Botswana

Botswana

Overview
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 on 30 September 1966. It has held free and fair democratic elections
Elections in Botswana
Elections in Botswana have been held regularly since independence, and have been consistently judged free and fair by international observers....

 since independence.

Botswana is flat, and up to 70% is covered by the Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

.
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Encyclopedia
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 on 30 September 1966. It has held free and fair democratic elections
Elections in Botswana
Elections in Botswana have been held regularly since independence, and have been consistently judged free and fair by international observers....

 since independence.

Botswana is flat, and up to 70% is covered by the Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

. It is bordered by South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south and southeast, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 to the west and north, and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 to the northeast. Its border with Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 to the north is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred meters long.

A mid-sized country of just over two million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it gained independence from Britain in 1966, with a GDP per capita of about US$70. Botswana has since transformed itself, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world to a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $14,000. The country also has a strong tradition as a representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

.

History



In the 19th century, hostilities broke out between Tswana inhabitants of Botswana and Ndebele
Ndebele people
Ndebele people could refer to:* Southern Ndebele people* Northern Ndebele people...

 tribes who were making incursions into the territory from the north-east. Tensions also escalated with the Boer
Boer
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

 settlers from the Transvaal
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 to the east. After appeals by the Batswana leaders Khama III
Khama III
Khama III , also known as Khama the Good, was the kgosi of the Bamangwato people of Bechuanaland , who made his country a protectorate of the United Kingdom to ensure its survival against Boer and Ndebele encroachments.-Ancestry and Youth:During the 18th century, Malope, chief of the Bakwena...

, Bathoen and Sebele for assistance, the British Government put "Bechuanaland" under its protection on 31 March 1885. The northern territory remained under direct administration as the Bechuanaland Protectorate and is modern-day Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 and is now part of the northwest province of South Africa. The majority of Setswana-speaking people today live in South Africa.

When the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 was formed in 1910 out of the main British colonies in the region, the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basutoland
Basutoland
Basutoland or officially the Territory of Basutoland, was a British Crown colony established in 1884 after the Cape Colony's inability to control the territory...

 (now Lesotho
Lesotho
Lesotho , officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is just over in size with a population of approximately 2,067,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name...

) and Swaziland
Swaziland
Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland , and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique...

 (the "High Commission Territories") were not included, but provision was made for their later incorporation. However, a vague undertaking was given to consult their inhabitants, and although successive South African governments sought to have the territories transferred, Britain kept delaying; consequently, it never occurred. The election of the Nationalist
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

 government in 1948, which instituted apartheid, and South Africa's withdrawal from the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 in 1961, ended any prospect of incorporation of the territories into South Africa.

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. Proclamations in 1934 regularized tribal rule and powers. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a consultative legislative council.

In June 1964, Britain accepted proposals for a democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved in 1965 from Mafikeng in South Africa, to the newly established Gaborone
Gaborone
' is the capital and largest city of Botswana with a population of 191,776 based on a 2006 survey, about 10% of the total population of Botswana....

, which sits near its border. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence on 30 September 1966. Seretse Khama
Seretse Khama
Sir Seretse Khama, KBE was a statesman from Botswana. Born into one of the more powerful of the royal families of what was then the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland, and educated abroad in neighbouring South Africa and in the United Kingdom, he returned home—with a popular but controversial...

, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to the Ngwato
Bamangwato
The Bamangwato can be said to be one of the eight 'principal' Tswana tribes of Botswana, and just like any other Tswana tribe in Botswana, constitutes a small percent in the central district even in their capital serowe. They ruled over majority Bakalangaand other tribes such as the san,bitwa and...

 chiefship, was elected as the first president, re-elected twice.

The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Quett Masire
Quett Masire
Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, GCMG was the second President of Botswana for the Botswana Democratic Party from 1980 to 1998. He stepped down and was succeeded by the then Vice-President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, who became the third President of Botswana...

, who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Festus Mogae
Festus Mogae
Festus Gontebanye Mogae is a Botswana politician who was President of Botswana from 1998 to 2008. He succeeded Quett Masire as President in 1998 and was reelected in October 2004; after ten years in office, he stepped down in 2008 and was succeeded by Lieutenant General Ian Khama...

, who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. The presidency passed in 2008 to Ian Khama
Ian Khama
Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama is a Botswana politician who has been the President of Botswana since 2008; he is also the Paramount Chief of the Bamangwato tribe...

 (son of the first president), who resigned his position as leader of the Botswana Defence Force
Botswana Defence Force
The Botswana Defence Force is the military of Botswana. It was formed in 1977 and has approximately 9,000 members. The commander is Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire. The commander in chief is the President of Botswana...

 to take up this civilian role.

A long-running dispute over the northern border with Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

's Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip
Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip , Caprivi Panhandle or the Okavango Strip and formally known as Itenge, is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about , between Botswana to the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west. Caprivi is bordered by the...

 was the subject of a ruling by the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 in December 1999, which ruled that Kasikili Island belongs to Botswana.

Politics and government


The politics of Botswana take place in a framework of a representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, whereby the President of Botswana is both head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, and of a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Botswana
Parliament of Botswana
The Parliament of Botswana consists of the President and the National Assembly. In contrast to other Parliamentary systems, the Parliament elects the President directly for a set five year term of office. There are no term limits...

. The most recent election
Botswana general election, 2009
General elections were held in Botswana on 16 October 2009. They were the 10th general elections held since Botswana's independence in 1966. Botswana's parliament has 61 seats, of which 57 are elected using a single-member district plurality system, meaning there are 57 constituencies, each...

, its tenth, was held on 16 October 2009.

Since independence was declared, the party system has been dominated by the Botswana Democratic Party
Botswana Democratic Party
The Botswana Democratic Party is the governing conservative party in Botswana. Its chairman is Daniel Kwelagobe.BDP was shaped by Sir Seretse Khama, who is celebrated for nurturing the economic and political success of Botswana. The party's base is in the traditional Setswana communities, and it...

. The judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is independent of the executive and the legislature. According to Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

, Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa and ranks similarly close to Portugal and South Korea. Nevertheless the country is considered having the most secretive public institutions. The national anthem is Fatshe leno la rona
Fatshe leno la rona
"'" is the national anthem of Botswana. Written and composed by Kgalemang Tumedisco Motsete, it was adopted upon independence in 1966.- Lyrics :-External links:*...

.

Administrative divisions



Botswana is divided into 16 districts – 10 rural districts and 6 urban districts.
  1. Central District
    Central District (Botswana)
    Central is the largest of Botswana's districts in terms of area and population. It encompasses the traditional homeland of the Bamangwato people. Some of the most politically connected Batswana have come from the Central District, including former President Sir Seretse Khama, former President...

  2. Ghanzi District
    Ghanzi District
    Ghanzi is a district in western Botswana, bordering Namibia in the west and extending east into much of the interior of the country. The district's administrative centre is the town of Ghanzi. Most of the eastern half of Ghanzi makes up the Central Kalahari Game Reserve...

  3. Kgalagadi District
  4. Kgatleng District
    Kgatleng District
    Kgatleng is one of the districts of Botswana, coterminous with the homeland of the Bakgatla people. Its capital is Mochudi, the hometown of protagonist Precious Ramotswe in Alexander McCall Smith's popular The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series...

  5. Kweneng District
    Kweneng District
    Kweneng is one of the districts of Botswana and is the recent historical homeland of the Bakwena people, the first group in Botswana converted to Christianity by famed missionary David Livingstone. Various landmarks, including Livingstone's Cave, allude to this history...

  6. North-East District
    North-East District (Botswana)
    The North-East District is one of the administrative districts of Botswana. Its capital is Masunga. In 2001, North-East had a population of 132,422 people...

  7. Ngamiland District
    North-West District (Botswana)
    North-West District Council is one of the local authorities of Botswana. It was established in 1966, overlapping the administrative districts of Chobe and Ngamiland...

  8. South-East District
    South-East District (Botswana)
    South-East is one of the districts of Botswana.The capital city of Botswana, Gaborone, is surrounded by this district. The administrative capital for the South-East district is the village of Ramotswa....

  9. Southern District
    Southern District (Botswana)
    Southern is one of the districts of Botswana. The capital of Southern district is Kanye, home to the Bangwaketse. It is one of the largest growing villages in Botswana. There are also other large villages in the southern district like Mushopa home to the Bakgatla-ba-ga Mmanaana, and Goodhope, home...

  10. Chobe District
    Chobe District
    Chobe District is a district of Botswana, with the headquarters in Kasane. Until 2006, it shared with Ngamiland the North-West District Council as local government. Chobe National park is in the Chobe District...


Geography and environment





At 600370 km² (231,804 sq mi) Botswana is the world's 47th-largest country (after Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

). It is comparable in size to Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, and is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 or the Canadian province of Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

. It lies between latitudes 17°
17th parallel south
The 17th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 17 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 27°S
27th parallel south
The 27th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 27 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

, and longitudes 20°
20th meridian east
The meridian 20° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic and Indian oceans, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 30°E
30th meridian east
The meridian 30° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Turkey, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

The country is predominantly flat, tending toward gently rolling tableland
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

. Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert
Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending , covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa, as semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains. The Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert...

, which covers up to 70% of its land surface. The Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta , in Botswana, is the world's largest inland delta. It is formed where the Okavango River empties onto a swamp in an endorheic basin in the Kalahari Desert, where most of the water is lost to evaporation and transpiration instead of draining into the sea...

, the world's largest inland delta
River delta
A delta is a landform that is formed at the mouth of a river where that river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, flat arid area, or another river. Deltas are formed from the deposition of the sediment carried by the river as the flow leaves the mouth of the river...

, is in the northwest. The Makgadikgadi Pan
Makgadikgadi Pan
The Makgadikgadi Pan is a large salt pan in the middle of the dry savanna of northeastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world...

, a large salt pan
Salt pan (geology)
Natural salt pans are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, and should not be confused with salt evaporation ponds.A salt pan is formed where water pools...

, lies in the north.

The Limpopo River
Limpopo River
The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. It is around long, with a drainage basin in size. Its mean annual discharge is 170 m³/s at its mouth...

 Basin, the major landform of all of southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

, lies partly in Botswana, in the southeast of the country. The Chobe River
Cuando River
The Cuando River is a river in south-central Africa flowing through Angola and Namibia's Caprivi Strip, into the Linyanti Swamp on the northern border of Botswana...

 lies to the north, providing a boundary between Botswana and Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 (Caprivi Region). The Chobe River meets with the Zambezi River
Zambezi
The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is , slightly less than half that of the Nile...

 at a place called Kazungula
Kazungula
Kazungula is a small border town in the Southern Province of Zambia, lying on the north bank of the Zambezi River about 70 km west of Livingstone, at an almost quadripoint where four countries nearly meet...

 (meaning a small sausage tree, a point where Sebitwane and his Makololo tribe
Makololo
The Makololo are a people of Southern Africa, closely related to the Basotho, from which they separated themselves in the early 19th century. Originally residing in what is now South Africa, they were displaced by the Zulu expansion under Shaka and migrated north through Botswana to Barotseland in...

 crossed the Zambezi into Zambia).

Botswana has diverse areas of wildlife habitat. In addition to the delta and desert areas, there are grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

s and savanna
Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

s, where Blue Wildebeest
Blue Wildebeest
The Blue Wildebeest , also called the Common Wildebeest, is a large antelope and one of two species of wildebeest. It grows to 115–145 cm shoulder height and attains a body mass of 168–274 kg. They range the open plains, bushveld and dry woodlands of Southern and East Africa, living for...

, antelope
Antelope
Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a miscellaneous group within the family Bovidae, encompassing those old-world species that are neither cattle, sheep, buffalo, bison, nor goats...

s, and other mammals and birds are found. Northern Botswana has one of the few remaining large populations of the endangered African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog
Lycaon pictus is a large canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf...

. Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse...

, found in the Chobe District
Chobe District
Chobe District is a district of Botswana, with the headquarters in Kasane. Until 2006, it shared with Ngamiland the North-West District Council as local government. Chobe National park is in the Chobe District...

, has the world's largest concentration of African elephants. The park covers about 11000 km² (4,247 sq mi) and supports about 350 species of birds.

The Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve (in the Okavango Delta) are major tourist destinations. Other reserves include the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 km² making it the second largest game reserve in the world.The park contains wildlife such as giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, cheetah, wild dog,...

 located in the Kalahari desert in Ghanzi District
Ghanzi District
Ghanzi is a district in western Botswana, bordering Namibia in the west and extending east into much of the interior of the country. The district's administrative centre is the town of Ghanzi. Most of the eastern half of Ghanzi makes up the Central Kalahari Game Reserve...

; Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Nxai Pan National Park
Nxai Pan National Park
Nxai Pan National Park is a national park in north-eastern Botswana, consisting of Nxai Pan, which is one of the Makgadikgadi Pan salt flats.-Notes:This park is considered for inclusion in the 5 Nation Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area....

 are in Central District
Central District (Botswana)
Central is the largest of Botswana's districts in terms of area and population. It encompasses the traditional homeland of the Bamangwato people. Some of the most politically connected Batswana have come from the Central District, including former President Sir Seretse Khama, former President...

 in the Makgadikgadi Pan
Makgadikgadi Pan
The Makgadikgadi Pan is a large salt pan in the middle of the dry savanna of northeastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world...

. Mashatu Game Reserve is privately owned: located where the Shashe River
Shashe River
The Shashe River is a major left-bank tributary of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe.It rises northwest of Francistown, Botswana and flows into the Limpopo River where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa meet, site of the Shalimpo Transfrontier Conservation Area.- Hydrology :The Shashe River is a...

 and Limpopo River meet in eastern Botswana. The other privately owned reserve is Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Mokolodi Nature Reserve is a private not-for-profit game reserve in southern Botswana. Founded in 1994 by The Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation, it is situated on 30 km sq. of donated land 10 km south of the capital Gaborone. The nature reserve is inhabited by a wide variety of indigenous African game,...

 near Gaborone. There are also specialised sanctuaries like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (for Rhinoceros) and Makgadikgadi Sanctuary (for Flamingos). They are both located in Central District.

Environmental problems




Botswana is currently facing two major environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

al problems: drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

 and desertification
Desertification
Desertification is the degradation of land in drylands. Caused by a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities, desertification is one of the most significant global environmental problems.-Definitions:...

. The desertification problems predominantly stem from the severe times of drought in the country. Due to the drought, 75% of the country’s human and animal populations are dependent on groundwater. Groundwater
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

 use has eased the effects of drought, but has left a toll on the land. Groundwater is retrieved through drilling deep boreholes, which leads to the erosion of the land. Surface water is very scarce in Botswana and less than 5% of the agriculture in the country is sustainable by rainfall. Due to this 95% of the country raises cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 and livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 as a means for an income. Therefore, it is not a surprise to see that 71% of the country’s land is used for communal grazing
Grazing
Grazing generally describes a type of feeding, in which a herbivore feeds on plants , and also on other multicellular autotrophs...

, which has been a major cause for the desertification of the country.

Since raising livestock has proven to be profitable for the people of Botswana, the land is continuing to be exploited. 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. 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 households in Botswana own cattle, which is presently 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”. It has been reported that the Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta , in Botswana, is the world's largest inland delta. It is formed where the Okavango River empties onto a swamp in an endorheic basin in the Kalahari Desert, where most of the water is lost to evaporation and transpiration instead of draining into the sea...

 is drying up due to the increased grazing of livestock. The Okavango Delta is one of the major semi-forested wetlands in Botswana, the largest inland delta in the world and is a crucial ecosystem to the survival of many animals.

The Department and Forestry and Range Resources has already begun to implement project to reintroduce indigenous vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

 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 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
Conservation biology
Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction...

 of the land.

The United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

 claims that a major problem behind the overexploitation of resources, including land, in Botswana, is due to the poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 level. 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, in order to draw these 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 development

Defence



At the time of independence, Botswana had no armed forces. It was only after the Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

n and South African
South African Army
The South African Army is the army of South Africa, first formed after the Union of South Africa was created in 1910.The South African military evolved within the tradition of frontier warfare fought by commando forces, reinforced by the Afrikaners' historical distrust of large standing armies...

 militaries struck respectively against ZIPRA
ZIPRA
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army was the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union, a political party in Rhodesia. It participated in the Second Chimurenga against white minority rule in the former Rhodesia....

 and MK
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe , translated "Spear of the Nation," was the armed wing of the African National Congress which fought against the South African apartheid government. MK launched its first guerrilla attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961...

 bases that the Botswana Defence Force
Botswana Defence Force
The Botswana Defence Force is the military of Botswana. It was formed in 1977 and has approximately 9,000 members. The commander is Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire. The commander in chief is the President of Botswana...

 (BDF) was formed in 1977. The president is commander in chief and appoints a defence council. The BDF has approximately 12,000 members.

Following political changes in South Africa and the region, the BDF's missions have increasingly focused on prevention of poaching
Poaching
Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.It may be illegal and in...

, preparing for disasters
Emergency management
Emergency management is the generic name of an interdisciplinary field dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause events like disasters or catastrophes and to ensure the continuance of the...

, and foreign peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

. The United States has been the largest single foreign contributor to the development of the BDF, and a large segment of its officer corps has received U.S. training. It is considered an apolitical and professional institution.

The Botswana government gave the United States the green light to explore the possibility of establishing an Africa Command (Africom) base in the country. This fueled protests by the South African ANC youth organisation.

Economy




Since independence, Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates in per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 in the world. Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country. By one estimate, it has the fourth highest gross national income
Gross National Income
The GNI consists of: the personal consumption expenditures, the gross private investment, the government consumption expenditures, the net income from assets abroad , and the gross exports of goods and services, after deducting two components: the gross imports of goods and services, and the...

 at purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 in Africa, giving it a standard of living around that of Mexico and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

According to the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, economic growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

 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
Fiscal policy
In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government expenditure and revenue collection to influence the economy....

, despite consecutive budget deficits in 2002 and 2003, and a negligible level of foreign debt
External debt
External debt is that part of the total debt in a country that is owed to creditors outside the country. The debtors can be the government, corporations or private households. The debt includes money owed to private commercial banks, other governments, or international financial institutions such...

. It earned the highest sovereign credit rating
Credit rating
A credit rating evaluates the credit worthiness of an issuer of specific types of debt, specifically, debt issued by a business enterprise such as a corporation or a government. It is an evaluation made by a credit rating agency of the debt issuers likelihood of default. Credit ratings are...

 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.

Debswana
Debswana
Debswana Diamond Company Ltd, or simply Debswana, is a giant mining company located in Botswana, and is the world's leading producer of diamonds by value. Debswana is a joint venture between the government of Botswana and the South African diamond company De Beers; each party owns 50 percent of...

, the largest diamond mining company operating in Botswana, is 50% owned by the government. Mineral industry provides about 40% of all government revenues. In 2007, significant quantities of uranium were discovered, and mining is 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 and shift their economic dependence on diamonds, over serious concern that diamonds are predicted to dry out in Botswana over the next twenty years.
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-capitalized, and liquid, as a result of growing national resources and high interest rates.

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 opening of Capital Bank in 2008 brought the total number of licensed banks to eight. 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 subsidized loans. Reform of non-bank financial institution
Non-bank financial institution
A non-bank financial institution is a financial institution that does not have a full banking license or is not supervised by a national or international banking regulatory agency. NBFIs facilitate bank-related financial services, such as investment, risk pooling, contractual savings, and market...

s 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.

The constitution prohibits the nationalization of private property and 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. Botswana is ranked second only to South Africa among sub-Saharan Africa countries in the 2009 International Property Rights Index.

While generally open to foreign participation in its economy, Botswana reserves a number of sectors for citizen participation. Increased foreign investment plays a significant role in the privatization 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.

Demographics




Botswana's main ethnic groups are Batswana, BaKalanga
BaKalanga
The Kalanga, also known as the Bakalanga are one of the first Bantu speaking tribes to migrate to present day Botswana, followed by the Bakgalagadi and then the Batswana . The Kalanga had first settled in Mapungubwe in South Africa, the first Kalanga state. They later moved to the Great Zimbabwe...

, Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

 or AbaThwa also known as Basarwa. Other tribes are Bayei
Bayei
The Yeyi, or Bayei, are Bantu-speaking people of Ngamiland, Botswana. The Yei immigrated to the area in the 18th century from the north, and lived in close cooperation with the San people, or Basarwa, who had lived in the area previously...

, Bambukushu, Basubia
Basubia
The Subiya people are an ethnic group found along and between the Chobe River and Zambezi Rivers in Southern Africa. They are spread all over these rivers flood plain in what is today Botswana, Namibia and Zambia...

, Baherero and Bakgalagadi. Other groups of ethnicities in Botswana include whites and Indians, both groups being roughly equally small in number. Botswana's Indian
Indians in Botswana
Indians in Botswana do not form a very large population. There are 3,000 PIOs and 6,000 NRIs in Botswana.-History:A few Indian families from South Africa migrated to Botswana in the beginning of the 20th century. Initially engaged in general trading, they gradually built up big businesses by...

 population is made up of many Indian-Africans of several generations, from Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, South Africa, and so on, as well as first generation Indian immigrants. The white population
White African
White Africans are people of European descent living in Africa, who identify themselves as White....

 is native to Botswana or from other parts of Africa including Zimbabwe and South Africa. The white population speaks either English or Afrikaans and makes up roughly 3% of the population.

Since 2000, because of deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, the number of Zimbabweans in Botswana
Zimbabweans in Botswana
-Numbers and distribution:Economic and political problems in Zimbabwe have led to significant increases in migration to Botswana since the early 2000s. By 2003, it was estimated that there were 40,000 Zimbabwean migrants in the country, of whom only one-third were resident legally. Many reside in...

 has risen into the tens of thousands.

Fewer than 10,000 Bushmen are still living the traditional hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

 style of life. Since the mid-1990s the central government of Botswana has been trying to move San
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

 out of their lands. The UN's top official on indigenous rights
Indigenous rights
Indigenous rights are those rights that exist in recognition of the specific condition of the indigenous peoples. This includes not only the most basic human rights of physical survival and integrity, but also the preservation of their land, language, religion and other elements of cultural...

, Prof. James Anaya, has condemned Botswana's persecution of the Bushmen in a report released in February 2010.

Language




The official language of Botswana is English although Setswana is widely spoken across the country. In Setswana prefix
Prefix
A prefix is an affix which is placed before the root of a word. Particularly in the study of languages,a prefix is also called a preformative, because it alters the form of the words to which it is affixed.Examples of prefixes:...

es are more important than they are in many other languages. These prefixes 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 tribe of Botswana is the Tswana people, hence the name Botswana for its country. The people as a whole are Batswana, one person is a Motswana, and the language they speak is Setswana.

Religion


An estimated 70 percent of the country's citizens identify themselves as Christians. Anglicans, Methodists, and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa make up the majority of Christians. There are also congregations of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists, the Dutch Reformed Church, Mennonites, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other Christian sects.

According to the 2001 census, the country's Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 community, primarily of South Asian origin, numbers slightly more than 5,000. The 2001 census also lists approximately 3,000 Hindus and 700 Baha'is. Approximately 20 percent of citizens espouse no religion. Religious services are well attended in both rural and urban areas.

Health



Life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 at birth was 55 in 2009 according to the World Bank, having previously fallen from a peak of 64.1 in 1990 to a low of 49 in 2002.

HIV/AIDS



Like elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, the economic impact of AIDS
Economic impact of AIDS
HIV and AIDS affects economic growth by reducing the availability of human capital. Without proper nutrition, health care and medicine that is available in developed countries, large numbers of people are falling victim to AIDS....

 is considerable. Economic development spending was cut by 10% in 2002–3 as a result of recurring budget deficits and rising expenditure on healthcare services. Botswana has been hit
HIV/AIDS in Botswana
Botswana is experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. The national HIV prevalence rate among adults ages 15 to 49 is 24.1 percent, which is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa Botswana is experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. The...

 very hard by the AIDS pandemic
AIDS pandemic
The acquired immune deficiency syndrome pandemic is a widespread disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus .Since AIDS was first recognized in 1981, it has led to the deaths of more than 25 million people, making it one of the most destructive diseases in recorded history.Despite recent...

; in 2006 it was estimated that life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 at birth had dropped from 65 to 35 years.

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Botswana
HIV/AIDS in Botswana
Botswana is experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. The national HIV prevalence rate among adults ages 15 to 49 is 24.1 percent, which is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa Botswana is experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. The...

 was estimated at 24% for adults in 2006. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive program involving free or cheap generic anti-retroviral drugs as well as an information campaign designed to stop the spread of the virus. The promiscuous nature of many sexual relationships further impacts the health situation; so much so that it has given rise to a Love Vocabulary that is unique to the region.

Approximately one in six Batswana has HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

, giving Botswana the second highest infection rate in the world after nearby Swaziland
Swaziland
Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland , and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique...

. The government recognizes that AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 will affect the economy and is trying to combat the epidemic, including free anti-retroviral drug
Antiretroviral drug
Antiretroviral drugs are medications for the treatment of infection by retroviruses, primarily HIV. When several such drugs, typically three or four, are taken in combination, the approach is known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART...

 treatment and a nation-wide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program. Botswana has reduced HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children from about 40% to just 4%.

Cancer


The Cancer Association of Botswana
Cancer Association of Botswana
Cancer Association of Botswana is a voluntary, non-governmental organizationestablished as a trust in 1998.-Vision:Cancer Association of Botswana is dedicated to reducing the impact of cancer on allaffected in Botswana.-Mission:...

 is a voluntary non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

. The association is a member of the Union for International Cancer Control. The Association supplements existing services through provision of cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 prevention and health awareness programmes, facilitating access to health services for cancer patients and offering support and counseling to those affected.

Education


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 education in Botswana is neither free nor compulsory.

After leaving school, students can attend one of the six technical colleges in the country, or take vocational training courses in teaching or nursing
Nursing
Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from conception to death....

. The best students enter the University of Botswana
University of Botswana
The University of Botswana, or UB was established in 1982 as the first institution of higher education in Botswana. The university has four campuses: two in the capital city Gaborone, one in Francistown, and another in Maun. The university is divided into six faculties: Business, Education,...

, Botswana College of Agriculture
Botswana College of Agriculture
Botswana College of Agriculture is a college for agriculture in Gaborone, Botswana. It was established by an act of the Parliament of Botswana on 31 May 1991.- External links :* Official website...

 http://www.bca.bw, and The Botswana Accountancy College
Botswana Accountancy College
The Botswana Accountancy College, also known as BAC or bac, is a business school located in the city of Gaborone, Botswana. Initially funded and established through a joint venture between The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and Debswana, the college caters for both the accountancy and...

 in Gaborone. Many other students end up in the numerous private tertiary education colleges around the country. A high majority of these students are government sponsored. A larger influx of tertiary students is expected when construction of the nation's second international university, The Botswana International University of Science and Technology
Botswana International University of Science and Technology
The Botswana International University of Science & Technology, also known as BIUST, is an under-construction International university to be located in the town of Palapye, Botswana. It will become the nations's second university, after the University of Botswana in the country's capital, Gaborone...

, is completed in Palapye
Palapye
Palapye is a large town in Botswana, situated about halfway between Francistown and Gaborone . Over the years its position has made it a convenient stopover on one of Southern Africa's principal north–south rail and road routes...

.

One notable International
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 University
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 is Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
Limkokwing University Of Creative Technology
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology is a private international university with a presence across three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia...

 that offers various Associate Degree(s) in Creative Arts
Creative Arts
Creative arts is the term used to describe different types of art. Specifically, to introduce fine art ideas, techniques, skills and media. It is generally used as an umbrella for Dramaturgy, Music , Graphic Arts/Cartooning, Performing Arts, Film and Publishing, Galleries and Museums and the Visual...

. This has helped many youths develop and create their own businesses across the country.

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. The Botswana Ministry of Education is working to establish libraries in primary schools in partnership with the African Library Project
African Library Project
The African Library Project is an all-volunteer organization that starts libraries in rural Africa. U.S. volunteers organize book drives and ship books to a library in Africa. ALP partners with governmental and non-governmental organizations in sub-Saharan Africa...

. The 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. 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.

Sports



Football is the most popular sport in Botswana, been the qualification for the African Cup 2012 its highest achievement. Other popular sports are cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

, softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

, golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 and track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

. Botswana is an associate member of the International Cricket Council
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

.

Botswana has yet to win a medal at the Olympics, but in 2011 Amantle Montsho
Amantle Montsho
Amantle Montsho is a female sprinter from Botswana who specializes in the 400 metres. She represented her country at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, reaching the final at the latter edition...

 became world champion
2011 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 400 metres
The Women's 400 metres at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Daegu Stadium on August 27, 28 and 29.The defending champion was Sanya Richards-Ross and despite her poor form earlier in the season, she ran 49.66 seconds in London just three weeks before the championships...

 in the 400 metres and won Botswanas first athletics medal on world level. Another famous Botswana athlete is high jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang
Kabelo Kgosiemang
Kabelo Kgosiemang is a male high jumper from Botswana. He won the 2006 African Championships in Athletics with a personal best jump of 2.30 metres, the best result since Abderrahmane Hammad won with 2.34 m in 2000....

, three times African champion
African Championships in Athletics
The African Championships in Athletics is a continental athletics event organized by the Confederation of African Athletics. It is generally organised biennually, every other event is held same year as the Summer Olympics....

.

The card game bridge
Contract bridge
Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 playing cards played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a small table...

 has a strong following; it was first played in Botswana over 30 years ago and 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 organize tournaments. Bridge has remained popular and the BBF has over 800 members. In 2007, the BBF invited the English Bridge Union
English Bridge Union
The English Bridge Union or EBU is a player-funded organisation that promotes and organises the card game of duplicate bridge in England. It has an office in Aylesbury with a staff of more than twenty people...

 to host a week-long teaching program in May 2008.

Culture



Besides referring to the language of the dominant people groups in Botswana, 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.
The Scottish writer, Alexander McCall Smith, has written a number of popular novels (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series) about Botswana that entertain as well as inform the reader about the culture and customs of Botswana.

Music



Tswana music is mostly vocal and performed without drums; it also makes heavy use of string instruments. Tswana folk music has instruments such as Setinkane, Segankure/Segaba, and for the last few decades, the guitar has been celebrated as a versatile music instrument for Tswana music.

Visual arts



In the northern part of Botswana, women in the villages of Etsha and Gumare
Gumare
Gumare or Gomare is a rural village located in the North-West District of Botswana, near the Okavango Delta. The population of Gumare was 6,067 in 2001 census.Four separate government institutions manage Ngamiland District:# District Council;...

 are noted for their skill at crafting basket
Basket
A basket is a container which is traditionally constructed from stiff fibres, which can be made from a range of materials, including wood splints, runners, and cane. While most baskets are made from plant materials, other materials such as horsehair, baleen, or metal wire can be used. Baskets are...

s from Mokola Palm and local dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

s. 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 color use and improved designs as they are increasingly produced for commercial use.

Other notable artistic communities include Thamaga Pottery and Oodi Weavers, both located in the southeastern part of Botswana.

The oldest paintings from both Botswana and South Africa depict hunting, animal and human figures, and were made by the Khoisan (!Kung San/Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

) over twenty thousand years ago within the Kalahari desert.

In addition to these more traditional arts there are a number of extremely talented artists who use modern means to express themselves. There are a few galleries around Botswana that display paintings and sculptures. Some pieces are inspired by the beautiful Botswana landscapes and others by the people themselves.

Cuisine




The cuisine of Botswana is unique but also shares some characteristics with other cuisine of Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

. Examples of Botswana food are Pap
Pap (food)
Pap , a traditional porridge made from mielie-meal , is a staple food of the Bantu inhabitants of South Africa...

, Boerewors
Boerewors
Boerewors is a sausage, popular in South African cuisine. The name comes from the Afrikaans words and , and is pronounced , with a trilled .-History:...

, Samp
Samp
Samp is dried corn kernels that have been stamped and chopped until broken but not as fine as Mielie-meal or mielie rice. The coating around the kernel loosens and is removed during the pounding and stamping process. It is used in the Xhosa variant of Umngqusho and sometimes eaten with Chakalaka...

, Vetkoek
Vetkoek
Vetkoek is a traditional Afrikaner pastry. It is dough deep-fried in cooking oil and either filled with cooked mince or spread with syrup or honey or jam. It is thought to have its origins in oliebollen, which go back to the time of the migration period...

 and Mopane worms. A food unique to Botswana includes Seswaa
Seswaa
Seswaa is a traditional meat dish of Botswana, generally made of beef, although sometimes made of goat or lamb. The fatty meat is generally boiled until tender in large cast-iron pots, with large amounts of salt, and shredded or pounded. It is often served with morongo or maize meal....

, heavily salted mashed-up meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

.

Holidays


DateEnglish nameLocal name
1 January New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

Ngwaga o mosha"Gole dzwa in kalanga"
2 January Public Holiday
varies Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

Labotlhano yo o molemo'
Easter Monday
Easter Monday
Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures...

varies Ascension Day Tlhatlogo
1 July Sir Seretse Khama
Seretse Khama
Sir Seretse Khama, KBE was a statesman from Botswana. Born into one of the more powerful of the royal families of what was then the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland, and educated abroad in neighbouring South Africa and in the United Kingdom, he returned home—with a popular but controversial...

 Day
19 July President's Day
Presidents' Day (Botswana)
Presidents' Day is a two-day holiday in Botswana in July. It appears to be the third Monday and Tuesday of the month....

tsatsi la ga tautona
20 July Public Holiday
30 September Independence Day Boipuso
25 December Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

Keresemose"khisimose in kalanga"
26 December/27 December Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...

The first Monday after Christmas is also a Public Holiday.


See also



  • Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

  • Communications in Botswana
    Communications in Botswana
    Communications in BotswanaA fiber-optic telecommunications network has been completed in Botswana connecting all major population centers.In addition to the government-owned newspaper and national radio network, there is an active, independent press . Two privately owned radio stations began...

  • Cuisine of Botswana
  • Postage stamps and postal history of Bechuanaland Protectorate
    Postage stamps and postal history of Bechuanaland Protectorate
    The first Bechuanaland Protectorate postage stamps were produced in 1888 by overprinting stamps of Bechuanaland with "Protectorate"...

  • Transport in Botswana
    Transport in Botswana
    A sparsely populated, arid country, Botswana has nonetheless managed to incorporate much of its interior into the national economy. An "inner circle" highway connecting all major towns and district capitals is completely paved, and the all-weather Trans-Kalahari Highway connects the country to...

  • Tuli block
    Tuli Block
    The Tuli Block is a long, thin fringe of land demarcating Botswana's southeastern border. The Tuli consists mainly of privately owned game farms, offering spectacular safari tourism. The eastern section up to and including Redshield has been declared a game reserve, known as the Northern Tuli Game...


Further reading

.
  • Alexander McCall Smith: "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series.
  • Michael Stanley: A Carrion Death – part of the Detective Kubu series

External links


  • http://www.botswanaportal.com