Botswana. According to thereligionfaqs, Botswana’s crisis economy further deteriorated during the year. The important mining industry was suffering due to low world market prices, and the copper and diamond industry threatened thousands of workers with dismissal.
According to countryaah, the current population of Botswana is 2,351,638. The most severe plague was the drought that haunted southern Africa for several years. The worst dry season of over 30 years was felt mainly in the animal-rich Okavango Delta, which normally provides Botswana with large income through tourism. Water shortages and consequent electricity shortages affected the mines as well as the manufacturing industry and agriculture.
In July, President Ian Khama declared disaster state because of the drought. Many people were threatened by starvation, and Khama announced a relief program that would last for a year.
During the year, Botswana’s highest court rejected the government’s attempt to ban a gay rights lobby group. The verdict was seen as an unusual success for gay rights in Africa. According to the ruling, the group would be allowed to register and campaign for changes in legislation prohibiting homosexuality with threats of imprisonment.
According to the chief judge, the government’s attempt to ban the group was in violation of the fundamental freedom of association. The verdict was a challenge to the Khama government, which among other things refused to distribute condoms in prisons for not encouraging homosexuality. Botswana has one of the world’s highest proportions of HIV infected, and groups fighting HIV and AIDS have criticized the government’s line.
In June, it was reported that Botswana’s defense force was negotiating with Sweden for the purchase of the Swedish combat aircraft JAS, which is used in neighboring South Africa.
The security police arrested a journalist investigating a conflict between President Ian Khama and his brother, Environment and Tourism Minister Tshekedi Khama. The arrest was seen as yet another attempt to silence critical press voices, a development that hardened under Khama’s rule.
A leading editor, Outsa Mokone, was charged with rioting after he published an article about a traffic accident involving President Khama. Khama had been driving alone in the capital Gaborone at night and had not reported the accident to police, despite being injured by the driver of the other car.
The reporter who wrote the article found himself in exile in South Africa, where he sought political asylum and said he was threatened with life. The indictment against the editor was the first in Botswana against a journalist for rioting, which could result in three years in prison.
In September, Botswana opposed its neighbors in southern Africa, which wanted to allow ivory sales, at the UN Conference on Endangered Species Trade. Botswana’s line won, but the country did not get through its demand for a total ban on ivory trade. Botswana is estimated to have between 140,000 and 200,000 elephants, a third of Africa’s entire population.
President Khama declared in September that Zimbabwe’s 92-year-old authoritarian President Robert Mugabe should step down. Zimbabwe’s political and economic collapse brings with it the whole of southern Africa, Khama claimed. Botswana has an 800 km long border with Zimbabwe and is clearly aware of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.
During the year, a huge diamond from the Karoo mine in Botswana was sold for $ 63 million, about half a billion SEK. It was the highest price ever for a diamond. The seller was a Canadian mining company, but the buyer was not named.