Botswana

GENERAL INFORMATION

Botswana has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world and moved into the ranks of upper-middle income countries following the discovery of diamonds. The exports of diamonds in Botswana have ensured adequate flows of foreign exchange.

Botswana exported almost $5billion worth of diamonds in 2012 for a 19.5% increase over the previous year. The country’s gross exports of rough diamonds increased to approximately $4 billion indicating a 20% increase for the year, and polished moved up to $692.6 million showing 11% increase.

Botswana’s economy has been diversifying, largely due to the influx of foreign investment attracted by low taxes, political stability, and an educated workforce. The financial sector is fairly well developed, with an independent central bank and little government intervention. The country continues to set an example in the management of large endowments of natural resources. The country has recorded the lowest level of corruption in Africa and is often cited as one of Africa’s success stories.

In contrast to Botswana’s impressive economic growth, good governance and prudent macroeconomic and fiscal management, the country faces high levels of poverty and inequality as well as low human development indicators.

POWER SECTOR

Botswana Power Corporation, which was formed in 1970 by an Act of Parliament is responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity within Botswana to areas approved by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

The Corporation has developed from a small, oil-fired power station into one Thermal Power Station at Morupule situated some 12km west of Palapye village in the Central District. The Power station is supplied with coal from adjacent Morupule Colliery.

Botswana has undertaken little meaningful reform of its power sector despite increasing dependence on power imports. In 2007 the government amended the energy supply act to facilitate the participation of independent power producers (IPP) in the power sector, and there are plans to restructure the power supply industry in accordance with Botswana’s membership in the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).

The installed coal-fired generating capacity is increasingly unreliable due to its age and experiences substantial unplanned outages.

References:
  1. International Diamond Exchange (2012) Botswana Diamond exports.
  2. The Heritage Foundation (2016). Botswana Economy: Population, GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade, FDI, Corruption.
  3. The World Bank (2016) Botswana Overview.
  4. The World Bank (2016)  Botswana : Power Market Structure. Directions in Development – Energy and Mining.