Botswana History

AIDS: Botswana's Biggest Challenge


Although Botswana's economic outlook remains strong, the devastation that AIDS has caused threatens to destroy the country's future. In 2001, Botswana had the highest rate of HIV infection in the world (350,000 of its 1.6 million people). With the help of international donors, however, it launched an ambitious national campaign that provided free antiviral drugs to anyone who needed them, and by March 2004, Botswana's infection rate had dropped significantly. But with 37.5% of the population infected, the country remains on the brink of catastrophe. President Mogae won a second and final four-year term in Oct. 2004.

After serving 10 years as deputy president, Ian Khama, the son of Botswana's first president, Seretse Khama, was inaugurated as president in April 2008. Festus Mogae stepped aside after 10 years in office. Khama won a five-year term in October 2009, when his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) party won 45 out of 57 seats in Parliament.

In the 2014 election, Ian Khama won a second term as president. It was the eleventh straight victory for his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) party. BDP took 37 of the 57 National Assembly seats. During his 2014 campaign, Khama vowed to take on poverty and unemployment in his next term.

See also Encyclopedia: Botswana

U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Botswana

Central Statistics Office .