Botswana. According to
Countryaah reports, Botswana's relatively successful economy is
based on the world's largest diamond mining. Previously,
however, the raw material was shipped abroad for grinding,
marketing and sales, but during the year a new industry was
opened with thousands of employees for diamond processing.
Respected President Festus Mogae left office after ten
years and was succeeded by his former Vice President Ian
Khama, son of the independent Botswana's country father and
first president, Seretse Khama.
The new president decided to intervene in the abuse of
alcohol in the country, partly through a drastic increase in
the beer tax, which increased the price by 70 percent. The
widespread alcohol use leads to serious social and economic
problems, according to the president.
The government refused during the year to give a group of
bushmen in Kalahari access to water, despite both the
diamond mining and tourism industry in the area being
allowed to drill for water. The Bushmen were allowed in 2006
after several years of legal battle to stay in their
traditional settlements in a wilderness reserve.
Botswana received many refugees from the violence that
Robert Mugabe's regime in neighboring Zimbabwe waged against
the opposition there. Botswana was the first African country
to formally protest the violence and demanded Mugabe's
departure. President Khama was also alone in boycotting a
regional summit in South Africa, to which Mugabe had been