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Publish Date: June 14, 2020
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Description

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana (Setswana: Lefatshe la Botswana; Kalanga: Hango yeBotswana), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has been a representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the lowest perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa's oldest continuous democracy. Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres long.

A mid-sized country of just over 2.3 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Around 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—Botswana has since transformed itself into an upper middle income country, with one of the world's fastest-growing economies. The economy is dominated by mining, cattle, and tourism. Botswana boasts a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $18,825 per year as of 2015, which is one of the highest in Africa. Its high gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa) gives the country a relatively high standard of living and the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa.