BOTSWANA (/bɒtˈswɑːnə/ ), officially the REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
(Tswana : Lefatshe la Botswana), is a landlocked country located in
Southern Africa . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland ,
Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the
Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a
strong tradition of stable representative democracy , with a
consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best
perceived corruption ranking in
Africa since at least 1998.
Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its
territory being the
Kalahari Desert . It is bordered by South Africa
to the south and southeast,
Namibia to the west and north, and
Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with
Zambia to the north near
Kazungula is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres
A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people,
Botswana is one of
the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Around 10 percent
of the population lives in the capital and largest city,
Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per
capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—
Botswana has since
transformed itself into one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
The economy is dominated by mining , cattle, and tourism . Botswana
boasts a GDP (purchasing power parity ) per capita of about $18,825
per year as of 2015 , which is one of the highest in Africa. Its high
gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa)
gives the country a relatively high standard of living and the highest
Human Development Index
Human Development Index of continental
Sub-Saharan Africa .
Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African
Development Community , the
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations , and the United
Nations . The country has been among the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS
epidemic . Despite the success in programmes to make treatments
available to those infected, and to educate the populace in general
about how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people with
AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013. :A20 As of 2014,
Botswana has the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early history
* 2.2 The Effects of the
* 2.3 Colonialism and the Establishment of the Bechuanaland
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Ecology
* 3.2 Environmental problems
* 4 Politics and government
* 4.2 Foreign relations and military
* 4.3 Human rights
* 5 Administrative divisions
* 6 Economy
* 6.1 Gemstones and precious metals
* 7 Demographics
* 7.1 Language
* 7.2 Religion
* 8 Culture
* 8.1 Media
* 8.2 Music
* 8.3 Visual arts
* 8.4 Food
* 8.5 Sports
* 9 Education
* 10 Science and technology
* 11 Health
* 11.1 General
* 12 Tourism
* 13 See also
* 14 Sources
* 15 References
* 16 Further reading
* 17 External links
The country's name means "land of the Tswana ", referring to the
dominant ethnic group in
Botswana . The term
Batswana was originally
applied to the Tswana, which is still the case. However, it has also
come to be used generally as a demonym for all citizens of Botswana.
Many English dictionaries also recommend the term Botswanan to refer
to people of Botswana.
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History of Botswana
Starting fire by hand.
San people in Botswana.
Archaeological digs have shown that hominids have lived in Botswana
for around two million years. Stone tools and fauna remains have shows
that all areas of the country were inhabited at least 400,000 years
ago. Evidence left by modern humans such as cave paintings are about
73,000 years old. The original inhabitants of southern
the Bushmen (San ) and
Khoi peoples. Both speak
Khoisan languages and
hunted, gathered, and traded over long distances. When cattle were
first introduced about 2000 years ago into southern Africa,
pastoralism became a major feature of the economy, since the region
had large grasslands free of tsetse fly .
It is unclear when Bantu -speaking peoples first moved into the
country from the north, although AD 600 seems to be a consensus
estimate. In that era, the ancestors of the modern-day Kalanga moved
into what is now the north-eastern areas of the country. These
proto-Kalanga were closely connected to states in
Zimbabwe as well as
Mapungubwe state. These states, located outside of current
Botswana's borders, appear to have kept massive cattle herds in what
is now the Central District--apparently at numbers approaching modern
cattle density. This massive cattle-raising complex prospered until
1300 AD or so, and seems to have regressed following the collapse of
Mapungubwe. During this era, the first Tswana-speaking groups, the
Bakgalagadi , moved into the southern areas of the
Kalahari . All
these various peoples were connected to trade routes that ran via the
Limpopo River to the Indian Ocean, and trade goods from Asia such as
beads made their way to
Botswana most likely in exchange for ivory,
gold, and rhinoceros horn .
The arrival of the ancestors of the Tswana-speakers who came to
control the region has yet to be dated precisely. Members of the
Bakwena , a chieftaincy under a legendary leader named Kgabo II, made
their way into the southern
Kalahari by AD 1500, at the latest, and
his people drove the
Bakgalagadi inhabitants west into the desert.
Over the years, several offshoots of the
Bakwena moved into adjoining
Bangwaketse occupied areas to the west, while the
Bangwato moved northeast into formerly
Bakalanga areas. Not long
Bangwato offshoot known as the Batawana migrated into
the Okavango Delta, probably in the 1790s.
THE EFFECTS OF THE MFECANE
British colonial drawing of a "Booshuana village", 1806.
The first written records relating to modern-day
Botswana appear in
1824. What these records show is that the
Bangwaketse had become the
predominant power in the region. Under the rule of Makaba II, the
Bangwaketse kept vast herds of cattle in well-protected desert areas,
and used their military prowess to raid their neighbors. Other
chiefdoms in the area, by this time, had capitals of 10,000 or so and
were fairly prosperous. This equilibrium came to end during the
Mfecane period, 1823-1843, when a succession of invading peoples from
South Africa entered the country. Although the
Bangwaketse were able
to defeat the invading Bakololo in 1826, over time all the major
Botswana were attacked, weakened, and impoverished. The
Amandebele raided repeatedly, and took large numbers of
cattle, women, and children from the Batswana--most of whom were
driven into the desert or sanctuary areas such as hilltops and caves.
Only after 1843, when the
Amandebele moved into western
Zimbabwe , did
this threat subside.
During the 1840s and 1850s trade with
Cape Colony -based merchants
opened up and enabled the
Batswana chiefdoms to rebuild. The Bakwena,
Bangwato and Batawana cooperated to control the lucrative
ivory trade, and then used the proceeds to import horses and guns,
which in turn enabled them to establish control over what is now
Botswana. This process was largely complete by 1880, and thus the
Bushmen, the Bakalanga, the Bakgalagadi, and other current minorities
were subjugated by the Batswana.
Great Trek ,
Afrikaners from the Cape Colony
established themselves on the borders of
Botswana in the Transvaal .
In 1852 a coalition of Tswana chiefdoms led by
Sechele I resisted
Afrikaner incursions, and after about eight years of intermittent
tensions and hostilities, eventually came to a peace agreement in
Potchefstroom in 1860. From that point on, the modern-day border
South Africa and
Botswana was agreed on, and the Afrikaners
Batswana traded and worked together peacefully.
Due to newly peaceful conditions, trade thrived between 1860 and
1880. Taking advantage of this were Christian missionaries . The
Lutherans and the
London Missionary Society both became established in
the country by 1856. By 1880 every major village had a resident
missionary, and their influence slowly became felt.
Khama III (reigned
1875–1923) was the first of the Tswana chiefs to make
state religion, and changed a great deal of Tswana customary law as a
Christianity became the de facto official religion in all the
World War I
World War I .
COLONIALISM AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BECHUANALAND PROTECTORATE
Scramble for Africa the territory of
Botswana was coveted
Great Britain . During the
Berlin Conference ,
Great Britain decided to annex
Botswana in order to safeguard the Road
to the North and thus connect the
Cape Colony to its territories
further north. It unilaterally annexed Tswana territories in January
1885 and then sent the
Warren Expedition north to consolidate control
over the area and convince the chiefs to accept British overrule.
Despite their misgivings, they eventually acquiesced to this fait
In 1890 areas north of 22 degrees were added to the new Bechuanaland
Protectorate . During the 1890s the new territory was divided into
eight different reserves, with fairly small amounts of land being left
as freehold for white settlers . During the early 1890s the British
government decided to hand over the Bechuanaland
Protectorate to the
South Africa Company . This plan, which was well on its way to
fruition despite the entreaties of Tswana leaders who toured England
in protest, was eventually foiled by the failure of the Jameson Raid
in January 1896. Stamp of British Bechuanaland from 1960
When the Union of
South Africa was formed in 1910 from the main
British colonies in the region, the Bechuanaland Protectorate,
Lesotho ), and
Swaziland (the High Commission
Territories) were not included, but provision was made for their later
incorporation. However, the UK began to consult with their inhabitants
as to their wishes. Although successive South African governments
sought to have the territories transferred to their jurisdiction, the
UK kept delaying; consequently, it never occurred. The election of the
Nationalist government in 1948, which instituted apartheid , and South
Africa's withdrawal from the Commonwealth in 1961, ended any prospect
of the UK or these territories agreeing to incorporation into South
An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal
government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils
to represent both Africans and Europeans. The African Council
consisted of the eight heads of the Tswana tribes and some elected
members. Proclamations in 1934 regulated tribal rule and powers. A
European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961
constitution established a consultative legislative council.
Independence Day (Botswana)
In June 1964, the
United Kingdom accepted proposals for a democratic
self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved in 1965
Mafikeng in South Africa, to the newly established
which is located near Botswana's border with South Africa. Based on
the 1965 constitution, the country held its first general elections
under universal suffrage and gained independence on 30 September 1966.
Seretse Khama , a leader in the independence movement and the
legitimate claimant to the Ngwato chiefship, was elected as the first
President, and subsequently re-elected twice.
The presidency passed to the sitting Vice-President,
Quett Masire ,
who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and
1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. He was succeeded by Festus
Mogae , who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in
2004. The presidency passed in 2008 to
Ian Khama (son of the first
President), who had been serving as Mogae's Vice-President since
resigning his position in 1998 as Commander of the
Force to take up this civilian role.
A long-running dispute over the northern border with
Caprivi Strip was the subject of a ruling by the International Court
of Justice in December 1999. It ruled that
Kasikili Island belongs to
Geography of Botswana
Geography of Botswana and
Climate of Botswana
Botswana map of
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification . A lechwe in
At 581,730 km2 (224,607 sq mi)
Botswana is the world's 48th-largest
country. It is similar in size to
France . It lies
between latitudes 17° and 27°S , and longitudes 20° and 30°E .
The country is predominantly flat, tending toward gently rolling
Botswana is dominated by the
Kalahari Desert , which
covers up to 70% of its land surface. The
Okavango Delta , one of the
world's largest inland deltas , is in the northwest. The Makgadikgadi
Pan , a large salt pan , lies in the north.
Limpopo River Basin, the major landform of all of southern
Africa, lies partly in Botswana, with the basins of its tributaries,
the Notwane , Bonwapitse , Mahalapswe , Lotsane , Motloutse and the
Shashe , located in the eastern part of the country. The Notwane
provides water to the capital through the
Gaborone Dam . The Chobe
River lies to the north, providing a boundary between
Zambezi Region . The Chobe River meets with the Zambezi
River at a place called
Kazungula (meaning a small sausage tree , a
Sebitwane and his
Makololo tribe crossed the
Botswana has the largest elephant population in the world
Plains zebra (Equus quagga) in Okavango
Botswana has diverse areas of wildlife habitat. In addition to the
delta and desert areas, there are grasslands and savannas , where blue
wildebeest , antelopes , and other mammals and birds are found.
Botswana has one of the few remaining large populations of
African wild dog
African wild dog .
Chobe National Park , found in the
Chobe District , has the world's largest concentration of African
elephants . The park covers about 11,000 km2 (4,247 sq mi) and
supports about 350 species of birds.
Chobe National Park and
Moremi Game Reserve (in the Okavango
Delta) are major tourist destinations. Other reserves include the
Kalahari Game Reserve located in the
Kalahari desert in Ghanzi
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Nxai Pan National Park
are in Central District in the
Makgadikgadi Pan . Mashatu Game Reserve
is privately owned: located where the
Shashe River and Limpopo River
meet in eastern Botswana. The other privately owned reserve is
Mokolodi Nature Reserve near Gaborone. There are also specialised
sanctuaries like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (for rhinoceros ) and
Makgadikgadi Sanctuary (for flamingos ). They are both located in
A baobab tree (Adansonia digitata)
Botswana faces two major environmental problems: drought and
desertification . The desertification problems predominantly stem from
the severe times of drought in the country. Three quarters of the
country's human and animal populations depend on groundwater due to
Groundwater use through deep borehole drilling has somewhat
eased the effects of drought. Surface water is scarce in
less than 5% of the agriculture in the country is sustainable by
rainfall. In the remaining 95% of the country, raising livestock is
the primary source of rural income. Approximately 71% of the country's
land is used for communal grazing , which has been a major cause of
the desertification and the accelerating soil erosion of the country.
Since raising livestock has proven to be profitable for the people of
Botswana, they continue to exploit the land. The animal populations
have continued to dramatically increase. From 1966 to 1991, the
livestock population has increased from 1.7 million to 5.5 million.
:64 Similarly, the human population has increased from 574,000 in 1971
to 1.5 million in 1995, nearly a 200% increase. "Over 50% of all
Botswana own cattle, which is currently the largest
single source of rural income." "Rangeland degradation or
desertification is regarded as the reduction in land productivity as a
result of overstocking and overgrazing, or as a result of veld product
gathering for commercial use. Degradation is exacerbated by the
effects of drought and climate change."
Environmentalists report that the
Okavango Delta is drying up due to
the increased grazing of livestock. The
Okavango Delta is one of the
major semi-forested wetlands in
Botswana and one of the largest inland
deltas in the world; it is a crucial ecosystem to the survival of many
The Department of Forestry and Range Resources has already begun to
implement a project to reintroduce indigenous vegetation into
communities in Kgalagadi South, Kweneng North and Boteti.
Reintroduction of indigenous vegetation will help with the degradation
of the land. The
United States Government
United States Government has also entered into an
agreement with Botswana, giving them $7 million US dollars to reduce
Botswana's debt by $8.3 million US dollars. The stipulation of the US
reducing Botswana's debt is that
Botswana will focus on more extensive
conservation of the land.
United Nations Development Programme claims that poverty is a
major problem behind the overexploitation of resources, including
land, in Botswana. To help change this the UNDP joined in with a
project started in the southern community of Struizendam in Botswana.
The purpose of the project is to draw from "indigenous knowledge and
traditional land management systems". The leaders of this movement are
supposed to be the people in the community, to draw them in, in turn
increasing their possibilities to earn an income and thus decreasing
poverty. The UNDP also stated that the government has to effectively
implement policies to allow people to manage their own local resources
and are giving the government information to help with policy
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
House of the
Parliament of Botswana in
Politics of Botswana and
Human rights in Botswana
The constitution of
Botswana is the rule of law , which protects the
Botswana and represents their rights. The politics of
Botswana take place in a framework of a representative democratic
republic, whereby the
President of Botswana is both head of state and
head of government , and of a multi-party system .
Executive power is
exercised by the government.
Legislative power is vested in both the
government and the
Parliament of Botswana . The most recent election ,
its eleventh, was held on 24 October 2014. Since independence was
declared, the party system has been dominated by the Botswana
Democratic Party .
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
Botswana ranks 30th out of 167 states in the 2012
Democracy Index .
Transparency International ,
Botswana is the least
corrupt country in
Africa and ranks close to
Portugal and South Korea.
It consists of a typical court system of local Magistrates Courts, a
High Court and a Court of Appeal. The High Court is a superior court
of record with unlimited original jurisdiction to hear and determine
any criminal, civil or constitutional cases under any law. Appeals can
be heard by the Court of Appeal. The Head of the High Court is the
The Court of Appeal is the highest and final court in the country and
deals with appeals from the High Court and the Industrial Court. The
Head of the Court of Appeal is the Judge President.
Judges are appointed by the
President of Botswana on the
recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission.
* 1968–1971 John Richard Dendy-Young
* 1975–1977 George O.L. Dyke
* 1977–1981 Hayfron Benjamin
* 1981–1987 O'Brien Quinn
* 1987–1992 Livesey Luke
* 1992–1997 Moleleki Didwell Mokama
* 1997–2010 Julian Mukwesu Nganunu
* 2010–present Maruping Dibotelo
With regard to the legal profession, although the Law Society of
Botswana has been in existence since 1997, there is still no clear
indication in their registry of attorneys as to how certain
demographics, such as women, have fared in the legal field.
FOREIGN RELATIONS AND MILITARY
Foreign relations of Botswana and
Force Signs at the Botswana–
Zimbabwe border, 2010
At the time of independence,
Botswana had no armed forces. It was
only after the Rhodesian and South African militaries struck
respectively against the
Zimbabwe People\'s Revolutionary Army and
Umkhonto we Sizwe bases that the
Botswana Defence Force (BDF) was
formed in 1977. The President is commander-in-chief of the armed
forces and appoints a defence council and the BDF currently consists
of roughly 60,000 servicemen.
Following political changes in
South Africa and the region, the BDF's
missions have increasingly focused on prevention of poaching ,
preparing for disasters , and foreign peacekeeping . The United States
has been the largest single foreign contributor to the development of
the BDF, and a large segment of its officer corps have received U.S.
Botswana government gave the
United States permission to
explore the possibility of establishing an
Africa Command (AFRICOM )
base in the country.
Human rights in Botswana
Many of the indigenous
San people have been forcibly relocated from
their land onto reservations. To make them relocate, they were denied
from accessing water from their land and faced arrest if they hunted,
which was their primary source of food. Their lands lie in the middle
of the world's richest diamond field. Officially, the government
denies that there is any link to mining and claims the relocation is
to preserve the wildlife and ecosystem, even though the San people
have lived sustainably on the land for millennia. On the
reservations, they struggle to find employment and alcoholism is
Homosexual acts are illegal in Botswana, as in many African
Districts of Botswana and
Sub-districts of Botswana
The districts of Botswana. The appropriate article can
be found by clicking over the district. City districts are not shown.
Botswana's nine districts are: Southern District , South-East
Kweneng District ,
Kgatleng District , Central District
Palapye , Central
Mahalapye , Central
Central Boteti and Central Tutume ), North-East District , North-West
Ngamiland District , Okavango District and Chobe District),
Ghanzi District and
Kgalagadi District (Kgalagadi South District and
Kgalagadi North District ).
Botswana's councils created from urban or town councils are: Gaborone
Lobatse Town ,
Selebi-Phikwe Town ,
Orapa Town and Sowa Township .
Diamond Company Ltd in
Graphical depiction of Botswana's product exports in 28 color-coded
categories. GDP per capita (current), compared to neighbouring
countries (world average = 100) Main article:
Economy of Botswana
Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates
in per capita income in the world.
Botswana has transformed itself
from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income
Botswana was resource-abundant, a good institutional
framework allowed the country to reinvest resource-income in order to
generate stable future income. By one estimate, it has the fourth
highest gross national income at purchasing power parity in Africa,
giving it a standard of living around that of Mexico.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry of
Botswana is responsible for
promoting business development throughout the country. According to
International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund , economic growth averaged over 9% per
year from 1966 to 1999.
Botswana has a high level of economic freedom
compared to other African countries. The government has maintained a
sound fiscal policy , despite consecutive budget deficits in 2002 and
2003, and a negligible level of foreign debt . It earned the highest
sovereign credit rating in
Africa and has stockpiled foreign exchange
reserves (over $7 billion in 2005/2006) amounting to almost two and a
half years of current imports.
An array of financial institutions populates the country's financial
system, with pension funds and commercial banks being the two most
important segments by asset size. Banks remain profitable,
well-capitalised, and liquid, as a result of growing national
resources and high interest rates. The
Bank of Botswana serves as a
central bank . The country's currency is the
Botswana pula .
Botswana's competitive banking system is one of Africa's most
advanced. Generally adhering to global standards in the transparency
of financial policies and banking supervision, the financial sector
provides ample access to credit for entrepreneurs. The Capital Bank
opened in 2008. As of August 2015, there are a dozen licensed banks
in the country. The government is involved in banking through
state-owned financial institutions and a special financial incentives
program that is aimed at increasing Botswana's status as a financial
centre. Credit is allocated on market terms, although the government
provides subsidised loans. Reform of non-bank financial institutions
has continued in recent years, notably through the establishment of a
single financial regulatory agency that provides more effective
supervision. The government has abolished exchange controls, and with
the resulting creation of new portfolio investment options, the
Botswana Stock Exchange is growing. Botswana's trading partners
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the
government respects this in practice. The legal system is sufficient
to conduct secure commercial dealings, although a serious and growing
backlog of cases prevents timely trials. The protection of
intellectual property rights has improved significantly.
ranked second only to
South Africa among sub-Saharan
in the 2014 International Property Rights Index.
While generally open to foreign participation in its economy,
Botswana reserves some sectors for citizens. Increased foreign
investment plays a significant role in the privatisation of
state-owned enterprises. Investment regulations are transparent, and
bureaucratic procedures are streamlined and open, although somewhat
slow. Investment returns such as profits and dividends, debt service,
capital gains, returns on intellectual property, royalties,
franchise's fees, and service fees can be repatriated without limits.
Botswana imports refined petroleum products and electricity from
South Africa. There is some domestic production of electricity from
GEMSTONES AND PRECIOUS METALS
In Botswana, the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, Green
Technology and Energy Security led by Hon Sadique Kebonang in
Gaborone, maintains data regarding mining throughout the country.
Debswana , the largest diamond mining company operating in Botswana,
is 50% owned by the government. The mineral industry provides about
40% of all government revenues. In 2007, significant quantities of
uranium were discovered, and mining was projected to begin by 2010.
Several international mining corporations have established regional
headquarters in Botswana, and prospected for diamonds, gold , uranium
, copper , and even oil , many coming back with positive results.
Government announced in early 2009 that they would try to shift their
economic dependence on diamonds, over serious concern that diamonds
are predicted to dry out in
Botswana over the next twenty years.
Orapa mine is the largest diamond mine in the world in
terms of value and quantity of carats produced annually. Estimated to
have produced over 11 million carats in 2013, with an average price of
Orapa mine was estimated to produce over $1.6 billion
worth of diamonds in 2013.
Demographics of Botswana
Demographics of Botswana A girl in the Okavango
The Tswana are the majority ethnic group in Botswana, making up 79%
of the population. The largest minority ethnic groups are the
BaKalanga , and San or AbaThwa , also known as Basarwa. Other tribes
Bayei , Bambukushu ,
Basubia , Baherero and
Bakgalagadi . In
addition, there are small numbers of whites and Indians, both groups
being roughly equally small in number. Botswana\'s Indian population
is made up of many Indian-Africans of several generations, with some
having migrated from
Mauritius , South
Africa , and so on, as well as first generation Indian immigrants. The
white population speaks English and
Afrikaans and makes up roughly 3%
of the population.
Since 2000, because of deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe,
the number of
Zimbabweans in Botswana has risen into the tens of
Fewer than 10,000
San people are still living their traditional
hunter-gatherer way of life. Since the mid-1990s the central
Botswana has been trying to move San out of their
James Anaya , as the
Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous
people for the
United Nations in 2010, described loss of land as a
major contributor to many of the problems facing Botswana's indigenous
people, citing the San's eviction from the Central
Reserve (CKGR) as an especial example. :2 Among Anaya's
recommendations in a report to the
United Nations Human Rights Council
was that development programs should promote, in consultation with
indigenous communities such as the San and
Bakgalagadi people ,
activities in harmony with the culture of those communities such as
traditional hunting and gathering activities. :19
Largest cities or towns in Botswana
Languages of Botswana and
The official language of
Botswana is English although
widely spoken across the country. In Setswana, prefixes are more
important than they are in many other languages, since
Setswana is a
Bantu language and has noun classes denoted by these prefixes. They
include Bo, which refers to the country, Ba, which refers to the
people, Mo, which is one person, and Se which is the language. For
example, the main ethnic group of
Botswana is the Tswana people, hence
Botswana for its country. The people as a whole are Batswana,
one person is a Motswana, and the language they speak is Setswana.
Other languages spoken in
Botswana include Kalanga (sekalanga), Sarwa
(sesarwa), Ndebele , !Xóõ and, in some parts,
Religion in Botswana
RELIGION IN BOTSWANA (PEW RESEARCH )
An estimated 77% of the country's citizens identify as Christians.
Anglicans, Methodists, and the United Congregational Church of
Southern Africa make up the majority of Christians. There are also
Lutherans , Baptists, Roman Catholics, Latter-day
Saints (Mormons), the
Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church , Mennonites , Seventh-day
Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses in the country. In Gaborone, a
Lutheran History Centre is open to the public.
According to the 2001 census, the country has around 5,000 Muslims,
mainly from South Asia, 3,000
Hindus and 700 Baha\'is . Approximately
20% of citizens espouse no religion. Religious services are well
attended in both rural and urban areas. Dance at a cultural day.
Culture of Botswana A rondavel at a lodge near
Besides referring to the language of the dominant people groups in
Setswana is the adjective used to describe the rich cultural
traditions of the Batswana—whether construed as members of the
Tswana ethnic groups or of all citizens of Botswana. In
of the tribes have different ways that they use to greet one another,
but for easy communication and connection batswana use a three way
hand shake or one can just greet another by saying "Dumelang" as a way
of saying "hello" without having to use hand shakes. In community
celebrations like Dikgafela or during marriage ceremonies batswana
women show excitement and happiness by the use of ululations as part
of their culture.
Media of Botswana
Music of Botswana
Botswana music is mostly vocal and performed, sometimes without drums
depending on the occasion; it also makes heavy use of string
Botswana folk music has instruments such as Setinkane (a
Botswana version of miniature piano), Segankure/Segaba (a Botswana
version of the Chinese instrument Erhu), Moropa (Meropa -plural) (a
Botswana version of the many varieties of drums), phala (a Botswana
version of a whistle used mostly during celebrations, which comes in a
variety of forms).
Botswana cultural musical instruments are not
confined only to the strings or drums. the hands are used as musical
instruments too, by either clapping them together or against phathisi
(goat skin turned inside out wrapped around the calf area; it is only
used by men) to create music and rhythm. For the last few decades, the
guitar has been celebrated as a versatile music instrument for Tswana
music as it offers a variety in string which the Segaba instrument
does not have. It is the outsider that found a home within the
culture. The highlight of any celebration or event that shows
especially happiness is the dancing. This differs by regime, age,
gender and status in the group or if it's a tribal activity, status in
the community. The national anthem is
Fatshe leno la rona . Written
and composed by Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete, it was adopted upon
independence in 1966.
Textile art Main article:
Art of Botswana
In the northern part of Botswana, women in the villages of Etsha and
Gumare are noted for their skill at crafting baskets from Mokola Palm
and local dyes . The baskets are generally woven into three types:
large, lidded baskets used for storage, large, open baskets for
carrying objects on the head or for winnowing threshed grain, and
smaller plates for winnowing pounded grain. The artistry of these
baskets is being steadily enhanced through colour use and improved
designs as they are increasingly produced for international markets.
Other notable artistic communities include
Thamaga Pottery and Oodi
Weavers , both located in the south-eastern part of Botswana.
The oldest paintings from both
South Africa depict
hunting, animal and human figures, and were made by the Khoisan (!Kung
San/Bushmen) over twenty thousand years ago within the Kalahari
Boerewors Main article:
Cuisine of Botswana
The cuisine of
Botswana is unique but also shares some
characteristics with other cuisine of Southern Africa. Examples of
Botswana food are pap (maize porridge), boerewors, samp , vetkoek
(fried dough bread) and mopani worms . Foods unique to Botswana
include seswaa , heavily salted mashed-up meat.
Sport in Botswana
Football is the most popular sport in Botswana, with qualification
2012 Africa Cup of Nations being the national team 's highest
achievement to date. Other popular sports are cricket , tennis , rugby
, badminton , softball , handball , golf , and track and field .
Botswana is an associate member of the International
Cricket Council .
Botswana became a member of The International
Badminton Federation and
Badminton Federation in 1991. The
Golf Union offers an
amateur golf league in which golfers compete in tournaments and
Botswana won the country's first
Olympic medal in 2012 when runner
Nijel Amos won silver in the 800 metres . In 2011, Amantle Montsho
became world champion in the 400 metres and won Botswana's first
athletics medal on the world level. High jumper
Kabelo Kgosiemang is a
three time African champion .
The card game bridge has a strong following; it was first played in
Botswana over 30 years ago, and it grew in popularity during the
1980s. Many British expatriate school teachers informally taught the
game in Botswana's secondary schools. The
Botswana Bridge Federation
(BBF) was founded in 1988 and continues to organise tournaments.
Bridge has remained popular and the BBF has over 800 members. In
2007, the BBF invited the
English Bridge Union to host a week-long
teaching program in May 2008.
See also: Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and
Technology (Botswana) Buildings of the new and old Botswana
university. Botswana's economic growth has had a positive impact on
the university. Main article:
Education in Botswana
Education in Botswana
Botswana has made great strides in educational development since
independence in 1966. At that time there were very few graduates in
the country and only a very small percentage of the population
attended secondary school.
Botswana increased its adult literacy rate
from 69% in 1991 to 83% in 2008.
With the discovery of diamonds and the increase in government revenue
that this brought, there was a huge increase in educational provision
in the country. All students were guaranteed ten years of basic
education, leading to a Junior Certificate qualification.
Approximately half of the school population attends a further two
years of secondary schooling leading to the award of the Botswana
General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE). Secondary
Botswana is neither free nor compulsory.
After leaving school, students can attend one of the seven technical
colleges in the country, or take vocational training courses in
teaching or nursing . Students enter the
University of Botswana ,
Botswana College of Agriculture ,
Botswana International University of
Science and Technology and the
Botswana Accountancy College in
Gaborone. Many other students end up in the numerous private tertiary
education colleges around the country. Notable amongst these is Botho
University, the country's first private university which offers
undergraduate programmes in Accounting, Business and Computing.
Another international university is the Limkokwing University of
Creative Technology which offers various associate degrees in Creative
Arts. Other tertiary institutions include Ba Isago, ABM University
College the largest school of business and management, New Era,
Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies etc. Tremendous strides in
providing quality education have been made by private education
providers such that a large number of the best students in the country
are now applying to them as well. A vast majority of these students
are government sponsored. The nation's second international
Botswana International University of Science and
Technology, was completed in
Palapye in 2011.
The quantitative gains have not always been matched by qualitative
ones. Primary schools in particular still lack resources, and the
teachers are less well paid than their secondary school colleagues.
Botswana Ministry of Education is working to establish libraries
in primary schools in partnership with the
African Library Project .
Government of Botswana hopes that by investing a large part of
national income in education, the country will become less dependent
on diamonds for its economic survival, and less dependent on
expatriates for its skilled workers. Those objectives are in part
pursued through policies in favour of vocational education, gathered
within the NPVET (National Policy on Vocational Education and
Training), aiming to "integrate the different types of vocational
education and training into one comprehensive system". Botswana
invests 21% of its government spending in education.
In January 2006,
Botswana announced the reintroduction of school fees
after two decades of free state education though the government still
provides full scholarships with living expenses to any Botswana
citizen in university, either at the
University of Botswana or if the
student wishes to pursue an education in any field not offered
locally, such as medicine, they are provided with a full scholarship
to study abroad.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Botswana is planning to use science and technology to diversify its
economy and thereby reduce its dependence on diamond mining. To this
end, the government has set up six hubs since 2008, in the
agriculture, diamonds, innovation, transport, health and education
Botswana published its updated National Policy on Research, Science
and Technology in 2011, within a UNESCO project sponsored by the
Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID).
This policy aims to take up the challenges of rapid technological
evolution, globalization and the achievement of the national
development goals formulated in high-level strategic documents that
include Botswana's Tenth National Development Plan to 2016 and Vision
The National Policy on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation
(2011) fixes the target of raising gross domestic expenditure on
research and development (R&D) from 0.26% of GDP in 2012 to over 2% of
GDP by 2016. This target can only be reached within the specified time
frame by raising public spending on R">
Life expectancy in several
African countries from 1960 to 2012.
Botswana had the highest life
HIV/AIDS began to reduce it in the late 1980s.
Like elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, the economic impact of AIDS is
considerable. Economic development spending was cut by 10% in 2002–3
as a result of recurring budget deficits and rising expenditure on
Botswana has been hit very hard by the AIDS
pandemic ; in 2006 it was estimated that life expectancy at birth had
dropped from 65 to 35 years. However, after Botswana's 2011 census
current life expectancy is estimated at 54.06 years.
The prevalence of
HIV/AIDS in Botswana was estimated at 25.4% for
adults aged 15–49 in 2009 and 21.9% in 2013, :A8 exceeded by Lesotho
Swaziland in sub-Saharan African nations. This places
the third highest prevalence in the world, in 2013, while "leading the
way in prevention and treatment programmes". In 2003, the government
began a comprehensive program involving free or cheap generic
antiretroviral drugs as well as an information campaign designed to
stop the spread of the virus; in 2013, over 40% of adults in Botswana
had access to antiretroviral therapy. :28 In the age group of 15–19
years old, prevalence was estimated at about 6% for females and 3.5%
for males in 2013, :33 and for the 20–24 age group, 15% for females
and 5% for males. :33
Botswana is one of 21 priority countries
identified by the UN AIDS group in 2011 in the Global Plan to
eliminate new HIV infections among children and to keep their mothers
alive. :37 From 2009 to 2013, the country saw a decrease over 50% in
new HIV infections in children. :38 A further measure of the success,
or reason for hope, in dealing with HIV in Botswana, is that less than
10% of pregnant HIV-infected women were not receiving antiretroviral
medications in 2013, with a corresponding large decrease (over 50%) in
the number of new HIV infections in children under 5. :39, 40 Among
the UN Global Plan countries, people living with HIV in
the highest percentage receiving antiretroviral treatment: about 75%
for adults (age 15+) and about 98% for children. :237
With a nationwide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program,
Botswana has reduced HIV transmission from infected mothers to their
children from about 40% to just 4%. Under the leadership of Festus
Mogae , the
Government of Botswana solicited outside help in fighting
HIV/AIDS and received early support from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation , the Merck Foundation, and together formed the African
HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP). Other early partners
Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute , of the Harvard School of
Public Health and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership of the University of
Pennsylvania . According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, universal access
to treatment – defined as 80% coverage or greater – has been
achieved in Botswana.
Potential reasons for Botswana's high HIV prevalence include
concurrent sexual partnerships, transactional sex, cross-generational
sex, and a significant number of people who travel outside of their
local communities in pursuit of work. The polyamorous nature of many
sexual relationships further impacts the health situation, to the
extent that it has given rise to a love vocabulary that is unique to
Chobe National Park
Botswana Tourism Organisation is the country's official tourism
group. Primarily, tourists visit
Gaborone due to the city having
numerous activities for visitors. The Lion Park Resort is Botswana's
first permanent amusement park and hosts events such as birthday
parties for families. Other destinations in
Botswana include the
Gaborone Yacht Club and the
Kalahari Fishing Club and natural
attractions such as the
Gaborone Dam and Mokolodi Nature Reserve.
There are golf courses which are maintained by the
(BGU). The Phakalane
Golf Estate is a multimillion-dollar clubhouse
that offers both hotel accommodations and access to golf courses.
Botswana National Museum in Gaborone
* Kgosi Bathoen II (Segopotso) Museum in Kanye
Sechele I Museum in Molepolole
Khama III Memorial Museum in Serowe
* Nhabe Museum in Maun
Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi
* Supa Ngwano Museum Centre in Francistown
* Geography portal
* Commonwealth realms portal
Economy of Botswana
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
Communications in Botswana
Communications in Botswana
Science and technology in Botswana
Cuisine of Botswana
International rankings of Botswana
Outline of Botswana
* Postage stamps and postal history of Bechuanaland
* Eleventh National Development Plan (Botswana)
Transport in Botswana
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* Definitions from Wiktionary