Friday, September 30, 2011

Botswana Independence Day

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Botswana's independence from Great Britain. 

In 1966, when Botswana became in independent nation, it was one of the five poorest in the world. There was only one paved road in the country. It was a 13km stretch and was made in the 1940's for a visit by the royal family. It stretched from the train station to a district commissioner's office. 

Diamonds were discovered soon after and the country's early leaders wisely decided that revenues from those diamonds should go the public good. Diamond revenues funded infrastructure, social programs, and most of the other development in the country. Between the years 1966 and 2000, the economy averaged 9% growth per year, making it the fasted growing economy in the world during that period. 

While there are still improvements and development to be done, Botswana has come a long way in a short time. Happy Independence Day to the "Jewel of Africa."