Botswana Politics

Botswana Politics, Population and Geography

General: In the past, Botswana was a British protectorate of Bechuanaland; took its current name with independence in 1966. The economy of Botswana, one of the strongest on the continent, is dominated by diamond mining. See to know more about Botswana History.


Location: South Africa, north of South Africa.
Geographical coordinates: 22° 00′ S. latitude, 24° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 600,370 square kilometers; land surface area: 585,370 km2; water surface area: 15,000 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Texas.
Land borders: total length: 4,013 km; with neighboring states: with Namibia 1,360 km, with South Africa 1,840 km, with Zimbabwe 813 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: semi-arid; warm winters and hot summers.
Relief: mostly plains interspersed with slightly hilly plateaus; in the southwest is the Kalahari Desert.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: confluence of the Limpopo and Shash rivers 513 m. highest point: Mount Tsodilo-Hiples 1489 m.
Natural resources: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 46%; forests and plantations: 47%; others: 6% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 20 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; seasonal winds blowing in August from the west, carrying dust and sand and impairing visibility.
Current environmental issues: overgrazing; desertification; limited supplies of drinking water.
International environmental treaties: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: landlocked; The population is concentrated in the eastern part of the country.


Population: 1,586,119; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 40.3% (male 321,164; female 318,007); 15 to 64 years: 55.56% (male 423,954; female 457,227); over 65: 4.14% (male 26,691; female 39,076) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.47% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 28.85 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 24.18 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; under 15: 1.01 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.93 male/female; over 65: 0.68 male/female; for the general population: 0.95 male/female (2001 est.);
Infant mortality: 63.2 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 37.13 years; men: 36.77 years; women: 37.51 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.7 children/wives. (2001 OTs.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 35.8% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 290,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 24,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: resident of Botswana; adjective: Botswana.
Ethnic groups: Tswana 79%, Kapanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, others including Kgalagadi and Be-Pykh 7%.
Believers: adherents of local beliefs 50%, Christians 50%.
Language(s): English (official), Tswana.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 69.8%; men: 80.5%; women: 59.9% (1995 est.). State Name:


conventional long form: Republic of Botswana;
conventional short form: Botswana; former: Bechuanaland.
State structure: parliamentary republic.
Capital: Gaborone.
Administrative divisions: 10 districts and 4 city councils*: Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kweneg, Kgatpeng, Lobatsi*, Ngimiland, North East, Celebi Pikwe*, Southern, South East, Santrel, Francistown’.Chowbe.
Independence: from September 30, 1966 (until 1966 – protectorate of Great Britain).
National holiday: Independence Day, 30 September (since 1966).
Constitution: adopted in March 1965, entered into force on September 30, 1966
Legal system: based on Roman Dutch law and local customary law; laws cannot be contested in court, the court can only interpret them; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Festus MOGAE (since 1 April 1998) and Vice President Seretse Ian KAMA (since 13 July 1998); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Festas MOGE and Vice President Seretse Ayen KAMA; note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: cabinet of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; elections last held 16 October 1999 (next to be held in October 2004); the vice president is appointed by the president; election results: Fetsas MOGE elected president; the percentage of votes in the National Assembly is 61.3%.
Legislature: bicameral Parliament, consisting of the House of Chiefs (primarily a deliberative body of 15 members – the chiefs of the eight major tribes, four elected junior chiefs and three members elected by the remaining twelve) and the National Assembly (44 members; 40 members are elected by popular vote, 4 are appointed by the majority party); term of office – 5 years); elections: for the National Assembly – last held 16 October 1999 (next to be held in October 2004); election results: distribution of votes by party – BDP 57.2%, BNF 26%, other 16.8%; seats by party – BDP 33, BNF 6, others 1.
Judiciary: High Court; Court of Appeal, lower courts (one in each district).
Political parties and leaders: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) (Festas MOGE); Botswana National Front (BNF) (Kenneth KOMA [Kenneth KOMA]); Botswana Congress Party (BCP) (Michael DINGAKE); Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) (Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO); note: the main parties are BDP, BNF, BSR; other junior parties merged in 1999 to form the Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM), but failed to win a single seat in parliament; YOU are members of the United Action Party (Ephraim Lepetu SECHWAELO), the People’s Party of Botswana, the Independent Free Party (Motsamai MPHO [Motsamai MRNO]) and the Progressive Union of Botswana (D. KWE-LE [D. K. KWELE]).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Kgosi SEEPAPITSO IV (Kgosi SEEPAPITSO IV); office: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone: [1] (202) 244-4990; fax: [1] (202) 244-4164.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador John E. LANGE; embassy: address – no data, Gaborone; mailing address: R. O. Box 90, Gaborone; phone: [267] 353982; fax: [267] 356947.
Flag description: a blue rectangle with a horizontal black stripe bordered in white in the middle.

Botswana Politics