In 1996, on the occasion marking the country's 30 years of Independence, the then President, H.E. Sir Ketumile Masire, launched the "Framework for a long-term Vision for Botswana". After extensive nation-wide consultation (therisanyo), the framework was developed into a document: "Long Term Vision for Botswana (Vision 2016); Towards Prosperity for All". The question was:
"What kind of society would we like Botswana to be by the year 2016, when we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary of independence?"
Vision 2016, which is the country's aspirations in the 21st century, came about as an attempt to answer the above question by the people of Botswana.
The main tenets of Vision 2016 - A long Term Vision for Botswana are that, by the year 2016, Botswana will be a nation which is:
An Educated, Informed Nation
Botswana will have a system of quality education that is able to adapt to the changing needs of the country as well as the changing world around us. Botswana will have entered the information age on an equal footing with other nations by 2016.
A Prosperous, Productive and Innovative Nation
Botswana will be a society distinguished by the pursuit of excellence through a new culture of hard work and discipline, where effort is rewarded and where the necessary skills are available.
Botswana will have a vibrant and energetic economy that is able to meet the competitive demands of the 21st century, and attract investors. Non-renewable resources will be used on a sustainable basis and other key resources and assets of the country will be equitably distributed between its people. The country will also have trebled its per capita income.
A Compassionate, Just and Caring Nation
Botswana will have a more equitable income distribution that ensures the participation of as many people as possible in its economic success. The society will offer support and opportunity to those who are poor in order to eradicate absolute poverty. All people will have access to productive resources, regardless of origin, gender, disability or misfortune.
All Botswana will have access to good quality health facilities, including both preventive and curative services within reasonable travelling distance and affordable cost. Facilities will also be available for the special needs of the disabled, women in adolescence or post-menopause, and the elderly.
By the year 2016, the spread of HIV/AIDS, will have been stopped. People who are suffering from AIDS- related illness will have access to good quality treatment in health facilities, community, or the work-place so that they can continue to live full and productive lives.
A Safe and Secure Nation
Serious and violent crime and the illegal possession of firearms, the distribution and use of addictive drugs will be eliminated. The growth of white-collar crime will be halted so that all stakeholders can have confidence that their investments are safe. The capacity of law enforcement and public protective agencies will be strengthened to win public confidence.
The nation will feel confident that their basic human rights are not infringed by acts of foreign or internal aggression or provocation. The competence of the security agencies will be greatly enhanced to ensure security and stability.
An Open, Democratic and Accountable Nation
Botswana of the future will be a community-oriented democracy, with strong decentralized institutions, built upon her history of democratic development. The continued involvement of all political parties in the reform process will ensure a lasting and durable democracy. The Botswana of 2016 will emphasise the accountability of all citizens, from State President down to community leaders, for their actions and decisions.
A morally and ethically upright, educated society will be matched by a leadership of the same qualities, which will provide role models for its younger generation and an instrument to implement democracy. Botswana will have increased political tolerance, and legal sanction against those who violate principles of accountability at all level of leadership. Traditional leaders, as custodians of our culture and tradition, will be an important part of the democratic process through which the long lasting kgotla system will pass from generation to generation.
A Moral and Tolerant Nation
The ability of a society to accept change is strengthened by the personal morality of its people. The Botswana of the future will have citizens who are law-abiding, strong in religious and spiritual values, and who possess high ethical standards.
No citizen of the future Botswana will be disadvantaged a result of gender, age, religion, creed, colour, national or ethnic origin, location, language, or political opinion. The future Botswana will have eradicated negative social attitudes towards the status and role of women, the youth, the elderly and disabled, and will be free from all forms of sexual harassment.
A United and Proud Nation
By the year 2016, Botswana will be a united and proud nation, sharing common goals based on a common heritage and a desire for stability. Botswana will have further enhanced ethnic harmony by harnessing the diversity of cultures, languages and traditions.
The family will be the central institution for the support and development of the society, encouraging responsible parenting and the institution of marriage. The institution will provide the foundation for the eradication of social problems and the spread of communicable diseases.
Government will facilitate the realization of Vision 2016 - A Long Term Vision for Botswana by providing sufficient resources in accordance with the Vision priorities. As an example, the 2002/2003 budget allocation for Education is 28% of Botswana's recurrent budget - the highest per capita expenditure on education in the world. The nation will also continue to be sensitized on the national vision.