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Botswana Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: Gaborone (pronounced ha-bo-ro-neh), pop. 213,000

Other Cities: Francistown (101,805 ), Selebi-Phikwe (49,017), Molepolole (47,094), Kanye (36,877), Serowe (33,335), Mahalapye (32,407), Lobatse (32,075), Maun (31,260), Mochudi (30,671).

Local Time: UTC +2h

Location: Southern Africa, north of South Africa.
Area: 582,000 sq. km. (224,710 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Desert and savanna, predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest.
Border countries: Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Mostly subtropical, warm winters and hot summers.

Type: Republic, parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 30 September 1966 (from UK).

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Motswana (sing.), Batswana (pl.).
Population (2001): 1.69 million.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 10 866 (year)
Ethnic groups: Tswana (or Setswana) 79%; Kalanga 11%; Kgalagadi, Herero, Bayeyi, Himbukush, Basarwa ("Bushmen"), Khoi ("Hottentots"), whites 10%. Religions: Christianity 60%, indigenous beliefs 40%. Languages: English (official), Setswana, Ikalanga. Literacy: 68.9%.


Currency: Pula (BWP)

Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver.

Agriculture products:
Livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts.

Industries: Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing; textiles.

Exports partners:
United Kingdom 85.8%, Zimbabwe 2.6%, USA 0.2% (2001)

Imports partners: United Kingdom 4.4%, Zimbabwe 3.1%, USA 1.7%, South Korea (2001) (Source: Central Statistics Office CSO Botswana)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Botswana
The Republic of Botswana

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Diplomatic Missions
Diplomatic Missions Abroad

Central Statistics Office CSO

met. Services

Map of Botswana



Background:  Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana
adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. The economy, one of the
most robust on the continent, is dominated by diamond mining.

Geography Botswana

Location:  Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Geographic coordinates:  22 00 S, 24 00 E

Map references:  Africa

Area:  total: 600,370 sq km water: 15,000 sq km land: 585,370 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:  total: 4,013 km border countries: Namibia 1,360 km,
South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe 813 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 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: 1% permanent crops: 0% other: 99% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  10 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from
the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure

Environment - current issues:  overgrazing; desertification; limited
fresh water resources

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of
the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, 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 Botswana

Population:  1,591,232 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 and death rates, lower
population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 40% (male 319,988; female 316,961) 15-64
years: 55.8% (male 428,638; female 458,777) 65 years and over: 4.2%
(male 26,965; female 39,903) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.18% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  28.04 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  26.26 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.68 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  64.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   35.43 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  35.8% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  290,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  24,000 (1999 est.)

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%

Religions:  indigenous beliefs 85%, Christian 15%

Languages:  English (official), Setswana

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 69.8% male: 80.5% female: 59.9% (1995 est.)

Government Botswana

Country name:   Republic of Botswana conventional short form: Government
type:  parliamentary republic

Capital:  Gaborone

Administrative divisions:  10 districts and four town councils*; Central,
Chobe, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng,
Lobatse*, Ngamiland, North-East, Selebi-Pikwe*, South-East, Southern

Independence:  30 September 1966 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)

Constitution:  March 1965, effective 30 September 1966

Legal system:  based on Roman-Dutch law and local customary law; judicial
review limited to matters of interpretation; has not accepted compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Festus MOGAE (since 1 April
1998) and Vice President Seretse Ian KHAMA (since 13 July 1998); note -
the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of
government:  Ian KHAMA (since 13 July 1998); note - the president is both
the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet appointed by
the president elections: president elected by the National Assembly for
a five-year term; election last held 16 October 1999 (next to be held
NA October 2004); vice president appointed by the president election
results: Legislative branch:  bicameral Parliament consists of the House
of Chiefs (a largely advisory 15-member body consisting of the chiefs of
the eight principal tribes, four elected subchiefs, and three members
selected by the other 12 members) and the National Assembly (44 seats,
40 members are directly elected by popular vote and 4 are appointed by
the majority party; members serve five-year terms) elections: National
Assembly elections last held 16 October 1999 (next to be held NA October
2004) election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 54.3%, BNF 24.7%,
other 21%; seats by party - BDP 33, BNF 6, other 1

Judicial branch:  High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts
(one in each district)

Political parties and leaders:  Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Festus
MOGAE]; Botswana National Front or BNF [Otswoletse MOUPO]; Botswana
Congress Party or BCP [Otiandisa KOOSQLEDSE]; Botswana Alliance Movement
or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO] note: a number of minor parties joined
forces in 1999 to form the BAM but did not capture any parliamentary
seats; the BAM parties are: the United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu
SETSHWAELO], the Independence Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO],
and the Botswana Progressive Union [D. K. KWELE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Kgosi
SEEPAPITSO IV chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington,
DC 20036 FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164 telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
John E. LANGE embassy: address NA, Gaborone
 [267] 353982 FAX:
Flag description:  light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe
in the center

Economy Botswana

Economy - overview:  Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest
growth rates since independence in 1966. 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
$7,800 in 2001. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best
credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of expansion and
currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for four-fifths
of export earnings. Tourism, 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 is 21%,
but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection
rates are the highest in the world and threaten Botswana's impressive
economic gains.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $12.4 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4.7% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $7,800 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 4% industry: 44% (including
36% mining) services: 52% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  47% (2000 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  6.6% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  264,000 formal sector employees (2000)

Labor force - by occupation:  NA

Unemployment rate:  40% (official rate is 21%) (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $2.3 billion expenditures: $2.4 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY01/02)

Industries:  diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock
processing; textiles

Industrial production growth rate:  2.4% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  500 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  1.451 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  986 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans,
sunflowers, groundnuts

Exports:  $2.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  diamonds 80%, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat,
textiles (2001)

Exports - partners:  EFTA 85%, Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
10%, Zimbabwe 2% (1999)

Imports:  $2.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport
equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products,
metal and metal products (2000)

Imports - partners:  Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 77%, EFTA 9%,
Zimbabwe 4% (1999)

Debt - external:  $325 million (2001)

Economic aid - recipient:  $73 million (1995)

Currency:  pula (BWP)

Currency code:  BWP

Exchange rates:  pulas per US dollar - 6.8353 (January 2002), 5.8412
(2001), 5.1018 (2000), 4.6244 (1999), 4.2259 (1998), 3.6508 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March

Communications Botswana

Telephones - main lines in use:  150,000 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  200,000 (2000)

Telephone system:  general assessment: the system is expanding with
the growth of mobile cellular service and participation in regional
development domestic:  radiotelephone communication stations; mobile
cellular service is growing fast international: two international
exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat
(Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 8, FM 13, shortwave 4 (2001)

Radios:  252,720 (2000)

Television broadcast stations:  1 (2001)

Televisions:  31,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .bw

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  11 (2001)

Internet users:  33,000 (2001)

Transportation Botswana

Railways:  total: 888 km narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 10,217 km paved: 5,620 km unpaved: 4,597 km (1999)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  none

Airports:  92 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 11 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 1,524 to
2,437 m: 8 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 81 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 914 to
1,523 m: 56 under 914 m: 22 (2001)

Military Botswana

Military branches:  Botswana Defense Force (including Army and Air Wing),
Botswana National Police

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 384,888 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 202,685
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 19,479
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $135 million (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  3.5% (FY01/02)

Transnational Issues Botswana

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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