Type Conference Paper - International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy 21 – 24 April 2006 Sydney, Australia
Title Botswana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Botswana is a landlocked semi arid country at the centre of Southern Africa sharing boundaries with
Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It covers a land area of approximately 582 000 km², most
of which is covered by the Kalahari Desert. The population was enumerated at 1,680,863 during the 2001
population census, with an average annual growth rate of about 2.4%. The country has a youthful
population structure with a mean age of 24.5. The age below 15 years constitutes about 36.7%, while
those between 15 and 64 constitute about 58.3% of the total population. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has
however impacted the nation reversing the achievements and decreasing overall life expectancy from
65.3 in 1991 to 55.7 in 2001. This has affected mostly the economically active age group of 15-49 who
have an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 29.8% while the prevalence rate among pregnant women and men
with sexually transmitted diseases stood at 38.8% in 2001. The National Development Plan (NDP) 9
(2003) observed that HIV/AIDS posed the greatest threat and was likely to shift the workforce to a slightly
younger generation by about three years. This has serious implications for career development.
Setswana and English are the official languages, with English being the most used as the language of
government and business transactions.

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