Economy of Botswana
Since independence, Botswana has had the highest average economic growth rate in the world, averaging about 9% per year from 1966 to 1999. Growth in private sector employment has averaged about 10% per annum over the first 30 years of independence. At the start of the 21st century, however, the economy of Botswana stagnated up until the early 2010s when it registered for the first time since the economic boom a GDP growth up above the 6-7% target. Botswana is also commended for the site of Africa's longest and among the world's longest economic booms (which almost surpassed that in Asia's largest economies). The relatively high quality of the country's statistics means that these figures are likely to be quite accurate. The government has consistently maintained budget surpluses and has extensive foreign exchange reserves.
Botswana's impressive economic record has been built on a foundation of diamond mining, prudent fiscal policies, international financial and technical assistance, and a cautious foreign policy.
Nevertheless, although Botswana is in many ways an exemplar for countries in the region, its dependence on mining and high rate of HIV/AIDS infection (one in every three adults is contaminate), could threaten its success in the future.
Agriculture still provides a livelihood for more than 80% of the population but supplies only about 50% of food needs and accounts for only 3% of GDP. Subsistence farming and cattle raising predominate. The sector is plagued by erratic rainfall and poor soils. Tourism is also important to the economy. SectorsMining
Two large mining companies, Debswana (formed by the government and South Africa's De Beers in equal partnership) and Bamangwato Concessions, Ltd. (BCL, also with substantial government equity participation) operate in the country.
Most (70%) of Botswana's electricity is imported from South Africa's Eskom. 80% of domestic production is concentrated in one plant, Morupule Power Station near Palapye, operated by the Botswana Power Corporation. Debswana operates the nearby Morupule Colliery to supply coal to it. Tourism
Tourism is an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12% of GDP. One of the world's unique ecosystems, the Okavango Delta, is located in Botswana. The country offers excellent game viewing and birding both in the Delta and in the Chobe Game Reserve—home to one of the largest herds of free-ranging elephants in the world. Agriculture
Agriculture meets only a small portion of food needs and contributes just 2.8% to GDP—primarily through beef exports—but it remains a social and cultural touchstone. Cattle raising dominated Botswana's social and economic life before independence. The principal crops for domestic use are sorghum, corn, and millet. Financing
Botswana has a growing financial sector, and the country's national stock market, the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), based in Gaborone, is given the responsibility to operate and regulate the equities and fixed interest securities market.
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