Republic of Botswana
CAPITAL : Gaborone
FLAG: The flag of Botswana consists of five horizontal stripes. The top and bottom stripes are light blue and wider than the middle stripe, which is black. The blue stripes are separated from the black by thin white stripes.
ANTHEM: Fatshe La Rona (Blessed Country).
MONETARY UNIT: On 23 August 1976, the pula ( P ) of 100 thebe replaced the South African rand ( R ) as Botswana's legal currency. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 thebe and 1 pula, and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pula. P 1 = $0.2028 (or $1 = P 4.93) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; President's Day, 15 July; Botswana Days, 30 September–1 October; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Ascension.
TIME: 2 PM = noon GMT.
English is the official language. Setswana, however, is spoken by most Botswanans.
The armed forces of Botswana numbered 9,000 in 2002. The army consisted of 8,500 while the remaining 500 were in the Air Wing. There were also about 1,500 paramilitary police. Military spending in 2001–02 was $135 million, or 3.5% of GDP.
Botswana is landlocked, but some fishing for local consumption is carried out by the inhabitants of the Limpopo River Valley and the Okavango region. Landings were estimated at 166 tons in 2000.
About 47% of Botswana's land area is covered with forests and woodlands. The indigenous forests of northeast Ngamiland include the valuable mukwa, mukusi, and mopane woods. Some small-scale exploitation has taken place. Roundwood production was an estimated 740,000 cu m (26 million cu ft) in 2000.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The University of Botswana (founded in 1976), the Botswana Agricultural College (founded in 1967), and Botswana Polytechnic, all located in Gaborone, offer training in science, agriculture, and engineering. In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 37% of college and university enrollments. The Geological Survey of Botswana, founded in 1948, publishes mineral resource reports and bulletins.
Khama III (1837–1923), chief of the Bamangwato and a Christian convert, reigned for 48 years. His grandson, Sir Seretse Khama (1921–80), was Botswana's first president. Quett Ketumile Joni Masire (b.1925) succeeded him in 1980. President Masire resigned in April 1998, and was succeeded by his vice president, Festus Mogae.
Botswana has no territories or colonies.
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