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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title The Political Economy of Botswana - A Primer
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anthony_Lazaruk/publication/261172183_The_Political_Economy_of_​Botswana_-_A_Primer/links/02e7e533611c2e2373000000.pdf
Botswana is a land locked country in southern Africa, bordering South Africa to the south,
Zimbabwe to the east, Namibia to the west and Zambia to the north. It has a population of 2.025
million (2011)1
. Botswana has a warm and dry tropical climate with semi-arid lands. Due to the
large desert area known as Kgalagadi, temperature variations are large with hot day temperatures
and cooler nights. Botswana has suffered from drought in some years, with one of the worst
periods occurring between 1981 and 1987.2
The main industries in Botswana are mining, tourism
and agriculture.3
Since the early 1980s, the country has been the world’s largest producer of gem
quality diamonds. DeBeers prospectors discovered diamonds in northern Botswana in the late
1960s. There are also mining operations extracting copper, nickel, coal and soda ash. Tourism is
an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12% of GDP. Agriculture
contributes a small amount to GDP – primarily through beef exports, but also through the
farming of the country’s primary crops – maize, sorghum and millet.4
Despite the small
contribution to GDP, the agriculture sector employs 30% of Botswana’s labour force.5

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