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Economic Development in Pre-Independence Botswana, 1820-1966: Historical Trends, Contributing and Countervailing Factors

Hlavac, Marek (2010): Economic Development in Pre-Independence Botswana, 1820-1966: Historical Trends, Contributing and Countervailing Factors.

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Abstract

This paper examines the trajectory of economic development in Botswana between the years 1820 and 1966, when it achieved independence. First, I review the historical trends in the country’s economic and social development indicators. I then proceed to analyze what factors have encouraged or hindered economic development in Botswana: In particular, I focus on the roles of physical geography, climate, disease ecology, economic and political institutions, geopolitical relations, demographic trends, as well as on ethnic divisions and cultural belief systems. Finally, I discuss how prepared Botswana was for modern economic growth when it gained independence in 1966.

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