(/bɒtˈswɑːnə/), officially the Republic of Botswana
(Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana), is a landlocked country located in
Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland,
adopted its new name after becoming independent within the
Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a
strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent
record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived
corruption ranking in
since at least 1998.
is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its
territory being the
Desert. It is bordered by
the south and southeast,
to the west and north, and Zimbabwe
to the northeast. Its border with
to the north near Kazungula
is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres long.
A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people,
is one of
the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Around 10 percent
of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone.
Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per
capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—
transformed itself into one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
The economy is dominated by mining, cattle, and tourism. Botswana
boasts a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $18,825 per
year as of 2015[update], which is one of the highest in Africa.
Its high gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest
in Africa) gives the country a relatively high standard of living and
Human Development Index
Human Development Index
of continental Sub-Saharan
is a member of the African Union, the Southern African
Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United
Nations. The country has been among the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS
epidemic. Despite the success in programmes to make treatments
available to those infected, and to educate the populace in general
about how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people with
AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013.:A20 As of 2014,
has the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS.
2.1 Early history
2.2 The Effects of the Mfecane
2.3 Colonialism and the Establishment of the Bechuanaland Protectorate
3.2 Environmental problems
4 Politics and government
4.2 Foreign relations and military
4.3 Human rights
5 Administrative divisions
6.1 Gemstones and precious metals
8.3 Visual arts
10 Science and technology
13 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
The country's name means "land of the Tswana", referring to the
dominant ethnic group in Botswana. The term
originally applied to the Tswana, which is still the case.
However, it has also come to be used generally as a demonym for all
citizens of Botswana. Many English dictionaries also recommend the
term Botswanan to refer to people of Botswana.
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Main article: History of Botswana
Starting fire by hand.
San people in Botswana.
Archaeological digs have shown that hominids have lived in Botswana
for around two million years. Stone tools and fauna remains have shows
that all areas of the country were inhabited at least 400,000 years
ago. Evidence left by modern humans such as cave paintings are
about 73,000 years old. The original inhabitants of southern
Africa were the Bushmen (San) and
Khoi peoples. Both speak Khoisan
languages and hunted, gathered, and traded over long distances. When
cattle were first introduced about 2000 years ago into southern
Africa, pastoralism became a major feature of the economy, since the
region had large grasslands free of tsetse fly.
It is unclear when Bantu-speaking peoples first moved into the country
from the north, although AD 600 seems to be a consensus estimate. In
that era, the ancestors of the modern-day Kalanga moved into what is
now the north-eastern areas of the country. These proto-Kalanga were
closely connected to states in
Zimbabwe as well as to the Mapungubwe
state. These states, located outside of current Botswana's borders,
appear to have kept massive cattle herds in what is now the Central
District--apparently at numbers approaching modern cattle density.
This massive cattle-raising complex prospered until 1300 AD or so, and
seems to have regressed following the collapse of Mapungubwe. During
this era, the first Tswana-speaking groups, the Bakgalagadi, moved
into the southern areas of the Kalahari. All these various peoples
were connected to trade routes that ran via the
Limpopo River to the
Indian Ocean, and trade goods from Asia such as beads made their way
Botswana most likely in exchange for ivory, gold, and rhinoceros
The arrival of the ancestors of the Tswana-speakers who came to
control the region has yet to be dated precisely. Members of the
Bakwena, a chieftaincy under a legendary leader named Kgabo II, made
their way into the southern
Kalahari by AD 1500, at the latest, and
his people drove the
Bakgalagadi inhabitants west into the desert.
Over the years, several offshoots of the
Bakwena moved into adjoining
Bangwaketse occupied areas to the west, while the
Bangwato moved northeast into formerly
Bakalanga areas. Not long
Bangwato offshoot known as the Batawana migrated into
the Okavango Delta, probably in the 1790s.
The Effects of the Mfecane
British colonial drawing of a "Booshuana village", 1806.
The first written records relating to modern-day
Botswana appear in
1824. What these records show is that the
Bangwaketse had become the
predominant power in the region. Under the rule of Makaba II, the
Bangwaketse kept vast herds of cattle in well-protected desert areas,
and used their military prowess to raid their neighbors. Other
chiefdoms in the area, by this time, had capitals of 10,000 or so and
were fairly prosperous. This equilibrium came to end during the
Mfecane period, 1823-1843, when a succession of invading peoples from
South Africa entered the country. Although the
Bangwaketse were able
to defeat the invading Bakololo in 1826, over time all the major
Botswana were attacked, weakened, and impoverished. The
Amandebele raided repeatedly, and took large numbers of
cattle, women, and children from the Batswana--most of whom were
driven into the desert or sanctuary areas such as hilltops and caves.
Only after 1843, when the
Amandebele moved into western Zimbabwe, did
this threat subside.
During the 1840s and 1850s trade with Cape Colony-based merchants
opened up and enabled the
Batswana chiefdoms to rebuild. The Bakwena,
Bangwato and Batawana cooperated to control the lucrative
ivory trade, and then used the proceeds to import horses and guns,
which in turn enabled them to establish control over what is now
Botswana. This process was largely complete by 1880, and thus the
Bushmen, the Bakalanga, the Bakgalagadi, and other current minorities
were subjugated by the Batswana.
Following the Great Trek,
Afrikaners from the
Cape Colony established
themselves on the borders of
Botswana in the Transvaal. In 1852 a
coalition of Tswana chiefdoms led by
Sechele I resisted Afrikaner
incursions, and after about eight years of intermittent tensions and
hostilities, eventually came to a peace agreement in Potchefstroom in
1860. From that point on, the modern-day border between South Africa
Botswana was agreed on, and the
Batswana traded and
worked together peacefully.
Due to newly peaceful conditions, trade thrived between 1860 and 1880.
Taking advantage of this were Christian missionaries. The Lutherans
and the London
Missionary Society both became established in the
country by 1856. By 1880 every major village had a resident
missionary, and their influence slowly became felt.
Khama III (reigned
1875–1923) was the first of the Tswana chiefs to make
state religion, and changed a great deal of Tswana customary law as a
Christianity became the de facto official religion in all the
chiefdoms by World War I.
Colonialism and the Establishment of the Bechuanaland
Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa the territory of
Botswana was coveted
Germany and Great Britain. During the Berlin Conference, Great
Britain decided to annex
Botswana in order to safeguard the Road to
the North and thus connect the
Cape Colony to its territories further
north. It unilaterally annexed Tswana territories in January 1885 and
then sent the
Warren Expedition north to consolidate control over the
area and convince the chiefs to accept British overrule. Despite their
misgivings, they eventually acquiesced to this fait accompli.
In 1890 areas north of 22 degrees were added to the new Bechuanaland
Protectorate. During the 1890s the new territory was divided into
eight different reserves, with fairly small amounts of land being left
as freehold for white settlers. During the early 1890s the British
government decided to hand over the Bechuanaland
Protectorate to the
South Africa Company. This plan, which was well on its way to
fruition despite the entreaties of Tswana leaders who toured England
in protest, was eventually foiled by the failure of the Jameson Raid
in January 1896.
Stamp of British Bechuanaland from 1960
When the Union of
South Africa was formed in 1910 from the main
British colonies in the region, the Bechuanaland Protectorate,
Basutoland (now Lesotho), and
Swaziland (the High Commission
Territories) were not included, but provision was made for their later
incorporation. However, the UK began to consult with their inhabitants
as to their wishes. Although successive South African governments
sought to have the territories transferred to their jurisdiction, the
UK kept delaying; consequently, it never occurred. The election of the
Nationalist government in 1948, which instituted apartheid, and South
Africa's withdrawal from the Commonwealth in 1961, ended any prospect
of the UK or these territories agreeing to incorporation into South
An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal
government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils
to represent both Africans and Europeans. The African Council
consisted of the eight heads of the Tswana tribes and some elected
members. Proclamations in 1934 regulated tribal rule and powers. A
European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961
constitution established a consultative legislative council.
Independence Day (Botswana)
In June 1964, the
United Kingdom accepted proposals for a democratic
self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved in 1965
Mafikeng in South Africa, to the newly established Gaborone,
which is located near Botswana's border with South Africa. Based on
the 1965 constitution, the country held its first general elections
under universal suffrage and gained independence on 30 September
1966. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the
legitimate claimant to the Ngwato chiefship, was elected as the first
President, and subsequently re-elected twice.
The presidency passed to the sitting Vice-President, Quett Masire, who
was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994.
Masire retired from office in 1998. He was succeeded by Festus Mogae,
who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. The
presidency passed in 2008 to
Ian Khama (son of the first President),
who had been serving as Mogae's Vice-President since resigning his
position in 1998 as Commander of the
Botswana Defence Force
Botswana Defence Force to take up
this civilian role.
A long-running dispute over the northern border with Namibia's Caprivi
Strip was the subject of a ruling by the International Court of
Justice in December 1999. It ruled that
Kasikili Island belongs to
Geography of Botswana
Geography of Botswana and Climate of Botswana
Botswana map of Köppen climate classification.
A lechwe in the Okavango Delta
At 581,730 km2 (224,607 sq mi)
Botswana is the world's
48th-largest country. It is similar in size to
Madagascar or France.
It lies between latitudes 17° and 27°S, and longitudes 20° and
The country is predominantly flat, tending toward gently rolling
Botswana is dominated by the
Kalahari Desert, which covers
up to 70% of its land surface. The Okavango Delta, one of the world's
largest inland deltas, is in the northwest. The Makgadikgadi Pan, a
large salt pan, lies in the north.
Limpopo River Basin, the major landform of all of southern Africa,
lies partly in Botswana, with the basins of its tributaries, the
Notwane, Bonwapitse, Mahalapswe, Lotsane, Motloutse and the Shashe,
located in the eastern part of the country. The Notwane provides water
to the capital through the
Gaborone Dam. The Chobe River lies to the
north, providing a boundary between
Botswana and Namibia's Zambezi
Region. The Chobe River meets with the
Zambezi River at a place called
Kazungula (meaning a small sausage tree, a point where
Makololo tribe crossed the
Zambezi into Zambia).
Botswana has the largest elephant population in the world
Plains zebra (Equus quagga) in Okavango
Botswana has diverse areas of wildlife habitat. In addition to the
delta and desert areas, there are grasslands and savannas, where blue
wildebeest, antelopes, and other mammals and birds are found. Northern
Botswana has one of the few remaining large populations of the
endangered African wild dog. Chobe National Park, found in the Chobe
District, has the world's largest concentration of African elephants.
The park covers about 11,000 km2 (4,247 sq mi) and
supports about 350 species of birds.
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park and
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve (in the Okavango
Delta) are major tourist destinations. Other reserves include the
Kalahari Game Reserve located in the
Kalahari desert in Ghanzi
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Nxai Pan National Park
are in Central District in the Makgadikgadi Pan. Mashatu Game Reserve
is privately owned: located where the
Shashe River and Limpopo River
meet in eastern Botswana. The other privately owned reserve is
Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Mokolodi Nature Reserve near Gaborone. There are also specialised
Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Khama Rhino Sanctuary (for rhinoceros) and
Makgadikgadi Sanctuary (for flamingos). They are both located in
A baobab tree (Adansonia digitata)
Botswana faces two major environmental problems: drought and
desertification. The desertification problems predominantly stem from
the severe times of drought in the country. Three quarters of the
country's human and animal populations depend on groundwater due to
Groundwater use through deep borehole drilling has somewhat
eased the effects of drought. Surface water is scarce in
less than 5% of the agriculture in the country is sustainable by
rainfall. In the remaining 95% of the country, raising livestock is
the primary source of rural income. Approximately 71% of the country's
land is used for communal grazing, which has been a major cause of the
desertification and the accelerating soil erosion of the country.
Since raising livestock has proven to be profitable for the people of
Botswana, they continue to exploit the land. The animal populations
have continued to dramatically increase. From 1966 to 1991, the
livestock population has increased from 1.7 million to 5.5
million.:64 Similarly, the human population has increased from
574,000 in 1971 to 1.5 million in 1995, nearly a 200% increase. "Over
50% of all households in
Botswana own cattle, which is currently the
largest single source of rural income." "Rangeland degradation or
desertification is regarded as the reduction in land productivity as a
result of overstocking and overgrazing, or as a result of veld product
gathering for commercial use. Degradation is exacerbated by the
effects of drought and climate change."
Environmentalists report that the
Okavango Delta is drying up due to
the increased grazing of livestock. The
Okavango Delta is one of
the major semi-forested wetlands in
Botswana and one of the largest
inland deltas in the world; it is a crucial ecosystem to the survival
of many animals.
The Department of Forestry and Range Resources has already begun to
implement a project to reintroduce indigenous vegetation into
communities in Kgalagadi South, Kweneng North and Boteti.
Reintroduction of indigenous vegetation will help with the degradation
of the land. The
United States Government
United States Government has also entered into an
agreement with Botswana, giving them $7 million US dollars to reduce
Botswana's debt by $8.3 million US dollars. The stipulation of the US
reducing Botswana's debt is that
Botswana will focus on more extensive
conservation of the land.
United Nations Development Programme claims that poverty is a
major problem behind the overexploitation of resources, including
land, in Botswana. To help change this the UNDP joined in with a
project started in the southern community of Struizendam in Botswana.
The purpose of the project is to draw from "indigenous knowledge and
traditional land management systems". The leaders of this movement are
supposed to be the people in the community, to draw them in, in turn
increasing their possibilities to earn an income and thus decreasing
poverty. The UNDP also stated that the government has to effectively
implement policies to allow people to manage their own local resources
and are giving the government information to help with policy
Politics and government
House of the
Parliament of Botswana
Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone
Politics of Botswana
Politics of Botswana and Human rights in Botswana
The constitution of
Botswana is the rule of law, which protects the
Botswana and represents their rights. The politics of
Botswana take place in a framework of a representative democratic
republic, whereby the
President of Botswana
President of Botswana is both head of state and
head of government, and of a multi-party system.
Executive power is
exercised by the government.
Legislative power is vested in both the
government and the Parliament of Botswana. The most recent election,
its eleventh, was held on 24 October 2014. Since independence was
declared, the party system has been dominated by the Botswana
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
Botswana ranks 30th out of 167 states in the 2012 Democracy Index.
According to Transparency International,
Botswana is the least corrupt
Africa and ranks close to
Portugal and South Korea.
It consists of a typical court system of local Magistrates Courts, a
High Court and a Court of Appeal. The High Court is a superior court
of record with unlimited original jurisdiction to hear and determine
any criminal, civil or constitutional cases under any law. Appeals can
be heard by the Court of Appeal. The Head of the High Court is the
The Court of Appeal is the highest and final court in the country and
deals with appeals from the High Court and the Industrial Court. The
Head of the Court of Appeal is the Judge President.
Judges are appointed by the
President of Botswana
President of Botswana on the
recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission.
1968–1971 John Richard Dendy-Young
1972–1975 Akinola Aguda
1975–1977 George O.L. Dyke
1977–1981 Hayfron Benjamin
1981–1987 O'Brien Quinn
1987–1992 Livesey Luke
1992–1997 Moleleki Didwell Mokama
1997–2010 Julian Mukwesu Nganunu
2010–present Maruping Dibotelo
With regard to the legal profession, although the Law Society of
Botswana has been in existence since 1997, there is still no clear
indication in their registry of attorneys as to how certain
demographics, such as women, have fared in the legal field.
Foreign relations and military
Foreign relations of Botswana
Foreign relations of Botswana and
Signs at the Botswana–
Zimbabwe border, 2010
At the time of independence,
Botswana had no armed forces. It was only
after the Rhodesian and South African militaries struck respectively
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army and Umkhonto we
Sizwe bases that the
Botswana Defence Force
Botswana Defence Force (BDF) was formed in
1977. The President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and
appoints a defence council and the BDF currently consists of roughly
Following political changes in
South Africa and the region, the BDF's
missions have increasingly focused on prevention of poaching,
preparing for disasters, and foreign peacekeeping. The United States
has been the largest single foreign contributor to the development of
the BDF, and a large segment of its officer corps have received U.S.
Botswana government gave the
United States permission to
explore the possibility of establishing an
Africa Command (AFRICOM)
base in the country.
Main article: Human rights in Botswana
Many of the indigenous
San people have been forcibly relocated from
their land onto reservations. To make them relocate, they were denied
from accessing water from their land and faced arrest if they hunted,
which was their primary source of food. Their lands lie in the
middle of the world's richest diamond field. Officially, the
government denies that there is any link to mining and claims the
relocation is to preserve the wildlife and ecosystem, even though the
San people have lived sustainably on the land for millennia. On
the reservations, they struggle to find employment and alcoholism is
Homosexual acts are illegal in Botswana, as in many African
Districts of Botswana
Districts of Botswana and Sub-districts of Botswana
The districts of Botswana. The appropriate article can be found by
clicking over the district. City districts are not shown.
Botswana's nine districts are: Southern District, South-East District,
Kweneng District, Kgatleng District, Central District (Central
Serowe/Palapye, Central Mahalapye, Central Bobonong, Central Boteti
and Central Tutume), North-East District, North-West District
(Ngamiland District, Okavango District and Chobe District), Ghanzi
Kgalagadi District (Kgalagadi South District and
Kgalagadi North District).
Botswana's councils created from urban or town councils are: Gaborone
Orapa Town and Sowa Township.
Diamond Company Ltd in Gaborone
Graphical depiction of Botswana's product exports in 28 color-coded
GDP per capita (current), compared to neighbouring countries (world
average = 100)
Main article: Economy of Botswana
Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates
in per capita income in the world.
Botswana has transformed itself
from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income
Botswana was resource-abundant, a good institutional
framework allowed the country to reinvest resource-income in order to
generate stable future income. By one estimate, it has the fourth
highest gross national income at purchasing power parity in Africa,
giving it a standard of living around that of Mexico.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry of
Botswana is responsible for
promoting business development throughout the country. According to
the International Monetary Fund, economic growth averaged over 9% per
year from 1966 to 1999.
Botswana has a high level of economic freedom
compared to other African countries. The government has maintained
a sound fiscal policy, despite consecutive budget deficits in 2002 and
2003, and a negligible level of foreign debt. It earned the highest
sovereign credit rating in
Africa and has stockpiled foreign exchange
reserves (over $7 billion in 2005/2006) amounting to almost two and a
half years of current imports.
An array of financial institutions populates the country's financial
system, with pension funds and commercial banks being the two most
important segments by asset size. Banks remain profitable,
well-capitalised, and liquid, as a result of growing national
resources and high interest rates. The
Bank of Botswana serves as
a central bank. The country's currency is the
Botswana's competitive banking system is one of Africa's most
advanced.[clarification needed] Generally adhering to global standards
in the transparency of financial policies and banking supervision, the
financial sector provides ample access to credit for
entrepreneurs. The Capital Bank opened in 2008.
As of August 2015, there are a dozen licensed banks in the
country. The government is involved in banking through state-owned
financial institutions and a special financial incentives program that
is aimed at increasing Botswana's status as a financial
centre. Credit is allocated on market terms, although
the government provides subsidised loans. Reform of
non-bank financial institutions has continued in recent years, notably
through the establishment of a single financial regulatory agency that
provides more effective supervision. The government
has abolished exchange controls, and with the resulting creation of
new portfolio investment options, the
Botswana Stock Exchange is
Botswana's trading partners in 2004
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the
government respects this in practice. The legal system is sufficient
to conduct secure commercial dealings, although a serious and growing
backlog of cases prevents timely trials. The protection of
intellectual property rights has improved significantly.
ranked second only to
South Africa among sub-Saharan
in the 2014 International Property Rights Index.
While generally open to foreign participation in its economy, Botswana
reserves some sectors for citizens. Increased foreign investment plays
a significant role in the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.
Investment regulations are transparent, and bureaucratic procedures
are streamlined and open, although somewhat slow. Investment returns
such as profits and dividends, debt service, capital gains, returns on
intellectual property, royalties, franchise's fees, and service fees
can be repatriated without limits.
Botswana imports refined petroleum products and electricity from South
Africa. There is some domestic production of electricity from coal.
Gemstones and precious metals
In Botswana, the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, Green
Technology and Energy Security led by Hon Sadique Kebonang in
Gaborone, maintains data regarding mining throughout the country.
Debswana, the largest diamond mining company operating in Botswana, is
50% owned by the government. The mineral industry provides about
40% of all government revenues. In 2007, significant quantities of
uranium were discovered, and mining was projected to begin by 2010.
Several international mining corporations have established regional
headquarters in Botswana, and prospected for diamonds, gold, uranium,
copper, and even oil, many coming back with positive results.
Government announced in early 2009 that they would try to shift their
economic dependence on diamonds, over serious concern that diamonds
are predicted to dry out in
Botswana over the next twenty years.
Orapa mine is the largest diamond mine in the world in
terms of value and quantity of carats produced annually. Estimated
to have produced over 11 million carats in 2013, with an average price
of $145/carat, the
Orapa mine was estimated to produce over $1.6
billion worth of diamonds in 2013.
Main article: Demographics of Botswana
A girl in the Okavango Delta
The Tswana are the majority ethnic group in Botswana, making up 79% of
the population. The largest minority ethnic groups are the BaKalanga,
and San or AbaThwa, also known as Basarwa. Other tribes are Bayei,
Bambukushu, Basubia, Baherero and Bakgalagadi. In addition, there are
small numbers of whites and Indians, both groups being roughly equally
small in number. Botswana's Indian population is made up of many
Indian-Africans of several generations, with some having migrated from
Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, South Africa, and so on, as
well as first generation Indian immigrants. The white population
speaks English and
Afrikaans and makes up roughly 3% of the
Since 2000, because of deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe,
the number of
Zimbabweans in Botswana has risen into the tens of
Fewer than 10,000
San people are still living their traditional
hunter-gatherer way of life. Since the mid-1990s the central
Botswana has been trying to move San out of their
historic lands. James Anaya, as the
Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous
people for the
United Nations in 2010, described loss of land as a
major contributor to many of the problems facing Botswana's indigenous
people, citing the San's eviction from the Central
Reserve (CKGR) as an especial example.:2 Among Anaya's
recommendations in a report to the
United Nations Human Rights Council
was that development programs should promote, in consultation with
indigenous communities such as the San and
activities in harmony with the culture of those communities such as
traditional hunting and gathering activities.:19
Largest cities or towns in Botswana
Languages of Botswana
Languages of Botswana and Setswana
The official language of
Botswana is English although
widely spoken across the country. In Setswana, prefixes are more
important than they are in many other languages, since
Setswana is a
Bantu language and has noun classes denoted by these prefixes. They
include Bo, which refers to the country, Ba, which refers to the
people, Mo, which is one person, and Se which is the language. For
example, the main ethnic group of
Botswana is the Tswana people, hence
Botswana for its country. The people as a whole are Batswana,
one person is a Motswana, and the language they speak is Setswana.
Other languages spoken in
Botswana include Kalanga (sekalanga), Sarwa
(sesarwa), Ndebele, !Xóõ and, in some parts, Afrikaans.
Main article: Religion in Botswana
Religion in Botswana
Religion in Botswana (Pew Research)
An estimated 77% of the country's citizens identify as Christians.
Anglicans, Methodists, and the United Congregational Church of
Southern Africa make up the majority of Christians. There are also
congregations of Lutherans, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Latter-day
Saints (Mormons), the Dutch Reformed Church, Mennonites, Seventh-day
Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses in the country. In Gaborone, a
Lutheran History Centre is open to the public.
According to the 2001 census, the country has around 5,000 Muslims,
mainly from South Asia, 3,000
Hindus and 700 Baha'is. Approximately
20% of citizens espouse no religion. Religious services are well
attended in both rural and urban areas.
Dance at a cultural day.
Main article: Culture of Botswana
A rondavel at a lodge near the
Besides referring to the language of the dominant people groups in
Setswana is the adjective used to describe the rich cultural
traditions of the Batswana—whether construed as members of the
Tswana ethnic groups or of all citizens of Botswana. In
of the tribes have different ways that they use to greet one another,
but for easy communication and connection batswana use a three way
hand shake or one can just greet another by saying "Dumelang" as a way
of saying "hello" without having to use hand shakes. In community
celebrations like Dikgafela or during marriage ceremonies batswana
women show excitement and happiness by the use of ululations as part
of their culture.
Main article: Media of Botswana
Botswana has 2 TV stations one of which is owned by the government
Botswana television); 5 radio stations and 7 newspapers that publish
on weekly basis.
Main article: Music of Botswana
Botswana music is mostly vocal and performed, sometimes without drums
depending on the occasion; it also makes heavy use of string
Botswana folk music has instruments such as Setinkane (a
Botswana version of miniature piano), Segankure/Segaba (a Botswana
version of the Chinese instrument Erhu), Moropa (Meropa -plural) (a
Botswana version of the many varieties of drums), phala (a Botswana
version of a whistle used mostly during celebrations, which comes in a
variety of forms).
Botswana cultural musical instruments are not
confined only to the strings or drums. the hands are used as musical
instruments too, by either clapping them together or against phathisi
(goat skin turned inside out wrapped around the calf area; it is only
used by men) to create music and rhythm. For the last few decades, the
guitar has been celebrated as a versatile music instrument for Tswana
music as it offers a variety in string which the Segaba instrument
does not have. It is the outsider that found a home within the
culture. The highlight of any celebration or event that shows
especially happiness is the dancing. This differs by regime, age,
gender and status in the group or if it's a tribal activity, status in
the community. The national anthem is Fatshe leno la rona. Written and
composed by Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete, it was adopted upon
independence in 1966.
Main article: Art of Botswana
In the northern part of Botswana, women in the villages of Etsha and
Gumare are noted for their skill at crafting baskets from Mokola Palm
and local dyes. The baskets are generally woven into three types:
large, lidded baskets used for storage, large, open baskets for
carrying objects on the head or for winnowing threshed grain, and
smaller plates for winnowing pounded grain. The artistry of these
baskets is being steadily enhanced through colour use and improved
designs as they are increasingly produced for international markets.
Other notable artistic communities include
Thamaga Pottery and Oodi
Weavers, both located in the south-eastern part of Botswana.
The oldest paintings from both
South Africa depict
hunting, animal and human figures, and were made by the Khoisan (!Kung
San/Bushmen) over twenty thousand years ago within the Kalahari
Main article: Cuisine of Botswana
The cuisine of
Botswana is unique but also shares some characteristics
with other cuisine of Southern Africa. Examples of
Botswana food are
pap (maize porridge), boerewors, samp, vetkoek (fried dough bread) and
mopani worms. Foods unique to
Botswana include seswaa, heavily salted
Main article: Sport in Botswana
Football is the most popular sport in Botswana, with qualification for
2012 Africa Cup of Nations
2012 Africa Cup of Nations being the national team's highest
achievement to date. Other popular sports are cricket, tennis, rugby,
badminton, softball, handball, golf, and track and field.
Botswana is an associate member of the International
Botswana became a member of The International
Badminton Federation and
Badminton Federation in 1991. The
Golf Union offers an
amateur golf league in which golfers compete in tournaments and
Botswana won the country's first
Olympic medal in 2012 when runner
Nijel Amos won silver in the 800 metres. In 2011, Amantle Montsho
became world champion in the 400 metres and won Botswana's first
athletics medal on the world level. High jumper
Kabelo Kgosiemang is a
three time African champion.
The card game bridge has a strong following; it was first played in
Botswana over 30 years ago, and it grew in popularity during the
1980s. Many British expatriate school teachers informally taught the
game in Botswana's secondary schools. The
Botswana Bridge Federation
(BBF) was founded in 1988 and continues to organise tournaments.
Bridge has remained popular and the BBF has over 800 members. In
2007, the BBF invited the
English Bridge Union to host a week-long
teaching program in May 2008.
See also: Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and
Buildings of the new and old
Botswana university. Botswana's economic
growth has had a positive impact on the university.
Main article: Education in Botswana
Botswana has made great strides in educational development since
independence in 1966. At that time there were very few graduates in
the country and only a very small percentage of the population
attended secondary school.
Botswana increased its adult literacy rate
from 69% in 1991 to 83% in 2008.
With the discovery of diamonds and the increase in government revenue
that this brought, there was a huge increase in educational provision
in the country. All students were guaranteed ten years of basic
education, leading to a Junior Certificate qualification.
Approximately half of the school population attends a further two
years of secondary schooling leading to the award of the Botswana
General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE). Secondary
Botswana is neither free nor compulsory.
After leaving school, students can attend one of the seven technical
colleges in the country, or take vocational training courses in
teaching or nursing. Students enter the University of Botswana,
Botswana College of Agriculture,
Botswana International University of
Science and Technology and the
Botswana Accountancy College in
Gaborone. Many other students end up in the numerous private tertiary
education colleges around the country. Notable amongst these is Botho
University, the country's first private university which offers
undergraduate programmes in Accounting, Business and Computing.
Another international university is the Limkokwing University of
Creative Technology which offers various associate degrees in Creative
Arts. Other tertiary institutions include Ba Isago, ABM University
College the largest school of business and management, New Era,
Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies,
Gaborone University College
Of Law And Professional Studies etc. Tremendous strides in providing
quality education have been made by private education providers such
that a large number of the best students in the country are now
applying to them as well. A vast majority of these students are
government sponsored. The nation's second international university,
Botswana International University of Science and Technology, was
Palapye in 2011.
The quantitative gains have not always been matched by qualitative
ones. Primary schools in particular still lack resources, and the
teachers are less well paid than their secondary school colleagues.
Botswana Ministry of Education is working to establish
libraries in primary schools in partnership with the African Library
Government of Botswana
Government of Botswana hopes that by investing a
large part of national income in education, the country will become
less dependent on diamonds for its economic survival, and less
dependent on expatriates for its skilled workers. Those objectives
are in part pursued through policies in favour of vocational
education, gathered within the NPVET (National Policy on Vocational
Education and Training), aiming to "integrate the different types of
vocational education and training into one comprehensive system".
Botswana invests 21% of its government spending in education.
In January 2006,
Botswana announced the reintroduction of school fees
after two decades of free state education though the government
still provides full scholarships with living expenses to any Botswana
citizen in university, either at the
University of Botswana
University of Botswana or if the
student wishes to pursue an education in any field not offered
locally, such as medicine, they are provided with a full scholarship
to study abroad.
Science and technology
Botswana is planning to use science and technology to diversify its
economy and thereby reduce its dependence on diamond mining. To this
end, the government has set up six hubs since 2008, in the
agriculture, diamonds, innovation, transport, health and education
Botswana published its updated National Policy on Research, Science
and Technology in 2011, within a UNESCO project sponsored by the
Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID).
This policy aims to take up the challenges of rapid technological
evolution, globalization and the achievement of the national
development goals formulated in high-level strategic documents that
include Botswana's Tenth National Development Plan to 2016 and Vision
The National Policy on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation
(2011) fixes the target of raising gross domestic expenditure on
research and development (R&D) from 0.26% of GDP in 2012 to over
2% of GDP by 2016. This target can only be reached within the
specified time frame by raising public spending on R&D.
Despite the modest level of financial investment in research, Botswana
counts one of the highest researcher densities in sub-Saharan Africa:
344 per million inhabitants (in head counts), compared to an average
of 91 per million inhabitants for the subcontinent in 2013.
Main article: Health in Botswana
The Ministry of
Health in Botswana
Health in Botswana is responsible for overseeing the
quality and distribution of healthcare throughout the country. Life
expectancy at birth was 55 in 2009 according to the World Bank, having
previously fallen from a peak of 64.1 in 1990 to a low of 49 in
2002. After Botswana's 2011 census, current life expectancy is
estimated at 54.06 years.
Cancer Association of Botswana
Cancer Association of Botswana is a voluntary non-governmental
organisation. The association is a member of the Union for
International Cancer Control. The Association supplements existing
services through provision of cancer prevention and health awareness
programmes, facilitating access to health services for cancer patients
and offering support and counseling to those affected.
HIV/AIDS in Botswana
Life expectancy in several African countries from 1960 to 2012.
Botswana had the highest life expectancy until
HIV/AIDS began to
reduce it in the late 1980s.
Like elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, the economic impact of AIDS is
considerable. Economic development spending was cut by 10% in 2002–3
as a result of recurring budget deficits and rising expenditure on
Botswana has been hit very hard by the AIDS
pandemic; in 2006 it was estimated that life expectancy at birth had
dropped from 65 to 35 years. However, after Botswana's 2011 census
current life expectancy is estimated at 54.06 years.
The prevalence of
HIV/AIDS in Botswana was estimated at 25.4% for
adults aged 15–49 in 2009 and 21.9% in 2013,:A8 exceeded by
Swaziland in sub-Saharan African nations. This places
Botswana at the third highest prevalence in the world, in 2013, while
"leading the way in prevention and treatment programmes". In 2003,
the government began a comprehensive program involving free or cheap
generic antiretroviral drugs as well as an information campaign
designed to stop the spread of the virus; in 2013, over 40% of adults
Botswana had access to antiretroviral therapy.:28 In the age
group of 15–19 years old, prevalence was estimated at about 6% for
females and 3.5% for males in 2013,:33 and for the 20–24 age
group, 15% for females and 5% for males.:33
Botswana is one of 21
priority countries identified by the UN AIDS group in 2011 in the
Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children and to keep
their mothers alive.:37 From 2009 to 2013, the country saw a
decrease over 50% in new HIV infections in children.:38 A further
measure of the success, or reason for hope, in dealing with HIV in
Botswana, is that less than 10% of pregnant HIV-infected women were
not receiving antiretroviral medications in 2013, with a corresponding
large decrease (over 50%) in the number of new HIV infections in
children under 5.:39, 40 Among the UN Global Plan countries,
people living with HIV in
Botswana have the highest percentage
receiving antiretroviral treatment: about 75% for adults (age 15+) and
about 98% for children.:237
With a nationwide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program,
Botswana has reduced HIV transmission from infected mothers to their
children from about 40% to just 4%. Under the leadership of Festus
Government of Botswana
Government of Botswana solicited outside help in fighting
HIV/AIDS and received early support from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation, the Merck Foundation, and together formed the African
HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP). Other early partners
include the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute, of the Harvard School of
Public Health and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership of the University of
Pennsylvania. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, universal access to
treatment – defined as 80% coverage or greater – has been achieved
Potential reasons for Botswana's high HIV prevalence include
concurrent sexual partnerships, transactional sex, cross-generational
sex, and a significant number of people who travel outside of their
local communities in pursuit of work. The polyamorous nature of many
sexual relationships further impacts the health situation, to the
extent that it has given rise to a love vocabulary that is unique
to the region.
Chobe National Park
Botswana Tourism Organisation is the country's official
tourism group. Primarily, tourists visit
Gaborone due to the city
having numerous activities for visitors. The Lion Park Resort is
Botswana's first permanent amusement park and hosts events such as
birthday parties for families. Other destinations in
Gaborone Yacht Club and the
Kalahari Fishing Club and natural
attractions such as the
Gaborone Dam and Mokolodi Nature Reserve.
There are golf courses which are maintained by the
(BGU). The Phakalane
Golf Estate is a multimillion-dollar
clubhouse that offers both hotel accommodations and access to golf
Botswana National Museum
Botswana National Museum in Gaborone
Kgosi Bathoen II (Segopotso) Museum in Kanye
Sechele I Museum in Molepolole
Khama III Memorial Museum in Serowe
Nhabe Museum in Maun
Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi
Supa Ngwano Museum Centre in Francistown
Commonwealth realms portal
Economy of Botswana
Commonwealth of Nations
Communications in Botswana
Science and technology in Botswana
Cuisine of Botswana
International rankings of Botswana
Outline of Botswana
Postage stamps and postal history of Bechuanaland Protectorate
Eleventh National Development Plan (Botswana)
Transport in Botswana
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under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, 546–547,
UNESCO, UNESCO Publishing.
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see:Adding open license text to.
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