n Africa Insight - Botswana : exploding the myth of exceptionality

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Botswana is often presented as an example of good governance in both political and economic terms and its post-colonial economic performance is regarded as nothing short of a miracle. On 1 April 2008 Lieutenant General Ian Khama was inaugurated as Botswana's fourth president in an event that was hailed as the latest validation of Botswana's track record of political stability. While there are many positive things to say about Botswana, a scratch beneath the appearance of this enviable track record reveals massive poverty in the midst of plenty, a top-down presidential system, an emasculated parliament, and a ruling party that has resorted to re-inventing a political dynasty in order to survive politically. This article gives a different insight into the little known "other side" of Botswana, explodes its myth of exceptionality and points to the necessity to rethink attitudes toward this much praised and prized African country.

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