Country Summary



Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name at independence in 1966. More than five decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created an enduring democracy and upper middle-income economy.




total: 581,730 sq km
land: 566,730 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km


semiarid; warm winters and hot summers

Natural resources

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver

People and Society


2,417,596 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and people of European ancestry 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.)

Population growth rate

1.37% (2023 est.)


Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Gaborone

Executive branch

chief of state: President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe MASISI (since 1 April 2018); Vice President Slumber TSOGWANE (since 4 April 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe MASISI (since 1 April 2018); Vice President Slumber TSOGWANE (since 4 April 2018)

Legislative branch

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


Economic overview

good economic governance and financial management; diamond-driven growth model declining; rapid poverty reductions; high unemployment, particularly among youth; COVID-19 sharply contracted the economy and recovery is slow; public sector wages have posed fiscal challenges

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$38.415 billion (2021 est.)
$34.493 billion (2020 est.)
$37.79 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$14,800 (2021 est.)
$13,500 (2020 est.)
$15,100 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, roots/tubers, vegetables, sorghum, beef, game meat, watermelons, cabbages, goat milk, onions


diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; beef processing; textiles


$7.931 billion (2021 est.)
$4.81 billion (2020 est.)
$6.229 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

India 21%, Belgium 19%, United Arab Emirates 19%, South Africa 9%, Israel 7%, Hong Kong 6%, Singapore 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

diamonds, insulated wiring, copper, beef, gold (2021)


$9.277 billion (2021 est.)
$7.413 billion (2020 est.)
$7.696 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 58%, Namibia 9%, Canada 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

diamonds, refined petroleum, cars, delivery trucks, electricity (2019)

Exchange rates

pulas (BWP) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
11.087 (2021 est.)
11.456 (2020 est.)
10.756 (2019 est.)
10.2 (2018 est.)
10.347 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024