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Why Botswana is a “Model” of Democracy and Transparency in Africa

This Southern African country, known for its diamonds and elephants, can boast one of the most dynamic growth in the world thanks to the good governance established since independence.

The outgoing president Mokgweetsi Masisi was declared the winner of Botswana's October 23 elections after his party won a majority in parliament. The Democratic Party of Botswana (PDB) has been in power since independence more than half a century ago.

More than 50 years of stability

Botswana, a politically unpublished African country, is located in southern Africa. A little larger than France, it has only 2.2 million inhabitants, but is known for its exemplary democracy and good management thanks to a man: Sereste Khama. From independence in 1966, the heir to the throne of the Tswana majority, renounced his title of king and opted for a democratic regime. He is the first elected president. Since then, heads of state have followed one another, but they all come from a single political party : The Democratic Party of Botswana.

The diamond country

Botswana is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa thanks to its diamonds. Mineral resources are exploited by the state and revenues finance more than a third of public expenditures. Despite impressive economic growth (5% per annum), social inequalities persist and almost a fifth of the population still lives below the poverty line, even though this number has halved in 25 years. Due to the drop in the diamond price in 2009 and rising unemployment, Botswana is now focusing on tourism to maintain growth.

The largest elephant sanctuary

Like other southern African countries, Botswana has been suffering from severe droughts related to global warming for several seasons, threatening its agriculture and elephants. With an exceptional flora and fauna, the country is home to the largest African elephant sanctuary with a population of nearly 130 000 pachyderms. To diversify its economy, Gaborone (the capital) takes advantage of its natural heritage to develop tourism.

Democracy and transparency

Botswana is often cited as an example for its good governance and its fight against corruption. It is the second least corrupt country in Africa, after Seychelles, according to a ranking of Transparency International. He is also praised for his democratic practices by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, named after the Anglo-Sudanese philanthropist. Political rivalries and recent divisions within the ruling party have not threatened the stability of Botswana. A country that is successful in its political transition, but has never experienced the test of alternation.

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