Botswana, together with China and the Asian tigers, are the countries in the world where the economy has grown fastest during the last 20 years.
From being among the very poorest countries after its independence in 1966, Botswana is now a middle income country. Norway has, since the beginning of the seventies, had extensive development cooperation with the country. The bilateral cooperation is being phased out because of Botswana’s economic success.
The spread of HIV and AIDS has been among the worst in the world, but the ratio of adults with HIV/AIDS has recently declined from 35 percent to 25 percent.
Today 13 Norwegians work within the health sector of Botswana in order to alleviate the HIV / AIDS situation.
Botswana is a well administered and politically stable society. In terms of foreign policy the country is very well considered and former president Masire was central in the peace negotiations in DRC. The country is one of the most respected countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which has its headquarters in Botswana.
Botswana is a major exporter of minerals, including diamonds. Botswana’s exports to Norway are assessed at over 3 billion NOK (Norwegian kroner, about 3.2 billion pula or USD 520 million) in 2007, mainly in the form of nickel matte to Xstrata Nickel, formerly known as Falconbridge, in Kristiansand, in addition to some beef. Botswana is the African country which has the highest export to Norway.
The country has received the rating “A” in credit ratings by the World Economic Forum and has been pointed out by Transparency International as the least corrupt country in Africa – in front of a number of European countries.
Botswana is a good example of a country which, at independence, was among the poorest in the world but which laboriously has developed itself to become a success history.