About Botswana

Botswana is a sub-Saharan country located in Southern Africa. The Republic of Botswana was formerly known as the British protectorate of Bechuanaland. Its citizens are known as Batswana. On September 30, 1996, it gained independence and has held free and fair elections since.

The country’s geography is flat. The Kalahari Desert covers approximately 70 percent of Botswana. South Africa borders it to the south and southeast, Namibia to the north and west, and Zimbabwe to the northeast.

Botswana is a small landlocked country with a population of 2,360,770 as of March, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates. Botswana population is equivalent to 0.03% of the total world population.

At the time of its independence, it was one of the poorest African countries with a per capita GDP of $70. Since independence, it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies with 9 percent annual growth rates.

While the country has a good track record of governance, it still has high levels of poverty, low human development indicators, and rampant inequality. Two thirds of the citizens have been significantly helped by the economic growth, but one third remains behind.

Education spending is 10 percent of GDP, which has led to improvement and free and universal education. Despite this, the education system has not created the skilled workforce necessary to keep pace with growth. The country has consistently seen 20 percent unemployment. Rural poverty has much higher rates than urban areas. Botswana has one of the highest income inequality rates in the world. This has been worsened by the HIV/AIDS crisis with the second highest adult prevalence rate in the world.