Financial Data
Updated 29 May 2017


Botswana

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Overview

The Republic of Botswana adopted its name after gaining independence on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a stable representative democracy with a consistent record of uninterrupted independent elections.

The country is topographically flat, with up to 70% of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It also borders Zambia to the north, near Kazungula.

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Social overview

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Botswana is a sparsely populated country, however, a growing pervasiveness of HIV/AIDS places it second-highest in the world with regards to infections. Despite this, its labour market remains robust. More than 50% of the country’s workforce is employed in the civil services sector, while the mining, agriculture, tourism and construction sector requires further investment and upskilling to include more of the country’s workforce.

Here are additional essentials to know about Botswana:

  • Agriculture currently provides jobs for 29.9% of the country’s workforce
  • Botswana’s ethnic groups include the Batswana, the BaKalanga, and the Bushmen – also known as Basarwa
  • Social challenges include a need to improve educational facilities and reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS infections
  • 70% of the country’s population is Christian, while its main spoken languages include Setswana, English and Kalanga.

 

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Botswana’s people
  • Botswana has a population of 2 182 719 people (July 2015), with 63.3% of the population aged between 15 and 64.
  • Citizens require education and upskilling in order to meet growing labour demans in the mining, agriculture, tourism and construction sectors.
Environmental overview

The geographic positioning of Botswana means it receives limited rainfall, compared to its neighbouring territories. While the country has eight dams, its growing population and a recent drought places pressure on water resources.

Most of the country is flat, topographically, and 70% of the territory is made up of the Kalahari Desert. This is a challenge for agribusinesses, as viable farming land remains in short supply, while only 5% of Botswana’s land can be sold to foreigners.

Further environmental factors include:

  • Drought, agricultural operations and a general shortage of land is resulting in overgrazing and desertification
  • There are three main categories of land in Botswana – Tribal, State and Freehold land
  • State land and Tribal land cannot be sold to foreigners, which represents 25% and 70% of the country’s land respectively
  • Investors may only lease State land and Tribal land
  • Foreign-owned and local enterprises can apply to the Department of Lands to lease State land. Commercial use leases are for 50 years and residential leases are for 99 years.
The environment
  • Due to its topography, lack of rainfall, and stringent land zoning, suitable space can be challenging to secure.
  • Botswana has eight dams, which are under pressure due to drought. This could denote challenges for the agriculture sector in the near future.
Technology overview

Botswana boasts one of the highest mobile market penetration rates on the African continent, however, its Internet penetration rates are much lower.

The country’s Internet penetration rate in 2010 was at 10.1 per 100 people, whereas the mobile penetration rate is 157.8 per 100 people. Broadband penetration is even lower, at 1.9 per 100, which means businesses have limited access to data intensive services. This shortage of high-speed connectivity is attributed to a scarcity of public demand in the country.

Here are the chief technological points for you to consider:

  • Botswana has three mobile operators – Mascom Wireless (an affiliate of MTN), Orange Botswana and BeMobile
  • ICT infrastructure is easier to access in the country’s densely populated eastern territories, which presents a challenge for businesses in other parts of the country
  • Investment in ICT infrastructure is not as prevalent as it is in Botswana’s neighbouring countries.
Tech outlook
  • Only 10 in every 100 people access the Internet in Botswana.
  • Broadband availability is lacking; which places added pressure on mobile communications infrastructure.
  • There’s still no sign of further investment in broadband.
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