Botswana country flag

Botswana

Geography - People - Economy - Government - Communications - Transportation - Military - Transnational Issues

Country information - Botswana
Country name - conventional long form : Republic of Botswana
Country name - conventional short form : Botswana
Country name - local long form : Republic of Botswana
Country name - local short form : Botswana
Country name - former : Bechuanaland
Government type : parliamentary republic
Capital - name : Gaborone
Capital - time difference : UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
Nationality - noun : Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
Nationality - adjective : Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
Languages : Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Currency (code) : pula (BWP)
Currency code : BWP
Major infectious diseases - degree of risk : high

Botswana is located Southern Africa, north of South Africa. The climate is semiarid; warm winters and hot summers. The terrain is predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest.

Background

This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. 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 known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.



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