Botswana, one of Africa’s most stable countries, is the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy. It is relatively free of corruption and has a good human rights record.
Sparsely populated, Botswana protects some of Africa’s largest areas of wilderness. Safari-based tourism – tightly-controlled and often upmarket – is an important source of income.
Botswana is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.
The country has had its share of problems: It once had the world’s highest rate of HIV-Aids infection. UN figures for 2014 suggest that for adults aged 15 to 49 the prevalence rate is 25%.
The country has one of Africa’s most-advanced treatment programmes, however, and medicine for the virus is readily available.
- The Republic of Botswana
- Capital: Gaborone
- Population 2 million
- Area 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq miles)
- Major languages English (official), Setswana
- Major religions Christianity, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy 54 years (men), 51 years (women)
- Currency Pula