ECONOMY IN THE BOTSWANA



Botswana boasts one of the most successful economies in Africa, based largely on natural mineral resources and its burgeoning tourism industry. The government is aware that Botswana's economic success is the result of a narrow revenue base and is continually trying to diversify the country's economic interests.

Privatization of state own enterprises is expected to bring an increase in revenue to the treasury and to promote growth in all economic sectors. However the main economic force in the country is the diamond mining industry. Botswana is the leading producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world with profits accounting for one third of the annual GDP.

Diamonds, at present, account for 60% of the mineral output of Botswana but in line with its policy of diversification the government is starting to explore avenues relating to the export of copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, coal, iron ore and silver.

Another natural resource driving Botswana's economic success is its unspoilt plant- and animal-rich environment. To conserve the wilderness while still generating large amounts of revenue the government is following a policy of upmarket tourism initiatives.

Small numbers of high-paying tourists are targeted, rather than large numbers of low-paying tourists. This policy allows for the conservation of natural resources and promotes the country as an exclusive destination for African travel.

Tourism income at present is valued at around $240 million per year and shows just how poplar Botswana safaris are. Not only is this a much-needed influx of foreign currency but it also provides an excellent platform for job creation and community upliftment.