Botswana is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa. Its official name is the Republic of Botswana. Botswana is topographically flat, with the Kalahari Desert covering up to 70% of its area. It is bounded to the south and southeast by South Africa, to the west and north by Namibia, and to the northeast by Zimbabwe. The Kazungula Bridge connects it to Zambia over the short Zambezi River boundary.
Botswana, with a population of barely more than 2.3 million inhabitants, is one of the world's most sparsely inhabited nations. Gaborone, the capital and biggest city, is home to around 11.6 percent of the population. Formerly one of the poorest nations in the world, with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s, it has since converted itself into an upper-middle-income country with one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
Humans initially arrived in the country about 200,000 years ago. Tswanas are mostly derived from Bantu-speaking tribes that moved southward from Africa to contemporary Botswana in approximately 600 AD, living in tribal enclaves as farmers and herders. In 1885, the British colonized the territory and established Bechuanaland as a protectorate. Bechuanaland became an independent Commonwealth republic under its present name on September 30, 1966, as a result of decolonization. It has been a representative republic since then, with a track record of unbroken democratic elections and the lowest perceived corruption rating in Africa since at least 1998.
Mining, livestock, and tourism are the mainstays of the economy. Botswana's GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita is expected to be about $18,113 in 2021, making it one of the highest in Africa. Botswana is the world's largest diamond producer. Its comparatively high gross national income per capita (fourth-largest in Africa, according to some estimates) provides the country with a relatively high quality of life and the highest Human Development Index in continental Sub-Saharan Africa. Botswana is the first African nation to host the Forbes 30 Under 30 list as well as the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup.
Botswana is an African Union, Southern African Customs Union, Southern African Development Community, Commonwealth of Nations, and United Nations member. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has had a negative impact on the nation. Despite the effectiveness of programs to make medications accessible and educate the public on how to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, the number of persons living with the disease increased from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013. Botswana has the third-highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in 2014, with around 20% of the population affected.