50 Years of Botswana

Since gaining independence Botswana’s history has not not been without turmoil, but the country has emerged as a model African state.

Seretse Khama and his British-born wife, Ruth, overlooking Bechuanaland, 1950.Botswana achieved independence from Britain on September 30th, 1966. In the 50 years since, it has become one of Africa’s success stories, though that success has also involved a half century of contradictions and difficulties. Its history certainly did not begin with independence. From AD 200 to 500, Bantu migrations from what is now Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Zambia swept southwards and, in Botswana, established the Toutswe state, built on cattle herding and control of the trade in gold, which found its outlets on the Indian Ocean coastline. There was a coin currency based on coastal shells.

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