Botswana has a well-developed social service
and health care, compared to large parts of Africa in
general. Yet serious social problems remain, with great
poverty and high unemployment. The country is also one
of the worst affected in the world by the AIDS epidemic.
Primary care works particularly well; About 85
percent of the population is estimated to have access to
a health clinic within one and a half miles of the home.
In spite of a general water shortage, virtually all
Botswaniians today have access to clean drinking water.
Around half also have decent drains.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Botswana, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Poverty is particularly widespread in rural areas.
Every fifth inhabitant lives below the national poverty
line and income disparities are very large. During
severe dry periods malnutrition occurs.
The AIDS epidemic is hitting hard
The spread of HIV/AIDS has also resulted in a huge
setback. According to the UN agency Unaids, 22 percent
in the 15-49 age group are HIV infected. The epidemic
strikes hard against both economy and social structures,
causing great human suffering.
However, the spread of infection has been halted to a
certain extent and the proportion carrying the virus is
decreasing, albeit slowly. Botswana, as the first
country in Africa, introduced a general distribution of
brake medicines against AIDS through the healthcare
system. Access to brake medications in combination with
successful information campaigns has helped to reduce
the number of AIDS-related deaths by more than halving
between 2005 and 2009, when about 80 percent of
HIV-infected people received treatment. The number of
orphaned children also decreased as the parents lived on
average longer than before.
It is mainly people of working age who fall ill and
die, which is financially and socially burdensome, both
for individual families and for the country as a whole.
The government contributes to a large extent to the
living of the orphans.
The rights of women and LGBTQ persons
According to the constitution, the woman has the same
rights as the man. Nevertheless, women's ownership
rights have been restricted in accordance with customary
law, and married women have been treated as unauthorized
persons. However, new legislation in 2004 stipulated
that spouses have the same right to shared assets and
equal rights to custody of the children. The legal
marriage age was also set at 18 years. In the fall of
2013, women's inheritance rights were strengthened when
the country's highest court ruled that it was wrong for
a local court to allow a house where four sisters lived
to become a male cousin when the sisters' brother died.
Women are considered to have reasonably equal access
to work, education and health care. Despite this, the
woman's position is still weak in many respects. Women
are more often poor and unemployed. Domestic violence is
common and trafficking in both women and children
occurs. However, the proportion of women with high
positions in society has increased rapidly. After the
2009 elections, the country got its first female
president. Even after the following election, a female
president was appointed, but despite a certain increase,
only one in ten members of the National Assembly was a
In accordance with customary law, polygamy is
permitted, but it is unusual nowadays. Traditional
weddings often last for a couple of days, with food,
dance, singing and speech. Because it is therefore
expensive to enter into marriage, many couples live
together without getting married.
Homosexuality is not explicitly forbidden, but
"unnatural wrongdoing" is what it is and can bring
prison. LGBTQ people are often subjected to
discrimination and harassment.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
30 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
20.3 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
8.9 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
4.9 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
79.2 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
77.3 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.0 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 380 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
10 percent (2018)
President begins five-year term
President Khama is elected by the National Assembly
and takes up his first full five-year term (see
BDP wins elections
The BDP government wins the parliamentary election
and receives 45 out of 57 electoral seats, one more than
in the 2004 elections. Botswana's National Front (BNF)
gets 6 seats and Botswana's Congress Party (BCP) 4
BDP shuts off Secretary-General
The secretary general of the Botswana Democratic
Party (BDP), Gomolemo Motswaledi, will resign because of
internal contradictions. He is suspended from the party
for five years.