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Map of Botswana
Introduction Botswana
Background:
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.
Geography 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
land: 585,370 sq km
water: 15,000 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: 0.65%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.34% (2005)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2003)
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 agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country
People Botswana
Population:
1,639,833
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 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.3% (male 319,531/female 309,074)
15-64 years: 57.9% (male 460,692/female 488,577)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 23,374/female 38,585) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 19.4 years
male: 18.8 years
female: 20 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.04% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
23.08 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
29.5 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
6.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 53.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 52.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 33.74 years
male: 33.9 years
female: 33.56 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.79 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
37.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
350,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
33,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2005)
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:
Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 census)
Languages:
Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.8%
male: 76.9%
female: 82.4% (2003 est.)
Government Botswana
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
local long form: Republic of Botswana
local short form: Botswana
former: Bechuanaland
Government type:
parliamentary republic
Capital:
name: Gaborone
geographic coordinates: 24 45 S, 25 55 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
9 districts and 5 town councils*; Central, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, Northeast, Northwest, Selebi-Pikwe*, Southeast, 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; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Festus G. 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 G. 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 indirectly elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 20 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Festus G. MOGAE elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 52%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely advisory 15-member body with 8 permanent members consisting of the chiefs of the principal tribes, and 7 non-permanent members serving 5-year terms, consisting of 4 elected subchiefs and 3 members selected by the other 12 members) and the National Assembly (63 seats, 57 members are directly elected by popular vote, 4 are appointed by the majority party, and 2, the President and Attorney-General, serve as ex-officio members; members serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly elections last held 30 October 2004 (next to be held October 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 51.7%, BNF 26.1%, BCP 16.6%, other 5%; seats by party - BDP 44, BNF 12, BCP 1
Judicial branch:
High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts (one in each district)
Political parties and leaders:
Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Otlaadisa KOOSALETSE]; Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Festus G. MOGAE]; Botswana National Front or BNF [Otswoletse MOUPO]; Botswana Peoples Party or BPP; MELS Movement of Botswana or MELS; New Democratic Front or NDF
note: a number of minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the BAM but did not capture any parliamentary seats - includes the United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; the Independence Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO]; the Botswana Progressive Union [D. K. KWELE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Lapologang Caesar LEKOA
chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990
FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Katherine H. CANAVAN
embassy: address NA, Gaborone
mailing address: Embassy Enclave, 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 economic 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 $10,000 in 2005. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for 70-80% of export earnings. Tourism, financial services, 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 23.8%, but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection rates are the second highest in the world and threaten Botswana's impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production overshadows long-term prospects.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$17.24 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$9.046 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,500 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 46.9% (including 36% mining)
services: 50.7% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
288,400 formal sector employees (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
23.8% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
30.3% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
63 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.6% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $3.766 billion
expenditures: $3.767 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
6.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
Industries:
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing; textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
7.5% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
891 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
2.641 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
1.39 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
12,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
16,000 bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
$1.584 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$3.68 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
Exports - partners:
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) 87%, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 7%, Zimbabwe 4% (2004)
Imports:
$3.37 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
Imports - partners:
Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 74%, EFTA 17%, Zimbabwe 4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.309 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$519 million (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$73 million (1995)
Currency (code):
pula (BWP)
Currency code:
BWP
Exchange rates:
pulas per US dollar - 5.1104 (2005), 4.6929 (2004), 4.9499 (2003), 6.3278 (2002), 5.8412 (2001)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Botswana
Telephones - main lines in use:
132,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
823,100 (2005)
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: country code - 267; 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 hosts:
1,621 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
11 (2001)
Internet users:
60,000 (2002)
Transportation Botswana
Airports:
85 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 75
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 55
under 914 m: 17 (2006)
Railways:
total: 888 km
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
total: 25,233 km
paved: 8,867 km
unpaved: 16,366 km (2003)
Military Botswana
Military branches:
Botswana Defense Force (includes an air wing)
Military service age and obligation:
18 is the apparent age of voluntary military service; the official qualifications for determining minimum age are unknown (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 350,649
females age 18-49: 361,642 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 136,322
females age 18-49: 136,315 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 21,103
females age 18-49: 21,379 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$325.5 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
3.4% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Botswana
Disputes - international:
commission established with Namibia has yet to resolve small residual disputes along the Caprivi Strip, including the Situngu marshlands along the Linyanti River; downstream Botswana residents protest Namibia's planned construction of the Okavango hydroelectric dam at Popavalle (Popa Falls); Botswana has built electric fences to stem the thousands of Zimbabweans who flee to find work and escape political persecution; Namibia has long supported and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing their short, but not clearly delimited Botswana-Zambia boundary

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006