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    Botswana Economy - 1991

      Overview: The economy has historically been based on cattle raising and crops. Agriculture today provides a livelihood for over 80% of the population, but produces only about 50% of food needs and contributes a small 3% to GDP. The driving force behind the rapid economic growth of the 1970s and 1980s has been the mining industry. This sector, mostly on the strength of diamonds, has gone from generating 25% of GDP in 1980 to over 50% in 1989. No other sector has experienced such growth, especially not agriculture, which is plagued by erratic rainfall and poor soils. The unemployment rate remains a problem at 25%.

      GDP: $3.1 billion, per capita $2,500; real growth rate 6.3% (1990)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12.0% (1990)

      Unemployment rate: 25% (1989)

      Budget: revenues $1,719 million; expenditures $1,792 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY92 est.)

      Exports: $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 1990 est.); commodities--diamonds 77%, copper and nickel 12%, meat 4%, cattle, animal products; partners--Switzerland, UK, US, SACU (Southern African Customs Union)

      Imports: $1.7 billion (c.i.f., 1990 est.); commodities--foodstuffs, vehicles and transport equipment, textiles, petroleum products; partners--Switzerland, SACU (Southern African Customs Union), UK, US

      External debt: $780 million (December 1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate 16.8% (FY86); accounts for about 57% of GDP, including mining

      Electricity: 217,000 kW capacity; 630 million kWh produced, 510 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: mining of diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing

      Agriculture: accounts for only 3% of GDP; subsistence farming predominates; cattle raising supports 50% of the population; must import large share of food needs

      Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $257 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $1.8 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $43 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $29 million

      Currency: pula (plural--pula); 1 pula (P) = 100 thebe

      Exchange rates: pula (P) per US$1--1.8720 (January 1991), 1.8601 (1990), 2.0125 (1989), 1.8159 (1988), 1.6779 (1987), 1.8678 (1986), 1.8882 (1985)

      Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding Botswana on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Botswana Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Botswana Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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