Geographic and Governmental Profile of Botswana

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.
Location
Southern Africa, north of South Africa
Geographic coordinates
22 00 S, 24 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
581,730 sq km
rank:
48
land:
566,730 sq km
water:
15,000 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries
total:
4,013 km
border countries:
Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe 813 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
Terrain
predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point:
Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
Natural resources
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Land use
arable land:
0.65%
permanent crops:
0.01%
other:
99.34% (2005)
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Irrigated land
20 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
14.7 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.19 cu km/yr (41%/18%/41%)
per capita:
107 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
Environment - current issues
overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Botswana
conventional short form:
Botswana
local long form:
Republic of Botswana
local short form:
Botswana
former:
Bechuanaland
Government type
parliamentary republic
Capital
name:
Gaborone
geographic coordinates:
24 38 S, 25 54 E
time difference:
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
9 districts and 5 town councils*; Central, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, North East, North West, Selebi-Pikwe*, South East, Southern
Independence
30 September 1966 (from the UK)
National holiday
Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
Constitution
March 1965; effective 30 September 1966
Legal system
mixed legal system of civil law influenced by the Roman-Dutch model and also customary and common law
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April 2008); Vice President Mompati MERAFHE (since 1 April 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA (since 1 April 2008); Vice President Mompati MERAFHE (since 1 April 2008)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president
elections:
president indirectly elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014); vice president appointed by the president
election results:
Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Chiefs (a largely advisory 35-member body with 8 ex-officio members consisting of the chiefs of the principal tribes, and 27 non-permanent members serving 5-year terms, of which 22 are indirectly elected with the remaining 5 appointed by the President) and the National Assembly (63 seats; 57 members directly elected by popular vote, 4 appointed by the majority party, and 2, the President and Attorney General, serve as ex-officio members; members serve five-year terms)
elections:
National Assembly elections last held on 16 October 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
percent of vote by party - BDP 53.3%, BNF 21.9%, BCP 19.2%, 2.3%, other 3.3%; seats by party - BDP 45, BNF 6, BCP 4, BAM 1, other 1
Judicial branch
High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts (one in each district)
Political parties and leaders
Botswana Alliance Movement or BAM [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Gilson SALESHANDO]; Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Daniel KWELAGOBE]; Botswana Movement for Democracy or BMD [Gomolemo MOTSWALEDI]; Botswana National Front or BNF [Otswoletse MOUPO]; Botswana Peoples Party or BPP [Bernard BALIKANI]; MELS Movement of Botswana or MELS [Themba JOINA]; New Democratic Front or NDF [Dick BAYFORD]
a number of minor parties joined forces in 1999 to form the BAM but did not capture any parliamentary seats - includes the United Action Party [Ephraim Lepetu SETSHWAELO]; the Independence Freedom Party or IFP [Motsamai MPHO]; the Botswana Progressive Union [D. K. KWELE]
Political pressure groups and leaders
First People of the Kalahari (Bushman organization); Pitso Ya Ba Tswana; Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (Kalanga elites)
other:
diamond mining companies
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Tabelelo Mazile SERETSE
chancery:
1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone:
[1] (202) 244-4990
FAX:
[1] (202) 244-4164
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Michelle D. GAVIN
embassy:
Embassy Enclave (off Khama Crescent), Gaborone
mailing address:
Embassy Enclave, P. O. Box 90, Gaborone
telephone:
[267] 395-3982
FAX:
[267] 395-6947
Flag description
light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center; the blue symbolizes water in the form of rain, while the black and white bands represent racial harmony
National symbol(s)
zebra
National anthem
name:
"Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)
lyrics/music:
Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE
adopted 1966
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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