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Yearbook 2008

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.

2008 Botswana

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 invited.

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