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Yearbook 2000

Botswana. The severe rainfall and floods in southern Africa in February also haunted Botswana. 160,000 people, a tenth of the country's population, had their mud houses destroyed.

2000 Botswana

The devastation affected especially the poorest residents, and these were themselves responsible for the reconstruction of housing. The government explained that the public funds available would be used to repair damaged roads, bridges, schools and clinics.

Despite the catastrophe, the spread of HIV/AIDS was Botswana's increasingly overwhelming social and economic problems. According to UN estimates, Botswana had the world's highest proportion of HIV-infected adults, 36%. President Mogae said in November that the average life expectancy among the Botswanians in a decade has decreased by just over 20 years to 47 years. At the same time, Mogae expressed his disappointment that the world's richest countries are not doing enough to help southern Africa with its double burden of AIDS and high foreign debt.

According to COUNTRYAAH, Botswana's diamond industry, which accounts for a third of the country's GDP, had a good year. But other industries noted setbacks, and GDP growth, which peaked in 1999 at 8.9%, was expected to hover around 5%. In November, the country was offered the largest car factory for executive action. In what was considered to be Africa's best car industry, 900 workers had produced Volvo and Hyunda cars, mainly for the South African market. However, the company's Zimbabwean parent company went bankrupt during the year.

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