Location: Southern Africa
Capital: Gaborone
Population (2012): 2,098,018
Surface area: 581,730 sq km
Currency: Pula
GDP per capita (2012): US $ 9,398
Botswana has maintained one of the world’s highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, though growth fell below 5% in 2007-08, and turned sharply negative in 2009, with industry falling nearly 30%. Although the economy recovered in 2010, GDP growth has again slowed. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $9,398 in 2012. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country’s conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP, 70-80% of export earnings, and about half of the government’s revenues. A major international diamond company signed a 10-year deal with Botswana in 2012 to move its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone by the end of 2013. Botswana’s heavy reliance on a single luxury export was a critical factor in the sharp economic contraction of 2009. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens Botswana’s impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond mining production within the next two decades also overshadows long-term prospects.
Human Development Index ranking (2012): 119 out of 186
ODA receipts (2011): $121 million
Top Three Donors of gross ODA: United States, Germany, EU institutions
FDI inflows (2012): $293 million
Total External Debt (2011): US $ 2.4 billion
External debt stock (% of GNI) (2011): 13.8
Merchandise exports (2011): US$ 5,882 million
Terms of trade index (2012): 85
Major export commodities: Diamonds, nickel mattes, nickel oxide
Cost to export per container (2013): US $ 2,945
HIPC Position (2013): Not eligible

United Nations Membership date: 17 October 1966

New York Mission:
Address: Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations
154 East 46th Street, New York, N.Y. 10017
Telephone: (212) 889-2277, -2331, -2491, -2772
Telefax: (212) 725-5061
e-mail: botswana@un.int
Correspondence: English
National holiday: 30 September

Updated July 2013