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Home > About BOTSWANA : Economy & Trade > Economy

Industry & Economy

The Economy
Botswana is an upper middle income country with total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of P91.212 billion in current prices, while per capita GDP is P51 973.20 (2008). The local currency, the Pula, is made up of 100 units of thebe. The Pula is relatively stable and on average 1US$ is equivalent to P1, while about P12 buys 1 British Pound. Inflation is also stable with challenges experienced in 2008 as a result of the high global food and fuel prices. Consequently, the average annual year-on-year inflation rate for 2008 was 12.6%.  Inflation has, however, been on a downward trend since the last quarter of 2008 and continuing in 2009, reaching 8.4% in May 2009.

The economy has grown at an average annual growth rate of over 8% since Independence in 1966. The economy is dominated by a few sectors; mining on average contributes about 40% of GDP. Government also plays a significant role in the economy, contributing on average over 15% to total GDP. Botswana is a very open economy with exports representing a large proportion of GDP. The economy has no exchange controls and is a member of a number of regional and international organisations. These include the Southern African Development Community, Southern African Customs Union, African Development Bank, the African Union, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group and the United Nations.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) produces a number of statistics monthly and some quarterly, and publishes them on the CSO website. These include Statistics Update and Stats Briefs. The CSO also provides a summary of statistics in “Botswana in Figures". Sector specific statistics are also available at www.gov.cso.bw.

Economic Indicators
GDP per Capita Income

The GDP per capita income in nominal terms currently stands at some US$3500, which is one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. This figure places Botswana within the world’s middle-income group of countries by the World Bank ratings.


The basic unit of currency is the Pula, which is denominated in P10, P20, P50, P100 and P200 notes. The Pula is convertible with major currencies. The currency is pegged against a basket of major currencies and is strongly tied to the South African Rand, with strong trading links between the two countries

Exchange Controls

Botswana operates a fully liberalised exchange control regime, which gives investors doing business in the country the option to operate foreign currency bank accounts for smooth facilitation of international transactions.

Foreign Reserves

Botswana’s foreign reserves stand at around US$5.3 billion (March 2003).

Corporate Income Tax

Corporate tax is 25%. There is however 15% tax for manufacturing companies and financial institutions that operate under the auspices of the Botswana International Financial Services Centre.