Friday, July 23

On the other side of the Border

Botswana on the other handhas been going from strength to strength in recent years.

Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest growth rates since independence in 1966. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $9,500 in 2002. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP and for nine-tenths of export earnings. Tourism, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors. On the downside, the government must deal with high rates of unemployment and poverty. Unemployment officially is 21%, but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. HIV/AIDS infection rates are the highest in the world and threaten Botswana's impressive economic gains. Long-term prospects are overshadowed by the prospects of a leveling off in diamond mining production. (via nationmaster)
In a continent with such abundant mineral wealth, it always amazes me how little sound government is credited for the successes in the africa.  You'd almost believe that the rest of the world was of the opinion that sound government isnt possible on this continent. 

Still. Botswana is going to have to diversify if it wants to continue being as succesful as they have been and that is going to require that the government slacken the reigns a bit in the coming years.


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