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Botswana Essay, Research Paper
Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa, roughly the size of
Texas. It covers 224,607 square miles, yet contains only 1,444,000 people,
making it one the most thinly populated countries in Africa. The eastern portion
is where most people reside, because the Kalahari Desert covers almost all the
rest of the nation. Botswana’s climate is a semiarid one, consisting of very hot
summers, and warm winters. Flat and rolling land make up the topography of
Botswana, with the Kalahari in the southwest.
There are several major ethnic groups in Botswana. Most Botswanans are
black Africans called Tswana, and the largest group of the Tswana are the
Bamangwato. The Bamangwato make up almost one third of Botswana’s population.
The majority of the Tswana are farmers. There are also about 10,000 of the San
people, or ?Bushmen?. Some San are hunter-gatherers, and some are farmers.
Several thousand whites are also included in Botswana’s population. Most are of
British descent. Most whites earn more money then the blacks, and this causes
some racial tension. Although English is the official language of Botswana, most
people speak Setswana, a Bantu language. Eighty-five percent of Botswana’s
people practice traditional African religions, while the rest are Christian.
Most Botswanan children attend elementary school, but only fifteen percent will
go on to high school. The small percent of people that go to college attend the
University of Botswana in Gaborone, the nation’s capital.
Great Britain once had control over Botswana. South Africa wanted
Botswana, then called Bechuanaland, as part of their country. But Great Britain
refused. On September 30,1966, Botswana was declared independent. It’s official
name is The Republic of Botswana. Seretse Khama became the nation’s first
Some of Botswana’s chief resources are diamonds,copper,nickel, and salt.
The economy of Botswana was based on cattle and crop raising, but now diamond
mining is controlling the economy, despite a 25 percent unemployment rate due to
slow diamond sales in 1994. In 1994, Botswana made 1.8 billion dollars in
exports of diamonds,copper, nickel, and meat. Botswana has it’s own currency:
the pula. One pula is equal to about 1.8 U.S. dollars.
Botswana is run by a parliamentary republic that includes judicial,
legislative, and executive branches.You must be twenty-one years old to vote.
Today, Botswana’s most pressing problems have to do with disputes between
Namibia and Zambia over a small section of the border. Also, the twenty-five
percent unemployment rate must be lowered.
In conclusion, Botswana is a country that has come a long way, yet still
has a long way to go. Like every other country, it has it’s problems, but
Botswana would be a nice place to visit.
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