Botswana By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  14:11

Full Name
Republic of Botswana
Origins: Botswana is a name derived from the country's dominant ethnic group Tswana

Formerly: Bechuanaland

Current leader
Seretse Khama Ian Khama

AFP

Overview
The earliest inhabitants of the region were the San, who were followed by the Tswana
Culture is mainly native Bantu
Former British Colony
Achieved independence on September 30, 1966

Facts

Form of Government
Parliamentary republic

President indirectly elected for a five-year term
Eligible for a second term

Government Structure
President, Vice-President, Bicameral Parliament

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: 656,789 People
Expenditures 3.3 % of GDP
Branches: Botswana Defence Force: Ground Forces (includes Air Wing)

Former Rulers
1875 – 1923 Khama, chief of the Bamangwato people of Bechuanaland (now Botswana)
1966 –1980 Sir Seretse Khama, President of Botswana
1980 - 1991 Dr Quett Ketumile Jono Masire
1991 - 1998 Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, GCMG, President
1998 - 2008 Festus Gontebanye Mogae
2008 - Present Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Capital
Gaborone
Altitude: 1003m
Population: 208,411people

Population
Size: 1.88 million people
Life Expectancy: 61.9 (years)
Gender make-up: Female - 52% , Men –58%

GDP Per Capita

$ 16,200 (2011)
$ 15,700 (2010)

Geography
Area: 581,730sqkm
Land Boundaries: Namibia 1,360km, South Africa 1,840km, Zimbabwe 813km

Major Languages

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

Religious Portfolio
Christian 71.6%, Badimo/indigenous 23%, Islam 0.3%, unspecified 0.4%, Hindu 0.1%

National Make-up
Africans 93% and other including Kgalagadi and white 7%

Natural Resources
Diamonds, Copper, Nickel, Salt, Soda ash, Potash, Coal, Iron ore, Silver

Main exports
Diamonds, Copper, Nickel, Soda ash, Meat, Textiles

Land Use
Arable land: 0.65%
Permanent crops: 0.01%
Other: 99.34% (2005)

Currency
Botswana Pula

Dialling Code
+267

Internet Code
.bw

Transport
Main Airport: Sir Seretse Khama International Airport located 15km North of Gaborone
Main Port: None (landlocked)

Modern issues

Environmental
Overgrazing
Desertification
Limited fresh water resources

Political
Politically stable/peaceful successions in government
Botswana has held its 10th General Election since independence on October 16, 2009
Has made history by electing Dr Margaret Nnananyana Nasha as its first woman speaker

Economic
For the first time since independence, the budget went into deficit in 2011. The World Bank urged the government to slash its bloated public workforce by a quarter but President Khama is resisting

Social
Botswana endured a long and widespread strike this year. Lasting seven weeks, the public sector strike pay increment strike

In 2012, after winning a long court battle with Botswana's government, the Bushmen of the Kalahari now have the right to drill new water wells and return to their ancestral lands.

HIV/Aids prevalence remains high, resulting in a high number of orphans
Drought is recurrent and this has impacted negatively on food production through agriculture

Foreign Policy issues

Botswana maintains friendly diplomatic relations with most African nations, as well as with many European and Arab nations

In 2011, Botswana offered relief to Japan, one of the main markets for Botswana's diamonds, to help cope with the effects of March’s major earthquake

Botswana still struggles to seal its border from thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing economic collapse and political persecution
Political tension between Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia may disrupt construction of the Kazungula Bridge on Zambezi River, a vital economic link between Botswana and Zambia and the rest of Africa.
Botswana's foreign policy has historically put a premium on economic and political integration in southern Africa, leading to the development of the 12-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), to which Gaborone is host

The Major Conflicts

Anglo-Boer war
When: (1899-1902)
Who : British vs. Boers
Why : Quest for territory/to control Bechuanaland (Guerrilla type)
Outcome: Boer resistance collapsed, they surrendered to British

Independence struggle
(There was no violent/armed struggle in Botswana, the chiefs made demands to govern themselves, which British granted)
When: 1885-1966
Who: British vs. Batswana
Why: Self governing
Outcome: After sometime, the British gave in to the demands hence the peaceful independence in 1966

What to see
Tsodilo Hills
Domboshaba Ruins
Tswapong Hills
Motloutse Ruins
Gcwihaba Caverns
Matsieng footprints
Kubu Island

Sports
Popular Sports
Football
Cricket
Tennis
Rugby
Softball
Volleyball
Athletics

Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Khumiso Ikgopoleng – Country’s most acclaimed boxer who competed at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Diphetogo ("Dipsy") Selolwane –significant personality in Botswana football team, was drafted 36th overall in the 2002 MLS Superdraft by the Chicago Fire

Quirks
•Pink elephant was spotted in Botswana by filmmaker filming for a wildlife documentary. Experts said it was most likely an albino, an occurrence that is very rare among African elephants

Courtesy: Mike Holding |BBC