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Botswana Introduction

Botswana is a country in the centre of southern Africa. Its official name is the Republic of Botswana. Botswana has a democratic form of government. Until the early 1990's, it was one of the few African nations with more than one political party.

A number of other nations then began adopting multiparty systems. Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of former British colonies. Botswana is surrounded by land.

It is one of the most thinly populated countries in Africa.
The Kalahari Desert covers much of the rest of Botswana. Gaborone is the capital and largest city.


The Batswana, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the country's major ethnic group (the "Tswana" in South Africa), which came into the area from South Africa during the Zulu wars of the early 1880s. Prior to European contact, the Batswana lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule.

In the late 19th century, hostilities broke out between the Batswana and Boer settlers from the Transvaal. After appeals by the Batswana for assistance, the British Government in 1885 put "Bechuanaland" under its protection. The northern territory remained under direct administration and is today's Botswana, while the southern territory became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the northwest province of South Africa; the majority of Setswana-speaking people today live in South Africa.

Despite South African pressure, inhabitants of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basuotoland (now Lesotho), and Swaziland in 1909 asked for and received British assurances that they would not be included in the proposed Union of South Africa. An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils representing Africans and Europeans. Proclamations in 1934 regularized tribal rule and powers. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a consultative legislative council.

In June 1964, Britain accepted proposals for democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved from Mafikeng, in South Africa, to newly established Gaborone in 1965. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence in September 1966. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to traditional rule of the Batswana, was elected as the first president, re-elected twice, and died in office in 1980. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Ketumile Masire, who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Festus Mogae, who was elected in his own right in 1999.

1UpTravel's Guide to Botswana

Topography of Botswana - Read more about the geography and topography of Botswana

History of Botswana - Presents a detailed historical background and culture of Botswana

Botswana Life & People of Botswana - Study the characteristics, background, and details on the people of Botswana

Local Cuisine of Botswana - Find out delicious local cuisines of Botswana

Botswana Holidays in Botswana - Check out a list of the local holidays in Botswana

Festivals in Botswana - Learn about the festivals in Botswana

Embassies of Botswana - Provides an Embassy database for Botswana

Administration facts of Botswana - Learn about the governmental administration facts of Botswana

Newstands in Botswana - Browse through a collection of local online newspapers of Botswana

Attractions in Botswana - Discover the best places to visit, sight seeing, and tourist attractions in Botswana

Maps of Botswana - Discover a detailed map of Botswana

Map Database of Botswana - Browse a large collection of city, country, historical, political, thematic, and shaded relief maps of Botswana

Flags of Botswana - Uncover the flag images and description of the flag of Botswana. Includes historical flags, symbols, and related information

Weather for cities of Botswana - Browse weather forecast, hourly conditions, temperature, sunrise, sunset, and other weather related reports for the cities of Botswana

Shopping in Botswana - Find out the best places for shopping in Botswana

Restaurants in Botswana - Browse a list of eat-outs in Botswana

Geography of Botswana - Highlights the location, map references, area, land boundaries, climate, natural resources, land use, natural hazards, environment, and geography of Botswana

People of Botswana - Learn about the population, age structure, birth and death rate, sex ratio, nationality, ethnic groups, religions, languages, and literacy in Botswana

Government and Politics in Botswana - Profiles the country name, government type, administrative divisions, independence, national holiday, constitution, legal system, suffrage, executive, legislative, and judicial branches, political parties and leaders, and a flag description of Botswana.

Economy of Botswana - Study the GDP, growth rate, per capita, inflation, labor, budget, industries, exports, imports, currency, exchange rates, and economy of Botswana

Communications in Botswana - Browse statistics on telephones, mobile and cellular lines in use, radio broadcast stations, televisions, internet country code, ISP's, internet users, and facts on communications in Botswana

Transportation in Botswana - Offers statistical details on the railways, highways, waterways, ports & harbors, airports, and other facts on transportation in Botswana

Military of Botswana - Provides statistics on military branches, army, air force, navy, manpower, military service, expenditure, and facts on military in Botswana

Transnational Issues of Botswana - Explore international disputes and transnational issues of Botswana

1Up Info - Botswana Political Geography - Encyclopedia resource provides information on the country along with its cities.


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