Botswana. After applying free schooling for over twenty
years, the country's government reintroduced fees for upper
secondary schools at the beginning of the year. The decision
was justified by the need for savings due to reduced state
income. The measure sparked protests and critics claimed it
would lead parents to keep their children away from school.
CountryAAH, the government, however, promised that the very poorest
families would avoid paying taxes in the future.
In April, a much-debated restriction on alcohol sales was
introduced. Beer sales were limited to five hours a day with
a total ban on Sundays. The pubs and beer shops make up a
large proportion of the private business sector in Botswana
and the criticism of the new order was harsh. But President
Festus Mogae emphasized that alcohol consumption must be
restricted, as he believes it is behind the widespread
spread of HIV and a variety of social problems. Critics,
however, argued that the government's decision would lead to
a growing illegal market, which cannot be controlled by the
In December, a court ruled that hundreds of bushmen had
been illegally driven away from their traditional
settlements in the Kalahari desert. Thus, a multi-year
dispute between the Bushmen and the Government of Botswana
was decided, which decided not to appeal the court's ruling.