Africa: Botswana

About 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.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Gaborone
Population: 1,586,119
Percent below poverty: 47% (2000 est.)
Language: English (official), Setswana
Date of independence: 30 September 1966 (from UK)
Form of government: parliamentary republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Environmental Issues: overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources
Agricultural Products: sorghum, corn, millet, pulses, groundnuts (peanuts), beans, cowpeas, sunflower seed; livestock
Imports: foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, textiles, petroleum products
Exports: diamonds 72%, vehicles, copper, nickel, meat (1998)
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 76%, Europe 10%, South Korea 5% (1998)
EXPORTS: EU 77%, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 18%, Zimbabwe 3% (1998)


Botswana Headlines


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