Gaining independence from the UK in 1966 (as a colony, the name was spelled "Bechuana", as in "British Bechuanaland"), Botswana has had a better experience with independence than other African countries. It's grown economically at a high rate. It is now a middle-income country, has little foreign debt at all and has a lot of reserve foreign currency. This has been helped massively by the diamond industry.
The country has been a democracy since independence note , has a good human rights record and is considered the least corrupt country in Africa.
There are two rather big problems in recent years- the recent moving of the ǃKung (sic, the ! is a clicking sound) people, deemed unconstitutional by the courts, and HIV/AIDS. Botswana has the second highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world (only Swaziland is worse), with 1 in 3 Botswana having the virus. The country now has an average life expectancy of 34 years for those born in 2005, one of the lowest in the world. There have been recent budget deficit problems.
Interestingly, Botswana also has a growing metal scene, particularly in the capital. They look like something off a Motörhead album, particularly Ace Of Spades.
Botswana in fiction
- The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which was adapted for TV.
- The Gods Must Be Crazy-
- Usutu in Heroes is from Botswana and several characters visit him there.
- Cyrax from Mortal Kombat is from there - though this is only stated in the 2011 reboot.
- Bessie Head's Where Rain Clouds Gather.
- The professional wrestling gimmick Kamala has many Captain Ersatzes, one of which is Botswana Beast.
- Considering he was almost always billed from Uganda, you could certainly accuse promoters of not knowing geography.
- Not really fiction, but Ian Khama (then vice-president, now president) appeared in Top Gear (UK)`s Africa Special, in which the presenters crossed Botswana's Makadikadi salt flats in old cars.
- The 2016 film A United Kingdom is a fictionalized version of Botswanan prince Seretse Khama's marriage to a white British woman and the scandal that ensued.
The Batswana flag