Botswana's 45 Years of Freedom


Friday, 30 September 2011, the Southern African nation Botswana will celebrate its National Independence Day.  This date marks the country’s 45th anniversary of the country's independence from Great Britain. Since gaining its independence in 1966, Botswana has been a stable democracy governed by an elected President.

This prosperous African nation is currently governed by President Seretse Khama Ian Khama and Vice President Mompati Sebogodi Merafhe.  In 1966, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the Southern Africa region but, the increased prevalence of foreign  multinational  corporations operating in Botswana seems to correlate with the growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from a per capita income of US$70 to around US$14,800 in 2010.

The phenomena of foreign multinationals manipulating emerging economies to their advantage is not new and today this is known as Neo-Colonialism.  In Africa and other emerging markets the introduction of these profit driven entities into the country often has a deleterious impact on both the population and environment. Some of today's most egregious Neo-Colonialist offenders are the petroleum conglomerates that with the aid of corrupt government officials exploit oil rich nations like Nigeria.

Though it is too early to judge, Botswana may be an exception to this trend since the economy seems to have benefited from the foreign investment. But, like many African countries rich in natural resources, the motivation to invest in the country is purely market driven.  Botswana's abundance of gold, uranium, diamonds, and copper make it attractive to multinational mining companies that extract and sell these lucrative commodities in the global market place.

The adverse effects of Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism are rampant in Africa  which makes Botswana's day of celebration note worthy. We wish Botswanans  continued prosperity and support them as they express their national pride. We congratulate this nation in accomplishing what few other African nations have realized - freedom, stability, peace and democracy.