Country profile for Botswana

The Botswana map

The longest-running multi-party democracy on the continent is found in Botswana, one of Africa's most stable nations. It has a good record for upholding human rights and is comparatively free of corruption.

Botswana is a sparsely populated country that preserves some of Africa's largest wilderness areas. Safari-based tourism, which is strictly regulated and frequently upscale, is a significant source of income.

The largest diamond producer in the world, Botswana has become a country with a middle-class economy thanks to the diamond trade.

The nation has experienced its fair share of issues, including once having the highest rate of HIV-Aids infection in the world. However, the nation has one of Africa's most advanced treatment programs, and the virus's medication is easily accessible.

  • : capital. Gaborone.
  • Area:.  581,730 sq km.
  • Population:. 23% of a billion.
  • Languages:.   English, Setswana.
  • a reasonable lifespan. (Men) 66 years; (Women) 72 years.

Mokgweetsi Masisi is the president.

Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi

In April 2018, Mokgweetsi Masisi took office as Botswana's fifth president after spending four years as vice president and minister of education under Ian Khama's administration.

He represents the Botswana Democratic Party, which has also won a majority in each parliamentary election since independence, like all of his forerunners.

Before entering politics, Mr. Masisi worked in education. He now has the difficult task of diversifying an economy that is largely dependent on the diamond trade.

San Bushmen in Southern Africa
Campaign groups say the authorities are forcing the Bushmen off their ancestral lands. A small group of Bushmen hunters and gatherers live in the Kalahari Desert.

Botswana has a long tradition of lively and unimpeded public debate, although opposition leaders have claimed that the government limits their ability to broadcast freely on the radio.

There is a "free and vigorous" press in cities and towns, says US-based NGO Freedom House.

With the debut of Botswana Television (BTV) in 2000, state-run television was introduced.  Satellite pay TV is available.

Botswana's leader Seretse Khama
Seretse Khama, shown here with his wife Ruth, presided as his nation's first leader from 1960 to 1980.

A few significant dates in Botswana's history are:.

1867 . - European gold prospectors arrive, mining begins.  In 1885, British proclaim a protectorate called Bechuanaland.

1950 . - The British remove and exile Seretse Khama, the chief of the Ngwato.

1960 . - Britain approves new constitution for Bechuanaland.  Executive Council, Legislative Council and African Council are established.  The following year, Seretse Khama is appointed to Executive Council and later founds the Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP), which is eventually renamed the Botswana Democratic Party.  He becomes prime minister in 1965.

1966 . - Bechuanaland is granted independence and becomes Republic of Botswana with Seretse Khama as president.

1967. - Diamonds discovered at Orapa.

1999-2008 - . Presidency of Festus Mogae - praised for diversifying Botswana's economy to reduce its dependence on diamonds.

2004 . - HIV infection rate falls to 37.5 percent; Botswana no longer has the world's highest rate of infection.

2008 . - Ian Khama, son of Seretse Khama, becomes president, serves two terms in office.

2010 . - Human rights group Survival International calls for a boycott of Botswanan diamonds, accusing the government of trying to force Basarwa bushmen away from their ancestral lands.

2014 . - Gay rights group wins legal recognition.

Okavango swamps
The Okavango swamps form the world's largest inland delta.

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