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Botswana - Country facts

Map

Small map of Botswana
Click for a larger map

Flag

Country flag: Botswana

Capital

Gaborone

Currency

pula (BWP)

Internet Code

.bw

Location

Southern Africa, north of South Africa

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.

Climate

semiarid; warm winters and hot summers

Terrain

predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest

Population

1,640,115
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AI

Ethnic Groups

Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%

Religions

indigenous beliefs 85%, Christian 15%

Languages

English (official), Setswana

Map of Botswana

Large map of Botswana
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