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torstai 17. maaliskuuta 2016

Botswana, Cool Facts #106

<= 105. China                                                                                                               107. Gambia => 

1. People of Botswana

Zebra is the national animal of Botswana and the zebra stripes in the flag symbolize the harmony and equality between the different ethnic groups in Botswana. 

Tribes in Botswana:

The Tswana people constitute 79% of the population and the country was named after them. 

The BaKalanga and San people are the largest minority groups. 

Bayei, Bambukushu, Basubia, Baherero and Bakgalagadi are other tribes in the country. 

First people: 

The San people were the first people in the current areas of Botswana but the Tswana people arrived about 1000 years ago and pushed the San people towards the Kalahari desert occupying the fertile east parts themselves. 
Terms in Setswana language: 

Tswana = the tribe's name speaking Setswana
Botswana = the country Botswana
Batswana = the people of Botswana as a whole
Motswana = one person
Setswana = the language

Bechuana hunting the lion 

2. Bechuanaland Protectorate

In 1885 Botswana, or then Bechuanaland became a British Protectorate after the local people had asked for the British protection against the Dutch Boers, with whom tensions had escalated. Until 1966 Bechuanaland was part of the British Commonwealth

In 1966 Bechuanaland became independent, it adopted the name Botswana and Seretse Khama became the first president of the country. In 2008 his son Ian Khama became a president as well. 

Since its independence Botswana has been a rare multi-party democracy during its complete independence and being the most uncorrupt African country. 

Botswana resisted the apartheid of South Africa but didn't allow the resistance movement ANC to use Botswana as their base. In 1985 South Africa attacked to Gaborone where the base of ANC was falsely alleged to be. 

Bechuanaland Protectorate
3. Diamonds and gemstones 

Debswana, the largest mining company in the world is owned 50% by the government of Botswana and 50% by the South African De Beers company. It has four diamond mines in Botswana including the Orapa mine, which is the world's biggest diamond mine by area. 

Alone the Orapa mine produced over 12 million carats of diamonds in the year 2014. Diamonds were the major reason that enabled Botswana to transform from the poor country it was when it became independent to a middle-income nation, that it is currently. 

Diamonds constitute 90% of the export earnings, 50% of the government revenues and. During its independence Botswana has been one of the fastest growing economies and the living standards are currently one of the best in Africa. 

Other gemstones and precious metals found in Botswana are: uranium, gold, copper and even some oil. 

Orapa processing plant in Botswana
4. HIV/AIDS epidemic

There are nine countries in the world, which have over 10% of HIV/AIDS prevalence in their population and out of these nine, three countries have over 20% of prevalence. 

Top 3 prevalence of HIV/AIDS

1. Swaziland 26,5% (2012 estimate) 
2. Botswana 23,4% (2011 estimate)
3. Lesotho 23,3% (2011 estimate) 

Botswana has the second highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS infections in its population. Botswana's life expectancy in its peak was 64,1 in 1991 and the low point 49 years in 2002. The reason was some budget cuts and rising expenditure of healthcare services. 

In 2006 the country was hit by an AIDS pandemic and lately the government has tried to improve the situation. The government has solicited for help from various international foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Merck Foundation and others to fight against AIDS and to get a universal access to treatment in Botswana. 

The polyamorous of many sexual relationships has been one of the causes of the high HIV/AIDS prevalence in Botswana.

Prevalance of HIV/AIDS in adults worldwide

5. Nature in Botswana

- Botswana is about the similar size to France and Madagascar at 581,730 square kilometers
- The Kalahari Desert covers 70% of Botswana's land surface 
- The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the largest inland deltas
- Makgadikgadi Pan is a large salt flat in the north 
- The Limpopo River basin lies partly in Botswana 
- Chobe National Park has the world's largest concentration of African elephants 
- Desertification and drought a major environmental problem in Botswana

Okavango Delta
Chobe National Park
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans


1800s Dutch Boers extended their areas to Botswana from South Africa
1885 The British created the Bechuanaland Protectorate
1920 Two advisory councils were created to represent both Africans and Europeans
1934 Proclamations regulated tribal rule and power
1948 Nationalist government that instituted apartheid
1964 UK accepted democratic self-government of Botswana
1966 Bechuanaland became independent, Seretse Khama became the first president and the country adopted the name Botswana according to the country's biggest tribe Tswana
1980 Quett Masire became the president and served until 1998 as the president after re-elections
1985 South Africa attacked to Gaborone to the alleged ANC base
2008 Ian Khama, the son of the first president became the president 

"Maailman maat liput ja historia" by Kimmo Kiljunen

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