Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
ISO Country Code: bw
Local Time = UTC +2h
Country Calling Code: +267
Capital City: Gaborone (pronounced
ha-bo-ro-neh), pop. 213,000
Currency: Pula (BWP)
Francistown (101,805 ), Selebi-Phikwe (49,017), Molepolole (47,094), Kanye (36,877), Serowe (33,335), Mahalapye
(32,407), Lobatse (32,075), Maun (31,260), Mochudi (30,671).
Type: Republic, parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 30 September 1966
Location: Southern Africa, north of South Africa.
Area: 582,000 km² (224,710 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Desert and savanna, predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest.
Mostly subtropical, warm winters and hot summers.
Nationality: Motswana (sing.), Batswana (pl.).
Population: 2 million (2011 census)
GNI per capita PPP: $ 10 866 (year)
Ethnic groups: Tswana (or Setswana) 79%; Kalanga 11%; Kgalagadi, Herero, Bayeyi, Himbukush, Basarwa
(“Bushmen”), Khoi (“Hottentots”), whites 10%.
Religions: Christianity 60%, indigenous beliefs 40%.
Languages: English (official), Setswana, Ikalanga.
Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver.
Agriculture products: Livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts.
Industries: Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing; textiles.
Exports partners: United Kingdom 85.8%, Zimbabwe 2.6%, USA 0.2% (2001)
Imports partners: United Kingdom 4.4%, Zimbabwe 3.1%, USA 1.7%, South Korea (2001)
(Source: Central Statistics Office CSO Botswana)
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966.
The economy, one of the most robust on the continent, is dominated by diamond mining.
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 small white minority and other minorities
participate freely in the political process.
Tourism is an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12% of GDP. 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.
(Source: various sources)
border countries: Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe
related countries: Angola, United Kingdom, Zambia