Botswana History

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History[edit | edit source]

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. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998.

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 is, at most, a few hundred metres long.

A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Around 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world Botswana has since transformed itself into one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

In 1885, this area was declared to be within British jurisdiction. In 1890, a resident commissioner was appointed and Botswana remained a British protectorate until 1966 when it became an independent and sovereign member of the Commonwealth under the name of the Republic of Botswana.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1824 - The first written records relating to modern-day Botswana appear
1823–1843 - A succession of invading peoples from South Africa entered the country and took large numbers of cattle, women, and children from Batswana most of whom were driven into the desert or sanctuary areas such as hilltops and caves
1856 - 1880 - The Lutherans and the London Missionary Society both became established in the country. Christianity became the de facto official religion in all the chiefdoms by World War I
1966 - Botswana gained independence
1999 - A long-running dispute Namibia's Caprivi Strip was the subject of a ruling by the International Court of Justice when it ruled that Kasikili Island belonged to Botswana

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Google Books The Bechuanaland Pioneers and Gunners By Deborah Ann Schmitt. A military and social history of African soldiers who served under British command during WWII.
  • Encyclopedia Britanica Botswana History.

References[edit | edit source]