Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods. The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs.
Botswana is one of Africa’s landlocked countries, located in the south-west part of the continent. It is surrounded by four countries – Namibia to the west and north, South Africa to the south, Zimbabwe to the east, and shares a tiny section of its borders (about 156 meters or 171 yards) with Zambia in the northeast.
Key cities in Botswana include Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Shenyang.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
After 80 years as a British protectorate, Bechuanaland attained self-government in 1965, becoming the independent Republic of Botswana on September 30, 1966, and maintaining a position of stability and harmony ever since. Sir Seretse Khama was elected the first president and served until his death in 1980.
Today, approximately 30 percent of Batswana belong to one of the Christian churches (most are Catholic or Anglican), while over 65 percent adhere to the practices of the African Religion or still follow traditional beliefs.
Brief Country History
The earliest inhabitants of Botswana were Stone Age hunter-gatherers. some hunters carried on their simple way of life until the 20th century. However, in the years before Christ was born some converted to a pastoral way of life. Then after 500 AD Bantu-speaking, people migrated to Botswana. They herded cattle and they brought iron tools and weapons.
After 1000 AD the pastoralists formed organized kingdoms. Then in the 13th century a powerful chiefdom arose with its capital at Mapungubwe Hill. However, they were eclipsed by Great Zimbabwe, which took over many chiefdoms in Eastern Botswana.
In the early 19th century Botswana was plunged into a series of wars known as the Difaqane. As a result, there were great migrations of refugees. However, in the 1840s order returned.
From the 1820s, Christian missionaries arrived in Botswana. Traders seeking ivory also spread the new religion. Then in 1841, David Livingstone went to Kuruman.
The Boers were Dutch-speaking farmers from South Africa. In 1836 they trekked north to form the Transvaal. In 1884 the Germans took Namibia and the British feared they would link up with the Boers in the Transvaal. To forestall them in 1885 the British declared Botswana a protectorate. It was called Bechuanaland. However, the British made very little attempt to develop Bechuanaland and they left it largely alone.
In 1948 Seretse Khama, Prince of the Bangwato married an Englishwoman called Ruth Williams. The South Africans objected to the cross-racial marriage. To appease the South Africans the British invited Seretse to London then barred him from re-entering his own country! He did not return to Botswana till 1956 and was forced to renounce his claim to the throne.
However, across Africa in the 1950s there was an unstoppable move towards independence. In 1960 the Bechuanaland People’s Party was formed. In 1961 Bechuanaland was granted its own legislative council. Then in 1962 Seretse Khama founded the Bechuanaland Democratic Party and in 1963 work began on building capital at Gaborone. In 1965 Bechuanaland was granted internal self-government. Finally, on 30 September 1966 the Republic of Botswana became independent.
In the late 20th century the economy of Botswana grew rapidly. Diamonds were discovered in 1967 at Orapa. In 1977 Letlhakane mine opened and in 1982 Jwaneng mine opened. Tourism is also an important industry in Botswana. The manufacturing industry is also growing in Botswana. Today, Botswana is developing rapidly and its population is 2.2 million.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The linguistic situation in Botswana is complex and consists of dying languages, expanding languages, a pidgin language, an urban group language and so on. The national language of Botswana is Setswana (Tswana) and it is spoken by 78.2% of the people with minor differences in dialect across the region.
English is the official business language and it is widely spoken in urban areas. Most written communication is also in English. The main spoken language of Botswana is Tswana. Knowing Tswana is useful as it facilitates easy communication with the people of Botswana and they are usually pleased with the effort. Other languages are Kalanga spoken by 7.9% and Sekgalagadi by 2.8% of the people.
Important Types of Commerce in Botswana
Botswana is a country located at the center of Southern Africa. The nation is bordered to the west by Namibia, to the north by Zambia, to the northeast by Zimbabwe, and to the south by South Africa. The country has earned a reputation on prudent macroeconomic management and registering remarkable economic growth. For 35 years, the African nation has transformed from being one of the least developed countries, one with populations that is periodically drought-stricken with a per capita income of $360 to a middle-income country with over half of its population working in informal sectors. Despite the small economy, the nation has managed to pump capital into critical sectors thereby ensuring continued growth. The mineral exploration sector which is anchored by diamond mining coupled with copper-nickel, soda ash, coal, and gold, represents an estimated 34.7% of the economy. Botswana’s economic fortunes have been a result of strong performances in the mining sector.
- Mining Industry
Language Services US and others will provide working with Botswana
With so many people from around the world visiting Botswana and trading with the country, there is a strong demand for translation and interpreting services between English and other European languages. Lack of proficiency in English can harm the company’s image that is planning to do business in Botswana. The translation is important so that a sales material, business documents and publications appear in flawless English, thus projecting the professional image that a company entering to Botswana is seeking for. However, when doing business with English speaking countries such as the USA a company still needs to translate and localize its marketing material as British and American English language have enough differences. It might sometimes even be difficult to understand what someone from the other country is trying to say.
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