Since 1966, Botswana has enjoyed strong economic growth. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of BWA and acronym for Botswana. The development is largely the result of diamond mining combined with a stable political development with regular and general elections. The government’s development policy has been focused on expanding health care and education and diversifying the economy to break the unilateral dependence on diamond income.
In 2009, 17 percent of public spending was spent on health care. However, about a quarter of Botswani still live below the poverty line and the country is among those most affected by HIV/AIDS; 25 percent of the population aged 15-49 are estimated to be infected (2009). Check to see Botswana population.
In other areas, Botswana is more successful. Infant mortality is lower in Botswana than in most African countries; just under 5 percent of children die during their first year of life. Qualified help is available at almost all deliveries. In a country with a general water shortage, almost all (95 percent) have access to clean water. Most of the population lives a maximum of 15 km from a health station and there are 18 hospital beds (2008) and three doctors (2006) per 10,000 residents.
The population of Botswana underwent a very rapid increase after independence (1,255,749 inhabitants according to a 1989 estimate), so much so that 60% of the inhabitants are under the age of 21.
The most densely populated and economically developed area is the eastern belt, where 7 of the 8 Botswana tribes and most of the Europeans and Asians are concentrated. Despite the recent economic development, a large number of Botswana have to emigrate to South Africa where they are mainly employed in mining: emigrant remittances are one of the country’s main sources of income.
Agriculture is particularly vulnerable due to the inconstancy of the rains, while livestock farming can benefit from a number of wells built in the 1980s. Agricultural production, which absorbs 44% of the workforce, is mainly dedicated to maize (12,000 t) and other minor cereals; the only industrial crop is that of cotton seeds (2000 t). Farming is of greater economic importance and fuels exports: most of the animals (2,300,000 cattle; 1,100,000 goats; 220,000 sheep) are slaughtered in the modern center of Lobatse.
The subsoil is very rich in minerals, with deposits of diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, manganese, asbestos, salt, potassium and sulphates: some of these deposits are already in production. The diamond mines of Orapa, Letlhakane and Jwaneng and the copper and nickel mine of Selebi-Phikwe seem to offer great prospects (13,207,000 carats of diamonds in 1987), above all to diversify the national economy, still too tied to the primary sector. Electricity is produced by the Morupule coal-fired power plant, but the country still depends on South African power plants.
Internal communications are poorly developed, with 1914 km of asphalted roads, 1255 km of gravel roads and 4860 km of dirt roads. The railway network is 716 km long: the trans-Kalahari line is planned to be added to this section of the railway that connects South Africa with Zimbabwe, connecting the country with Namibia and the port of Walvis Bay, allowing the exploitation of coal reserves. by Serowe and Mambula.
In the 1980s, tourism also increased significantly (55,928 foreign tourists in 1984), attracted by the large areas rich in fauna of the Okavango basin and by the beauty of the Kalahari desert.
Foreign trade still depends 83% on South Africa, to which the country is linked by a customs union.
Gaborone, before 1969 Gaberones, the capital of Botswana, located in the south-eastern part of the country, near the border with South Africa; 274,400 residents (2019). It was not until the 1960s that the small Gaborone railway station was expanded to the capital of Botswana. Previously, Botswana was administered from Mafeking in South Africa.
It became the seat of government in 1965, a year before the country’s independence. The administration then moved from Mafeking in South Africa. Gaborone has an international airport. The city is the seat of the University of Botswana (founded in 1971).