Located in Southern Africa, Botswana is a landlocked country and is a former protectorate of Bechuanaland. The name Botswana was adopted after the nation became independent within the Commonwealth on September 30, 1966. A representative democracy has since been prominent in the country.
Botswana has a population of just over 2 million residents, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Gaborone is the capital city, and is where approximately 10% of the nation’s population resides.
In terms of foreign relations, the country is a member of the African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community, and the United Nations. Widespread health crisis is a major concern; Botswana is one of the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS virus. Botswana saw a rise of nearly 30,000 people being infected by the virus from 2005, to 2013, which reported 320,000 known cases of individuals who were contaminated with the virus. The nation was formerly known as one of the poorest countries, but in recent years has become one of the fastest growing economies. Development in agriculture, mining, and tourism, have helped improve the nation’s economy.
Botswana’s Constitution protects citizens and represents their rights in the country. The Constitution was adopted in 1966. The document is divided into nine articles, covering individual rights and governmental structure. The President is the head of the state and head of government, and leader of a multi-party system. The government exercises Executive powers, and Legislative powers are exercised by the Parliament of Botswana and the government.
The Judiciary in Botswana consists elements of Roman-Dutch law, as well as customary law. Each district has magistrate’s courts, and the High Court of Botswana is at Lobatse, with a satellite division in Francistown. Appeals are heard by the Court of Appeal of Botswana. Justices are appointed by the president, as well as recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission. Additionally, Customary law cases are heard in village assemblies called Kgotla, open to all with traditional chiefs acting as court presidents.
Since its independence, the nation has experienced one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and one of the highest in South Africa. Today it is considered a middle-income country. The nation also enjoys a high level of economic freedom in the region. The banking and financial industries contribute greatly to the country’s economy, as does the gem/mining and precious metals sector.
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