Botswana – The Dubai of Africa

“Democracy, like a little plant, does not grow or develop on its own. If must be nursed and nurtured if it is to grow and flourish. It must be believed in and practised if it is to be appreciated. And it must be fought for and defended if it is to survive”. – Seretse Khama, first president of Botswana.

Botswana is an inland country bordered by South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe mostly dominated by the rigid Kalahari Desert, covering 70% of the country’s total land area. Water is so valued in Botswana that their currency is called the ‘pula’, which means ‘rain’ or ‘blessing’ in Setswana. The country is approximately the size of France, but has an estimated population of 2.3 million according to UN (2018), compared to France’s 66.9 million.  Botswana is amongst some of the least densely populated countries in the world, but the country has managed to grow its economy at an average 5% per annum putting the country amongst some of the fastest growing economies in the world. GDP growth accelerated to 4.4% in 2018 and the country had an estimated GDP of $17.41 Billion in the same year as a result of inclusive innovation and operational efficiency within key sectors like mining resulting in the small country managing to stand out as a Model of a successful African tales.

Botswana is dependent on diamond exports and was the world’s third-largest diamond producer in 2016. However, its reliance on commodities renders it vulnerable to international market fluctuations and hence erratic economic growth. Botswana’s political and corporate governance culture has made the country become the investors destination of choice which can be seen in the country’s Stable and Upper Medium Grade credit rating according to Moody’s. The countries leadership from Father to Son Ian Khama the former president of the country, had the same values as the current President Mokgweetsi Masisi in promoting democracy and justice throughout the country at the same time promoting fast sustainable economic growth.

Botswana has the same potential that Dubai had back in time to become the utopia of the region and continent, the energy revolution can start there and spread in areas that have not been imagined by taking advantage of the ability of put resources to good use. The leadership is constantly trying to better the lifestyle of its citizens and have grown their GDP per capita from $83,73 in 1966 (their year of Independence) to $7595.6 in 2018. The country has achieved this through fiscal discipline and sound governance which has seen the transformation of the country from one of the poorest low-income country to a middle-income country. However, poverty and high levels of income inequality still persist. Although poverty has come down to approximately 16%, but some 30% of the population remains just above the poverty line and are vulnerable to a range of shocks. Botswana’s level of income inequality remains one of the world’s highest with a Gini coefficient of 0.52

On the Neil economic scale, a can of coke cost 10.67 Pula (R14,07) and a litre of petrol 9.06 Pula (R11,95). The cost of living in Botswana is 9.96% lower than in South Africa. Petrol is relatively cheaper than in their neighbouring country S.A , so don’t drink coke rather go for a drive through the Caprivi Strip the only place in the world where four countries meet namely Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia .

In conclusion, this land locked country definitely knows no boundaries and with new leadership and a truly stable economy, this country of diamonds, coal and great wildlife security can rise above all nations to be our AFRICAN DUBAI