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Countries > Botswana Botswana Flag

Languages   4 languages are spoken in Botswana. We have 29 products available for 3 of those languages.

Capital: Gaborone
Population: 1,550,000
Description: The official language is English but Tswana is spoken by almost the entire population. There are some 50,000 Bushman speakers in the west.
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Botswana Map


Location: Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Geographic coordinates: 22 00 S, 24 00 E

Map references: Africa

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

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: semiarid; warm winters and hot summers

Terrain: predominately 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 Hill 1,489 m

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

Land use:
arable land : 1%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 47%
other: 6% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country


Population: 1,586,119
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 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 40.3% (male 321,164; female 318,007)
15-64 years: 55.56% (male 423,954; female 457,227)
65 years and over : 4.14% (male 26,691; female 39,076) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.47% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 28.85 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 24.18 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years:0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population:0.95 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 63.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 37.13 years
male: 36.77 years
female: 37.51 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.7 children born/woman (2001 est.)

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%

Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 50%

Languages: English (official), Setswana

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 69.8%
male: 80.5%
female: 59.9% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
former : Bechuanaland

Data code: BC

Government type: parliamentary republic

National capital: Gaborone

Administrative divisions: 10 districts and four town councils*; Central, Chobe, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, Ngamiland, North-East, Selebi-Phikwe*, South-East, Southern

Independence: 30 September 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 30 September (1966)

Constitution: March 1965, effective 30 September 1966

Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law and local customary law; judicial review limited to matters of interpretation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state : President Festus MOGAE (since 1 April 1998) and 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 MOGAE (since 1 April 1998) and Vice President Seretse Ian KHAMA (since 13 July 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections : president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 16 October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2004); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Festus MOGAE elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 54.3%

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely advisory 15-member body consisting of the chiefs of the eight principal tribes, four elected subchiefs, and three members selected by the other 12) and the National Assembly (44 seats, 40 members are directly elected by popular vote and 4 appointed by the majority party; members serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly elections last held 16 October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2004)
election results : percent of vote by party - BDP 57.2%, BNF 26%, other 16.8%; seats by party - BDP 33, BNF 6, other 1

Judicial branch: High Court; Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Festus MOGAE]; Botswana National Front or BNF [Kenneth KOMA]; Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Michael DINGAKE]; Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]
note: main parties are: BDP, BNF, BCP; other minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim SETSHWAELO, chairman] but did not capture any parliamentary seats; the BAM parties are: the United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO], the Botswana Peoples Party, the Independence Freedom Party [Motsamai MPHO], and the Botswana Progressive Union [D. K. KWELE]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Kgosi SEEPAPITSO IV
chancery: Suite 7M, 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990, 4991
FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Kgosi SEEPAPITSO IV
embassy: address NA, Gaborone
mailing address: P. O. Box 90, Gaborone
telephone: [267] 353982
FAX: [267] 356947

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


Economy - overview: Agriculture still provides a livelihood for more than 80% of the population but supplies only about 50% of food needs and accounts for only 4% of GDP. Subsistence farming and cattle raising predominate. The sector is plagued by erratic rainfall and poor soils. Substantial mineral deposits were found in the 1970s and the mining sector grew from 25% of GDP in 1980 to 33% in 1995. The unemployment rate remains a problem at 21%. On the plus side is the substantial positive trade balance.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $10.4 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,600 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 46% (including 36% mining)
services : 50% (1998 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 8.6% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total : 235,000 formal sector employees (1995)
by occupation: 100,000 public sector; 135,000 private sector, including 14,300 who are employed in various mines in South Africa; most others engaged in cattle raising and subsistence agriculture (1995 est.)

Unemployment rate: 40% (2000 est.)

revenues : $1.8 billion
expenditures: $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $560 million (FY96)

Industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing

Industrial production growth rate: 6.2% (2000 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 197,000 kW (1993)

Electricity - production: 610 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 1.517 billion kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: sorghum, maize, millet, pulses, groundnuts (peanuts), beans, cowpeas, sunflower seed; livestock

total value: $2.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: diamonds 72%, vehicles, copper, nickel, meat (1998)
partners: EU 77%, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 18%, Zimbabwe 3% (1998)

total value: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, vehicles and transport equipment, textiles, petroleum products
partners: Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 76%, Europe 10%, South Korea 5% (1998)

Debt - external: $455 million (2000)

Economic aid:
recipient: $73 million (1995)

Currency: 1 pula (P) = 100 thebe

Exchange rates: pula (P) per US$1 - 3.6417 (January 1997), 3.3014 (1996), 2.7716 (1995), 2.6831 (1994), 2.4190 (1993), 2.1327 (1992)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Telephones: 86,000 (1997)

Telephone system: sparse system
domestic: small system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and a few radiotelephone communication stations
international:two international exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 15, shortwave 5 (1998)

Radios: 237,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 0 (1988 est.)

Televisions: 31,000 (1997)


total: 888 km
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2000)

total: 18,482 km
paved : 4,343 km
unpaved: 14,139 km (1996)

Ports and harbors: none

Airports:92 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 2
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 81
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m : 56
under 914 m:22 (2000 est.)


Military branches: Botswana Defense Force (includes Army and Air Wing), Botswana National Police

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49:380,152 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 199,995 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males:19,479 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $61 million (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.2% (FY99)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: quadripoint with Namibia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zimbabwe is in disagreement; dispute with Namibia over uninhabited Kasikili (Sidudu) Island in Linyanti (Chobe) River remained unresolved in January 1996 and the parties have agreed to refer the matter to the ICJ

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