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.
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.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Botswana. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
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.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Botswana in 2000 was 1,643,223, ranking number 147 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.270% yearly, and the population density was 2.8997 people per km2.
After a phase of rapid economic development, essentially driven by the mining industry, the Botswana entered, in the early nineties, in a period of stagnation which caused accentuated social instability and undermined the traditional dominance of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP ).
The third consecutive term of President Q. Masire, leader of the BDP who emerged victorious in the October 1989 elections, coincided with successive waves of strikes and protests to obtain wage increases, which however did not prevent the government from firing, at the end of 1991., about 12. 000 employees in the public sector. In this context, some episodes of corruption in which ministers and prominent members of the BDP were involved between 1992 and 1993 seriously compromised the image of the ruling party. In fact, in the general elections of October 1994, the BDP collected only 53% Of the votes against 65, 5 % of the preceding consultations, while the main force of opposition, the Botswana National Front (BNF), recorded a very sharp success (obtaining 13 of the 40 parliamentary seats, 10 more than in 1989 ), especially in urban areas, where there was a greater presence of young people with higher education whose expectations of social advancement were frustrated by the crisis. In the months following the elections and Masire’s reappointment as president, popular protest grew and culminated in January-February 1995, in violent clashes between students and the police, while the involvement of government officials in new financial scandals contributed to increasing the instability of the political framework. At the request of the opposition, Parliament voted, in August 1997, to limit the presidential mandate to two five-year years. Having no retroactive value, the constitutional amendment did not prohibit the current president from running again for the 1999 elections, but Masire, as he had announced in November 1997, on March 31, 1998 left the office to vice-president F. Mogae, also of the BDP.
With the end of apartheid, relations between the Botswana and South Africa improved, so much so that, in June 1994, normal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established. In the same year, South Africa joined the Southern African Development Community (SADC) based in Gaborone, and in September 1995, South African President N. Mandela made a state visit to Botswana. The repatriation of thousands of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe cooled relations with the Harare government in the first half of the 1990s, while border disputes led to a worsening of relations with Namibia in the same years.