of Botswana



Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.


Official name:

Republic of Botswana


name: Gaborone
geographic coordinates: 24 45 S, 25 55 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Government type:

parliamentary republic


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)


Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)

Official Currency:

Botswana Pula (BWP)

Currency code:



total: 600,370 sq km
land: 585,370 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km


semiarid; warm winters and hot summers





Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Geographic coordinates:

22 00 S, 24 00 E

Map references:



total: 600,370 sq km
land: 585,370 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 4,013 km
border countries: Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe 813 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


semiarid; warm winters and hot summers


predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m

Natural resources:

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver

Land use:

arable land: 0.65%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.34% (2005)

Irrigated land:

10 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility

Environment - current issues:

overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country



The tables below display average monthly climate indicators in major cities based on 8 years of historical weather readings.

Temperature by: Centigrade

FRANCISTOWN 21 21 S, 27 50 E, 3280 feet (1000 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
25 24 24 22 19 16 16 19 23 25 25 25
Avg. Max Temperature
31 29 30 29 26 24 23 27 31 32 32 31
Avg. Min Temperature
19 18 17 13 9 5 6 8 13 17 18 18
Avg. Rain Days
3 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 3
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

GABORONE 24 66 S, 25 91 E, 3280 feet (1000 meters) above sea level.
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
26 26 24 21 17 14 15 18 23 26 26 26
Avg. Max Temperature
32 32 30 28 24 23 23 26 31 33 33 32
Avg. Min Temperature
20 19 17 13 9 4 5 8 13 17 18 18
Avg. Rain Days
6 1 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 2
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KASANE 17 81 S, 25 15 E, 3280 feet (1000 meters) above sea level.
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
25 25 25 24 22 20 19 22 27 29 28 26
Avg. Max Temperature
31 30 31 30 28 26 25 29 33 35 34 32
Avg. Min Temperature
19 19 19 15 12 9 9 11 16 19 20 19
Avg. Rain Days
4 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MAUN 19 98 S, 23 41 E, 2952 feet (900 meters) above sea level.
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
27 26 26 24 21 18 18 21 25 29 28 27
Avg. Max Temperature
32 32 32 31 28 26 26 29 33 36 35 34
Avg. Min Temperature
21 20 19 16 12 9 9 11 16 20 21 21
Avg. Rain Days
4 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 3
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TSABONG 26 5 S, 22 45 E, 3280 feet (1000 meters) above sea level.
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
28 28 26 22 17 14 13 17 21 25 27 28
Avg. Max Temperature
34 35 33 30 25 23 22 25 29 32 33 34
Avg. Min Temperature
19 20 18 12 7 3 3 5 10 15 19 18
Avg. Rain Days
2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0





note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.8% (male 330,377/female 319,376)
15-64 years: 60.3% (male 549,879/female 545,148)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 28,725/female 42,003) (2007 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.503% (2007 est.)

Birth rate:

23.17 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate:

13.63 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate:

5.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2007 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.034 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.009 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.684 male(s)/female
total population: 1.003 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 43.97 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 45.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 42.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 50.58 years
male: 51.55 years
female: 49.58 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.73 children born/woman (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

37.3% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

350,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

33,000 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2007)


noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)

Ethnic groups:

Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%


Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 census)


Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.2%
male: 80.4%
female: 81.8% (2003 est.)



The Batswana, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the country's major ethnic group (the 'Tswana' in South Africa), which came into the area from South Africa during the Zulu wars of the early 1800s. Prior to European contact, the Batswana lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule.

In the 19th century, hostilities broke out between the Batswana and Boer settlers from the Transvaal. After appeals by the Batswana for assistance, the British Government in 1885 put 'Bechuanaland' under its protection. The northern territory remained under direct administration and is today's Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the northwest province of South Africa; the majority of Setswana-speaking people today live in South Africa.

Despite South African pressure, inhabitants of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basuotoland (now Lesotho), and Swaziland in 1909 asked for and received British assurances that they would not be included in the proposed Union of South Africa. An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils representing 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 democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved from Mafikeng, in South Africa, to newly established Gaborone in 1965. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence in September 1966. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to traditional rule of the Bamangwato, was elected as the first president, re-elected twice, and died in office in 1980. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Ketumile Masire, 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, who was elected in his own right in 1999. Mogae won a second term in elections held October 30, 2004.



Botswana has a flourishing multiparty constitutional democracy. Each of the elections since independence has been freely and fairly contested and has been held on schedule. The country's minority groups participate freely in the political process. There are three main parties and a number of smaller parties. In national elections in 2004, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won 44 of 57 contested National Assembly seats, the Botswana National Front (BNF) won 12, and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) won 1 seat. Individuals elected by the National Assembly hold an additional 4 seats; the ruling BDP currently holds all 4. The opposition out-polled the ruling BDP in most urban areas. The openness of the country's political system has been a significant factor in Botswana's stability and economic growth. General elections are held every 5 years. The next general election will be held in October 2009.

The president has executive power and is chosen by the National Assembly following countrywide legislative elections. The cabinet is selected by the president from the National Assembly; it consists of a vice president and a flexible number of ministers and assistant ministers, currently 14 and 6, respectively. The National Assembly has 57 elected and 4 specially elected members; it is expanded following each census (every 10 years; the most recent was conducted in 2001).

The advisory House of Chiefs represents the eight principal subgroups of the Batswana tribe, and four other members are elected by the sub chiefs of four of the districts. A draft of any National Assembly bill of tribal concern must be referred to the House of Chiefs for advisory opinion. Chiefs and other leaders preside over customary traditional courts, though all persons have the right to request that their case be considered under the formal British-based legal system.

The roots of Botswana's democracy lie in Setswana traditions, exemplified by the Kgotla, or village council, in which the powers of traditional leaders are limited by custom and law. Botswana's High Court has general civil and criminal jurisdiction. Judges are appointed by the president and may be removed only for cause and after a hearing. The constitution has a code of fundamental human rights enforced by the courts, and Botswana has a good human rights record.

Local government is administered by nine district councils and five town councils. District commissioners have executive authority and are appointed by the central government and assisted by elected and nominated district councilors and district development committees. There has been ongoing debate about the political, social, and economic marginalization of the San (indigenous tribal population). The government's policies for the Basarwa (San) and other remote area dwellers continue to spark controversy.

Principal Government Officials
President--Festus G. Mogae
Vice President--Lt. Gen. (ret) Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Cabinet Ministers
Finance and Development Planning--Baledzi Gaolathe
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation--Mompati S. Merafhe
Environment, Wildlife and Tourism--Onkokame Kitso Mokaila
Communications, Science and Technology--Pelonomi Venson
Presidential Affairs and Public Administration--Phandu T.C. Skelemani
Trade and Industry--Daniel Neo Moroka
Minerals Resources and Water Affairs--Mbiganyi Charles Tibone
Lands and Housing--Dikgakgamatso Seretse
Local Government--Margaret Nasha
Education--Jacob Nkate
Health--Sheila Tlou
Works and Transport--Lesego Motsumi
Labour and Home Affairs--Moeng Pheto
Agriculture--Johnnie Keemenao Swartz

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
local long form: Republic of Botswana
local short form: Botswana
former: Bechuanaland

Government type:

parliamentary republic


name: Gaborone
geographic coordinates: 24 45 S, 25 55 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

9 districts and 5 town councils*; Central, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, Northeast, Northwest, Selebi-Pikwe*, Southeast, Southern


30 September 1966 (from UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)


March 1965, effective 30 September 1966

Legal system:

based on Roman-Dutch law and local customary law; judicial review limited to matters of interpretation; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Festus G. MOGAE (since 1 April 1998); Vice President Seretse Ian KHAMA (since 13 July 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Festus G. MOGAE (since 1 April 1998); Vice President Seretse Ian KHAMA (since 13 July 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president indirectly elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 20 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Festus G. MOGAE elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 52%

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely advisory 15-member body with 8 permanent members consisting of the chiefs of the principal tribes, and 7 non-permanent members serving 5-year terms, consisting of 4 elected subchiefs and 3 members selected by the other 12 members) and the National Assembly (63 seats, 57 members are directly elected by popular vote, 4 are appointed by the majority party, and 2, the President and Attorney-General, serve as ex-officio members; members serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly elections last held 30 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 51.7%, BNF 26.1%, BCP 16.6%, other 5%; seats by party - BDP 44, BNF 12, BCP 1

Judicial branch:

High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts (one in each district)

Political parties and leaders:

Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Otlaadisa KOOSALETSE]; Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Festus G. MOGAE]; Botswana National Front or BNF [Otswoletse MOUPO]; Botswana Peoples Party or BPP; MELS Movement of Botswana or MELS; New Democratic Front or NDF
note: a number of minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the BAM but did not capture any parliamentary seats - includes the United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; the Independence Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO]; the Botswana Progressive Union [D. K. KWELE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:


International organization participation:


Flag description:

light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center



Since independence, Botswana has had the fastest growth in per capita income in the world. Economic growth averaged over 9% per year from 1967-97. The government has maintained a sound fiscal policy, despite three consecutive budget deficits in 2002-2004, and a negligible level of foreign debt. Foreign exchange reserves were $5 billion at the end of December 2005, equivalent to 22 months of imports of goods and services. Botswana's impressive economic record has been built on the foundation of wisely using revenue generated from diamond mining to fuel economic development through prudent fiscal policies and a cautious foreign policy. However, economic development spending was cut by 10% in 2002/2003 as a result of recurring budget deficits and rising expenditure on healthcare services. While development spending was budgeted to increase by 12.3% in the 2005/2006 fiscal year, the bulk of the money was to be spent on ongoing projects and maintenance rather than new infrastructure. Real GDP growth was expected to slow in 2005 to between 3% and 4% from its 5.7% growth rate in 2004. The government recognizes that HIV/AIDS will continue to affect the economy and is providing leadership and programs to combat the epidemic, including free anti-retroviral treatment and a nationwide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program.

Two large mining companies, Debswana (formed by the government and South Africa's DeBeers in equal partnership) and Bamangwato Concessions, Ltd. (BCL, also with substantial government equity participation) operate in the country.

Since the early 1980s, the country has been the world's largest producer of gem quality diamonds. Four large diamond mines have opened since independence. DeBeers prospectors discovered diamonds in northern Botswana in the late 1960s. The first mine began production at Orapa in 1972, followed by the smaller mines of Lethlakane and Damtshaa. What has become the single-richest diamond mine in the world opened in Jwaneng in 1982. The Orapa 2000 Expansion of the existing Orapa mine was opened in 2000. In December 2004, Debswana negotiated 25-year lease renewals for all four of its mines with the Government of Botswana. The Debswana carat output for 2004 was a record 31 million carats, making Debswana the world's leading diamond producer by value and volume. Exploration for other kimberlite pipes continues. In addition, as part of its drive to diversify and increase local value added within the mining sector, Botswana has announced plans to establish a joint venture company with De Beers, which will be Debswana's sorting and marketing arm.

BCL, which operates a copper-nickel mine at Selebi-Phikwe, has had a troubled financial history but remains an important employer. The soda ash operation at Sua Pan, opened in 1991 and supported by substantial government investment, has begun making a profit following significant restructuring. It produced 283,000 tons of soda ash in 2002. BCL is expected to significantly reduce operations within the next ten years.

Coal bed methane gas has been discovered in the northeastern part of the country, estimated by the developers at a commercially viable quantity of 12 trillion cubic feet. Development of the gas field, financed by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, began in mid-2004.

Tourism is an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12% of GDP, despite only modest growth of 2.9% in 2003/2004. One of the world's unique ecosystems, the Okavango Delta, is located in Botswana. The country offers excellent game viewing and birding both in the Delta and in the Chobe Game Reserve--home to one of the largest herds of free-ranging elephants in the world. Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve also offers good game viewing and some of the most remote and unspoiled wilderness in southern Africa.

More than one-half of the population lives in rural areas and is largely dependent on subsistence crop and livestock farming. Agriculture meets only a small portion of food needs and contributes a very small amount to GDP--primarily through beef exports--but it remains a social and cultural touchstone. Cattle raising in particular dominated Botswana's social and economic life before independence. The national herd is estimated between 2 and 3 million head, but the cattle industry is experiencing a protracted decline.

Private Sector Development and Foreign Investment
Botswana seeks to further diversify its economy away from minerals, which account for a third of GDP (down from nearly half of GDP in the early 1990s). Foreign investment and management are welcomed in Botswana. Botswana abolished foreign exchange controls in 1999, has a low corporate tax rate (15%), and no prohibitions on foreign ownership of companies. The country's inflation rate had remained stable and comparatively low over the 10 years preceding 2005. However, rising fuel and utility prices along with the government's 12.5% devaluation of the Pula in May 2005 resulted in a spike in inflation to an average annual rate of 11.4% as of December 2005, which fell well outside the Bank of Botswana's target rate of between 4-7%. The Government of Botswana was considering additional policies to enhance competitiveness, including a new Foreign Direct Investment Strategy and National Export Development Strategy. Botswana's parliament adopted both a Privatization Master Plan and a new Competition Policy that were aimed at fostering economic diversification.

With its proven record of good economic governance, Botswana was ranked as Africa's least corrupt country by Transparency International in 2005, ahead of many European and Asian countries. The World Economic Forum rates Botswana as one of the two most economically competitive nations in Africa. In November 2005, Standard & Poor's once again assigned Botswana an 'A' grade credit rating. This ranks Botswana as by far the best credit risk in Africa and puts it on par or above many countries in central Europe, East Asia, and Latin America.

U.S. investment in Botswana remains at relatively low levels. Major U.S. corporations, such as H.J. Heinz and AON Corporation, are present through direct investments, while others, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Remax, are present via franchise. The sovereign credit ratings by Moody's and Standard & Poor's clearly indicate that, despite continued challenges such as small market size, landlocked location, and cumbersome bureaucratic processes, Botswana remains one of the best investment opportunities in the developing world. Botswana has a 90-member American Business Council that accepts membership from American-affiliated companies.

Because of history and geography, Botswana has long had deep ties to the economy of South Africa. The Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), comprised of Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and South Africa, dates from 1910, and is the world's oldest customs union. Under this arrangement, South Africa has collected levies from customs, sales, and excise duties for all five members, sharing out proceeds based on each country's portion of imports. The exact formula for sharing revenues and the decision-making authority over duties--held exclusively by the Government of South Africa--became increasingly controversial, and the members renegotiated the arrangement in 2001. A new structure has now been formally ratified and a SACU Secretariat has been established in Windhoek, Namibia. Following South Africa's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO, of which Botswana also is a member), many of the SACU duties are declining, making American products more competitive in Botswana. Currently the SACU countries and the U.S. are negotiating a free trade agreement. Botswana is currently also negotiating a free trade agreement with Mercosur and an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union as part of SADC, and opened negotiations with China and India in 2005.

Botswana's currency--the Pula--is fully convertible and is valued against a basket of currencies heavily weighted toward the South African Rand. Profits and direct investment can be repatriated without restriction from Botswana. The Botswana Government eliminated all exchange controls in 1999. The Central Bank devalued the Pula by 12.5% in May 2005 in a bid to maintain export competitiveness against the real appreciation of the Pula and restructured the exchange rate mechanism to a crawling peg system to ensure against future large-scale devaluations.

Botswana is the immediate past chair of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), and Gaborone hosts the SADC Secretariat's headquarters. SADC replaced the Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference (SADCC--launched in 1980, which focused its efforts on freeing regional economic development from dependence on apartheid South Africa. SADC embraced the newly democratic South Africa as a member in 1994. It has a broad mandate to encourage growth, development, and economic integration in Southern Africa. SADC's Trade Protocol, which was launched on September 1, 2000, calls for the elimination of all tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade by 2008 among the 11 signatory countries. Zimbabwe's membership has limited SADC's opportunities for cooperation with the United States.

Transportation and Communications
A sparsely populated, semi-arid country about the size of Texas, 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 (and, through it, South Africa's commercially dominant Gauteng Province) to Walvis Bay in Namibia. A fiber-optic telecommunications network has been completed in Botswana connecting all major population centers. In November 2003, representatives of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa signed an MOU to simplify documentation to move cargoes to and from the Port of Walvis Bay in Namibia.

In addition to the government-owned newspaper and national radio network, there is an active, independent press (one daily and seven weekly newspapers). Two privately owned radio stations began operations in 1999. In 2000, the government-owned Botswana Television (BTV) was launched, which is Botswana's first national television station. GBC is a commercially owned television station that broadcast programs to the Gaborone area only. Foreign publications are sold without restriction in Botswana, and there are 22 commercial Internet service providers. Two cellular phone providers cover most of the country.


Economy - overview: Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, though growth slowed to 4.7% in 2006. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of more than $11,000 in 2006. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for 70-80% of export earnings. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. On the downside, the government must deal with high rates of unemployment and poverty. Unemployment officially was 23.8% in 2004, but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection rates are the second highest in the world and threaten Botswana's impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production overshadows long-term prospects.
GDP - real growth rate: 5.4% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $17.94 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $9.761 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $10,900 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 46.9% (including 36% mining)
services: 50.7% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line: 30.3% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11.4% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 288,400 formal sector employees (2004)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA
Unemployment rate: 23.8% (2004)
Budget: revenues: $4.256 billion
expenditures: $3.968 billion; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing; textiles
Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 823 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 2.464 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 1.699 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 11,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: 13,490 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
Exports: $4.836 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
Exports - partners: European Free Trade Association (EFTA) 87%, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 7%, Zimbabwe 4% (2006)
Imports: $3.034 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
Imports - partners: Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 74%, EFTA 17%, Zimbabwe 4% (2006)
Debt - external: $520 million (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $73 million (1995)
Currency: Botswana Pula (BWP)
Currency code: BWP
Exchange rates: pulas per US dollar - 5.8447 (2006), 5.1104 (2005), 4.6929 (2004), 4.9499 (2003), 6.3278 (2002)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March




Military branches:

Botswana Defense Force (includes an air wing) (2006)

Military service age and obligation:

18 is the apparent age of voluntary military service; the official qualifications for determining minimum age are unknown (2001)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 18-49: 350,649
females age 18-49: 361,642 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 136,322
females age 18-49: 136,315 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 21,103
females age 18-49: 21,379 (2005 est.)





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