Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Botswana? Am I that big in southern Africa?

Sure, I've had visitors from Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, and a whole bunch of North African nations, but I have to tell the truth, I was not expecting Botswana to drop by. Well, expectations be damned, everybody give a big Eff You welcome to first-time visitor Botswana:
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. . . . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966.[6] Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections.
Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred metres long.
Mining of precious minerals, primarily diamonds, provides about half of government revenues. Exploration indicates gold, copper, uranium and oil also are present in viable quantities, and the government is supporting efforts to exploit these elements to reduce reliance on the diamond trade, as reserves are expected to peter out in the next 20 years or so.

Tourism appears to not be a big deal for Botswana. It has a lot of desert, apparently, and is landlocked, so the attractions are limited. Plus AIDS is a big problem. But they have a lot of nice museums in the major cities, so they have that going for them.

Botswana is among the most sparsely populated countries in the world, and used to be among the poorest, but now has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and a pretty decent per-capita income, one of the highest in Africa. I guess it's good to have diamond mines.

Anyway, everybody give a big Eff You welcome to Botswana! Come again soon, and bring your friends.

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