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Lefatshe la Botswana (Setswana)
Republic of Botswana (English)
Republic of Botswana
Flag of Botswana
Botswana coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Motto : Pula
( Setswana , "rain")
Official language Setswana , English
Capital Gaborone
Form of government republic
Government system Parliament-bound executive power
Head of state , also head of government President Mokgweetsi Masisi
surface 581,730 km²
population 2,249,104 (2018 estimate)
Population density 4 inhabitants per km²
Population development +1.19% (2016)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (Nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 18,615 million ( 117. )
  • $ 41,902 million ( 119. )
  • 7,973 USD ( 82. )
  • 17,948 USD ( 80. )
Human Development Index   0.717 ( 101st ) (2018)
currency Pula (BWP)
independence September 30, 1966
(from the UK )
National anthem Fatshe leno la rona
National holiday 30. September
Time zone UTC + 2
License Plate RB, BW , BST
ISO 3166 BW , BWA, 072
Internet TLD .bw
Telephone code +267
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Botswana [ bɔˈtsu̯aːna ] (according to the official German spelling Republic of Botswana ), is a landlocked country in southern Africa .

Botswana is bordered by South Africa to the southeast and south , Namibia to the west and north and Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast . At Kazungula in the northeast, the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet in the middle of the Zambezi , according to some views at a single point. However, there is no contractual basis for the acceptance of a multilaterally recognized quadrangle .

The name is derived from the name of the Tswana people . The national holiday is September 30th, Independence Day from the United Kingdom (1966). Among the countries in southern Africa , Botswana had the highest human development index in 2019 and, according to Transparency International, the lowest susceptibility to corruption of the African countries.

Around 20.3 percent of 15 to 49 year olds are infected with HIV - the fourth highest prevalence worldwide (as of 2018).


Botswana extends between 17 ° 50 'and 26 ° 50' south latitude and 20 ° 00 'and 29 ° 20' east longitude . The north-south extension is like the east-west extension about 900 km. The country has an area of ​​around 582,000 km² and around two million inhabitants. This makes it one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth.

Large parts of the country make up the semi-desert Kalahari in the southwest part. It consists of thorn bush and grass savannah . In addition, there are salt pans and salt lakes that become large, shallow lakes during the rainy season. In the northwest lies the Okavango Delta , the large inland delta of the Okavango River . Other important rivers are the Limpopo on the southeastern border, the Chobe River in the north and the Zambezi on the northern border. The country is mostly highlands with a few hills. Areas such as the Okavango Delta, the Makgadikgadi Pan and the Limpopo region are below 1000 meters above sea level, the highest point is Monalanong Hill, southwest of the capital Gaborone , at 1494 meters above sea level .


In 2016, 57.7% of the population lived in cities or urban areas . The five largest cities are (2011 census):

  1. 231,592 inhabitants: Gaborone
  2. 098,961 inhabitants: Francistown
  3. 066,466 inhabitants: Molepolole
  4. 060,263 inhabitants: Maun
  5. 058,079 inhabitants: Mogoditshane

Flora and fauna

Zebras and antelopes are part of the native wildlife

The flora is characterized by the predominant dry and thorn bush savannahs . The Okavango Delta and the Chobe area are wet savannahs with a high biodiversity.

The Kalahari is characterized by grasses and thorny shrubs and acacias . Typical species are also the white trunk Boscia ( Boscia albitrunca ), the Mongongo tree ( Schinziophyton rautanenii ) and the African devil's claw . 1300 plant species have been identified in the Okavango Delta. In the north of the country there are Mopane and Combretum forests , in the Chobe region there are also Miombo forests .

Many species of mammals are found in Botswana. The elephant population is the largest in Africa with around 130,000 copies after it in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the African Elephant and Rhino Specialists Group was temporarily dropped (AERSG) to just 20,000. There are also giraffes, numerous species of antelope, lions, leopards, rhinos, cheetahs and zebras. Over 400 species of birds, over 120 species of mammals, 71 species of fish, 33 species of amphibians and 64 species of reptiles live in the Okavango Delta. Every year there are large migrations of herds of zebra and wildebeest between the Chobe or Okavango delta and the areas to the south and south-east, such as the Boteti .


Botswana has a semi-arid savanna and semi-desert climate . The temperatures fluctuate between 35 ° C in summer and a little over 20 ° C in winter. In winter, temperatures drop sharply, especially at night; frost is possible throughout the country at this time of the year , and temperature differences of over 20 ° C between day and night are normal. For example, in Gaborone in July an average of 23 ° C is measured during the day, while it is only around 3 ° C at night. The dry season is very long across the country at six to nine months. Every year, around 250 to 500 millimeters of precipitation falls, most of it from December to March.

Southern Africa lies in a predominantly semi-arid and arid zone, which is therefore very susceptible to climate change. The consequences of the climate crisis are increasing heat, longer periods of drought and less rainfall. In Botswana, the temperature has risen by three degrees in 100 years, which is the highest increase in the entire southern hemisphere.


Population pyramid of Botswana (2016)

According to the 2011 census, Botswana has a population of around 2.02 million. The population is divided ethnically as follows:

Population development in 1000 inhabitants

The population has risen sharply since independence, with the increase curve flattening recently due to the high mortality rate from AIDS and a population decline of the order of one percent in 2005 , to which emigration also contributed. Due to the crisis in Zimbabwe , the population rose sharply in 2008. At the end of 2008, almost 800,000 refugees from Zimbabwe were living in Botswana.

The fertility rate per woman was 2.56 children in 2017. In the same year, there were 22.1 births and 9.6 deaths for every 1000 inhabitants. The median age was 24.5 years. 32% of the population are under 15 years of age and 5.2% are over 65 years old. Population growth was 1.55 percent per year in 2017. Botswana is one of the African countries with the lowest percentage population growth.

69.4% of the population live in cities. Botswana is one of the most urbanized countries on the continent.


The official languages ​​are English and Setswana . Communication in the population takes place in the Bantu language Setswana, which is understood by the majority of the population. Parliament negotiates in English and all major newspapers appear in English. Setswana is the language of instruction in primary school , and English is taught in secondary school . Other languages ​​spoken include Kalanga and the Khoisan language, Sesarwa ; Afrikaans is also spoken to a lesser extent .


Education and Healthcare


Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Botswana

In 1966, the year of independence in Botswana, there were few successful school leavers. Only 8% of the young people attended secondary school . With the income from diamond mining, the school system was greatly expanded. Nonetheless, Botswana is one of the few countries in the world where schooling is not compulsory despite a literacy campaign launched by the government in 1980 . The rate of pupils in primary schools was 96% in 1996; The secondary schools, where the Junior Certificate can be taken after the tenth grade , are also attended by almost all young people of the year. About a third of the students then complete two more years of school in order to acquire the Botswana General Certificate of Education , which entitles them to attend a university or college. In 2006, after almost 20 years of free schooling, school fees were reintroduced; these are not collected for primary school, but from secondary school. In Botswana, the mean school attendance of over 25s increased from 5.5 years in 1990 to 9.2 years in 2015. It is one of the longest in Africa.

Numerous colleges can be found in various locations, including six technical colleges and the Botswana College of Agriculture. The University of Botswana (UB) in Gaborone , founded in 1982, is attended by around 18,700 students (as of 2013/2014). Construction of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) in Palapye began in 2009, but the university was provisionally opened in 2012 at a replacement location in a college in Oodi , 25 kilometers north of Gaborone. 6,000 to 10,000 students are to be trained at BIUST; in 2015 there were 1,900 students. In 2013 the private Botho College with branches in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun was elevated to Botho University . There you can mainly complete courses in business and education. The Ba Isago University at the same sites also named University.

The literacy rate was one of the highest in Africa, reaching 88.9 percent for women and 88.0 percent for men in 2015.

Botswana has pursued a nation-building policy since its inception , which tribalism has largely prevented. Teachers, but also other civil servants, are often transferred to distant locations within the country at short notice.


Botswana has established well-structured health care across the country since independence. There are numerous health posts in the remote outlying areas with pure basic care, clinics (small hospital wards, managed by registered nurses) and a total of 17 health centers in larger towns. In addition there are several hundred mobile clinics ( mobile clinics ), so that a basic supply of the population is ensured.

However, with around 320,000 infected adults, Botswana is being hit hard by the AIDS pandemic. This corresponds to a prevalence of HIV in adults of 18.5%. In 2002, the nationwide state program Masa (German: "New Dawn") was launched: All HIV-infected people whose health threatens to become critical receive free access to medical advice and antiretroviral drugs. The program is supported by the Gates Foundation and the US pharmaceutical company Merck and is scientifically supported by the Harvard Medical School . Thanks to the level-headed Botswana government policy - and with the income from diamond production - the measures can be implemented intensively and relatively efficiently. Through these and other measures, the number of new infections between 2001 and 2012 was reduced by over 50%. The infection rate from mother to child could be reduced from 30% to 2.1%. For 2017, the United Nations Joint Program for HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) put the prevalence among 15 to 49 year olds at around 23%; UNAIDS included inadequate access to information on reproductive health and sexual violence among factors contributing to the rate of HIV. The government finances anti-discrimination and public awareness initiatives.

The pandemic is an existential threat not only for every individual affected, but also for the entire state, since a collapse of the national economy would have to be expected if the disease progresses. Average life expectancy fell from 63 years of age in 1991 to around 46 years of age in 2007. Much therefore depends on the success of the programs introduced. Life expectancy has increased significantly since then. As of 2015, she was given at birth as 63.3 (male) and 68.1 (female) years.

Advances in health care enabled 99% of all births to receive medical care in 2009. Infant mortality was 44 per 1,000 births and maternal mortality was 380 per 100,000 births. Modern contraceptives were available to 42% of women.

Development of life expectancy
Life expectancy development in Botswana
Period Life expectancy
in years
Period Life expectancy
in years
1950-1955 47.7 1985-1990 62.5
1955-1960 50.6 1990-1995 59.9
1960-1965 51.6 1995-2000 51.3
1965-1970 53.4 2000-2005 49.2
1970-1975 56.1 2005-2010 56.5
1975-1980 59.3 2010-2015 62.9
1980-1985 61.8 2015-2020 68.1

Source: UN


Administrative division in 1905

In pre-colonial times, the area of ​​what is now Botswana was ruled by several small Batswana kingdoms who , under pressure from immigrating Boers, asked for British help. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland concluded protection treaties with the Tswana rulers and soon afterwards the area was the largest British protectorate in southern Africa from 1885 to 1966 under the name Bechuanaland .

In 1961 the inhabitants were granted limited autonomy and the first political parties were formed. Botswana finally gained its independence from the United Kingdom on September 30, 1966 and became a member of the Commonwealth and also proclaimed its new name.

Politics and Constitution

The country's constitution dates back to 1965. The legislative body is a parliament (65 seats) which, in addition to the 57 members of the National Assembly - elected every five years - also includes the president, the parliamentary speaker and six members appointed by the president. Another chamber is the House of Chiefs , which has 33 to 35 members and is made up of the country's leading tribal representatives. It essentially has an advisory function.

Executive power lies with the President, who is both head of state and head of government. He is elected by parliament, although re-election is now only permitted once. Seretse Khama was the first president until his death in 1980 ; he was first followed by Ketumile Masire and from 1998 to 2008 Festus Mogae , who began his second term on October 30, 2004. On April 1, 2008, Mogae resigned from his posts. He was succeeded by Ian Khama , the son of the first president. On April 1, 2018, Mokgweetsi Masisi was appointed as the new President.

The women's suffrage is guaranteed in the Constitution. However, the first elections were held in 1961. At that time, Botswana's Europeans elected 10 members to the legislative assemblies. The black population, including women, was granted ten indirectly elected members, plus two nominees from each ethnic group and ten colonial officials. Universal active and passive suffrage for all women and men was guaranteed in the pre-independence constitution on March 1, 1965, and this was confirmed in 1966 when Botswana became independent. All elections since independence are considered free and fair, there is a multi-party system . However, since independence, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) founded by Seretse Khama has been the sole ruling party. The majority voting system on the British model penalizes the splintered opposition. Therefore, before the parliamentary elections in 2014, the BDP split-off Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) merged with the Botswana National Front (BNF) and the Botswana People's Party (BPP) to form the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and independents also competed . The BDP defended the absolute majority of the seats, but with 37 of 57 seats it had eight fewer seats than before. The UDC received 17 seats and the BCP three seats. In 2017 the BCP also joined the Umbrella for Democratic Change , the BMD was excluded. In the 2019 election, the BDP increased its share at the expense of the UDC. The Botswana Patriotic Front , supported by Ian Khama, won three seats.

In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British newspaper The Economist, Botswana ranks 29th out of 167 countries, making the country one of the most democratic in Africa.

Legal system

Botswana is a constitutional state, shaped by a basic structure borrowed from Roman law ("Roman Dutch Law"), which is common law with Dutch characteristics, although there is also jurisdiction based on traditional tribal law.


The corruption perception index for Botswana, measured by Transparency International , has so far always proven to be very favorable; in 2005, for example, the country was ranked 32nd (for comparison: Switzerland 7, Austria 10, Germany 16, Italy 40, South Africa 46). In the 2007 index, on the other hand, Botswana only ranks 38th with a value of 5.4 compared to 5.9 in 2005. In the 2012 list, Botswana ranks 30th with a value of 65, making it less than that Estimated susceptible to corruption as the European nations Spain, Italy or Poland. In 2019, Botswana is in 34th place with a value of 61 and thus in a better place than almost half of the EU countries, such as Slovenia and Lithuania (35), Poland (41), Latvia and the Czech Republic (44), Malta (50) , Italy (51), Slovakia (59), Greece (60) Croatia (63), Romania and Hungary (70) and Bulgaria (74).

Human rights

The freedom of expression is largely guaranteed. Occasionally, ethnic tensions arise and police attacks and human rights violations are also said to occur - albeit rarely. According to Amnesty International, in 2009 the death penalty was used once and sentenced twice. Amnesty International also criticizes the fact that the death sentences are carried out spontaneously and without public notice or information to families and relatives. Another death sentence was carried out in 2018; four people were executed between April 2019 and March 2020.

According to estimates by the International Labor Organization , around 13.5% of all children between 10 and 14 years of age work, although the law sets the minimum age at 15 years. Many children in Botswana are AIDS orphans, so that the oldest children often have to work for the whole family.

Homosexuality was illegal under Section 164 of the Botswana Penal Code until 2019 and could be punished with up to seven years in prison. However, a few years before the criminal offense was overturned , homosexuals had rarely been prosecuted, and in 2016 the organization Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (Legabibo) was approved , albeit after legal battles . The Botswana government has appealed the judgment to repeal Section 164. (See also: Homosexuality in Botswana ).

Labor law prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnic, geographic or social origin, gender, sexual orientation or identity, HIV infection, marital status, belief or social status. The related provisions are normally enforced.

The indigenous Khoisan population, some of whom still live as hunters and gatherers , is affected by discrimination . Among other things, they are denied hunting rights and access to natural water resources. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana is home to a total of 5000 Khoisan (Gana, Gwi and Tsila). Diamonds were found in this area in the 1980s. As a result, the people living there had to leave the reserve and move to so-called resettlement camps. The prevailing conditions there were not humane, so that many of the Khoisan became addicted to alcoholism or developed depression. Although the Khoisan were granted the right to return to their land in 2006, the Botswana government is doing everything possible to make it more difficult for people to return. For example, they were allowed to live in the country again, but not use the well standing there, so that the water supply in the reserve was no longer guaranteed. After a long process, the Khoisan were granted the right to use the well again in January 2011. Botswana's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the Khoisan have the right to access water on their land.

Foreign policy

Gaborone in Botswana is the seat of the South African Development Community (SADC), an organization to which 16 African countries have come together for economic and political integration in southern Africa.

Botswana is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, Lesotho , Namibia , South Africa and Swaziland ), whose accounting units also de facto require a currency union .


BDF Presidential Guard

The Botswana Defense Force (BDF) are the armed forces of Botswana. You took part in numerous peace missions in Africa. In 2017, Botswana spent just under 3.1 percent of its economic output or $ 531 million on its armed forces.

History of the BDF

At the time of its independence in 1966, Botswana had no military, but only set up the paramilitary Police Mobile Unit (PMU). The establishment of the Botswana Defense Force in 1977 is closely linked to a border conflict with the then eastern neighboring state of Rhodesia . There were multiple attacks by the Rhodesian Security Forces on Botswana territory, which the PMU was unable to stop.

In April 1977 the government created the Botswana Defense Force . The border violations continued nonetheless. Among other things, 15 BDF soldiers were killed by Rhodesian soldiers in the Lesoma Ambush . During the Namibian War of Independence there were also fighting on Botswana's western and northwestern borders. From the 1990s onwards, Botswana units took part in numerous international peace missions.


Today's armed forces in Botswana have a strength of around 12,500 men (as of 2013). There is no conscription . Troops are the army, the air force and the logistics department. The incumbent president is in command.

Administrative division

Kgalagadi District Southern District Kweneng District South-East District (Botswana) Kgatleng District Ghanzi District Chobe District North-West District North-East District Central District (Botswana) Angola Sambia Namibia Simbabwe SüdafrikaDistricts of Botswana (excluding independent cities), as of 2001–2006
About this picture

Botswana is divided into ten districts and six self-governing cities:


Self-governing cities

15 of the 16 administrative units (excluding Francistown) are administered by a council .


Tourism in the Chobe National Park


The gross domestic product (GDP) of Botswana was 11.3 billion euros in 2014, and the gross domestic product per capita was 5,823 euros. Botswana has now largely recovered from the global financial crisis of 2007/09. In 2014, the economy achieved real growth of 5.2 percent, while the inflation rate fell to 3.8%. The country is thus one of the economically more stable and successful states in Africa, although it was still one of the poorest at the beginning of independence. Nevertheless, it faces the typical challenges of a developing country: high dependence on a raw material (diamonds), limited public infrastructure (roads, telecommunications, water and electricity supplies) as well as high unemployment (approx. 18%) and widespread poverty in large parts of the population.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Botswana ranks 63rd out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In 2017, Botswana ranked 34th out of 180 countries in the Economic Freedom Index .

Botswana's only exchange is the Botswana Stock Exchange in Gaborone.

Key figures

All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
1.80 billion 3.69 billion 7.55 billion 9.97 billion 13.96 billion 18.73 billion 20.92 billion 23.26 billion 25.20 billion 23.45 billion 25.77 billion 27.89 billion 29.67 billion 33.57 billion 35.59 billion 35.36 billion 37.36 billion 38.86 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
1,832 3,197 5,460 6,288 7,942 9,989 11.009 12,069 12,891 11,833 12,839 13,734 14,439 16,145 16,916 16,613 17,345 17,828
GDP growth
12.0% 7.7% 8.8% 7.0% 2.0% 7.4% 6.2% 8.3% 6.2% −7.7% 8.6% 6.0% 4.5% 11.3% 4.1% −1.7% 4.3% 2.2%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
... ... ... ... 8th % 7% 6% 8th % 8th % 18% 20% 19% 19% 17% 17% 16% 15% 16%

Natural resources

Botswana's economic income is based on the development of mineral resources in mining, on meat production and on income from tourism. The diamond export accounts for more than 70% of the total export value; the diamond mines are operated by a company ( Debswana ), half of which is owned by the Botswana state and half by the De Beers diamond company . Since 2014, De Beers has been selling its entire range of rough diamonds from around the world from the Botswana capital of Gaborone instead of from London as before . In 2015, Botswana exported diamonds worth US $ 2.4 billion, significantly less than the previous year. In 2019, the second heaviest diamond ever found was discovered at 1758 carats .


The Tourism is another important economic sector. The attractions include the National Park in Botswana . In 2015 almost 1.5 million travelers visited the country, of which almost 248,000 were tourists. Of these, just under 40,000 came from the United States, 25,500 from Germany and 24,400 from the United Kingdom. In 2017, around 276,000 tourists visited the country.


The pula is one of the most stable currencies in Africa.


Office building in Gaborone

Compared to other African countries, Botswana had very high economic growth averaging 9% annually. The country has developed from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country and has the highest credit rating in Africa. However, the growth rate fell to below 5% between 2003 and 2007. Botswana was particularly hard hit by the financial crisis : a recession of 12% was recorded in 2009 . In 2017 the growth rate was 4.5%.

Because of its political stability, economic development and the constant improvement of living conditions, Botswana is often referred to as a "model country" in Africa. This is due on the one hand to the fact that rich diamond mines were only discovered shortly after independence was achieved (see history of Botswana ), but on the other hand to the fact that the funds obtained in this way were actually mainly invested in the development of the country.

However, due to the high AIDS rate and the associated high mortality, the further economic development of Botswana is at risk. However, progress in the fight against AIDS was made in the 2010s.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 5.306 billion , which was offset by revenues equivalent to US $ 4.690 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 4.1% of gross domestic product (GDP).

The national debt amounted to 13.9% of GDP in 2016.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:


Road network

Road sign at Kasane

In Botswana there is left-hand traffic as in the surrounding countries. The country's highways are paved throughout. Second-degree roads are mostly dust or gravel roads of varying quality. Roads in the national parks are mostly slopes with many potholes. During and after the rainy season, many roads and slopes are not passable.

The Trans-Kalahari Highway is a trunk road that connects Johannesburg in South Africa with Walvis Bay in Namibia and runs through Botswana.


The state-owned Botswana Railways has a nearly 700-kilometer railway line from the border with South Africa ( Ramatlabama ) via Lobatse , Gaborone and Francistown to Zimbabwe ( Plumtree ). Lord Kitchener had this route built during the Boer War . Today in Botswana almost exclusively freight trains run . The company's own passenger train service was discontinued on April 1, 2009 for economic reasons. In 2016, however, passenger traffic was resumed on the same route.

air traffic

Due to the great distances and the sometimes poor roads, there are many small airports and airstrips that are connected by various scheduled and charter flights. There are direct flights to Gaborone , Maun , Kasane and Francistown airports from Johannesburg , South Africa . In Maun in particular , numerous tourist local flights in general aviation are carried out with small aircraft.

power supply

The most important energy source for the electricity generated in Botswana is the hard coal from the mine in Morupule. This is converted into electricity in the coal-fired power plants in Morupule near Palapye (until 2013: 132 MW , since then 720 MW) and Selebi-Phikwe (60 MW). This covers a large part of Botswana's electrical energy needs. The electricity deficit is offset by electricity imports from neighboring South Africa. For this purpose, the agreement to promote the access and distribution of energy in southern Africa, Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), was signed in 1995 . In this way, Botswana buys part of its electricity from the South African Eskom , for example in the event of technical problems at the Morupule power station. In 2008, a total of 2.85 TWh of electricity was consumed in Botswana . This corresponded to a per capita consumption of around 1350 kWh. In contrast, there was an in-house generation of around one TWh. In 2013, self-sufficiency was improved with the expansion of the Morupule power plant.

The country's low population density makes comprehensive electrification difficult . Ten percent of the population live in communities with fewer than 100 inhabitants. Many small communities are not yet connected to the national network. A plan for the electrification of rural areas, which is intended to make it easier for consumers to finance the development, is already in place. Ten percent of the connection costs are paid at the time of establishment and ten percent in each of the nine following years. While only 22% of the population had access to electrical energy in 2004, a proportion of 70% was expected for 2009. Full coverage was forecast for around 2016.

With 3200 hours of sunshine a year, Botswana is one of the sunniest countries on earth. In 1997 a plan for the use of photovoltaics in rural areas was developed. De facto, however , renewable energies are hardly used in Botswana: the proportion of solar thermal energy in hot water generation is zero, there is hardly any potential for using wind energy , and the use of the large biomass potential (sometimes enormous local livestock) is still in the planning phase.

The entire consumption of crude oil (around 13,000 barrels per day) is imported and comes from suppliers in South Africa.

Water supply

When it comes to the supply of drinking and industrial water in Botswana, two different groups of consumers have emerged with regard to usage behavior. On the one hand, this is the population of rural areas with a high proportion of their livelihood in cattle breeding and, on the other hand, the population of the larger cities and mining centers, the latter with growing water consumption.

The water resources available for Botswana come primarily from surface water (rivers, lakes and dams) as well as groundwater supplies , some of which consist of fossil water capacities and are non-renewable in short periods of time. As a state bordering the Zambezi, Botswana is also a member of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission and is connected to Angola and Namibia with the permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission .

The drinking water supply in most rural areas is largely decentralized, i.e. from own boreholes in existing aquifers and the water is pumped into a regional elevated tank, from which it is dispensed via public taps. The consumption of drinking water via individual house connections, however, is chargeable. The irrigation field economy has declined since 1975 as the fuel costs for water pumps made it inefficient. There is now funding for small projects with small dams.

For the urban centers, the water demand can only be met from surface water, for which there are 8 dams in Botswana. The catchment areas of the watercourses relevant for these dams also extend over the territories of neighboring countries . Due to the largely flat land surface in Botswana, there is only a very low storage capacity on the national territory, one of the lowest in the region of southern Africa . President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced during a parliamentary session in November 2019 that the current nationwide annual water consumption was 245 million cubic meters and could rise to 340 million cubic meters by 2035.

According to the central statistics authority (as of 2009), the per capita consumption in cities is 200 liters and in rural areas 83.5 liters. Numerous public institutions have systems for the treatment of gray water in their own cycle, for example for their green areas. This also includes schools and military facilities. The institutional pioneer is the municipal water treatment in the capital Gaborone , whose technology and working methods are to be transferred to other cities.


In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Botswana was ranked 48th out of 180 countries. The country has one of the freest presses in Africa.

There are several print media in Botswana. These are Botswana Daily News , Botswana Gazette , Botswana Guardian , Midweek Sun Mmegi , Ngami Times , Sunday Standard and Voice .

The Botswana radio broadcasters enable differentiated information offers. Operated Radio Botswana 1 , Radio Botswana 2 , Duma FM , Gabz FM and Yarona FM . In addition, there are several television providers . These include the state-owned Botswana Television - BTV and the private providers Gaborone Broadcasting Corporation Television and Multichoice DSTV (multi-channel service from South Africa). Digital television has been broadcast for terrestrial reception since 2013 . The ISDB-T standard from Japan is used for this , for the first time on the territory of an African country.

In 2016, 27.5% of the population used the internet.


Unity Dow (2011)
seswaa with thick corn porridge and side dishes

The culture of the Batswana is called like the language Setswana . It is shaped by traditional as well as modern influences.

The San are semi-nomads , while most of the other residents of the country were traditionally sedentary and lived in villages that are still run by a kgosi to this day . His duties include holding court proceedings in the kgotla. The way of life in the cities is partly shaped by modern western norms.

Traditional music is deeply rooted. Church choirs and schools sing at a high level. The traditional music of the country is mostly played without a drum, but with dominant singing, clapping hands, the bow-bowed single-stringed trough zither segankuru (also segaba, serankure ), the lamellophone setinkane and the mouth bow segorogoro . Today guitars generally predominate. Often, songs are sung in a call-and-response style. Rock and hip-hop bands are increasingly being formed. Wrust and Skinflint are among the most famous heavy metal bands in the country . The Kwaito music known from South Africa is also popular.

Well-known writers in Botswana include the native South African Bessie Head (1937–1986), the writer, former High Court judge and Minister Unity Dow (* 1959) and the poet Barolong Seboni (* 1957). The crime novels about the Botswana detective Mma Ramotswe, written by the British author Alexander McCall Smith (* 1948), also became famous. The Bessie Head Literature Awards are presented as a literary prize.

In the north-west of the country there is a highly developed art of basket weaving , using leaves of the mokola palm ( Hyphane petersiana ), which are treated with vegetable dyes from the area. There are several pottery and hand weaving workshops in the country. The oldest paintings in the country are rock carvings of the San .

The national dish is seswaa, beef with pap (also called paletshe ), a thick corn porridge. This is often accompanied by morogo , a type of spinach. Goat and chicken as well as western-oriented grill dishes are also popular. Mopane worms, the caterpillars of the butterfly Gonimbrasia belina, are also eaten locally .


Introductions, reference works, general presentations

  • Pauline E. Peters: Dividing the commons. Politics, Policy, and Culture in Botswana. University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville 1994, ISBN 978-0-8139-1551-7 .
  • Mogopodi H. Lekorwe: Botswana. Politics and Society. Van Schaik Publishers, Pretoria 1998, ISBN 978-0-627-02231-9 .
  • Godfrey Mwakikagile: Botswana Since Independence. New Africa Press 2009, ISBN 978-0-9802587-8-3 .
  • Willie Seth: Botswana and Its People. New Africa Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9814258-7-0 .
  • Godfrey Mwakikagile: Botswana. Profile of a Nation. Continental Press, 2010, ISBN 978-9987-9322-9-0 .
  • Abdi Ismail Samatar: An African Miracle. State and Class Leadership and Colonial Legacy in Botswana Development. Heinemann Educational Books, Portsmouth 1999, ISBN 978-0-325-00069-5 .
  • Fred Morton, Jeff Ramsay, Part Themba Mgadla (Eds.): Historical Dictionary of Botswana. (= Historical Dictionaries of Africa. ) 4th edition. Scarecrow Press, Lanham 2008, ISBN 978-0-8108-5467-3 .
  • University of Edinburgh . Center of African Studies (Ed.): Botswana. Education, Culture and Politics. Center of African Studies, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh 1990.
  • Gabriele Altheimer, Veit Dietrich Hopf, Bernhard Weimer: Botswana. From the land of the Bechuan to a frontline state. Economy, society, culture . Lit Verlag, Münster 1994, ISBN 978-3-88660-511-8 .
  • Olaf Claus: Botswana: South African homeland or independent front-line state? The freedom of action of a “small” state vis-à-vis its “powerful” neighbor . Institute for African Studies, Hamburg 1992, ISBN 978-3-928049-11-5 .



  • Fred Morton, Jeff Ramsay: The Birth of Botswana. A history of the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1910 to 1966. Longman Botswana, Gaborone 1987, ISBN 978-0-582-00584-6 .
  • Richard P Stevens: Historical dictionary of the Republic of Botswana. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen 1975, ISBN 978-0-8108-0857-7 .
  • Peter Fawcus, Alan Tilbury: Botswana. The Road to Independence. Pula Press and the Botswana Society, Gaborone 2000, ISBN 978-99912-61-68-3 .
  • J. Mutero Chirenje: A History of Northern Botswana, 1850-1910. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Rutherford 1977, ISBN 978-0-8386-1537-9 .
  • Jeff Ramsay, Part Themba Mgadla, Barry Morton: Building a Nation. History of Botswana from 1800 to 1910. Longman Botswana, Gaborone 1996, ISBN 978-99912-66-68-8 .
  • Ørnulf Gulbrandsen: The State and the Social. State Formation in Botswana and Its Pre-colonial and Colonial Genealogies. Berghahn Books, New York 2012, ISBN 978-0-85745-297-9 .
  • Thomas Tlou, Alec C. Campbell: Diamonds, Dispossession & Democracy in Botswana. Macmillan Botswana, Gaborone 1984, ISBN 978-0-333-36531-1 .
  • Anthony Sillery: Botswana. A Short Political History. (= Studies in African History. Volume 8). Routledge, London 1974, ISBN 978-0-416-75650-0 .


  • John D. Holm, Patrick Molutsi, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Ed.): Democracy in Botswana. The Proceedings of a Symposium Held at Gaborone, August 1-5, 1988. Ohio University Press, Athens 1989, ISBN 978-0-8214-0943-5 .
  • Kenneth Good: Diamonds, Dispossession & Democracy in Botswana. Woodbridge Rochester 2008, ISBN 978-1-84701-312-5 .
  • Stephen John Stedman: Botswana. The Political Economy of Democratic Development. L. Rienner Publishers, Boulder 1992, ISBN 978-1-55587-305-9 .
  • Pierre Du Toit: State Building and Democracy in Southern Africa. Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC 1995, ISBN 978-1-878379-46-7 . ( limited preview in Google Book search)


  • Dan Henk: The Botswana Defense Force in the Struggle for an African Environment. Palgrave MacMillan, New York 2007, ISBN 978-0-230-60218-2 .


  • J. Clark Leith: Why Botswana Prospered. McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal 2005, ISBN 978-0-7735-2820-8 .
  • Seymour Patterson: Economic Growth in Botswana in the 1980s. A Model for Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa World Press, Trenton 2006, ISBN 978-1-59221-327-6 .

Culture, media

  • James Denbow, Phenyo C. Thebe: Culture and customs of Botswana. (= Culture and Customs of Africa. ) Greenwood Press, Westport 2006, ISBN 978-0-313-33178-7 .
  • Part Themba Mgadla: A History of Education in the Bechuanaland Protectorate to 1965. University Press of America, Lanham 2003, ISBN 978-0-7618-2488-6 .
  • James Joseph Zaffiro: From Police Network to Station of the Nation. A Political History of Broadcasting in Botswana. International Academic Publishers, Denver 2000, ISBN 978-1-58868-024-2 .


  • Lovemore Togarasei, Sana K. Mmolai, Fidelis Nkomazana (Eds.): The Faith Sector and HIV / AIDS in Botswana. Responses and Challenges. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne 2011, ISBN 978-1-4438-2694-5 .
  • Elizabeth Lule, Markus Haacker (Eds.): The fiscal dimensions of HIV / AIDS in Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda. World Bank Publications, Washington, DC 2011, ISBN 978-0-8213-8807-5 .
  • Frederick Klaits: Death in a Church of Life. Moral Passion during Botswana's Time of AIDS. University of California Press, Berkeley 2010, ISBN 978-0-520-25965-2 .
  • H. Gayle Martin (Ed.): A Comparative Analysis of the Financing of HIV / AIDS Programs. In Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town 2005, ISBN 978-0-7969-2050-8 .
  • Nompumelelo Zungu-Dirwayi (Ed.): An audit of HIV / AIDS policies in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town 2004, ISBN 978-0-7969-2066-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Botswana  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Commons : Botswana  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Botswana  - geographical and historical maps
Wikivoyage: Botswana  Travel Guide

National links

International links

Country profile of Botswana at ministries of German-speaking countries

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Coordinates: 22 °  S , 24 °  E