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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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