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Botswana is a landlocked country in the Southern African region. It shares borders with the following countries: Namibia (west and northwest); Zambia (north); Zimbabwe (northeast) and South Africa (east and south). Botswana lies between 20 and 30 degrees east of Greenwich, and between latitudes 18 and 27 degrees south of the Equator. More than half of the country lies within the tropical zone, north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Roughly the size of Kenya or France, Botswana has a land area of about 581730 square kilometres.

The land is mainly flat with gentle undulations, occasional rocky outcrops and the largest inland delta, Okavango Delta, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. About 80% of the country is covered by Kgalagadi sands and shrub savannah. The driest region, in the extreme southwest, has active sand dunes and very sparse vegetation.

Capital City:

Gaborone

Head of State:

Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama ( 4TH President)

Currency:

Pula notes & thebe coins (1 US Dollar is about 8.5 Pula)

National Slogan:

Pula (meaning rain)

Population:

2 million

   

Main Exports:

Diamonds, textiles, beef, soda ash

Trading Partners:

Southern Africa, European Union and America

   

Land Size:

582000 sq. km

Electricity:

230volt A/C 50 hz

Type: Republic, parliamentary democracy.
Independence: September 30, 1966.
Constitution: March 1965.
Branches: Executive--President (Chief of State and Head of Government), Cabinet. Legislative--popularly elected National Assembly; Advisory House of Chiefs. Judicial--High Court, Court of Appeal, Customary Courts, Industrial Court.
Administrative subdivisions: Five Town Councils and nine District Councils.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Elections: Held every 5 years. Next elections will be in October 2009
Previous Heads of State
Sir Seretse Khama – 1966 – 1980
Sir Ketumile Masire – 1980 – 1998
Festus G. Mogae – 1998 - 2008

Since independence in 1966 Botswana has been a nation-state of good governance, with free and fair elections involving a number of political parties held every five years. 13 political parties were registered for the last general election which was held in 1999. There is respect for the rule of law and the Judiciary is independent from influence of the Executive and Legislative branches of Government. The laws of Botswana guarantee, inter alia, individual and group freedoms of expression, association and property ownership.

Botswana’s economic progress since independence is one of the few success stories of the African continent. In 1966 Botswana was one of the 20 poorest countries in the world with a per capita income equivalent to US$80. The country now has a per capita income of approximately US$3,200. There were only 3 secondary schools in 1966. Today there are over 300 secondary schools. All children born in Botswana are guaranteed 9 years of free education. No citizen of Botswana is more than 18 miles from a health care facility.

Thirty six years ago Botswana had only 6 kilometres ( 4 miles) of paved roads. The country now boasts a network of modern roads covering an area over 7000 kilometres. Much of Botswana’s economic success is attributed to good and accountable leadership, prudent management of resources, especially revenue earned from diamond exports. Indeed Botswana is one of the few countries where the endowment of such precious natural resources such as diamonds never led to internal rifts over ownership of the mines, the marketing of production from the mines or how to spend the money earned from the gemstones. The Government invested wisely in the education, health, clean water and telecommunications sectors to create a better standard of living for its citizens and more importantly to foster a conducive environment for free enterprise to prosper. The fiscal and monetary policies of the Government of Botswana are designed towards maintaining growth with social justice.

Botswana’s good environment for business has been recognized by international credit rating agencies. Both Moody’s and Standards & Poor have awarded Botswana a sovereign credit rating in the A category. Transparency International continues to recognize Botswana for having the least corrupt system in Africa.

Botswana - Zimbabwe Bilateral Relations
Botswana - Malawi Bilateral Relations
   
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