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Botswana:
Geography

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Botswana Page


Background
Definition
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.
Location
Definition
Southern Africa, north of South Africa
Geographic coordinates
Definition
22 00 S, 24 00 E
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 600,370 sq km
land: 585,370 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 4,013 km
border countries: Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe 813 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
Terrain
Definition
predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
Natural resources
Definition
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0.65%
permanent crops: 0.01%
other: 99.34% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
10 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
14.7 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.19 cu km/yr (41%/18%/41%)
per capita: 107 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
Environment - current issues
Definition
overgrazing; desertification; limited fresh water resources
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country


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