Botswana Trade Performance Reviews (TPR)

Intra-SADC Trade Performance Review 2006: Chapter 1: Botswana

Year of publication: 
2006
Author(s): 
Sydney Mogapi, Standard Bank South Africa
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Botswana has experienced a number of economic difficulties. Macroeconomic data suggest that inflation is high and that the rate of employment creation, particularly in the private sector, has been very low. On the trade front, the economy is dominated by a couple of commodities – diamonds and beef. Though the data anlysed for Botswana suggest that some diversification and specalisation have occurred over time in other products, the country relied heavily on demand from one particular partner, the UK. Nevertheless, relations with the SADC region in general, and with South Africa in particular, are important for the economy.

About 14% of exports are to SADC and the region absorbs some primary commodities processed in Botswana – sugar, meat and products from the copper and nickel industry. In turn, South Africa is the trade partner with whom Botswana has experienced relatively rapidly growing exports and imports.

Trade Performance Review 2005: Botswana

Year of publication: 
2005
Author(s): 
Sydney Mogape
Publication image

Prior to independence in 1966, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world, with an economy that was largely based on agriculture (accounting for 39% of GDP) and some tourism (Owusu et al, 1997). However, the share of agriculture progressively declined as the mining industry rose to prominence.

The bulk of mining's contribution emanated from the lucrative diamond industry, as Botswana became the world's leading diamond producer (National Development Plan 9, 2003). The sector's share of GDP grew from a negligible base at the time of independence to 36.5% in 2000/01, having reached a high point of 52.6% in 1983/84. All diamonds are exported to the UK. Mineral resources, combined with prudent economic management, led to rapid growth, which improved Botswana's ranking from a low- to a middle-income country.

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