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The impact of democracy in Botswana: Assessing political, social and economic developments since the dawn of democracy
Source of the information:
The Centre for Policy Studies
Botswana achieved independence from Britain more than 40 years ago and much has changed in Botswana since that time. This paper reports on the state of development in Botswana over the past 10 to 15 years, and looks at whether democracy has led to improvements in people's lives. The paper also investigates the views of ordinary citizens on development and democracy in Botswana. The paper was undertaken as part of a research project funded by the Kellogg Foundation on the benefits of socio-economic and political transformation in selected southern African countries.
This paper draws on primary and secondary data sources for its main findings on the assessment of the state of development in Botswana over the past 15 years, since its independence, when it adopted a multiparty democratic system.
The paper first focuses on governance in Botswana, including the structure of the state, elections, and the major challenges facing the country in respect of governance. These challenges include: political accountability of elected leader to ordinary citizens, issues concerning the separation of powers and the co-ordination of development programmes, as well as perceptions of human rights and freedom of expression.
After exploring issues relating to governance and politics, the paper then deals with the socio-economic changes that have taken place. Progress with the provision of key services, such as healthcare and education, are then examined, followed by access to basic services such as sanitation, water and electrification. The paper concludes by assessing the nature of democracy in Botswana, and whether democratic and socio-economic changes have changed the way citizens feel about governance and democracy and socio-economic progress in their country.