With a consistent record of uninterrupted democracy, the nation is said to have Africa’s oldest continuous democracy.
The country covers an area of 224, 610 sq mi and has a population of 2 million, which makes it the least densely populated in the world.
Its economy is dependent on mining and agriculture and its standard of living is ranked among the highest in Africa.
By all accounts, Botswana has an inspiring story of succeeding against the odds and making the most of the given opportunities. In 1966, when Botswana got its independence from the British, its per capita income was a modest $70. Botswana has since grown by leaps and bounds, transforming itself into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
How Africa brings you interesting facts about Botswana to commemorate its independence:
An oasis of peace
Botswana has been an independent state since 1966 and since then it has enjoyed relative political stability devoid of clashes between ethnic groups nor coups unlike in many other African states.
The land of diamonds
The discovery of a diamond mine in the Opara area in 1967 boosted the economy of Botswana. Desbwana, a company in Botswana, has the largest diamond mining company in the country while the government of Botswana owns another.
Early in the year, the world’s largest uncut diamond was discovered and mined in Botswana. The discovered 1, 758-carat diamond is larger than a tennis ball and is of “variable quality”.
Botswana contains one of the world’s largest salt pans
The Makgadikgadi Pan is one of the largest salt pans in the world. Located in the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana, the pan is situated in an area that was once covered by the massive Lake Makgadikgadi.
The border between Botswana and Zambia is only 150 meters which makes it the shortest border in the world.
Education in Botswana is free for students for the first 10 years, which completes the cycle through middle school. The first 7 years of this are at primary school, where the pupil-teacher ratio is approximately 13 to 1.
The government of Botswana provides universal healthcare to all citizens through a public healthcare system. With the operation of over 98 percent of all medical facilities by government, healthcare is delivered through a decentralized model with healthcare being the pillar of the delivery system.
Botswana has opened its borders to 103 countries whose citizens can visit Botswana without a visa, making it the 42nd most welcoming country in the world. The Botswana passport is also among the most affordable to obtain in the world.
Best police service
According to the WISPI, Botswana has the best police service in Africa despite being ranked 47th best in the world.
The annual index ranked the Rwandan police as Africa’s second-best (with global position of 50th) followed by Algeria (58th), Senegal (68th) and Tunisia (72nd) in that order. Completing the top 10 for Africa were, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa, and Mali respectively.