Country Information

The Botswana pula is the official currency of Botswana. The ISO code for the Botswana pula is BWP. The BWP is subdivided into 100 thebe. The Botswana pula maintains a composite peg. The currency name "pula" comes from the Setswana word that means rain. Botswana is located in the Kalahari Desert, where rain is rare.

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Political Structure

Botswana is a parliamentary republic that consists of three different branches. The executive branch is composed of a president, vice president, and cabinet. The president and vice president control both the chief of state and head of government positions. The president serves a five-year term and is elected by the National Assembly. The president appoints both the vice president and the cabinet. The legislative branch is a bicameral Parliament that consists of a House of Chiefs and a National Assembly. The House of Chiefs is composed of 15 members (8 chiefs, 4 sub chiefs, and 3 members selected by the chiefs and sub chiefs). The National Assembly has 44 members that serve five-year terms. 40 members are elected by popular vote while the majority party appoints the other 4 members. The judicial branch consists of a High Court, Court of Appeal and one Magistrate Court in each district.

  • Prominent Figures President: Festus Mogae, since April 1, 1998.
  • Vice President: Seretse lan Khama, since July 13, 1998.
  • Central Bank: Bank of Botswana
  • Director of Bank: Linah Mohohlo

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview

Starting in the 1960's, Botswana started to incorporate diamond-mining developments using private multinational capital, with government equity to increase state growth. They have also encouraged small private organizations by licensing small-scale commerce and manufacturing deals. Diamond mining accounts for more than one-third of the GDP and one-tenth of export earnings. These advancements have resulted in the economy growing three-fold, with GDP per capita growing from less than $80 to more than $1,000 between 1960 and 1980 and increasing to over $8,000 since then. Other important sectors that the economy depends on are tourism, subsistence farming, and cattle raising. Regardless, many of Botswana's people have not benefited from these expansions, as income and standard of living is still low. Almost 75% of the population is unemployed and fewer still produce enough food to feed their families. Botswana was given a lot of foreign aid from western countries between the 1970-80, however after it achieved the status of lower middle-income country much of that aid was cut off. Increases in manufacturing industries due to the boom in mining developments have led to a slight expansion in formal wage employment.

  • Exchange rates: pulas per US dollar - 4.9499 (2003), 6.3278 (2002), 5.8412 (2001), 5.1018 (2000), 4.6244 (1999)
  • GDP - composition by sector: agriculture-4%, industry-44% (including 36% mining), services- (52%)
  • Exports: ($2.5 billion) diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
  • Imports: ($2.1 billion) foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
  • Export partners: EFTA 85%, Southern African Customs Union 10%, Zimbabwe 2%
  • Import partners: Southern African Customs Union 77%, EFTA 9%, Zimbabwe 4%

Exchange Rates



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