Botswana is a landlocked Anglophone country located in the Southern part of Africa. Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable countries. It has the longest continuous multi-party democracy in Africa. It is considered to be relatively free of corruption and has a good human rights record. 70% of Botswana is the Kalahari desert. It is considered to be one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with a population of 2 million. It is the world’s largest producer of diamonds. Botswana’s economy is dominated by mining, cattle and tourism. Botswana has one of the highest growth rates per capita in the world. It has a high level of economic freedom compared to other countries. It also has one of the world’s highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, however it has one of Africa’s most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.
Botswana is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The president of Botswana is both the head of state and head of government. Botswana is a multiparty state. The legislature is unicameral and consists of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly has 57 elected and 4 appointed members. The number of members in the National Assembly is changed after every census( every 10 years). The party with the majority seats elects the president.
The president appoints the vice president who is subject to approval by the national assembly.
The House of Chiefs is an advisory 15 member body with 8 permanent members consisting of chiefs of principal tribes, and 7 non-permanent members who serve 5 year terms. The 7 non permanent members include 4 elected sub chiefs and 3 members selected by the other 12 members
The Botswana Democratic Party has had most seats in the National Assembly since independence.
In the 2009 general elections, there was a total of 177 candidates for 57 seats in the National Assembly. Early voting had been planned, however, there was an error in printing the ballot papers. Therefore, early voting could not proceed. Election observers stated that the elections were free and run smoothly although in some instances some voters were unable to vote. In the 2014 elections, three political parties participated. There was a high voter turnout, 700,000 people out of 824,000 registered voters. There was a total of 192 candidates contesting for 57 seats in the National Assembly. 29 independent candidates were among them, none of them managed to get a seat in the Assembly. The 2014 elections marked an 11 year win streak for the Botswana Democratic Party.
AWomen in Parliament: 7.9%
total: 36% male: 29.6% female: 43.5% (2010 est.)
Literacy rate: total population: 88.5% male: 88% female: 88.9% (2015 est.)
Botswana acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW) in 1996.
It is also part of the SADC Declaration of Gender and Development of 1997. This campaign played a critical role in building and strengthening partnership that aimed at ensuring women’s equal participation in decision making to at least 50% by 2020.
The campaign aims are as follows:
● Creation of a gender sensitive environment
● Promotion of gender equality
● Coordination and facilitating capacity building in various aspects of gender and development
● Promotion of the development of gender sensitive sectoral policies and procedures