.9% (2016 est.)
    -1.7% (2015 est.)
    4.1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    $16,900 (2016 est.)
    $16,600 (2015 est.)
    $16,900 (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 99
    35.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    39.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    46.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    household consumption: 46.1%
    government consumption: 17.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 29.5%
    investment in inventories: 6.9%
    exports of goods and services: 52.4%
    imports of goods and services: -52% (2016 est.)
    agriculture: 1.8%
    industry: 29.8%
    services: 68.4% (2016 est.)
    livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
    diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; beef processing; textiles
    2.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    1.177 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    20% (2013 est.)
    17.8% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    30.3% (2003 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    60.5 (2009)
    63 (1993)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    revenues: $5.516 billion
    expenditures: $5.624 billion (2016 est.)
    36.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    -0.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    21% of GDP (2016 est.)
    19.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    1 April - 31 March
    2.8% (2016 est.)
    3.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    5.5% (31 December 2016)
    6% (31 December 2015)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    7% (31 December 2016 est.)
    7.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    $1.365 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $1.223 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    $8.293 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $7.635 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    $1.783 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $1.614 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    $4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $4.107 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    $2.202 billion (2016 est.)
    $1.121 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    $6.448 billion (2016 est.)
    $6.274 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, beef, textiles
    $7.194 billion (2016 est.)
    $7.09 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
    $7.682 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $8.486 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    $2.386 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $2.221 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    pulas (BWP) per US dollar -
    10.21 (2016 est.)
    10.1263 (2015 est.)
    10.1263 (2014 est.)
    8.9761 (2013 est.)
    7.62 (2012 est.)
  • Energy :: BOTSWANA

  • population without electricity: 700,000
    electrification - total population: 66%
    electrification - urban areas: 75%
    electrification - rural areas: 54% (2013)
    2.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    3.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    1.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    895,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    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 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    23,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    22,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    4.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
  • Communications :: BOTSWANA

  • total subscriptions: 160,490
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    total: 3.475 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 159 (July 2015 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; the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation is rolling out 4G service to over 95 sites in the country that will improve network connectivity
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity has declined in recent years and now stands at roughly 7 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity now pushing 160 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) (2015)
    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)
    .bw
    total: 600,000
    percent of population: 27.5% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
  • Transportation :: BOTSWANA

  • number of registered air carriers: 1
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 194,005
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 94,729 mt-km (2015)
    A2 (2016)
    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: 94
    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

  • 2.8% of GDP (2015)
    2.39% of GDP (2014)
    2.02% of GDP (2013)
    2.27% of GDP (2012)
    2.36% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Botswana Defence Force (BDF): Ground Forces Command, Air Arm Command, Defense Logistics Command (2017)
    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
  • 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)