Botswana as role model – an example of the best living in the world is across the border


Botswana was recently rated in a BBC study as one of the world’s six best countries to live in — if security, low corruption and good governance are the criteria in a world beset by crime and violence.

The BBC describes New Zealand, Canada, Botswana, Denmark, Chile and Japan as the world’s “best governed” countries.

The report says Botswana has a strong presidency backed by a committed government and a low tolerance for crime. The country spent its windfall of diamonds wisely, transforming a dusty shack city into a microcosm of a big economy with a few important edges. Just about everything works, it is a clean, pleasant and well-run country. The capital, Gaborone, is as close as it gets in Africa to a first world city.

Botswana’s strong and reliable economy has attracted just about every franchise operating in SA. The BBC drew on data from three international surveys — the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the World Bank’s Government index and the Social Progress index — to rank countries based on their performance across different categories. Botswana is the world’s biggest diamond producer after Canada and Russia and for years suffered from the “resources curse” — with a single commodity contributing nearly all financial resources and industrial activity.

Its government, led by President Ian Khama, has worked hard to diversify the economy through tourism, diamond beneficiation and extended cattle ranching activity. It has successfully attracted foreign investment by offering low taxes, political stability, an educated workforce and governance that is stringently regulated and enforced. The result is low criminality and a generally well-regulated, law-abiding society. An increasing number of South Africans have enquired about emigrating to Botswana. Jobs are available for people qualified in the tourism industry, certain manufacturing sectors, farming and mining.

The Botswana currency — at 10 pula to the dollar — is slightly stronger than the rand, which is hovering at around R12 to the greenback.

“Botswana consistently ranks as one of the strongest-governed countries in Africa, especially in its role in containing corruption, regionally ranking the highest in both the World Bank assessment and Rule of Law index,” says the BBC report. The national revenue from diamond mining has been fairly well distributed across the country.

FYI from Business Day full article @

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