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Botswana. The Unknown Success Story of Africa

Botswana is not a name that appears often in the Western media. The country has been keeping a low profile, but it’s doing its homework. Actually, an acquaintance who visited Gaborone recently described its residential areas as being similar to Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives. The city is clean and orderly, the stores close early, and people are friendly and polite.

Botswana is a functional multiparty democracy that has held free and fair elections ever since it became an independent state. A tradition of accountability in leadership of the indigenous Tsawana tribes, as well as the successful integration of tribal institutions into a state bureaucracy based on the British model starting in the 19th century set the foundations for the future democracy.

And under the leadership of Presidents Seretse Khama, Quett Masire and Festus Mogae, the country utilized its diamond resources wisely to support economic growth and promote social development. Over the past decade alone, the poverty rate was slashed from 47%, down to 30%.


Unknown Botswana

And Botswana won’t stop here. Current incumbent Ian Khama, the son of Botswana’s first president, Sir Seretse Khama, had made economic diversification a priority because it would be the best way of reducing poverty and inequality. President Khama understands that, although Botswana is the leading diamond exporter in the world, the country’s resources will not last forever. And that the high level of inequality in income distribution in Botswana needs to be tackled before the country can access the next level of development, which is the status of a developed country.

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