Portal:Botswana

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Botswana (/bɒtˈswɑːnə/), officially the Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana), is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998.

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 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 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.

Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. The country has been among the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Despite the success in programmes to make treatments available to those infected, and to educate the populace in general about how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people with AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013. As of 2014, Botswana has the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS, with roughly 20% of the adult population being infected.

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Tsodilo rock paintings 1.jpg

Tsodilo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in northwestern Botswana. It was inscribed in 2001 due to its unique religious and spiritual significance to local peoples, as well as its unique record of human settlement over many millennia. It contains over 4,500 rock paintings in an area of approximately 10 km² within the Kalahari Desert. A recent discovery of 70,000-year-old artifacts and a python's head carved of stone appears to represent the first known human rituals.

Scholars had previously believed that the human intellect hadn't quite reached the sophistication necessary for performing organized spiritual rituals and activities until about 40,000 years ago in Europe, but inside a cave in the Tsodilo hills, archaeologists have found an enormous stone sculpture of a python that was worshiped and presented with offerings as early as 70,000 years ago. It is about as tall (high) as a human being and measures approximately 20 feet (6 meters) long. (Read more...)

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Gaboronecitycentre.JPG
Credit: Eddie Chuan-Shun Ho

The city centre of Gaborone, Botswana.

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An ATR 42 of Air Botswana

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