Botswana

The Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana) is a sub Saharan country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as “Batswana” (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. It has held free and fair democratic elections since independence.

Geographically the country is flat and up to 70% of Botswana is covered by 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. It meets Zambia at a single point.

Botswana is one of the world’s great development success stories. A small, landlocked country of 1.9 million people, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa with a GDP per capita of about US$70 at independence from Britain in 1966. In the four decades following independence, Botswana has transformed itself, moving into the ranks of middle-income status to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world with its average annual growth rate of about 9 percent.

Botswana’s impressive track record of good governance and economic growth supported by prudent macroeconomic and fiscal management, stands in contrast to the country’s still high levels of poverty and inequality and generally low human development indicators. While Botswana’s economic progress over the past forty years has significantly raised living standards for about two-thirds of the population, a third or more of its people have been left behind[citation needed]. While education expenditure is high at 10 percent of GDP and significant educational achievements have been attained, including the provision of nearly universal and free education, overall outcomes have not created the skills and workforce Botswana needs. Unemployment has been persistently high at near 20 percent, household incomes are much lower in rural than in urban areas (HIES 2002/03), and, while rural poverty rates have fallen, they remain significantly higher than in urban areas. As a consequence, income inequality in Botswana is one of the highest in the world. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has further exacerbated the situation: the country now suffers from the second highest HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate in the world, and education and health outcomes are below those of countries in the same income group.

Republic of Botswana
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Pula (Rain)
Anthem: Fatshe leno la rona (This Land of Ours)
Capital
(and largest city)
Gaborone
25°40′S 25°55′E / 25.667°S 25.917°E / -25.667; 25.917
Official language(s) English, Setswana
Demonym Batswana
Government Parliamentary republic
President Ian Khama
Independence from the United Kingdom
Date 30 September 1966
Area
Total 581,730 km2 (47th)
224,610 sq mi
Water (%) 2.6
Population
2009 estimate 1,990,876[1] (146th)
2001 census 1,680,863
Density 3.4/km2 (229th)
8.9/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate
Total $13.41 billion[2]
Per capita $11,400[2]
GDP (nominal) 2009 estimate
Total $11.630 billion[2]
Per capita $6,406[2]
Gini (2007/08) 60.5 (high)
HDI (2009) ▲ 0.694 (medium) (125th)
Currency Pula (BWP)
Time zone Central Africa Time (UTC+02)
Summer (DST) not observed (UTC)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code BW
Internet TLD .bw
Calling code +267

Source Wikipedia.