Twice the size of Arizona, Botswana is in south-central Africa, bounded by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Most of the country is near-desert, with the Kalahari occupying the western part of the country. The eastern part is hilly, with salt lakes in the north.
History of Botswana
Botswana is democratically ruled, boasts a growing economy and stable political environment today. The country’s population is mainly Tswana, who speak a Bantu language and are divided into eight major groups. There are also small minorities of Kalanga, Basarwa, Kgalagadi, and other poeples. English is the official language, but Tswana is also widely spoken along with 24 other minor languages. About half the population is Christian and half adheres to traditional practices.
The earliest inhabitants of the region were the San, who were followed by the Tswana. About half the country’s ethnicity today is Tswana. The term for the country’s people, Batswana, refers to national rather than ethnic origin.
Encroachment by the Zulu in the 1820s and by Boers from Transvaal in the 1870s and 1880s threatened the peace of the region. In 1885, Britain established the area as a protectorate, then known as Bechuanaland. In 1961, Britain granted a constitution to the country. Self-government began in 1965, and on Sept. 30, 1966, the country became independent. Botswana is Africa’s oldest democracy.
The new country maintained good relations with its white-ruled neighbors, but gradually changed its policies, harboring rebel groups from South Rhodesia as well as some from South Africa.
Cattle rising and the export of beef and other cattle products are the chief economic activities, though migration to urban areas in search of economic opportunity has been an important recent trend. The country’s water shortage and consequent lack of sufficient irrigation facilities have hampered agriculture, and only a small percentage of the land is under cultivation. Corn, sorghum, millet, and beans are the principal subsistence crops, and cotton, peanuts, and sunflowers are the main cash crops.
The only known minerals in the country at the time of independence were manganese and some gold and asbestos. Large nickel and copper deposits have since been found, as well as salt and soda ash. Vast coal deposits are also being worked, and antimony and sulfur are known to exist. Botswana’s three diamond mines collectively make up one of the largest diamond reserves in the world, with stones mined by the government and a South African mining concern. Deposits of plutonium and platinum have also been found.
Although Botswana is rich in diamonds, it has high unemployment and stratified socioeconomic classes. In 1999 it suffered its first budget deficit in 16 years because of a slump in the international diamond market. Yet it remains one of the wealthiest as well as most stable countries on the continent.
After 17 years in power, President Ketumile Masire retired in 1997, and Festus Mogae, an Oxford-educated economist, became the new president. Mogae has won high marks from the international financial community for continuing to privatize Botswana’s mining and industrial operations.
Although Botswana’s economic outlook remains strong, the devastation that AIDS is causing threatens to destroy the country’s future. In 2001, Botswana had the highest rate of HIV infection in the world: 350,000 of its 1.6 million people were infected, and half the populations between 25 and 29 are dying of the disease. In 2002, however, Botswana, with the help of international donors, launched an ambitious national campaign against AIDS that promises that there will be no new HIV cases by 2016, the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.
I have researched for Current Events of Botswana and I stumbled over a Batswana Newspaper. It was written in English 100% just like normal newspaper. I used the Batswana Newspaper as a resource to this section of this project.
The listed are current events happening and short descriptions of the events since December 1, 2003 until December 17, 2003
Controversy over Deportation of Caprivians
The Botswana government has denied claims by Namibian human rights NGO that a group of Caprivian “refugees” were “abducted” from Botswana to face high treason charges in Namibia.
9 New Treason Arrests ‘Abduction’: NSHR
NINE Namibians, wanted on high treason charges, have been “abducted” from Botswana and handed over to the Namibian security forces, the National Society for Human Rights claimed December 14
Rights of Refugees Must Be Protected
ACCORDING to Amnesty International, there are currently about 10.6 million refugees and 175 million migrants in the world. This means almost 3 percent of the world’s people have left their home countries, either for economic reasons or to flee from wars and internal conflicts.
Government Breaks the Law
THE Government is among the country’s most persistent and adamant lawbreakers. According to arguments raised by legal experts the government of Botswana has gone so far as to be contemptuous to the courts.
Bulela Ditswe IIII: Showdown in Francistown
The much awaited finale of the thriller, “Brawl in the Ghetto”, featuring the incumbent MP Tshelang Masisi and Francistown city mayor, Peter Ngoma, will reach its zenith tomorrow as the voters in Francistown East decide who between the two is a lesser evil. The campaign in this constituency has been nasty, ugly and dirty.
Tourism Bill to Go-Ahead
THE Tourism Board Bill, the government blue print to marketing Botswana’s tourism products abroad was given a thumps up by parliament on Wednesday. The body is expected to shore up the image of Botswana by among other things manage, market and promote the sector in the international markets.
Business Bill Endorsed By Parliament
MEMBERS of Parliament agreed unanimously to the Small Business Bill, which was read to parliament for the third time by Margaret Nasha, the acting Minister for Trade and Industry.
First National Bank Issues Multi-Million Bond
FIRST National Bank of Botswana (FNBB), jumped to the occasion last week by privately placing a multi-million bond in a move aimed at repositioning itself against its peers.
Foreigners Takeover SMMEs
THE burning question of what constitutes a genuine investor given the massive influx of foreign petty traders became a hotly contested issue December 12.
IPR: Botswana Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights and IKs
The workshop was attended by 70 people, mostly from Botswana, in the government sector, the NGOs and the private sector. Participants came from the Department of Science & technology in South Africa, from Zimbabwe, from Zambia, and from Malawi. This is besides Prof Francis Nymanjoh from CODESRIA and Dr Pradip Thomas from WACC. The workshop was therefore regional by all accounts.
Compassion Isn’t for Unrepentant Autocrats
THE just ended Commonwealth Summit held in Abuja maintained the suspension of Zimbabwe. The indefinite suspension from the Commonwealth has prompted varying comments from different stakeholders.
Police XI Target Gunners
PACESETTERS Police XI have promised to redeem their lost pride against the struggling Extension Gunners in a St Louis Super league game at the Lobatse Stadium on Sunday.
Gov’t Committed to Sport - Pheto
ASSISTANT Minister of Labor and Home Affairs, Major General Moeng Pheto has stressed that the government is committed to developing sport and recreation.
Veselin Promises X-Mas Present
ZEBRAS tactician, Jelusic Veselin who is having one of the best times of his coaching career, has promised Batswana a Christmas present when they meet neighbors Zimbabwe in an international friendly in Selebi Phikwe on December 13.
Diphatsa Vow to Stop BDF VI
FRANCISTOWN based Diphatsa volleyball club have vowed to stop the dominance of BDF VI when the two sides meet in the finals of the Mascom Wireless national league on Saturday at Otse Police College.
Mfa to Protect His Privacy
NOW back on his feet after a short spell in hospital, Assistant Minister Olifant Mfa is taking the war to the defense in his bribery case. In a surprise move, Mfa yesterday made a spurt to the High Court in Lobatse and filed papers in which he seeks to annul the proceedings of the case in which businessman Anil Gupta is accused of trying to bribe him.
Thieves Steal Holy Communion
POLICE in Ramotswa are investigating a bizarre case in which thieves broke into the local Catholic Church and stole the Holy Communion (Sacrament) recently.
BDP Headquarters under Guard
THE Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) head office was under guard by heavily armed members of the dreaded Special Support Group (SSG) yesterday following an armed robbery at the nearby Mascom office.
‘Gupo’ the Gift of a Snake
Locked-in between Tswapong Hills, Ratholo Village boasts of the special spring that has watered the village, its livestock and wildlife since time immemorial.
Kups Goes Solo
KWASA group Kups and Bwasa Stars arrived in the musical scene with their debut album, “Setswana se monate” in 2000.
Battle of the Djs in Mochudi This Weekend
THIS coming weekend promises a lot of excitement for revelers in Mochudi where DJs will be spinning the discs in a bash dubbed “Desert Storm of Turntablists”.
The Africans: Masters of the Blame Game
IF there was a competition to find a group of nations with the greatest ability for conjuring excuses for their poor state of economic well being then, we the Africans would garner gold. Our stellar cast or galacticos as the Spanish would call them, comprising African Union and SADC would see to that.
Appointment of Woman Priest Tears Church Unity
The contentious issue of ordination of women into priesthood has taken a dangerous turn in Botswana. A dispute over the appointment of the first female priest is threatening to split the country’s Dutch Reformed Church along gender lines. AANA Correspondent, Rodrick Mukumbira, reports.
Natural Resources Project Benefits Rural Batswana
Chobe Enclave Community Trust (CECT), situated 67 kms south east of Kasane town, close to the Kazungula border near Victoria Falls showcases a success story of how rural communities can derive benefits from natural resources.
Exports to European Markets Surge
BOTSWANA’S traditional exports destined for the European markets surged in September, Bank of Botswana (BoB) said yesterday. According to information posted on the bank’s website it said revenues from beef and the diamond industry jumped higher by 22 and 11 percent, respectively.
Church Urged to Join Aids Fight
Doctor Sheea-Ngwako, the Anglican Church Mother’s Union Provincial President has said it is time for the church to be fully involved in the battle against HIV/AIDS by caring for the infected and the affected.
Elephant Population Increases
THE number of elephants in Botswana bulged in the last year by six percent an international environmental watchdog, IUCN said last night. According to the 2002 report, out of the 660 000 elephants recorded on the continent the majority of them were in the southern African region.
I would love to visit this country but I wont. I would NEVER visit Botswana because of three reasons. First, danger of getting affected HV/AIDS. Second, danger of getting robbed/ hurt/ killed. Third, Botswana has very little refugee rights. When all three reasons are cleared, I’d visit Botswana.
When I do visit Botswana, I would like to visit the salt mines, gold mines, and crystal mines to see how they harvest gems from mines. Then I would go to Gaborone (of course I’d have Pulas (currency of Botswana) handy) and eat something that people of Botswana prefer to eat. Then I would visit Serowe and buy stuff that is only sold on Serowe such as diamond jewelery (for cheap Pula) or 12 hour-basis clock. Then I would go to Mochudi and participate in many activities such as going to concerts and eating special food that they only have in Botswana. Finally I’d go to Francistown and enjoy the rest of the trip.