Tourism in Botswana - History

Tourism in Botswana - History

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In 2017 1,797,000 international tourist arrivied in Botswana, that was up 11.6% from the year before. The tourist industry generated 71,000 jobs which represented 7.3% of the employment in the country. It contributed 11.2% of the companies GDP

10 Interesting And Unique Facts About Botswana

Elephants in Chobe National Park in the Okavango Delta.

Botswana is a landlocked nation located in Southern Africa. The country covers an area of 224,610 sq mi and has a population of 2,250,260, which makes it one of the least densely populated in the world. Botswana is a former British protectorate, and its economy and standard of living rank among the highest in Africa. The country features diverse landscapes and humans have inhabited the region for at least thousands of years. A series of interesting and unique facts about Botswana are highlighted below.

Botswana Tourism Organisation

The organisation has successfully focused its efforts on achieving high standards and developing tourism strategies that exceed customer expectations as well as building customer confidence around the world.

Its stated aim is to develop Botswana into a unique preferred tourism destination of choice, in order to increase the sector&rsquos contribution to the economic growth of the nation. As part of its efforts to reach this goal, the organisation is constantly expanding and promoting the international image of Botswana.

A good example is its website, which contains just about everything that potential visitors need to know. The website gives an insight into what&rsquos on offer in Botswana as well as providing useful travel information and advice. It even suggests a list of books to read for visitors to Botswana.

Dedicated to preserving the heritage and environment of Botswana, the organisation has laid down conservation policies and ecotourism strategies to ensure that tourism is sustainable for its inhabitants and future generations while still contributing meaningfully to the national economy.

Although relatively new in its development, the Botswana Tourism Organisation has already shown itself to be a well run, fully functioning organisation &ndash one that will continue to serve as a competitive front-runner in promoting Botswana as a destination of choice.


On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Botswana Museums Act, Mike Brook recently launched his seventh book about Botswana in as many years.

The new release is titled Botswana’s Monuments and Museums, and it is extremely important for the preservation of culture and heritage and also contributes significantly to the economy of the country through enhancing tourism says a press release.

Monuments come in many different shapes and sizes, from beautiful scenic landscapes to archaeological sites going back to the Stone Age. To date, there are 12 museums across the country, covering different aspects of heritage and culture, varying from Philately to Diamond Mining, but with generally a strong focus on cultural heritage and tradition.

Before 1966, Botswana was under colonial rule under the Bechuanaland Protectorate there were a number of proclamations made to protect heritage, including the Bushman Relics and Ancient Ruins Protection Proclamation of 1911, the year in which the Livingstone memorial was proclaimed, the first ever monument to be given such protection in the country.

This Proclamation prohibited the removal of the protected relics and ancient ruins without the written permission of the Resident Commissioner. “In 1968, following the 1967 Act to establish a National Museum and Art Gallery, the National Museum based in the capital, Gaborone, commenced under the management of a Board of Directors, chaired by Kgosi Bathoen II and was officially opened by the then Acting President, Hon Quett Masire, in September 1968,” the release says.

Botswana has adopted the word monument to describe in-situ examples of Botswana’s heritage, history and culture. Botswana has over 2500 National Monuments and relics sites, of which 100 have been gazetted by way of statutory instrument No. 58 of 2006 (Declaration of National Monuments Order, 2006). The National Monuments and Relics Act of 2001 ensures that the sites are adequately protected.

“The day to day management of these sites, where possible, has been shifted to the level of the community, often through the founding of a trust, so that local people are given the opportunity to be able to benefit directly from the resources of the area where they live,” it says.

In 2001, the Tsodilo Hills, located in the Ngamiland District, North – West Botswana, became Botswana’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a protected area. It contains over 4,500 rock paintings in an area of approximately 10 km² within the Kalahari Desert. The second UNESCO World Heritage Site to be developed in Botswana, the Okavango Delta, was proclaimed UNESCO’s 1000th site on 22nd June, 2014, in Doha, Qatar, for its exceptional beauty and aesthetic importance, outstanding ecological biodiversity and hydrological processes and for the protection of threatened and endangered species.

The press release also points out that there are now plans in place to get approval for more UNESCO World Heritage Sites at least seven more sites have been proposed. The Botswana Department of National Museum and Monuments (DNMM) has already embarked on heritage tourism at some monuments, forming part of the 100 monuments project.

“They include Tsodilo Hills, Gcwihaba Caves, Mogonye Gorge, Moremi Gorge, Old Palapye, Mamumo, Lekhubu Island, Domboshaba, Majojo, Kolobeng and Matsieng Footprints. These sites are economically viable and the surrounding communities have benefited in terms of jobs, improved livelihoods, training, capacity building and learning new skills. Most of the sites have taken a long time to reach their goals and still continue to strive to achieve more,” it explains. The establishment and ultimate launching of the gazetted 100 monuments in 2006 for heritage tourism is in line with the DNMM’s ultimate vision of the sustainable management and conservation of these sites. In June 2012, a declaration of National Monuments Order, established an additional nine national monuments. “The latter part of the book documents the history, development and current status of Botswana’s twelve museums, including the National Museum and Art Gallery, which is where everything started 50 years ago, with the proclamation of the National Museum and Art Gallery Act of September 1967,” it highlights.

Botswana Independence and Democratic Stability

Independence was secured peacefully by Botswana in June 1964. They established a constitution in 1965 and held general elections to finalize independence in 1966. The first president was Seretse Khama, who was the grandson of King Khama III of the Bamangwato people and a prominent figure in the movement for independence. He was trained in law in Britain and married to a white British woman. He served three terms and died in office in 1980. His vice president, Ketumile Masire, likewise was reelected several times, followed by Festus Mogae and then Khama's son, Ian Khama. Botswana continues to have a stable democracy.


The country's name means "Land of the Tswana", referring to the dominant ethnic group in Botswana. [24] The term Batswana was originally applied to the Tswana, which is still the case. [25] However, it has also come to be used generally as a demonym for all citizens of Botswana. [26] Many English dictionaries also include Botswanan to refer to people of Botswana, though that term is rarely used in the country. [27]

Early history Edit

Archaeological digs have shown that hominids have lived in Botswana for around two million years. Stone tools and fauna remains have shown that all areas of the country were inhabited at least 400,000 years ago. [28] In October 2019, researchers reported that Botswana was the birthplace of all modern humans about 200,000 years ago. [29]

[30] Evidence left by modern humans such as cave paintings are about 73,000 years old. [31] The original inhabitants of southern Africa were the Bushmen (San) and Khoi peoples. Both speak Khoisan languages and hunted, gathered, and traded over long distances. When cattle were first introduced about 2000 years ago into southern Africa, pastoralism became a major feature of the economy, since the region had large grasslands free of tsetse fly. [32]

It is unclear when Bantu-speaking peoples first moved into the country from the north, although AD 600 seems to be a consensus estimate. In that era, the ancestors of the modern-day Kalanga moved into what is now the north-eastern areas of the country. These proto-Kalanga were closely connected to states in Zimbabwe as well as to the Mapungubwe state and the notable of these was Domboshaba ruins which is a cultural and heritage site in Botswana originally occupied towards the end of the Great Zimbabwe period (1250–1450 AD) with stone walls that have an average height of 1.8 metres. The site is a respected place for the people living in the region and it is believed that the chief lived on the top of the hill together with his helpers or assistants. These states, located outside of current Botswana's borders, appear to have kept massive cattle herds in what is now the Central District—apparently at numbers approaching modern cattle density. [33] This massive cattle-raising complex prospered until 1300 AD or so, and seems to have regressed following the collapse of Mapungubwe. During this era, the first Tswana-speaking groups, the Bakgalagadi, moved into the southern areas of the Kalahari. All these various peoples were connected to trade routes that ran via the Limpopo River to the Indian Ocean, and trade goods from Asia such as beads made their way to Botswana most likely in exchange for ivory, gold, and rhinoceros horn. [34]

Toutswemogala Hill Iron Age Settlement's radio-carbon dates for this settlement range from 7th to late 19th century AD indicating occupation of more than one thousand years. The hill was part of the formation of early states in Southern Africa with cattle keeping as major source of economy. Toutswe settlement include house-floors, large heaps of vitrified cow-dog and burials while the outstanding structure is the stone wall. There are large tracts of centaurs ciliaris, a type of grass which has come to be associated with cattle-keeping settlements in South, Central Africa.Around 700 A.D., the Toutswe people moved westward into Botswana and began an agricultural and pastoral land tenure system based on sorghum and millet, and domesticated stock, respectively. [35] The site was situated in the center of a broader cultural area in Eastern Botswana and shares many commonalities with other archaeological sites of this region, in both ceramic production styles and also timeframes inhabited. [35] Large structures were observed that contained vitrified remains of animal dung, leading to the theory that these were animal enclosures and that Toutswemogala Hill was thus a major center of animal husbandry in the region. [35] However, agriculture also played a vital role in the longevity of Toutswemogala Hill's extended occupation, as many grain storage structures have also been found on the site. Many different stratified layers of housing floors further signal continuous occupation over hundreds of years.

The arrival of the ancestors of the Tswana-speakers who came to control the region has yet to be dated precisely. Members of the Bakwena, a chieftaincy under a legendary leader named Kgabo II, made their way into the southern Kalahari by AD 1500, at the latest, and his people drove the Bakgalagadi inhabitants west into the desert. Over the years, several offshoots of the Bakwena moved into adjoining territories. The Bangwaketse occupied areas to the west, while the Bangwato moved northeast into formerly Kalanga areas. [36] Not long afterwards, a Bangwato offshoot known as the Batawana migrated into the Okavango Delta, probably in the 1790s. [37]

Effects of the Mfecane and Batswana-Boer Wars Edit

The first written records relating to modern-day Botswana appear in 1824. What these records show is that the Bangwaketse had become the predominant power in the region. Under the rule of Makaba II, the Bangwaketse kept vast herds of cattle in well-protected desert areas, and used their military prowess to raid their neighbours. [38] Other chiefdoms in the area, by this time, had capitals of 10,000 or so and were fairly prosperous. [39] This equilibrium came to end during the Mfecane period, 1823–1843, when a succession of invading peoples from South Africa entered the country. Although the Bangwaketse were able to defeat the invading Bakololo in 1826, over time all the major chiefdoms in Botswana were attacked, weakened, and impoverished. The Bakololo and AmaNdebele raided repeatedly and took large numbers of cattle, women, and children from the Batswana—most of whom were driven into the desert or sanctuary areas such as hilltops and caves. Only after 1843, when the Amandebele moved into western Zimbabwe, did this threat subside. [40]

During the 1840s and 1850s trade with Cape Colony-based merchants opened up and enabled the Batswana chiefdoms to rebuild. The Bakwena, Bangwaketse, Bangwato and Batawana cooperated to control the lucrative ivory trade and then used the proceeds to import horses and guns, which in turn enabled them to establish control over what is now Botswana. This process was largely complete by 1880, and thus the Bushmen, the Kalanga, the Bakgalagadi, and other current minorities were subjugated by the Batswana. [41]

Following the Great Trek, Afrikaners from the Cape Colony established themselves on the borders of Botswana in the Transvaal. In 1852 a coalition of Tswana chiefdoms led by Sechele I defeated Afrikaner incursions at the Battle of Dimawe and, after about eight years of intermittent tensions and hostilities, eventually came to a peace agreement in Potchefstroom in 1860. From that point on, the modern-day border between South Africa and Botswana was agreed on, and the Afrikaners and Batswana traded and worked together comparatively peacefully. [42] [43]

In 1884 Batawana, a northern based Tswana clan's cavalry under the command of Kgosi Moremi fought and defeated the Ndebele's invasion of northern Botswana at the Battle of Khutiyabasadi. This blow to the larger invading Ndebele force signalled the start of the collapse of the Ndebele Kingdom in Zimbabwe and helped galvanize Tswana speaking authority of the area now making part of northern Botswana. [44]

Due to newly peaceful conditions, trade thrived between 1860 and 1880. Taking advantage of this were Christian missionaries. The Lutherans and the London Missionary Society both became established in the country by 1856. By 1880 every major village had a resident missionary, and their influence slowly became felt. Khama III (reigned 1875–1923) was the first of the Tswana chiefs to make Christianity a state religion and changed a great deal of Tswana customary law as a result. Christianity became the de facto official religion in all the chiefdoms by World War I. [45]

Colonialism and the Bechuanaland Protectorate Edit

During the Scramble for Africa the territory of Botswana was coveted by both the German Empire and Britain. During the Berlin Conference, Britain decided to annex Botswana in order to safeguard the Road to the North and thus connect the Cape Colony to its territories further north. It unilaterally annexed Tswana territories in January 1885 and then sent the Warren Expedition north to consolidate control over the area and convince the chiefs to accept British overrule. Despite their misgivings, they eventually acquiesced to this fait accompli. [46] [47]

In 1890 areas north of 22 degrees were added to the new Bechuanaland Protectorate. During the 1890s the new territory was divided into eight different reserves, with fairly small amounts of land being left as freehold for white settlers. During the early 1890s, the British government decided to hand over the Bechuanaland Protectorate to the British South Africa Company. This plan, which was well on its way to fruition despite the entreaties of Tswana leaders who toured England in protest, was eventually foiled by the failure of the Jameson Raid in January 1896. [48] [49]

When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910 from the main British colonies in the region, the High Commission Territories – the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basutoland (now Lesotho), and Swaziland (now Eswatini) — were not included, but provision was made for their later incorporation. However, the UK began to consult with their inhabitants as to their wishes. Although successive South African governments sought to have the territories transferred to their jurisdiction, the UK kept delaying subsequently, it never occurred. The election of the Nationalist government in 1948, which instituted apartheid, and South Africa's withdrawal from the Commonwealth in 1961, ended any prospect of the UK or these territories agreeing to incorporation into South Africa. [50]

An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of native government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils to represent both Africans and Europeans. [51] The African Council consisted of the eight heads of the Tswana tribes and some elected members. [51] Proclamations in 1934 regulated tribal rule and powers. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a consultative legislative council.

Independence Edit

In June 1964, the United Kingdom accepted proposals for a democratic self-government in Botswana. An independence conference was held in London in February 1966. [52] The seat of government was moved in 1965 from Mahikeng in South Africa, to the newly established Gaborone, which is located near Botswana's border with South Africa. Based on the 1965 constitution, the country held its first general elections under universal suffrage and gained independence on 30 September 1966. [53] Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to the Ngwato chiefship, was elected as the first President, and subsequently re-elected twice.

The presidency passed to the sitting vice-president, Quett Masire, who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. He was succeeded by Festus Mogae, who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. The presidency passed in 2008 to Ian Khama (son of the first President), who had been serving as Mogae's vice-president since resigning his position in 1998 as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force to take up this civilian role. On 1 April 2018 Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi was sworn in as the 5th President of Botswana succeeding Ian Khama. He represents the Botswana Democratic Party, which has also won a majority in every parliamentary election since independence. All the previous presidents have also represented the same party. [54]

A long-running dispute over the northern border with Namibia's Caprivi Strip was the subject of a ruling by the International Court of Justice in December 1999. It ruled that Kasikili Island belongs to Botswana. [55]

At 581,730 km 2 (224,607 sq mi) Botswana is the world's 48th-largest country. It is similar in size to Madagascar or France. It lies between latitudes 17° and 27° south, and longitudes 20° and 30° east.

Botswana is predominantly flat, tending toward gently rolling tableland. Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert, which covers up to 70% of its land surface. The Okavango Delta, one of the world's largest inland river deltas, is in the north-west. The Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt pan, lies in the north.

The Limpopo River Basin, the major landform of all of southern Africa, lies partly in Botswana, with the basins of its tributaries, the Notwane, Bonwapitse, Mahalapye, Lotsane, Motloutse and the Shashe, located in the eastern part of the country. The Notwane provides water to the capital through the Gaborone Dam. The Chobe River lies to the north, providing a boundary between Botswana and Namibia's Zambezi Region. The Chobe River meets with the Zambezi River at a place called Kazungula (meaning a small sausage tree, a point where Sebitwane and his Makololo tribe crossed the Zambezi into Zambia).

Ecology Edit

Botswana has diverse areas of wildlife habitat. In addition to the delta and desert areas, there are grasslands and savannas, where blue wildebeest, antelopes, and other mammals and birds are found. Northern Botswana has one of the few remaining large populations of the endangered African wild dog. Chobe National Park, found in the Chobe District, has the world's largest concentration of African elephants. The park covers about 11,000 km 2 (4,247 sq mi) and supports about 350 species of birds.

The Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve (in the Okavango Delta) are major tourist destinations. Other reserves include the Central Kalahari Game Reserve located in the Kalahari desert in Ghanzi District Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Nxai Pan National Park are in Central District in the Makgadikgadi Pan. Mashatu Game Reserve is privately owned, located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo Rivers in eastern Botswana. The other privately owned reserve is Mokolodi Nature Reserve near Gaborone. There are also specialised sanctuaries like Khama Rhino Sanctuary (for rhinoceros) and Makgadikgadi Sanctuary (for flamingos). They are both located in Central District.

Environmental problems Edit

Botswana faces two major environmental problems, drought and desertification, which are heavily linked. Three-quarters of the country's human and animal populations depend on groundwater due to drought. Groundwater use through deep borehole drilling has somewhat eased the effects of drought. Surface water is scarce in Botswana and less than 5% of the agriculture in the country is sustainable by rainfall. In the remaining 95% of the country, raising livestock is the primary source of rural income. Approximately 71% of the country's land is used for communal grazing, which has been a major cause of the desertification and the accelerating soil erosion of the country. [56]

Since raising livestock has been profitable for the people of Botswana, they continue to exploit the land with dramatically increasing numbers of animals. From 1966 to 1991, the livestock population grew from 1.7 million to 5.5 million. [56] : 64 Similarly, the human population has increased from 574,000 in 1971 to 1.5 million in 1995, a 161% increase in 24 years. "Over 50% of all households in Botswana own cattle, which is currently the largest single source of rural income." "Rangeland degradation or desertification is regarded as the reduction in land productivity as a result of overstocking and overgrazing, or as a result of veld product gathering for commercial use. Degradation is exacerbated by the effects of drought and climate change." [56]

Environmentalists report that the Okavango Delta is drying up due to the increased grazing of livestock. [57] The Okavango Delta is one of the major semi-forested wetlands in Botswana and one of the largest inland deltas in the world it is a crucial ecosystem to the survival of many animals. [57]

The Department of Forestry and Range Resources has already begun to implement a project to reintroduce indigenous vegetation into communities in Kgalagadi South, Kweneng North and Boteti. [58] Reintroduction of indigenous vegetation will help reduce the degradation of the land. The United States Government has also entered into an agreement with Botswana, giving them US$7 million to reduce Botswana's debt by US$8.3 million. The stipulation of the US reducing Botswana's debt is that Botswana will focus on more extensive conservation of the land. [57] The country had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 9.13/10, ranking it 8th globally out of 172 countries. [59]

The United Nations Development Programme claims that poverty is a major problem behind the overexploitation of resources, including land, in Botswana. To help change this the UNDP joined in with a project started in the southern community of Struizendam in Botswana. The purpose of the project is to draw from "indigenous knowledge and traditional land management systems". The leaders of this movement are supposed to be the people in the community, to draw them in, in turn increasing their possibilities to earn an income and thus decreasing poverty. The UNDP also stated that the government has to effectively implement policies to allow people to manage their own local resources and are giving the government information to help with policy development. [60]

Botswana is the continent's oldest democracy. The Constitution of Botswana is the rule of law, which protects the citizens of Botswana and represents their rights. The politics of Botswana take place in a framework of a multi-party representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Botswana is both head of state and head of government, and is elected by and accountable to the Parliament of Botswana. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Botswana. The most recent election, its eleventh, was held on 23 October 2019. Since independence was declared, the party system has been dominated by the Botswana Democratic Party. [61]

Botswana was ranked as a "flawed democracy" and 33rd out of 167 states in the 2020 Democracy Index. This was the highest rating in continental Africa (with only the offshore archipelago of Cape Verde besting its ranking.) According to Transparency International, Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa and ranks just below Portugal and South Korea. [62]

Judiciary Edit

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. [63]

It consists of a typical court system of local Magistrates Courts, a High Court and a Court of Appeal. The High Court is a superior court of record with unlimited original jurisdiction to hear and determine any criminal, civil or constitutional cases under any law. Appeals can be heard by the Court of Appeal. The Head of the High Court is the Chief Justice. [64]

The Court of Appeal is the highest and final court in the country and deals with appeals from the High Court and the Industrial Court. The Head of the Court of Appeal is the Judge President.

Judges are appointed by the President of Botswana on the recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission.

  • 1968–1971 John Richard Dendy-Young
  • 1972–1975 Akinola Aguda
  • 1975–1977 George O.L. Dyke
  • 1977–1981 Robert John Hayfron-Benjamin
  • 1981–1987 O'Brien Quinn
  • 1987–1992 Livesey Luke
  • 1992–1997 Moleleki Didwell Mokama
  • 1997–2010 Julian Mukwesu Nganunu
  • 2010–2018 Maruping Dibotelo
  • 2018–present Terence Rannowane

With regard to the legal profession, although the Law Society of Botswana has been in existence since 1997, [66] there is still no clear indication in their registry of attorneys as to how certain demographics, such as women, have fared in the legal field.

Foreign relations and military Edit

At the time of independence, Botswana had no armed forces. It was only after the Rhodesian and South African armies armies attacked the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe [67] bases respectively that the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) was formed in 1977. [68] The President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and appoints a defence council and the BDF currently consists of roughly 60,000 servicemen. In 2019, Botswana signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. [69]

Following political changes in South Africa and the region, the BDF's missions have increasingly focused on prevention of poaching, preparing for disasters, and foreign peacekeeping. The United States has been the largest single foreign contributor to the development of the BDF, and a large segment of its officer corps have received U.S. training. The Botswana government gave the United States permission to explore the possibility of establishing an Africa Command (AFRICOM) base in the country. [70]

Human rights Edit

Many of the indigenous San people have been forcibly relocated from their land to reservations. To make them relocate, they were denied access to water on their land and faced arrest if they hunted, which was their primary source of food. [71] Their lands lie in the middle of the world's richest diamond field. Officially, the government denies that there is any link to mining and claims the relocation is to preserve the wildlife and ecosystem, even though the San people have lived sustainably on the land for millennia. [71] On the reservations they struggle to find employment, and alcoholism is rampant. [71] On 24 August 2018 the UN Special Rapporteur on Minorities, Fernand de Varennes, issued a statement calling on Botswana "to step up efforts to recognize and protect the rights of minorities in relation to public services, land and resource use and the use of minority languages in education and other critical areas."

Until June 2019, homosexual acts were illegal in Botswana. A Botswana High Court decision of 11 June of that year struck down provisions in the Criminal Code that punished "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" and "acts of gross indecency", making Botswana one of twenty-two African countries that have either decriminalised or legalised homosexual acts. [72]

Capital punishment in Botswana includes the death penalty by hanging. [73]

The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, Ditshwanelo, was established in 1993. [74]

Administrative divisions Edit

Botswana's ten districts are:

Since independence, Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates in per capita income in the world. [75] Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to an upper middle-income country. GDP per capita grew from $1,344 in 1950 to $15,015 in 2016. [76] Although Botswana was resource-abundant, a good institutional framework allowed the country to reinvest resource-income in order to generate stable future income. [77] By one estimate, it has the fourth highest gross national income at purchasing power parity in Africa, giving it a standard of living around that of Mexico. [78]

The Ministry of Trade and Industry of Botswana is responsible for promoting business development throughout the country. According to the International Monetary Fund, economic growth averaged over 9% per year from 1966 to 1999. Botswana has a high level of economic freedom compared to other African countries. [79] The government has maintained a sound fiscal policy, despite consecutive budget deficits in 2002 and 2003, and a negligible level of foreign debt. It earned the highest sovereign credit rating in Africa and has stockpiled foreign exchange reserves (over $7 billion in 2005/2006) amounting to almost two and a half years of current imports. [ citation needed ]

The constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the government respects this in practice. The legal system is sufficient to conduct secure commercial dealings, although a serious and growing backlog of cases prevents timely trials. The protection of intellectual property rights has improved significantly. Botswana is ranked second only to South Africa among sub-Saharan Africa countries in the 2014 International Property Rights Index. [80]

While generally open to foreign participation in its economy, Botswana reserves some sectors for citizens. Increased foreign investment plays a significant role in the privatisation of state-owned enterprises. Investment regulations are transparent, and bureaucratic procedures are streamlined and open, although somewhat slow. Investment returns such as profits and dividends, debt service, capital gains, returns on intellectual property, royalties, franchise's fees, and service fees can be repatriated without limits. [ citation needed ]

Botswana imports refined petroleum products and electricity from South Africa. There is some domestic production of electricity from coal.

Energy Edit

Energy in Botswana is a growing industry with tremendous potential. Botswana has significant reserves of coal, [81] estimated at over 200 billion tons. No petroleum reserves have been identified and all petroleum products are imported refined, mostly from South Africa. There is extensive woody biomass from 3 to 10t / hectare.

Most electric power is generated thermally in installations run by the Botswana Power Corporation, a public enterprise established in 1970. Electric generating capacity consists of the 132 MW Morupole coal-fired plant. The 60 MW coal-fired plant at Selebi-Phikwe has been closed. Total capacity in 2002 stood at 132 MW. Production of electricity in that same year totaled 930 GWh. Fossil fuels were used exclusively. Consumption of electricity totaled 1.989 TWh. Coal production in 2002 consisted entirely of the bituminous type and totaled 992,000 tons. Coal is mined solely at Morupule Colliery by Debswana, mostly for the generation of electricity. The government is considering constructing a coal-fired power plant at the same coal field, which would be designed to export power to South Africa. Further coal-to-electricity power stations are under consideration [82] Recently, the country has taken a large interest in renewable energy sources and has completed a comprehensive strategy that will attract investors in the wind, solar and biomass renewable energy industries. Botswana's power stations include Morupule B Power Station (600 MW), Morupule A Power Station (132 MW), Orapa Power Station (90 MW), Phakalane Power Station (1.3 MW) and Mmamabula Power Station (300 MW) which is expected to be online in the near future.

Several companies are prospecting for oil, but none had been discovered as of 2002. However, Amoco (now BP) has studied the possibility of coalbed methane extraction.

Finance Edit

An array of financial institutions populates the country's financial system, with pension funds and commercial banks being the two most important segments by asset size. Banks remain profitable, well-capitalised, and liquid, as a result of growing national resources and high interest rates. [83] The Bank of Botswana serves as a central bank. The country's currency is the Botswana pula.

Botswana's competitive banking system is one of Africa's most advanced. [ clarification needed ] Generally adhering to global standards in the transparency of financial policies and banking supervision, the financial sector provides ample access to credit for entrepreneurs. [ citation needed ] The Capital Bank opened in 2008. [84] As of August 2015 [update] , there are a dozen licensed banks in the country. [85] The government is involved in banking through state-owned financial institutions and a special financial incentives program that is aimed at increasing Botswana's status as a financial centre. [ citation needed ] Credit is allocated on market terms, although the government provides subsidised loans. [ citation needed ] Reform of non-bank financial institutions has continued in recent years, notably through the establishment of a single financial regulatory agency that provides more effective supervision. [86] The government has abolished exchange controls, and with the resulting creation of new portfolio investment options, the Botswana Stock Exchange is growing. [87]

Gemstones and precious metals Edit

In Botswana, the Department of Mines [88] and Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security [89] led by Hon Sadique Kebonang in Gaborone, maintains data regarding mining throughout the country. Debswana, the largest diamond mining company operating in Botswana, is 50% owned by the government. [90] The mineral industry provides about 40% of all government revenues. [91] In 2007, significant quantities of uranium were discovered, and mining was projected to begin by 2010. Several international mining corporations have established regional headquarters in Botswana, and prospected for diamonds, gold, uranium, copper, and even oil, many coming back with positive results. Government announced in early 2009 that they would try to shift their economic dependence on diamonds, over serious concern that diamonds are predicted to dry out in Botswana over the next twenty years.

Botswana's Orapa mine is the largest diamond mine in the world in terms of value and quantity of carats produced annually. [92] Estimated to have produced over 11 million carats in 2013, with an average price of $145/carat, the Orapa mine was estimated to produce over $1.6 billion worth of diamonds in 2013. [93]

As of 2012, the Tswana are the majority ethnic group in Botswana, making up approximately 79% of the population, followed by Kalanga at 11% and the San (Basarwa) at 3%. The remaining 7% is made up of White Botswanans (3%), [94] Indians, [1] and a number of other smaller Southern African ethnic groups.

Native groups include the Bayei, Bambukushu, Basubia, Baherero and Bakgalagadi. The Indian minority is made up of both recent migrants and descendants of Indian migrants who arrived from Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius and South Africa.

Since 2000, because of deteriorating economic conditions in Zimbabwe, the number of Zimbabweans in Botswana has risen into the tens of thousands. [95]

Fewer than 10,000 San people are still living their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life. Since the mid-1990s the central government of Botswana has been trying to move San out of their historic lands. [96] James Anaya, as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people for the United Nations in 2010, described loss of land as a major contributor to many of the problems facing Botswana's indigenous people, citing the San's eviction from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) [97] as a special example. [98] : 2 Among Anaya's recommendations in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council was that development programs should promote, in consultation with indigenous communities such as the San and Bakgalagadi people, activities in harmony with the culture of those communities such as traditional hunting and gathering activities. [98] : 19

Languages Edit

The official language of Botswana is English although Setswana is widely spoken across the country. In Setswana, prefixes are more important than they are in many other languages, since Setswana is a Bantu language and has noun classes denoted by these prefixes. They include Bo, which refers to the country, Ba, which refers to the people, Mo, which is one person, and Se which is the language. For example, the main ethnic group of Botswana is the Tswana people, hence the name Botswana for its country. The people as a whole are Batswana, one person is a Motswana, and the language they speak is Setswana.

Other languages spoken in Botswana include Kalanga (sekalanga), Sarwa (sesarwa), Ndebele, Kgalagadi, Tswapong, !Xóõ, Yeyi, and, in some parts, Afrikaans.

Religions Edit

An estimated 77% of the country's citizens identify as Christians. Anglicans, Methodists, and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa make up the majority of Christians. There are also congregations of Lutherans, Baptists, Roman Catholics, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Dutch Reformed Church, Mennonites, Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses in the country. According to the 2001 census, the country has around 5,000 Muslims, mainly from South Asia, 3,000 Hindus and 700 of the Baháʼí Faith. Approximately 20% of citizens identify with no religion.

Besides referring to the language of the dominant people groups in Botswana, Setswana is the adjective used to describe the rich cultural traditions of the Batswana—whether construed as members of the Tswana ethnic groups or of all citizens of Botswana. In Botswana, most of the ethnic groups have different ways to greet one another, but for easy communication and connection, batswana use a three-way hand shake or just greet one another by saying "Dumelang" as a way of saying "hello" without physical contact. In community celebrations like Dikgafela or during marriage ceremonies, batswana women show excitement and happiness by the use of ululations as part of their culture.

Literature and cinema Edit

Botswana literature belongs somewhere in the strong African literary writing circles. African literature is known for its consciousness and didactic writing styles. Writing as an art form has existed in Botswana for a long while, from the rock painting era — especially in the Tsodilo Hills, known to be 20,000 years old — to the present day, with the movie production of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, based on a series of more than 20 novels set in Botswana.

In recent times and to date Botswana has seen a remarkable appearance of distinguished writers whose genres range from historical, political and witty story writing. Prominent amongst these are the South African born Bessie Head who settled in Serowe, Andrew Sesinyi, Barolong Seboni (whose works include Images of the Sun, Screams and Pleas, Lovesongs, Windsongs of the Kgalagadi and Lighting the Fire, and several other publications that include a play Sechele I, and Setswana Riddles Translated into English), Unity Dow, Galesiti Baruti, Caitlin Davies, Lauri Kubuetsile, Albert Malikongwa, Toro Mositi and Moteane Melamu. [100]

Most of Bessie Head's important works are set in Serowe. When Rain Clouds Gather (1968), Maru (1971), and A Question of Power (1973) all have this setting. The three are also autobiographical When Rain Clouds Gather is based on her experience living on a development farm, Maru incorporates her experience of being considered racially inferior, and A Question of Power draws on her understanding of what it was like to experience acute psychological distress. Head also published a number of short stories, including the collection The Collector of Treasures (1977). She published a book on the history of Serowe, Serowe: Village of the Rainwind. Her last novel, A Bewitched Crossroad (1984), is historical, set in 19th century Botswana. She had also written a story of two prophets, one wealthy and one who lived poorly called Jacob: The Faith-Healing Priest. [101] [102]

The 1981 comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy was set in Botswana and became a major international hit, 2000's Disney production Whispers: An Elephant's Tale was filmed in Botswana, starring Hollywood legend Angela Bassett. Later on, during 2009, parts of M. Saravanan's Tamil language Indian action film Ayan were recorded in Botswana.

The critically acclaimed A United Kingdom, about the real-life love story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, was filmed partly between Botswana and London, and was released internationally in 2016. [103]

Media Edit

There are six television stations in Botswana, one of which is state-owned (Botswana TV), along with Now TV, Khuduga HD, Maru TV, Access TV and EBotswana. There are five local radio stations (RB1, RB2, Duma FM, Gabz FM, and Yarona FM) and thirteen newspapers (Mmegi, Sunday Standard, The Telegraph, Business Weekly, The Botswana Gazette, The Voice, The Guardian, Echo, Botswana People's Daily, DailyNews, Tswana Times, Weekend Post, and The Monitor) that publish regularly.

Music Edit

Botswana's music is mostly vocal and performed, sometimes without drums depending on the occasion it also makes heavy use of string instruments. Botswana folk music has instruments such as setinkane (a sort of miniature piano), segankure/segaba (a Botswana version of the Chinese instrument erhu), moropa (meropa -plural) (many varieties of drums), phala (a whistle used mostly during celebrations, which comes in a variety of forms). Botswana cultural musical instruments are not confined only to the strings or drums. The hands are used as musical instruments too, by either clapping them together or against phathisi (goat skin turned inside out wrapped around the calf area, only used by men) to create music and rhythm. For the last few decades, the guitar has been celebrated as a versatile music instrument for Tswana music as it offers a variety in string which the segaba instrument does not have. The national anthem is "Fatshe leno la rona". Written and composed by Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete, it was adopted upon independence in 1966. [104] [105] [106]

Visual arts Edit

In the northern part of Botswana, women in the villages of Etsha and Gumare are noted for their skill at crafting baskets from Mokola Palm and local dyes. The baskets are generally woven into three types: large, lidded baskets used for storage, large, open baskets for carrying objects on the head or for winnowing threshed grain, and smaller plates for winnowing pounded grain. The artistry of these baskets is being steadily enhanced through colour use and improved designs as they are increasingly produced for international markets. [107]

The oldest paintings from both Botswana and South Africa depict hunting, animal and human figures, and were made by the Khoisan (!Kung San/Bushmen) over twenty thousand years ago within the Kalahari desert.

Food Edit

The cuisine of Botswana is unique and mostly includes meat as Botswana is a cattle country, the national dish is seswaa, pounded meat made from goat meat or beef, Segwapa dried, cured meat ranging from beef to game meats & the cut may also vary, either fillets of meat cut into strips following the grain of the muscle, or flat pieces sliced across the grain. Madila is a popular fermented milk product of Botswana in a yogurt form. Botswana's cuisine shares some characteristics with other cuisine of Southern Africa.

Examples of Botswana food are: Bogobe, pap (maize porridge), boerewors, samp, Magwinya (fried dough bread) and mopane worms. Porridge (bogobe) is made by putting sorghum, maize or millet flour into boiling water, stirring into a soft paste, and cooking it slowly. A dish called Ting is made when the sorghum or maize is fermented and milk and sugar added. Without the milk and sugar, ting is sometimes eaten with meat or vegetables as lunch or dinner. Another way of making bogobe is to add sour milk and a cooking melon (lerotse). This dish is called tophi by the Kalanga tribe. Many different kinds of beans are grown, including cowpeas, ditloo, and letlhodi. There are some vegetables that grow in the wild that are available seasonally including thepe and Delele (okra). Many fruits are locally available, including marula. Watermelons, believed to have come originally from Botswana, are plentiful in season. Another kind of melon, called lerotse or lekatane, is also grown. There are some kinds of wild melon found in sandy desert areas which are an important food and water source for the people who live in those areas. Kgalagadi Breweries Limited produces the national beer, St. Louis Lager, Botswana's first and only proud local beer brand that has also been a part of Botswana's rich history since 1989 and non-alcoholic beverage Keone Mooka Mageu, a traditional fermented porridge.

Sports Edit

Football is the most popular sport in Botswana, with qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations being the national team's highest achievement to date. Other popular sports are softball, cricket, tennis, rugby, badminton, handball, golf, and track and field. [108] [109] Botswana is an associate member of the International Cricket Council. Botswana became a member of The International Badminton Federation and Africa Badminton Federation in 1991. The Botswana Golf Union offers an amateur golf league in which golfers compete in tournaments and championships. Botswana won the country's first Olympic medal in 2012 when runner Nijel Amos won silver in the 800 metres. In 2011, Amantle Montsho became world champion in the 400 metres and won Botswana's first athletics medal on the world level. High jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang is a three-time African champion, Isaac Makwala is a sprinter who specializes in the 400 metres, he was the gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, Baboloki Thebe was a silver medallist in the 200 metres at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics and reached the semi-finals at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics & Ross Branch Ross a motorbiker holds the number one plate in the South African Cross Country Championship and has competed at the Dakar Rally.

The card game bridge has a strong following it was first played in Botswana over 30 years ago, and it grew in popularity during the 1980s. Many British expatriate school teachers informally taught the game in Botswana's secondary schools. The Botswana Bridge Federation (BBF) was founded in 1988 and continues to organise tournaments. Bridge has remained popular and the BBF has over 800 members. [110] In 2007, the BBF invited the English Bridge Union to host a week-long teaching program in May 2008. [111]

Botswana has made great strides in educational development since independence in 1966. At that time there were very few graduates in the country and only a very small percentage of the population attended secondary school. Botswana increased its adult literacy rate from 69% in 1991 to 83% in 2008. [112]

With the discovery of diamonds and the increase in government revenue that this brought, there was a huge increase in educational provision in the country. All students were guaranteed ten years of basic education, leading to a Junior Certificate qualification. Approximately half of the school population attends a further two years of secondary schooling leading to the award of the Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE). Secondary education in Botswana is neither free nor compulsory.

After leaving school, students can attend one of the seven technical colleges in the country, or take vocational training courses in teaching or nursing. Students enter the University of Botswana, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Botswana International University of Science and Technology and the Botswana Accountancy College in Gaborone. Many other students end up in the numerous private tertiary education colleges around the country. Notable amongst these is Botho University, the country's first private university which offers undergraduate programmes in Accounting, Business and Computing. Another international university is the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology which offers various associate degrees in Creative Arts. [113] Other tertiary institutions include Ba Isago, ABM University College the largest school of business and management, New Era, Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies, Gaborone University College of Law And Professional Studies etc. Tremendous strides in providing quality education have been made by private education providers such that a large number of the best students in the country are now applying to them as well. A vast majority of these students are government sponsored. The nation's second international university, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology, was completed in Palapye in 2011.

The quantitative gains have not always been matched by qualitative ones. Primary schools in particular still lack resources, and the teachers are less well paid than their secondary school colleagues. The Botswana Ministry of Education [114] is working to establish libraries in primary schools in partnership with the African Library Project. [115] The Government of Botswana hopes that by investing a large part of national income in education, the country will become less dependent on diamonds for its economic survival, and less dependent on expatriates for its skilled workers. [116] Those objectives are in part pursued through policies in favour of vocational education, gathered within the NPVET (National Policy on Vocational Education and Training), aiming to "integrate the different types of vocational education and training into one comprehensive system". [116] Botswana invests 21% of its government spending in education. [112]

In January 2006, Botswana announced the reintroduction of school fees after two decades of free state education [117] though the government still provides full scholarships with living expenses to any Botswana citizen in university, either at the University of Botswana or if the student wishes to pursue an education in any field not offered locally, such as medicine, they are provided with a full scholarship to study abroad.

Science and technology Edit

Botswana is planning to use science and technology to diversify its economy and thereby reduce its dependence on diamond mining. To this end, the government has set up six hubs since 2008, in the agriculture, diamonds, innovation, transport, health and education sectors. [118]

Botswana published its updated National Policy on Research, Science and Technology in 2011, within a UNESCO project sponsored by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID). This policy aims to take up the challenges of rapid technological evolution, globalisation and the achievement of the national development goals formulated in high-level strategic documents that include Botswana's Tenth National Development Plan to 2016 and Vision 2016. [118] The National Policy on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (2011) fixes the target of raising gross domestic expenditure on research and development (R&D) from 0.26% of GDP in 2012 to over 2% of GDP by 2016. This target can only be reached within the specified time frame by raising public spending on R&D. [118]

Despite the modest level of financial investment in research, Botswana counts one of the highest researcher densities in sub-Saharan Africa: 344 per million inhabitants (in head counts), compared to an average of 91 per million inhabitants for the subcontinent in 2013. [118]

In 2009, Botswana-based company Deaftronics launched a solar-powered hearing aid after six years of prototype development. Since then, Deaftronics has sold over 10,000 of the hearing aids. Priced at $200 per unit, each hearing aid includes four rechargeable batteries (lasting up to three years) and a solar charger for them. The product is inexpensive compared to many similar devices, that can start from around $600. [119] [120]

In 2011, Botswana's Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) unveiled Musi cattle, designed to ultimately optimise the overall efficiency for beef production under Botswana conditions. A hybrid of Tswana, Bonsmara, Brahman, Tuli and Simmental breeds, [121] it is hoped that the composite with lead to increased beef production. The objective of the research was to find a genetic material that could perform like cross-breeds already found in Botswana and well above the indigenous Tswana breed while retaining the hardiness and adaptability of the native stock in one package. [122]

In 2016, the Botswana Institute of Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) developed a rapid testing kit for foot-and-mouth disease in collaboration with the Botswana Vaccine Institute and Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The existing diagnostic methods required highly trained laboratory personnel and special equipment, which caused delays in the implementation of control procedures whereas the kit developed in Botswana allows for on-site diagnosis to be made. [123]

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) (MeerKAT) will consist of thousands of dishes and antennas spread over large distances linked together to form one giant telescope. Additional dishes will be located in eight other African countries Botswana among them. Botswana was selected to participate because of its ideal location in the southern hemisphere and environment, which could enable easier data collection from the universe. Botswana government has built SKA precursor telescope at Kgale View, called the African Very Long Base Line Interferometry Network (AVN) & sent student on Astronomy scholarships. [124]

Botswana launched its own 3-year program to build & launch a Micro Satellite (CubeSat) Botswana Satellite Technology (Sat-1 Project) in Gaborone on 18 December 2020. The development of the satellite will be lead by Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) with technical support from University of Oulu in Finland & Loon, a giant leap forward in the realisation of Botswana's ambition to become a technologically driven economy. The satellite, which will be used for earth observation, will generate data for smart farming and real-time virtual tourism. Furthermore, it will help us predict and forecast harvest time through the use of robotics and automated technology. [125] [126]

In the IT sector in 2016 a firm, Almaz, opened a first-of-its-kind computer assembly company. [127] [128] Ditec, a Botswana company, also customizes, designs and manufactures mobile phones. Ditec is one of the leading experts in design, development and customisation of Microsoft powered devices. [129]

Botswana has 971 kilometres (603 mi) of railway lines, 18,482 kilometres (11,484 mi) of roads, and 92 airports, of which 12 have paved runways. The paved road network has almost entirely been constructed since independence in 1966. The national airline is Air Botswana, which flies domestically and to other countries in Africa. Botswana Railways is the national railway company, which forms a crucial link in the Southern African regional railway system. Botswana Railways offers rail-based transport facilities for moving a range of commodities for the mining sector and primary industries, as well as passenger-train services and dry ports. [130] [131]

In terms of power infrastructure in Botswana, the country produces coal for electricity and oil is imported into the country. Recently, the country has taken a large interest in renewable energy sources and has completed a comprehensive strategy that will attract investors in the wind, solar and biomass renewable energy industries. Botswana's power stations include Morupule B Power Station (600 MW), Morupule A Power Station (132 MW), Orapa Power Station (90 MW), Phakalane Power Station (1.3 MW) and Mmamabula Power Station (300 MW), which is expected to be online in the near future. A 200 MW solar-power plant is at the planning and design stage by Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. [132] [133]

Health Edit

Botswana's healthcare system has been steadily improving and expanding its infrastructure to become more accessible. The country's position as an upper middle-income country has allowed them to make strides in universal healthcare access for much of Botswana's population. The majority of the Botswana's 2.3 million inhabitants now live within five kilometers of a healthcare facility. [134] The government of Botswana stresses primary healthcare with an emphasis on disease prevention and healthy living. As a result, the infant mortality and maternal mortality rates have been on a steady decline. [135] The country's improving healthcare infrastructure has also been reflected in an increase of the average life expectancy from birth, with nearly all births occurring in healthcare facilities. [134]

Access to healthcare has not alleviated all of the country's healthcare concerns because, like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Botswana is still battling high rates of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. In 2013, about 25% of the population was infected with HIV/AIDS. [136] Botswana is also grappling with high rates of malnutrition among children under the age of 5 which has led to other health concerns such as diarrhea and stunted growth. [137]

Health industry Edit

The Ministry of Health [138] in Botswana is responsible for overseeing the quality and distribution of healthcare throughout the country. Life expectancy at birth was 55 in 2009 according to the World Bank, having previously fallen from a peak of 64.1 in 1990 to a low of 49 in 2002. [139] After Botswana's 2011 census, current life expectancy is estimated at 54.06 years. [1]

The Cancer Association of Botswana is a voluntary non-governmental organisation. The association is a member of the Union for International Cancer Control. The Association supplements existing services through provision of cancer prevention and health awareness programmes, facilitating access to health services for cancer patients and offering support and counseling to those affected. [140]

HIV/AIDS epidemic Edit

Like elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, the economic impact of AIDS is considerable. Economic development spending was cut by 10% in 2002–3 as a result of recurring budget deficits and rising expenditure on healthcare services. Botswana has been hit very hard by the AIDS pandemic in 2006 it was estimated that life expectancy at birth had dropped from 65 to 35 years. [141] However, after Botswana's 2011 census current life expectancy is estimated at 54.06 years. [1]

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Botswana was estimated at 25.4% for adults aged 15–49 in 2009 and 21.9% in 2013, [22] : A8 exceeded by Lesotho and Swaziland in sub-Saharan African nations. This places Botswana at the third highest prevalence in the world, in 2013, while "leading the way in prevention and treatment programmes". [23] In 2003, the government began a comprehensive program involving free or cheap generic antiretroviral drugs as well as an information campaign designed to stop the spread of the virus in 2013, over 40% of adults in Botswana had access to antiretroviral therapy. [22] : 28 In the age group of 15–19 years old, prevalence was estimated at about 6% for females and 3.5% for males in 2013, [22] : 33 and for the 20–24 age group, 15% for females and 5% for males. [22] : 33 Botswana is one of 21 priority countries identified by the UN AIDS group in 2011 in the Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children and to keep their mothers alive. [22] : 37 From 2009 to 2013, the country saw a decrease over 50% in new HIV infections in children. [22] : 38 A further measure of the success, or reason for hope, in dealing with HIV in Botswana, is that less than 10% of pregnant HIV-infected women were not receiving antiretroviral medications in 2013, with a corresponding large decrease (over 50%) in the number of new HIV infections in children under 5. [22] : 39, 40 Among the UN Global Plan countries, people living with HIV in Botswana have the highest percentage receiving antiretroviral treatment: about 75% for adults (age 15+) and about 98% for children. [22] : 237

With a nationwide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program, Botswana has reduced HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children from about 40% to just 4%. Under the leadership of Festus Mogae, the Government of Botswana solicited outside help in fighting HIV/AIDS and received early support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Merck Foundation, and together formed the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP). Other early partners include the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute, of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership of the University of Pennsylvania. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, universal access to treatment – defined as 80% coverage or greater – has been achieved in Botswana. [142]

Potential reasons for Botswana's high HIV prevalence include concurrent sexual partnerships, transactional sex, cross-generational sex, and a significant number of people who travel outside of their local communities in pursuit of work. The polyamorous nature of many sexual relationships further impacts the health situation.

Tourism Edit

The Botswana Tourism Organisation [143] is the country's official tourism group. Primarily, tourists visit Gaborone due to the city having numerous activities for visitors. The Lion Park Resort [144] is Botswana's first permanent amusement park and hosts events such as birthday parties for families. Other destinations in Botswana include the Gaborone Yacht Club and the Kalahari Fishing Club and natural attractions such as the Gaborone Dam and Mokolodi Nature Reserve. There are golf courses which are maintained by the Botswana Golf Union (BGU). [145] The Phakalane Golf Estate is a multimillion-dollar clubhouse that offers both hotel accommodations and access to golf courses. Museums in Botswana include:

    in Gaborone
  • Kgosi Bathoen II (Segopotso) Museum in Kanye
  • Kgosi Sechele I Museum in Molepolole
  • Khama III Memorial Museum in Serowe
  • Nhabe Museum in Maun in Mochudi
  • Supa Ngwano Museum Centre in Francistown

This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0. Text taken from UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030, 546–547, UNESCO, UNESCO Publishing. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.

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  • Textbooks from Wikibooks
  • Travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Resources from Wikiversity
  • Data from Wikidata

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Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB)

The Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) exists to promote, encourage and police excellence in hospitality and tourism in Botswana. It is HATAB's role to ensure that all visitors, both from within and from outside Botswana, enjoy consistently high standards of service from the entire hospitality and tourism industry.

The Association is an umbrella organization representing all sectors of the industry. Privately established and funded, it is the governing body for all its members. In the interests of service excellence it provides and enforces codes of conduct for its members, and it promotes the industry by consistent communication with tourists, locals, and especially with the media.

It is a non-profit organization and it owes its existence to the fact that the members themselves recognize the importance of high standards at every level of the industry.

HATAB was formed in 1982 and the voluntary membership now includes more than 40% of all registered and operating tourism enterprises in the country. These members benefit in many ways through HATAB they police themselves, and also have a voice that lobbies Government and other key stakeholders, to create an enabling environment for hospitality and tourism enterprises to thrive and prosper.

To keep members informed the Association publishes a Quarterly Review and holds an Annual General Meeting when the Chairman reviews the developments of the past year and considers what the future holds. On a day-to-day basis the affairs of the Association are run by a Secretariat under a Chief Executive Officer who reports to the Executive Committee. This committee is made up of 12 men and women, each elected from a different HATAB sector.

Together these sectors virtually make up the entire industry: hotels, restaurants, air services, air charter, mobile safaris, lodges and camps, tour operators, travel agencies, and hunting concessions. Thus HATAB essentially groups the private enterprise side of the industry, but it works closely with government through the Ministry of Tourism and shares the same vision for the future. It also takes on as a special interest the concept of community based tourism ventures, working with the Non-Governmental organisation that represents Community Based Natural Resource Management (BOCOBONET).

Tourism is a critical contributor to the Botswana economy, and HATAB is an important component of that industry. It is the Association's vision that all visitors should go back home absolutely delighted with the experience of our people, of our hotels and restaurants, camps and safari lodges, of our buses and aeroplanes, of our taxis and trains, and of our vast natural resources.

They should be so positively and pleasantly impressed with the way in which private enterprise is managing its share of those resources that they wish to return, and can confidently recommend the country to their friends. In this way the industry will grow, and only in this way can Botswana rise to be the internationally preferred destination for business and leisure tourism that it has the potential to be.


As we’ve seen in this chapter, tourism is a complex set of industries including accommodation, recreation and entertainment, food and beverage services, transportation, and travel services. It encompasses domestic, inbound, and outbound travel for business, leisure, or other purposes. And because of this large scope, tourism development requires participation from all walks of life, including private business, governmental agencies, educational institutions, communities, and citizens.

Recognizing the diverse nature of the industry and the significant contributions tourism makes toward economic and social value for British Columbians is important. There remains a great deal of work to better educate members of the tourism industry, other sectors, and the public about the ways tourism contributes to our province.

Given this opportunity for greater awareness, it is hoped that students like you will help share this information as you learn more about the sector. So let’s begin our exploration in Chapter 2 with a closer look at a critical sector: transportation.

  • British Columbia Government Travel Bureau (BCGTB): the first recognized provincial government organization responsible for the tourism marketing of British Columbia
  • Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR): a national railway company widely regarded as establishing tourism in Canada and BC in the late 1800s and early 1900s
  • Destination BC: the provincial destination marketing organization (DMO) responsible for tourism marketing and development in BC, formerly known as Tourism BC
  • Destination Canada: the national government Crown corporation responsible for marketing Canada abroad, formerly known as the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)
  • Destination marketing organization (DMO): also known as a destination management organization includes national tourism boards, state/provincial tourism offices, and community convention and visitor bureaus
  • Diversity: a term used by some in the industry to describe the makeup of the industry in a positive way acknowledging that tourism is a diverse compilation of a multitude of businesses, services, organizations, and communities
  • Fragmentation: a phenomenon observed by some industry insiders whereby the tourism industry is unable to work together toward common marketing and lobbying (policy-setting) objectives
  • Hospitality: the accommodations and food and beverage industry groupings
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS): a way to group tourism activities based on similarities in business practices, primarily used for statistical analysis
  • Tourism: the business of attracting and serving the needs of people travelling and staying outside their home communities for business and pleasure
  • Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC): a membership-based advocacy group formerly known as the Council of Tourism Associations of BC (COTA)
  • Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC): the national industry advocacy group
  • Tourist: someone who travels at least 80 kilometres from his or her home for at least 24 hours, for business or pleasure or other reasons can be further classified as domestic, inbound, or outbound
  • United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO): UN agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism worldwide
  1. List the three types of tourist and provide an example of each.
  2. What is the UNWTO? Visit its website, and name one recent project or study the organization has undertaken.
  3. List the five industry groups according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Using your understanding of tourism as an industry, create your own definition and classification of tourism. What did you add? What did you take out? Why?
  4. In 2011, how much money was generated by tourism worldwide? What percentage of this money was collected in Europe? Where was the least amount of money collected?
  5. According to UNEP, what are the four types of negative environmental tourism impact? For each of these, list an example in your own community.
  6. What major transportation developments gave rise to the tourism industry in Canada?
  7. Historically, what percentage of international visitors to Canada are from the United States? Why is this an important issue today?
  8. Name three key events in the history of BC tourism that resonate with you. Why do you find these events of interest?
  9. Watch the video in the “Take a Closer Look” feature on Richmond. Now think about the value of tourism in your community. How might this be communicated to local residents? List two ways you will contribute to communicating the value of tourism this semester.
  10. Choose one article or document from the reference list below and read it in detail. Report back to the class about what you’ve learned.

Case Study: Tourism – Canada’s Surprise Blind Spot

In a 2014 episode of the Voice of Canadian Business, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s podcast, host Mary Anne Carter sat down with Greg Klassen, the CTC’s president and CEO, and Michele Saran, executive director of Business Events Canada. Their discussion highlighted the reasons Canada is struggling to remain competitive within the sector, and underscores the role and impact Canada’s tourism industry has on the economy.Listen to the 14-minute podcast on tourism in Canada and answer the following questions:

  1. Why are governments around the world starting to invest in tourism infrastructure? What does this mean for the competitive environment for Canada’s tourism product?
  2. How do we compare to the United States as a destination for business travel?
  3. According to Greg, why is the $200 million investment in Brand USA a “double-edged sword” for tourism in Canada? What is beneficial about this? Why does it make things more difficult?
  4. What is the relationship between tourism and people’s understanding of a country’s image?
  5. What ranking is Canada’s brand? What other industries are affected by this brand?
  6. Describe one activity the CTC participates in to sell Canadian tourism product abroad.
  7. Name two “sectors of excellence” for Canada. Why is the CTC focussing their business events sales strategies on these industries?
  8. What does the CTC consider to be the benefits of Vancouver hosting the 2014 and 2015 TED conferences?

Botswana tourism grows 3.4% in 2018

In an annual report of the economic impact and social importance of the tourism sector, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed that Botswana’s tourism sector expanded by 3.4% in 2018.

This growth was more than the Sub-Saharan African average of 3.3%, while also having contributed a whopping US$2.52 billion to Botswana’s economy.

In 2018, Botswana’s tourism sector supported 84,000 jobs, or 8.9% of the country’s total employment. Those visiting for leisure purposes (96%) mainly drove the high figure, while business travellers made up the remaining 4%.

“Botswana is a jewel in the crown of Sub-Saharan Africa’s travel and tourism sector. It is home to some of the most iconic tourism sites in Africa, such as the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve,” said WTTC President and Chief Executive Officer, Gloria Guevara.

Tourism has been and continues to be one of Botswana’s fundamental economic sectors, having contributed greatly to government revenue and boosted important macro businesses. It is also the greatest foreign income earner after the powerful mining sector.

Travel has aided employment globally, supporting one in every ten jobs. Over the past ten years, one in five of all jobs created worldwide have been in the sector and almost 100 million new jobs could potentially be created over the coming decade. – Weekend Post reports.



Twice the size of Arizona, Botswana is in south-central Africa, bounded by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Most of the country is near-desert, with the Kalahari occupying the western part of the country. The eastern part is hilly, with salt lakes in the north.


The earliest inhabitants of the region were the San, who were followed by the Tswana. About half the country today is ethnic Tswana. The term for the country's people, Batswana, refers to national rather than ethnic origin.

Encroachment by the Zulu in the 1820s and by Boers from Transvaal in the 1870s and 1880s threatened the peace of the region. In 1885, Britain established the area as a protectorate, then known as Bechuanaland. In 1961, Britain granted a constitution to the country. Self-government began in 1965, and on Sept. 30, 1966, the country became independent. Botswana is Africa's oldest democracy.

The new country maintained good relations with its white-ruled neighbors but gradually changed its policies, harboring rebel groups from South Rhodesia as well as some from South Africa.

Although Botswana is rich in diamonds, it has high unemployment and stratified socioeconomic classes. In 1999, the nation suffered its first budget deficit in 16 years because of a slump in the international diamond market. Yet Botswana remains one of the wealthiest and most stable countries on the continent.

After 17 years in power, President Ketumile Masire retired in 1997, and Festus Mogae, an Oxford-educated economist, became the new president. Mogae has won high marks from the international financial community for continuing to privatize Botswana's mining and industrial operations.

AIDS: Botswana's Biggest Challenge

Although Botswana's economic outlook remains strong, the devastation that AIDS has caused threatens to destroy the country's future. In 2001, Botswana had the highest rate of HIV infection in the world (350,000 of its 1.6 million people). With the help of international donors, however, it launched an ambitious national campaign that provided free antiviral drugs to anyone who needed them, and by March 2004, Botswana's infection rate had dropped significantly. But with 37.5% of the population infected, the country remains on the brink of catastrophe. President Mogae won a second and final four-year term in Oct. 2004.

After serving 10 years as deputy president, Ian Khama, the son of Botswana's first president, Seretse Khama, was inaugurated as president in April 2008. Festus Mogae stepped aside after 10 years in office. Khama won a five-year term in October 2009, when his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) party won 45 out of 57 seats in Parliament.

In the 2014 election, Ian Khama won a second term as president. It was the eleventh straight victory for his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) party. BDP took 37 of the 57 National Assembly seats. During his 2014 campaign, Khama vowed to take on poverty and unemployment in his next term.