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. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Botswana include Independence Day (September 30) and New Year (January 1). 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 authorities.
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.
|Land area||581,730 km²|
|Population density (per km²）||4|
|Income per capita||$ 17,000|
|ISO 3166 code||BW|
|Time zone UTC||+ 2|
|Geographic coordinates||22 00 S, 24 00 O|