Facts about Botswana
|Time zone||UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Southern Africa, north of South Africa
General info about Botswana
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic 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.
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid
Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
37.3% (2003 est.)
semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, though growth slowed to about 5% annually in 2006-08. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of nearly $15,800 in 2008. 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 and for 70-80% of export earnings. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. On the downside, the government must deal with high rates of unemployment and poverty. Unemployment officially was 23.8% in 2004, but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection rates are the second highest in the world and threaten Botswana's impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production overshadows long-term prospects.
overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources
Cities in Botswanaboatlaname bobonong bokaa bokspits bonwapitse dekar dutlwe francistown gabane gaborone ghanzi gweta hukuntsi kachikau kalakamati kalamare kang kanye kasane khakhea khudumelapye kobojango kopong lehututu lephepe letlhakane letlhakeng lobatse machaneng mahalapye makalamabedi makaleng manyana masunga mathathane maun maunatlala mmathubudukwane mochudi mogapi mogapinyana mogoditshane moiyabana mokobeng molepolole mookane mopipi mosetse moshupa nata nkoyaphiri nokaneng orapa otse palapye pandamatenga pilane pilikwe ramotswa ratholo sebina sefophe sehithwa sekoma serowe shakawe tamasane thamaga tobane tonota tsabong tshane tsienyane werda