Christensen C.S. Botswana: An African success story or not?

Выпуск журнала: 

УДК 94(688.3)



Christensen C.S.

Sound macroeconomic policies and prudent use of diamond revenues have made Botswana one of the fastest growing economics in the world over the last 30 years. What depends the GDP per capita, Botswana is ranked in the middle-income status with 17,000 US-dollar per capita (like Brazil, Iran and Thailand). Despite the President Mokgweetsi Masis since 2018 and his government’s efforts, however, the economy remains highly dependent on diamond exports and tourism, and, furthermore, the country continues to suffer from one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world. Facts are, however, that Botswana has an enviable record of political stability and economic achievement. Economic growth has slowed recently to about 5%, but still remains satisfactory. In this article the question, is Botswana an African success story or not, will be attempted to be answered and furthermore, the future threats threatening the African country will be explained. For instance, about climate threats, environmental problems around mass tourism and how the importance of agriculture lost its importance in the last 25 years.

Keywords: Botswana, diamonds, HIV/AIDS, Bechuanaland Protectorate, climate threats, mass tourism, agriculture, South Africa, unemployment, desertification, transport infrastructure, Namibia, Botswana Democratic Party, macroeconomic policies.




Кристенсен К.С.

Продуманная макроэкономическая политика и разумное использование доходов от продажи алмазов сделали Ботсвану одной из самых быстрорастущих экономик мира за последние 30 лет. Что касается ВВП на душу населения, то Ботсвана относится к странам со средним уровнем дохода в 17 тысяч долларов США на душу населения (как Бразилия, Иран и Таиланд). Однако, несмотря на действия президента Мокгвитси Масиси, который находится у власти с 2018 г., и усилия его правительства, экономика по-прежнему сильно зависит от экспорта алмазов и туризма, и, кроме того, страна продолжает страдать от одного из самых высоких показателей заражения ВИЧ/СПИДом в мире. Однако факты свидетельствуют о том, что Ботсвана демонстрирует завидную политическую стабильность и экономические достижения. Экономический рост в последнее время замедлился примерно до 5%, но все еще остается удовлетворительным. В данной статье предпринята попытка ответить на вопрос, является ли Ботсвана историей успеха в Африке или нет, а также будет рассказано о грядущих вызовах, угрожающих африканской стране. Например, о климатических угрозах, экологических проблемах, связанных с массовым туризмом, и о том, как за последние 25 лет сельское хозяйство утратило свою значимость.

Ключевые слова: Ботсвана, алмазы, ВИЧ/СПИД, протекторат Бечуаналенд, климатические угрозы, массовый туризм, сельское хозяйство, Южная Африка, безработица, опустынивание, транспортная инфраструктура, Намибия, Демократическая партия Ботсваны, макроэкономическая политика.



Southern Africa, by which we in this context mean Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) has long been plagued by poverty, conflict, apartheid and economic problems. There are many reasons for the conflicts in this particular part of Africa, but the vast majority are related to the European colonization of the area. This colonization started in earnest in the early 1800s. The Europeans brought their money and technology with them. On the other hand, they were in no hurry to share the wealth and minerals they collected in Southern Africa with the local population. The peoples who had inhabited several hundred years before the arrival of the Europeans suddenly had to fight to be allowed to stay in their own land. But towards the end of the 1800s, the Europeans controlled virtually all of Africa. And although at that time there was a certain form of democracy in most European countries, they saw no reason to implement something similar in Southern Africa [5, s. 66].

Up through the 20th century, especially after World War II, Africans fought to free themselves from the colonial powers. Independence became a reality in 1910 in South Africa, 1966 in Botswana, 1966 in Lesotho, 1968 in Eswatini and 1990 in Namibia. In 1990 all countries in Africa were independent. But independence did not necessarily solve the problems one had [5, s. 68].

Botswana, which is the size of France but with only 2,5 million inhabitants, was called Bechuanaland until 1966 and was a British protectorate from 1885 until the year of independence. It is one of the many failed British and other European experiments carried out in Africa in the 1800s and the 1900s. When Botswana became independent in the late 1960s, GDP per capita was around 70 US-dollar per capita and the country was one of the poorest countries on the African continent. Furthermore Botswana had only 12 kilometres of paved roads near the capital Gaborone in the south-eastern most corner of the country. The colonial legacy in sub-Saharan Africa was burdensome for the individual states and required a lot of sense of planning for future development. Since 1966, the ruling party has been called the BDP (Botswana Democratic Party), which represents a form of social or paternalistic conservatism [4, p. 33].

Botswana and the consequences of the colonial era

In 1885 the area south of the Molopo River was laid out as the crown colony of British Bechuanaland, while a large part of present-day Botswana became the Bechuanaland Protectorate. Cecil Rhodes and his British South Africa Company tried to obtain the rights to the protectorate, but it failed, i.e. because a delegation of the area’s chiefs travelled to Britain and successfully agitated against the plans. The temperance movement was a powerful factor in Britain at the time, and one of the chiefs' arguments was the prohibition of alcohol, which was part of the missionaries’ achievements in the area [11, p. 81].

In practice, Bechuanaland was administered as part of South Africa and was of no interest to the colonial power, as no products or resources of interest were found in the almost depopulated area. Thus, Mafeking (Mafikeng), which is located in South Africa, was the capital of Bechuanaland right up until independence. During both world wars troops from Bechuanaland served on the British side and large parts of the male workforce worked in South Africa; impressions from outside brought about slow-starting political and social changes. Today this still has significance for Botswana. A large part of the country’s workforce is still working in South Africa in 2024. Just over 400 kilometres from Gaborone you will find one of Africa’s largest industrial areas in the Pretoria-Johannesburg region. It is of course a real problem for a country that a large part of the workforce works outside the country's borders.

The transition to independence in 1966 was peaceful. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) led by Seretse Khama won the election and Khama was President until his death in 1980, when he was succeeded by Quett Masire. Among other things due to the increasing income from diamond production, the BDP managed to maintain a very independent political course despite continuing extremely close links with South Africa. Botswana was one of the main forces in the so-called frontline states that supported the fight against apartheid, and the country offered shelter to refugees from South Africa and from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where the white minority remained in power until 1980. The fact that Botswana worked for the abolition of apartheid meant that there were no diplomatic or economic relations with the big neighbour to the south. This certainly hampered economic development in Botswana from the beginning of the 1950s to 1990, when apartheid existed in South Africa [10, p. 44].

In the early 1990s the BDP’s power began to slowly crumble; the party has roots in traditional farming society, and with increasing prosperity and urbanization, more radical forces appear to be strengthening in Botswana’s continued democratic and economic development. Despite dwindling support, the BDP managed to win 52% of the votes cast in the 2004 election. Party leader Festus Gontebanye Mogae, who had taken over as President in 1998, when Quett Masire resigned, was then automatically reappointed as president. In 2008 he was succeeded in the presidency by Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who is the son of Seretse Khama [10, p. 35].

Botswana, more democracy and new challenges

The latter political facts should be elaborated. From the beginning of the 1990s there were political changes in many African countries, also in the South African area and in Botswana. There was more democracy and the opportunity for wider popular participation. But there were also new challenges. Corruption was suddenly part of public administration, also in Botswana. And over time, the democratic openings began to close again for some countries. What was behind this development in Botswana?

In fairness, one must begin by stating that Botswana, compared to the African countries, has been responsible for keeping both undemocratic tendencies and corruption at bay. From the end of the 1980s onwards, a democratic wave spread across Africa and therefore also in Botswana. Countries that for decades were characterized by a system where only one party was legal, where the leadership was more or less authoritarian, began to dissolve. Space was given to the opposition, which could now legally set up parties, and there was better space for meeting political rights with space for public debate and political organisation. This helped form a foundation in both the political and economic basis for further development of Botswana’s future welfare-like society [1, p. 87].

What was the background to this violent development? What internal and external factors helped to create this process? What real changes did it lead to? And what challenges did the new democracies in Botswana face?

One of the most important reasons for this great change was that democratic rights and the multi-party system were constitutionally guaranteed. In the southern African region, only Eswatini that was an absolute monarchy did not have a multiparty system. In other words, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa supported Botswana’s new democratic efforts very important to Botswana’s economic progress, indeed [9, p. 55].

This democratic change was also part of a global spread of democracy as a form of government. It followed the changes in the world around 1990, the end of the Cold War, including the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But there were also a number of other specific reasons why this shift towards a multi-party system and a strengthening of democracy as a form of government took place, among other things, in Botswana. It was about the following five points:

1. The political elite and leadership's loss of authority.

2. Fear among political leaders of a violent end to their power.

3. Political vacuum exploited by civil society.

4. International pressure for democratic reforms.

5. In the South African area – a change in the political elite’s perception of governance after the abolition of apartheid in South Africa

First of all, it was about the fact that the state and the political leaders in Botswana had lost authority and influence over the years before the 1990s. The population had simply grown tired of the President and others in power exploiting the political system for their own benefit. This meant, among other things, that resources and services that reached the citizens became fewer and fewer. Support for the politicians crumbled. The political leaders could well see the danger signals and therefore supported the switch to the multi-party system. They hoped that they would thereby have the opportunity to retain power in a democratic election. The alternative for the political elite was to be stripped of power in a process beyond their control. Therefore, it was about finding a peaceful solution where they could perhaps continue to retain power [1, p. 89].

Botswana and the real reasons for the political changes

With the state’s loss of authority and power, a political vacuum was created, which organizations and associations from civil society took advantage of. Churches, trade unions and women’s groups were given new life. They strengthened their organization, created political parties or found other ways to gain political influence and push for democratic reform.

There was also great international pressure for democratic reforms. The authoritarian African leaders could no longer count on the support of their international allies. During the Cold War many African countries were either allies of the United States or the Soviet Union, and the countries received either financial support or other forms of support in return. In the first several years after the end of the Cold War, new Russia and its allies had no immediate interest in supporting the former allied countries in Africa [1, p. 94].

At the same time, the end of the Cold War and the former Soviet Union’s changed policy in Africa which meant that the United States and its Western allies changed their policy towards Botswana. During the Cold War it was the overall political goals and the fight against communism that were most important. Democracy and human rights were less important topics. That was no longer the case, and instead the focus was now on democracy and rights, which were important political goals for the United States and their western allies. Aid to, among others, Botswana was now accompanied by conditions that the country implemented human rights and democracy as the United States and its allies defined these terms. Lack of cooperation from the African countries could lead to development aid to the country being suspended in whole or in part [9, p. 77].

It was clear that the political leaders in the country were under pressure from many different sides. In reality, the political elite in Botswana had no other options than to open up to a Western democratization process. It was initially a particularly risky strategy they could be removed from power through an election, but it was at least an alternative that gave them some possibility of retaining political power. And indeed, the political elite in Botswana managed to retain power by winning the so-called democratic elections over the opposition parties. Over time, however, the introduction of a multi-party system meant that new political groups came to power in Botswana, which helped to develop the country both politically and economically in a new way.

The decentralization of political power and economic resources can potentially strengthen democratic participation and equality in society. In the first decades after Botswana’s independence in 1966, power tended to be concentrated in the capital Gaborone and in a few individuals within the political elite. The most important political decisions, including the use of state funds, were taken centrally and within the central administrations, which were after all under political control [2, p. 101].

After the changes almost 30 years ago, not much power was given to regions and municipalities in the various parts of the country. Local political institutions were abolished and replaced with institutions and administrators appointed by the central government and loyal to the top political leadership. This development followed patterns in the so-called neo-patrimonial political system, where a network of loyal supporters is formed up through the power hierarchy.

Botswana and an increased decentralization

Education, health, infrastructure such as roads and railways and tax collection were then organized centrally and the local administrators employed in the province reported directly to the central government. Therefore, for several decades it was to a greater extent the national interests that came to dominate and there was less room for local initiatives.

However, this centralization of power is in retreat in many African countries and in particular in Botswana. One of the major political and administrative changes in recent years is increased autonomy for the country's various provinces. Here, the local administration gets more power and they get a share of the province’s tax revenue. The purpose is to ensure that the state becomes more efficient in providing the services that citizens are entitled to. At the same time, the intention of decentralization is to create more political space locally. In Botswana this has resulted in increased welfare and a better infrastructure.

It gives the citizens of Botswana a better opportunity to be able to participate in political processes and decisions at the level that has a direct impact on their everyday life and here there are signs of success in Botswana. In addition to creating a better distribution of resources and helping to fight poverty, increased participation and co-determination in the legal processes in neighbouring areas also contribute to an increased work for society, in this case Botswana [8, s. 124].

But there are many challenges to be dealt with. The increased power at the local level may mean that the groups and Botswana is a patchwork of peoples, who gain power, will favour precisely the ethnic group they belong to. It can lead to violent conflicts. At the same time, there may be opposition from the central team from influential politicians who do not want to give up power and money. An example of these challenges is the fact that there has only been one party in power in the period from 1966 to 2024. In none of the years have the opposition parties managed to beat the ruling party BDP.

There is no doubt that Botswana has experienced progress at the political level. Despite great progress, there is still a long way to go to ensure everyone's opportunity for political participation. Although the influence of multi-party systems and decentralization has meant a spread of democracy as a form of government, it is far from the case that the Western form of democracy has consolidated on the continent. In essence, it is not something that has grown out of the African soil. Nor is it, in the truest sense of the word a participatory democracy, where everyone has the opportunity to participate in political decisions that concern their own everyday life.

Botswana and economic growth

Economics is about the use of resources land, labour, water, minerals etc. This creates conditions for growth. Economic growth creates opportunities for development, not only financially and politically but also mentally where parents can start to dream of a better life for their children. Economic growth has exceeded all expectations for the past several decades in Botswana.

For a country like Botswana a good institutional setup will lead to outcomes that are in the interest of the politically powerful agents. For example, institutions that restrict state predation will not be in interest of the ruling elite who wants to appropriate assets in the future. Yet this strategy may be in the interest of a ruler who recognizes that only such guarantees will encourage citizens to undertake substantial investments, or will protect his own rents. They will also be in the interest of the major group that can undertake investment in production activities in the future [8, s. 143].

What depends Botswana, there are a number of structural features that appear potentially relevant to understanding its institutional and economic successfully performances:

1. Botswana is very rich in natural-resource wealth.

2. Botswana had unusual pre-colonial political institutions allowing commoners to make suggestions and criticize chiefs. The institutions therefore enabled an usual degree of participation in the political process and placed restrictions on the political power of the elites.

3. British colonial rule in Botswana was limited, because of the peripheral nature of Botswana to the British Empire. This allowed the pre-colonial institutions to survive to the independence era.

4. The political leadership of the BDP, and particularly of Seretse Khama, inherited the legacy of these institutions, and gave it a broad political base.

5. Upon independence, the most important rural interests, chiefs and cattle owners were politically powerful and it was in their economic interest to enforce property rights.

6. The revenues from diamonds generated enough rents for the main political actors, increasing the opportunity cost of, and discouraging further rent seeking [8, s. 126].

Another reason for Botswana’s economic success was the fact that, unlike most other African countries, it did not just expand the state and maintain strong state control over business. Both slowed down economic development. To a greater extent, the business world was allowed to be self-governing and not so controlled by the state in Botswana. Thus, it was not so difficult to get through the crisis with lower prices for raw materials and minerals. And this even though from around the turn of the millennium Botswana, like the other African countries, began to grow out of its long-term economic crisis with low prices for raw materials and minerals and even though they had apparently become even more dependent on the sale of raw materials on the global world market [6, p. 55].

Botswana’s new growth also came at a time when the rest of the world’s economy, especially in the US and Europe, was hit by an economic crisis from 2008. But Africa and thus also Botswana had gained new trading partners in Brazil, India and China. In the following decades, these countries became significant buyers of raw materials for their growing industries. Throughout Africa, these countries invested in mines, roads, railways and ports in order to get the raw materials out, somewhat like what the Europeans had done during the colonial period in the 19th century [8, s. 135].

Although India, Brazil and China were also affected by the crisis, they continued to have good growth during the global economic crisis. Their demand kept the price of Africa’s raw materials and minerals up for a long time. Thus Botswana’s and the whole of Africa’s recovery were prolonged. During the crisis the worlds other companies had also looked around for new markets for both goods and investment capital. Among them, they caught sight of Botswana and noticed that the number of interesting and able-bodied consumers had grown significantly over the past decades. At the same time, a fundamental change had taken place with the African continent. Most countries, including to a lesser extent Botswana, had gone from being dominated by agriculture to becoming industrialized countries and some, for example Botswana, were developing into service societies [6, p. 76].

The fact that Botswana’s economic growth was so conspicuous is because the continent’s industrial production did not grow to a great extent. Botswana has no significant industry. And as the prices of minerals rose, Botswana’s income grew disproportionately compared to the other African countries’ incomes in general.

But when China’s growth fell in the 2010s, the African barns and Botswana were both hit by a minor crisis. Around 2020 Africa is heavily dependent on cheap foreign credits – especially from China. But a general impression of Botswana’s economy is that it is one of the biggest successes on the African continent.

Botswana and its responses to HIV/AIDS

These economic and political gains, however, are gravely threatened by the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Botswana has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world: a 2020 survey estimated that about 24,8% of adults aged 15-49 years carried the virus and in 2024 estimated about 22%. The overall prevalence rate in Batswana has more than doubled since 1992 and an estimated 138,000 had died of AIDS by 2002. The high prevalence rate has resulted in declining life expectancy, from 65 years in 1991 to 56 years in 2001, according to official census data. The infant mortality rate is estimated at 55.2 per 1,000 live births, compared with 48 per 1,000 in 1991, and in contrast to an estimated 26.3 per 1,000 in the absence of AIDS. The U.S. Census Bureau (2003) projects that population growth during 2010-2020 will average – 2.1% a year, compared with +3.6% a year during 1980-1990 [3].

In addition to the human consequences, the macroeconomic impact of the epidemic has been researched, and many studies, drawing on demographic projections and standard economic theory, have modeled the long-term negative impact of HIV/AIDS on total factor productivity, labor, capital, and output, among other variables. The HIV/AIDS epidemic poses a serious challenge to achieving the government’s objectives of poverty reduction, economic diversification, and growth. These objectives, formally articulated in Botswana’s medium-term economic framework, the National Development Plan, depend crucially on the government’s ability to attract foreign investment into areas outside of mining, and to undertake the structural reforms needed to increase private sector participation in the economy [7, p. 288].

The HIV/AIDS epidemic poses a serious challenge to achieving the government’s objectives of poverty reduction, economic diversification and growth. These objectives, formally articulated in Botswana’s medium-term economic framework, the National Development Plan (covering 2003-2009), depend crucially on the government’s ability to attract foreign investment into areas outside of mining, and to undertake the structural reforms needed to increase private sector participation in the economy. The National Strategy for Poverty recognizes that HIV/AIDS is both cause and consequence of poverty, unemployment, and inequality and aims to eliminate poverty in Botswana [3].

Botswana is in general well-equipped and with strong infrastructure to test the population for HIV, meaning that the prevalence may in fact be on par with other African nations, whilst being reported as being the nation with the second highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. In 2011 the Ministry of Education introduced new HIV/AIDS education technology for schools. The TeachAIDS prevention software, developed at Stanford University, was distributed to every primary, secondary, and tertiary educational institution in the country, reaching all learners from 6 to 24 years of age. There is evidence that these policies are having some impact, for example HIV prevalence among 15 to 19 year olds fell from 24.7% in 2001 to 13.2% in 2009. However, at the household level, families face increasing health expenditures to meet the needs of family members with HIV/AIDS. At the same time, they are experiencing loss of income as productive family members become sick and die [7, p. 290].

Botswana, corruption and poverty

Another significant problem for Botswana is corruption. However, the problem in the country is far from as big in the country as in other parts of the African continent. And this even though it is in countries with deposits of minerals and precious stones that you often find the greatest corruption. Here, the President and the responsible minister can secure large extra income by, for example, allowing certain foreign mining companies access to the country’s resources. They pay to get contracts at all and continuously hand over part of the income to high-ranking people in government and state.

Corruption undermines efficiency in society, as it acts as an additional and hidden tax that makes it more expensive to complete tasks or receive services. At the same time, it helps to undermine democracy and equality in society, as public funds are not used as intended. All at once, corruption favors some individuals over others. In Botswana, which is one of the least corrupt countries in Africa, the situation is under control, and this is also one of the keys to the country’s economic success and high growth rates.

Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world at the time that Botswana achieved independence and relied on Britain to finance its spending. Diamond was located in three distinct places in Botswana in 1967, 1972 and 1975, rendering the country a middle-income economy, thus alleviating the country's poverty condition. Even with the diamond discovery and middle-income status, however, the nation still faces the issue of poverty. The situation, however, has changed a lot. But poverty is still a problem for the sub-Saharan country [12, p. 24].

Botswana’s government recognized these and created strategies to address poverty. It developed procedures to addresses the problems people have. Their first concern was the HIV/AIDS rates, which they treated with great success, as the Borgen Project (2013) notes. A healthy population, more than 95%, living with HIV/AIDS receive medication. This was to ensure the population was healthy to fight poverty. Through foreign assistance from the United States, they received money to fight the disease, making the process more successful. The last issue was to tackle poverty and reduce its effects on the population.

What are the main causes of poverty in Botswana?

1. High rate of unemployment (25%).

2. Low education level.

3. Skewed ownership.

4. Unfavorable climatic conditions. The harsh climatic conditions which is a characteristic of the country contributes to the poverty levels in the country.

5. High disease prevalence.

6. Decline of traditional mechanisms.

If Botswana is to alleviate poverty then the solutions provided have to be anchored around education, empowerment, pragmatic social entrepreneurship solutions. In addition to that, there is need for small and micro-entrepreneur development. With policies developed with a specific focus on food security, the nation can have a human capital base that is productive to stir the country from the high poverty levels. Further, by having proper education system that does not discriminate the girls and women then the country can make remarkable strides in the fight against poverty.

The world today is changing with the numerous technological advancements. Another solution to the poverty prevalence in Botswana is around the technological advancement in Africa. Therefore, to alleviate poverty, the country needs to invest in information communication and technology (ICT) sectors since this will open up the remote areas for job opportunities. ICT may also be used to improve the farming methods since to date; most farmers in the country use the traditional methods which give low yields compared to modern farming method

Botswana and the problematic future

Climate and environmental changes as a result of global warming is one of the biggest challenges facing Botswana. Botswana and the whole of Africa is the continent that has contributed the least to global warming and the continent that has been hit the hardest. As a comparison, it can be mentioned that the African continent accounts for 4% of the total emission of greenhouse gases, while the industrialized countries of Europe, Asia and America account for more than 70% of the total emission of greenhouse gases. And Botswana’s emissions are, of course, without industrial conglomerates, at a minimal level to say the least.

Global warming will be particularly hard on the African countries, where more droughts and more floods and changes in the periods of traditional rainfall can be expected. Already today, these changes have had consequences for health, livelihoods and food security. The massive Kalahari Desert covers more than 70% of the area of Botswana, and although the Kalahari Desert is not comparable to the Sahara Desert, the changes are massive in Botswana [12, p. 25].

Temperatures are likely to rise faster in Africa than in the rest of the world, especially in the driest regions. This could mean, for example, that the crops grown in certain areas of Botswana can no longer grow. Maize, for example, is the most important diet for Africans from Sudan to South Africa, but the plant is very sensitive to climate change. And it is expected that the yield from maize production will decline greatly in southern Africa in the coming decades. Failing rainfall and rising temperatures will create problems with drinking water and this will have negative consequences for livestock production. Botswana is one of the countries expected to be hit hard by this because meat is the country’s main agricultural product.

Population growth and urbanization could be two other factors that could put an end to Botswana’s economic adventure. But this is not the case. With population growth in the country’s total population at 1.5% and in the capital Gaborone at 2%, it is no threat to the country’s future. In the country's five largest cities live, only approx. 25% of the country’s population. On the other hand, social problems in the big cities such as lack of jobs, low wages and poverty exist but are apparently under control. Gaborone, the capital and the country’s largest city, has a population of 275,000. So problems with the environment, where resource shortages and increased pollution characterize areas, also seem to be under control.


Botswana is seen from both a global and an African scale a success. It has succeeded for the country elite and economic elite to keep both democratic and economic rules of the game. Furthermore, the ability and well-being have partially spread out in society in the country. Youth unemployment is high, just as a larger part of the labour force works in South Africa. Economic growth has been steadily increasing since the country’s independence in 1966. But black clouds are literally hanging on the horizon; big challenges await Botswana in the near future. And it is climate change in particular that is at issue here. Climate change is turning the fertile land into a barren desert. In Botswana, the population is not high and population growth is also under control. But AIDS/HIV is one of the highest rates in the world and threatens the population.

These changes can lead to problems in terms of malnutrition, health problems, especially for children, and increased poverty. With rising temperatures, malaria mosquitoes will have better conditions and can spread to new areas in southern Africa. It is therefore important that Botswana adapts to the changes that will come within the next 100 years. It can help limit the negative changes that climate change can bring. It may concern the prevention of disasters. It can be support for farmers so that they can adapt to the changes brought about by climate change. It may concern the prevention of disasters. It can be support for farmers so that they can adapt to climate change and, for example, introduce new crops that are more hardy.

It is important that Botswana formulates specific policies and strategies on how to oppose the negative aspects of climate change. At the same time, it is important that the country works to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate further. This can be done, for example, by investing in green energy, rather than oil and coal, which emit greenhouse gases. At the same time, it is important that the international community supports this adaptation in e.g. Botswana and do something to change this development, especially in the poor African but also in countries like Botswana. It is a fact that Botswana has suffered from the severe consequences of climate change for several decades, even though a country like Botswana and Africa as a whole contributes the least to global greenhouse gases. Still, the country is reacting before it is tool the challenges loom large for Botswana and there are no easy solutions. Prevention and adaptation to climate change can only be implemented if there is political will and funds from local and international teams and as soon as possible ate for the citizens of Botswana.



1. Acemoglu D., Johnson S., Robinson J.A. An African success story: Botswana // Search of Prosperity: analytic narratives on economic growth. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. P. 80-119.

2. Benabou R. Unequal societies: Income distribution and the social contract // American Economic Review. 200. Vol. 90. No. 1. P. 96-129.

3. Botswana 2013: Global AIDS response report 2014 [Web resource] // UNAIDS. 31.03.2014. URL: (reference date: 25.03.2024).

4. Fawcus P., Tilbury A. Botswana: The road to independence. Gaborone: Pula Press, 2000. 240 p.

5. Gilkær H.T. Afrikas historie efter 1890: med kilder om Kenya. Systime: Århus, 2007. 216 s.

6. Harbeson J.W. Rothchild D.S. Africa in world politics: engaging a changing global order. Westview Press, Fifth Edition, 2013. XVI, 385 p.

7. Masha I. An economic assessment of Botswana’s National Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS // The Macroeconomics of HIV/AIDS / Ed. M. Haacker. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 2004 P. 287-310.

8. Rasmussen F., Tygesen P. Afrika: fortid og fremtid. København: Columbus, 2016. 208 s

9. Samatar A.I. An African miracle: state and class leadership and colonial legacy in Botswana development. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999. XXII, 217 p.

10. Smith C. Conflict in Southern Africa. London: Wayland Publishers Limited, 1992. 48 p.

11. Thomson A. An introduction to African politics. London: Routledge, 2010. 308 p.

12. Vision 2036: achieving prosperity for all / Presidential Task Team (Botswana). Gaborone: Lentswe La Lesedi (Pty) Ltd, 2016. IX, 42 p.


Data about the author:

Christensen Carsten Sander – Doctor of History (PhD), Independent Researcher (Billund, Denmark).

Сведения об авторе:

Христенсен Карстен Сандер – доктор истории (PhD), независимый исследователь (Биллунд, Дания).