Botswana

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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

Location

Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Geographic coordinates

22.00° S, 24.00° E

Area 48/257

total: 581,730 sq km

land: 566,730 sq km

water: 15,000 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries

total: 4,347.15 km

border countries (4): Namibia 1,544 km, South Africa 1,969 km, Zambia 0.15 km, Zimbabwe 834 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

semiarid; warm winters and hot summers

Terrain

predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest

Elevation

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 45.8%

arable land 0.6%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 45.2%

forest: 19.8%

other: 34.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

20 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

12.24 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/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

Nationality

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%

Languages

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.)

Religions

Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4% (includes Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim), unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 est.)

Population 145/238

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.)

Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.3%

youth dependency ratio: 49.7%

elderly dependency ratio: 5.6%

potential support ratio: 17.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 23.1 years

male: 23.1 years

female: 23 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 99/233

1.21% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 77/224

20.96 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 15/225

13.39 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 28/222

4.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 57.4% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

GABORONE (capital) 247,000 (2014)

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: 1.14 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.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19 (2007 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 61/184

129 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 145/224

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.)

Life expectancy at birth 212/224

total population: 54.18 years

male: 55.97 years

female: 52.33 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 90/224

2.33 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

52.8%

note: percent of women aged 12-49 (2007/08)

Health expenditures 132/191

5.4% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.4 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

1.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source

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.)

Sanitation facility access

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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

25.16% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

392,400 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

5,100 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 128/191

19.5% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 66/138

11.2% (2008)

Education expenditures 5/173

9.5% of GDP (2009)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: NA

female: NA (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 36%

male: 29.6%

female: 43.5% (2010 est.)

Government

Country name

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

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

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*

Independence

30 September 1966 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)

Constitution

previous 1960 (preindependence); latest adopted March 1965, effective 30 September 1966; amended several times, last in 2006 (2015)

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

Citizenship

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

Suffrage

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/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

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

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

Judicial branch

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

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 [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)

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

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

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)

zebra; national colors: blue, white, black

National anthem

name: "Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)

lyrics/music: Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE

note: adopted 1966

Economy

Economy - overview

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 more than one-third of GDP, 70-80% of export earnings, and about one-third of the government's revenues. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. 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 heavy reliance on a single luxury export was a critical factor in the sharp economic contraction of 2009, with the industrial sector shrinking by 30%, after the global crisis reduced demand for Botswana's diamonds. According to official government statistics, unemployment reached 17.8% in 2009, but unofficial estimates run much higher. 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 has supported the development of Botswana's nascent downstream diamond industry.

The economy recovered in 2010, but GDP growth in 2015 reached only a modest 2.3%, in part, because of the continued weak global demand for Botswana’s diamonds. Water and power shortages also obstructed Botswana’s economic growth. In October 2015 President Ian KHAMA announced a stimulus plan to boost the economy that will use some of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves on projects in agricultural production, construction, manufacturing, and tourism development.

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 10-15 years also overshadows long-term prospects.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 117/230

$37.16 billion (2015 est.)

$36.22 billion (2014 est.)

$34.69 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$13.09 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 115/225

2.6% (2015 est.)

4.4% (2014 est.)

9.3% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 96/230

$17,700 (2015 est.)

$17,200 (2014 est.)

$16,500 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 5/179

35.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

47.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

42.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.8%

industry: 32.9%

services: 65.3% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate 173/202

-1.2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 140/233

1.155 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Unemployment rate 163/207

17.8% (2009 est.)

7.5% (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line

30.3% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index 2/144

63 (1993)

Budget

revenues: $5.078 billion

expenditures: $5.55 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 46/219

38.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 135/220

-3.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 156/176

17% of GDP (2015 est.)

15.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 155/226

4% (2015 est.)

3.9% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 42/156

7.5% (31 December 2014)

7.5% (31 December 2013)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 115/184

7.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

9% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 137/192

$1.569 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.388 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 112/193

$8.293 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

$7.635 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 146/191

$1.634 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.272 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 87/121

$4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$4.107 billion (31 December 2011)

$4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 44/197

$363 million (2015 est.)

$2.45 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 102/224

$6.66 billion (2015 est.)

$8.516 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles

Imports 110/223

$7.331 billion (2015 est.)

$7.989 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 80/170

$7.99 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$8.323 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 149/206

$2.256 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.43 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

pulas (BWP) per US dollar -

10.04 (2015 est.)

8.98 (2014 est.)

8.98 (2013 est.)

7.62 (2012 est.)

6.84 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 182/220

235 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 132/219

3.213 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 104/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 47/219

3.371 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 169/214

132,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 4/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 48/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 160/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 156/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 107/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 98/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 159/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 106/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 156/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 134/212

18,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 154/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 116/213

18,320 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 156/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 117/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 61/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 160/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 111/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 132/212

3.919 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 132/219

total subscriptions: 170,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 131/217

total: 3.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 158 (2014 est.)

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)

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 8, FM 13, shortwave 4 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

2 (1 state-owned, 1 private) (2007)

Internet country code

.bw

Internet hosts 163/232

1,806 (2012)

Internet users 144/217

total: 283,500

percent of population: 13.2% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 70/236

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)

Railways 93/136

total: 888 km

narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 117/223

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)

Military and Security

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)

Military expenditures 34/132

2% of GDP (2013)

2.31% of GDP (2012)

2.43% of GDP (2011)

2.31% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none