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Brief History of Botswana:
Batswana is a landlocked African country just north of South Africa. This means it has no ocean coastline. Before Europeans arrived in the area, the land was ruled by tribes of herders and farmers.
In 1885, because of some local wars, the people of Batswana asked Britain for help and protection. They became a territory of Britain and also, at the peoples request, were kept out of the Union of South Africa.
In 1964, Botswana became self-governing. Since then they have had a constitution and democratic elections. The first president was Seretse Khama.
The Geography of Botswana
Total Size: 600,370 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Texas
Geographical Coordinates: 22 00 S, 24 00 E
World Region or Continent: Africa
General Terrain: predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
Geographical Low Point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
Geographical High Point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
Climate: semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
Major cities: GABORONE (capital) 196,000 (2009), Francistown, Molepolole
The People of Botswana
Type of Government: parliamentary republic
Languages Spoken: Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Independence: 30 September 1966 (from UK)
National Holiday: Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
Nationality: Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural)
Religions: Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 census)
National Symbol: zebra
National Anthem or Song: Fatshe leno la rona (Our Land)
Economy of Botswana
Major Industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing; textiles
Agricultural Products: livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts
Natural Resources: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Major Exports: diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles
Major Imports: foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products
Currency: pula (BWP)
National GDP: $29,850,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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