Botswana

COUNTRY REPORT

Botswana is a landlocked country in the bosom of Southern Africa, surrounded immediately by South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The country boasts of a young population with diverse cultures and languages within its borders. Botswana mainly depends on mining and natural resources, especially diamonds and tourism. it continues to strive to improve its diversity in international trade and sustainability. Botswana having gained its independence in 1966 is one of the few African countries that has built its real estate industry internally without any legacy infrastructure from the colonial era.

Country Geography

  • Area                                                     Total: 581,730 km2; Land: 566,730 km2; Water:   

                                                             15,000 km2

  • Land boundaries:                                   Total: 4,347.15 km border countries (4):  

Namibia 1,544 km, South Africa 1,969 km, Zambia 0.15 km, Zimbabwe 834 km

  • Main Urban Areas                                  Gaborone and Francistown
  • Climate:                                                Semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
  • Land use:                                              Agricultural land: 45.8%; forest: 19.8%; other:

34.4% (2011 est.)

  • Natural hazards:                                    Periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow,

from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility.

  • Natural resources:                                 Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash,

potash, coal, iron ore, silver.

Sources: CIA

Botswana Statistics

  • Population:                                           2,209,208 (July 2016 est.)
  • Population growth rate (%) :                   1.6% (2017 est.)
  • Life expectancy at birth :                        68.0 years (2016 est.)
  • Languages  :                                         Setswana 77.3%, Sekalanga 7.4%, Shekgalagadi 

3.4%, English (official) 2.8%, Zezuru/Shona 2%, Sesarwa 1.7%, Sembukushu 1.6%, Ndebele 1%, other 2.8% (2011 est.)

  • Religions:                                              Christian 79.1%, Badimo 4.1%, other 1.4%

(includes Baha’i, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafarian), none 15.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2011 est.) Adult literacy rate (% of population aged 15 and over that can read or write) 88.5% (2015 est.)

  • HIV/AIDS:                                             adult prevalence 22.2% (2017 est.)
  • Population below poverty line :               13.8% (2013 est.)
  • Bank Rate                                             5.5%
  • Prime Lending Rate                               6.5%

Botswana classified as an upper-middle income country (GNI per capita > $4,036 but < $12,475), but GDP per capita levels are high by sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) standards, at an estimated 7,595.60 USD in 2017. This is far removed from a per capita income level of a mere $70 and the discouraging prospects faced by the country 50 years ago. The landlocked economy has undoubtedly beaten the odds by creating the thriving economy that it is today, with Botswana’s story being one of the most successful in the world.

 Much of this success is attributable to the country’s stable macroeconomic environment, government’s ongoing commitment to fiscal discipline and the prudent management of mineral revenues and wealth, a well-capitalised banking system, and a sensible crawling peg exchange rate system. Furthermore, corruption is less pervasive than in other parts of Africa. 

Notwithstanding all of these positive attributes, the country faces challenges; the most pressing of which is Botswana’s over-reliance/dependence on the diamond industry. In addition, despite the country’s impressive track record of good governance and economic growth supported by prudent macroeconomic and fiscal management, socioeconomic transformation remains modest. Poverty levels remain high and unemployment is pervasive at close to 18%, most of whom are young people with low educational qualifications and limited skills. Furthermore, income inequality is high, with Botswana considered to have one of the most skewed income distributions in the world. It would seem that despite progress made in terms of social and human development, the impressive growth levels achieved over time have had a limited impact on reducing poverty, with the country’s level of poverty deemed to be high for an upper-middle income country. 

According to the 2017 Human Development Index (HDI), Botswana ranked 101 out of 189 countries and territories. This correlates to a score of 0.581 to 0.717, an increase of 23.3 percent, and put the country in the high human development category.

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