Botswana (capital, Gaborone) and neighboring states
Country Comparisons: chart
"Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. However, economic growth was negative in 2009, with the industrial sector shrinking by 30%, after the global crisis reduced demand for Botswana's diamonds. The economy has since recovered, with GDP growth in 2010 at 7.2% and estimated GDP growth in 2011 of 6.2%. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $16,300 in 2011. 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, 70-80% of export earnings, and about half of the government's revenues. Botswana's heavy reliance on a single luxury export was a critical factor in the sharp economic contraction of 2009. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. Although unemployment was 7.5% in 2007 according to official reports, unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens Botswana's impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production within the next two decades overshadows long-term prospects."
Economic growth rate
2009: minus 4.9%
2011: 20.3% of GDP
2011: Exports are 101.5% of imports in cash value, a positive ratio
diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 63rd among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and more equal than the US, which ranks 45th.
2009: 10.3% of GDP
Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
Living in an urban area
Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
2001 census: Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6%
Net migration rate
2011: A net gain 4.82 persons per 1,000 population. Note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (World Factbook).
Southern Africa, landlocked, north of South Africa, west of Zimbabwe. Almost as big as Texas. Flat with rolling tableland and some desert in the southwest. Semi arid. Warm winters and hot summers.
Chief of state and head of government: Ian Khama (president) since 1 April 2008, military background, grandson of former paramount chief, Botswana Democratic Party (conservative).
Presidents are elected by parliament for a five-year term and eligible for a second term. Bicameral parliament, upper house a largely advisory 15-member body with chiefs of the principal tribes and others. The lower house (National Assembly) has 63 seats with 57 members elected by popular vote.
The Republic of Botswana was a British protectorate called Bechuanaland before becoming independent in 1966.
Bushmen families, December 23, 2003: Botswana has attempted to resettle about 600 people outside their old homes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the settlements called by the Bushmen "places of death." In the game reserve the government has destroyed Bushmen water holes and banned them from hunting. A third of the Bushmen have returned and are surviving, and they have taken the government to court regarding their right to return. Their court case resumes on January 17.
Apr 2008: Botswana has been described as the least corrupt country in Africa and with four decades of stable government, as having sound economic policies and good management of the country's mineral wealth. The World Bank ranks it among the world's most politically stable nations.
Jun 2011: Botswana suffers from overgrazing, desertification and limited fresh water resources.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.