Botswana Population: 2,249,104


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Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name at independence in 1966. More than five decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most stable economies in Africa. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has won every election since independence; President Mokgweetsi Eric MASISI assumed the presidency in April 2018 following the retirement of former President Ian KHAMA due to constitutional term limits. MASISI is Botswana’s fifth president since independence. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.

    Landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country
Location: Southern Africa, north of South Africa
Geographic coordinates: 22 00 S, 24 00 E
Area: total: 581,730 sq km
land: 566,730 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Texas; almost four times the size of Illinois
Land Boundaries: total: 4,347.15 km border countries (4): Namibia 1544 km, South Africa 1969 km, Zambia 0.15 km, Zimbabwe 834 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
Terrain: predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
Natural resources: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Land use: agricultural land: 45.8% (2011 est.) arable land: 0.6% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 45.2% (2011 est.) forest: 19.8% (2011 est.)
other: 34.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
Current Environment Issues: overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources; air pollution
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: 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%
Languages: Setswana 77.3%, Sekalanga 7.4%, Shekgalagadi 3.4%, English (official) 2.8%, Zezuru/Shona 2%, Sesarwa 1.7%, Sembukushu 1.6%, Ndebele 1%, other 2.8% (2011 est.)
Religions: Christian 79.1%, Badimo 4.1%, other 1.4% (includes Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafarian), none 15.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2011 est.)
Population: 2,249,104 (July 2018 est.) 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.48% (male 357,175 /female 350,775)
15-24 years: 18.7% (male 207,611 /female 212,874)
25-54 years: 38.88% (male 412,475 /female 462,013)
55-64 years: 5.61% (male 53,653 /female 72,617)
65 years and over: 5.33% (male 51,304 /female 68,607) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 55.1 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 49.3 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.8 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17.3 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 24.9 years
male: 23.8 years
female: 26 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.52% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 21.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 69.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.87% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 269,000 GABORONE (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.74 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 129 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 28.6 deaths/1,000 live births male: 31.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 63.8 years male: 61.8 years
female: 66 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.53 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 0.37 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 1.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.2% of population
rural: 92.3% of population
total: 96.2% of population

urban: 0.8% of population
rural: 7.7% of population
total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 78.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 43.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 63.4% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 21.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 56.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 36.6% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 22.8% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 380,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 4,100 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 18.9% (2016)
Education expenditures: 9.6% of GDP (2009)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 88.5%
male: 88%
female: 88.9% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 13 years female: 13 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 36% male: 29.6% female: 43.5% (2010 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
local long form: Republic of Botswana
local short form: Botswana
former: Bechuanaland
etymology: the name Botswana means "Land of the Tswana" - referring to the country's major ethnic group
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Gaborone
geographic coordinates: 24 38 S, 25 54 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: named after Gaborone (ca. 1825-1931), a revered kgosi (chief) of the Tlokwa tribe, part of the larger Tswana ethnic group
Administrative divisions: 10 districts and 6 town councils*; Central, Chobe, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, North East, North West, Selebi-Phikwe*, South East, Southern, Sowa Town*
Independence: 30 September 1966 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
Constitution: history: previous 1960 (preindependence); latest adopted March 1965, effective 30 September 1966 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires approval in two successive Assembly votes with at least two-thirds majority in the final vote; proposals to amend constitutional provisions on fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and branches of government, and public services also requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and assent by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2006 (2017)
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil law influenced by the Roman-Dutch model and also customary and common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Mokgweetse Eric MASISI (since 1 April 2018); Vice President Slumber TSOGWANE (since 4 April 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mokgweetse Eric MASISI (since 1 April 2018); Vice President Slumber TSOGWANE (since 4 April 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 24 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019); vice president appointed by the president

election results: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April 2008) stepped down on 1 April 2018 having completed the constitutionally mandated 10-year term limit; upon his retirement, then Vice President MASISI became president
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Parliament consists of the National Assembly (63 seats; 57 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 4 nominated by the president and indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the rest of the National Assembly, and 2 ex-officio members - the president and attorney general; elected members serve 5-year terms); note - the House of Chiefs (Ntlo ya Dikgosi), an advisory body to the National Assembly, consists of 35 members - 8 hereditary chiefs from Botswana's principal tribes, 22 indirectly elected by the chiefs, and 5 appointed by the president; the House of Chiefs consults on issues including powers of chiefs, customary courts, customary law, tribal property, and constitutional amendments

elections: last held on 24 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 46.5%, UDC 30.0%, BCP 20.4%, independent 3.1%; seats by party - BDP 37, UDC 17, BCP 3; composition - men 57, women 6, percent of women 9.5%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeal, High Court (each consists of a chief justice and a number of other judges as prescribed by the Parliament) judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president and other judges appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Service Commission; all judges appointed to serve until age 70

subordinate courts: Industrial Court (with circuits scheduled monthly in the capital city and in 3 districts); Magistrates Courts (1 in each district); Customary Court of Appeal; Paramount Chief's Court/Urban Customary Court; Senior Chief's Representative Court; Chief's Representative’s Court; Headman's Court
Political parties and leaders: Alliance of Progressives or AP [Ndaba GAOLATHE] Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Dumelang SALESHANDO] Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Mokgweetsi MASISI] Botswana Movement for Democracy or BMD [Sidney PILANE] Botswana National Front or BNF [Duma BOKO] Botswana Peoples Party or BPP [Motlatsi MOLAPISI] Real Alternative Party or RAP [Gaontebale MOKGOSI] Umbrella for Democratic Change or UDC [Duma BOKO] (various times the collation has included the BMD, BPP, BCP and BNF) (2019)
National symbol(s): zebra;
national colors: blue, white, black
National anthem: name: "Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)
lyrics/music: Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE

note: adopted 1966
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador David John NEWMAN (since 3 August 2015)
chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990
FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164
consulate(s) general: Atlanta
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Craig Lewis CLOUD (since 2 April 2019)
embassy: Embassy Drive, Government Enclave (off Khama Crescent), Gaborone
mailing address: Embassy Enclave, P. O. Box 90, Gaborone
telephone: [267] 395-3982
FAX: [267] 318-0232
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Until the beginning of the global recession in 2008, Botswana maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since its independence in 1966. Botswana recovered from the global recession in 2010, but only grew modestly until 2017, primarily due to a downturn in the global diamond market, though water and power shortages also played a role. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world five decades ago into a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of approximately $18,100 in 2017. Botswana also ranks as one of the least corrupt and best places to do business in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of its heavy reliance on diamond exports, Botswana’s economy closely follows global price trends for that one commodity. Diamond mining fueled much of Botswana’s past economic expansion and currently accounts for one-quarter of GDP, approximately 85% of export earnings, and about one-third of the government's revenues. In 2017, Diamond exports increased to the highest levels since 2013 at about 22 million carats of output, driving Botswana’s economic growth to about 4.5% and increasing foreign exchange reserves to about 45% of GDP. De Beers, a major international diamond company, signed a 10-year deal with Botswana in 2012 and moved its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone in 2013. The move was geared to support the development of Botswana's nascent downstream diamond industry. Tourism is a secondary earner of foreign exchange and many Batswana engage in tourism-related services, subsistence farming, and cattle rearing. According to official government statistics, unemployment is around 20%, but unofficial estimates run much higher. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens the country's impressive economic gains.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $39.01 billion (2017 est.) $38.11 billion (2016 est.) $36.54 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $17.38 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2017 est.) 4.3% (2016 est.) -1.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $17,000 (2017 est.) $16,900 (2016 est.) $16,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 40.3% of GDP (2017 est.) 38.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 41.2% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 48.5% (2017 est.) government consumption: 18.4% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 29% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: -1.8% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 39.8% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -33.9% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.) industry: 27.5% (2017 est.) services: 70.6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
Industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; beef processing; textiles
Industrial production growth rate: -4.2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 1.177 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: n/a
industry: n/a
services: n/a
Unemployment rate: 20% (2013 est.) 17.8% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty line: 19.3% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 60.5 (2009) 63 (1993)
Budget: revenues: 5.305 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.478 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 30.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 14% of GDP (2017 est.) 15.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.3% (2017 est.) 2.8% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $2.146 billion (2017 est.) $2.147 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $5.934 billion (2017 est.) $7.226 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, beef, textiles
Exports - partners: Belgium 20.3%, India 12.6%, UAE 12.4%, South Africa 11.9%, Singapore 8.7%, Israel 7%, Hong Kong 4.1%, Namibia 4.1% (2017)
Imports: $5.005 billion (2017 est.) $5.871 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
Imports - partners: South Africa 66.1%, Canada 8.3%, Israel 5.3% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $7.491 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $7.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $2.187 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $2.421 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $5.319 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $5.699 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.973 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.312 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $4.107 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: pulas (BWP) per US dollar - 10.19 (2017 est.) 10.9022 (2016 est.) 10.9022 (2015 est.) 10.1263 (2014 est.) 8.9761 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 2.527 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 3.636 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 1.673 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 735,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 21,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 21,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 6.235 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 3,240,589
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 146 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: effective regulatory reform has turned the Botswana's telecom market into one of the most liberalized in the region; Botswana has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Africa; 3 MNOs have entered the underdeveloped broadband sector with the adoption of 3G, LTE and WiMAX technologies; mobile Internet remains the preferred choice (2018)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity has declined in recent years and now stands at roughly 6 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity has advanced to 150 telephones per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 267; international calls are made via satellite, using international direct dialing; 2 international exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) Botswana is participating in regional development efforts; expanding fully digital system with fiber-optic cables linking the major population centers in the east as well as a system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relays links, and radiotelephone communication stations; the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation is rolling out 4G service to over 95 sites in the country that will improve network connectivity
Broadcast media: 2 TV stations - 1 state-owned and 1 privately owned; privately owned satellite TV subscription service is available; 2 state-owned national radio stations; 3 privately owned radio stations broadcast locally (2019)
Internet country code: .bw
Internet users: total: 869,610
percent of population: 39.4% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 74 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 10
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 64
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 46 (2013)
under 914 m: 13 (2013)
Railways: total 888 km
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 31,747 km
(2017) paved: 9,810 km (2017)
unpaved: 21,937 km (2017)
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Military branches: Botswana Defence Force (BDF): Ground Forces Command, Air Arm Command, Defense Logistics Command (2017)
Military service age and obligation: 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures: 3.37% of GDP (2016) 2.66% of GDP (2015) 2.13% of GDP (2014) 2.06% of GDP (2013) 2.23% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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