Botswana - BW - BWA - BOT - Africa

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Botswana Factbook Data

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Howard A. VAN VRANKEN (since 24 May 2023)

embassy: Embassy Drive, Government Enclave (off Khama Crescent), Gaborone

mailing address: 2170 Gaborone Place, Washington DC  20521-2170

telephone: [267] 395-3982

FAX: [267] 318-0232

email address and website:
ConsularGaborone@state.gov

https://bw.usembassy.gov/

Age structure

0-14 years: 29.17% (male 355,951/female 349,283)

15-64 years: 64.88% (male 745,327/female 823,267)

65 years and over: 5.95% (2023 est.) (male 57,876/female 85,892)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Botswana. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

22 00 S, 24 00 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Texas; almost four times the size of Illinois
Area comparison map

slightly smaller than Texas; almost four times the size of Illinois


Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription (2023)

Background

In the early 1800s, multiple political entities in what is now Botswana were destabilized or destroyed by a series of conflicts and population movements in southern Africa. By the end of this period, the Tswana ethnic group, who also live across the border in South Africa, had become the most prominent group in the area. In 1852, Tswana forces halted the expansion of white Afrikaner settlers who were seeking to expand their territory northwards into what is now Botswana. In 1885, Great Britain claimed territory that roughly corresponds with modern day Botswana as a protectorate called Bechuanaland. Upon independence in 1966, the British protectorate of Bechuanaland adopted the new name of Botswana, which means land of the Tswana. More than five decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created an enduring democracy and upper-middle-income economy. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has won every national election since independence; President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe MASISI assumed the presidency in 2018 following the retirement of former President Ian KHAMA due to constitutional term limits. MASISI won his first election as president in 2019, and he is Botswana’s fifth president since independence. 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 rates of HIV/AIDS infection but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.

 

 


Environment - current issues

overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources; air pollution

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population below poverty line

19.3% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

diamonds, insulated wiring, copper, beef, gold (2021)

Exports - partners

India 21%, Belgium 19%, United Arab Emirates 19%, South Africa 9%, Israel 7%, Hong Kong 6%, Singapore 5% (2019)

Administrative divisions

10 districts and 6 town councils*; Central, Chobe, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, North East, North West, Selebi-Phikwe*, South East, Southern, Sowa Town*

Agricultural products

milk, roots/tubers, vegetables, sorghum, beef, game meat, watermelons, cabbages, goat milk, onions

Military and security forces

Botswana Defense Force (BDF): Ground Forces Command, Air Arm Command, Defense Logistics Command (2023)

note: both the BDF and the Botswana Police Service report to the Ministry of Defense and Security; the Botswana Police Service has primary responsibility for internal security; the BDF reports to the Office of the President through the minister of defense and security and has some domestic security responsibilities

Budget

revenues: $3.828 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $6.006 billion (2020 est.)

Capital

name: Gaborone

geographic coordinates: 24 38 S, 25 54 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: named after GABORONE (ca. 1825-1931), a revered kgosi (chief) of the Tlokwa tribe, part of the larger Tswana ethnic group

Imports - commodities

diamonds, refined petroleum, cars, delivery trucks, electricity (2019)

Climate

semiarid; warm winters and hot summers

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Constitution

history: previous 1960 (pre-independence); latest adopted March 1965, effective 30 September 1966

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires approval in two successive Assembly votes with at least two-thirds majority in the final vote; proposals to amend constitutional provisions on fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and branches of government, and public services also requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and assent by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2021

Exchange rates

pulas (BWP) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
11.087 (2021 est.)
11.456 (2020 est.)
10.756 (2019 est.)
10.2 (2018 est.)
10.347 (2017 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe MASISI (since 1 April 2018); Vice President Slumber TSOGWANE (since 4 April 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe MASISI (since 1 April 2018); Vice President Slumber TSOGWANE (since 4 April 2018)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2024); vice president appointed by the president

election results: President Seretse Khama Ian KHAMA, who had served as president since 1 April 2008, stepped down on 1 April 2018 having completed the constitutionally mandated 10-year term limit; upon his retirement, then Vice President MASISI became president; national elections held in 2019 gave MASISI'S BPD 38 seats in the National Assembly, which then selected MASISI as President

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

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

Independence

30 September 1966 (from the UK)

Industries

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; beef processing; textiles

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal, High Court (each consists of a chief justice and a number of other judges as prescribed by the Parliament)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president and other judges appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Service Commission; all judges appointed to serve until age 70

subordinate courts: Industrial Court (with circuits scheduled monthly in the capital city and in 3 districts); Magistrates Courts (1 in each district); Customary Court of Appeal; Paramount Chief's Court/Urban Customary Court; Senior Chief's Representative Court; Chief's Representative’s Court; Headman's Court

Land boundaries

total: 4,347.15 km

border countries (4): Namibia 1,544 km; South Africa 1,969 km; Zambia 0.15 km; Zimbabwe 834 km

Land use

agricultural land: 45.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 45.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 19.8% (2018 est.)

other: 34.4% (2018 est.)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil law influenced by the Roman-Dutch model and also customary and common law

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament consists of the National Assembly (63 seats; 57 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 4 nominated by the president and indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the rest of the National Assembly, and 2 ex-officio members - the president and attorney general; elected members serve 5-year terms); note - the House of Chiefs (Ntlo ya Dikgosi), an advisory body to the National Assembly, consists of 35 members - 8 hereditary chiefs from Botswana's principal tribes, 22 indirectly elected by the chiefs, and 5 appointed by the president; the House of Chiefs consults on issues including powers of chiefs, customary courts, customary law, tribal property, and constitutional amendments

elections: last held on 23 October 2019 (next to be held by October 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party - BDP 52.7%, UDC 35.9%, BPF 4.4%, AP 5.1%, other 1.7%; seats by party - BDP 38, UDC 15, BPF 3, AP 1; composition as of October 2023 - men 56, women 7, percent of women 11.1%

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 88.5%

male: 88%

female: 88.9% (2015)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

National holiday

Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)

Nationality

noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)

adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)

Natural resources

diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver

Geography - note

landlocked; sparsely populated with most settlement concentrated in the southern and eastern parts of the country; geography dominated by the Kalahari Desert, which covers about 70% of the country, although the Okavango Delta brings considerable biodiversity as one of the largest inland deltas in the World 

Economic overview

good economic governance and financial management; diamond-driven growth model declining; rapid poverty reductions; high unemployment, particularly among youth; COVID-19 sharply contracted the economy and recovery is slow; public sector wages have posed fiscal challenges

Political parties and leaders

Alliance of Progressives or AP [Ndaba GAOLATHE]
Botswana Congress Party or BCP [Dumelang SALESHANDO]
Botswana Democratic Party or BDP [Mokgweetsi MASISI]
Botswana National Front or BNF [Duma BOKO]
Botswana Patriotic Front or BPF [Mephato REATILE]
Botswana Peoples Party or BPP [Motlatsi MOLAPISI]
Botswana Republic Party or BRP [Biggie BUTALE]
Umbrella for Democratic Change or UDC [Duma BOKO] (various times the coalition has included the BPP, BCP, BNF and other parties)

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: effective regulatory reform has made Botswana’s telecom market one of the most liberalized in the region; there is a service-neutral licensing regime adapted to the convergence of technologies and services, and several operators now compete in all telecom sectors; Botswana has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Africa; in a bid to generate new revenue streams and secure market share, the three mobile network operators have entered the underdeveloped broadband sector by adopting of 3G, LTE, and WiMAX technologies; in the fixed-line broadband market they compete with a large number of ISPs, some of which have rolled out their own wireless access infrastructure; the landlocked country depends on satellites for international bandwidth, and on other countries for transit capacity to the landing points of international submarine cables; the landing of additional cables in the region in recent years has improved the competitive situation in this sector, while prices for connectivity have fallen dramatically (2022)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity has declined in recent years and now stands at roughly 5 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 161 telephones per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 267; international calls are made via satellite, using international direct dialing; 2 international exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Terrain

predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest

Government type

parliamentary republic

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Botswana

conventional short form: Botswana

local long form: Republic of Botswana

local short form: Botswana

former: Bechuanaland

etymology: the name Botswana means "Land of the Tswana" - referring to the country's largest ethnic group

Location

Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Map references

Africa

Irrigated land

25 sq km (2014)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Onkokame Kitso MOKAILA (since 17 September 2020)

chancery: 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 244-4990

FAX: [1] (202) 244-4164

email address and website:
info@botswanaembassy.org

http://www.botswanaembassy.org/

consulate(s) general: Atlanta

Internet country code

.bw

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, sexually transmitted diseases: HIV/AIDS (2024)

note: on 31 August 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Botswana is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

GDP (official exchange rate)

$18.335 billion (2019 est.)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Botswana does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials investigated some additional trafficking crimes and referred victims to services, increased cooperation with foreign governments to investigate and prosecute cross-border trafficking, and sought trafficking survivors’ input in drafting a new National Action Plan; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared with the previous reporting period, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; officials did not initiate any new prosecutions or convict any traffickers, nor did they amend the anti-trafficking law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment; fewer trafficking victims were identified, and the lack of formal procedures to identify and refer victims to care hindered protection efforts; the government continued to rely on civil society to provide most victim services and did not report providing adequate in-kind or financial support for these efforts; efforts to regulate labor recruitment agencies remained minimal, increasing migrant workers’ vulnerability to trafficking; therefore, Botswana was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Botswana, and exploit victims from Botswana abroad; unemployed women, individuals from rural areas, agricultural workers, and children are trafficked for sex and labor; traffickers use social media and other online platforms to recruit, using false employment offers, and exploit Batswana girls and women in sex trafficking; traffickers abuse the cultural practice where some parents in low-income rural communities send their children to live and work for wealthier relatives or acquaintances in cities, agriculture, or farming, leading to exploitation of children in sex and labor trafficking; extended family members may subject young Batswana domestic workers to conditions indicative of forced labor, including confinement and verbal, physical, or sexual abuse; owners of private cattle farms and ranches exploit adults and children from the indigenous San community of Bushmen, but avoid inspection from local officials with whom they have relationships; Batswana adults and children are exploited in labor trafficking, including domestic servitude and agricultural work, in other African countries, including Cameroon, South Africa, and Zimbabwe; traffickers intercept and exploit, in Botswana and South Africa, Central African economic migrants transiting Botswana to South Africa, as well as child sex victims from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and East African countries; Cuban nationals working in Botswana may have been forced to work by the Cuban Government  (2023)

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: A2 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB+ (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

Total renewable water resources

12.24 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2021)

Urbanization

urban population: 72.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.47% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

2 TV stations - 1 state-owned and 1 privately owned; privately owned satellite TV subscription service is available; 2 state-owned national radio stations; 4 privately owned radio stations broadcast locally (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.1% of population

rural: 96.9% of population

total: 99.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 3.1% of population

total: 0.6% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: "Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)

lyrics/music: Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE

note: adopted 1966
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Botswana. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

269,000 GABORONE (capital) (2018)

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Physicians density

0.38 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

1.8 beds/1,000 population

National symbol(s)

zebra; national colors: light blue, white, black

Demographic profile

Botswana has experienced one of the most rapid declines in fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa. The total fertility rate fell from more than 5 children per woman in the mid 1980s to approximately 2.4 in 2013, and remains at that level in 2022. The fertility reduction has been attributed to a host of factors, including higher educational attainment among women, greater participation of women in the workforce, increased contraceptive use, later first births, and a strong national family planning program. Botswana was making significant progress in several health indicators, including life expectancy and infant and child mortality rates, until being devastated by the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 1990s.

In 2021,  Botswana had one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world at close to 20%, however comprehensive and effective treatment programs have reduced HIV/AIDS-related deaths. The combination of declining fertility and increasing mortality rates because of HIV/AIDS is slowing the population aging process, with a narrowing of the youngest age groups and little expansion of the oldest age groups. Nevertheless, having the bulk of its population (about 60% as of 2022) of working age will only yield economic benefits if the labor force is healthy, educated, and productively employed.

Batswana have been working as contract miners in South Africa since the 19th century. Although Botswana’s economy improved shortly after independence in 1966 with the discovery of diamonds and other minerals, its lingering high poverty rate and lack of job opportunities continued to push workers to seek mining work in southern African countries. In the early 1970s, about a third of Botswana’s male labor force worked in South Africa (lesser numbers went to Namibia and Zimbabwe). Not until the 1980s and 1990s, when South African mining companies had reduced their recruitment of foreign workers and Botswana’s economic prospects had improved, were Batswana increasingly able to find job opportunities at home.

Most Batswana prefer life in their home country and choose cross-border migration on a temporary basis only for work, shopping, visiting family, or tourism. Since the 1970s, Botswana has pursued an open migration policy enabling it to recruit thousands of foreign workers to fill skilled labor shortages. In the late 1990s, Botswana’s prosperity and political stability attracted not only skilled workers but small numbers of refugees from neighboring Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.


GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 48.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 29% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 39.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -33.9% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 57.5

youth dependency ratio: 51.8

elderly dependency ratio: 5.7

potential support ratio: 13.8 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Botswana

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Population distribution

the population is primarily concentrated in the east with a focus in and around the captial of Gaborone, and the far central-eastern city of Francistown; population density remains low in other areas in the country, especially in the Kalahari to the west as shown in this population distribution map

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 73.7% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 93% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 24.9% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 253,417 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 110,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

A2

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 94.9% of population

rural: 63% of population

total: 85.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.1% of population

rural: 37% of population

total: 14.4% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and people of European ancestry 7%

Religions

Christian 79.1%, Badimo 4.1%, other 1.4% (includes Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim, Rastafarian), none 15.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2011 est.)

Languages

Setswana 77.3%, Sekalanga 7.4%, Shekgalagadi 3.4%, English (official) 2.8%, Zezuru/Shona 2%, Sesarwa 1.7%, Sembukushu 1.6%, Ndebele 1%, other 2.8% (2011 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 58%, Namibia 9%, Canada 7% (2019)

Disputes - international

none identified


Elevation

highest point: Manyelanong Hill 1,495 m

lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m

mean elevation: 1,013 m

Contraceptive prevalence rate

67.4% (2017)

Current health expenditure

6.2% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

the BDF’s key functions include defending the country's territorial integrity on land and in the air, ensuring national security and stability, and aiding civil authorities in support of domestic missions such as disaster relief and anti-poaching; it participates in regional and international security operations; the Ground Force has five small brigades of infantry, light armor, and artillery, plus commandos and a marine unit with boats and river craft for patrolling Botswana's internal waterways and supporting anti-poaching operations; the Air Arm has a small squadron of ageing fighters, as well as some multipurpose helicopters

Bechuanaland/Botswana did not have a permanent military during colonial times, with the British colonial administrators relying instead on small, lightly armed constabularies such as the Bechuanaland Mounted Police, the Bechuanaland Border Police, and by the early 1960s, the Police Mobile Unit (PMU); after independence in 1966, Botswana militarized the PMU and gave it responsibility for the country’s defense rather than create a conventional military force; however, turmoil in neighboring countries and numerous cross-border incursions by Rhodesian and South African security forces in the 1960s and 1970s demonstrated that the PMU was inadequate for defending the country and led to the establishment of the Botswana Defense Force (BDF) in 1977 (2023)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 9,000 active BDF personnel (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the BDF has a mix of mostly older weapons and equipment, largely of Western/European-origin; in recent years, it has received limited amounts of material from several European countries and the US (2023)

Military deployments

approximately 300 Mozambique (Southern African Development Community force) (2023)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 110 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 30 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 80 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 210,854 tons (2010 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2,109 tons (2005 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 1% (2005 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 12.82 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 6.34 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 5.73 megatons (2020 est.)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (1 cultural, 1 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Tsodilo Hills (c); Okavango Delta (n)

Major aquifers

Lower Kalahari-Stampriet Basin, Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Orange (941,351 sq km)
Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Okavango Basin (863,866 sq km)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Zambezi (shared with Zambia [s]), Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique [m]) - 2,740 km; Limpopo (shared with South Africa [s], Zimbabwe, and Mozambique [m]) - 1,800 km; Okavango river mouth (shared with Angola [s], and Namibia) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Coal

production: 1.876 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 1.416 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 497,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 1.66 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 99.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 21,700 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

1.17 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

45% (2023 est.)

Remittances

0.33% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.24% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.36% of GDP (2019 est.)

Space program overview

has a small program focused on acquiring, operating, and exploiting satellites; has received some technical training and support from China (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Space agency/agencies

no national government space agency; Botswana’s space program is the responsibility of the Botswana International University of Science, Technology (BIUST) under the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science, and Technology  (2023)

Labor force

1.05 million (2021 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 41.2% (2021 est.)

male: 39.5%

female: 43.3%

Net migration rate

2.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 26.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 25.6 years

female: 27.9 years

Debt - external

$2.187 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.421 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

186 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$4.802 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$4.941 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$6.17 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

21,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

19.66% of GDP (2020 est.)
16.22% of GDP (2019 est.)
15.23% of GDP (2018 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.37 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Military expenditures

2.8% of GDP (2022 est.)
3% of GDP (2021 est.)
3% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.8% of GDP (2019 est.)
2.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

Unemployment rate

24.72% (2021 est.)
24.93% (2020 est.)
22.61% (2019 est.)

Population

2,417,596 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 1.924 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 74% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

5.965 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 2.922 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 3.042 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 581,730 sq km

land: 566,730 sq km

water: 15,000 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

22.32% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$38.415 billion (2021 est.)
$34.493 billion (2020 est.)
$37.79 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 31,747 km

paved: 9,810 km

unpaved: 21,937 km (2017)

Infant mortality rate

total: 24.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 26.7 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 22 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4,160,553 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 161 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

53.3 (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

7.24% (2021 est.)
1.89% (2020 est.)
2.77% (2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$122.877 million (2021 est.)
-$1.292 billion (2020 est.)
-$1.155 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$14,800 (2021 est.)
$13,500 (2020 est.)
$15,100 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 259,525 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2020 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 19.4% (2020 est.)

male: 30.4% (2020 est.)

female: 8.3% (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

18.9% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

34.095 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

9 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

20 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 766,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 3,515,900,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 1.101 billion kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 631 million kWh (2019 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

NA

Imports

$9.277 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$7.413 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$7.696 billion (2019 est.)

Exports

$7.931 billion (2021 est.)
$4.81 billion (2020 est.)
$6.229 billion (2019 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 91,725 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 5.98 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.93 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.46 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.96 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 1.64 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 66 years (2023 est.)

male: 64 years

female: 68.2 years

Real GDP growth rate

11.37% (2021 est.)
-8.73% (2020 est.)
3.03% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

19.38% (2021 est.)

Railways

total: 888 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 888 km (2014) 1.067-m gauge

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 27.5% (2017 est.)

services: 70.6% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0.23% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0.45% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

8.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.37% (2023 est.)

Airports

122 (2024)