/bot swah"neuh/, n.
a republic in S Africa: formerly a British protectorate; gained independence 1966; member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 1,500,765; 275,000 sq. mi. (712,250 sq. km). Cap.: Gaborone. Formerly, Bechuanaland.

* * *


Introduction 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: 0.61% permanent crops: 0.01% other: 99.39% (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 visibility Environment - current issues: overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: 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: total population: 35.29 years female: 35.43 years (2002 est.) male: 35.15 years
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/ 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: conventional long form: Republic of Botswana conventional short form: Botswana former: Bechuanaland
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: 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 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: Festus MOGAE elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 54.3%
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 NA
leaders: International organization ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77,
participation: IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO 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 chief of mission: Ambassador John E.
US: LANGE embassy: address NA, Gaborone mailing address: P. O. Box 90, Gaborone telephone: [267] 353982 FAX: [267] 312782
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 lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: 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: small system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and a few 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 males age 15-49: 202,685 (2002 est.)
service: Military manpower - reaching males: 19,479 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $135 million (FY01/02)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 3.5% (FY01/02)
GDP: Transnational Issues Botswana - Disputes - international: none

* * *

officially Republic of Botswana formerly Bechuanaland

Country, southern Africa, bounded by Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

Area: 219,916 sq mi (569,582 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 1,679,000. Capital: Gaborone. Less than half the population are ethnic Tswana; other main groups include the Khalagari, Ngwato, Tswapong, Birwa, and Kalanga. Small groups of Khoekhoe and San (Bushmen) follow a nomadic way of life and move seasonally across the Namibian border. Languages: English (official), Tswana. Religion: Christianity, with a large admixture of traditional African beliefs. Currency: pula. Botswana is essentially a tableland, with a mean elevation of about 3,300 ft (1,000 m). Part of the Kalahari Desert is in the southwest and west, while the Okavango Swamp is in the north. The only sources of permanent surface water are the Chobe River, which marks the Namibian boundary; the Okavango River, in the far northwest; and the Limpopo River, which marks the South African boundary in the southeast. The economy is traditionally dependent on livestock raising; the development of diamond mining in the 1980s has increased the country's wealth. Botswana is a republic with one legislative body; its head of state and government is the president. The region's earliest inhabitants were the Khoekhoe and San. Sites were settled as early as AD 190 during the southerly migration of Bantu-speaking farmers. Tswana dynasties, which developed in the western Transvaal in the 13th–14th centuries, moved into Botswana in the 18th century and established several powerful states. European missionaries arrived in the early 19th century, but it was the discovery of gold in 1867 that excited European interest. In 1885 the area became the British Bechuanaland Protectorate. The next year, the region south of the Molopo River became a crown colony, and it was annexed by the Cape Colony 10 years later. Bechuanaland itself continued as a British protectorate until the 1960s. In 1966 the Republic of Bechuanaland was proclaimed an independent member of the British Commonwealth. Its name was changed to Botswana in 1966. Independent Botswana tried to maintain a delicate balance between its economic dependence on South Africa and its relations with the surrounding black countries; the independence of Namibia in 1990 and South Africa's rejection of apartheid eased tensions.

* * *

▪ 2009

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 1,842,000
Head of state and government:
Presidents Festus Mogae and, from April 1, Ian Khama

      After completing two five-year terms in office, Pres. Festus Mogae turned over power on April 1, 2008, to Vice Pres. Ian Khama. Though the new president promised to uphold the traditions of his predecessor, he showed a spirit of independence in the puritan and teetotal tradition of his famous great-grandfather Khama III (c. 1835–1923). President Khama appointed as vice president Mompati Merafhe, a military colleague and former foreign minister; adopted dignity and discipline as his slogan; and courted widespread popularity by touring remote villages and upbraiding government employees. He prompted widespread opposition, however, when, in an effort to combat alcoholism, he announced a 30% levy on alcoholic beverages. Though beer manufacturers obtained an injunction in the High Court at Lobatse against implementation of the hike, the legal challenge was later dropped, and the levy went into effect on November 1.

      Relations with Zimbabwe were soured by Botswana's refusal to accept the presidential election in that country as free and fair and by Gaborone's withdrawal in June of recognition that Robert Mugabe was the legal president of Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, the tide of Zimbabwean refugees and visiting shoppers continued. Botswana's boycott of the Zimbabwe regime ended on September 15 when President Khama attended the reconciliation ceremony between Zimbabwe's three main political parties.

      Botswana's new rough- diamond sorting centre was opened in March, though operations were limited by delays in the construction of a new suburb near the Gaborone airport. The Botswana government continued to narrowly interpret the High Court judgment permitting Bushmen to return to live in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as applying only to named litigants and their immediate relatives. Filming resumed around Gaborone in September for the upcoming television series The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, based on the novels by Alexander McCall Smith. (McCall Smith, Alexander )

Neil Parsons

▪ 2008

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 1,882,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

 Controversy in Botswana continued in 2007 over the eviction of Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Though the high court had ruled in December 2006 that the eviction had been unlawful, Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme interpreted the judgment as applying only to the 189 petitioners of the case and their immediate families. Returnees who hunted with firearms and imported goats into the reserve were initially prosecuted but later acquitted. Meanwhile, in May, De Beers sold its diamond prospect at Gope, in the southeastern corner of the reserve, for $17 million, and a new small privately owned mine was expected to open.

      The transfer of sales and distribution of Botswana's diamonds from London to Gaborone proceeded, but not without controversy. The De Beers Group's Diamond Trading Co. neared completion of a $450 million sorting centre near Gaborone's international airport. New foreign-owned diamond-cutting and polishing workshops, however, came into conflict with local unions over minimum wages.

      Constitutional tension continued between presidentialism and the vestiges of parliamentary sovereignty. The parliament stalled the presidential cabinet's privatization of Air Botswana on the grounds that the airline had been established by an act of parliament and that the cabinet had exceeded its prerogative. The parliament also insisted on oversight of the operations of a new national security bill that was presented by the cabinet and included draconian provisions.

      Malaysian-owned Limkokwing University of Creative Technology opened a Gaborone campus in March. The government announced that it would financially sponsor students at Limkokwing and other new private institutions of higher education within Botswana, as well as continue to send students to South African and Australian universities. This drastically reduced the annual student enrollment at the University of Botswana.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2007

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 1,760,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      As the 40th anniversary of Botswana's independence—Sept. 30, 2006—approached, there was much soul-searching as to what had been achieved in those years. The economy was recovering from a 2003–04 downturn, per capita GDP had increased from under $100 before independence to more than $5,000 in 2005, and half the population now owned a cell phone.

      The reinstitution of tuition fees in public secondary education, in January, proved to be a bone of contention. The savings to government were considerably less than the 745 million pula (about $121 million) in loans that the government had failed to recover from former higher-education students. Government restrictions of hours for alcohol sales effected in April were equally unpopular with the drinking classes. In December a high court ruled that 1,000 Bushmen had been illegally evicted in 2002 from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and found that they also had a right to hunt there.

      The China-driven worldwide mineral boom was reflected in Botswana by increased production of and prospecting for nickel, copper, and gold by Australian, Canadian, and Irish mining companies. De Beers began construction near Gaborone's international airport of a sorting centre for diamonds from Namibia, South Africa, and Canada as well as Botswana. Plans were agreed with South Africa for construction of a power station on the previously unexploited Mmamabula coalfields to supply power over the border and meet power shortages in the region.

      After having previously disputed international frontiers at the Chobe-Zambezi River confluence, Zimbabwe agreed in August to the construction of a bridge between the Botswana and Zambia banks at Kazungula. Friendly relations with Namibia, which until December 1999 had disputed its Chobe River frontier with Botswana, were cemented by the visit of Pres. Festus Mogae to Namibia in April.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2006

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 1,765,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      Though the Botswana Democratic Party had consolidated 40 years in power with its ninth successive electoral victory in 2004, the year 2005 was one in which economic setbacks were accompanied by political disquiet.

      In May 2005 the pula currency was devalued by 12% in an attempt to increase government revenue from diamond exports sold abroad against a declining U.S. dollar and to reduce the relative cost of wages and development projects in government service and the export sector. Construction, manufacturing, and retail sectors were in recession, and foreign investors crossed the border to South Africa.

      Much of the criticism leveled against Pres. Festus Mogae and Vice Pres. Ian Khama centred on 72-year-old Australian academic Kenneth Good, whose expulsion from Botswana after 15 years in residence was ordered by presidential fiat in February. Good challenged the order but in July the appeals court ruled that the constitution did not oblige the president to offer a reason, and Good was then deported. The example of Good's case added to criticism of arbitrary presidentialism, reinforced by the ongoing critique of insufficient representation of ethnic minorities and their languages in education, broadcasting, and the advisory House of Chiefs.

      The high court case of the ||Gana and |Gwi people, challenging their relocation from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, was suspended in September 2005 to give the applicants time to raise more funds to cover legal costs. Frustration over this delay led to clashes between game scouts and those people who had returned to live in the reserve.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2005

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 1,661,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      Beginning in January 2004, all patients at doctors' offices in Botswana who did not object were automatically tested for HIV. Gaborone had the largest HIV/AIDS clinic in the world; antiretroviral drugs were dispensed there free of charge in a program paid for by government and international donor agencies. In April the first cases of polio in 13 years were detected, near Maun and Francistown. The affected children were successfully treated, and an emergency national immunization campaign followed. The polio strain was identical with the one that was infecting northern Nigeria. (See Health and Disease Sidebar. (In Sight: A World Without Polio ))

      Former inhabitants of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve took their claim for land restitution to Botswana's high court in July. The Lesetedi Commission, which reported in August, criticized irregular and possibly corrupt allocations of large plots in Gaborone to a few businesses owned by noncitizens. New diamond-polishing workshops were opened in Gaborone and Molepolole during the latter part of the year, but partial recession in the world diamond market resulted in the government's delaying expenditure on national development projects. Privatization of state assets was held back by the withdrawal of all viable bidders for Air Botswana because of a recession in the world airline business.

      In the general elections that were held on October 30, the Botswana Democratic Party captured 44 of the 57 seats in the National Assembly, while the opposition Botswana National Front gained 12 and the Botswana Congress Party secured 1.

      The country gained international visibility because of the popularity of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels by Alexander McCall Smith, which portrayed Botswana society in a positive light. Almost five million copies had been sold in English, with translation rights sold for a further 30 languages.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2004

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 1,663,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      In a country noted for peaceful continuity, 2003 was notable for the passing from power of old-guard politicians. After some public acrimony, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, back-bench parliamentary critic of Pres. Festus Mogae, lost the chairmanship of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party to Vice Pres. Ian Khama. Kenneth Koma, founder of the opposition Botswana National Front in 1965, was ousted from his party in February after refusing to retire as leader. In August Mosadi Seboko, a single mother and former bank manager, was installed as chief of the Balete, becoming the only woman among the country's eight hereditary paramount chiefs.

      The Swiss-based World Economic Forum credited Botswana with the best governance in Africa, even though government budgets had been in deficit for two years running, with a resulting consumer boom. The year was marked by the opening of large new shopping malls in Gaborone and other towns; the malls featured South African chain stores selling goods with price markups exceeding exchange-rate differences. Privatization of state assets was pushed ahead when the national airline, Air Botswana, was offered to international bidders.

      Relations with crisis-stricken Zimbabwe continued to be tense. Zimbabwe objected to Botswana's construction of new border fencing to keep out cattle that might have foot-and-mouth disease. It was also reported that large numbers of Zimbabwean refugees were being deported from Botswana daily. Within Botswana, political controversy was set off when the government granted immunity from International Criminal Court jurisdiction to U.S. citizens at the behest of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, who visited Gaborone in July.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2003

582,356 sq km (224,848 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 1,679,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      In June 2002 it was confirmed that Botswana's international credit rating had risen higher than that of Japan. Relative standards of living were indicated by the fact that there were 22 cell phones for every 100 people, but 23% of adults were undernourished. Because of the increasing grip of HIV/AIDS, the country slipped farther down the United Nations Development Programme human development index, but Botswana was the only country in the region that provided antiretroviral therapy through its public health service.

      Transparency International found low levels of corruption in Botswana, but the international nongovernmental organization was critical of secrecy in government bureaucracy. National debate on the political representation and land rights of ethnic minorities continued. Pres. Festus Mogae periodically toured the country during the year seeking opinions on this question in open assemblies.

      On February 1 the government stopped trucking in water supplies for people living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Khoe and San Bushmen were directed to settlements elsewhere for government-provided services, including water. Possibly as many as 60 people who made their living by hunting elected to stay within the reserve but were threatened by antipoaching measures . An estimated 65,000 Khoe and San continued to live elsewhere in Botswana, some in destitution. Wildlife tourism in Chobe and Okavango suffered from a downturn in tourism because of events in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

      English-born Lady Khama, the former Ruth Williams, died at her home near Gaborone on May 23. In 1948 her courageous marriage to Seretse Khama, later Botswana's president, had aroused racist ire around the world.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2002

581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 1,586,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      Economic growth continued unabated in Botswana in 2001, with employment still expanding ahead of population growth. Government revenue from diamonds continued to rise, and new highways, administrative buildings, and large shopping malls were constructed. A challenge to the style of governmental paternalism established in the late colonial period was becoming evident, however.

      In the annual Transparency International survey, Botswana was ranked the least-corrupt state in Africa (and 26th in the world), but there was increasing evidence of management laxity. An extensive north-south scheme of water articulation could not be commissioned because of defective piping. As many as 10,000 university students had to be sent to South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, and North America because the capacity of local universities had been overestimated. A complete census of households was held in August.

      The death penalty made news in March when a white South African woman was hanged for having murdered her lover's wife. The most controversial issue, however, was that of ethnic minorities, whose representation in the upper house of Parliament was recommended by a report in March from the commission headed by Patrick Balopi, a former cabinet minister. Subsequent debate challenged established policies of national integration. In August Survival International, an organization devoted to the rights of tribal peoples, picketed the Botswana embassy in London over the San (Bushman) minority in the Kalahari. For 15 years the Botswana government had been inducing residents to leave the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and wildlife officials harassed people who stayed.

      In August former president Ketumile Masire started peace negotiations for the Democratic Republic of the Congo by bringing warring factions together in Gaborone, Botswana's capital.

Neil Parsons

▪ 2001

581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 1,576,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      The most notable event in 2000 was the return to Botswana of a 200-year-old corpse known as “El Negro.” It was stolen from its fresh grave by two French taxidermists in about 1830 and had been displayed in a Spanish museum from 1916 to 1997. On Oct. 5, 2000, the remains were interred in a Gaborone public park. (See Libraries and Museums: Museums (Libraries and Museums ).)

      Botswana continued in 2000 to enjoy a remarkably stable liberal democracy with solid growth, a by-product of the October 1999 elections that had confirmed the mandate of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) under Pres. Festus Mogae. The parliamentary opposition, however, was further fragmented into competing factions. A long unexplained leave of absence by Ian Khama, Mogae's ally and vice president, ended in August; Khama returned to office with enhanced powers to improve interministerial coordination and financial accountability of national development projects. Khama's main rival in the BDP, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, had removed himself from the cabinet to the parliamentary back benches in June.

      In foreign affairs Botswana retained close ties with South Africa, but relations with other neighbours were tense, especially with Zimbabwe, which sought to establish a regional freight monopoly by impeding rail traffic from South Africa via Botswana. An unofficial embargo, imposed in July 1999, was lifted in March when the new link was washed out by floods but was reimposed in June.

      In February creditors foreclosed on Botswana's largest manufacturing industry, the new Hyundai and Volvo vehicle assembly plant in Gaborone, owned by a Zimbabwean involved in mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The loss, however, was more than compensated for by the 44% rise in Botswana's diamond production during the first six months. Although “conflict diamonds” from other African countries proved controversial, peaceful Botswana profited from the rising market driven by the boom in the U.S. Foreign currency reserves stood at $6 billion at midyear. (See Angola: Sidebar (Diamonds: Fuel for Conflict ), above.)

Neil Parsons

▪ 2000

581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 1,464,000
Head of state and government:
President Festus Mogae

      Most people in Botswana would remember 1999 as the year in which their countrywoman Mpule Kwelagobe became Miss Universe. It was also the year of Botswana's seventh free and fair general election since independence in 1966.

      Pres. Festus Mogae kept a low profile after his accession in April 1998. He chose Ian Khama, “charismatic former soldier and son of Botswana's first president,” as his vice president to be the exposed public face of government. The result was an upsurge in the popularity of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which had been losing urban support to the Botswana National Front (BNF).

      The BNF itself split in 1998, riven by jealousies between 11 of its 13 members of the National Assembly and aging party founder Kenneth Koma. Koma retained grassroots support among urban poor and forced the dissident parliamentarians to form their own Botswana Congress Party (BCP). The BCP thus, temporarily, became the official opposition, with more seats in the National Assembly than the BNF. In the general election of October 1999, however, it lost four seats to the BNF and six to the BDP. The BDP regained its pre-1994 dominance with 33 of 40 elected parliamentarians, capturing 57% of the total vote against the BNF's 26%.

      Botswana provided 29% by value of the world's diamonds in 1998—constituting one-third of its gross domestic product, four-fifths of exports, and one-half of government revenue (as joint shareholder with the De Beers company). Warnings about limits to future economic growth continued to be sounded, however, especially concerning the country's “one-crop” economy and the very large number (one in five) of adult citizens infected with HIV/AIDS. (See Special Report: Africa's Struggle Against AIDS .)

Neil Parsons

▪ 1999

      Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 1,448,000

      Capital: Gaborone

      Head of state and government: Presidents Sir Ketumile Masire and, from April 1, Festus Mogae

      Botswana was an island of stability in southern Africa during 1998. The country enjoyed economic prosperity as its growth rate hovered around 7% and its vast diamond reserves generated fiscal surpluses. The nation also witnessed a successful changing of the guard when its president of 18 years, Ketumile Masire, stepped down on March 31 to make way for Festus Mogae, the former vice president and minister of finance and development and planning. Though Masire had overseen a period of rising prosperity, it was widely assumed that his ruling party, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), engineered his ouster in favour of Mogae.

      It was uncertain during the year whether the BDP could remain in power, a position it had enjoyed since Botswana attained independence in 1966. The main opposition party, the Botswana National Front (BNF), gained popularity, especially in urban areas. As a result, many BDP politicians were seeking to replace Mogae with Lieut. Gen. Ian Khama, a charismatic former soldier and the son of Botswana's founding president, Seretse Khama.

      Notwithstanding economic growth and a peaceful presidential transition, Botswana was confronted with several pressing issues. Poverty was rampant, affecting about half of the country's population, and unemployment was acute, especially among young people. The spread of sexually transmitted diseases also skyrocketed; reportedly, some 30% of sexually active Botswanans aged 15-49 were infected with the HIV virus. Finally, relations with its neighbour Namibia were strained owing to a conflict over scarce water resources.


▪ 1998

      Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 1,501,000

      Capital: Gaborone

      Head of state and government: President Sir Ketumile Masire

      As Botswana celebrated the 30th anniversary of its independence on Sept. 30, 1996, it appeared to be on the brink of another surge in economic growth. The 1997-98 budget was presented on Feb. 10, 1997, by Vice Pres. and Minister of Finance Festus Mogae; he forecast a surplus and substantial growth in the mining sector. Revenues and grants were expected to total 7.8 billion pula, exceeding expenditures by 763 million pula. There was to be a 5% cut in income tax at a cost of 50 million pula. The main allocations were 25% to education, 20% for land and housing development, and 13% to defense, police, and the office of the president. The biggest problem the country faced was that of finding new jobs for the rapidly growing labour force and reducing unemployment, which in late 1997 stood at 21%. Botswana's growth during recent years was one of the highest in Africa, with gross domestic product increasing by 7% in 1995-96 and by 6.8% during 1996-97. Growth by sector for 1996-97 was mining 9.9%, trade 7.3%, and manufacturing 6.5%.

      This article updates Botswana, history of (Botswana).

▪ 1997

      A landlocked republic of southern Africa, Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth. Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 1,478,000. Cap.: Gaborone. Monetary unit: pula, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 3.51 pula to U.S. $1 (5.58 pula = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Sir Ketumile Masire.

      On Feb. 12, 1996, Vice Pres. and Minister of Finance and Development Planning Festus Mogae presented Botswana's 1996-97 budget. Revenue totaled 5,421,000,000 pula and expenditures 6,057,000,000 pula. The resulting deficit of 636 million pula was to be made up from government cash balances. Exchange controls were relaxed to promote diversification away from diamonds and to remove any limit (after tax) of remittances by temporary residents. An old-age pension of 100 pula a month was introduced for everyone over 65.

      Botswana and Russia agreed to regular exchanges of information to harmonize their methods of selling diamonds and to ensure that they obtained equitable shares of the market. Botswana was the largest diamond producer after Russia.

      (GUY ARNOLD)

      This article updates Botswana, history of (Botswana).

▪ 1996

      A landlocked republic of southern Africa, Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth. Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 1,549,000. Cap.: Gaborone. Monetary unit: pula, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 2.80 pula to U.S. $1 (4.42 pula = £1 sterling). President in 1995, Sir Ketumile Masire.

      In February 1995 Botswana was shocked by a level of rioting that had not previously occurred in its history. The cause was the release without charge of three people accused of the ritual murder of a girl at Mochudi, where the unrest started in January. Disturbances broke out in Gaborone when students and unemployed youths stormed the parliament buildings and demanded the arrest of the three; in subsequent police action to restore order, one youth was killed. The government blamed the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) for the violence, but the BNF said it arose out of frustration with social conditions and unemployment.

      Festus Mogae, vice president and finance and development planning minister, presented the 1995-96 budget on February 14 and claimed the economy had improved over that of the previous year. For the period 1992-93 to 1993-94, he estimated a 4.1% rise in gross domestic product and a 2.3% growth in formal employment from 226,275 to 231,324. Total income for 1995-96 was estimated at 5,162,000,000 pula, with mineral revenues contributing 47.6% of this figure; expenditure at 5,391,000,000 pula would result in a deficit for the year of 229 million pula.

      On April 6 Pres. Ketumile Masire reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (GUY ARNOLD)

      This updates the article Botswana, history of (Botswana).

▪ 1995

      A landlocked republic of southern Africa, Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth. Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 1,448,000. Cap.: Gaborone. Monetary unit: pula, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 2.71 pula to U.S. $1 (4.32 pula = £1 sterling). President in 1994, Sir Ketumile Masire.

      Botswana's generally sedate political profile was ruffled in April 1994 by a major scandal that rocked the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) with the disclosure that top Cabinet ministers, including Pres. Sir Ketumile Masire, owed the National Development Bank (NDB) 15 million pula. The president repaid his loan, but the other ministers did not; close to financial disaster, the NDB closed 15 district offices and sacked half its staff.

      Elections for the National Assembly took place in October. The BDP retained power by winning 26 of the 40 contested seats, but this was a loss of 9 seats from the previous Assembly. The Botswana National Front (BNF) won 13 seats, a gain of 10. Voting was delayed for one seat because of the death of the BDP candidate. The BDP reaffirmed its hold on most of the rural population, while the BNF had the best returns in urban areas.

      Although regarded as a more expensive area in which to do business than neighbouring South Africa, Botswana attracted a major investment during the year when Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. set up a plant in Botswana on the grounds that "political stability and Botswana's rapid economic growth and favourable geographic position won the day."

      Owens-Corning planned to own 49% of the new company, with the Botswana Development Corp. owning 35%, and the balance being owned by private investors in Botswana. The plant was to produce reinforced-plastic water pipes, for which there was substantial regional demand.

      (GUY ARNOLD)

      This updates the article Botswana, history of (Botswana).

▪ 1994

      A landlocked republic of southern Africa, Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth. Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 1,406,000. Cap.: Gaborone. Monetary unit: pula, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 2.54 pula to U.S. $1 (3.84 pula = £1 sterling). President in 1993, Sir Ketumile Masire.

      Remarkably for this troubled region, Botswana managed again in 1993 to maintain a low profile. The country had minimum internal unrest, a democratic system, and elections held regularly since independence in 1966. Yet, despite its relative prosperity (a per capita gross national product of $2,590), Botswana had some special problems of poverty. At the end of 1992 accusations of serious human rights abuses were leveled against wildlife personnel and the Botswana Wildlife and National Parks Department for their treatment of the Masarwa, a small, nomadic people of the Kalahari. Since the mid-1980s the Masarwa and other rural poor had been placed in designated "Remote Area Settlements" as part of a government plan to counteract the impact upon them of severe drought conditions.

      Exports continued to be dominated by diamonds (80%), but through the recession-hit 1980s Botswana managed an average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 9.8%. For two years, however, the economy had experienced a considerable downturn, with GDP falling 6.5% in 1991-92 (compared with 13.4% the previous year). This was principally the result of international recession, which affected the demand for Botswana's primary exports.

      (GUY ARNOLD)

      This updates the article Botswana, history of (Botswana).

* * *

officially  Republic of Botswana,  formerly  Bechuanaland,  
Botswana, flag of   country in the centre of southern Africa. The territory is roughly square—approximately 600 miles from north to south and 600 miles from east to west—with its eastern side protruding into a sharp point. Its eastern and southern borders are marked by river courses and an old wagon road; its western borders are lines of longitude and latitude through the Kalahari, and its northern borders combine straight lines with a river course. The capital is Gaborone (until 1969 spelled Gaberones—i.e., Gaborone's town), which was founded in 1964.

  Botswana is bounded by Namibia to the west and north (the Caprivi Strip), Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, and South Africa to the southeast and south. The Zambezi River border with Zambia is only several hundred yards long. The border along the main channel of the Chobe River up to the Zambezi is disputed with Namibia. The point at which the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet in the middle of the river has therefore never been precisely determined. Within the confines of Botswana's borders is a rich variety of wildlife, including many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

      Before its independence in 1966, Botswana was a British protectorate known as Bechuanaland. It was also one of the poorest and least-developed states in the world. The country is named after its dominant ethnic group, the Tswana, or Batswana (“Bechuana” in older variant orthography). The national language is Setswana (or Sechuana), and the official language is English.

      Since its independence the Republic of Botswana has gained international stature as a peaceful and increasingly prosperous democratic state. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the African Union (AU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The secretariat of SADC is housed in Gaborone. Botswana is also a member (with South Africa) of the Southern African Customs Union.

The land

Relief and drainage
  Botswana extends from the Chobe River (which drains through the Zambezi to the Indian Ocean) in the north to the Molopo River (part of the Orange River system, which flows into the Atlantic) in the south. To the east it is bordered by the Limpopo River and its tributaries, the Ngotwane (Notwani), Marico (Madikwe), and Shashe.

      The country has a mean altitude of 3,300 feet and consists largely of a sand-filled basin, with gently undulating plains rising to highlands in neighbouring countries. The highest point is 4,888 feet (1,490 metres) in the hills north of Lobatse in southeastern Botswana; the lowest point is 2,170 feet at the country's easternmost point, in the Limpopo valley.

      The country is divided into three main environmental regions. The hardveld region consists of rocky hill ranges and areas of shallow sand cover in eastern Botswana. The sandveld region is the area of deep Kalahari sand covering the rest of the country. The third region consists of ancient lake beds superimposed on the northern sandveld in the lowest part of the Kalahari Basin.

      Geologic exploration has been limited by the depth and extent of Kalahari sand covering the surface geology. The rock groups underlying most of the sandveld are therefore the least-known but appear to be the youngest, belonging to the Karoo (Karroo) System (Karoo System), formed 290 to 208 million years ago. Elsewhere, Precambrian rock formations predominate. The surface geology of the eastern hardveld, exposed in its hill ranges, largely consists of basement complex rocks (more than 2.5 billion years old) intruding from northern South Africa and southern Zimbabwe. This complex is known to extend into younger rock formations (2.5 to 1.2 billion years old) in the extreme southern sandveld, while rocks of the Ghanzi and Damara groups (1.2 billion to 570 million years old) extend across the northwest corner of the country into northern Namibia.

 Drainage through the marshes of the Okavango delta is complex and imperfectly understood. The perennial Okavango River runs southward into its delta across the Caprivi Strip from the highlands of Angola. Most of its water evaporates from the 4,000 square miles of the delta wetlands. Floodwater reaches down through the eastern side of the marshes to the Boteti River, which flows sporadically to Lake Xau (Dow) and the Makgadikgadi Pans (also roughly 4,000 square miles in area). Less and less water has been flowing through the western side of the Okavango marshes during the 20th century, so that 70-square-mile Lake Ngami (Ngami, Lake)—famous a century ago—is today dry and almost unrecognizable as a lake. Meanwhile, the eastern Makgadikgadi Pans are annually flooded by the otherwise ephemeral Nata River from the Zimbabwe highlands, while the southern tributaries of the pans are now dry fossil valleys.

      The Molopo River and its Ramatlhabama tributary, on the southern border of Botswana with a course flowing into the Orange River, today rarely flood more than 50 miles from their sources. Most rivers in Botswana are ephemeral channels, usually not flowing above ground except in the summer rainy season. The two great exceptions to this rule are vigorous channels fed by the rains of central Africa—the Okavango River above its delta and the Chobe River flowing through its marshes along the northern border to join the Zambezi above the Victoria Falls.

      The soils of the eastern hardveld consist of moderately dry red loamy mokata soils on the plains, or mixed chalky and sandy chawana soils, with brownish rocky seloko soils on and around hills. Seloko soils are considered best for grain crops. The fertility of all soils is limited by the amount of rainfall, which is sometimes inadequate on the hardveld and regularly unable to support any cultivation on the sandveld.

      The alluvial soils of the ancient lake beds include gray loamy soils in the wetlands, gray-green saline soils on the pans, gray clayish soils to yellowish sandy soils around the wetlands, and very chalky light gray soils around the pans. There are also areas of gray to black cracking clay in former wet areas, such as those around Pandamatenga.

      The annual climate ranges from months of dry temperate weather during winter to humid subtropical weather interspersed with drier periods of hot weather during summer. In summer (which lasts from October to March) temperatures rise to about 93 °F (34 °C) in the extreme north and southwest, the warmest parts of the country. In winter (which lasts from April to September), there is frequent frost at night, and temperatures may fall to near freezing in some high-altitude areas during the day. Summer is heralded by a windy season, carrying dust from the Kalahari, from about late August to early October. Annual rainfall, brought by winds from the Indian Ocean, averages 18 inches (460 millimetres), representing a range from 25 inches in the extreme northeast to less than 5 inches in the extreme southwest. The rains are almost entirely limited to summer downpours between December and April, which also mark the season for plowing and planting. Cyclic droughts, often lasting up to five or six years in every two decades, can limit or eliminate harvests and reduce livestock to starvation.

Plant and animal life
      The Kalahari sandveld has often been called “thirstland” to distinguish it from true desert. Even in its southwestern corner, where there are some bare sand dunes, the vegetation is more characteristic of dry steppe than desert.

 The general vegetation of the country is savanna grassland with yellow or light brown grass cover (turning green after rains) and woody plants. The savanna ranges from acacia shrub savanna in the southwest through acacia thornbush and tree savanna “parkland” into denser woodland and eventually forest as one moves north and east. Croton and Combretum tree savanna is found on the rocky hills of the eastern hardveld. Acacia tree savanna merges northward into mopane (African ironwood) savanna woodland. Mopane woodland covers most of the northern and eastern third of the country, with the exception of the open grasslands immediately surrounding the Okavango delta and Makgadikgadi Pans.

 Animal life is extremely varied in a thirstland environment. About 150 species of mammals are found in Botswana. These range from 30 species of bats and 27 of rodents to more than 30 species of large mammals. Birdlife is prolific, with more than 460 species. Botswana has a great variety of reptiles and amphibians, of which more than 200 species have been described in detail. The principal fish, in the rivers of the north, are tilapia (African bream), catfish, and the tigerfish, which is famous for its ferocious resistance to being caught on a line.

 There are several national parks and game reserves in Botswana, including the Central Kalahari Game Reserve—the largest reserve in the country and home to such animals as lions, black-backed jackals, elephants, foxes, ostriches, springboks, and zebras. Others include Chobe National Park, the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve, and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a conservation area jointly managed by Botswana and South Africa.

Settlement patterns
      The human and livestock population of Botswana is concentrated around the hill ranges of the eastern hardveld and along the perennial rivers of the north. Almost half of the population is rural and lives in settlements that range from small, scattered sites that are sparsely populated to villages of more than 1,000 people to traditional towns with tens of thousands of people.

      The typical rural settlement and land use pattern of the eastern hardveld in the past may be characterized as having been concentric circles around a concentrated village nucleus. The family had a home base in the village, where the majority of its members spent most of the year. In the appropriate season it cultivated lands (fields) within one or two days' walk from the village. The family cattle, on the other hand, were pastured for most of the year at “cattle-posts” a number of days' walk from the village. Finally, beyond the cattle-posts there were hunting lands.

      The villages and traditional towns of Botswana are still basically laid out around the kgotla (courtyard) and cattle kraal (corral) of traditional rulers and are subdivided into wards, each of which mimics the village or town plan with its own central kgotla and kraal. But, especially since the 1970s, traditional settlements have been sliced through by modern roads and facilities such as schools and offices, as well as shopping malls and bars. Traditional architecture of thatch roofing and clay walls has given way to corrugated metal roofing and brick walls.

      Two of the seven larger towns of Botswana, Francistown (1897) and Lobatse (1902), originated as small urban centres on the railway for white farming communities. Both began to develop in size and function in the 1950s, as employment in nonagricultural services expanded. Gaborone, the capital city, was founded in 1964; since then its population has grown to more than 150,000. Selebi-Phikwe (1971) and Jwaneng (1979) constitute the only substantial mining towns; the smaller diamond town of Orapa (1971) is under company control behind high security fences. The newest mining town, Sua (1991), is based on the soda-ash deposits of the eastern Makgadikgadi Pans.

The people

Ethnic groups
      The dominant ethnic identity in Botswana is Tswana. The country's whole population is characterized as Batswana (singular, Motswana) whatever their ethnic origin. Though no attempt to count population by ethnic origin has been made since 1946, probably less than half the population is “ethnic Tswana” by origin. There are far greater numbers of ethnic Tswana in South Africa.

      Tswana ethnic dominance (“Tswanadom”) in Botswana can be dated to the eight Tswana states which ruled most of the area in the 19th century. Under British colonial rule, the populations of these states were given the official status of “tribes,” a term still used officially today.

      Within southeastern Botswana the other main ethnic identity besides Tswana, that of the Khalagari (Western Sotho), has become so incorporated as to be almost indistinguishable from the Tswana. Even their name is now usually rendered in the Tswana form as “Kgalagadi.”

      The Ngwato of east-central Botswana constitute the largest traditional “tribal” state but are probably less than one-fifth ethnic Tswana by origin. The major incorporated ethnic groups are Khalagari, Tswapong and Birwa (both Northern Sotho), and Kalanga (Western Shona). With larger numbers to the east in Zimbabwe, some Kalanga have resisted full incorporation.

      The Tawana state of northwestern Botswana can be seen as the least successful in incorporating other ethnic groups. Most of its population is Yei and Mbukushu by origin, related to riverine peoples in the Caprivi Strip, Angola, and Zambia to the north. Smaller numbers of Mbanderu and Herero have greater numbers of close relatives across the border in Namibia. The Subiya along the Chobe, closely related to people in the Caprivi Strip and Zambia, were excluded from the Tawana “tribal” reserve by the British.

      Small scattered groups of Khoisan people inhabit the southwestern districts of Botswana, as well as being incorporated with other ethnic groups. The Khoisan speak languages characterized as Khoe, or Khwe, and San. They include communities with their own headmen and livestock, as well as poorer groups employed by Tswana and white cattle farmers.

      White settlement in Botswana, consisting of some Afrikaners and fewer English settled in border farms, totaled fewer than 3,000 people in the colonial period.

Religious groups
      Christianity, brought by missionaries from the south such as David Livingstone, was established as the official religion of the eight Tswana states by the end of the 19th century. Indigenous religious and medical practices, notably respect for patriarchal ancestors, either declined or were assimilated within popular Christian beliefs. Allegiance to the old state churches, notably those of the Congregationalists (London Missionary Society), has declined since the 1950s. The two most active and popular churches are the Zion Christian church (based in South Africa) among the working class and the Roman Catholic church among the middle class. There are also numerous other small Zionist and Apostolic churches in rural villages, as well as United Reformed (Congregational and Methodist), Dutch Reformed, and Anglican churches, and predominantly expatriate Muslim, Quaker, Hindu, and Bahāʿī congregations.

Demographic trends
      After six previous censuses of variable quality, Botswana had its first systematic national census in 1964. Total population was estimated at 550,000, with 35,000 absentees—mostly adult male workers in South Africa. Since 1964, the population has grown at about 3.4 percent a year, thus exceeding 1,000,000 in the early 1980s and doubling every 20 years. Meanwhile, the rate of labour migration abroad has been reduced by a combination of restrictions by South Africa and increased employment opportunities at home. Between the 1950s and the 1970s Botswana also provided a home and eventual citizenship for significant numbers of refugees from South Africa, Angola, and Zimbabwe.

      The age and gender composition of the country is weighted by an increasingly youthful population: approximately one-fifth are under age 5, and nearly half are younger than age 15. Females exceed males in age groups over 15; below that age the gender ratio is more or less equal because of recently reduced male infant mortality. The 1991 census showed improved life expectancy of 63.1 years at birth for females and 57 years for males, over the 1981 figures of 61.2 and 54.7 years, respectively. Botswana is also the first African country to experience a falling birth rate in response to improved life expectancy.

The economy
      Botswana has a free market economy with a strong tradition of central government planning to provide infrastructure for private investment. The economy has grown rapidly since the mid-1960s, with the gross domestic product per capita increasing from less than $50 to more than $1,000 by the mid-1980s.

      Less than a quarter of the adult workforce is in formal paid employment. Relatively few rural households benefit from cattle sales: almost half of them have no cattle, and less than 10 percent own about half of the country's cattle (averaging 100 head each). Few households produce enough crops to cover even their own subsistence, let alone to sell on the market. Four out of five rural households survive on the income of a family member in town or abroad. That still leaves a significant number of rural households, usually female-headed, with no source of income known to statisticians.

      State revenues reaped from mining development have been spent on basic rural infrastructure and welfare services and on schemes to subsidize the development of cattle and crop production, which have in general benefited the richer rural households. Trade unionism, restricted by legislation, is as yet underdeveloped in Botswana.

      Diamonds (diamond), the major economic resource of the country, have been exploited on a large scale since 1970. They are mined from some of the world's largest diamond pipes at Orapa and Letlhakane, south of the Makgadikgadi pans, and at Jwaneng in the southeastern sandveld. Nickel and copper have been mined at Selebi-Phikwe near the Motloutse River since 1974. Coal is mined for power generation at Morupule near Palapye. Botswana's other major proven mineral resources are salt and soda ash, which was fully exploited at Sua on the eastern Makgadikgadi pans from 1991.

      Surface water resources are limited to the wetlands and perennial rivers in the north and three major dam lakes at Gaborone, Shashe, and Mopipi (serving Orapa). Plans are under active consideration to canalize water through the Okavango wetlands toward Mopipi via a holding dam at Maun. Underground water is tapped in large quantities near Palapye and south of Gaborone.

      Most of the population is partially engaged in agricultural production, but there is little land suitable for productive cultivation. Agricultural output constitutes less than one-tenth of gross national product, and most of that is in the form of livestock production for urban and export markets. Grain production (mostly sorghum and corn) fell short of national consumption for most of the 20th century, and foodstuffs from South Africa and Zimbabwe are Botswana's major import commodities. Fishing and forestry production are limited and largely confined to the extreme north.

      Botswana, with terrain comparable to Texas or Australia, is traditionally seen as cattle country. Given sufficient water and pasture and controls on the spread of hoof-and-mouth disease from wetland buffalo, it is a healthy environment for raising high-bulk, high-quality indigenous beef cattle. The government has invested heavily in disease prevention, modern abattoirs, and support services to cattle producers. Because of drought, the national herd has fluctuated between one million and three million head since the 1960s, with an export offtake of up to a quarter of a million per annum and a growing internal market. Various schemes—so far unsuccessful—have been attempted to improve range management. Meanwhile, the main export market for beef, the European Community, has become increasingly unreliable.

      Industrial development in Botswana has been limited by the high costs of power and water, the lack of appropriate management and labour skills, and the small domestic market. Manufacturing activity up to the 1980s largely consisted of meat processing at Lobatse in the south. In the early 1980s capital and textile production were transferred from Zimbabwe to nearby Francistown in Botswana, and diamond sorting and service industries grew in the booming capital city, Gaborone.

      The national electric power grid, serving mines and eastern towns, is based on a large coal-powered generating station at Morupule near Palapye, supplemented by connections to the Zimbabwean and South African national grids.

      Tourists are attracted to Botswana by relatively unpopulated and “remote” wetland and thirstland environments. Government policy is to limit the density and environmental impact of tourism through licensing of a limited number of high-cost safari companies.

      The Botswana economy is regulated by a central bank, the Bank of Botswana, and a strong ministry of finance and development planning. There are two major multinational commercial banks, with branch operations that extend to village level. Botswana has had the unusual problems, for a developing country, of a government budget surplus running into billions of dollars and excess capital lying unutilized in private banks. The budget surplus and bank liquidity were partially depleted by diversion into a construction boom in the late 1980s and early '90s, including infrastructure for new mining operations and military airports. A small stock exchange has been set up. The economy, from diamonds to nickel-copper to soda ash and construction, remains dominated by South Africa's De Beers–Anglo American Corporation conglomerate.

      Botswana sends the great bulk of its exports to the world market beyond Africa, mainly to Europe and North America. It takes nearly three-fourths of its imports from South Africa, its neighbour with a gross national product vastly larger than that of Botswana. Imports consist of machinery and transport equipment, food products, and consumer goods, often manufactured or serviced by multinational companies based in South Africa. From Zimbabwe, Botswana imports mainly food products. Other imports from the rest of the world consist largely of high-technology equipment.

      Botswana is joined in a customs union with South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Namibia (the Southern African Customs Union) and, along with the other countries of southern Africa, is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Domestic trade patterns within Botswana are dominated by large, mostly foreign-owned wholesale operations and large foreign retailers in urban areas, though there is also an increasing proliferation of small stores owned by citizens.

      The 400-mile railway along the eastern side of the country was completed in 1897, linking South Africa and Zimbabwe, but had limited impact on the Botswana economy until the 1970s, when the first branch lines were opened to serve mining areas. At independence in 1966, there were only a few miles of paved roads—all inside town boundaries. Since then the major towns have been linked by paved main highways. Most of the sandveld, however, is accessible only to four-wheel-drive vehicles.

      International air traffic in Botswana, though dating to 1919, was limited until the opening up of the Sir Seretse Khama Airport at Gaborone in 1984. Gaborone is now served by British and French airlines as well as by regional airlines and the national parastatal airline, Air Botswana.

Administration and social conditions

      Botswana is a unitary state with a multiparty parliamentary system and an executive presidency. Since independence Botswana has held free elections every five years, a relatively uncorrupt bureaucracy, and judicial respect for human rights and the rule of law. The government has also distributed increasing resources widely if not always equally among the people.

      Parliament consists of a National Assembly of elected members (elected by universal adult suffrage in single-member constituencies) and a handful of ex officio members nominated by the ruling political party. There is also a House of Chiefs, with an advisory role on matters of legislation pertaining to tribal law and custom.

      The ruling party, first elected in 1965 and reelected at five-year intervals since then, is the Botswana Democratic Party. Its overwhelming majorities in elections have been based on rural support; opposition parties have drawn their strength generally from urban areas. The Botswana People's Party was the main opposition in the 1960s, when urban areas were small. Since then the Botswana National Front has grown in strength, holding the majority of the city council of Gaborone and both of Gaborone's parliamentary seats.

      Local councils, rural and urban, have been elected since 1969 simultaneously with national parliamentary elections. The power of local councils is limited by the right of the central government to nominate ex officio voting members and by central government appointment of supervisory district commissioners and planning staff.

      The evolving political and economic alignments of Botswana's foreign policy are indicated by the countries to which it has sent resident ambassadors—originally the United States, the United Kingdom, and Zambia in the 1960s, followed by Belgium, Zimbabwe, and Sweden in the 1980s and by Namibia, Russia, and China in the early 1990s. Full diplomatic relations were established with South Africa in 1994.

      Since independence, enrollment at all levels of education has increased steadily. Enrollments in primary education are still lower in the remote western and northwestern districts than in other areas of the country, however, as poorer non-Tswana children often miss out on school.

      International interest has been aroused by an alternative system of education, integrating vocational skills into the secondary curriculum, developed by the educationist Patrick van Rensburg at Swaneng Hill near Serowe. But “education with development” has had little impact on the general curriculum within Botswana's schools.

      A university campus in Gaborone, founded in 1976, became the University of Botswana in 1982. Officially, more than three-fourths of the population is considered literate, although this is probably an overestimate. Rural literacy rates are higher in the east and northeast and lower in the west and northwest. More women than men are literate, as many boys traditionally are employed in cattle herding rather than being sent to school.

Health and welfare
      Botswana has a dry and warm climate generally conducive to good health. The incidence of tropical diseases—notably malaria, bilharzia ( schistosomiasis), and sleeping sickness—is limited by the environment and lack of surface water. The most common fatal diseases are intestinal (diarrheal and digestive diseases) and respiratory (pneumonia and tuberculosis).

      The main threats to health are diseases associated with changing lifestyle, particularly diet. There has been an increased incidence of high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease, as well as dental caries in older children. The spread of AIDS has had a devastating effect in Botswana, where the rate of infection has been one of the highest in the world; by 2000 more than one-third of the adult population was infected with HIV, and the growing number of AIDS orphans loomed as a serious social problem.

      Since 1973, government health policy has been based on the provision of basic health services in the form of health posts in every village with a population of more than 500 and clinics in every area with more than 4,000 in a nine-mile radius. Since the late 1980s there has also been extensive investment in two large national referral hospitals, at Gaborone and Francistown.

      The use of government health services is free of charge. There are also a number of Western-certified physicians in private practice and many traditional herbalists, healers, and diviners.

Cultural life
      The cultural life of Botswana reflects the dual heritage and intermingling of Tswana and English cultural domination. The two languages and cultures are subtly mixed and alternated in urban and official situations.

      Western dress has been general among people in Botswana, except at the poorest level, since the late 19th century. Common diet and cuisine consist of sorghum and corn porridge, beans and pulses and traditional spinach, supplemented by tomato, potato, onion, and cabbage usually purchased from stores. Meat consumption has become more common with the opening of small butcheries selling beef. Traditional foods include dried phane caterpillars from mopane woodland, eaten as relish or snacks, fruits such as the wild morulaplum, and beer made from sorghum or millet.

      Families in rural villages live in traditional compounds, usually with two or three small houses of cylindrical clay walls and conical thatch roofs, set around an open fireplace and surrounded by low clay walls. Most recent houses are square with metal roofs, while many houses in the northwest are made of reed.

      Rites of burial, marriage, and birth have been adapted to Christianity but remain extremely important in Botswana life.

      Traditional music, based on stringed instruments, and dance generally declined during the colonial period. After independence there was a revival of interest, particularly in music on the radio.

      The best-known modern art form incorporating traditional craftwork is basketry—most of it from northwestern Botswana—which is widely exported overseas.

      The author Bessie Head (Head, Bessie Emery) (1937–86) wrote novels in English that reflect the contemporary realities and history of Serowe. The publishing of fiction in Setswana was revived in the 1980s.

      There is a national museum and art gallery in Gaborone and an increasing number of district museums founded by local community initiative. A national learned and scientific society, the Botswana Society, holds regular lectures and publishes an annual journal and books.

      Football (soccer) is the national sport, played on fields and in stadiums across the country every Saturday.

      The government issues a free daily newspaper, mostly in English, and runs a radio service, mostly in Setswana. There are also several separate private weekly newspapers, with circulation in eastern towns, and private local television stations, mostly relaying broadcasts from neighbouring countries. There is no government censorship. During the 1980s three multinational publishers set up branches to generate published materials for schools.

      The history of Botswana is in general the history of the Kalahari area, intermediate between the more populated savanna of the north and east and the less populated steppe of the south and west. Although reduced to a peripheral role in southern Africa for most of the 20th century, at other times Botswana has been a central area of historical development.

Early pastoral and farming peoples
Khoisan (Khoisan languages)-speaking hunters and herders
      People speaking Khoisan (Khoe and San) languages have lived in Botswana for many thousands of years. Depression Shelter in the Tsodilo Hills has evidence of continuous Khoisan occupation from about 17,000 BC to about AD 1650. During the final centuries of the last millennium before Christ, some of the Khoi (Tshu-khwe) people of northern Botswana converted to pastoralism, herding their cattle and sheep on the rich pastures revealed by the retreating lakes and wetlands.

Bantu-speaking farmers
      Meanwhile, the farming of grain crops, and the speaking of Bantu languages, were carried gradually southward from the Equator. By about 20 BC such farmers were making and using iron tools on the upper Zambezi.

      The earliest dated Iron Age site in Botswana is an iron-smelting furnace in the Tswapong Hills near Palapye, dated about AD 190 and probably associated with Iron Age farmers from the Limpopo valley. The remains of small beehive-shaped houses made of grass matting, occupied by early Iron Age farmers around Molepolole, have been dated from about AD 420. There is also evidence of early farming settlement west of the Okavango delta, in the Tsodilo Hills alongside Khoisan hunter and pastoralist sites, dated from about AD 550. Archaeologists therefore have difficulty in interpreting the hundreds of rock paintings in the Tsodilo Hills that were once assumed to be painted by “Bushman” ( San) hunters remote from all pastoralist and farmer contact.

Iron Age states and chiefdoms
Eastern states and chiefdoms
      From about AD 1095 southeastern Botswana saw the rise of a new culture, characterized by a site on Moritsane hill near Gabane. The Moritsane culture is historically associated with the Khalagari (Kgalagadi) chiefdoms, the westernmost dialect group of Sotho (or Sotho-Tswana) speakers.

      The area within 50 or 60 miles of Serowe saw a thriving farming culture, dominated by rulers living on Toutswe hill, between about the 7th and 13th centuries. The prosperity of the state was based on cattle herding, with large corrals in the capital town and in scores of smaller hilltop villages. (Ancient cattle corrals are identified by the peculiar grass growing on them.) The Toutswe people also hunted westward into the Kalahari and traded eastward with the Limpopo.

      The Toutswe state appears to have been conquered by its neighbour, the Mapungubwe state, centred on a hill at the Limpopo-Shashi confluence, in the 13th century. But Mapungubwe's triumph was short-lived, as it was superseded by the new state of Great Zimbabwe, north of the Limpopo River. Great Zimbabwe's successor from about 1450, the Butua state based at Khami (Kame) near Bulawayo in western Zimbabwe, controlled trade in salt and hunting dogs from the eastern Makgadikgadi Pans, around which it built stone-walled command posts.

Western chiefdoms
      From about AD 850 farmers from the upper Zambezi, ancestors of the Mbukushu and Yei peoples, reached as far south and west as the Tsodilo Hills (Nqoma). The oral traditions of Herero and Mbanderu pastoralists, west of the Okavango, relate how they were split apart from their Mbandu parent stock by 17th-century Tswana cattle-raiding from the south.

Rise of Tswanadom
      During the 13th and 14th centuries AD a number of powerful dynasties began to emerge among the Tswana in the western Transvaal region. Rolong chiefdoms spread westward over lands controlled by Khalagari peoples. Khalagari chiefdoms either accepted Rolong rulers or moved westward across the Kalahari.

      The main Tswana dynasties of the Hurutshe, Kwena, and Kgatla were derived from the Phofu dynasty, which broke up in its home in the western Transvaal region in the 16th century. The archaeology of the Transvaal region shows that, after about 1700, stone-walled villages and some large towns developed on hills. These states were probably competing for cattle wealth and subject populations, for control of hunting and mineral tribute, and for control of trade with the east coast.

Growth of Tswana states
      Kwena and Hurutshe migrants founded the Ngwaketse chiefdom among the Khalagari-Rolong in southeastern Botswana by 1795. After 1750 this chiefdom grew into a powerful military state controlling Kalahari hunting and cattle raiding and copper production west of Kanye. Meanwhile, other Kwena had settled around Molepolole, and a group of those Kwena thenceforth called Ngwato settled farther north at Shoshong. By about 1795 a group of Ngwato, called the Tawana, had even founded a state as far northwest as Lake Ngami.

Times of war
      From about 1750, trading and raiding for ivory, cattle, and slaves spread inland from the coasts of Mozambique, the Cape Colony, and Angola. By 1800, raiders from the Cape had begun to attack the Ngwaketse. By 1824 the Ngwaketse were being attacked by the Kololo, a military nation on the move that had been expelled northwestward by raiders from the east. The great Ngwaketse warrior king Makaba II was killed, but the Kololo were pushed farther north by a counterattack in 1826.

      The Kololo moved through Shoshong to the Boteti River, expelling the Tawana northward. In about 1835 the Kololo settled on the Chobe River, extending their power to the upper Zambezi, until their final defeat there by their Lozi subjects in 1864. The Kololo were followed by the Ndebele, a military nation led by Mzilikazi, who settled in the Butua area of western Zimbabwe in 1838–40, after the local Rozvi state was conquered.

Prosperous trading states
      The Tswana states of the Ngwaketse, Kwena, Ngwato, and Tawana were reconstituted in the 1840s after the wars ended. The states competed with each other to benefit from the increasing trade in ivory and ostrich feathers being carried by wagons down new roads to the Cape Colony in the south. Those roads also brought Christian missionaries to Botswana and Boer trekkers who settled in the Transvaal to the east.

      The most remarkable Tswana king of this period was Sechele (ruled 1829–92) of the Kwena around Molepolole. He allied himself with British traders and missionaries and was baptized by David Livingstone. He also fought the Boers, who tried to seize people who fled from the Transvaal to join Sechele's state. But by the later 1870s the Kwena had lost control of trade to the Ngwato under Khama III (ruled 1872–73; 1875–1923), whose power extended to the frontiers of the Tawana in the northwest, the Lozi in the north, and Ndebele in the northeast.

British (British Empire) protectorate
      White miners and prospectors flooded Botswana in 1867–69 to start deep gold mining at Tati near Francistown. But the gold rush was short-lived, and the diamond mines at Kimberley south of Botswana became southern Africa's first great industrial area from 1871. Migrant labourers from Botswana and countries farther north streamed to Kimberley and later to the gold mines of the Transvaal.

      The “Scramble for Africa” in the 1880s resulted in the German colonization of South West Africa. The new German colony threatened to join across the Kalahari with the independent Boer republic of the Transvaal. The British in the Cape Colony responded by using their missionary and trade connections with the Tswana states to keep the roads through Botswana open for British expansion to Zimbabwe and the Zambezi. In 1885 the British proclaimed a protectorate over their Tswana allies and the Kalahari as far north as the Ngwato; the protectorate was extended to the Tawana and the Chobe River in 1890.

      British colonial expansion was privatized in the form of the British South Africa Company, which used the road through the Bechuanaland Protectorate to colonize Zimbabwe (soon to be called Rhodesia) in 1890. But the protectorate itself remained under the British crown, and white settlement remained restricted to a few border areas, after an attempt to hand it over to the company was foiled by a delegation of three Tswana kings to London in 1895. The kings, however, had to concede to the company the right to build a railway to Rhodesia through their lands.

      The British government continued to regard the protectorate as a temporary expedient, until it could be handed over to Rhodesia or, after 1910, to the new Union of South Africa. Hence the administrative capital remained at Mafeking (Mafikeng)—actually outside the protectorate's borders in South Africa—from 1895 until 1964. Investment and administrative development within the territory were kept to a minimum. It declined into a mere appendage of South Africa, for which it provided migrant labour and the rail transit route to Rhodesia. Short-lived attempts to reform administration and to initiate mining and agricultural development in the 1930s were hotly disputed by leading Tswana chiefs, on the grounds that they would only enhance colonial control and white settlement. The territory remained divided into eight largely self-administering “tribal” reserves and five white settler farm blocks, with the remainder classified as crown (i.e., state) lands.

      The extent of the Bechuanaland Protectorate's subordination to the interests of South Africa was revealed in 1950. In a case that caused political controversy in Britain and the empire, the British government barred Seretse Khama (Khama, Sir Seretse) from the chieftainship of the Ngwato and exiled him from Botswana for six years. This, as secret documents have since confirmed, was in order to satisfy the South African government, which objected to Seretse Khama's marriage to a white Englishwoman at a time when racial segregation was being reinforced in South Africa under apartheid.

Advance to independence
      From the late 1950s it became clear that Bechuanaland could no longer be handed over to South Africa and must be developed toward political and economic self-sufficiency. The supporters of Seretse Khama began to organize political movements from 1952, and there was a nationalist spirit even among older “tribal” leaders. Ngwato “tribal” negotiations for the start of copper mining led to an agreement in 1959. A legislative council was eventually set up in 1961 after limited national elections. The Bechuanaland People's Party was founded in 1960, and the Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP)—led by Seretse Khama—in 1962.

      After long resistance to constitutional advance before economic development could pay for it, the British began to push political change in 1964. A new administrative capital was rapidly built at Gaborone. Bechuanaland became self-governing in 1965, under an elected BDP government with Seretse Khama as prime minister. In 1966 the country became the Republic of Botswana, with Seretse Khama as its first president.

      For its first five years of political independence, Botswana remained financially dependent on Britain to cover the full cost of administration and development. The planning and execution of economic development took off in 1967–71 after the discovery of diamonds at Orapa. The essential precondition for this was renegotiation of the customs union with South Africa, so that state revenue would benefit from rising capital imports and mineral exports rather than remain at a fixed percentage of total customs union income. This renegotiation was achieved in 1969.

Botswana since independence
      From 1969 Botswana began to play a more significant role in international politics, putting itself forward as a nonracial, liberal democratic alternative to South African apartheid. In 1974 Botswana was—together with Zambia and Tanzania and later Mozambique and Angola—one of the “Frontline States” seeking to bring majority rule to Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. The organization of the Frontline States led to the formation of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (Southern African Development Community) (SADCC; since 1992 known as the Southern African Development Community [SADC]) in 1980. The idea behind the SADCC, largely structured by Khama (Khama, Sir Seretse), was to build a better future for the region by coordinating disparate economies and promoting development in each of the member countries.

      Benefiting from a rapidly expanding economy in the 1970s and '80s, Botswana was able to extend basic infrastructure for mining development and basic social services for its population. More diamond mines were opened, on relatively favourable terms of income to the state. The BDP was consistently reelected with a large majority, though the Botswana National Front (BNF; founded 1965) became a significant threat after 1969, when “tribal” conservatives joined the socialists in BNF ranks attacking the “bourgeois” policies of government.

      Khama died in 1980 and was succeeded by Quett Masire, who had been his deputy since 1965. Masire was faced with such internal issues as a high rate of unemployment and the increasing gap between urban rich and rural poor, as well as with international concerns; between 1984 and 1990, Botswana suffered from upheavals in South Africa when South African troops raided the Frontline States. Two raids on Gaborone by the South African army in 1985 and 1986 killed 15 civilians. But a new era in southern African relations dawned after Namibia gained independence in 1990, and the internal political changes in South Africa resulted in full diplomatic relations being established with Botswana in 1994.

      The economic expansion of previous decades slowed and even reversed in the early 1990s but bounced back within a few years. However, there were still other issues facing the country. Looting and rioting, unusual behaviour in Botswana, killed one person in 1995. Although the apparent cause of the violence was outrage over the release of three people charged in the murder of a young girl, government critics asserted that frustration with social conditions and the high rate of unemployment were the underlying reasons that fueled the unrest. Of greater concern was the AIDS epidemic that had exploded in the country during the 1990s, leaving Botswana with one of the highest rates of infection in the world. The government responded aggressively by increasing HIV/AIDS awareness and by coordinating efforts to curtail the epidemic. In the early 21st century, Botswana became the first African country to provide free HIV antiretroviral medication to all citizens.

      Masire retired in 1998 and was succeeded by Festus Mogae, a former cabinet minister and vice president; Mogae was elected to serve a full term in 1999 and reelected in 2004. Also in 1998, more than 2,400 refugees from Namibia's Caprivi Strip began fleeing into Botswana; some were Caprivian secession leaders that Namibia demanded be extradited. Botswana's decision to instead grant them refugee status led to tension between the two countries. Mogae's administration also had to address worldwide criticism over the relocation of the Basarwa ( San), which had been an issue under Masire's administration as well. The reasons for relocating the Basarwa to settlements outside of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (the Basarwa ancestral land) and the methods used to carry out the relocation continued to be a source of domestic and international consternation. Although the Basarwa were eventually awarded the right to return to their land in a December 2006 ruling from the Botswana High Court, disagreements remained between the Basarwa and the government about such issues as hunting and water rights.

      Mogae retired in April 2008 and was succeeded by vice president Ian Khama, the son of Botswana's first president, Seretse Khama.

Additional Reading
Robson M.K. Silitshena and G. McLeod, Botswana: A Physical, Social, and Economic Geography (1989), briefly but authoritatively covers all aspects of Botswana's geography from climate to patterns of human settlement. Botswana Notes and Records (annual), is a scholarly journal covering research in natural and social science and in humanities. Botswana Society, The Botswana Society Social Studies Atlas (1988), contains maps of the country's physical and human geography and history as well as environmental and thematic maps of the southern African region. Studies of the plant and animal life include Ronald Daniel Auerbach, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana (1987); Michael Main, Kalahari: Life's Variety in Dune and Delta (1987), a popular survey of scientific research on the natural and human aspects of the desert from prehistory to future prospects; Kenneth Newman, Newman's Birds of Botswana (1989); Mark Owens and Delia Owens, Cry of the Kalahari (1984); Karen Ross, Okavango: Jewel of the Kalahari (1987), an illustrated description of wetland wildlife and the environment of the delta; and David S.G. Thomas and Paul A. Shaw, The Kalahari Environment (1991), an extensive scholarly study of the Kalahari Basin, detailing present geology, tectonics, climate, and vegetation and discussing the findings of research on prehistoric lakes and rivers from the Cretaceous to the Quaternary as well as presenting debate on land use and water resources. Tore Janson and Joseph Tsonope, Birth of a National Language: The History of Setswana (1991), traces the development of a standardized national dialect beginning in the 19th century to the increasing distinction since the 1960s between Botswana and South African official Setswana. Studies of the people include Laurens Van der Post and Jane Taylor, Testament to the Bushmen (1984); Bessie Head, Serowe, Village of the Rainwind (1981), a novelist's view of local social history based on interviews; and Diana Wylie, A Little God: The Twilight of Patriarchy in a Southern African Chiefdom (1990), a historian's view of disappearing chieftainship. The economy is addressed in Christopher Colclough and Stephen McCarthy, The Political Economy of Botswana: A Study of Growth and Distribution (1980), a scholarly survey of economic development, 1965–77; Charles Harvey and Stephen R. Lewis, Jr., Policy Choice and Development Performance in Botswana (1990), an analysis of the successful government negotiation of terms with mining companies and the management of the resulting financial surplus; John Holm and Patrick Molutsi (eds.), Democracy in Botswana (1989), a collection of symposium proceedings that emphasizes the adaptation of indigenous institutions, the roles of bureaucrats and foreign capital, the group rights of cultural minorities, and the efficacy of regular general elections; and Louis A. Picard, The Politics of Development in Botswana: A Model for Success? (1987).Historical treatments include Thomas Tlou and Alec Campbell, History of Botswana (1984); Fred Morton, Andrew Murray, and Jeff Ramsay, Historical Dictionary of Botswana, new ed. (1989), a reference work with an excellent bibliography; Fred Morton and Jeff Ramsay (eds.), The Birth of Botswana: A History of the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1910 to 1966 (1987), on the rise and fall of powerful local sovereignties headed by chiefs under colonial rule; Michael Crowder, The Flogging of Phineas McIntosh: A Tale of Colonial Folly and Injustice: Bechuanaland, 1933 (1988); Louis A. Picard (ed.), The Evolution of Modern Botswana (1985), the country's administrative history from the 1930s to postcolonial development; Michael Dutfield, A Marriage of Inconvenience: The Persecution of Ruth and Seretse Khama (1990); Jack Parson (ed.), Succession to High Office in Botswana: Three Case Studies (1990); and Jack Parson, Botswana: Liberal Democracy and the Labor Reserve in Southern Africa (1984).Neil Parsons

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BOTSWANA — Depuis son indépendance, le Botswana s’est toujours distingué de ses voisins par la stabilité d’une vie politique fondée sur le multipartisme et des élections libres, et par sa capacité à gérer très habilement une rente minière particulièrement… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Botswana — [bät swä′nə] country in S Africa, north of South Africa: formerly the British territory of Bechuanaland, it became independent (1966) & a member of the Commonwealth: 224,607 sq mi (581,730 sq km); pop. 1,327,000; cap. Gaborone …   English World dictionary

  • Botswana — Republic of Botswana Lefatshe la Botswana …   Wikipedia

  • Botswana — Lefatshe la Botswana (tn) Republic of Botswana (en) République du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Botswana — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Botswana <p></p> Background: <p></p> Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. More than four decades …   The World Factbook

  • Botswana — Republic of Botswana Republik Botsuana …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Botswana — Botsuana * * * Bo|ts|wa|na: internationale Schreibung für ↑ Botsuana usw. * * * Botswana,     Kurzinformation:   Fläche: 581 730 km2   Einwohner: (2000) 1,6 Mio.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Botswana — (Republic of Botswana) ► Estado de África austral. Limita con Namibia y Zambia al N, con Zimbabwe al E, con la República de Sudáfrica al E y S y con Namibia al O. Su extensión es de 570 000 km2 con un total de 1 576 500 h. La capital es Gaborone …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Botswana — noun a landlocked republic in south central Africa that became independent from British control in the 1960s • Syn: ↑Republic of Botswana • Instance Hypernyms: ↑African country, ↑African nation • Part Holonyms: ↑Africa …   Useful english dictionary

  • Botswana — noun A country in Southern Africa (formerly Bechuanaland). Official name: Republic of Botswana …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”