South Africa

Botswana State Overview

Botswana, whose official name is the Republic of Botswana. It is a country located in southern Africa. It used to be the British protectorate of Bechuanaland. Botswana adopted this name when it achieved its independence in 1966.

Botswana, which has no outlet to the sea, bordered to the north with Zambia (2 km) to the east with Zimbabwe (813 km) to the south with South Africa (1840 km) and to the west and to the north by Namibia (1,360 km). The country is largely covered by the Kalahari desert, 70% of the total area of the country, especially the north and west of the country. In addition, on its territory is the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world.

Since independence, Botswana has experienced the fastest per capita income growth in the world. Economic growth has been 9% per year from 1966 to 1999. The government has maintained a responsible fiscal policy, despite fiscal deficits in 2002 and 2003, and negligible foreign debt. It has the best sovereign risk credit rating in Africa and has accumulated international reserves in the order of $ 5.1 billion in 2003 – 2004. The improving economy has been built from a successful use of proceeds from the mines of diamonds, a prudent fiscal policy and a cautious foreign policy.

History

The Batsuanas, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the main ethnic group in the country. Before contacts with Europe, the Batswana lived as herdsmen and farmers under tribal rule.

In the 19th century, hostilities broke out between the Batswana and the Boer settlers from the Transvaal. After appeals for help from the Batswana, the British government, in February 1885, established the protectorate of Bechuanaland. The northern territory remained under direct administration and is present-day Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the northwestern province of South Africa.

Despite South African pressure, the residents of the Bechuanaland protectorate, Basutoland (now Lesotho), and Swaziland in 1907 requested and received British assurances that they would not be included in the proposed Union of South Africa. An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the establishment in 1920 of two advisory councils representing Africans and Europeans. Proclamations in 1934 regularized tribal powers and dominion. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a legislative advisory council.

In June 1964, Britain accepted proposals for democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved from Mafikeng in South Africa to the established Gaborone in 1965. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and independence in September 1966. Seretse Khama, a leader of the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to the traditional government of the Bamangwato, was elected as the first president and twice re-elected died in 1979during his tenure.

Geography

Landlocked Botswana is bordered to the north by Zambia (2 km), to the east by Zimbabwe (813 km), to the south by South Africa (1 840 km) and to the west and north by Namibia (1,360 km). The country is largely covered by the Kalahari desert, 70% of the total area of the country, especially the north and west of the country. In addition, on its territory is the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world.

Its highest point is the Tsodilo Hills, with 1,489 meters above sea level, while its lowest point is the junction of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, 513 meters above sea level.

Economic development

At the time of emancipation of the UK, the 30 of September of 1966, it was considered one of the 25 nations most impoverished of the planet, but its subsoil rich in especially minerals diamonds – and a prudent management by the central government, allowed the construction of a society considered democratic and stable. This bonanza is threatened by the overdependence of its mining sector, as well as by the enormous HIV / AIDS epidemic that is ravaging the nation through all segments of its population.

Since independence, Botswana has experienced the fastest per capita income growth in the world. Economic growth has been 9% per year from 1966 to 1999. The government has maintained a responsible fiscal policy, despite fiscal deficits in 2002 and 2003, and negligible foreign debt. It has the best sovereign credit rating in Africa and has accumulated international reserves in the order of $ 5.1 billion in 2003-2004. The improvement in the economy has been built on wise use of the proceeds from the diamond mines, prudent fiscal policy, and cautious foreign policy. Debswana, the only diamond mining company operating in Botswana, is 50% owned by the government and generates about half of all government revenue.

Government spending was cut by 10% in 2002 – 2003 in order to cope with rising costs in health services and the budget deficit. The high incidence of AIDS has greatly affected the population and the economy of the country. One in three people is infected with the virus. The government recognizes that the epidemic affects the country’s economy and that is why it has planned programs to combat the epidemic, including free antiretroviral treatment and a national program to prevent transmission of the virus from mother to child.

Demography

In 2007, as a country located in Africa according to EHISTORYLIB, Botswana had a population of 1,815,000. About 50% of them are Christian. The official language is English. Life expectancy is 50 years. The average number of children per woman is 2.73 (one of the lowest rates in Africa). Almost 80% of the population is literate. It is estimated that 37.3% of the population is infected with the HIV virus (AIDS).

More than 45,000 native Bushmen or Basarawa live in Botswana, especially in the Kalahari, where these hunter-gatherers have lived for thousands of years. The population of European origin is made up of about 50,000 individuals, which results in 3.0% of the country’s total population.

Culture

In the northern part of Botswana, women in the villages of Etsha and Gumare are known for their skill in making mokola palm baskets and dyes. Baskets are generally woven into three types: large covered baskets used for storage, open baskets for holding objects on the head or for winnowing threshed grain, and smaller dishes for winnowing the crushed grain. The art of these baskets is marked by the use of improved colors and designs, as it is increasingly being produced for commercial use.

Other notable artistic communities include the Thamaga and Oodi, both located in the southeastern part of Botswana. The oldest paintings in Botswana and South Africa depict hunting, animals and human figures, and were made by the Khoisan (Kung San, or Bushmen) more than 20,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert.

Botswana State Overview