Journal of International Development and Cooperation Volume 15 Issue 1・2
2009-03-31 発行

'Fancy Figures and Ugly Facts' in Botswana's Rapid Economic Growth <Articles>

Manatsha, Boga Thura
Maharajan, Keshav Lall
Botswana is arguably one of the most "successful" and "stable" countries in Africa and beyond; politically and economically. It attained independence from Britain in 1966, and was the second poorest country in the world, next to Bangladesh. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was a paltry US$80. Today, Botswana is classified as an Upper Middle-Income country, with a GDP per capita (PPP) of US$17, 779, and FOREX reserves of over US$10 billion. It remains the only country in the world which sustained an uninterrupted and rapid annual economic growth rate of 9.2 per cent for three decades (between 1966 and 1996) averaging 8.2 per cent. It is the largest producer of diamonds by value in the whole world. It is also ranked among the top least corrupt countries and investor friendly by the World Bank. Despite these "fancy figures", "the ugly facts" about this "Switzerland of Africa" are down-played. Botswana's poverty incidence is 30 per cent, while the Gini-coefficient is 0.63, and unemployment rate is 17.6 per cent. It has the second highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world at 37.3 per cent (UNAIDS, 2004).