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Botswana Economy

    Economy—overview: Agriculture still provides a livelihood for more than 80% of the population but supplies only about 50% of food needs and accounts for only 4% of GDP. Subsistence farming and cattle raising predominate. Diamond mining and tourism also are important to the economy. The sector is plagued by erratic rainfall and poor soils. Substantial mineral deposits were found in the 1970s and the mining sector grew from 25% of GDP in 1980 to 35% in 1997. Unemployment officially is 21% but unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$5.25 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,600 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 4%
    industry: 45% (including 35% mining)
    services: 51% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9% (1997 est.)

    Labor force: 235,000 formal sector employees (1995)

    Labor force—by occupation: 100,000 public sector; 135,000 private sector, including 14,300 who are employed in various mines in South Africa; most others engaged in cattle raising and subsistence agriculture (1995 est.)

    Unemployment rate: 20-40% (1997 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $1.6 billion
    expenditures: $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $560 million (FY96/97)

    Industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing

    Industrial production growth rate: 4.6% (FY92/93)

    Electricity—production: 990 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 1.675 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 685 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: sorghum, maize, millet, pulses, groundnuts (peanuts), beans, cowpeas, sunflower seed; livestock

    Exports: $2.25 billion (f.o.b. 1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: diamonds 76%, copper, nickel 4%, meat (1997)

    Exports—partners: EU 74%, Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 21%, Zimbabwe 3% (1996)

    Imports: $2.43 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: foodstuffs, vehicles and transport equipment, textiles, petroleum products

    Imports—partners: Southern African Customs Union (SACU) 78%, Europe 8%, Zimbabwe 6% (1996)

    Debt—external: $610 million (1997)

    Economic aid—recipient: $73 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 pula (P) = 100 thebe

    Exchange rates: pulas (P) per US$1—4.5725 (January 1999), 4.2258 (1998), 3.6508 (1997), 3.3242 (1996), 2.7722 (1995), 2.6846 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)