Natural resources and energy
Diamonds are Botswana's most important
natural resource. The quarry is at four quarries in the
eastern part of the country. In addition, there are a
number of other minerals, but only a few of them are
mined. Most are found in the Kalahari Desert where they
are often hidden under thick sand layers. The country is
struggling with electricity shortages.
The center of diamond mining is Orapa, one of the
world's largest mining mines. The recovery there began
as early as 1971. Two other open pit mines are located
very close to Orapa. Jwaneng, located a little further
south, opened in 1982 and is considered the richest
diamond mine in the world. All diamond mining is handled
by the company Debswana, which is jointly owned by the
state and the South African giant De Beers, but other
companies now have the rights to mine diamonds and
search for new finds.
Major exports by Botswana with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Alongside the diamonds are deposits of copper,
nickel, coal, gold, silver, uranium, pot ash, salt,
manganese and cobalt. The extraction of several minerals
has increased, in an attempt to broaden the economic
base and take advantage of rising world market prices. A
nickel mine near Francistown was expanded in 2002 and
became Africa's largest. Gold mining resumed in 2004 in
the Mupane mine.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, BC stands for Botswana. Visit itypeusa for more information about Botswana.
Large coal deposits are found in eastern Botswana.
The coal is of low quality but used for domestic power
generation. The mining takes place in Morupule, where
the country's only coal-fired power station is also
located. An expansion of coal power is in progress and
will, when completed, make the country self-sufficient
in electricity. Until then, electricity is purchased
from South Africa, but reduced exports from neighboring
countries have made the risk of electricity shortages
The government has encouraged the use of domestic
coal, to reduce the use of firewood, which covers a
large part of the energy demand. The hunt for firewood
for fuel harvests on restricted forest areas and
bushlands. Livestock grazing also contributes to the
depletion of the soil.
Rural investments are made in the countryside. All
oil is imported, mainly from South Africa.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
1,224 kilograms of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
1708 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
7 033 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
3.2 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
28.9 percent (2015)
Progress in court for LGBTQ persons
A court decides that the government can not deny a
group representing LGBT -Persons to register. This is
seen as an important step towards increased rights for
BDP wins parliamentary elections
The ruling BDP retains power with a good margin in
the parliamentary elections. 46.5% of the votes cast for
37 of the 57 directly elected seats. The result means
that President Khama can take office for a second term.
UDC gets 17 seats and BCP 3 seats.
Bridge building in the Zambezi River
The construction of a bridge across the Zambezi River
in Kazungula is formally inaugurated.
Prosecution is brought against Sunday Standard's
The editor-in-chief of the Sunday Standard newspaper,
Outsa Mokone, is being sued for resignation after the
newspaper published an article claiming that President
Khama was involved in a nightly car accident due to
excessive speed. The other driver must have received a
jeep as a replacement after the crash. Journalist Edgar
Tsimane, who wrote the article, is kept in custody for a
day but then released and flees to South Africa where he
receives temporary refugee status.
Opposition leaders perish
BMD leader Gomolemo Motswaledi (see May 2011),
also one of the leadership figures in the opposition
alliance UDC, dies in a car accident. The opposition
accuses the government of having a finger in the game,
but police say it was a common traffic accident. The UDC
also does not find any evidence that it was a murder.
But when President Khama vetoes an investigation into
the National Assembly of the accident, suspicions
against the government increase.
No hunting for the bushmen
The Bushmen lose the right to hunt in Botswana, which
means they are deprived of the right to live according