Botswana( Africa )

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Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon 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. 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.
Southern Africa, north of South Africa
Geographic coordinates:
22 00 S, 24 00 E
total: 581,730 sq km
land: 566,730 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 4,347.1 km
border countries: Namibia 1,544 km, South Africa 1,969 km, Zambia 0.1 km, Zimbabwe 834 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
Natural resources:
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Land use:
arable land: 0.45%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.55% (2011)
Irrigated land:
14.39 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
12.24 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 0.19 cu km/yr (42%/19%/39%)
per capita: 107.3 cu m/yr (2005)
Natural hazards:
periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
Environment current issues:
overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources
Environment international agreements:
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
Geography note:
landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country
People and Society
noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
Ethnic groups:
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%, other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 census)
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 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.9% (male 361,717/female 348,150)
15-24 years: 21.6% (male 231,576/female 234,852)
25-54 years: 37% (male 422,182/female 375,836)
55-64 years: 4.4% (male 42,099/female 52,917)
65 years and over: 4% (male 34,567/female 51,888) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 58.6 %
youth dependency ratio: 52.8 %
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 %
potential support ratio: 17.1 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 22.9 years
male: 22.9 years
female: 22.8 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.26% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
21.34 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
13.32 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
4.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2014 est.)
urban population: 61.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.07% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
GABORONE (capital) 202,000 (2011)
Sex ratio:
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: 1.12 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 9.38 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.77 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
160 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.06 years
male: 55.75 years
female: 52.32 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.37 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
note: percent of women aged 12-49 (2007/08)
Health expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
0.34 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
Hospital bed density:
1.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 96.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 3.2% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 77.9% of population
rural: 41.8% of population
total: 64.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 22.1% of population
rural: 58.2% of population
total: 35.7% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
23% (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
337,700 (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
5,700 (2012 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
11.2% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
11.2% (2008)
Education expenditures:
9.5% of GDP (2009)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.1%
male: 84.6%
female: 85.6% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2006)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
total number: 45,036
percentage: 9 %
note: data represents children ages 7-17 (2006 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 13.6%
male: 13.2%
female: 14% (2000)
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
local long form: Republic of Botswana
local short form: Botswana
former: Bechuanaland
Government type:
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)
Administrative divisions:
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)
National holiday:
Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
previous 1960 (preindependence); latest adopted March 1965, effective 30 September 1966; amended several times, last in 2006 (2006)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of civil law influenced by the Roman-Dutch model and also customary and common law
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
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: president indirectly elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely advisory 35-member body with 8 ex-officio members consisting of the chiefs of the principal tribes, and 27 non-permanent members serving five-year terms, of which 22 are indirectly elected with the remaining 5 appointed by the President) and the National Assembly (63 seats; 57 members directly elected by popular vote, 4 appointed by the majority party, and 2, the President and Attorney General, serve as ex-officio members; members serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly elections last held on 16 October 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 53.3%, BNF 21.9%, BCP 19.2%, BAM 2.3%, other 3.3%; seats by party - BDP 45, BNF 6, BCP 4, BAM 1, other 1
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Appeal, High Court (each consists of a chief justice and 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 three districts); Magistrates Courts (one 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
Political parties and leaders:
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 [Gomolemo MOTSWALEDI]; Botswana National Front or BNF [Duma BOKO]; Botswana Peoples Party or BPP [Motlatsi MOLAPISI]; MELS Movement of Botswana or MELS [Themba JOINA]; New Democratic Front or NDF [Dick BAYFORD]
note: a number of minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the BAM but did not capture any parliamentary seats - includes the United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; the Independence Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO]; the Botswana Progressive Union [D. K. KWELE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
First People of the Kalahari (Bushman organization); Pitso Ya Ba Tswana; Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (Kalanga elites)
other: diamond mining companies
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile SERETSE (since 16 February 2011)
chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990
FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michelle D. GAVIN (since 15 June 2011)
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
Flag description:
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
National symbol(s):
National anthem:
name: "Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)
lyrics/music: Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE
note: adopted 1966
Economy overview:
Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. However, economic growth was negative in 2009, with the industrial sector shrinking by 30%, after the global crisis reduced demand for Botswana's diamonds. Although the economy recovered in 2010, GDP growth has again slowed. 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 $16,400 in 2013. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP, 70-80% of export earnings, and about one-third of the government's revenues. Botswana's heavy reliance on a single luxury export was a critical factor in the sharp economic contraction of 2009. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. According to official government statistics, unemployment reached 17.8% in 2009, but unofficial estimates run much higher. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens Botswana's impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond production within the next two decades overshadows long-term prospects. A major international diamond company signed a 10-year deal with Botswana in 2012 to move its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone by the end of 2013. The move may support Botswana's downstream diamond industry.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$34 billion (2013 est.)
$32.71 billion (2012 est.)
$31.4 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$15.53 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
3.9% (2013 est.)
4.2% (2012 est.)
6.1% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$16,400 (2013 est.)
$15,900 (2012 est.)
$15,500 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
33.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
28.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
41.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 51.6%
government consumption: 18.3%
investment in fixed capital: 34.1%
investment in inventories: -1.2%
exports of goods and services: 47%
imports of goods and services: -49.8%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 35.7%
services: 62.4% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; livestock processing; textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
7.2% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
1.308 million (2013 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
17.8% (2009 est.)
7.5% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
30.3% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income Gini index:
63 (1993)
revenues: $5.04 billion
expenditures: $4.952 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
32.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
17.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
17.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.1% (2013 est.)
7.5% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
9.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
10% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
10% (31 December 2013 est.)
11% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$1.517 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.358 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$8.293 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$7.635 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$1.38 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.111 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.107 billion (31 December 2011)
$4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance:
$1.375 billion (2013 est.)
-$795.2 million (2012 est.)
$7.569 billion (2013 est.)
$6.011 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
Exports partners:
$7.389 billion (2013 est.)
$7.918 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
Imports partners:
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$7.933 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$7.628 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$2.416 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.443 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
Exchange rates:
pulas (BWP) per US dollar -
8.732 (2013 est.)
7.6181 (2012 est.)
6.7936 (2010 est.)
7.1551 (2009)
6.7907 (2008)
Electricity production:
429.6 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity consumption:
3.118 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
2.985 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
132,000 kW (2011 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
15,420 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
19,360 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
3.843 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
3.082 million (2012)
Telephone system:
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)
Telephones main lines in use:
160,500 (2012)
Broadcast media:
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)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
120,000 (2009)
Internet hosts:
1,806 (2012)
74 (2013)
Airports with paved runways:
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)
Airports with unpaved runways:
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 (2008)
total: 17,916 km
note: includes 8,916 km of Public Highway Network roads (6,116 km paved and 2,800 km unpaved) and other 9,000 km of District Council roads (2011)
Merchant marine:
Ports and terminals:
Military branches:
Botswana Defense Force (BDF): Ground Forces Command, Air Wing Command, Defense Logistics Command, Special Forces Group (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 557,647
females age 16-49: 531,095 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 340,949
females age 16-49: 302,332 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 23,649
female: 23,063 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
2.31% of GDP (2012)
2.43% of GDP (2011)
2.31% of GDP (2010)
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Trafficking in persons: