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Botswana (the Republic of Botswana) is land-locked, bordering South Africa (south), Namibia (west and north - the Caprivi Strip) and Zimbabwe (northeast). It has a short northern border with Zambia.

San hunter-gatherers in the region were replaced by Bantus after 300 AD who evolved into Tswana tribes. In the 19th century Ndebele people began to make incursions from the northeast whilst Boer settlers began to encroach from the Transvaal. After appeals by tribal leaders the British Government put Bechuanaland under its protection in 1885. Botswana (its northern territory) came under direct administration as the Bechuanaland Protectorate. When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910 the Protectorate was not included and the policy of apartheid in South Africa ended any prospect of incorporation.

British central authority and local tribal governments created two advisory councils in 1920 to represent both Africans and Europeans. Eventually in 1964 the UK agreed to democratic self-government and the seat of government was moved from Mafikeng in South Africa to Gaborone. Independence was then gained in 1966. Botswana now has a fast growing economy with an advanced financial system and a strong minerals and gemstone industry.

Land-locked Botswana is topographically flat with gently rolling tableland. Around 70% of its territory lies in the Kalahari Desert.

The Okavango Delta, one of the world's largest inland deltas, is in the northwest. The Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt pan, lies to the east of the delta. The Limpopo River Basin also lies partly in Botswana along the border with South Africa.

The country has no identified conventional oil or gas resources and Globalshift believes it is unlikely to achieve any oil production in the future. However substantial coal reserves located in the southeast of the country within the Karoo-Kalahari basin could eventually yield commercial coal bed methane production for local use.

The Lesedi CBM project involves exploiting these reserves for electricity generation. There also may be potential for shale gases plus some minor NGLs in associated beds.

Geography, and oil and gas summary

BOTSWANA - Map and National Flag

South and East Africa


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Capital: Gaborone

Population: 2 million     


Bird in the scrub

Brief history of the country

Land area (sq kms)

Oil prod (000s b/d)

Gas prod (bcm/yr)

Oil cons (000s b/d)

Gas cons (bcm/yr)

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Botswana is a presidential democratic republic, with the President as head of state in a multi-party system. The National Assembly has 57 elected and 4 appointed members with the party that wins the majority electing the President. The President then appoints the Vice President subject to endorsement by the National Assembly.

The energy industries are overseen by the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR). Botswana Oil Limited is the NOC responsible for ensuring security of fuel supply established in 2013.