COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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Botswana's government website - THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA - BRIEFS

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The Republic of Botswana is a landlocked country located in the Southern region of Africa. It occupies an area of 600,370 sq km and has a population of 1,464,167 (1999); 1,573,267 (2003 est.) - concentrated in eastern part of the country - with a growth rate of 1.05% (1999); -0.55% (2003 est.).

Its bordering neighbors are: The Republic of South Africa at the South over 1,840 km; the Republic of Namibia at the West over 1,360 km; the Republic of Zimbabwe at the East over 813 km.

There is a quadripoint-border - at the north-East - with Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe which is in disagreement item amongst the mentioned countries and Botswana.

The climate - semiarid; warm winters and hot summers - is heavily influenced by the Kalahari Desert in the Western region which provokes periodic droughts and seasonal August winds - full of sand and dust - across the country, which can obscure visibility.

Independence from the United Kingdom: September 30, 1966
National holiday: September 30

Substantial mineral deposits were found in the 1970's and the mining sector grew from 25% of GDP in 1980 to 35% in 1997: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver.

Agriculture is hampered by the scarcity of arable land - 1% of the total area of the country - by poor soils; erratic rainfall and limited fresh water resources . However 80% of the population is involved in subsistence agricultural activities and cattle razing; but supplies only about 50% of food needs and accounts for only 4% of GDP.

Agriculture production:sorghum, maize, millet, pulses, groundnut (peanuts), beans, cowpeas, sunflower seed; livestock.

There are business opportunities in food industry in general and meat industry in particular; and in the tourism sector development - 900,000 visitors per year.

Botswana experienced over years one of the world's highest growth rates since independence in 1966.

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 GNP of US 3,166 in 2002. However, that is an average as 46% of the population live under pocerty line.

Diamond mining has fueled much of Botswana's economic expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for three-fourths of export earnings. Tourism, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors.

As for its neighboring countries which economies are dominated by the mining industry' sector, wealth distribution amongst the global population is not equal; purchasing power parity above given doesn't reflect the true standard of living of the majority of the population. There is a high rate of unemployment and poverty. Unemployment officially is 19%.

HIV / AIDS infection, which has a very high rate of penetration (40%), may become, in the near future, a serious hindrance to Botswana's impressive economic gains if a solution is not quickly found to stop and eradicate the devastating disease. The growth rate of the population is now negative (- 0.55%) down from 1.05% (end of the 1990's).

Click here for an Article by Liz MacGregor dated July 8, 2002, The Guardian: Botswana battles against 'extinction'


1- D&B Export Guide To Botswana
by D&B - Digital Delivery In PDF
2- African Political Economy
Contemporary Issues In Development
by Kempe Ronald
3- Democratic Electioneering
In Southern Africa - The Contrasting Cases of Botswana & Zimbabwe / by Steffan Darnolf
4- Nomadic Foundations
by Sandra Meek
5- Hunting With The Moon
The Lions of Savuti / by Dereck Joubert

6- Prides
The Lions of Moremi / by Peter Kat
7- An African Miracle
State And Class Leadership And Colonial Legacy / In Botswana Development
by Abdi Ismail
8- The Liberal Model And Africa
by Kenneth Good
9- More News On Botswana
by Yahoo!

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



US$ 3.466 billion (2000); 4.133billion (2001); 5.01 billion (2002 est.)
GNP-growth rate: 6% (2000); 4.7% (2001); 6% (2002 est.)
GNP-per capita: US$ 2,200 (2000); 2,600 (2001); 3,166 (2002 est.))

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 4%

  2. industry: 44%
  3. services: 52% (2002 est.)

Exports: US$ 2.6 billion (f.o.b.,2000); 2.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: diamonds 76%, copper, nickel 4%, meat.

Imports: US$ 2.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000); 1.9 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: foodstuffs, vehicles and transport equipment, textiles, petroleum products.

Mining activities account for 36% (2002) of the industry output from 25% of GNP in 1980




A valid passport - for at least 12 months after intended period of stay - and a visa are required for some nationalities as well as tickets and documents for return or onward travel. An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required if arriving from infected area within 5 days.

Contact the nearest Botswana's representative office for more; below listed are some contacts

Department of Tourism
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Private Bag 0047, Gaborone
Tel: +(267) 353024
Fax: +(267) 308675

Botswana High Commission
6 Stratford Place
London W1N 9AE
Tel: +(44) 171 4990031
Fax: +(44) 171 4958595

Embassy of the Republic of Botswana
1531 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +(1) 202 2444990
+(1) 202 2444991
Fax: +(1) 202 2444164

Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system


All major international airlines have regular connections with Botswana; regional connections to surrounding countries are also well organized particularly with South Africa from where connections to the world at large is very easy and frequent.



Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Permanent Secretary
Tel: +(267) 3601-200
Fax: +(267) 371-538

Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
P.O. /Bag 008
Tel: (+267) 350-100


Hotel costs and related expenses are quite expensive in Botswana. Hotels equipped and serviced to international standards are available in major cities. Luxury lodges are located throughout most of the national parks. Click here and choose where you want to go.

For more information on accommodation contact

Hotel and Tourism Association of Botswana in Gaborone
Tel: +(267) 357144
Fax: +(267) 303201

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