The World Factbook (1982)/Botswana

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


World Factbook (1982) Botswana.jpg
(See reference map VII)


569,800 km2; about 6% arable, less than 1% under cultivation, mostly desert

Land boundaries: 3,774 km


Population: 975,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 4.6%

Nationality: noun—Motswana (sing.), Batswana (pl.); adjective—Botswana

Ethnic divisions: 94% Tswana, 5% Bushmen, 1% European

Religion: 85% animist, 15% Christian

Language: Tswana vernacular

Literacy: about 22% in English; about 32% in Tswana; less than 1% secondary school graduates

Labor force: 78,000 formal sector employees; most others are engaged in cattle raising and subsistence agriculture; 40,000 or over one-half of formal sector employees spend at least six to nine months per year as wage earners in South Africa (1978)

Organized labor: eight trade unions organized with a total membership of approximately 9,000 (1972 est.)


Official name: Republic of Botswana

Type: parliamentary republic; independent member of Commonwealth since 1966

Capital: Gaborone

Political subdivisions: 12 administrative districts

Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law and local customary law; constitution came into effect 1966; judicial review limited to matters of interpretation; legal education at University of Botswana and Swaziland (two and one-half years) and University of Edinburgh (two years); has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 30 September

Branches: executive—President appoints and presides over the Cabinet, which is responsible to Legislative Assembly; legislative—Legislative Assembly with 32 popularly elected members and four members elected by the 32 representatives, House of Chiefs with deliberative powers only; judicial—local courts administer customary law, High Court and subordinate courts have criminal jurisdiction over all residents, Court of Appeal has appellate jurisdiction

Government leaders: President Dr. Qiiett K. J. MASIRE; Vice President Lenyeletse M. SERETSE

Suffrage: universal, age 21 and over

Elections: general elections held 20 October 1979

Political parties and leaders: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Quett Masire; Botswana National Front (BNF), Kenneth Koma; Botswana People's Party (BPP); Botswana Independence Party (BIP), Motsamai Mpho

Voting strength: (October 1979 election) BDP (29 seats); BPP (1 seat); BNF (2 seats); BIP (no seats)

Communists: no known Communist organization; Koma of BNF has long history of Communist contacts

Member of: AFDB, Commonwealth, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO


GDP: $856.3 million; growth in constant prices, 11.0% in FY79/80, 5% in 1977

Agriculture: principal crops are corn and sorghum; livestock raised and exported

Major industries: livestock processing, mining of diamonds, copper, nickel, and coal

Electric power: 75,000 kW capacity (1977); 85 million k Wh produced (1977), 120 k Wh per capita

Exports: $478.4 million (f.o.b., 1980); diamonds, cattle, animal products, copper, nickel

Imports: $643.9 million (c.i.f., 1980); foodstuffs, vehicles, textiles, petroleum products

Major trade partners: South Africa and UK

Budget: (1981) revenues $252.4 million, current expenditures $247.4 million, development expenditures $150.0 million

Monetary conversion rate: 1 pula=about US$1.23 (1981)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Railroads: 726 km 1.067-meter gauge

Highways: 10,784 km total; 1,105 km paved; 1,465 km crushed stone or gravel; 5,177 km improved earth and 3,037 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: native craft only; of local importance

Civil air: 5 major transport aircraft, including 1 leased in

Airfields: 78 total, 67 usable; 3 with permanent-surface runways; 13 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: the small system is a combination of open-wire lines, radio-relay links, and a few radiocommunication stations; 11,700 telephones (1.5 per 100 popl.); 5 AM, 1 FM, and 2 TV stations; INTELSAT satellite ground station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 177,000; 94,000 fit for military service; 9,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 31 March 1982, $28.7 million; 4.6% of central government budget