Botswana

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 9, 2011
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Location of Botswana
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OF BOTSWANA
 

Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Southern Africa, north of South Africa
 
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22 00 S, 24 00 E
 
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total: 581,730 sq km
country comparison to the world: 48
land: 566,730 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than Texas
 
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total: 4,013 km
border countries: Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe 813 km
 
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0 km (landlocked)
 
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none (landlocked)
 
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semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
 
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predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
 
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lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
 
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diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
 
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arable land: 0.65%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.34% (2005)
 
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20 sq km (2008)
 
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14.7 cu km (2001)
 
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total: 0.19 cu km/yr (41%/18%/41%)
per capita: 107 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
 
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overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources
 
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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
 
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landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country
 
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People and Society

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noun: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
adjective: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
 
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Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
 
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Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English (official) 2.1%, other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
 
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Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 census)
 
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2,065,398 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
 
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0-14 years: 33.9% (male 356,346/female 343,452)
15-64 years: 62.2% (male 649,931/female 634,998)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 32,542/female 48,129) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 22.3 years
male: 22.2 years
female: 22.4 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.656% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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22.31 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
 
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10.57 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
 
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4.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 19
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2011 est.)
 
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urban population: 61% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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GABORONE (capital) 196,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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190 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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total: 11.14 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 142
male: 11.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 58.05 years
country comparison to the world: 192
male: 58.78 years
female: 57.3 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.5 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
 
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10.3% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 26
 
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0.336 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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1.81 beds/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 109
 
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improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 90% of population
total: 95% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 10% of population
total: 5% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 74% of population
rural: 39% of population
total: 60% of population
unimproved:
urban: 26% of population
rural: 61% of population
total: 40% of population (2008)
 
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24.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
 
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320,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
 
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5,800 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
 
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degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2009)
 
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10.7% (2000)
country comparison to the world: 64
 
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8.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 8
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.2%
male: 80.4%
female: 81.8% (2003 est.)
 
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total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2007)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Botswana
conventional short form: Botswana
local long form: Republic of Botswana
local short form: Botswana
former: Bechuanaland
 
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parliamentary republic
 
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name: Gaborone
geographic coordinates: 24 45 S, 25 55 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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9 districts and 5 town councils*; Central, Francistown*, Gaborone*, Ghanzi, Jwaneng*, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse*, Northeast, Northwest, Selebi-Pikwe*, Southeast, Southern
 
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30 September 1966 (from the UK)
 
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Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
 
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March 1965; effective 30 September 1966
 
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mixed legal system of civil law influenced by the Roman-Dutch model and also customary and common law
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
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
 
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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
 
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High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrates' Courts (one in each district)
 
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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]
note: 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]
 
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First People of the Kalahari (Bushman organization); Pitso Ya Ba Tswana; Society for the Promotion of Ikalanga Language (Kalanga elites)
other: diamond mining companies
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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zebra
 
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name: "Fatshe leno la rona" (Our Land)
lyrics/music: Kgalemang Tumedisco MOTSETE
note: adopted 1966
 
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Economy

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Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, though growth fell below 5% in 2007-08, and turned sharply negative in 2009, with industry falling nearly 30%. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $13,100 in 2010. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP, 70-80% of export earnings, and about half of the government's revenues. Botswana's heavy reliance on a single luxury export was a critical factor in the sharp economic contraction of 2009. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. Although unemployment was 7.5% in 2007 according to official reports, unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens Botswana's impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production within the next two decades overshadows long-term prospects.
 
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$28.49 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
$26.24 billion (2009 est.)
$27.24 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$14.03 billion (2010 est.)
 
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8.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
-3.7% (2009 est.)
3.1% (2008 est.)
 
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$14,000 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
$13,200 (2009 est.)
$14,000 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 45.8%
services: 52% (2009 est.)
 
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1.225 million formal sector employees (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
 
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7.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
 
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30.3% (2003)
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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63 (1993)
country comparison to the world: 5
 
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25.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
 
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revenues: $4.656 billion
expenditures: $5.638 billion (2010 est.)
 
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33.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
 
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-7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
 
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19.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
17.6% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
8.1% (2009 est.)
 
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9.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
10% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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11.46% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
13.76% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.438 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
$1.065 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$6.654 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
$5.802 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.466 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
$122.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.076 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 88
$3.991 billion (31 December 2009)
$3.556 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
 
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diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; livestock processing; textiles
 
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7.9% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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593 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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2.85 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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1.959 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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15,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
 
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15,590 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
 
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-$340.2 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
-$543 million (2009 est.)
 
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$4.591 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$3.435 billion (2009 est.)
 
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diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
 
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$4.767 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
$3.998 billion (2009 est.)
 
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foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
 
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$7.885 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$8.704 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$2.499 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
$1.617 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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pulas (BWP) per US dollar -
6.7413 (2010)
7.1551 (2009)
6.7907 (2008)
6.2035 (2007)
5.8447 (2006)
 
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Communications

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137,400 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 139
 
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2.363 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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general assessment: Botswana is participating in regional development efforts; expanding fully digital system with fiber-optic cables linking the major population centers in the east as well as a system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relays links, and radiotelephone communication stations
domestic: fixed-line teledensity has declined in recent years and now stands at roughly 7 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity now exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons
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) (2010)
 
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2 TV stations - 1 state-owned and 1 privately-owned; privately-owned satellite TV subscription service is available; 2 state-owned national radio stations; 3 privately-owned radio stations broadcast locally (2007)
 
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.bw
 
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2,739 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 148
 
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120,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 153
 
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Transportation

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78 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 71
 
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total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 69
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 52
under 914 m: 13 (2010)
 
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total: 888 km
country comparison to the world: 93
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 25,798 km
country comparison to the world: 103
paved: 8,410 km
unpaved: 17,388 km (2005)
 
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Military

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Botswana Defense Force (BDF): Ground Forces Command, Air Arm Command, Defense Logistics Command, Special Forces Group (2011)
 
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18 is the apparent age of voluntary military service; official minimum age is unknown (2001)
 
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males age 16-49: 557,647
females age 16-49: 531,095 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 340,949
females age 16-49: 302,332 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 23,649
female: 23,063 (2010 est.)
 
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3.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 38
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
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